Simulated Reality

Will Musgrove

“Prismatic” by Emily Rankin

We all needed homes, but the auctioneer claimed there’d been a typo. The advertisement was supposed to read reality not realty. People left. People stayed. I stayed.

A man bid on and won fantasy after fantasy. He also used his paddle to buy realities full of suffering and want. When the auctioneer pounded his gavel for the final time, the man owned all of life’s possibilities.

I was stuck reality-less, had lost the rights to my existence. The man said don’t worry, I’ll rent you this new one.

I now pay him $1,200 a month to dream.


Will Musgrove is a writer and journalist from Northwest Iowa. He received an MFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ghost Parachute, Inklette, Serotonin, Defenestration, Rabid Oak, Tuna Fish Journal, The Daily Drunk, Barstow & Grand, Flash Frontier, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter at @Will_Musgrove.

Emily Rankin was born in Riverside, California and attended university in Abilene, TX where she received a BFA in 2011. Her body of work ranges from Graphic Design and Scenic Painting to collaborative performances with Verstehen, an interactive series which incorporates live painting, sound, and electronics. She is currently based in New Mexico.

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