Two years ago, I cloned myself using little pill capsules and a Bop It after paying some dudes in an empty Lowe’s parking lot. We parked where the lights just missed us and stood wedged between my gray Lexus and their bright pink Mustang. “It feels really cool are you sure you don’t wanna try it?” The guy, I think their name was Jeremy, said, pulling his hand out of the Red Vine tub filled with my red capsules that he took out of the back of his cluttered car. His double pushed the tub toward me with one hand while the other hand clutched a Wheat Thins box. The first Jeremy instructed me to take a pill now, chewing acceptable, while he explained the side effects and rules. It tasted like Cherry popsicle.

“You have to take two everyday like religiously. And your lil buddy, your second Robert has to take them, too.”

“Make sure he does.” The other Jeremy said munching on Wheat Thins from the box.

“What’s the second part?” The first Jeremy asked.

“The problems.” The second Jeremy answered.

“Oh, yea sometimes you might cry unexpectedly, but we usually don’t notice that part. And you shouldn’t eat salami and frozen burritos I forget why.”

“Something about the processed meat vibes.”

“The biggest one, though, is that your memory sucks. I honestly don’t remember what Gushers taste like and that’s depressing but you’ll get over it. Got everything?”

I nodded. One Jeremy went digging in his stuffed car for the last step of the process and I put the tub on my passenger seat. He came back fumbling with a plastic stick, one end blue, the other yellow. He held the Bop It in the air and argued with himself about which side I had to hold. They settled on Twist it.

“Okay, when the song says ‘Twist it.’ Twist it. It’s that simple. I’ll Bop it.”

I pointed to the Wheat Thin Jeremy leaning on the car.

“Nah, he doesn’t do anything in the process. We take turns with it. You ready?”

I wasn’t ready but I took hold of the yellow side of the toy. Jeremy hit the button in the center to start the “Bop it” song. But when it was Jeremy’s turn to hit it again, he spaced out and slapped the button too late. He blamed it on his bracelets. The second time, Jeremy finally got the “Bop it” and the toy followed by saying “Twist it.” I turned the knob on beat to the song and a foot away from me, a hand and body grew out from the “Pull it” handle. It took me a while to understand that I wasn’t standing in front of a mirror. The image wasn’t inverted. It was me staring at me.

Jeremy gave me another pill to take from his pocket.

“I don’t know if I like this.” I said chewing, while my clone just stared back.



All he ever does is stare and watch me creepily from the corner. He is mute. And that isn’t even the worst part. He eats my garlic hummus and pita chips while I’m at the movies for alone time. He gets attention because people pity him and his conniving pout. And what pisses me off the most is that we have the same job. I wanted him to take another job, but we have no other skill than personal training, especially now that the pills burn our memories. The first two weeks at work were fine then other Robert started doing better than me. Clients liked the quiet environment and loud movements. I had a talk with him about it. He is here to be used. I am his master. Re-Robert was sweating, frightened a little, but he nodded. The next week, I was sure it would be better, but when he did nothing, it made me look even worse. He is me.

Now, he is the most requested personal trainer and there’s nothing I can do. When I wanted to clone myself, I thought I would make double the money to spend. People say their clone was the best decision they have ever made. They say that their clone is their best friend, but I’m just annoyed by him eating and taking my things. Other people work so well with their doubles. He gave me a brochure for clone therapy once, but I found no point in it. I bought him to serve me, to know what I like and surprise me with fun gifts like good profile pictures or monthly condom purchases.

Doing it illegally for a better price also made things complicated. Too many questions asking why he is voiceless.

“Why does your clone have no voice? But you do? How does that work?” A hot girl at the facility asked.

“Car accident when it was his turn to visit my parents,” was my response today, frustrated.

“Oh wow. How did the car crash? Did something get lodged in his larynx?”

“You can ask him.” I said. I don’t know why I try to flirt at work. Somehow the conversation always turns to him.

It was the last straw. I am going to tell him that he is moving out today. Get him out of my life. I have been thinking about this for a while, but today is the perfect day. When we both cry uncontrollably because of the devil pills, I will drop the news. Our sobs will hide our emotions and we will feel better that we are both crying. To prepare myself for the weekly cry I made myself a hearty meal of steak and eggs and sat on the leather loveseat farthest away from Re-Robert’s favorite spot on the recliner couch. He is eating the classic chicken and veggies to watch his figure. I hate myself. But also, why do I look so good eating asparagus. The TV is playing an Animal Planet show describing a tiger and hog interaction. You hope for the hog, but the tiger will always win. I set down my plate on the side table when the itch in my nose begins. Clone places a carrot in his mouth showing off our teeth. I should probably use more White Strips. One tear slides down my cheek, as he puts his plate on the couch next to him still watching the tiger chase.

“Robert, we need to talk.” I say crying.

He turns his scrunched up, teary face toward me.

“You need to pack some clothes and leave tonight. I can give you some of our money, but this is all mine so just be glad I’m being so nice.”

The clone looks like he is about to laugh, but he’s crying.

“Robert, I’m serious. You. Need. To. Leave.” I am hyperventilating crying now.

He stands up and goes to the kitchen. I follow. He goes through the cabinets and pulls out the box of Frosted Flakes that has been in there forever.

“What are you doing? Get your hands out of there.” I lunge trying to rip his hands out of the box.

He pulls out rolls of money and the photos of Buffy the Vampire Slayer porn I had hidden. I try to pull it out of his hands, but we are too strong. Our muscles must be bulging.

“Give it to me.” I said, the crying slowing, but my anger rising.

The clone pulls out his phone to take a photo.

“You fuck.” I throw a punch knocking his face in an unnatural direction.

We freeze. Assault is a fine. Domestic assault is a year. Self–assault is years.

Robert runs out of the kitchen dropping the porn and taking the money into my room.

“I’m sorry Robert. I didn’t mean to. Please don’t say anything. Keep it quiet.” I giggle. “Oh wait. You can’t say shit and it’s your word against mine.”

He starts packing my favorite black skinny jeans and even tries to take my journal of hookups that I have been writing in for years.

“Drop that. It’s mine. What are you doing? Get out of here.”

He stops stuffing things into my Nike duffel, scrutinizes me, shakes his head and points at himself.

I snatch his outstretched wrist, but he smacks me back hard. There is no way I am going to let this wannabe take over my life. I haven’t fumed like this before. My hands burn and I want to punch him. Instead, I wrap my hands around his neck and hold the imposter in place. His beautiful face realizes the train of events that are to come.

“You are leaving tonight. Taking absolutely nothing.”

I let go and he leaves the room quietly.

He isn’t going to take my life away. I made him and brought him here to serve me and he is trying to flip everything. My hands feel powerful. I am strong again, getting stronger by the second. He is going to leave and I will be me again.

From my room, I can hear the shower on.

I walk to the bathroom down the hallway to investigate. The door is locked.

“Hello? Robert what are you doing?”

Nothing. I knock harder and try to break the door open. Nothing.

I go to the living room and grab our fishbowl and dump the water and dead fish onto our cream carpet. We aren’t good at taking care of other things. I bang the glass bowl against the door handle. The silver metal breaks off the door and clangs onto the floor. I toss the heavy bowl down the hall and hope it didn’t fly too far. I always forget my strength. The door opens to the myriad of mirrors reflecting my clone in the rain shower. His wet clothes outline his biceps, but more importantly he dumps the Red Vine tub of our capsules standing above the drain.

Without the pills, we will both become vegetables in a few hours. We tried not taking them once and our short-term memory was the first to go. I couldn’t let him do this to us. To me. Selfish. He crouches to shove the remaining pills down the drain as I run through the glass door into the tiled shower. I kick his thick chest and tackle him down. How could this dumb mute try to kill me? The water continues to fall over us. I am on top of him pinning his muscled shoulders to the slippery tile. This could be an odd sex dream that I’ve had. I shove the last few red capsules into his soft lips and pop one into mine before they go down the drain. I hold one hand over his mouth simultaneously plugging his nose. I fight with my other arm against his flailing arms that hit like weights. I squeeze my thighs against his hard abs. Warm water weighing us down even more.

“Swallow, bitch.”

The water splashes as Robert tries to break free. He finally resolves to grip my wrist to stop my blood stream while my hand locks his mouth. He can’t talk. Can’t fight back. His Adam’s apple wiggles and I know he has swallowed the pills. His grip loosens and I let him go to breathe. He gasps for air, relaxing his tensed body. I stay on top of him feeling the power over myself. I pry his mouth open to confirm that the capsules have dissolved. I stand above re-Robert, but the rain continues. Re-Robert lies in the puddle, unmoving. Then in a jolt, his hands squeeze his own throat like he is trying to choke himself. He claws at it trying to rip the soft skin off. In an orgasm, re-Robert convulses on the ground. Not an orgasm. More pain.

“What’s happening? Robert. Calm down.” I hold his pecs down.

His body is already slowly solidifying in the panicked position when I realize that 8 pills were too many. The quick gasps slow. The water still pouring down, I shake him. His eyes and mouth open, there is no response. He is dead.

What did I just do? I’m going to jail.

I sit in the shower, hoping the water can cleanse me. It doesn’t.

I twist the shower handle to stop the water. To figure out what I am going to do, I step out and stare at my body dead. People will surely ask questions tomorrow at work. I must act quickly. I can say he’s sick. That will last no more than a few days. I don’t even think I will live that long without pills. I shake my head. First things first.

I go to my room and rip off the black satin sheets off my bed. I cover Robert with it. I pretend I am training with a sack and carry it through my house into the garage. I toss the body into the trunk of my Mercedes. I pack a shovel and drive off. The first place I think of is a place outside Narci in the woods. It is bright in my memory. Maybe my parents used to take me there.

The night is warm, hopeful. I drive until there is a little offshoot of gravel into a field of trees. I pull in and turn off my headlights. I don’t know why the place felt so familiar, but my parents wouldn’t have taken me here. I take out a shovel and dig a spot covered with grass until my shirt is sweaty. The hole deep enough. I pull the heavy body into the dirt and bury it.




Back home, I think of ways to cover up the accident.

I call the number that reads “Jeremy” on my phone. He picks up quickly and tells me to meet him at Lowe’s.

“What Lowe’s again?”

“Wait, which one is it?” He asks to a person off the phone.

“Oh, yea. The one next to McDonalds outside town. Look it up. See ya at 1 AM, dude.”

I say “See you there,” but he already hung up.

I wait sitting on the recliner couch staring at the blank TV.

When it is 12:58 AM, I am standing outside resting against my Mercedes in a Lowe’s parking lot. A pink Mustang pulls up and two guys dressed in oversized sweaters get out.

“Ayo! My boy, Robert. How are you doing?”

“How much is it, again? I forget. I forgot to ask on the phone. I’m sorry if I didn’t bring enough I can bring some later.” I say pulling out the money I had saved in the Frosted Flakes box.

“You’re the one that is so down to business! I remember you. You’ve been here a few times haven’t you?” A second Jeremy says eating out of a big bag of Hot Cheetos.

“Don’t worry about that yet, dude. Let’s have you sign these papers first. They are the fake things that the people up top need to verify your clone.”

“I don’t need those I already have some.” I say, thinking of the heavy body lying in the water. I can use dead Re-Robert’s social security and clone certificate for this new guy.

“Okay, then. Payment is easy.” He opens his car, while the clone Jeremy munches. What was his job?

Jeremy comes back holding a Santa Claus Pez dispenser.

“Okay so whenever you are ready just talk and the Pez will collect your da da deep voice. And little of your memory. Voice is the payment for the clone and memory is always the tax on any of these magical things.”

This can’t be real. I will be mute. Like my clone.

“Wait. How many times have I been here? Is there any other type of payment?”

“I don’t know a few times. And no sorry dude. Every time you come you lose your voice and you get a clone.”

It took me a while to think back.

“Am I the clone?” I stuttered.

“Yea, probably. There’s no way you are the original if you have your voice. Clones are complete copies so when you were made, you guys probably forgot who was the original. It happens. And you could talk so.”


“Don’t worry. You’ll be fine. You’ll be making another you. You are the same thing.”

But we aren’t. I pause staring at the two Jeremys in front of me. I can’t go to jail for my own murder. I can’t be locked up in a cage for the rest of my life. I can learn. I can make me happy. I can make my talking clone happy. If we live happy, I will live. I won’t be selfish. I have to think about him, too. Right? Then I’ll live. I have to live.

“Okay, fine.” I whisper.

“You ready?”

“Yea, I think s-”

Jeremy opened the Pez right when I assented. My voice gradually escaping me and the Santa Claus collecting my payment. The Santa Claus smiling, full. I am silent.




I am silent. I try to speak, but nothing comes out. What just happened and why did I lose my voice? I guess I decided to get a clone. Whatever, I just wonder if my clone will be hot.

“Perfect. Now let me get the Red Vine tub. It’s so fun to play with. You should really try it. It’s soft and silky and kind of like a massage.”

“Make sure you get the Bop it, too. He has to ‘Pull it.’”

“No, I thought he had to ‘Twist it.’”

“You are the clone, Jeremy. He has to ‘Pull it.’”