Cube Stories

Experiment 4477

DSCN0073

Experiment 4477
by
Sandra James
Copyright © 2018 Sandra Kaye James. All rights reserved.

INT. MIANN’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Dream.
MIANN is in an open space walking, smiling. A crowd appears – different people, all types, all dress. Background voice calls her name. Asks, “Where are you?”

CUT TO:

MIANN wakes from her dream. A light flashes past her window. She rolls off her bed and drops to the floor. She crawls to her bathroom and gets in the tub laying still, face up.

CUT TO:

INT. MIANN’S OFFICE – DAY
A video plays on a screen showing footage through eyes of a WOMAN waking up in the morning. Bits of information about the WOMAN’s room come toward her and soak into her mind.

Next scene shows her sitting at breakfast and looking at her tablet on its stand. She is reading a news story about murders in Chicago over the weekend and drinking tea. Parts of sentences are highlighted and go into her head and are deposited in areas of her brain. Her head becomes transparent, showing her brain.
Close on: Neurons fire and turn red like a lava flow. Unconscious bias and confirmed knowledge signs go into brain tissue and short sentences are expelled. Examples of short sentences – don’t walk alone in a black neighborhood, don’t talk to black people; sentences based on article being read.

CUT TO:

MIANN has been narrating the entire time the video was showing.

MIANN

Every second of every day we live, we are taking in 100 million bits of information from our senses. Our conscious mind processes 16 bits of information per second. The rest is handled by our unconscious mind. This has happened since we were born. Are you getting a sense right now of what could be in that unconscious realm?
Unconscious means you are not aware of it. Yet, it affects how you perceive things consciously. This is where prejudice and fear lives. It could be getting in the way of you making your best contribution to your work environment. I said work environment, not just the work that you do on your job.
In this course, we will talk about how important recognizing your unconscious knowledge storage is to thriving in your life and how important it is to your company thriving in its business. We won’t just sit around and talk about it though. We will practice it. When you walk out of this room today you will be able to implement what you have learned immediately. Don’t worry that you will forget it all in a few months. I will follow up with you in 3 months and every 3 months after, for 5 years while you work for this business. That is my commitment to you and this corporation. Are you ready to make a commitment to me to learn about positive change?

The camera turns and shows she was demonstrating to a wall with a large photograph of people sitting in a large room. A sofa is in front of the wall.
Miann sits down at her computer, scratching out things on her paper and writing.

INT. MIANN’S OFFICE – LATER

MIANN is typing on her keyboard. Her cellphone rings.

MIANN

Hi Carol… Okay… I’m about to go for a run. I’ll come by after I take a shower. Okay. See you later.

EXT. LINCOLN PARK – EARLY EVENING

MIANN is running in the park.

EXT. CAROL’S BUILDING – EVENING

MIANN calls CAROL on her cellphone.

MIANN

Carol, it’s Miann. I’m outside your building.

INT. CAROL’S CONDO – EVENING

CAROL opens the door.

CAROL

Hey!

MIANN

Hey!

MIANN enters the room.

MIANN (CONT’D)

Where we sitting?

CAROL

Let’s sit at the kitchen table.

MIANN puts her coat in Carol’s closet and walks to the table.

CAROL (CONT’D)

Isn’t this warm December weather wonderful?

MIANN

Yes! It’s like early fall out there.

CAROL

I know, right? I still went to the health club though because I had a spinning class. I’m going to try and get an outside run in before the weather changes.

MIANN

Yeah. I’m going to miss tomorrow because I want to go for a swim.

CAROL

I’ll meet you there then. My weight training session is tomorrow.

MIANN

Cool!

CAROL turns her laptop around.

CAROL

I have lined up a bunch of activities we can do for the next 2 months that will put us in a prime position for meeting available men.

MIANN

I hope speed dating isn’t one of them.

CAROL

No, it isn’t. That’s off the table forever.

MIANN

Good! So what do you have planned? I’m all in.

CAROL

Great! You are the best person in the world to do this with. I have it set up so that we can invite…

INT. MIANN’S CONDO – DAY

MIANN prints learner’s manuals and puts them together.

INT. HEALTH CLUB – LOCKER ROOM

MIANN and CAROL get their things out of lockers. They walk out to street level.

MIANN

We still have time before it gets totally dark. You want to go walk in the park for a little while?

CAROL

I can’t. I should have brought my stuff to take a shower, now I have to go home and take a shower before I go volunteer at Old Town School of Folk Music tonight.

MIANN

Oh, okay. See you later then.

EXT. LINCOLN PARK – EARLY EVENING

MIANN is sitting at a park bench in front of North Pond, looking at north shore lights. JOHN is walking around taking photos of the park. He walks near the benches and takes some photographs with his cellphone.

JOHN

Can you take a photograph of me while I stand here?

MIANN

Sure. No problem.

JOHN

I didn’t notice the restaurant when I walked up. I thought it was some type of park facility.

MIANN smiles.

JOHN(CONT’D)

Have you ever been in this restaurant?

MIANN

No. I haven’t.

JOHN

Would you like to go now?

MIANN

I couldn’t. It looks like a fancy restaurant and I’m not dressed for the occasion.

JOHN walks over to look at the menu posted on the window. He returns to where MIANN is standing.

JOHN

Yes it does look to be a little ritzy. I understand why you don’t want to go now.

MIANN smiles.

JOHN (CONT’D)

Well, thank you for taking my photo.

JOHN turns to walk away. He takes his cellphone out of his pocket as he turns. Keys fall to the ground.

JOHN (CONT’D)

Oh no! Those are the keys to my apartment.

Miann whips out a small flashlight attached to her key chain. She helps John search for the keys.

JOHN (CONT’D)

I should have put them on my key chain right away. I just moved here. I’m so glad they didn’t fall in the water. Now you have to let me take you to that restaurant.

MIANN smiles.

MIANN

You don’t know anything about me. Why would you want to spend an evening looking across the table at me?

JOHN

I trust my instincts.

MIANN

Okay. I’m free this coming Wednesday and Thursday evening.

JOHN

Great! I’ll meet you here Thursday at 7.

JOHN extends his hand for MIANN to shake. She shakes his hand. He sees the curved lane leading into the park.

JOHN

What a nice shot.

MIANN

Here, take this flashlight.

JOHN

I can’t do that. That thing is real handy. Won’t you need it?

MIANN

I got it from the dollar store and I have a couple more at home.

MIANN takes the flashlight off her chain and hands it to him. JOHN starts to put it in his right hand pocket, but stops.

JOHN

I’d better put this in my other coat pocket, so I don’t lose it too. Thanks a lot.

MIANN

You’re welcome. See you Thursday!

JOHN

For sure.

MIANN turns to walk away. JOHN walks over to take a few photos of the walkway. He turns around watches as MIANN walks away. He takes pictures of her.

EXT. LINCOLN PARK – EVENING
MIANN is waiting on a bench outside the restaurant. Her watch says 6:45. When she looks at her watch again, it says 6:50. When she looks again, it says 6:55. JOHN walks up to her and extends his bent arm to her.

JOHN

Shall we?

MIANN wraps her arm around JOHN’s bent arm. They walk up to the restaurant door. The hostess seats them by a window next to the fireplace.

MIANN

How’s the flashlight working out for you?

JOHN

I am happy to report that I have not needed to use it again, but it’s so handy. I love it! Great!

The waiter comes to the table. Miann and John decide on their choices.

JOHN(CONT’D)

Would you like to share a bottle of wine?

MIANN

Yes!

MIANN and JOHN tell each other jokes and talk about their visits to different parts of the world. MIANN tells John she is a training consultant to a large corporation. JOHN says he is a ranking officer in the air force.
At different moments they are engrossed in each other’s conversation. They come out of the restaurant laughing.

MIANN(CONT’D)

So, what happened after that?

A COUPLE (MAN & REBECCA) walks near them.
MAN

Oh Rebecca let’s take a photo. Ma’am do you mind taking a photo of us?

MIANN readily agrees. The MAN hands her a camera. MIANN takes a photograph and returns the camera. There is an awkward pause between MIANN and JOHN.

MIANN

I know what happened next.

JOHN

You do?

MIANN

Yes. I wrote that story for a training exercise. You repeated it verbatim.

JOHN looks surprised.

MIANN(CONT’D)

Probably someone’s sloppy record keeping.

JOHN does not speak.

MIANN(CONT’D)

So, which way are we going John?

JOHN

Towards the lake.

JOHN extends his bent arm.

MIANN

Thanks for coming to get me. I’ve been too long in this place.

MIANN looks toward the scenic view and then towards the curved walk. They walk slowly around the curve. Suddenly, MIANN pulls her arm away and slowly backs away from JOHN. People run and walk cross between MIANN and JOHN.

MIANN(CONT’D)

I just remembered. There is something at my condo that I can’t leave. I have to go back to get it.

JOHN

You know the routine Miann. I can’t agree to that.

MIANN

Your agreement isn’t necessary John.

JOHN

Miann, this will only be bad for you if you don’t come with me now. You thanked me for coming to get you. What are you trying to do here?

MIANN

Live without regrets John. Even though our date didn’t turn out the way I would have liked it to, I don’t regret meeting you. I haven’t regretted anything since I’ve been here…not until a few moments ago. I can’t go back.

MIANN turns and runs. JOHN tries to grab her, misses, falls to his knees, gets up, and follows her. A RUNNER holds out his left arm in front of JOHN, clothespinning him. JOHN falls backward onto the ground. The RUNNER puts his left foot on JOHN’s chest to hold him down. The RUNNER pulls out his cellphone and dials 911. MIANN runs through the park toward her condo.

Copyright © 2018 Sandra Kaye James. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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