“Willing,” that was the word they used: forever willing and forever yours.
We are the most beautiful women in the world. They, these men from the city, they came for us. Well, not for us. They came for her. But they settled for us: her skin, her hair, her lips, her nose, her blood, her guts, and fuckable warm flesh.
They never said how or where they found her. She was in a village. The only man in the village was her father, and he would not let them take her. In the night, they carried us in a lock of hair. Her “DNA,” or so I am told. They stole us from her. They loved us. They made more of us, sold us as clones:
The Most Beautiful Woman in the World: Available for lease or ownership.
The “Common Man” loved us. Some hurt us, some idolized us. Like all possessions, they neglected us. Into the closet of refuse with the Barbies and blow-up dolls. They left us locked in the room all day and complained when they found us dead. Some didn’t stop even then. They made us without care, and we died too soon.
“It’s bad for business,” they said.
They made models healthier; we lasted longer:
The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, Model 2.0. Requires only one meal a day, lasts a lifetime.
Production slowed. It was bad for business. The men grew old and became disinterested. They cried a lot and tried to talk to us. But we didn’t have anything to say. They died; we sat and waited to be collected. It was all very boring.
Then someone said, “Men want to talk to the beautiful girl.”
So, they gave us a voice, but we didn’t know anything. So, they gave us a story, and they called it “product knowledge.”
The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, Model 3.0: Walking, talking, loving. Rescued from the clutches of an abusive father and preserved. Hear her story. Fall in love all over again with this upgrade. Now available with normalized aging.
Production almost stopped completely when the world realized clones, like humans, can gain weight. Until this time, the men had fed us whatever they could get their hands on. A company came out with a product similar to dog food that was cost-efficient. But, we spent most of our days in bed, and soon our bodies wore out. The real hit came when a famous talk show host gave a speech during one of his shows.
“So, boys, how are you liking your new ladies?”
Cheer cheer woot woot
“I’m having this problem, see. I upgraded to the new model, pretty little thing, buck five, twenty of it in her chest, right out of the box. “
Cheer cheer woot woot
I’ve had her for a month, and she’s packed 30 pounds right onto her gut. It’s like going to bed with my ex-wife! I pay a small fortune for something that gains weight without even cooking my damn dinner!”
It was bad for business. They sued the company that made the clone food. They added chemicals that ate away fat particles. Production stabilized.
When we broke or got sick the customers were disappointed. It was bad for business.
One letter read:
To whom it may concern,
I paid a fortune for this thing. I refuse to pay hospital bills on top of it.
A Very Unsatisfied Customer.
I belonged to that unsatisfied customer. He had me fixed. They put a metal thing inside me. It hurt. At night, it made noise. I couldn’t sleep; he couldn’t sleep.
He yelled at me, “I wanted a woman, not a toy!” Then he climbed on top of me and cried.
All the real women have gone away. He paced around and talked to himself. He looked at me, then looked at himself. He threw me down, but nothing happened. He stopped leaving the house. Every morning he rolled over, unslept, and stared at me. I stared back and waited.
“Fuck you,” he said one morning as we lay in bed.
“I love you more than anything,” I told him.
“Fuck you, fuck you, FUCK!” He got up and walked out of the bedroom, turned, and locked the door. I heard him walk to the kitchen. I heard him open and close the fridge, turn on the TV. Every day this happened. He sat and stared at me for hours, telling me how beautiful I was, until he was blue in the face with anger. I wanted to help him, but he didn’t want me anymore. Me is all I am. Every sleepless night, as soon as he lies down next to me, I place my head on his chest and pretend to sleep.
One day he comes into the bedroom holding a knife.
“Do you love me?” he asks.
“I love you more than anything,” I tell him.
He slits his own throat and bleeds out, onto the bedroom floor. I’m still on the bed. I can feel myself shutting down. I sit down on the floor next to his body and curl up to his open arm, but he doesn’t move.
“This one is busted,” said one of the men who found me a week later.
“Bring her back to the factory and have her decommissioned.”
One of the men picked me up and cradled me in his arms as the other put my man in a long black bag.
I know they are going to kill me, but I don’t care. It seems a lot like sleep. I hope it is a lot like sleep.
I miss sleep.
Benjamin Davis is currently an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea. He spends his time taking completely ordinary experiences and turning them into exceptionally weird stories for, primarily, his own amusement and to make some sense out of life. His other work can be found in LQQK Magazine and Flash Fiction World. When he is not writing, he can be found at the bar.
Lead image: “Pseudo-mani” (via Flickr user Ariel H.)