Excerpt for Love in the Mind - A Short Story Collection by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Love In The Mind

A Short Story Collection

By Paul Blake


Love In The Mind

Paul Blake

First published in 2017

This edition published by Paul Blake at Smashwords, 2018

All rights reserved

© Paul Blake, 2017

Don’t You Forget About Me © Paul Blake, 2017

Jumping Someone Else’s Train © Paul Blake, 2017

Cover Design © 2017 Paul Blake

Cover Photo by:

EDU LAUTON on Unsplash -; ROMAN KRAFT on Unsplash -

Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favourite authorised retailer. Thank you for your support.

Table of Contents



Don't You (Forget About Me)

Jumping Someone Else's Train

Message from the Author


To my darling wife, Helen, thank you for believing in me.


The two stories in this collection were written for a competition on an online forum I contribute to. The topic of the competition was Women in Love and the first line had to include the line ‘Not because they have too much mind, but too little’; this is taken from the D. H. Lawrence novel Women in Love appropriately enough.

Both stories were well received and Don’t You Forget (About Me) won so I thought I’d share them with the rest of the world. I hope you enjoy them; I’d love to hear your feedback both positive and negative.

I firmly believe in interaction between authors and their readers and as such, can be contacted via Twitter @paulblakeauthor or by email

Thank you for reading,

Paul Blake

London, 2017

Don't You (Forget About Me)

‘Not because they have too much mind, but too little,’ explained the scientist to the board members, ‘they have all been very clever women, experts in their relevant fields. They just cannot handle that amount of stimuli and information at once. Their minds do not have the capacity to store that amount of data.’

‘Can’t we send men instead? Aren’t their brains bigger?’ One of the board members suggested.

‘Bigger? Yes, they are, somewhere in the region of 14% bigger, however, that doesn’t help us as men’s brains are, generally, filled with random trivial information – film quotes, CD track listings, sports results, and so on. It is far harder to identify and clear millions of tiny trivial information dotted randomly across the subcortical regions than it would be to take whole chunks of memory. Also women’s brains work far more efficiently at collating and sorting the information the brain receives; that is part of the reason women are more intelligent than men; and the main reason why we have been using women.’ The scientist replied.

‘So, what are you suggesting we do?’ Sean Lawson, the chairman of the board asked, phrasing the question at Alvin Hirsch, Director of the Centre for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI)

‘Well, as you know, all the attempts, so far, to collect the data from the source, have failed. This includes any artificial intelligence we have sent in. They seem to only release the information to a human. We don’t know why, maybe it’s a test, to see if we are worthy of the information they are giving.’ Hirsch replied.

‘Ok, so what do you suggest?’

‘It is not possible to increase a person’s mind using augmentation, the technology is not there yet, maybe in the next decade, but not yet. Current assumptions are that the human brain can hold an, equivalent, maximum 2.5 petabytes, or a million gigabytes of data, but this is taken up by subconscious functions, conscious thought, memory, the psychic apparatus: superego, ego, id, etc. The area we can currently affect is the memory, fortunately, this accounts for the majority of space taken up in the brain. We have developed a technique that can strip the brain of specific memories, freeing up space.’

‘And with this ‘technique’ you think we can clear enough space in someone’s mind to go in and safety collect the data?’

‘I hope so. The memory cleared would be long term, least accessed memory: events from childhood, first loves, school, etc. Because of the aforementioned difference in how men and women store memories, it is not feasible to use men for this purpose.’

‘So to clarify, so we all know exactly what is being proposed,’ said Lawson, ‘you are asking permission from the board to wipe the memories of women, our daughters, mothers, wives, in order to collect the information being offered by the source.’

‘That is correct, well, apart from the mothers part, ideally the candidates would be young women whose brains are fully formed – so adults – but who have less life experiences than older women so there would be less to clear. We are looking at women between 24 to 29 years old, well educated, with no children. We have discovered that women with children have a reduced storage capacity as their love for their children means they store more information about them, practically everything it seems, it’s not something they are aware of or even something they can control, it’s the maternal instinct, I guess.’ Hirsch concluded.

‘Ok, thank you, Alvin. We have your briefing notes, the board will discuss the matter and inform you of our decision.’ said Lawson, dismissing Hirsch and the scientist.


‘Can you think back to your earliest memory?’ the technician asked.

Isabelle Bennett closed her eyes, and said ‘I remember being walked to school by my brother, Iain, I must have been-‘

‘It’s ok,’ the technician interrupted kindly, ‘you don’t have to tell us, just think it and we can see on the screen the area of the brain that memory is stored.’

The monitor screen beside Isabelle had a 3d representation of her brain on it, there was a small royal blue section highlighted. The technician pressed a button and the screen zoomed into the highlighted section, another button press and the screen reverted back to the full brain representation, free of highlights.

‘What can you remember about your first school?

‘I had a teacher…’ She paused and then stopped as she recalled what the technician had said. She opened her eyes and looked at the windowed gallery in front of her, half filled with spectators, and she could see Alvin Hirsch up there talking to a few serious looking people. He saw her looking at him and gave a reassuring smile and resumed his conversation. One of the people, a short, balding man, with an obscene comb-over, was gesticulating widely and aggressively. Alvin put his hand on the man’s shoulder, said something Isabelle couldn’t lip read. It seemed to placate the man as he raised his hands in a conciliatory gesture, smiled and left the galley.

‘What was your first home like?’ the technician asked.

Isabelle closed her eyes and thought back.


‘How do you think she’s doing, Alvin?’ asked Melissa Lyndon, looking down at Isabelle from the galley, strapped into a dentist chair in the white, sterile, operating theatre.

‘It’s too soon to say, but she appears to be the best candidate so far.’

‘What was up with Malcolm? I came in at the end of it.’

‘Oh, nothing, you know Malcolm, he usually is ranting about something.’

‘Come on, Alvin, it’s not like you to be evasive, and you know I have to report everything back to the board.’

Hirsch sighed, ‘Alright, Malcolm is not happy with us using Isabelle.’

‘Why? You already said she’s the best candidate.’

‘He thinks I’ll not be objective and go easy on her.’

‘Why’s that? You didn’t go easy on the others, why would you with her?’

‘Well, Isabelle is my daughter. We have different surnames because my ex-wife changed her name back to her maiden name when we divorced and changed Isabelle’s.’

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