As the credits from the film began to scroll across the screen, a message flashed up: ‘It is your time to choose.’ Uhh? Jason had been half dozing, whatever he thought he saw, it was not there now, just the credits. He reached for the remote and the screen went blank and as he did so his eye noticed the heading on the paper he had dropped on his way out that morning. ‘Choose now!’ It was an advert for a car, yet it was strangely co-incidental after the message he just imagined. He was beginning to feel himself trapped inside a film script, with someone trying to reach him.
A few moments later the doorbell rang. It was his neighbour dropping off a small package left while he was at work. It was not an interesting looking package, probably just some marketing gimmick, still it was intriguing. He emptied its contents onto the table. Two small polythene bags and a note spilled out: one bag contained a red pill, the other a blue and the note read, ‘It is now your time to choose.’ Any last sense of being in control left him. Whatever was going on, he was not in control.
He had the oddest sense that the pills were safe and he was free to choose either pill: The blue pill maintaining the comfort of his illusion; or the red pill risking what he might find when his illusion was shattered. However, he also knew that he had to choose. He could not make no choice at all. It was also obvious to him that he would finally take the red pill, but it still took him a while to summon the courage. Finally, he braced himself and swallowed the red pill, which slid down easily. But, having prepared himself for almost anything, he found himself quite unprepared for nothing and he finally spoke out, ‘Has anything happened?’
A voice from the corner of the room said, “What were you expecting? It was only a Smartie.” To Jason’s surprise there was now a man standing in the room.
“Where did you come from? What’s going on here?”
“To be honest, I’ve been here all along, but until you made your choice I could not show myself. There was nothing special about the pills, they were actually just Smarties. We used them to help you make your choice.”
“So am I still seeing the illusion?” replied Jason.
“You mean like in the film? No, the world around you is real enough.”
“So what was the point of the choice?”
“The point is, that while the world may be real, it is not all there is. Like me. I’ve been here all along, but you have not always seen me. The world you know is only the part that you experience directly. Yet it is but a shadow of the greater reality that lies beyond. Slowly you will begin to see.” Jason looked at the remaining pill, which did indeed look like a Smartie. When he looked up again he was alone.
Jason sat on the sofa pondering what had just happened for a while and he become tired and started to doze off, when he was awoken by the sound of the credits from the film. He had been dreaming and he laughed quietly. As he reached for the remote, he noticed a small plastic bag on the table containing a blue Smartie.