Writing Prompt: write a story from the POV of a tortured SIM character

By Jess Charle

Just imagine, you’re taking a relaxing dip in your pool when all of the sudden, the ladder disappears and you’re trapped, swimming laps until the pain in your side is no longer bearable and you drown, wondering why your life has taken such a nasty turn.

Maybe you wake up and find yourself in your daughter’s bunk bed. You don’t know why you’re there. The maid is yelling at a chair that’s blocking her from cleaning spoiled food off of the floor. You feel like you’ve done this all before. Did you really die? Is this new life even real? You feel like yourself, but also… you don’t. Something is off.

You get up and take a shower. As you bathe, you hear the carpool for work honking in your driveway. You know you should hurry, but you need 5 more minutes to be thoroughly clean. The car waits, honking.

You get out and dry off. You’re clothed before you even leave the bathroom. Your stomach growls with hunger, but the carpool is still outside, waiting. You’re running late, and now so are your co-workers. Your stomach growls louder. You wish you could grab something quick, but you don’t have the time. Even a snack will take too long.

You step into the kitchen to find your neighbor cooking at the stove. Did he spend the night? Are you dating him? If you’re honest with yourself, you don’t even really like him. Maybe your daughter needs a father, but maybe she doesn’t. You realize you haven’t even seen your daughter in a few days. You hope she’s alright as you run to the car, stomach growling, knowing you won’t be able to eat or check on your child for another eight hours.

You arrive home at 6:10. Your bladder is full to burst and you’re now crying from hunger. You run into the house and pee, at least you’ve found some relief. Entering the kitchen to make dinner, you see your neighbors still there. Remnants of his breakfast sit uncleaned on your kitchen table. He didn’t even bother to make enough food for both of you. You groan in frustration but you don’t have the mental capacity to care anymore. You start to walk to the fridge and he cuts in front of you.

What’s his name again? Does it matter?

He begins talking to you about planes and you roll your eyes. You don’t have time for this. He asks you about finances and tells you about his dog. You feign interest to be polite, but you’re becoming short with him. Why is this man in your house? You vaguely remember letting him in yesterday. Yes, you invited him in to be polite. And then you went swimming. An abject fear tickles the back of your mind. You went swimming. And then you died. You remember the pain in your side.

Your neighbor leans in to kiss you and you snap. You slap him hard across the face. He is shocked, but you don’t care. You go to the fridge and take out what you need to prepare dinner.

You chop nondescript vegetables. Your neighbors still in the house. You can feel it. Why won’t he go home? There’s a knock at the door, but you ignore it. You’re so hungry you can barely think. Where is your daughter? She should be home by now. You don’t care. All you can think of is food.

You place the chopped veggies and meat on the stove. There’s a knock at the door. You ignore it. You think about your daughter. Your neighbor. You don’t care. There’s another knock at the door.

Suddenly, flames burst upwards in front of you. You scream, jumping backwards. You’ve set the stove on fire. You grab the fire extinguisher and try to put out the flames. Your neighbor is here now. He’s yelling at either you or the fire, you’re not sure. You focus on the inferno in front of you, barely noticing an alarm that blares around you. Your neighbor has his own extinguisher now and is trying to help.

A fireman runs into the kitchen, extinguisher in hand, and together, you quell the flames. The fireman admires a painting on the wall. Your neighbor wanders out of the room and into, where? You hear light snoring coming from the living room and groan. You double over in pain. There’s a knock at the door.

You open it. It’s your other neighbor. What was her name? Have you ever even met her? She slaps your face, hard. Tears well in your eyes. She demands to know where her husband is. You say you don’t know. You say you don’t care. You ask her about her dog, she says he’s doing well. She walks into your home and you turn back to the fridge. You notice your oven is brand new, the scorch marks now gone.

You can hear your neighbors fighting in the living room as you try to cook dinner again. This time you succeed. You sit down and eat the meal you’ve waited so long for. It’s delicious. Satisfied, you decide to take a dip in the pool. You change into your swimsuit and walk to the backyard. You notice a small gravestone beside the pool, but you ignore it. You wonder where your daughter is as you slowly climb into the cool water.

You begin to swim. As you kick off the far wall and swim back towards the house, you notice the ladder is gone.

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