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  • Writer's picturebucky

"Clone, Poll" (2022)

๐šŒ๐š•๐š˜๐š—๐šŽ, ๐š™๐š˜๐š•๐š•;

Thirty-six to one; the results of the poll had swayed near-unanimously in Baxter's favour. A startling victory, the tall twenty-something stood atop a podium, surrounded by baying cheers and rapturous applause. He was an unassuming human being - narrow shoulders and spindly legs, plain clothes, a long nose and green eyes. His hair stuck out in thick, auburn tufts, seemingly impossible to tame. He was, simply, Baxter Norman.

Sheepishly waving at the adoring crowds, Baxter began his shuffling steps towards the chamber. It would be a squeeze - the doorway peaked just below the crest of his head. It was a sleek-looking piece of tech -- all white plastic and chrome accents. Very modern, very fashionable, the miracle of life, bought to you by Steve Jobs.

Ducking inside, Baxter pulled the door closed behind him. It was, as he expected, a tight fit, but according to the televised introduction he'd watched earlier, he wouldn't be in there for long.

Staring at the closed door ahead of him, Baxter heard clipped footsteps approach the chamber. Small beeps followed as somebody on the outside pressed a series of touch-screen buttons and, within a few seconds, the chamber began to whir and hum. The heat inside grew and grew, an uncomfortable warmth quickly becoming an unbearable furnace. Just as Baxter felt his flesh begin to blister, a brief flash of light halted the process altogether, and, with steam rolling out into the room, the door swung open.

Peering out through sweat dripping from his eyelashes, Baxter took a shuddering step into the room. The light stung his eyes, and the rubber on the soles of his sneakers had melted, leaving gloopy footprints behind him. But just ahead, stepping from his own just-too-small chamber, was another, picture-perfect Baxter Norman.

The same gangly frame and thicket of ginger hair, the same long nose and green eyes. This Baxter, the clone, took one, two, three shambling steps forwards, before breaking into an inhuman sprint towards the original Baxter Norman.

Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2022:

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