By Jiho Shin
“Hello, my name is Adam Bazin; I’m 26, recently graduated, and I need this job.” Hector squints his eyes at me. Hector stands from his chair and walks towards his window facing the lake. “You do realize what the job entails, correct, Bazin?” He continues staring at the lake. I look up at his glistening pure hair. “Sir, I believe”—He strikes the window—”Bazin, belief is for children looking for Santa Claus to hop down their chimnies.” Turning away from the window and facing me. A beam of repulsion pierces my eyes. “Sir, I have Faith.” Hector walks past his desk, past me towards a bookcase. Pulling a silver book with gold engravings and walks toward me. He slowly hands me the book but lingers when it’s millimeters from my hand. “If you can read the first chapter, You have the job.” I grab the book glancing at the golden engravings. While he walks back to the window in a slow stride, I hear lightning strike the forest surrounding us. I start flipping to the 1st chapter when a monumental headache anchors itself within my mind. My eyes grow dizzy, and my heart begins pounding heavily. I glance up at Hector staring into the window at the upcoming thunderstorm, and pass out.
I wake up cold and nauseous, realizing Hector has vanished. Fear and trembling force me to get out of the chair, surveying the room. Standing up so quickly was a misstep. As I realize this, I lean over Hector’s desk and vomit. The door behind me squeaks open, but I’m too drained to turn around and inspect who it is. Slumped on the desk, I lift my hand, but it falls back down. Footsteps begin approaching me, echoing throughout the room, then cease within a couple of strides. “Did you know?” Confused and distraught, I try shifting around, but my strength has evaporated. Opening my mouth is like moving through quicksand. A light, gentle whisper flows into my left ear. “You were possessed.” Then I hear knocking. “Come in.” Multiple footsteps, louder, like boulders, fill the room. My shoulders are pulled upwards by numerous hands. I try speaking, but I whimper instead. I try moving my legs but realize they are gelatin. My breathing is now sandy and hoarse as if pillars of rock formed in my lungs. Suddenly I’m being dragged towards the door as my head sways, looking at the cherry wood floor. Then at the entrance of the room, my lifeless body is stopped. “Miss, should we take him to the darkroom?” What little brain power I have left is confused. “That won’t be necessary.” I gasp out in dread failing to make any movement or word. Unable to read a few terms, my vomit lingering on the desk, my body motionless, about to be carried to some unknown place. All this makes me go unconscious.
I awake on a soft mattress tightly covered. Reluctantly, I open my eyes and see only darkness. As my eyes adjust, a red dot flickers a couple of feet in front, accompanied by two green dots and one orange dot flashing quickly. I move my hand, and I move my hand again. It’s not moving in the slightest. None of my body responds. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Waiting and thinking become my sole activity. The blinking almost becomes ravenous to my peace as it pierces the prolonged darkness. A door opens to my right, filling the room with a blinding glow. As my vision adjusts, a face gazes from the edge of my bed. “Welcome back, Bazin.” Disdain fills my face. Hector gets up, walks over, and clicks a button on the panel. “Paralysis state reduced, reducing anesthetics to ten percent.” He places a hand on my chest and applies tremendous pressure. Gasping for air, I try to activate my hands, but they are lifeless. As he glances at my feet, he removes his hold. “You should be able to speak now.” Dazed and overflowing with emotions, I look at him with contempt. My heart feels like it’s breaking my rib cage open so it can sail into the sky. Hector steps backward and looks dismayed. “You still don’t know.” He pauses, looking for an answer. I look back at him and release a sigh. “Someone said I was possessed, right?” I let silence enter for him to correct me, but no response arrives. “I’ve gone to church, read God’s word since childhood, sang in the choir, and went on missionaries.” I take a moment to let that sink in for him, but his face is reactionless. “What does it take to live righteously, Bazin?” He waits for my answer as I mull it out. “Faith.” He then motions with his hands. “Keep going.” I think even more profoundly.
“Justice, Truth, Sacrifice, and Slavery.” He then folds his arms and smiles. “Do you believe in all five?” I can feel warmth in my skin, less lifeless, making me relaxed. “How can a person worship God without those five?” I state, perplexed. “Well, Bazin, how can a snake enter a holy place? How can evil exist where it is good? How can Hitler live and flourish on God’s Earth?” I’m baffled. How can anyone possibly know the answer to such a big question? He smiles and lifts both of his hands into the air. “Do you know why Gold is the standard? Sir, because there is nothing more valuable? Correct, Bazin, but it’s more than that. Without iron, copper, and bronze, we would not have anything to compare to Gold. You see, we need something worse to understand what’s truly the best. Without Hitler, we would never know why killing is wrong. Without Hitler, we would never know why torture is twisted. Without Hitler, we would never know why division is destructive. But Hitler isn’t the only evil in existence. Sir, the devil in the garden also-CORRECT Bazin! If the devil never came into the garden, humanity would never understand how greedy we genuinely are. Sir, what does this have to do with me?” He looks thrilled to be speaking about these things. “Some evil entered your life, and you let it enter you.” I patiently wait for him to make his point. “Bazin, can you honestly say your life is pure and good? When was the last time you looked back at your life and questioned your actions? Sir” —Someone knocks at the door—” Come in, Ailin.” Hector clears his face of all emotions and looks towards the door.
A woman walks in dressed in a red and white suit, definitely very flashy for this establishment. She whispers something into Hector’s ear, and his eyes close, nodding. “Very well, prepare him for the Chamber Of Justice.” He opens his eyes and looks at me. “Bazin, it’s time for your ruling.” a fear settles at the back of my gut. He walks out of the room in a long stride. His black suit makes his strides look deadly, causing his snowy hair to stick out. Ailin approaches the door signaling two nurses with her index finger. They rush into the room and start unstrapping me from all the cords and sheets franticly. They step back as two men dressed in blue and black military camo attire enter. Ailin looks at me with anger. “Get up, Bazin.” Then I step onto the frigid marble floor and nearly fall as I regain sensation. One soldier stands behind me, the other lining up in front of me. Then the one in front starts moving forward. “Keep pace, or we will have to carry you.” Speaks the soldier behind me. I match my pace to the soldier in front as we exit the cold, white room. I can feel Ailin’s stare stabbing my back as I vacate the room.
I can scarcely keep up, but at least I can feel my hands and feet. As we walk down the white corridor shrouded by black doors from both sides, an elevator emerges in the distance after minutes of endless walking. This elevator appears to be dark glass, with pillars of bronze at all corners. As we enter it, I bask in the circuitry’s complex maze of vines where all the buttons are arranged and exposed in the dark glass. The elevator’s floor is also opaque glass, revealing infinite darkness underneath. Rows of buttons encased in a purple material surrounded by a deep blue plaque fill me with awe. The elevator closes as we stand there in silence. Confused at why they don’t press any of the controls, I start to open my mouth but am halted by the elevator jerking into movement. “Can either of you tell me what The Chamber of Justice is?” I look at both soldiers with a deviating glance. They both continue looking forward. “You will be judged.” Says the soldier to the right. “Pray and Hope The Holies Plead your case.” Says the soldier to the left. As the elevator rockets down, I begin to feel hopeless. What will happen to me? Who are The Holies? What is The Chamber Of Justice? Did my friend set me up? Was I demonized? A blaring screech reverberates as the elevator comes to a sudden stop.
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