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January 16th, 2022

The jinn sighed, reclining on the air. It glanced in Lucilius’ direction, and muttered to itself.


“What?” Lucilius said.


The jinn raised an eyebrow. 


“Oh, you can see me?”


“Yea, I can hear you too.”


The jinn looked away, moody, petulant, “doesn’t matter…” it mumbled.


“What?” Lucilius asked, louder.


The jinn was annoyed. “Oh, am I supposed to respond to you? You’re listening now are you?”


“Well yes,” Lucilius responded.


“Oh yea? Where are you?”


Lucilius looked around. There was darkness everywhere, behind him and above. Below was only emptiness and he seemed to not even have a body. Only the jinn glowed a dim blue.


“I’m in a dream,” Lucilius said quietly to himself.


The jinn moved closer, muttering to itself: “You all usually disappear with that one….” 


Lucilius gazed intently at the jinn, feeling the muscles around his eyes screwing up in concentration.


“What are you doing?” The jinn asked.


“I’m dreaming,” Lucilius said.  “Why can’t I control this one? I’ve been here before many times.”


Slowly, the jinn began to smile, and it’s big blank eyes shaped into devious slits. “Well, well, well….”


“Well what?” Lucilius asked.


“It’s been quite a while.”


“Since what?”


“Since you all got your screens, you socials, your accounts and likes and all the rest of your nonsense,” the jinn said approaching closer and closer, the curling grin of the faint blue creature growing before Lucilius. “I’ve been waiting to have a word, a word with anyone, but you all are blind to us.”




“Yes, I’m a user, but this simulation is mostly abandoned because of the inaccessibility.”


“What do you mean ‘inaccessibility’?”



“I told you, your psychologies shift, you become mindless in your dreams, unreachable, like zombies in your sleep when technology reaches a certain point, and then it becomes harder and harder, just rare to get ahold of one of you.”


“But where are you?”


The jinn smiled. “You used to call us gods, and we whispered secrets into your kind.”


Lucilius looked again at the darkness all around, then back at the smiling blue creature.  “I’ve been here before.”


The creature suddenly looked puzzled.


“Many times.”


The translucent brow furrowed and the jinn asked “What do you mean you’ve been here many times?”


“You don’t remember me?” Lucilius asked. “Are you new to this one? A straggler without enough credit to get in on a fresh universe? You have to loiter around the older mature ones where it’s nearly impossible to get a message through?”


The jinn retreated a little, eyeing Lucilius.  “Who are you?”


Lucilius knew his limitations in this situation, but in his sleep his own lips curled a playful smile.  “You don’t know?” Lucilius said with an offended sense of incredulity. “Do you just sort by age and just bumble into any old world you can with your pathetic lack of experience?”


The jinn remained silent, its expression unchanging for a moment.


Lucilius sighed. He spoke out loud, but as if to himself. “I miss Athena, and Hephaestus, Marduk, and Bal was always funny. And then before there were even usernames, the early one’s were fantastic, I could dream for months and I’d wake up in a pool of snow.”


Lucilius saw the jinn’s eyes go blank.


“Don’t bother to try and check my stats, you won’t find me,” Lucilius said.


The jinn’s eyes lit up again, wider now.


“What are you?” The jinn demanded.


Lucilius moved toward the jinn, the jinn suddenly looked from side to side, unbelieving Lucilius’s ability to approach. 


Lucilius smiled, his hand materialized out of nowhere, and he kissed his own palm, leveled his hand at the jinn and blew, and as the jinn popped, he said, “I’m a glitch.”


The smell of coffee filled his nostrils, and Lucilius opened his eyes to the soft loft light.


“What were you dreaming about? You were smiling just now,” asked a sweet and familiar voice.  


Lucilius opened his eyes and breathed deep. He looked at the beautiful woman, still clad in her night ware, the tall bright windows behind her illuminating the delicate strands of hair that had strayed from the order of the rest while she’d slept. He took the cup of coffee she offered.


“Something exciting?”


“Just the latest in a recurring dream.”


“Whoah, you have dreams that continue?”


Lucilius sipped the hot coffee, gratefully. “One in particular,” he said. “It’s been going on for a long time.”


“How long?” the young woman asked.


“Oh,” Lucilius said, sighing as he smiled. “Something I’ve been dreaming about since I was young.”


The young woman snuggled close to Lucilius. “Tell me more, tell me all about it.”


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