By Jess Charle

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

We often forget that the outside world isn’t real. That it is a never ending string of signals our mind interprets, or misinterprets. We could be in a simulation and we’d never know it. We could be in a video game. A tiny figure on a screen. The god we pray to just a player in their own world.

I had a good life: nice house, good job, and a great family. I worked hard for my life. Years of online night courses, cheap microwaveable meals, and one set of clothes. It was all worth it, but things have been… unraveling.

First, my house started changing inexplicably. Doors disappear and reappear. I lost my job because I could never find a way outside when I needed to. The other night I heard my daughter’s screams coming from where her bedroom should be, but all I found was freshly painted wall. Her cries filled the house. And then they stopped. No one but me seemed to notice her disappearance.

My wife went to the neighbors house to say hi. Two weeks ago. I know she’s having an affair, but I can never seem to leave my home to confront her. I tried to call the other day, but all my home phones are missing.

Even the simple task of making dinner for one turned my kitchen into an inferno. I could hear the lone fireman pounding on blank wall behind me, calling out through the plaster and wood. I was able to put out the flames by myself, but my house is ruined.

There’s a door at the back of the room now. A door that was never there before. I see a swimming pool beyond the glass, it looks so cool and refreshing. Maybe I should find my wife. Maybe I should tell her about our daughter.

But first, I think I’ll go for a swim to relax.

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