Archive for January 9th, 2012

9th January
written by amber

Right Thinking

My last neural scan revealed that I was starting to think about doing those things again. Hell, I hardly knew myself that the compulsion was returning. Maybe I walked too slow past the local kindergarten, watching kids play, but I was not fantasizing about…you know. Anyhow, my parole officer said I had to go in for an adjustment, but I didn’t have to go back to the prison, they could do it at a local clinic.

The waiting room was real crowded. I was surprised over that, and also because no one there looked like a criminal. I didn’t figure I should ask anyone why they were there – I sure didn’t want anyone asking me that, but the guy sitting next to me was real chatty. He told me he was there to get rid of his craving for cigarettes.

Call me stupid. I had never thought about doing that, even though I knew how well my longing for…you know…had been suppressed.

“I thought it was just done to criminals,” I said, then mentally smacked myself upside the head. I’d more or less just told him I was a criminal. To cover my fuck-up, I confided, “I used to be a shop-lifter.”

He didn’t look shocked or anything. He said, “No, it’s available to everyone, but it’s expensive. To lose my nicotine craving will set me back $58,000.”


“But it’s important for me. My boss hinted that I was in line for a promotion, but the smoke breaks and the way my clothes reek, not that I ever notice it, are holding me back.”

“Wow,” I repeated, “so your boss is forcing you to have your brain fucked with if you want to keep your job? The technician at the prison told me he was worried this sort of thing would happen.”

“No, it’s illegal to force anyone. I’m playing along in this instance because I know it’ll be good for my health, but you see that young guy over there?”

I looked up to see a young man wearing a shiny new suit being led into the back by a nurse. He didn’t look too happy.

“Do you know him? What’s his story?”

“I don’t know him, but I bet he’s here because he just got hired by some big firm that wants his brain ‘aligned’ to company standards.”

“What the hell kind of standards would those be?”

“Work ethic, loyalty, political correctness. No doubt he’ll be scanned for felonious tendencies and any sexual deviance. He’d have to agree to get those adjusted, and he’d have to pay for it himself, but he won’t get the job if he refuses.”

“So they can’t just go in there and…fix someone who’s a homosexual or anything?” I vowed to pay more attention to the news from now on. I’d been out of prison for 9 months and I didn’t know any of this shit.

“If you’re a minor, they can. See that little boy over there?”

I had noticed the boy, of course, but kept my eyes away from him after seeing how pretty he was with his large dark eyes and soft blond curls. “What about him?”

“I could be wrong, but I bet that very proper and uptight mother of his and the nervous-looking dad have brought him here because maybe he likes playing with dolls too much, or putting on his mother’s bra and panties or something.”

“Wow,” I said again.

Call me stupid, but I don’t think I like this world.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story. If you’d like me to use your name in a story, I’d be happy to do that.