July 24, 2007

A Cautionary Tale

Beverly Hills, CA
July 24, 2063
8:14 p.m.

The squad cars approached the home with their lights off. The station had received an anonymous tip that the suspect would be at this location tonight. Her name was Madison Lorraine Chang and the Narcotics unit had been watching her for months now. She was sloppy in her operations and there was a substantial trail of voicemails, instant messages and tiny folded notes that pointed towards a quick conviction.

The Chief pulled up to the curb and relaxed into the drivers seat while looking at a photo on the car's onboard computer. It was Madison's school photo from senior year. She was a petite thing with thin brown hair and a large nose. Her gaze in the photo was distant and dreamy. "She won't come quietly," the chief remarked to the officer in the passenger seat. "These kinds honestly think what they are doing is alright. We'll have to bring in additional backup."

Inside the house, Madison sat nervously on an ottoman in a dimly lit living room. Should could hear her host, Roger Hicks, in the kitchen. The clinking of champagne glasses filled her heart with both dread and excitement. She had met Roger at the Farmers Market the previous week. They had accidentally touched hands while reaching for the same avocado at her favorite grower's stand. There was little she could have done to prevent it - their chemistry was too strong. Three clandestine phone calls later from pay phones around town had brought her here tonight. Madison knew she was playing a dangerous game.

Ever since Love had been classified as an illegal stimulant alongside methamphetamines and cocaine in 2059, Madison had tried in vain to overcome her addiction. She knew she was wrong but ever since she could remember, Madison fell in love at the drop of a hat. Sure, she had only known Roger for a week or so, but there was something about his eyes and the way he spoke to her that made her knees go weak. She could feel it all happening inside of her whenever she developed a crush on another unsuspecting man. Anxiety, paranoia, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, reduced appetite, restlessness, insomnia, and a shakiness of the limbs. But she couldn't stop. She loved the rush.

An officer with a black scope looked into the window. He watched as Roger emerged from the kitchen with two glasses of champagne, bree and a baguette on a tray. He could see Madison relax back onto the ottoman and cross her legs seductively. The officer switched to heat sensor and saw with horror that Madison was a brilliant red through the scope. They had to go in now.

Madison was convicted on multiple counts of possession of Love. The police chief described the scene, her skirt just a little too short, her pupils dilated and palms wet with sweat. Roger looked betrayed as he slowly comprehended what was going on and the police cuffed Ms. Chang. In his testimony Roger said, "I thought we were just friends! How could she love me? That was the first time she'd ever been over. I swear I have no feelings for her whatsoever!" Witnesses emerged from all over Los Angeles to testify of how Madison had left pathetic voice mails and scribbled men's names in hearts on napkins at restaurants. The district attorney even produced a stash of men's shirts that the accused had collected and hidden under her floor boards to smell when she was overcome by her feelings of passion.

The judge gave a stirring lecture to the courtroom upon her conviction about the serious nature of her addiction. Love had caused the downfall of not only individuals, but entire families, countries and civilizations. Paris' love for Helen of Troy had started a war. The goddess of the modern home, Martha Stewart, delt society a fatal blow when in 2014 she fell in love with her pool boy and gave up her business ambitions and instead spent the remainder of her days as a hausfrau. As a result of her irresponsible love, hundreds of thousands of American homes remain undecorated to this day. Love was responsible for all manner of rash acts, murder, treachery and pain. As a country, America won't tolerate it or entrust it to the civilian population. Every person over 12 years of age must be diligent with their daily hormone represents or risk massive fines. Those who allowed themselves to fall in love had to be removed from society before they contaminated others. This is how order was maintained, the judge concluded.

Some members of the community objected to Madison's harsh sentence of solitary confinement. After all, they said, these people needed help, not punishment. After only six months of Ms. Chang's prison sentence, the incumbent state governor, in a move motivated mainly to boost his re-election polls, had Madison moved to a rehabilitation center. There she was required to watch 10 hours of football a day and had to share a bathroom with 3 hairy men. After a year of this intense therapy Madison swore she would never love again. And she never did.

14 comments:

Adum said...

nice. except i think vonegut already wrote this story in a little more vulgar terms.

fortunately, you have a husband who loves you enough to get you your own bathroom.

Amy said...

Madison sounds like the Lindsey Lohan of love.

Sarah said...

Darn that Vonegut! Hopefully most of my readers are as ill-read as I am I this is still a novel idea.

Heffalump said...

Three hairy men? That is cruel and unusual punishment! Its hard enough sharing a bathroom with ONE hairy man!

Kerri said...

Reading books has inspired you, Sarah! Keep up the reading (and writing). You may even convince me to pick up a book and start reading again!

Sarah said...

I needed to write a piece about "drugs" for my writing group this month and somehow this happened. Kudos to anyone who actually took the time to read it!

Janell said...

A nice attempt at being Vonnegut, but not nearly as dark or detailed. Build this up a bit more and you could have an excellent comedy, tragedy, or romance ;)

Lindsay said...

Nice!

A writing group, huh? I think I need to find myself one of those -- get me motivated to write more like I want to.

roster007 said...

Have you ever read, "The Giver" by Lois Lowry?

Sarah said...

No, never. But let me guess - he wrote this same story better than I did?

What can I say, folks? There are no more original ideas out there anymore. I'm not trying to win a pulitzer, just wanted to have some fun with the idea.

Colleen said...

Ha! I liked it. Not a Vonnegut fan, so it was new for me. Nice work.

s'mee said...

MUST read the Giver, you could probably do it in one long after noon, or three and a half months with the offspring near by. Either way it's a great read meant for the teen set, but with great messages.

Melissa said...

I thought of the Giver too... :)

Michemily said...

I thought of 1985. The book, not the year.