Author : Rachel Khosrowshahi

The patient in question is male, race and age unknown, who refers to himself in what can be translated as The Luminary. When asked to explain his origin, he lapses into long silences and appears to suffer from memory loss or else paces his small room telling rambling stories in Hebrew and Russian. He communicates at length in his native tongue, tacking on lone words from English intermittently. When not making his living as a farmer he admits to dealing in pornography, though there is no way to confirm this.

The party searches for a new candidate. The President’s second term is up and the party is shaken by scandal concerning kick backs and blackmail. The Luminary is taken from his hospital room and transplanted to a no name hotel in the desert. There he is presented with the latest technologies. What these technologies are is not important, nor is it important that The Luminary understand their functions. The only thing of importance is how quickly these new technologies replace the old. The Luminary is shown VHS tapes of Reagan and Billy Graham.He’s encouraged to practice the more modern way of speaking.

The Luminary watches television nearly constantly. He laughs appropriately and appreciatively.His favorite shows are detective stories, after finishing a show he launches into protracted depressive episodes. He also enjoys reality television, in particular makeover shows for Brides to be competing for plastic surgery procedures. He thinks these shows are humiliating to the contestant, but no more humiliating than remaining ugly. In fact, the more humiliating the show, the more entertaining it is.

As part of a publicity stunt the Luminary agrees to appear on a late-night television talk-show. He proves himself to have good comic timing. His standing in the polls during the episode of a popular singing competition Time Square is bombed and gassed. The American public has the opportunity to see all on live TV. Ratings soar. Within a few weeks a variety show premieres featuring atrocity films and alleged snuff. The show is a hit. The Luminary makes frequent guest appearances.

The Luminary wails and has temper tantrums if he is not provided with the latest in new gadgets. His favorite gadget is the handheld camera. While sorting through some of the home videos his campaign advisors find tape after tape of the Luminary engaged in sex acts with various cripples and the elderly. The opposition receives the tapes by mail from an anonymous sender and leak them to the media. To the surprise of the opposition, the tapes receive an overwhelmingly favorable response from the public.

In a small town in the mid west a huge likeness of the Luminary is created from mud and chicken wire. Free appliances are given away to families without electricity.

The monolithic sea spits up jelly fish beaten to Vaseline. The Luminary hires teams to interpret the tide’s leavings. The sky is actually huge and edgeless. The shopping malls teem with t shirts showing menstruating vaginas. The sun, thirsty, drinks an ocean.

Liturgy and hymns and lots of paper money. The Luminary keeps a small picture of the Virgin Mary in his room who he calls “God Bearer”. He reads aloud from his blog to the picture. “You just can’t go wrong with good material” he says. The night after Christmas twelve synagogues are burned. He releases a statement to the press declaring his joy in seeing the public embracing religion again.

Within two weeks of the election the Luminary is gunned down. He cries out “God Bearer” and falls. His running mate, a transsexual hairdresser named Lady Lady declares martial law.


Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows