Author: J. H. Malone

“Happy Valentine’s Day!”

“Oh, Honey, for me? How sweet!”

“Open it. Then I’ll take you out to dinner.”

“Ok, just let me… What could it be?… Wow!… A CRISPR valentine…”

“I taped the pills to the back. Let’s take them now and in a month, every cell in our bodies will contain a swatch of the other’s DNA.”

“Are the pills homemade? They’re kind of…”

“My cousin has a setup in his garage.”


“Don’t be mean. Leonard is a smart guy.”


“Come on, Baby.”

“How did you get my DNA?”


“Oh… Right… Ok, then. Down the hatch!”

“Here goes nothing!”

“Together forever! I love you, Peter… and I don’t think it takes a month once we swallow them.”

“What? Leonard said…”

“No, never mind. You’re right. In a month.”

“Why would you say it doesn’t take a month?”

“I just… I probably heard…”

“Wait a minute. Have you done this before?”


“It was Fred, wasn’t it. That bozo. All your cells are polluted with Fred DNA, aren’t they? I don’t believe it. I’ve shared my toothbrush with you.”

“I’m so sorry! I was young. I was innocent. I thought I was in love.”

“I’m just… I can see him in you. That skunk.”

“No, no, Peter. His pill didn’t change me at all… I can tell when I’ve eaten asparagus, but that’s about all… and I’m allergic to peanuts…”

“You can hold your liquor too, for a girl. I’ll bet that came from Fred.”

“Forget about Fred. What am I getting from your DNA? Your jealousy?”

“Hey, don’t blame the victim here.”

“It was after Fred’s valentine that I started getting a yen for you, out of the blue. Maybe you ought to be thanking him.”

“Fine, Janice. Whatever. I just wanted it to be a surprise, is all.”

“It is totally a surprise. Actually, I’m honored. You’ve had so many girlfriends, but now I’m the special one.”


“Oh my God! The guilty look on your face! Your lying gene is lousy. I hope that one isn’t in my pill… You’ve got some Lucy McGowan in you, don’t you? That tramp. She lies every time she opens her mouth. And Vanessa Pazzoli. How could you? And Mai Lei Sook? Afrina Bokadella? I’ll bet you’ve swapped DNA with all of them. Peter, you’re not the man I thought you were.”

“At least I’m not allergic to nuts. Plus, I’ve still got the old Y chromosome. I’ll prove it after dinner.”

“Ok, that’s it. I want you to leave. Please. Take one of your other valentines out to dinner. I’m just another girl to you.”

“No, no, Janice. Listen. This is a CRISPR PLUS valentine. First time I’ve ever given one.”


“The pills include the CRISPR gene drive, so our babies are gonna get extra me and you genes.”

“Our babies?… Oh, Peter… Are you saying…”

“Yes. And these pills will also swap our love genes.”

“Huh? What’s our love genes?”

“Leonard didn’t say, exactly, but he said now we’ll love each other forever, guaranteed. The divorce lawyers tried to get it banned but they couldn’t. So will you marry me?”

“Oh my God, Peter. I… I don’t know what to say… I think the pill’s kicking in. I can feel the love… Yes! I’ll marry you!”

“Excellent! So where do you want to go for dinner?”


  1. Hari Navarro

    I like this snappy banter style, I think you worked it really well. Coincidentally, I have just finished reading what I assume is more of your fiction over at AntipodeanSF … you’re becoming prolific 🙂

  2. Malcolm

    And they lived happily ever after?
    I love how the story ends. 🙂

  3. Jae

    Tinkering with the science never ends well. That was amusing.

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