The Flaws of Temptation || By Joan Lee

The second Ms. Sworski’s bakery closed, a new store came to the Reddis Mall. Bright purple letters on a yellow poster spelled a new beginning: The Brain Factory.

The company claimed to make brains and transplant them into people. “Isn’t that a hospital?” you may ask. These weren’t just any ordinary brains: they were specialized. Specialized and customized  to exactly how customers wanted them. Everyone was instantly attracted to the idea of becoming a new person, and the factory boomed with business.

Lisa walked up to the storefront and glanced in the smudged window. She had recently moved from Britain and wanted to find a way to connect with her Americanized daughter. She saw a few signs and flyers in the building, and realized that it was the place she was looking for. She took a deep breath and approached the clear glass counter. A tall, lanky man with brown hair and a goatee approached. “Hello ma’am, what can I do for ya?” he said with a slight Southern accent.

“Well, I would like to poorchuse a new brain. I need to connect bettar with my daughter, Elizabeth. We’ve just mooved from Britain and she seems to be ignoreing me because I don’t know ooll of the American slang,”  she said sadly in a British accent. Her mind wandered to the harsh words her daughter said that stung her like a needle. “Don’t come to my school anymore! You and your weird accent embarrass me all the time! I wish you would just…get a new brain!” she had screamed earlier that day. 

Isra walked around the store until a helper finally came up and asked “What are you looking for?” Isra looked up with a startled look on her face and replied “Oh, I need a new brain!” “What kind?” the helper asked questioningly. Isra said “A brain to help with my math, please. If I fail one more math test, I’ll be in big trouble!” Her parents had threatened to make her quit basketball if she got another bad grade. 

Jaysonn hopped on his bike and started pedaling, in no time he arrived at the entrance of the looming factory. He parked his bike and strolled toward the building. He looks through the foggy window and sees the place buzzing with customers and enters. As soon as he enters, a helper approaches him to ask about his needs. He responds “I want a new brain to help me become better at sports. I’ve never scored in a soccer game before and my teammates don’t like me.”

The aide takes Jaysonn to a room filled with glass display cases of brains and their descriptions. and racks the aisle for a couple minutes until he finds just the right brain. He was going to go to the built in brain transplant room when suddenly an announcement came over the loudspeaker. “Please come to aisle 4 if you have found your brain in order to have your transplant.”

Lisa, Jaysonn, and Isra all headed to the aisle with their brains. As they waited in the long line, the trio began to strike up a conversation and became fast friends. They exchanged phone numbers and promised to meet up after they left the Factory. After a week, the brains started to take effect. At first, all seemed well. Isra got an A on her math test, Jayson scored 2 goals in a game, and Lisa’s daughter was impressed with her mother’s quick change. 

But as time passed, things went downhill. Isra became so obsessed with math that she accidentally skipped 3 practices in a row, and her coach benched her. Jaysonn was a star athlete, and his grades were going down fast because of all his time playing soccer. Lisa had become so Americanized that she was forgetting all about who she really was inside. They all quickly realized that the brains were taking over their lives, and they needed to do something about it.

A month has passed since the day the trio had returned their brains to the Factory. Jaysonn started tutoring Isra in math, and Isra helped him learn some sports moves. They both helped Lisa learn some American slang and customs, and she started watching movies to adapt to an American accent. They all realized the same thing: they didn’t need a new brain to be a better version of themselves. All they needed was to help each other discover their true potential. Everyone was happy being themselves, not other people.

A few weeks after, The Brain Factory shut down. The faded yellow poster came down, signifying the end of an era.

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