Anonymous-9's Crime Fiction Choice
My story choice, because of its action and adventure plus heart, is “Six Bullets for John Carter,” by Chad Eagleton, published by Beat to a Pulp in 2009, and archived under the science fiction genre.
In a futuristic world where love and intimacy are rare, even obsolete, the unnamed hero of the story steals DNA from an unknown girl on a train and clones her. As she “develops” in a tank, he feels love for her, and her “birth” awakens the emotional life within him,
“But no one prepared him for the long wait, watching the cells begin to coalesce, seeing the body form and move and swim in the nutrient soup. No one told him about the feeling he'd get in the pit of his stomach when the eyes opened and stared at him.”
He originally created this girl to sell to “John Carter” a generic name for those rich enough to buy black market human clones. But in the middle of the sales negotiation, the hero backs out, and gets punished for it.
“The bodyguard's first punch splattered his nose. The second popped his chin back, clattering his teeth together as his attacker stomped on his instep. The third...”
He loses his girl to John Carter, but returns for revenge. Successful, he takes a fatal bullet in the process. While dying…
“He looked up at the twin moons staring down at him with full, silvery eyes, and said, aloud, "But I know who I am...for the first time."
On the simplest level it’s the story of a man taking revenge. Dig a little deeper, and there’s an emotional through line that explores love, leading to a final discovery of self.
Chad Eagleton has recently received a Spinetingler Magazine nomination for Best Short Story on the Web 2011.
Find out more about Chad Eagleton and his work at http://cathodeangel.blogspot.com/
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