How I Learned to Love My Clones

An essay by Dr. Cortico Vox as procured by Folly Blaine
Illustration by Justine McGreevy

When I began my illustrious career as “mad” scientist, I considered clones a necessary evil. It pains me to admit this now, but I failed to see my clones as individuals, but rather, they were mere pawns in my Master Genetic Revivification Plan–my biological fail-safes, my backups … but not my friends.

Zeke showed me a different way.

Twenty-five clones had come before Zeke. I had laddered their arrivals so each instantiation would occur fortnightly, beginning with Abe on January 1 and ending with Zeke after Christmas–as an aside, I have never been shy about my fondness for stockings and angel-topped evergreens.

Following this schedule, the first batch of clones would be activated over the course of one year, and advance-aged to seven, so as to become pliable and productive servants in my employ while they waited to be butchered for parts.

Unfortunately, I consumed too much egg nog while I waited for Santa, and awoke on the day of Zeke’s creation with a splitting headache and a ravenous thirst–which is to say, I was distracted.

And so I made a mistake that would change the course of my life.

How I Learned to Love My Clones

When I awoke I was surrounded by all twenty-six clones. Without a word Zeke held up a mirror and let me have a good long look.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2012 collection.

Dr. Cortico Vox prefers ice to fire and trains to boats. He is a fourth generation spelunker with no particular allergies, ailments, or weaknesses that would be relevant to his enemies. In addition to his dedication to the mad arts, he is a well-documented supporter of the Santa agenda, and eagerly anticipates his lump of coal each December 25th. In his spare time, Vox programs Christmas lights to hypnotize children on Santa’s good list into doing terrible things, and he homeschools his twenty-six clones for science.

Folly Blaine lives in Seattle, Washington. Her work has appeared in Every Day Fiction, Flashes in the Dark, 10Flash Quarterly, and in the anthology Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations. Her horror story, “Last of the Soul Eaters,” will be appearing in an upcoming anthology edited by Kasey Lansdale, Fresh Blood & Old Bones. Visit Folly online at Maybe It Was the Moonshine (

Justine McGreevy is a slowly recovering perfectionist, writer, and artist. She creates realities to make our own seem slightly less terrifying. Her work can be viewed at and you can follow her on Twitter @Fickle_Muse.

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