Flash-fiction

The Doubtful Invention

My friend, a scientist who is always full of crazy ideas, rushed through my door.

“My new invention will change the world!” He cried and fell on the couch exhausted by his own excitement. “Look,” he handed me a tiny metal rectangular.

“What is it?” I suspiciously twirled it.

“It’s a chip of supersensitivity. If you place it inside of your head right behind the ear you will always hear thoughts of those who come by. Always!” He shook his hands above his head.

“Seriously? That’s really great!” I finally could say it to my friend after many years of fruitless and catastrophically ridiculous inventions.

“I added a glorious page to history!“ His eyes shined with pride and happiness. “Just imagine what revolution it will cause, what change of life! No more lies, no more secrets. Everyone knows everything about each other. The world will be clean and transparent like a spring morning in high mountains!”

“You’re a poet, my friend!” I exclaimed sharing his enthusiasm as I thought that before everyone gets the chip the lucky first ones will be able to eavesdrop bank account passwords and become surprisingly rich. “So, how does this thing work?”

“It’s very easy.” The professor was eager to explain me. “I can’t believe I could not think of it earlier! After a very simple neurosurgical procedure, not longer than half an hour, you will hear the whole world!”

“Have you installed the chip yourself?”

“Me, no.” The professor shook his head. “I can’t. Other people’s thinking distracts me and I can’t concentrate on my work.”

“But can’t you switch it off when you want or at least reduce the sensitivity level?”

“No, maybe in later models. This one doesn’t have this function.”

“But can you take it out at least?”

“No, once the chip is installed it has to stay in your head forever or it’ll cause permanent brain damage. The side effects are not under control yet, you understand this is a very new product, revolutionary product. And I’m the inventor!”

“But you said it’s a simple procedure.”

“Yes, it is simple, it’s just irreversible.”

“Hmm.” I walked back and forth along the room. The idea of knowing all the bank numbers still seemed alluring, but I had my doubts. I will always hear all the thoughts of Mrs. Hade who spreads dirty gossips about everyone in the neighborhood. I will hear rambling chaos of Mr. Jackson’s dementia when his daughter walks him out. I will hear her constant inner cry about the hopeless loneliness of her life. Of course, I will witness happy thoughts of a couple that just fell in love or a child’s joyful splash, but I won’t be able to avoid anyone’s fears, worries, angers not sharing them on my way.

“You know,” I said to the professor, “people think way too much. I won’t put your chip in my head, even for all bank accounts in the world.”

“What bank accounts?” Now I knew for sure that the professor didn’t install the chip himself. “You need to continue to work on this project. But until you control the sensitivity level and the chip can be switched off, there’s no use of it.”

I was sorry to see the professor’s enthusiasm to fade out. But nobody wants to hear somebody’s crappy thoughts. We all have our own ones.

 

The Daily Post

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