Author : Joshua Mounce
I drove at breakneck speeds, my heart thumping faster than the song on the radio could possibly keep up with. My eyes flicked back and forth praying I didn’t get pulled over. I’d once heard they would take you strait to jail for 25MPH over the limit. That made me laugh. Were I to get pulled over, it wouldn’t be because of my lead foot. The dead woman in the back seat would be much more incriminating.
I hadn’t meant to kill her. We were fighting, she slapped me, and I pushed her away. It wasn’t even a shove, just a push, but enough to knock her off balance. The tinkle of my glass coffee table breaking stuck more in my mind than even her futile gurgles as she looked at me in total shock and pain.
I could fix it. I would remember that moment for the rest of my life, but with luck she wouldn’t. My veterinary clinic was not the only one in the state to offer pet cloning. It was however one of the pioneers in brain taping. From what we were able to tell, my client’s dogs and cats retained all their memories, minus the final hours or days since short term memory didn’t carry over the same as long term. Which worked out wonderfully for those who were run over or other such disasters.
It would also work to my benefit. The last few hours had been horrible. I never should have confessed the affair. I wouldn’t this time, and everything would work out just fine. I simply had to get there in time. Within four hours of death certain chemical reactions happened in the body that would skew the results of the taping. I’d wasted too much time grieving and debating whether to call 911, so now I sped.
It took a week for the clone to mature. She would have a lapse in memory for that time plus the final hours, but it was all something I could invent a cover story for. She’d never been all that bright, and was quite gullible. Beauty, not brains. A trophy wife, my golf buddy had once said. I’d merely chuckled my agreement.
I stayed late into the night watching the tedious process of the brain tape rearranging her neurons. I mused while waiting. She would look younger, which I was happy about, but it would make it a bit harder to convince her she’d been only stoned or drunk for a few days. She’d have a high likelihood of developing cancer in five years, but I could pay for treatments. All things that could be dealt with. At least I would have her again. At least I wouldn’t have killed her.
The beep of the machine woke me from a slight doze. I gripped the sedative I had ready. No chance she’d believe me if she woke up in a clone vat. I’d drive her home, throw some pills and a bottle of rum on the bedside table and put on my best concerned looking poker face when she roused.
The fluid drained out and the door to the vat opened. I pulled out my wife, stuck her with the tranq, and stopped dead. I’d had a week to think up all contingencies, but this never crossed my mind once.
Tiny breasts, oversized nose, cleft chin, unibrow… It looked nothing like my wife. I was going to need a different plan.