The Spotlight: Schrodinger’s Problem

This week I present Schrodinger’s Problem, a dark and twisted short story from the mind of GrimGarry.

I stumbled upon him and his stories via the monstrosity known as the Twittersphere. How to describe Schrodinger’s Problem It has elements of sci-fi, horror, and mystery. And it keeps the hairs on the back of your neck at attention right up to the last line. GrimGarry’s writing style is gritty, conversational, and to the point. I particularly enjoy the way he describes the setting. It really “puts you in the room” so to speak.

It is difficult to accurately tease Schrodinger’s Problem without spoiling elements of the story itself. With GrimGarry’s permission, I am posting this chilling story below in its entirety.

On that note, scroll down and enjoy… 

Schrodinger’s Problem

As I glared at the Cat it occurred to me that it was futile. Nor the Cat or I would be leaving this room anytime soon. Staring would not further my position. I had you see, confessed to the Cat already and it knew that somewhere down the line, I was going to eat it.

Now you would think that this was a decision not to be made lightly, one that required serious thought or deliberation, but if I am honest I found it came to me as easy as my breath. I watch as the Cat changes position, stretching itself out on the floor where it waits and then lying down yet it never takes those mellow yellow eyes from. Mellow yellow, I am instantly reminded of custard, which nourishes my stomach rumble into a roar. I haven’t been well fed whilst in captivity; in fact you could say I have been starved.

But let me describe my room for you, it will pass a little time for both of us until it is time for me to act. Its a square room, probably the size of your living room, providing that you come from a decidedly average background. If you are altogether from a wealthier class, perhaps your washing room, or your small office. It is spacious enough I suppose. It has no windows or any door that I can see, but it does however have a hole, which I hasten to add, is not small enough for me to climb in, it is only about 6 inches in diameter. I use it for my ablutions, as it seems to be what it is for. When I first arrived I did put my hand down it, very gingerly I may add, I was unsure what I might find, for all I knew it could have held a secret button to the door, or gears and blades designed to crush and dice things, including my hand, that are put down there. Fortunately for my digits there was nothing there, just a tube that goes on longer than my arm will allow me to discover. You’ll be glad to know it was clean though, so I did not have the previous occupants waste products on my skin, that is assuming that there was a previous occupant, as I don’t really know. It’s the small things that keep you up at night I suppose. Not that I have that problem as the room sends me to sleep, I think that my captors pump gas into my room at nighttime.

Last week a pair of rats appeared in my room, the week before 3 small mice. I don’t think that the mice were blind as it took me a long time to catch them all. But I did and I put them down the hole. The rats were more troublesome again, I have never liked rats, dirty vermin, I did not know that they possessed such a ferocious bite though, the infection coursing through my finger is a testament to this, but down the hole they went as well. The week before the mice, I was given nothing except water, so as I am sure you can understand I was quite eager to catch them. I don’t say the H-word. Not out loud,  not in my head, I am not allowing myself to think it. Even if I am, I will not give the feeling strength by admitting to it.

Anyway I digress, the room also has a raised cube in the centre, I use it for sitting on rather than the floor sometimes casting a pose rather like that sculpture, or is it a bronze? I’m not sure, it’s called the Thinker, its very famous, you should Google it. I am as naked as that pondering man as well. Yes I know shocking, sat here talking to you in the nude, sat on a box, please forgive me for that, but as I have no choice it is a rather take it or leave it type deal. I think that the cube is also where my visitors come in, though I could be wrong in this. The walls are an off white, as is the ceiling and floor, and despite my best efforts earlier, they seem immovable, with no discernible joins or weak links. As for possessions, I have a pillow; or rather I had a pillow. I use it to cover the ablution hole now, a trick I quickly thought of when I awoke to see the 3 mice ambling around my room. I am sure you can understand why I no longer lay my head on it anymore.

The Cat has moved, it has found the water and is lapping at it. I must tell you about the water, as it is ingenious. There is a section of the wall that is permeable and water oozes out of it, not in a trickle, like you might come across in a cave when potholing. It barely registers, it seems to simply pulse out from the wall and back in again. The Cat is obviously more astute than I am, as it took me a day to discover. Sentiment and self-refection have got the better of me, the cat is no longer staring at me. I have the advantage!  I rise from my thoughtful position as quietly as I can , the only sound being that of my moist flesh peeling from the surface of the cube. I can feel my muscles contracting hard as I stand, slowly, steadily. I judge that I will need two steps before I can launch myself at my companion, and tentatively take the first one.

The Cat remains oblivious to my movements. I lean my weight forward to take the next step, I’m salivating and sweating at the same time, my right foot lifts off the floor ready to complete my second and final step. And the Cat turns its head and looks me right in the eye. I hesitate and then instantly concede defeat. The Cat is a more difficult foe than the Rats and Mice. I think it’s the eyes. They seem more soulful than the black orbs of my previous potential meals. They make me wonder what my eyes look like, they used to be a striking blue and were often noticed and commented upon when people first met me. Now I am not so sure, blood shot and red I expect, though it would not surpass me if they took on the quality of my previous guests and were nothing but black. There is no mirror or reflective surface in here by which I can judge them.

I sit once again on my plinth and watch as the cat moves from the water wall to a drier segment and sits down and starts to clean itself. I think stealth may be out of the question here; the Cat is more than my equal in this area and reflexes far superior to mine. I could wait it out, but in the starvation stakes I have a considerable head start.  The Cat seems well fed and very healthy, its coat is sleek and shiny, its eyes, as I was just reminded are vibrant and alive. In the mirror that I don’t have, I know I do not cast an anywhere near as healthy image.

Your thoughts may have turned to this question. Why am I here? The honest answer is that I don’t know. I can however tell you a little bit about myself, again, to the pass the time, whilst I figure out my next move against my cellmate. The last thing I remember before going to bed was watching TV. I used to do that a lot. I like TV, if I had a TV in here and perhaps some better food I would be quite happy, not that I am unhappy per se, other than the obvious.

I’m a wealthy man you know, well not yet but I will be once my parents expire. My father used to own a software company that he sold at the beginning of the silicone boom, to say he made a fortune would probably be quite true, but he did not stop there, he did it again, using his previous companies profits as a start up fund, he created a new product, with new software he developed and sold it for even more. So that was us, our family made for life, never having to worry about a single penny spent ever again.

Anyway, I’m tired and thinking about my life before I was in this box isn’t doing me any good. I think I need a nap. I lie down on the floor and as I do, I can feel the cat’s fur on my back and hear purring. I consider flipping over and grabbing it, but I know I won’t reach it before it pounces off to the other side of the room.

When I wake up the Cat is gone. I can still feel the heat on my back from where it curled up next to me. I wonder for a minute why? Perhaps it died in its sleep because of the gas? Perhaps because I didn’t capture and eat it within a day like I did with the other meals I was given? I really wish I could ask someone but I know from previous experience that I was wasting my time trying to talk to anyone. I sit up and draw my knees to my chest and resting my elbows on my knees I cry. I make those noises only men make when they cry, men’s crying never sounds as cleansing as a woman’s, it always seems to me more guttural.’ I AM HUNGRY’. There I give in. “I am hungry. I’M HUNGRY I’M HUNGRY” I yell at my room. “I’M FUCKING HUNGRY, GIVE ME THE CAT BACK, I’LL EAT IT NOW, I’M STARVING.” The Room answers back with silence. “MICE, RATS, CATS, GIVE ME SOMETHING TO EAT YOU BASTARDS.” Still the room offers me nothing.

I cover my face with hands and sob. I am distraught.  My regret over not eating the cat is tangible. The little finger of my left hand is close to my lips. I slip it inside and touch my gum. MY mouth fills with saliva at the oral stimulation of actually having something in my mouth. My finger gains its own mind and wanders around my gums and closed teeth, it rests between my upper and lower incisors. I feel my jaw parting letting my finger explore further. I nibble at my finger gently. Not enough to break the flesh, rather that of a lovers nibble, gently testing and tasting. It wouldn’t be a great stretch at this juncture for me to bite down a little harder would it?  I pull my finger out of my mouth a little shocked at myself. Could I do this? Could I really do this? It would keep me going a little until the next time I awoke to find a new roommate wouldn’t it? The room erupts into darkness; a green light in my eye line is leading my vision to a message in green light, which has appeared on the wall.

….DON’T DO THAT….

I stare at the wall writing. Where? How? I suppose these questions don’t matter, but they raced through my mind all the same. “Hello?”

….DON’T DO THAT….

strobes on the wall in a myriad of colours. It feels like someone is showing off.

“Or else, what are you gonna do?”

I’m thrown into the air, my limbs zig-zagging around me, not under my control. Ok. Electric floor. The wall goes blank for a moment then a new message strobes.

….YOU ARE DOING SO WELL….

Fuck. Well at what? I decide to be more careful with my next question.

“Why am I here?”

I wait in darkness. The green dot appears on the wall and I follow it as it goes 90 degrees onto the next wall.

YOU ARE NOT WELL.…FAT….GREEDY….YOU NEED TO CONTROL YOUR APPETITE….

“Are you fucking kidding? I am controlling my appetite, I haven’t eaten the Rats, Mice or the Cat.”

……. YOU HAVE LOST 36Kg…….WELL DONE…..

I pick myself up off the floor the light returns to the room.

…. BUT YOU MUST BE HUNGRY….

I hear the a noise behind me, movement, and I turn to centre of the room where the noise came from. I’m not an idiot. Mice, rats, a cat, I’m expecting a dog.

No.

Jesus No.

“I can’t eat that. You’re not being serious? This is a joke. A sick fucking joke.”

….BUT HOW HUNGRY?….

On top of the cube, gently writhing around in a Moses basket, is a newborn baby.

Special thanks again to GrimGarry, for allowing me to post his entire story!

Go forth and conquer,

J. D.

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