3 of 5 stars.
This vignette explores possible motivations and consequences of human cloning from a close-but-not-involved perspective. It does not resolve the set-up, nor develop it further into a story.
Paige receives a disturbing voice message from Denise, her childhood BFF who’s the mother of Paige’s goddaughter. The message announces that Denise’s husband has left and that Paige needs to take goddaughter, Neecy, for the better welfare of the child–Denise is losing it.
Paige is haunted by memories of Denise’s terrible childhood: the bruises from her father, the incest and STD at the hands of her uncle, the multi-abortion pills through high school. Paige’s mother admonished Paige to take care of Denise, because no one else would . . .
Paige may have failed in that regard, but now she has a second chance in Neecy, Denise’s human trial clone . . .
Appearing in the anthology, Ghost Summer, this short story first appeared in Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora, ed. Sheree R. Thomas (Aspect / Warner Books).
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