My name. Do not concern yourself with such insignificant details. My name is of no real import, this I promise you. The officers of this hell like prison, like the media simply refer to me as “The Madman” and I am perfectly content to accept this title.
Ah but I suppose you would rather hear the harsh, mournful tale I've to tell rather than this meaningless babble in regards to nomenclature am I incorrect?
Back perhaps three weeks now, merely one day after the inception of my incarceration, the officers placed me in front of those little phone booth type things you see on the television shows, where the criminals speak to their friends and family, with the glass separating them and full knowledge that the conversation is being recorded. You know of what I speak.
Having been led to this little hole I sat myself down and saw on the other end of the glass the man who for so many years I had called friend. My Benedict Arnold.
The phone fell onto my ear and sound waves reproducing a voice followed. With this we began to talk. We talked of times of old. We talked of our youth. We recalled the unfortunate events that caused me to be labeled a Madman.
I was arguably the brightest chap Harvard had ever had the grand pleasure of welcoming to its doorstep they should have given me a full scholarship instead of the insulting 25% their unsatisfactory payments covered. Nonetheless I had dreamt of this school since boyhood and even if they were determined to treat me with such an unfairness I was equally determined to show them why I was the best of them all, to show them why they were unworthy of my presence.
I excelled in the field of Biology and was quite truly the envy of all my pupils and the diamond in my professor's eye, adored by all. In class I was attentive to the information passed by the professor and always questioned in order to discover even the most insignificant of details in my quest to prove my greatness.
Time passed here and I found myself frequently competing with a lad named Harry. Harry, though it pains me to admit it, was of greater physical strength, stature, and appeal than I, however contrary to popular belief of the breakfast table intellectuals you find anymore, I possessed the greater intellect! Harry wishes he could begin to understand my mind! How I loathed him!
The day finally came when the professor informed of our final project under his rule. I had prepared for this extensively in truth, I was nearly half done before the announcement and I was to prove once and for all that I was far superior to that insignificant Insect Harry. With the information having been bestowed upon the class I began to work even more tirelessly, slaving at all free moments over my increasingly grotesque computer, checking, testing, considering, hypothesizing, re-evaluating,and condensing my theories.
Finally my day to shine came, a rainy day ironically, and with great pride I presented my thesis as eloquently as any man could ever dream of doing. I explained thoroughly and in grand detail what I believed - NO! What I knew! Was the key to stable cloning of any living being.
How they mocked me! How dare they question my superiority of not just them but of all men! How dare they accuse me of creating ill developed theories based primarily upon conjecture! The fools! How could they not see what to me was so clear! How wretched they are! Even my professor, who I so ardently adored, made these atrocious accusations as though he were God himself! May God smite him! May God smite them all!
With anger, fury, embarrassment, and despair filling me I cobbled together my things and retired to my living quarters upon the campus grounds. My insufferable roommate a buffoon who did not deserve to attend even the worst of colleges endlessly plagued me with obnoxious interrogations of the events that had just transpired. I was relieved finally when my roommate was forced to vacate for his next class, which I assume he was failing.
Alone at last I lay on my bed and considered the events that had just occurred. Harry, Harry entered my mind repeatedly, and then I saw the solution, there was no other way. I had to kill him.
I did kill him.
When night draped over the sky like an oil coloured piece of art I exited my dormitory in the most complete silence; possessing on my person only a steak knife I had procured from the culinary arts class. I was ever cautious, keeping low, and I was determined to avoid any inebriated fools who may cross my path, or myself, face the death possessed knife I carried.
Though perhaps too slow from the caution I felt so insistent upon I did finally arrive at the dorm room of the Insect Harry. The Reaper had come for him.
Initially I attempted to pick his lock with a paper clip, however I quickly found this method to produce no success and in silent disdain I ran around to the outside of his ground level room. I was astounded by the luck I had! Not only was the window open but Harry's hideous throat lay just beneath the seal!
I cut away the mosquito netting that separated me from my target and took relish as I placed the blade upon his jugular and covered his mouth. It was at this moment that his eyes shot open and he saw me with a wide grin. It didn't matter that he saw me though of course.
With this deed done I knew I could no longer remain at this campus and so I shambled into my car facing the chill of the snow and peeled away.
I drove for miles, I knew exactly where I was headed. My family possesses great wealth and we own many different properties spread through multiple nations. I set my sights for the one in the mountains of Canada.
I have fond memories of that little cabin. Actually I'd hardly call it little, or a cabin for that matter, more of a rudimentary mansion if you will. Dark and foreboding with a looming shadow, inspiring dread in any who approached it.
It was here that I discovered my love for the art of brushes and paint. The deep purple coloured night sky and the silver snow contrasted beautifully and I had enjoyed to capture this in my boyhood. Having returned here I made certain to reengage in this pursuit and I had purchased many gallons of paint from a small art store after crossing the Canadian border. But I did not paint the landscape as I had before. Rather I took the most beautiful colours I had selected at the shop and spread them across the walls in a representation of me and all of my glory.
I painted myself seated upon a high horse like Napoleon though I would never have been as horrid at leading a military force as that fool! I painted upon the wall above the headboard of the master bed what was at that time my greatest accomplishment, the murder of Harry. Wonderful art.
Having situated myself in that house for what was perhaps a week I determined it was time to begin work upon my masterpiece. Complicated machinery would be required to make the clone of the perfect human, myself, but I knew that it would not be long be for I rejoiced looking upon my wonderful form which was much so greater than the grotesque and wretched forms of the men with whom I had been acquainted for all my life.
So I gathered the materials to build the machine which could spawn for me a lifeform with my exact genetic code. The Canadian landscape ensured me great difficulty in doing this as all my movements had to be made in the utmost secrecy and it was difficult to avoid being seen with large pieces of metal which would be the frame of the device.
Two months passed if I recollect correctly. By this point the device was nearly complete, though the missing component was not considerably vital I refused to allow myself to welcome such a wonderful creature into the world without having readied for him, a perfect vessel, to animate his perfect form.
The walls had become cluttered with the paintings that portrayed my grandeur and so the floor of my mountain home became my new canvas. As I had with the walls I plastered beautiful intricacies of myself upon the floor. In the main room I dedicated a very special painting. It displayed my clone's growth in his chamber. It started with a small dot which was sort of a young fetus but the way one grows a clone is so different from the way one births a new man and so this is not an accurate term, but I digress. From there one could see how the clone grew larger and more pleasant to the eye gradually. It appeared to pass through the stage of an infant where the fingers are small but strong and the eyes large and ever watchful. It followed through to appear just as I had in my boyhood days, my creation had my same lovely dark gold hair and the development of strong facial features. From the tale the picture told you could see my clone reach the teenage years and was accursed with the same abhorred acne which had possessed my face, how fortunate he was that he did not have to bear through the same trials for that as I had. Finally what was displayed in the final image was what looked precisely like me in my current age floating in a green coloured tank. Pure perfection.
I was satisfied with the replica in the tube and the reflection of it upon the floor. The night I completed the painting I spoke to it wishing the painting (and by extension my clone) a good sleep. I smiled and retired to my bedroom where the other paintings of myself filled my heart with glee as I slumbered.
The next morn I entered my lab ready to finally awaken my creation. Before releasing him I found myself admiring his beauty. He was in fact more beautiful than I for he possessed all ten of his toes were as I had nine due to an accident from my youth, the only deformity upon my otherwise perfect form. I must confess I envied my clone some for this very reason, but I digress.
I sat before my computer entered a few commands and the tank which held my clone slowly drained and then opened.
He groaned and opened his eyes with some effort moving his head stiffly to gain his bearings. He then, with movements even more stiff, exited the tank which for so long had confined him.
“Where am I?” Quoth he in a crude voice. “Who are you? Why is my vision so blurry?” He then clasped his head.
“What's wrong?” I was quick to inquire fearing I had made some mistake in the cloning process.
“Headache.” The one worded reply.
“It will pass I'm sure.” I replied. “You are in the fine home in Canada you no doubt recall.”
“Where I learned to paint?”
“The very same.”
“Why am I here?”
“It is a long story. Tell me, what do you last recall?”
He sat down against a wall and was silent there for some time.
“I was about to explain my exceptional theory of cloning to my class. My god! The class! I must leave at once!”
“It has already passed.”
“So I missed it!”
“You were not yet... alive when it occurred.”
“What madness do you speak! How dare you suggest I am incapable of recalling my own life! How ever foolish of you!”
“You do not understand. How can I explain this without it being too much of a shock.”
“Hurry.” He implored.
“Your theory was correct, and you are the fruit of the labors.” Quoth I to him.
“You expect me to believe I am your clone!”
“Check your feet!”
“You've ten toes.”
Confused my clone reached down a hand and felt his feet clearly expecting to find nine toes, as he recoiled in pure shock when he found ten.
“Impossible! My- your- our theory worked?”
“Relate to me all the details of what happened during that class and the events that followed.”
And so I did as he requested. In the best way I could I made my actions clear, I must confess I was surprised to discover he did not fully understand why I had acted as I had, he seemed angry in fact and finally he stood.
“My vision has returned.” He spake. “Or come for the first time I suppose.”
“I am delighted to hear that.”
“You!” He pointed a loathsome finger my way. “You! You have doomed me! Both of us! Because of your foolish actions you made with no thought!”
“I had to kill Harry! His extinction was the only option!”
“It is not that I argue, but the manner in which you carried it out; cretin! I cannot believe one who posses my mind could act so rashly!”
My creation charged at me in the deepest of anger, I was certain he intended to slaughter me. We flung each other about my laboratory destroying my equipment even the very instruments which had given him life. For some time like this we fought until finally in a feat which required all my strength I pushed the brute out of the window. He fell on his back and seemed to fall out of consciousness. I to passed out.
I awoke some time later, precisely how much later cannot be said. I looked out the broken window and seeing tracks in the snow determined my creation had decided to flee and not return, after all it is what I would have done.
Crestfallen, I retired to the room where I had painted his progress upon the floor. For the first time in my long career I could not bear the sight of my work. I considered setting the whole house aflame but I was distracted by a voice.
It was that of my friend, the one I mentioned earlier, the Benedict Arnold.
Foolishly I related the entirety of my tale to him after he promised to keep it in the most secretive corner of his mind. I should not have been filled with such shock and horror when my pleasant sleep was interrupted by police officers.
And so I sat there relating the details to my friend through the glass and phone wires.
“I'm sorry.” Quoth he. “But, when I saw how you had no concern for what this mad clone of yours might do- you left me with no choice. What of the innocents he might harm?”
“The innocent will rest in the peace they're given in death.” I replied.
“That's entirely unacceptable!”
“And your behaviour was not equally?”
“What are you talking about?”
I sat silent for a moment compiling my thoughts.
“Do you recall my friend the illness which overtook you not so long ago?”
“What does that have to do with any of this?”
“Do you recall how the shots of penicillin were barely enough to sustain you? Do you recall?”
“I remember! What's your point?”
“Did they ever inform you that your insurance refused to cover that cost? Did they ever inform you that I was the one who paid for that?”
“Well, I suppose that was my doing as I told them to have it arranged as such, so I can not be entirely upset over that. That is not my point, however. My point is I was a fair friend. You have been a traitor.”
“I couldn't let you walk.”
“How much were you paid?”
“How much did they pay you to sell me out! I'm a scientist! A master of design! I knew exactly what I was doing! You! You felt like a caged bird that no one listens to anymore! And so you sold me out!” At this point my usually calm temper broke free of its chains and I began to use the telephone like a mountaineers icepick upon the glass that kept us apart until the officers returned me to my cell.
In my cell I sat silent in anger recalling the events that placed me here. That is until, I noticed something odd. But surely it was impossible, or so I tried to convince myself. As I looked closer I knew it could not be denied. I had ten toes.
© Copyright 2016 Akisute. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Science Fiction
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Short Story / Science Fiction
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