Technicolored Dream Pants

Inspired by a short piece of fiction written by H.R.R Gorman called, “Electric Nightmares.”

The stench was horrible. It’s what brought Emergency Services to the apartment complex in the first place.

They quickly located the source of the odor that the neighbors were complaining about. Martin Schmidt had been dead nearly a week, still seated in his leather recliner.

They could tell the fifty-something man had died from some sort of trauma. After a preliminary investigation, Detective Gallagher gave them the go ahead to tag and bag the man’s remains for transport.

“We’ll know more once the medical examiner has a look,” Gallagher said.

A day later Gallagher asked Doctor Connors, “So do we have a homicide, suicide or accidental death?”

Connors replied, “I’m ruling it an accident.”

“What’s the manner of death?”

“Electrocution.”

“What?! How?”

Connors pulled back the lower half of the white sheet, exposing the man’s blackened legs and lower torso. Gallagher notice immediately that the man’s penis appeared burned beyond recognition, and he couldn’t help but wince at the sight or thought of such a painful way to die.

“He urinated himself while in REM sleep and that short-circuited the dream-simulation’s pants he was wearing at the time,” Connors stated.

“Poor bastard.”

“Probably didn’t even realize what was happening.”

“Why’s that?”

“More than likely he thought it was all part of his dream sequence.”

“So why would he piss like that? We checked his bedding and I didn’t note any bed-wetting.”

“Under normal circumstance, Mr. Schmidt probably never wet his bed once as an adult,” Connors replied.

He added, “But because of an enlarged prostate and a compressed bladder, combined with the relaxed state of REM, he probably was dreaming he was urinating. But this is all a theory. No one fully understands the dream-state or even why we dream, let alone what we dream.”

“So are you going to let Gorman Manufacturing know about their “Technicolor Dream Pants” and this danger, or should I?” Gallagher finally asked.

“I think we both should, separate and independent of one another,” Connors answered. “Then you should release the information to the press.”

“Good idea,” Gallagher responded. “I know I’m going to return my set as soon as I’m off duty.”

“I never bought a pair,” Connors smiled.

“Really? Why’s that?”

“Same reason I never bought a smart-phone,” the doctor said.

No more needed to be said as Gallagher shook Connors hand and left the autopsy room. They both knew the reasoning behind such a decision.

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