Forgotten

In the year 2025, the cure for dementia was discovered, a treatment that not only stopped people forgetting, but also brought back forgotten memories, and was instantly distributed worldwide. It was soon introduced to the police services, giving it to potential witnesses and dramatically reducing crime. By 2030, compulsory injections were given to all to eradicate memory loss, and all officials given the technology to search a person’s memories for information. But there were those that didn’t want their memories to be discovered, and in a world where criminals could be found in the snap of a finger, these were considered the biggest threat to society. In 2031, it officially became illegal to forget.

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1. Discontent

  I flicked through the morning newspaper with no real interest, barley skimming the headlines on each page. These days every story followed the structure of a gossip magazine; Diet tips, celebrity scandals and other trivial matters. Once in a while an article would crop up about a new government policy, but those where rare and kept short.

In a sudden burst of frustration, I threw the paper onto the breakfast table. It skidded to a halt, half of it balancing precariously off the end of the oak surface. I scowled at it stubbornly for a moment, and then started to shovel the remainders of my cereal down, exceedingly aware of how pointless my tantrum was.  Surely it was all for the greater good, people were happy, society was prosperous. I laughed quietly, I knew it wasn’t true. But those were the lies the government had told us, the lies everyone believed. A new generation was being born, one that thought what was happening around them was normal, whilst everyone who had been alive 20 years ago or longer had been fed so much propaganda that they didn’t see a problem. I was in the minority.

The shrill ring of my phone snapped me out of my thoughts, and I hurried into the kitchen to grab it.

“Hello?” I asked, not bothering to check the caller I.D.

“Andie, where the hell are you?” The voice at the other end of the phone hissed at me and I automatically glanced at the clock mounted on the wall.

“Shit, sorry Tia, I’ll be there in 10 minutes.”  I rushed through the sentence, eager to end the conversation and hung up as quickly as I could. I kept up a string of profanities as I hurried around my small apartment, grabbing my work bag and trying to find my keys.  Of all the days I could have chosen to be late, this was by far the most convenient. Squirting a bit of toothpaste onto my finger, I swiftly finger-brushed my teeth and headed for the door.

“Good Morning, Andrea,” The chirpy voice of the elevator greeted me as I stepped inside and frantically started pushing the ground floor button. “What are you late for today?”

I rolled my eyes, realising that I had become far too predictable.

“Analysation at work, look I don’t mean to be rude but could you just get me downstairs?” I pleaded through gritted teeth.

“Already here, see you later Andrea,” She sounded almost smug as the doors slid open directly in front of my car. I jumped out and waved my key in front of the lock, then clambered in and started the engine. Although I complained non-stop about how the world was slowly going downhill, I couldn’t deny that some of the technology they had introduced was really helpful. I could make a 16 flight journey in 5 seconds flat, one of the most useful new features for someone with the worst time managing skills known to man.

I edged the gas pedal down further, pushing the speed up to the 90 mile an hour limit, racing through the streets of London without much concern. I had covered the 6 miles distance in just under 4 minutes, and was now parked outside a small semi-detached house, a very pissed off looking Tia in front of it. Tapping one of the many buttons on the dashboard, the passenger door swung open. After a few brief moments, her desire to not be fired outweighed her annoyance, and she climbed in.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m sorry. Will you ever find it in your heart to forgive me?” I joked, but the sincerity was clear in my town. I peered at her from the corner of my eye as I pulled out back onto the road. She was staring straight ahead, and although her honey blond hair half obscured her face, I could see her smiling slightly. Satisfied that she wasn’t going to eat me, I turned my attention back to the road, running a hand through my own mass of chestnut hair.

When we pulled up at a pair of red traffic lights, I glanced down at the digital clock, letting out a shaky side of relief.

“Don’t worry; it’s only twenty five past. I can make it in five minutes no problem.” I assured her, none the less I drummed my fingers impatiently on the steering wheel.

“Yeah, only because you drive like a bloody maniac, green light.” She shot back, and I laughed in exasperation, easing the car forward once again. Tia had always had a problem with my driving, insisting that the increased speed limit the government had introduced a few years back was a trick to lower the worlds over population.

I pulled up in front of the office car park with two minutes to spare, flicking on the auto park switch as we both climbed out of the car. I felt my heart race as we headed towards the entrance doors of the glass building, a feeling that came this day every month. I had nothing to worry about, I knew that. But there was always something unnerving about having your memory searched. 

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