Will Clarke



Jess had meditated for years. She had taken to it naturally ever since her first session. She loved the tranquillity of near-oblivion and the tingling feeling she got when she really flexed and explored her subconscious mind.

The timer read ‘3 hours 20 minutes’. This was Jess’s longest mediation session so far. She had a particularly bad migraine today and was experimenting to see if she could ease it. With her eyes closed, Jess mentally probed her left temple gently, trying to find an internal source of the pain. As she exhaled, focusing intently on her throbbing head, she slowly became aware of the mental image of a small red button hovering above her left eye. She instantly knew, deeply and with complete certainty, that pushing this red button would solve her headache. Relived and exhausted, Jess punched hit the button and the awful tension of vanished. She felt her consciousness slipping away into a healing deep sleep.

When she woke up and re-acclimatised to the physical world, Jess felt the same calm sense of control and confidence she’d felt as she instantaneously fixed her migraine. Of course she could fix it. How silly she was to not know it earlier. It was simply a case of knowing what to do. It was so straightforward.

Jess decided to fix more of her bodily worries, now that she knew exactly what to do. She entered her trance and was unsurprised to see floating red buttons above her bad knee and left shoulder that had a habit of dislocating. A wave of euphoria rushed over her as she clicked them. She wasn’t aware how much they had been hurting.

While still in her subconscious state, she explored her newly found abilities further. She tightened her vision up and fixed an ingrown toenail. While visualising her heart, she found a big red button that she knew would switch her heart off and kill her instantly.

The next day, a new Jess emerged from her flat. She radiated confidence, contentment and ease. Nothing troubled her. She looked somehow better, as if her skin was younger and features softer. Her posture had dramatically improved.

She wandered over towards the coffee shop she worked in. She was half a day late. As she was pushing the door open, she locked eyes with her boss, Janet. Janet was one of those people who looked constantly irritated and she usually acted like it. “You’re in big trouble Miss”, she sneered with thinly veiled delight. Jess calmly said, “I turned up to tell you I’m quitting. Sorry Janet… I hope this doesn’t screw up your schedule. I’ve got something important..”. “No you’re not”, snapped Janet, “I’ve got a timetable to fill. You’ve got a two-week notice period and I’m not going to let you just strut over here and smugly do this to me”. As Jess sadly turned away, Janet, in a rage, grabbed her wrist tightly. “You’re going nowhere, Miss”. Jess’s calm, emotionless face seemed to spark an explosion inside Janet’s head. She became apoplectic and sunk her nails deeper into Jess’s wrist.

Without realising what she was doing, Jess found herself in her mental realm. Janet seemed to be moving in slow motion, her enraged face startled, her eyes wide with anger, mouth a deeply lined grimace and a trail of saliva hanging off a bared tooth. Jess looked with mild interest at her arm and the beads of blood that were forming where Janet’s sharp nails were grasping her. She thought it would be a good idea if she could remove Janet’s grip. She noticed a little red button hovering over Janet’s hand and knew that pressing it would cause Janet intense pain that wouldn’t dissipate for months. In her dream-like trance, she pressed the button.

Clutching her hand, Janet screamed a series of guttural bellows. She fell on the floor. Customers looked over and started running to help her.

Jess walked away unexpressively. She was still in a daze, she probed further. She noticed that a button over Janet’s chest that would have left her dead. She noticed a button that would have killed everyone in the coffee shop. Hypnotically she pushed her awareness forward. She saw a button that would destroy the city, a button that would implode the planet. She then saw a large red button that would stop the universe. Impulsively she pressed it.



Eternities passed.

Grableb, a bizarre greenish-transparent being, smiled to itself. It had encountered Jess again. This was the fifth simulation where Jess had appeared. Random evolutionary pressures had once again created Jess. Jess who somehow saw the simulation and was able to crash it. Grableb needed to know how.

Grableb tweaked the gravity settings, made electromagnetism a slightly stronger force and then reduced the number of spatial dimensions to 3. Then he restarted the simulation.