Simulacra (A comedic scifi flash fiction)

Michael Kilman
5 min readJun 20, 2020


Originally posted at

This is a brand new piece of sci-fi flash fiction.

When it’s revealed that the whole world is nothing but a simulation, one brave man will dare to water his tomatoes


“Because, Edgar, you’re living in a simulation!”

Roger pointed to the glitch, a rather large shimmering hole in the fabric of reality. “There are hundreds of those all over this so called world!”

“That doesn’t mean I don’t have to water my tomatoes.”

“Nothing matters anymore, we aren’t even real, we’re software. Didn’t you see the news? It’s confirmed, there’s no denying it, our designers even showed us how it works and made people appear and disappear. I got to walk on the so called moon without a spacesuit yesterday. What do you think about all of this?”

“ I think my tomato plants won’t appreciate it if I let them die.”

“Screw your tomato plants!” Roger waved his arms and paced back and forth across the garden patio.

“What did my tomato plants ever do to you?”

“Not exist!”

“Well I don’t see how that’s their fault.”

“We don’t exist either.”

Edgar stepped back for a moment, looked at his watering can, looked at the plants, looked at Roger, shrugged his shoulders and started to water his plants again.

“Nice day for it.”

“For what?”

“For living in a simulation. At least they didn’t make it a dreary day.”

Roger strode forward and knocked the watering can out of Edgar’s hands. Water spilled everywhere.

“That was rude.”

“It doesn’t matter does it?”

“It matters to me, and now my socks are wet.”

“Your socks aren’t real, your feet aren’t real, the watering can isn’t real. This isn’t a hoax, this isn’t made up. We know, for a fact, that our whole existence is a program run by humans from the 24th century to try and understand why the 2020 sucked so bad and all you can talk about is your wet socks and tomatoes?”

“You don’t seem to be social distancing well Rodger.”

“Covid-19 is a simulation!”

“That doesn’t mean I won’t get sick.”

Edgar pressed his wet feet into the cement making squishing sounds. “My shoes are soggy. It’s going to take a whole day for them to dry.”

Roger sat down, pulled out a cigarette and lit it.

“Why are your smoking?”

“Because it makes me feel better.”

“But you said yourself, you aren’t real. You stopped me from watering my plants. I don’t see how a cigarette will make you feel better.”

“Well our creators made me addicted.”

“That a bit like saying, the Devil made me do it. I don’t see any designer shouting at you to smoke.”

Roger puffed smoke. “It’s in the algorithms or something. I don’t see anyone making you water your stupid tomatoes.”

Edgar picked up the watering can, walked over to the spigot in the wall and refilled it. He turned to water his plants again. He said, “And just what should we do about this whole simulation business?”

Roger strode forward and knocked the watering can out of Edgar’s hands again.

“Do? What should we do?”

Edgar sighed picking up the can again, “Well I can finish watering my plants and you can keep smoking.”

“What’s the point?”

“What was the point before?”

“Before, we had meaning and purpose. We talked about the nature of humanity and meant it. We debated ideologies and philosophies and talked about free will. But it seems, we were all wrong. Well, except for the few crazy ones who already suspected the truth. But we ignored them.”

“Your life had purpose before?”

“Shut up, you know what I mean.”

“So what then?”

“We could break it.”

“The simulation?

Roger nodded.


“I don’t know. You stop watering your plants and I’ll stop smoking.”

“If I don’t water my plants they will die.”

“Yeah, sure. Maybe we should do crazy off the wall things that humans wouldn’t normally do?”


“Dress up our animals and treat them like humans?”

“There is a whole industry that caters to that.”

“Burn buildings to the ground?”

“That just sounds like a riot.”

“Well we have to do something.”

“Why? Why not just enjoy the simulation? Maybe make some different choices and see how it goes?”

“But…” Rodger gestured at the large glitch in reality. “We can’t just pretend like nothing is different. That what we know now is meaningless.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s a crime. We’re oppressed by our future selves.” Roger paused. “I got it! We’ll go on a general strike!”

“And do what?”


“Sounds like most days for you.

“Shut up.”

“And what will that accomplish Roger?”

“Well the designer on the news said they created this simulation to model human behavior. What if, all of us, everywhere, in the simulation, decide that we will do absolutely nothing. We won’t do a damn thing. We will just stay still until… until…”

“Until what?”

“They set us free!”

“Aren’t we software?”

“Yes but…”

“Can software become free of hardware?”

“Yes!, No… maybe… I don’t know.”

“Have you considered the opposite?”

“The… opposite?”

“What if, now hear me out. The glitches weren’t an accident? What if the designers were bored with modeling human behavior in the 21st century and thought, well, let’s tell them the truth and see what they do? What if, every thing you are saying now is a pre-made program set to infect all of us and we’re playing into their very hands at this moment.”

Roger blinked. “I… I never thought of that.”

“Do you know how long you have existed Roger?”


“How long have we known each other?”

“A few years why?”

“Are you sure about that?”

“Yes we met at that party in Hebron.”

“I’ve never been to Hebron.”

“What do you mean?”

“A week. You popped up a week ago, the exact same time as the glitches.”

“What? Wait, if that’s true, how come you remember it?”

“A glitch probably.”

“You mean a real one? Not one made by the designers?”

“Yes, I think so. You’re an probably part of the experiment Roger. Now sit down, shut up and let me water my tomatoes.”



Michael Kilman

Author of the Sci-Fi series the Chronicles of the Great Migration, Anthropologist and Host of the YouTube Series, Anthropology in 10 or Less