The Wishing Well: Part I
The Wishing Well: Part I
Maxilliam Von Der Camp entered to foyer in a tuxedo with his square jaw, dark hair, blues eyes and a body which Rodin’s “Thinker” would have admired. He only planned on staying for a few moments to ask for more funding for his brain cognitive science research and then he would be right back to the lab. It is not that he didn’t appreciate his host and hostess after all he was in one of the nicest homes in Manhattan. It was just that he was the Nobel prize winner who perfected the nano technology which erased all negative thoughts. And for a driven scientist happiness was a bit boring.
A more mature woman quickly made her way towards Max. “How marvelous of you to grace us with your presence?” Birdie Rappold said. She took Max by the arm and helped him navigate him through the crowd. “Are you certain you will not let me introduce you to someone?” Birdie continued.
Max smiled at her and said, “Being alone makes me happy. You wouldn’t want to interfere with that?” He winked at her.
She smiled at him and acquiesced. “Of course not dear boy. Let me get you over to the Admiral.” Max met the Admiral who was busy telling stories of his days in the Navy to several young women. Birdie waited for a moment and then asked Max, “Sparkling cider?”
“No” Max said, “But I would kill for a scotch.”. Max knew she would not know what a scotch was as it was part of the memory erase. Not only were all negative thoughts erased, but all ideation of negative behavior including but not limited to substance abuse as well as any knowledge of disease and death. It was an incredible hard feat and Max felt he had more than earned his noble prize. The goal was simple no negative thoughts and the patients would literally believe they were well. It was known as the Wishing Well Nano-therapy. Medical treatment was eradicated beyond the Wishing Well therapy as it was so much more humane to not to know as all human we are tragic and mortal. And for the most part people lived 10 years longer who received the Wishing Well treatment however the birth rates in that population were very low. But there were still problems with the program. Well not really problems more like kinks. One of which was that Max was exceedingly bored.
Birdie smiled, “So a sparkling cider it is!” and she walked to the non-alcoholic bar.
The Admiral was a rather fit fellow. He smiled and shook Max’s hand. “So how much do you need?”.
Max was rather frank. “How much can they spare?”.
The Admiral laughed. “They are Wishing Well subjects so they will never miss their money. You have made certain of that. Come into my study so we can have something real to drink.”.
“Oh Thank God.” Max said with a great sigh of relief.
They entered the study of the Admiral. The Admiral opened his safe. “Not even Birdie knows the combination to this one.” He took out two glasses and poured two fingers of 30 year old Scotch in each cup. They sat at the desk. “Max, I knew you were the best investment I would ever make.”
Max took a sip. “I think this scotch maybe the best investment you have ever made.”
“There has been another outlier.”.
“Where at?” Max asked.
“The Village of course.” the Admiral said as he took another sip of scotch.
Nodding as if what he said was anticipatable. “Yes, the Wishing Well project has not been particularly success with free thinkers. That is why I’m here for more funding for research.” Max took another sip of his scotch. “Do you ever miss the old days?”
The Admiral thought about it for a moment. “People are happier, living constructive healthier lives and they don’t live in fear of death. It isn’t about how I feel about it but about what was best for everyone. You remember Birdie was eaten up with end stage brain cancer and dying. Now look at her. She is healthy as a horse and no longer afraid. No, I don’t miss pestilence and death. What I miss boy, is my cigars!”
Max finished his scotch and stood up, “No one can know there are those of us without the Wishing Well Therapy. So you will handle the collection for me? I need to go over to the village and see what happened.”
The Admiral stood up and finished his scotch as well. “Of course.”
As Max walked out of the room he saw a painting on the wall. And he stopped and looked at it. Clearly it was abstract art. He stopped the Admiral. “What is this?”.
The Admiral was perplexed. “I have absolutely no idea.”.
“Could this be Art?” Max asked concerned.
The Admiral laughed. “If it is art it is the worst art I have ever seen.”
“Where did it come from?” Max asked anxiously.
“I assume Birdie bought it from one of her friends.” The Admiral answered.
Max rubbed his chin in astonishment. “It is impossible.”
“What?” the Admiral asked.
Max was very direct with the Admiral. “I will need that money very soon. There maybe a problem. I have to get to The Village and then back to my lab. You’ll say goodbye to Birdie for me. I am going out through the kitchen to avoid the crowd.”