The Love Vaccine
As Thomas stood in the queue outside his local health centre waiting for his vaccine shot a young man ran up to him. ‘Don’t do it’ he said. ‘It’s all lies. The government wants to control your brain.’
He pushed a crumpled leaflet into Thomas’ hand then moved along the line before two burly security guards appeared. After a struggle and a lot of shouting the young man was escorted to a waiting police van.
Thomas unfurled the leaflet. Since the announcement that a Love vaccine had been developed a fierce debate had raged across the world. Those in favour said the vaccine would dispel anger and hatred, leading to a more peaceful and tolerant world. Those against said it was abnormal to eradicate natural human emotion - a trick, dreamt up by totalitarian governments who wanted to enslave the human race.
The woman in front of Thomas turned and said: ‘You look as though you’re having second thoughts.’
Thomas sighed. ‘Suddenly, the Love vaccine sounds kind of scary.’
‘Anger and hatred is contagious’ the woman said ‘a disease, a plague. Surely a world without conflict and war is worth fighting for ? The Love vaccine is humankind’s only chance.’
He nodded, yet he still had many doubts. Only last week a group of national leaders had publicly been given the vaccine. Even so, their detractors claimed the phials had been filled with an ineffective substitute.
‘What should I do ?’ said Thomas.
The woman took his hand. ‘My son spent his life promoting the cause of love but sadly died before the vaccine’s development. Please, do it for his sake if nothing else.’
Thomas glanced at the leaflet. ‘Protect Your Freedom to Hate!’ was the headline. He screwed the paper into a ball, moved forward in the queue.