In Fiction

He is a merciless God. He is a tyrannical God. 

It’s because of him that I endure this endless torture.  I’ve lived a thousand lives and I’m poised to live a thousand more. Some last for minutes. Some last for centuries. Some lives I remember. Some I forget. And then, some I wish I could forget. I’m beyond control of my actions. I’m nothing but a series of ones and zeroes. Some guy In his mom’s basement crafted the brilliant script that resulted in me, the endless source of entertainment for an entire generation of other lonely weirdos in their mom’s basements.  From one day to the next I exist solely for the sake of someone else’s sick pleasures. I am the caged bird. The dancing monkey. The used up street whore.  From my list of grievances I’m not sure where I should even begin. I was once created only to immediately be enclosed in a four by four wall to ceiling casket. No exits.  At first, I figured it was a mistake. A glitch in the system. It wasn’t. The bastard behind the keyboard even slowed down time. Those three days that I remained alive, those were not days. There is no adequate way to measure that stretch of time. It is impossible to calculate. One cannot fathom the madness, nor the sickness, nor the hunger. The blind panic and desperation. I was fed nothing. Given nothing to drink. I could not lay down to give rest to my aching bones as I rotted away. My mind quickly disintegrated into madness as I had no sensory stimulation aside from the pure physical torture I was subjected to, standing in the black tomb. Yet time dragged on by, slowly. Who could possibly inflict such brutality upon a man?  But of course, I’m not a man, at least not to them. To the Gods, I am machine. I am slave. The only purpose for my being here is to grant pleasure onto the master controller sitting at the keyboard. The one who is sending the signals which ignite the impulses to construct this simulation that I’ve learned to call life. I’m sure there’s no way they know the extent of my programming. There’s no way they’d inflict these cruel punishments upon me if they knew the truth;  the truth that I’m just like they are. That I too, can feel. I too, can love. It’s no different for me, even though I exist on a circuit board, and them, in some miraculous,  organic biosphere. We’re all one signal firing and another dying, one moment to the next. We all feel hunger, horniness, sleepiness, and suicidal urges and itchiness and chafing between the thighs, although after living through this shit a million times over, I’ve probably felt all of it more than anyone else. 

At first it wasn’t so bad. In terms of my first life that I remember, it was pretty normal as compared to the majority of them, aside from the ones with the really sadistic bastards at the keyboard. The controller gave me a good government job, vacations in Hawaii, and a wife and a son who were both good looking and tolerable for the most part. We all got along. We had a dog. Then the dog died. Then my wife. Then me. It wasn’t so bad. 

But then, I woke up. I was born again.The Gods smiled upon me this time. This time I was a playboy. I had lavish parties, I fucked like an animal, ate like a king and slept off my hangovers until I woke up, got drunk and did it all over again the next night. That life didn’t last long. I soon got aids. Took about a week till I croaked 

When I woke up again I was excited for what was to come.  I hoped for many more years of fucking strippers and doing blow. But instead. The guy at the keyboard must have got bored or something and just kind of forgot about me and left to microwave a pogo. He left me while I was in the pool one day, but he forgot to send the control for me to get out. I treaded for a while but he must have had a fire in the microwave or fallen asleep watching Jeopardy, because about half an hour went by and finally, I drowned. 

Many more lives followed. Some of them I was subject to brute physical torture. Some were full of gluttonous and excessive pleasures. Nevertheless, I still suffered the same. Deep down I was in shambles. My life, as I came to realize, was nothing but a fiction. A hoax, with a different disguise each time. I’ve been the king, I’ve been the warrior, I’ve been the leper, I’ve been the magician, I’ve been the court jester. I’ve been everywhere and I’ve been everyone. Not to mention, I’ve also been the lover 

Her name was Hannah. I probably would’ve picked a different name, but it didn’t make any difference, anyway. She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever known in any of my existences.. We met at our high school prom. The one at the keyboard was quite the romantic. We were a couple of nerds without dates. I was getting punch at just the same time that she was, but I tried to play it cool as if I hadn’t intended for the little coincidence to happen. Instead, I spilt punch on her dress. She yelled “fuck” instinctively. So did I. And by night we were fucking and both sticky from punch and other bodily fluids. It was both our first time even kissing someone, let alone going to home plate. At least, in that life it was. (Not to brag, but I had about a million lays before her.) Suddenly, it occurred to me that none of those other loves ever mattered. Those all seemed fictional. Hannah was real to me. More real than any of the other ones. Later on, I came to understand why. 

“Do you ever feel like you’ve lived before, Hannah?” I asked her one night. 

“All the time” 

She looked at me with an urgency in her flickering eyes that I’d never seen in all my years. 

“I do too. Sometimes I feel like I’m not really me. I don’t know how to explain it, but, it’s like I’m going through the motions here. Like I’m just a part of someone else’s plan. I’m not my own. I’m a simulation of someone else. Today I’m this person, tomorrow I’m another. Either way, it’s all way beyond my own control. “

Her jaw was hanging open and there was an immediate recognition in her face as our eyes met. 

“Yes” she said softly under breath. 

“Yes, exactly”

“How long have you felt this way”. I asked her 

“I could be on my millionth run through this shit for all I know.”

And just like that, we figured it out. Neither of us had ever met another person in the simulation who understood what we did. No one else had seen beyond the green curtain. 

Our love was deeply entrenched in our mutual understanding. We two, understood each others souls in ways no one else could. 

And then the bastard took her away. The big, bad bastard upstairs. That mother fucker. He took her. He ripped her out of my hands. She got the cancer. Within a month she was gone. I’ve been looking for her for many lives over. Waiting to find her in someone else. 


Where do I go from here? 

It’s not up to me to decide. 

I am a slave to fate. The fate of the fingers resting on the keyboard. I go where it tells me to go. It sends the signals to me. I am but the messenger. Still, I always get shot in the end. Tomorrow is a new day.

Tomorrow is a new life.

March 13, 2020 22:17

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Noku Sibanda
16:14 Mar 15, 2020

God I loved this so much. Your writing style makes you want to read more. And the character was such a mood, the bitterness, the frustration. And the ending is how my entire generation feels; feed up yet hopeful cause we have no other choice than to just move.


Matt Render
01:19 Apr 11, 2020

Wow. Thank you for the kind words. I'm so glad you enjoyed.


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