For chapter one please go to my web page at www.executiveobgynpc.net/clonediaries.
Dear Ms. Vespuci,
A few weeks ago I wrote to discuss a proposal offered by my client regarding your amazing first novel TRICIA TIMELESS. My client has requested that I repeat the offer. She is captivated by your characters and thrilled with much of the conversation between your protagonist and the true villain in your tale, science. Surely you are aware of the effects of global warming on all of our lives? Genetic manipulation may hold the key to the survival of our very species. Your novel can provide a door that opens minds to the possiblities of cloning. But you need a wider aurdience than the readers of the world. Imagine yourself as a screen writer.
Please respond to this office with your decision.
Very truly yours,
Isabelle folded the letter and placed it back in her knapsack. It bothered her. She sipped the foam from the warm beer as she watched the door for Sean. She ran her finger around the edge of the glass. She pulled her blackberry from her pocket and sent him another text message. "Where the hell are you?" She dialed the number for his flat and then his office at Hooker and Gaff. Finally she paid her check and walked back to the campus. She stood for a moment with her hands rammed into her pockets and watched the low moon over Ireland.
Becky Sue opened the shutters and leaned far out the window. The glow of liquid moonlight pouring into the window made her shiver. "The travel guides are right" She exclaimed. "The moon in Ireland is the most beaurtiful moon in the entire world." She sighed, wishing she had been there sooner. "Ah, but at least I finally arrived at the party!"
It had been three weeks since John Soloman's last letter to Isabelle Vespucci. Becky hoped the Italian name did not mean she was affiliated with organized crime. Becky had not met many Italians, and she chastised herself for making stereotypic references in her head. She apologized to the Universe. She liked pasta, olive oil, and red wine, but she had never been to Naples or Rome or Florence. "Next trip" she promised herself. This trip was business. This was the first time Becky Sue had traveled North of the Mason Dixon line or west of the Mississippi except in fiction.
"Just look at me!" She was proud of herself. When her college classmates were backpacking and sleeping in hostels all over Europe, Becky was home doing all those things dutiful daughter things girls do at home. "I hope he doesn't think I'm uneducated because I have not traveled" she thought. "Or because I'm from the South."
She spent the weekend walking over country roads. On Monday she caught a cab. The cabbie dropped her off at the curb and pointed to the front door of the publishing house Hooker and Gaff.
"There you go, Miss" he said pleasantly tipping his hat. From her first step onto Irish soil it seemed to Becky Sue that the whole country was there to please her. She smiled gratefully. It did not matter to her that these pleasantries were part of a national hospitality campaign. She felt as thought every kindness extended validated her as a person of worth. She smiled at the builiding. Sean was inside by now. She was sure. He would help her find the tracks leading to the theft of her manuscripts. Barker and Borne were not impressed by the pages of identical dialog, even the quiant sentence structure Becky meticulously copied from her great grandmother's diaries. Becky Sue could not tell them how Ms. Vespuccci obtained her material, but she was sure Sean could help. Her letters form her attorney remained unanswered except for a statement from Barker Borne threatening to sue her for court costs and attorney's fees.
Why it made Becky Sue positively indignant to think that a thief should threaten her! But Sean had been so kind with her original request for information She saved his e-mails and printed them. She pictured his surprised face when she introduced herself to him. She was sure there was some connection beteen Hoker and Gaff and the creative writing department at the Univerisity of Ireland. She had abeen able to trace Ms. Vespucci's attendance in the master's program to the time when her manuscripts were stolen. And she was further able to link the theft to a three week window during which she, Becky Sue Stonewater, had entered a short fiction contest sponsored by Hooker and GAff. The first prize was 5000 pounds and a chance to read one's sory in front of a live audience in Ireland! The contest sounded like so much fun that Becky Sue could not resist.
She sent them a story about a terrorist living underground in Alabama. It was one of her best stories. Very scarey and completely evil. Becky Sue pondered the impersonal nature of random terrorism. She wondered what it would feel like to the terrorist and the victims if they all knew one another as a living, breathing community. Would the terrorist be able to complete his mission after living with his victims for twenty years? Would he care whether they were children who trusted him? Would it be more terrible because he knew them and they knew him? Would it be less terrible? Is it better to be killed by someone who loves you or someone who hates you? These were all questions in Becky Sue's mind after 911.
Becky never received a response from Hooker and Gaff except to say they received her story. Until she heard a radio interview between a weekend host on NPR and Ms. Vespucci, she never imagined that there was any connection between her entry in that short fiction contest and her crashed hard drive.
She did the honorable thing. She bought a copy of the book and read it. As the similarities and outright lifted sentences became too numerous for mathematical possibility, she called an old friend, her college logic professor,and asked him what the odds were. He had critiqued her stories and was familiar with her story about a lonely geneticist, herself born to an aging and ailing mother, who clones her great grandmother from her own hair made from a broach.
Becky Sue did not immediately connect the fiction contest either. Only after she began pouring over pages and pages of her stories, and only after she spent time on the internet reading about the author did she make the connection. She thought the facts of her discovery made much more interesting reading than the stories themselves. "When I get this finished" she thought as she read the names on the building markee and found Sean O'Malley, 207, "I am going to write a novel".
She waited for the elevator door to open and was surprised to see an elderly gentleman sitting on a tall stool. He pressed the button for the second floor.