The Clone Factor

A short story

N.A. Turner
16 min readAug 26, 2021


Original illustration by Jonat Deelstra

He glanced over to the dance floor to try and catch a glimpse of her. All of his fellow students were enjoying themselves dancing. It was the Christmas formal. At last, he found her. Her head tilted back in laughter. She was dancing with Zach. His best friend. Or was he? Perhaps he only befriended Zach to be near her.

Suddenly, she caught his eye and smiled at him. His stomach turned. That smile could wipe away all his sorrows and fears. For a brief moment, he didn’t feel alone in this world.

She untied her hands from Zach’s and made her way through the crowd towards him.

“Hi there Sim, why don’t you come and join us?” she teased. Sim could tell she’d been drinking. She looked at him and he didn’t know where to look. He felt exposed.

Sim snapped out of it and returned to the present, to her eyes. His face softened and he smiled back at her. “You know I don’t dance, Nal.”

He called her Nala and she called him Simba, after their favorite movie.

She sighed and rolled her eyes. He hated it when she did that. He looked at her lips. Her lower lip was fuller than her upper lip. They reminded him of peaches. He could write poems about her lips alone. He had, actually, even though he was far from a creative person.

Nala leaned into him and pouted her lips to kiss him on the cheek. “Ok, see you later then at Zach’s?”

Suddenly, Sim panicked. “Uh, no … I … eh … have plans,” he stammered.

Nala lifted her left eyebrow in surprise. “Don’t shut yourself off from the world, Sim. Live a little.” Again, that smile. Sim studied the wrinkles in the corner of her eyes, the dimple in her right cheek. The universe was playing a trick on him, he was sure of it.

“Promise,” he said. Then, he turned around and left the awful dance. Tonight, she would be ready.

He’d been working on it for months. He bought it from a Japanese man who’d successfully cloned his deceased wife. Sim just needed to tweak the machine and reprogram it. It looked like an elevator made of glass, only the edges were made of steel. The control panel was attached to the door and multiple cables led to computer screens.



N.A. Turner

I write about writing & creativity. Short story writer and novelist. Amazon best-selling author. Free eBook with writing tips: