This is the twentieth part of a fiction serial, in 712 words.
Experiment Two: Part One.
Subject: Danielle Goldman.
Her eyes were so wide open and bulging, I thought the eyeballs might burst. The blood pressure and pulse rate monitor attached to her showed both were above normal, especially her pulse. When the hissing cockroach finally crawled off her mouth, she began screaming. No words, and no pleas for help, just constant screaming, at a volume I hadn’t thought possible from a human voice. Then she spotted the black scorpions scuttling around in their clear containers abover her face, and for a moment, I thought she might stop breathing.
The creatures inside with her didn’t appear to react to the noise at all, which interested me greatly. But when a giant millipede began to crawl across her breasts, Danielle lost control of her bladder into the container below. Although she could clearly see me by turning her eyes to her right, she made no appeal to me, and did not use my name. It was as if she had always known this might happen, though of course I knew that wasn’t possible.
Some of the bugs that could fly began to do just that. Crickets and Locusts started to try to escape the attention of some of the more voracious predators in Danielle’s container, and most settled around the top section, in her hair. This caused the Mantises and Spiders seeking prey to start to crawl up her legs in the direction of her head, and with that, her screams began in earnest. I had to step back a few paces, to protect my hearing. Even confined in the container, the sound was incredible.
Rumbling in my stomach suggested it was time I had something to eat. Leaving the cameras running, I went back up to the house and made a toasted cheese sandwich. As I ate, I pondered her reaction. Definite fear, bordering on terror. This might be the most successful of my three experiments so far, considering Ted had stopped his short accidentally.
Back in the workshop, I could see that Danielle was almost able to move her container by the actions of her body inside it. I immediately noted that, deciding that I would have to make some kind of frame to secure the container on its stand. Her pulse rate was approaching 200, and I guessed she would be unable to maintain that, together with a blood pressure of 190 over 100 for too long, before some damage was done.
Perhaps fear could kill after all?
Opening one of the ports carefully, so as not to let anything escape, I offered some water in a plastic bottle. She shook her head violently, no doubt fearing more drugs in the fluid. A piercing scream shook me away from my note-taking, and I stood up to see that a Praying Mantis was on her left cheek, eating a live cricket. It was so close to her left eye, it was all she could see. Then when a red-kneed Tarantula settled on her right collar bone, she passed out.
I knew she wasn’t dead, as the monitor continued to show her pulse and blood pressure. But the arrival of the arachnid had obviously been too much. Her troubled brain had shut down, and she was deeply asleep. Excited by the first day of the experiment, I retired into the computer room to review the film footage.
Danielle was proving to be an excellent subject for my studies.
Leaving her overnight was the next step. I left all the lights on, as I didn’t want her not to be able to see her tormentors. Before I retired to bed, I offered some water, and food in the form of a cake and nut bar. But she shook her head, no doubt unable to think of food at such a time in her life. She had still not said my name, or requested that I remove the creatures, ceasing her torment. I concluded that she knew her fate, and welcomed it as a release from her terror.
Sleep was hard to come by for me that time. I was busy taking extra notes, and drawing some conclusions based on the video evidence I had spent so long watching.
This time, I was absolutely sure that fear could kill.