Designing A Child’s Character


At eight and three quarter months the baby was developing normally, and now the light above the Wombulator was changing to green, which meant she could insert the chip of personality traits and abilities she wished her child to possess and herself to enjoy. Gone, thank goodness, were those primitive days, when people had to express emotion by more than touching fingers, and having children meant distorting and possibly ruining the shape of your body.

Before she made her final decision, Sandra 526 Bland looked at the sexual orientation meter which revealed the growing baby to be personality base Five. “Brilliant: she could opt for a range of talents selected as suitable and available at this time for a child of this blending by the Ministry of Social Harmony and Agriculture. Her child would be a sports enthusiast, but with underlying sensitivity; possibly a talent for painting; that would be enjoyable.” She turned to her husband, Opaque 138 Bland, and said,” He is going to be a type Five” . “That is good” said Opaque 138 and nodded, while continuing to watch a sparrow reading a newspaper on a tree across the road.

She inserted the character chip into the Womberlater, confident that the child would be as she desired, plus having the ability to speak twenty eight languages from birth, ignoring engineering terms which were considered outside his personality banding. Along with the Womberlater,  births of all species where now subject to due processing by the Ministry of Normalcy, which meant humans could enjoy the sense of other species, but without being eaten or having the windscreen of their autoflyers blotched by passing animal effluent, to use a sanitized expression. Personality inserted, she returned to doing her virtual jigsaw puzzle, which was a hologram of an antique drawing depicting a retro man looking at what her history group had revealed were called trees.

Sure enough, at exactly nine months from ‘Initialisation’ the new buzz word for post-sex intimacy;  the tedium of bodily contact no longer being required, the baby, designated name Opaque 139, was announced to be ready to participate in the household. His mother lifted him out of the device, and slipped on his ‘permagrow’ clothing: an item that would remain on him for his entire life, but change fashion, size, style and cut depending on his age and the mood of the day, as authorised by the Ministry of Motivation, with due diligence supplied by the Ministries of Resource Management and Planetary Stabilisation.

Once in his cot, the baby spoke, “I’m sorry to bother you, but could I have some milk.” Some things, it seems, never change and poor old Sandra 526 had to go the Kitchenator to get some. While she was there, she inserted a pod of nutrients, roughage and vitamins into the Cookerater, and pressed ‘Random’: it was nice to surprise yourself occasionally with an unstructured meal, and she felt like marking the day.

She returned to the baby with the milk, in a container of largely traditional design, and the baby took a few swigs, before Sandra 526 remembered she had injected it with her husband’s illicit supply of Jack Daniels, a cult liquid reputed to take imbibers to something resembling paradise within a few sips.

Sure enough, or not sure enough, depending on your viewpoint, the baby began to wave his arms around and sing some fairly fruity songs composed on the terraces of football grounds over a hundred years before: heaven knows how they had survived ‘social values screening’ but it was too late to worry about that now. Within moments, a siren sounded, and a light flashed outside their apartment.

“Unschooled behaviour: Unschooled behaviour” said the tannoy in a reproachful but not condemnatory tone, the result of much tweaking from Government phycologists’, and both Sandra 526 and Opaque 138, knew that questions without convenient answers would soon be posed. Emotions were expressed.

Advertisements

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, Humanity, humour, Peter Wells, society, values and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Designing A Child’s Character

  1. Interesting jaunt into a new arena, Peter, though the human element reveals itself in the end. ;D. But I am curious…

    Why is it that whenever we try to imagine a peaceful, utopic-like future for humanity, we always end up in a bland, boring, unappealing place? Are we, as humans, so driven by our need for adventure and excitement, that our world must include distress, suffering and sorrow for us to feel complete? Hmm…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ksbeth says:

    loved this cold, sad piece. only the tiniest bits of humanity were allowed to shine through the bland darkness.

    Like

  3. And again – I knew that we would lure you into the changing landscape of future-history…

    Like

  4. Emotions expressed…well we can’t be having that, now can we?

    Like

  5. Al says:

    Eat your heart out, George Orwell.

    Like

  6. gotham girl says:

    Your imagination and writings are brilliant. Well done…so well done!!!

    Like

  7. nelle says:

    Nice wandering. Perhaps one redeeming quality in that world would be no Donald Trump.

    Like

  8. tiostib says:

    Reblogged this on Travels with Tio and commented:
    Peter Wells is an exceptional writer, humorous and intelligent. I highly recommend his blog.

    Like

  9. judithhb says:

    Well done Peter. I love how your writing covers so many genres. And oh the real truth is that if we let robots take over our world, this is what future generations could face – with just a little tweaking perhaps

    Like

  10. Janni Styles says:

    Wow! This could be a scene right out of Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale.” Loved her books, have all of them for many years now, love the series and love your take on a society that is eerily foretelling.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s