On the Run by Matthew McKinzie

My clone was really getting on my nerves.  That’s why I’m sitting here in a flophouse in a bad barrio of Tijuana, with the Feds hunting me down.  I mean, they shouldn’t do that–you know, just hunt down and shoot a real person like me.  I should get a trial, only clones get hunted down and shot like–like things.  It’s all in the Clone Regs, the only good thing the government has done in the last twenty years, because every year it seems like they give the damn clones more rights.  So I should have due process under the law, but when stuff gets messy you don’t know what’s going to happen next…

My clone.  I just wanted someone to do stuff for me.  Clean the apartment, take out the trash, that kind of thing.  CloneLabs Corp. says you can put a false memory in him so he thinks he’s real, but I said no, because I wanted him to know that he was my clone and that I was boss.  But it’s an interesting idea, because they’ll put a false memory in anyone who wants it, like if you want to forget about some girl you knew or if you want to think you used to be a war hero or something.  Anyway, the problem started when they offered me the different personalities for the clone.  I should have picked “Simple,” because then the clone just does what you want and doesn’t talk back.  In fact, they don’t talk much, and they’re not that bright.  But that’s perfect for what I had in mind for the thing, and maybe he could get some dumb job to help pay the rent.

But no, I picked the “Charmer” personality.  The lab techs told me that the Charmer would be smooth and classy, everybody would like him, especially the ladies.  Well, pulling in the birds has always been a chore for me–don’t know when the last time was I had a regular lady friend–so I picked the Charmer personality for the clone, figuring he’d be able to fetch me a woman when I needed one.

Yeah.  Well, the best-laid plans, as they say.  The lab techs asked me what I wanted to call him, so I said I’d call him Bob, because my name’s Rob, and Bob would be easy to remember.  So I bring the clone home, and it’s fine–he does what he’s told, and the apartment is spotless.  Then he starts going out every night, bringing home these floozy broads.  Perfect.  We’re getting laid every night.  I’m even starting to feel like I like the guy.

That only lasted a couple weeks, and then Bob brought home Sandy.  Sandy–there was something strange and strong and animal about her.  She had long, unruly black curls and skin the color of creamy caramel pudding.  When she walked she was a gazelle, and I could only imagine that in bed she was a jaguar–vicious, precise, deadly.  And I wanted nothing more than to have her in bed.

But Bob was in love with her.  He only went out with her anymore, and he started getting really uppity.  Acting like he was too good to clean the apartment, like he’s better than me, and him a clone!  Can you believe it?  It was because of Sandy, she put all kinds of ideas into his head… and he wasn’t even bringing any more women home.

Sandy would moan and squeal and laugh when they were getting it on, and it drove me nuts–her laugh was rich and roomy and so full of pleasure, I had to wrap the pillow around my head so I wouldn’t hear.  It was too much, lying in bed with my ears covered in pillow, and my hard-on waiting for a release that just wouldn’t come, because my clone was too good to bring back women for me anymore.

I said, “Bob, what’s the deal?  Get out there and bring some more women home for me!”

Bob just looked at me like I was a dog and said, “Rob, shut the hell up and get back to work.”

Can you imagine that?  A clone telling me to get to work!  I smacked him in the face, hard.  He just looked at me really cold.

“You want me to get rid of you?” he said.

“You do what I tell you,” I said.  ”You know what?  I don’t want you to bring any more women home.  You give me Sandy.  I’m going to make love to her in ways you don’t even know about.”  Sandy was sitting at the table watching us, so I winked at her.

Bob pulled back his arm like he was going to punch me, but Sandy jumped between us quick and punched me in the face.  It hurt, too, because she was not delicate.  She caught me just under the nose, and blood was everywhere.

She would have come at me again, but Bob grabbed her arms and held her back, and both of them just glared at me.  Sandy growled, “He’s smarter than you, he’s stronger than you, and he’s better than you, so back off!  You’re worth nothing.”

I didn’t know what to say.  They should outlaw that Charmer personality, because when a woman like Sandy prefers a clone to a real person like me, something is very, very wrong.  After that I would see them whispering and pointing at me and laughing.  They laughed right in my face.  Things were getting ugly fast.

I would have kicked them out of my apartment, but Sandy would wear these skimpy little slutty outfits around the place, and I couldn’t stand the idea of not seeing her body anymore.  Long, long legs in fishnets and her see-through blouses–I needed her.  And I got drunk just off the scent of her body.  Of course, they couldn’t move anywhere else because the waiting list for an apartment in greater L.A. was just under five years, unless you could pay an $8000 placement fee.

I had to have her.  I couldn’t even think straight, being around her and not being able to have her.  A week later I had an idea.  Physically, me and my clone were the same–identical.  I knew how he talked, I knew the words he used, so I just had to act like I was him, and Sandy would never know the difference.  I just had to pick the right moment… everyday the clone would hit the streets and scam money off people, lots of money, with his smooth, charmer personality.  Sandy would lie in their bed all day watching talk shows, and when he came home they would fuck.  So I put my plan into action…

I walked into the apartment at noon.  “Sandy, babe, let’s see that sweet ass!” I called out.  Bob would always come in saying something like that.

“Bob?” she said.  “Why’re you home so soon?”

“Couldn’t wait to get back to you, girl,” I said as I walked into the bedroom.  She was lying on the sheets naked–not what you’d call a modest girl–so I smacked her ass.  “I need some of your lovin’, baby.”

She smiled and moved over to make room on the bed.  First time she ever smiled at me, ever.  I tell you, my clothes came off so fast you’re head would spin.  So I slid in next to her, she was facing away from me, and I slid my hand up her leg and over her butt and she purred.  I mean, purred, for God’s sake.  She was a feral cat.

She turned around, and we started kissing and making love.  I was holding out, I didn’t want to come too soon, because it was bliss, and I wanted it to last forever.

Then she said, “Hey, you’re not Bob, you’re Rob.”

I didn’t know what to say.  How did she know?  I pulled out.  “No, baby,” I said.  “Why would you say that?  I’m Bob.”

“No, no, you’re Rob,” she said, but she was still running her hands up and down my chest and kissing me.  I didn’t get it.

“I’m Bob, Sandy.  Why are you messing with me?” I asked.

She looked a little puzzled, but then she said, “I’ve been thinking about you, Rob.”  She slid me back inside her.  “I’ve been dreaming about you.”

“Yeah?” I said.

She kissed me with big, wet kisses.  “I’ve wanted you all along,” she said.  “You’re so handsome, so strong, so sexy…”

I couldn’t believe it.  All this time, she had wanted me.

“Baby, you can have me anyway you want,” I said.

Then she laughed that rich, deep laugh–like we were partners in crime, and we had this inside joke no one else knew about.  Like we were pulling one over on my clone, that moron.  So I laughed along with her.

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” I laughed.  It came out a little awkward, but I was feeling too good to care.

She gave me another look like she was confused, but she kept riding me, up and down, and it was incredible.

Then the door to the apartment opened.  “Baby, I just made $10,000 off some rube!  We can move out of this shithole now,” yelled out Bob.

Sandy froze and her eyes were as wide as old-time silver dollars.  She pushed me off of her and literally hissed at me.  She jumped off the bed and pulled a sheet around her body.

Bob bounded into the room and stared at us–me, naked on the bed, and Sandy with her bare ass showing behind the sheet.

“He tricked me!” said Sandy, pointing at me.  “He said he was you!”

“Sandy, what are you doing?” I asked.  “You just told me you really wanted me, anyway!”

“You idiot,” she said.  “That’s a game Bob and I play.  We pretend that he’s you and that you snuck into bed with me.  And then we laugh about it because you’re such a loser!  But I–I knew there was something off, there was something different about you.”  She turned to Bob.  “I’m sorry, honey, I thought he was you!”

This whole time Bob was looking me at with murderous eyes.  He picked up the heavy, brass lamp off the dresser and tore off the lamp shade.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” I said.  “The law is really harsh for clones that kill their owners.  You’ll be shot on sight.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” he said.  “Are you out of your mind?”  He lunged and took a swing at me with the lamp.

I leaped out of bed and jumped at him.  I got lucky and got a good hold around his neck.  I was going to throttle this bastard.  But Sandy was behind me, kneeing me in the back and trying to pull me off of Bob.  That no good bitch.  She lost her balance then, and the three of us fell forward into the dresser.  Bob’s neck hit the edge of it with a sickening crack.  Sandy’s head knocked hard against the solid wood of the dresser, and I fell on top of them.  I stood up, and neither of them were moving, but Sandy was breathing and Bob wasn’t.

I didn’t waste much time getting out of there.  I took what I needed and that was it.  I suppose I could have killed Sandy and hid the bodies, but where can you hide anything these days?  There’s no room.  Besides, I wouldn’t kill a real person.  Bob was a clone, so he doesn’t count.  Messed up thing is, they’ll send you to prison for killing a clone these days.  If they don’t hunt me down and shoot me first.

But they shouldn’t do that, because I’m a real person, not a clone.  Right?  Wouldn’t it be funny if I was a clone, though… like if I had gone in to CloneLabs and had a false memory installed so that I would think I’m real and that Bob was the clone… but then they really would hunt me down and kill me on the spot… anyway, I need to get out of Tijuana, a couple guys at the bar downstairs were looking at me like they knew my story, so I gotta stay on the run… gotta go somewhere else now… but wouldn’t it be funny… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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