“Happy Families”

Too much love can kill, I guess.

beesI had a friend at school whose aunt started a company to save the bees. And the frogs and the Siberian tigers and the pandas and all the other animals that were dying out around the world. All she needed was one living specimen and she could guarantee that they would never go extinct.

Her idea was simple. She’d put that last specimen into a fabber she had had made especially and take a pattern of it. Once she had that pattern, no matter what happened to the rest of the species, there’d still be that one specimen, forever and ever. She could fab a new one every time the old one died. Somewhere along the way people discovered that they could use her service for pets, and that was when it really took off.

All was going well until there was an accident. An elephant got loose or something like that. Her husband was killed, and her baby son nearly died. Joey, I think the boy’s name was. When Joey was all better, she decided she would go one step further than just saving endangered animals. She would take a pattern of Joey himself, so if anything like that happened again, she could bring him back too.

Totally illegal, right? But she had already lost her husband and was terrified she’d lose her son as well. I can totally understand why she did it. Anyone who’s a parent would, although none of us would do what she did next. Probably.

Kids grow up. They change. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. You love them at every age regardless–but at the same time you miss the younger ones when they’re gone. The baby, the toddler, the preschooler–you never want to let them go.

Maybe it was the shock of nearly losing Joey the baby once already. Or maybe it was Joey doing that thing that all kids do, of saying “I hate you!”, and his mother realising that she was going to lose him eventually, no matter what she did. Maybe it was something else entirely.

Anyway, she brought out that pattern and recreated Joey the baby all over again, even though the original was still alive, just older.

So now she had two  of him . . . and then a year or so later it was three, because she kept on missing the baby, even with two older Joeys in the house already . . . and then four of him, five, six . . .

How long she could have kept this up, I don’t know. Someone would have noticed eventually, I guess, so it couldn’t have gone on forever. What stopped it in the end was Joey himself. And here’s something else I totally get, although of course I think it’s horrible. Big families are hard. Younger siblings are hard. Feeling like your parents don’t love you, that’s the hardest thing of all.

Or perhaps Joey was just screwed up by the accident when he was a baby. Maybe something like this would’ve happened no matter what his mother did.

Joey took a gun one night and killed her and all the other versions of himself. Then he wiped the pattern and called the peacekeepers. He was charged with something weird like multiple counts of suicide and locked in solitary confinement. He’s still alive today. They say he doesn’t mind his own company . . . but likes being alone much better.


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