I whisper to my wife in bed beside me, "Honey, are you asleep?" No response. She must be. She could be faking it. That's what I was doing for the last three hours. A bit louder, "Sweetie?" Still no answer.I smile and feel the urge to laugh out loud maniacally but that could botch everything. I slowly push the blankets off and put one foot lightly onto the floor. It creaks. I pause, hold my breath, and glance furtively in the dark. Not that I see anything but I can tell she isnít budging. I eke my other foot out, stand up and tiptoe to the bedroom door. Down the stairs I creep. Itís like Christmas Day. I am about to give myself the gift of a lifetime. My wife sure doesnít give it to me anymore. I stop momentarily and turn to squint upstairs. She's still asleep. I rub my hands and proceed. I shouldnít think these foul thoughts about her. After all, we have been married for, what, ten years. Boredom slips in and breaks up the "team." We had fun before but now whenever I get the urge to fool around she rolls over and makes excuses. But that would not happen anymore thanks to Bella Montego. She is that gorgeous singer with the long flowing brown hair. My wife's short, puffy red hair is too reserved. It is just so lifeless. Bella Montego is full of energy and belts out a melody that vibrates my whole body. I get the shakes just thinking about it. And she's going to be mine all mine. Not the real Bella Montego, but a detailed, luscious facsimile of her. When my wife says no I'll turn to Bella Montego, who would not deny her creator. My cloning equipment is in perfect shape. My wife doesn't know what I'm tinkering with down in the cellar. I tinker all of the time. It takes moments to move the machinery into place and twist a few screws. Then I will flip on the switch and vůila, the new Bella Montego. I reach into my pajama pockets and grab the autographed photograph to admire her again. Last month I wrote her a letter and asked for her autograph. I even sent a self-addressed stamped envelope for her to use. And last month I got it back. She is dressed, just barely, in a two piece bright yellow and red bikini. My wife would fall out of one of those and I don't mean she wears it loosely. Bella Montego was meant to be in one of those all of the time. When I am not admiring the picture the envelope remains sealed in a zipper bag. I have to be very careful. I turn the last knob and switch on the cloning device. It hums quietly. Isn't modern technology wonderful? It will only take a few minutes now. I put my gloves on and place the envelope on the sending plate. Theoretically, the sending plate will analyze the DNA residue on the envelope and create a whole new clone of Bella Montego. When her tongue licked the envelope shut the transfer of DNA to the envelope was complete. My own ingenuity astounds me. The lights on the control panel flicker and the receiving plate steams up. The first signs of life can now be seen! The feet formed first. The size of Bella Montego's feet surprise me. They must be a size twelve. Next the ankles and the legs. Hairy legs? Something is wrong. The legs are bigger than I expect. Perhaps she didnít shave her legs that day. I become breathless as I anticipate the next body part I will see. Above the legs there is only one thing and...and...she doesnít have it! "What the Hell?" I cry as I see that thing between her legs. It was a thing that isnít supposed to be between Bella Montego's legs. And I thought the feet were big. This is impossible. The rest of the body forms. Body hair covers his/her stomach. I am shattered. I frantically grab knobs. Maybe I can adjust it somehow. Body hair covers his chest and his muscular arms sprouted from his shoulder. The neck forms next and a beard covers a bony face. The rest of his facial features become clear. My mouth is now wide with amazement. My stomach hurts. I feel my eyes welling with tears. The naked man looks at me smugly. I look around and up and down. My wife promenades into the room with a puzzled look on her face. My face turns beat red. "What on earth?" she exclaims. "I can explain...I...I...it's like this...some guy sold me this equipment and its faulty, my love," I stammer and wince. She tosses back her head astonished. She smiles as she looks over the manís body. I instinctively cup my hands over my own private parts and giggled nervously. "It's the mailman," she says without emotion. I cough and freeze in my tracks. What a kick in the gut. I glare at the machine and shout, Why hadn't I thought of that before? The mailmanís hot sweaty, hand touched the envelope after Bella Montego. What have I done? I look to my wife for an answer but it is too late. She and the mailman are already out the door, hand in hand. The precious photograph flutters quietly to the floor.
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