Jimmy Standish kept repeating… his life moved forward in time, but his mind was like a video loop. Specific events were like a trigger or the replay button on a DVR.
He found himself standing in a field in Alepo surrounded by bomb craters and crashed drones.
He was at the breakfast table with Ruth and the kids. Charlie had a snake. Jenny screamed.
He worked as a garbage man. Everyday was the same. There would never be an end to garbage.
Jimmy prayed for the video loop to end. He prayed for the return of the Messiah who was long overdue.
A computer screen rattled off the numbers that substantiated life. Jimmy was aware of the tons of garbage that were hauled everyday from one place to another. He was aware of the numbers that comprised daily routines. Surveys were mandatory. Robo callers asked questions that had to be answered under penalty of law.
Jimmy Standish was strapped into a dentist chair. A machine forced open his mouth. Standard procedure. Injections, clamps, and water boarding were all standard procedure. The Dentist was dressed like a clown with a red slash for a mouth and a meat cleaver instead of a hand. The Dentist was activated by Artificial Intelligence. The Hygienist was a mannequin who provided a distraction by jabbering about foreign policy. It was election season. The digital screens constantly flashed images of world events and loops of starving children.
Dentist & Hygienist have a debate:
D: “Teeth are riddled with invaders. I’m going to cut through the crap and build a protective wall.”
H: “Not so fast. Your walls are not safe. Some cases have been reported as deplorable!”
D: “No, No, No! My walls appeal to everyone because my practice is sacrosanct. I’m the only answer!”
H: “I have experience in this matter and I’m tired of your bull!”
Jimmy kept stepping back to earlier events. He was constantly surrounded by a war torn landscape. He saw corpses decaying in the heat. The dead came back, rose up like zombies to fight again and again, but zombies don’t exist… these corpses were robots. Modern warfare was automated.
Jimmy’s world was a tape loop, repeating over and over. Money kept the mechanism oiled and functioning. Advertising was everywhere. He watched Big Guns on Virtual Screens hyping products. Everyone was seduced by images of youth and beauty, wealth and happiness. Ruth and the kids wanted everything and there was never enough. Jimmy saw the world through a distorted lens, everything was garbage.
The war never left him. Why were all the others killed?
He remembered they came back to life. The war was automated.
He wondered why his family was alive. Were they robots also? He had to kill them to prove they weren’t robots, but killing was against the law except during war. Jimmy was breaking down. His programming was unraveling. There was no one to turn to and nowhere to go.
Ruth pressed the button to reset Jimmy Standish. She was very happy with her companion. The whole family was happy.