Teaser from an Untitled Work in Progress

Sculpture at the Redmond Public LibraryThis story’s still deciding whether it’s a comedy or a tragedy. I suspect a little of both.

When he realized how upset his wife was, George wondered if he might have miscalculated. Normally a quiet and loving partner, she was unpacking the dishwasher with a great deal of clattering and muttering.

“It’s not as though you even ever dated her!” she said, slamming a series of mugs into the cupboard.

“I don’t see what the problem is,” he replied, watching as she swept up the basket of cutlery and began throwing it into a drawer to jangle against his nerves. “I’ve left you everything. All I did was will her a copy!”

She turned, resting her hands on her hips. “You’re leaving her a copy of your personality. Essentially yourself.”

“No,” he said. “I’m leaving that to you. You’ll have me on tape, you’ll be able to transfer me into some mechanical form to keep you company. I just thought Janice might like one too.”

“Why?” Mary’s glare said she had her own suspicions.

George refused to dignify them with a reply. He’d been faithful to her all his life. A good husband. He could be allowed his own eccentricities, and If leaving a copy of himself, a digital copy created from a barrage of tests and brain scans and gathered data, to an old friend was one of those eccentricities, then he didn’t really see where Mary had the right to say much about it. She could leave her own copy or copies to her own friends.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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