Jefferson Simulacra

By midnight it was dark, and all in one little scattered room in the White House

Photo by Rene Böhmer on Unsplash


“And what the **** are you telling me?”

“Hell, we’re going to find out tomorrow. Hell, if I can’t do that, I’m going to have to invent a new ****ing tang.”

“New.” She sounded insulted. “We’re taking that into a real game, you understand? We’re going to play pretend as if the whole ****ing world is a simulation of something got lost. An attempt to create an imaginary past which exists unauthentic. Well, you know what that means.”

“It means no one’s been able to travel in time,” he said, warily. “Not since the carrier war. To make sure, though. I mean, travel in time is straight out of the question. There’s no way to travel in time. No one’s ever done it.”

“Funny,” she replied.

“I don’t know why I tell you,” he protested. “Except for the night I turned you over to Jayne. She was a pale little chick, and she was awkward. Let’s say I’m T-million-years amateur. Okay, you tell me. I’ve talked to Tom, and he can do analogies.”

She looked at him a moment, then came back.

“It’s plain I don’t want to go,” she said. “What can I do? The way I see it, life isn’t worth anything, and you can’t even save your own life. Even knowing that, much less procuring the stuff you want to get in the first place. But I think you know that. Maybe you have, buxom me.”

“So why did I get in the first place?”

“Just because you wanted to. You know that. And because …" She stared at him, and then said, “So I finally get to meet him.”

“Look, I’m kidding,” Thomas Jefferson said. “I know the bullet dodged. I don’t really care why the bullet struck your leg, I certainly don’t care why now. What I care is whether the bullet hit my leg or my stomach.”

“My Tom…”

“Hold on, Jefferson, I’m kidding again. A professional shoot-up, like in the kind of baseball games where they keep playing the target on the center screen. A forty or fifty-foot free-range volley, put an intense charge into the ball’s dense source of fragments. You’ll notice the fragments going at different speeds, coming in a slightly different direction at different speeds. But the thing that’s the greatest challenge of all is staying on the central plane of a balloon. At the center of a balloon is always the main counterpoint of the action. What takes place among these scattered or fragmented fragments, they form a distinctive pattern and you work out a theory of where each fragment is taken. I’ll show you.” In this case, the nucleus of an explosion is from one part of the balloon out there near the center of the earth.

The gun fired, and its muzzle-flare flamed out over everything, and then Thomas Jefferson was asleep. After the gun fired, no warning sirens, no vibrations of the hull, no sound of sudden movement out there in the dark. But the brain and retina of William Faulkner lay on the bed.

By midnight it was dark, and all in one little scattered room in the White House. The television screens were blank, the room practically deserted. In the adjoining room the rostrum the president sat with his eyes closed. At the foot of the stairs he leaned forward and made a pronounce,

“Get up, everybody!”

Multiple chairs had to be pulled up to the clientele. Guests were seated in the nearby flushing beds, which meant that many of them were still asleep, like zombies. Others, the tired-looking National Guardsmen, hung on the walls, or slept on lapels. The president’s feet strolled from the bed, down the hall to the wide granite fireplace. The President flashed a golden smile as he turned toward Mason, who was standing rigidly beneath the fireplace, his right hand clenched, His lips pursed together as if to speak, but he was leaning so straight toward the President that the cigar just sort of spiralled off course.

The visitor’s body stopped quivering. The President reached for his cigar, then pulled it away as Mason got up to do his usual “Stand by, Tom.”

Before Mason could explode, the President was through the door and walking toward the fireplace. The President looked bored, and Mason saw the fascination in the man’s eyes. They met in the firelit room. The President pulled a desk up to him, sat down at the desk and lifted the President’s cigar from its ashtray.


Editor’s Notes

Written by AI, generated as a sample during around step 884,000 on run 2 of training my general fiction model by fine-tuning gpt-2 774M.


Bleeped some language. Removed an orphan fragment from the end of the story. Changed two names. (not Jefferson or Faulkner, those came with the generated text)


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