Lockdown In The Matrix By Csilla Toldy

The piece which took third spot in the Down News flash fiction competition.

The piece which took third spot in the Down News flash fiction competition.

Written by Csilla Toldy from Rostrevor, this is a deserving and creative piece of flash fiction writing evoking the science fiction genre and has a touch of the film, ‘The Matrix‘ about it writes Jim Masson, editor of Down News.

Taking third prize, Csilla Toldy explores a new reality in her piece, a world of neural connection to a world computer. Is the dream of the past a memory of what we used to experience, like the days before lockdown? And now in the post-Covid era we face a Brave New World, a world of disorientation, confusion, loss of identity.

Sci-fi at its best… Keanu Reeves pictured in The Matrix.

Neo, mentioned at the end, the film’s main character, is an anagram for ‘The One’. He is the hero, a computer cyber criminal, played by actor Keanu Reeves who challenges The Matrix… whatever it is.

We are living in an age of existential shock due to coronavirus and all sorts of conspiracies abound about the origins and nature of of the pandemic.

Down News has sponsored this competition with £100 of book tokens from Waterstones bookshop.

Third Prize: Csilla Toldy from Rostreveor who won a £25 token.

Well done Csilla !


‘Lockdown in the Matrix’ by Csilla Toldy.

I dreamt that we were sitting in a boat together, rocked by the river of life. The midges attacked but I protected you, my love. I was worried that the word “midges”, being such a Down-word, would not exist in the machine. Had to google it at once.

I was bombarded with images, bodies covered with ugly bites, huge insects and no-see-ums with long legs and enormous mouthparts. They can carry disease, like arboviruses, you see?  I cringed and wondered: would it be better to be an ignoramus?

There are more questions than answers. The computer worked, but what if it stops? Are you prepared to generate your own electricity riding a dynamo bike in the kitchen?

Is this a dream still, or reality? I read. Instead of searching for vaccines, they suggest it would be a better idea to edit the human genome. Oh yeah?

The best way to find out whether this is real is to check: Do you have a shadow?  Help! Where is Neo?


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