In a fiction writing class about seven years ago I had an assignment was to parody a classic short story. The choices were “The Nose” by Gogol, I think a “A Dream” by Kafka, and “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville. By parody, they wanted a sentence by sentence imitation of the plot; so a science fiction version of an early 19th century short story feels pretty… odd. It’s pretty rough, but I’ve always been proud of this.
Evangeline the Cloner
It’s not easy being a small business owner and a single mother. Not only do you have a man’s concerns of bookkeeping, advertising, and dealing with big chain clinics, but you have menopause and teenage brats to deal with. And being in the walk-in clinic business? You’re always dealing with the new Big Chain Place that’s opening down the road. But they don’t last long. Everyone knows Tia’s Body Shop is the only place to go when bleeding from your carotid artery. Fast, friendly, and efficient service is our promise and we stick to it. There is also a bonus cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows for all walk-ins. Says so right on our door.
The only hard part about that job is dealing with cloners. It’s part of the job requirement, I think, to be completely wacko. You could probably write a detailed biography of any cloner and you’d have a page-turner worthy of the President Winfrey Memorial Book Club. You wouldn’t have to exaggerate, there’d be enough sordid details and eye-opening anecdotes in their lives to keep even the most jaded reader entertained. But Evangeline….