Burning Questions

Are you awake, Dennis? Dennis? Are you awake? Time to rise and…shine, Dennis!

Ah, there you are. Good morning, Dennis. How are you feeling today? Still a little sleepy? Yeah, well, you won’t be for long. Do you know what’s in your mouth, Dennis? Do you? Take a moment and try to figure it out. Don’t worry, take your time.

You can’t? Hmmm. Well, it’s a light bulb, Dennis. A fucking light bulb that’s hooked to a wire that’s hooked to a dimmer switch. And yes, the dimmer switch is right here, with us. Yes, it’s me and a couple of others who are watching you, Dennis. Right now, as you can tell, the bulb is not lit. But soon, Dennis, very very soon it will be. It’s a high-intensity bulb and it’s in your mouth. We strapped it there with some of that trusty Duct tape, along with your hands. But you already know that, don’t you. Of course you do.

Dennis? Are you listening, Dennis?

Good.

Ok, here is what we are going to do. We…well, I will ask you a series of questions. Dennis? Are you still listening? It is crucial that you are listening to what I am saying, Dennis. Dennis. Listen to me. Don’t fuck this up. If you fuck this up then you fuck yourself up. We don’t want that at all. We’re not in the business of fucking people up, Dennis. Okay? So listen well and you won’t get fucked up.

Okay then.

Each question I ask you will require a yes or a no answer. Obviously, Dennis, you cannot speak. That fucking bulb in your mouth and all. Yeah. I know. You’re scared as fuck, scared like a child who’s going to get his ass beat by some bully. Oh, Dennis, Dennis, Dennis. Let me assure you that getting your ass beat is far more preferable than what can potentially happen to you now. And we truly hope it doesn’t have to happen, Dennis. Honest! I mean, who in their right fucking mind wants to burn the inside of someone’s mouth with a fucking high-intensity light bulb? Do you think I do, Dennis? Do you?

I didn’t think so.

So.

Shall we start? Are you ready, Dennis? Do you want to take a moment and prepare yourself? I would offer you a cigarette, or a…beer…or…something…but…well…you know.

All right. You look to be ready now. You know what to do.

Question number  one.

Is your name Dennis Pratt?

Good.

Question number  two.

Are you thirty-seven years old?

Okay, great. You’re doing fine thus far, Dennis. Uh,  Dennis Pratt, thirty-seven years old.

Question number three.

If a girl showed you her vagina in public, would you look at it?

Dennis? Did you hear the question? Dehhhhhhhh-nissssss?

Dennis. Don’t make me ask a question twice. That would not be good for you, trust me. I’ll let it go this time, but…

Again. If a girl showed you her va—

Okay, Dennis. Thank you. You are doing very well. I’m impressed. Keep it up.

Question number four.

Did you kill Ted Gunderson?

Dennis. Dennis, Dennis, Dennis, Dennis. You were doing so, so, so, so, so well!

I told you, Dennis. I told you the rules. How does it feel? Just warm? No pain yet?

Good. And again, we are not here to cause you pain. We only want the truth, Dennis. The light is warm now, but as you can probably figure out it will naturally get hotter. The glass will warm up considerably and your mouth will become very uncomfortable. You should have told us the truth, Dennis, then this would not have happened, now would it? That’s rhetorical, of course.

Okay.

One thing I didn’t mention.

Once the bulb is lit, it cannot…will not be turned down.

So. Lies are no-no’s, Dennis. NO-NO’s! 

It must be burning a little by now.

On to more questions.

Question number five.

When you killed Ted Gunderson, did you place his body in the ground at 2386 Market Avenue, specifically directly behind the shed in the backyard?

Dennis! Fucking stop it! I guess you fucking want your tongue and gums to be burned to a crisp, is that it? Huh

QUESTION NUMBER SIX, DENNIS!

DID TED GUNDERSON FIGHT FOR HIS LIFE AND DID HE TELL YOU HE HAD A FAMILY AND DID HE PLEAD FOR YOU NOT TO SHOOT HIM IN THE FACE AND END HIS LIFE? DID YOU, DENNIS? YOU FUCKING BETTER ANSWER THIS ONE CORRECTLY, DENNIS!

DENNIS!

DENNIS!!

DENNIS!!!

DENNIS!!!!

DENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well.

I don’t know.

I really don’t know what I could have done. I tried to make things easy for you but all you could do was make things worse. It was easy, Dennis. Easy as pie. But no. You just sat there and burned your own mouth as we increased the intensity of that high-intensity bulb. Now look at you. Lips, tongue, everything burned, your face a mess of singed flesh. Did you really have to bite down on the fucking bulb, Dennis? Well, maybe I would have done the same thing, but really. What did you think would happen? Too bad for you.

Oh yes.

I completely forgot.

You’re dead.

Silly me.

By Jeff Callico

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One response to “Burning Questions

  1. This is fantastic. I love the build up of tension here and that control you have over the narrative voice. So dark and sadistic and so tempting to read on… 🙂

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