Jay wanted to multiply himself into ten in order to live as many lives at once as he could. He wanted to be an artist, so he’d make an artist self. He wanted to be a scholar, so he’d make a scholar. He wanted to be a writer, a boxer, a scientist, a sailor, a hunter, a sculptor, a fisherman, and a politician. He wanted to have mastery of all of those roles, and oversee all his lives, and pretend he was just one man.
He devoted his one life to science, in the field of biology. Cloning was already possible–in fact, it was becoming common among animals. The laws were still hazy around human cloning. Jay didn’t care.
When he became confident he perfected the science, he made the first son of Jay. Jayson was an exact replica, and when his eyes opened in the tube, he realized he was one of his own experiments.
“I want to be the artist,” said Jayson.
“Very well,” said Jay. “I have some basic equipment here in the lab. Some papers, pens. Feel free to get started drawing what you see.”
At once, Jayson began to draw beakers and boilers and test tubes and cryo chambers.
The second clone, Jason, also wanted to be an artist.
“I’m afraid I’ve made a clone already,” said Jay. “He wanted to be the artist.”
Jason said, “I see.” Jayson waved at him. Jason waved back. “This is rather surreal. I suppose I’ll be the sailor.”
“I’ve some nautical texts for you to begin your studies,” said Jay.
“I know,” said Jason, and he sat down next to Jayson and read.
Jacen, the third, also wanted to be an artist. He settled on writer, since sailor was taken.
And one by one the clones came out of the chamber like printed copies, and one by one they took their roles and dedicated themselves to learning and mastering their craft.
When the tenth clone came out, Jay realized he made one too many. He realized he wanted ten of himself, and mistakenly miscounted himself and created ten clones.
“I’d like to be the artist,” said Jaesin.
Then both Jay and Jaesin and the other sons of Jay looked at each other, counted, and realized their folly.
“We could have two artists,” said Jaesin, though he wasn’t convinced.
“The plan was ten,” said Jay. “No more, no less.”
“Please. You have no right. I’m you. I can be you. This is sui–”
And the cryo chamber closed with the press of a button. The gas started up. Jaesin banged and banged on the plastic casing. Then he was silent.
The sons of Jay watched their father. They all would have done the same thing.
Day 293’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Deep freezer,” “One too many,” and, “Decimation.”
Little did Jay know at least two of his clones would marry each other. Funny how these things go.