Evening the Balance

by Brian Selman

I woke up from a deep slumber. I looked around at an unfamiliar room. The room was made entirely of metal. It had four metal walls with a metal door and a metal ceiling and floor. I had been asleep with my head on a table, and the rest of me was sitting on a chair. I don't know how I had gotten here, and I could only vaguely remember the day before. All I remembered was my wife and I sitting on a couch. I remembered that I had taken a pill, and simultaneously had gotten a terrible headache. I don't know if the pill was for the headache, or what had happened after that. All I knew was that I still had a dull headache, and all that I wanted to know was where I was and why. I got up somewhat clumsily at first, but once I got reoriented I was able to walk over to the door and open it. I walked through to a room much like the one I had left. The only difference between this room and the previous was that there was another door and more importantly, a man in this one. He was leaning against a table with a smirk on his face. The first thing I noticed was that he was curiously thin. He was about 5'10, just an inch or two above me, and had a shaved head. He was wearing a business suit and tie. I spoke first. I asked

"Who are you, and where am I?" He replied,

"I am David Chernowitz, and you are here for a series of tests. You can either cooperate, or you will be killed." I wasn't sure whether I should take him serious at first or not. When I looked at his beady brown eyes though, I knew he meant what he said. I reasoned that if he had been able to get me here, then he could probably have me killed. I said

"I don't know why I'm here, but hurry up and get this done with so I can get home."

He smiled, and called a big burly man with a briefcase in. David walked out, and the Goliath of a man slammed me into a chair. He opened his briefcase on the table in a way that I wouldn't be able to see the contents from my chair. He pulled out a razor. He walked over to me brandishing the razor like a knife. He then proceeded to shave my head. At first I objected, but after this man knocked me on the head, I stayed still. He then stripped of my belongings and clothes. He put these in his briefcase and shut it. He then stood me against a wall and gave me one of the worst beatings of my life all the while shouting a language I could not understand. It sounded like Hebrew. I was not worried about the language particularly. I had my mind on the sound of my cracking ribs and my screams of pain. After he had beaten me all he saw fit, he took his briefcase and left the room. I was relieved to be rid of him. I lied on the floor for twenty seconds breathing deep breaths. I then noticed that there was a peculiar hissing sound and that I was having trouble breathing. I looked up to see showerheads on the ceiling that I had not noticed when I had entered. I think they were spewing a gas, but I could not see it too well because it had no color. The room started to smell of almonds. I started to notice pain in my back, arms, and shoulders. I get really dizzy, and the room seemed to spin. The room was getting dim, and I started to hyperventilate. I passed out after about 30 seconds. I woke up in extreme pain. I was foaming at the mouth, and my ears were bleeding. I can't accurately describe how much pain I was in. The gas was all gone. It had gone through vents that were in the same place that the showerheads had been before. After what I think was three hours, I don't know for I had no way to tell time, I tried to stand up. It was extremely hard, and only on my eighth try was I able to do so. That was when I smelled something burning. I looked down to see the floor on fire. I tried my best to get to the door behind me in which I came. I tripped, and hobbled, but I got there. I turned the handle to realize to my horror that it was locked. I turned around and saw the other door in the room. I got to it, but it was locked as well. I was standing in a room completely on fire. I tried to jump on the table, but saw that it was on fire as well. Someone while I was asleep had doused the entire room in gasoline. Every bit of it was now on fire. This is the worst death I could think imaginable. I tried to run, but there was nowhere to run to. I kept tugging at the door, but to no avail. I can't tell you the horrors of fire, so I will not even attempt to. I'll just have you imagine every single part of you on fire, and no way to put it out or run from it. I finally passed out from the carbon monoxide fumes and loss of blood. I don't know how, but I woke again. The fire was out. The room looked as spotless as when I had entered it. I looked at myself. I had no burns or marks of any kind. All I had was that same dull headache. I got up, and tried to open the door I had been tugging at when I was on fire. It opened with ease. I ran into the next room. I saw a poster with my picture on it with something written under it, and a mirror beside it. I looked at the mirror and to my horror saw a bullet wound on my left temple. I felt it and poked around it. It felt real, and I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed it before. While I was prodding my newfound wound, a voice sounded on a speaker above me. It was David. He said,

"You have been through only a portion of what we are going to put you through. As you may have figured out, this isn't Earth we are on. You are paying for what you have done to people. You are getting identical punishments you have given to people, and it will not stop. This is your Hell." As I listened, I couldn't help but cry. As I cried, I looked from the mirror to the picture of me. I realized that the word written on the poster was my name. It was a short name that had changed the world. It contained only six letters, and as I listened to David, I read them one at a time. H-I-T-L-E-R.

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