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The Wishing Well: Part II

Updated on November 13, 2011

The Tavern


The Wishing Well: Part II

Max picked his assistant up on the way out of Manhattan. Olivia was tall blonde and thin. Max had often wondered why she had not used her charms to marry and settled down. After all Neuroscience was hardly a rewarding field for a young woman. Max surmised Olivia was completely unaware of her beauty as she was too cerebral. He had picked her when she was young and pulled her out of The Wishing Well Project and withheld the therapy. So Olivia’s behavior was completely learned except for her incessant belief is a higher power. And she had driven Max to the brink on days she would drill him about theological questions. What was even worse was she was convinced that the harmonious society in which they lived was created by God. Those days Max regretted pulling her from The Wishing Well Project. He had wished he had given her the therpay. At least his subjects in the project didn’t have a need for a God, originality or answers. They were content.

Olivia didn’t have a high enough security clearance to know everything about The Wishing Well Project. She was on a need to know basis only. But as they drove to the village Max was going to have to read her in at least a little but more then he had in the past..

“In 2032, there was crime, disease, death, desperation and suicide. The world was a mess and people were suffering.” Max began.

Olivia seemed to know something of this as she had studied it in the anthropological periodicals. “Oh yes, and they drank also. I read about it. It was a wild time in our history. But you ended all of that and that is why they gave you the Noble Prize.”

Max was bit uncomfortable as he wasn’t happy to share this information with his assistant. “Well I did and I didn’t. We have to go into The Village and there has been an incident. You are going to see things which you are only accustom to reading about and I need you not to react. Whatever you do don’t let anyone notice you have had any emotional reaction to what is going on.”

“How bad could it be? We couldn’t be endangered. All crime was eradicated with The Wishing Well Project.” Olivia assured herself but she had the feeling of dread.

Max had pulled Olivia from The Wishing Well Project when she was young because she had a high aptitude and once all of the adults had received the therapy the children learned would their behavior from their parents. It became unnecessary to provide the children with the treatment. One of the negative side effects of The Wishing Well Project was the loss of fertility, creativity and originality. A few people had to be creative thinkers so they could engineer solutions to whatever problems might arise in the future. Olivia was chosen to be one of them. Max had hand picked her. And Olivia’s mind was as free as any free thinker out there but conditioned. And unfortunately Max would have to expose her to things she had never seen before.

As they drove closer to The Village they saw graffiti on the wall. Olivia took pictures and Max said nothing. He knew he was about to drive her into the hellish hedonistic haven he had tried to avoid for so long.

He stopped his car at the local tavern. He and Olivia were met by plain closed guards. He asked them to stay back until he called. There was also a mobile truck to transport samples and if necessaries bodies back to his lab.

Max looked at Olivia and was very firm. “Remember blend in and do not react.”. Max knew it was dangerous. If the subjects in The Village had free will in all probability their basal ganglia impulses would not be suppressed. They would know desperation, pain and fear which meant their behavior would be completely and totally unpredictable.

He opened the door for Olivia and then cringed when he realized he had broken a social norm in doing so. As requested Olivia blended in, did not react and walked in. For the first time ever Olivia heard music. She leaned over to Max and asked, “What is it?”.

Perplexed Max responded, “Music, I haven’t heard it in 15 years. Can you take a recording?”.

She smiled and took a small device form her pocket and started recording the sounds. “It is rather stimulating.”.

Max didn’t respond as he was rather concerned for their safety. He led Olivia to a table and they sat down and ordered sparkling ciders. The waitress returned with a bottle of Champagne and two glasses. She opened the bottle and filled both glasses.

As she did Olivia looked around. She found the patrons of the Tavern to be dressed strangely. Max noticed Olivia’s observation and he said, “It is fashion.”.

Olivia took a sip of what she believed was sparkling cider and felt the bubbles come up through her nose. She giggled.

Anticipating the next question, Max said. “Alcohol, in particular Champagne. You should only have one glass. It isn’t good for you.”

Olivia smiled, “But I rather like it.”. She was a bit buzzed already with all the stimulation. She looked across the room and saw a man and a woman kissing passionately. “Why are they kissing so vigorously?”.

Perplexed again Max answered, “Passion?”.

Olivia reached over and kissed Max passionately and he gave into her for a moment and then pushed her away, “What are you doing?”. He took Olivia by the arm and headed for the door.

She answered very innocently. “Blending in.”.

When Max walked out he ordered the club to be gassed so he could collect blood, tissue and cerebral spinal fluid samples. Once they had all their samples he would inject all the clubs occupants with The Wishing Well Nano Therapy to suppress their human brain impulses. their memories and stifle their vile voracious appetites which caused them so much despair, discontent, disease and eventually, early deaths.

And as he went back to his car a person plunged themselves from atop of the fifth floor of the tavern, on to the street. Olivia was horrified. Max quickly went to see if the jumper was still alive. The jumper’s last words were, “I see Him.”. Olivia a bit hysterical cried out, “Who?’” She shook the corpse’s dead lifeless body as if she could wake him from his eternal sleep. “Who did you see?”. Max pulled her up. “He saw nothing. He is sick. He saw absolutely NOTHING!!”

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    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Oh Shadesbreath,

      This was actually suppose to be a novel way back when. But I am trying to condense it down into a short story. Hopefully, I will be able to finish it before the contest is over.

      I seriously appreciate your feedback. It has been a long time since I have written anything like this and I am just getting back into it.

      I am so glad you like The Wishing Well. The only thing I can say about it for certain is that it is original.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

      All My Best,


    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California

      The cool premise continues. Already starting to seem like they aren't going to be able to stifle human nature in its various forms. I like how you've worked in the god impulse too (if I'm reading it correctly). Very cool concept you have going here.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi FitnezzJim,

      Thank you for reading my science fiction short story. Olivia is free but conditioned so the question is will she break her conditioning to be free even knowing the consequences?

      You will see in Part III which I am waiting to publish until tomorrow.

      All My Best,


    • FitnezzJim profile image

      FitnezzJim 6 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Interesting, curtailing the impulses of freedom in the name of stopping people from hurting themselves.

      How will Olivia handle that?