• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 05

Clarifying Shampoo

It felt completely absurd, walking down these solitary, blinding white corridors, having to stand on my tiptoes to have a brief glance through the minuscule square windows to make sure the bodies were still conscious. They may be alive, but to this world they aren’t humans. They are objects of needless torture, cramped in their metre squared cells – the fluorescent tube lights the closes thing they will ever have to daylight. And the purpose of this? Vanity, of course. We tried a new face toner on the man on the right, but this made his face so mutilated we could no longer tell his features apart. In the cell next to this was a man missing both his eyes, but at least his eyelashes were pretty.

Working here meant you had to become tough. The shrieking, moaning and screaming started to feel like tinnitus, eventually going un-noticed, but it was always there. I think the worst part of the job is collecting the test subjects from their cells and transferring them to the testing room. For the most part they don’t fight back, but when they do that’s when the tranquilizers come in handy. You get the odd one where they try and resist, but there’s no resisting us. We always win.

Becoming tough means that compassion isn’t in the equation. I often see other guards dragging young boys, burns all over their face and severe hair loss due to chemical burns, with a look of absolute despair on their face. It used to bother me, but not anymore. We need subjects, so why not young boys? They’ve been here their whole lives and they have nothing to lose.

My latest subject was a four year old male trying out a new clarifying shampoo, but it didn’t work so we are going to have to find an alternative chemical, because in here we want nothing but the best. That’s the reason everyone is in here anyway – to make sure girls eyelashes are long enough, cheeks rosy enough and lips rouge enough, because that’s what matters.