Published in Litro Magazine #151: Adrenaline Issue
On the day I died I was at a theme park in Hong Kong. My death, my first death that is, was planned. I had agreed to this death, hell, I had even paid for it. They said it was just a game.
‘The safety word is banana’, she said as she moved up my left side, fastening a plastic sheet to the side of my gurney. ‘You say banana three times, we stop the game’. She moved to my right side, securing the plastic sheet tight across my body, trapping my arms by my sides and leaving my bare feet exposed at the bottom, and then she left.
I blinked up at the cold, fluorescent tube light on the ceiling. A man dressed in a white lab coat, wearing a surgical mask like a hospital orderly leaned into view. Every now and then the tube light flickered, casting ugly shadows on the orderly’s face. A long-suppressed memory licked at the corners of my mind. I’ve been here before, I thought. Not exactly here but somewhere similar. It was much brighter the first time though and I was covered with a soft blanket, not a plastic sheet. Someone leaned over me just like this and asked me questions but I couldn’t speak. Seconds later the drugs that were being forced into my blood stream through a needle jammed into the soft, crêpey skin on the back of my hand, sent me spinning into sleep. And then, nothing. Nothing at all until I woke up what must have been hours later in pain, with a freshly-stitched slash in my flesh and metal inside me in places where there was once only bone.