Flash Fiction: Open-Source Minds

“Break it up! Break it up! You’re in a feedback loop!” Ms. Moriah had grabbed the two boys by their shirt-collars and was wrenching them apart. Within moments, her thoughts were interceding between their minds, just as her arms were pushing apart their bodies. Alvin and Cory were both breathing hard, staring at one another in uncomprehending silence. Neither knew what had happened to them.

Ms. Moriah took a few deep breaths, her mind composing a proper way to reprimand the students and educate them simultaneously. The boys’ attention turned to her expectantly, observing her mind’s thought-processes.

“Cory, you misunderstood. Alvin’s anger was not directed at you personally, but at you as an opponent in the game. Alvin, you must realize that you must temper your competitiveness with reason. Cory is not just an inanimate player, but another person. You can’t be angry at the concept of an opponent, without being angry at the person fulfilling that role.”

Ms. Moriah took a deep breath. “I know that’s a bit metaphysical for your young minds, but I don’t know how else to explain it. Each one of you got angry because of the other’s anger, and it spiraled out of control into a fight. You must always keep your emotions your own. Understand?”

“We understand,” Cory spoke for both he and Alvin, and Ms. Moriah could sense they did grasp the concept, thanks to observing her construct the explanation in her mind.

“I’m sorry Alvin,” Cory said.

“I’m sorry I got angry from your anger,” Alvin replied, and good feelings propagated among the three of them. Dopamine rewards were so much nicer than adrenaline.

“Very good,” Ms. Moriah said, standing upright and brushing the grass from her dress. “Now you boys go to the rest room and wash up. You’re both covered in dirt.”

“Yes Ma’am,” they said in unison and marched off the playground together, taking their feelings of reconciliation with them.

Their absence made her aware of another consciousness present, “Ms. Moriah?”

She turned around to find Astra’s father standing nearby, where he was admiring her rear just moments ago, and was now respectfully suppressing his desire to admire her figure from the front.

All men thought like this, so neither of them felt awkward about it. She found him attractive also, but with him being married and she in a long term relationship, they quickly put this unproductive, instinctual line of thought aside, which spoke volumes about their emotional maturity. Some people were so overwhelmed with their baser desires, they had to be prohibited from the Web altogether.

Astra’s father was a curious man, with a mind open to learning, and was most interested in her as a teacher, and how her mind worked to communicate ideas to his daughter. He was hoping to gain some pointers for how he could communicate with her as well. Ms. Moriah admired this, and Astra’s father was energized by the admiration.

“Pleased to meet you,” Ms. Moriah said, stepping forward to shake his hand.

“The pleasure is mine as well,” he replied, and with that, they were good friends.





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