“DA DA DUM!
This is your Birthday and Christmas all rolled into one! If you were born on the 23rd or 24th December in any year, this is for you! We are offering a 50% discount on everything to all you Christmas babies!
Come now, while the offer is still valid! Must be eighteen or over.”
After watching the infomercial, Dorothy rushed into her bed room, searching everywhere for her fake ID. As luck would have it, her fake ID said that she was born on the 24th of December. She had thought it was just more believable because who would lie about that? It had been a toss up between Christmas and the leap year. But she had thought that February 29th would attract too much conversation. What if she forgot?
The fake ID dated back to her pre-College years, a year or so before she came of age. Drinking age. She hadn’t used it in years. She had only kept it for the memories.
Here it is! Dorothy Jeffers. D.O.B. 24/12/1995. This made her twenty-five now. She was actually twenty-three. This thing has done its duty! She couldn’t count the number of clubs this had gotten her into. It was in the double digits. Definitely the double digits. Anymore and she would have been a slut.
The next time the infomercial aired again, Dorothy took note of the necessary information. Text 2413-009 XMAS BDAY. She fished out her cell phone from her handbag. It was dead. “Shit.” Fidgeting at such a bad sign, Dorothy put her phone to charge. At last, with three bars, she sent the text through.
Two seconds later, she got a text back: Come with identification to Hubbers Inc. Headquarters before the 23rd of December, 2020. Everyone’s a winner.
Dorothy quickly found the location online. It was right where a Used Sex Store used to be. What might a Used Sex Store sell, you ask? Everything used and anything sex. That was exactly where Dorothy had found her groove. The guys didn’t have to know where it came from. They just liked that it was there.
The following day, Dorothy caught the bus across town, to Hubbers Inc. Headquarters. She nervously fingered her ID in her jeans pocket. A half hour later, sweating in her puffy coat in a stuffy, crowded bus, Dorothy saw her stop. She quickly pushed the Stop button and the bus pulled over to let her out. Tottering in her new, suede, high heeled boots, she carefully teetered to the front entrance of Hubbers Inc. Headquarters, just where Juicy Seconds used to be. They had painted the red door black. Not for the first time, she wondered, “What does Hubbers sell?”
Dorothy reached the door, leaving the imprint of some very shaky footsteps behind her in the snow. She fiddled a little with the handle and tugged open the door to reveal a waiting area. Shaking herself free of the snowflakes that had graced her coat, Dorothy ventured inside the warmth. She removed the offending coat, which was just too warm now and hung it on a conveniently near coat hanger.
A voice spoke out on the intercom. “Please go into Room 5.”
So, Dorothy did.
Room 5 was brightly lit. The walls were white, and devoid of character, much like a doctor’s office. Again, she wondered, “What did Hubbers sell?” At 50% off, she guessed she didn’t care.
She promptly plopped herself down on a waiting room kind of chair. There were three in a row – she chose the one in the middle. After five minutes waiting, mostly spent tapping her shoe on the polished white floor, a man in a white lab coat entered.
“This man is handsome!” Dorothy thought to herself, and without knowing what she was doing, she mentioned that the place had used to sell used sex toys. “Shit!”
“Yes, I do believe it was,” he said with a charming accent she couldn’t place. Dorothy wasn’t exactly smart. And Geography had never been a favorite subject. In fact, she only really went to school for the friends. It was an ideal meeting spot.
“Well,” the man continues speaking, waking Dorothy out of her reverie. “My name is Dr. Heath Stanfield. I will be your contact at Hubbers.”
“Yes. I’ll be needing your ID.”
“Sure.” Dorothy stood up, fishing the ID out of her back jeans pocket. She was almost regretting the lie. This man was h-o-t. She handed over the ID card.
“Excellent. A Christmas baby. You know, you’re our third. We had thought there would be more interest. 1995, that makes you…25 years old. Well, you do look good.”
“What? Uhm…what exactly is it you are selling?”
“Ah, that is exactly what we couldn’t say in the infomercial. What we do here is breed clones.”
“What do I need a clone for?”
“It’s not for you. At the moment these are just prototypes. For some reason, we don’t know why, the formula is working best on Christmas babies. Hence, you.”
“What if I don’t want to?”
“Unfortunately, the text message you sent us acts as a binding contract between you and Hubbers Inc.”
“But I didn’t know that!”
“Well, now you do.” This man was becoming less attractive by the second.
“So what? I have no choice?”
“I’m not sure what to tell you.”
“What are you using the clones for, anyway?”
“An alternative labor source – both on the ground and in Parliament. We intend to take the world by storm. I’m the NYC unit.”
“So, I’ll be Prime Minister, possibly?”
“Not you, your clone.”
“What happens to me?” Dorothy wasn’t even sure she cared! – Parliament bitch!
“You go back to your life.”
“What happens to people who aren’t Christmas babies?”
“You don’t need to worry about that.”
“Still, I’d like to know.”
“Let’s just say, things get a little mixed up. It’s not a big deal. But that won’t happen here.”
“On to the next room. Please remove your clothes and put the paper hospital gown on.”
As per the binding contract, Dorothy did as she was asked – it was almost as though she no longer had a choice and her limbs were moving of their own accord. Meanwhile, the Doctor scanned her ID in, and the light blinked twice in confirmation. Dorothy was in the system. There was no backing out.
Dorothy tentatively removed her roll neck jumper and jeans. Then went the lingerie. Or, what a girl who hasn’t had sex in six months might call lingerie. Then came on the paper gown. At last, Dorothy emerged from behind the screen.
The Doctor stood behind a glass panel, in a separate, adjoining room, and motioned for her to stand on a lit circle in the middle of her room. She did as she was asked.
Once Dorothy was in position, the Doctor pressed some fancy looking buttons. There were some whirring noises and then, with a sudden plop, Dorothy was now three people. But it had gone wrong. As the Doctor had mentioned, things got mixed up. Dorothy still had her face but no hair. She still had one arm but not the other. The nipples but not the breasts. A knee cap was missing and a rib protruded out of her skin. She was missing skin on her left leg. As Dorothy glanced down, she screamed. But the scream came form her left. The procedure had shifted her voice box to the clone on her left.
The Doctor spoke over the intercom, “Dorothy, are you sure that you are a Christmas baby? We only see this sort of thing with other birthdates.”
“But you do see it?” the clone on Dorothy’s left asked.
“Well, it has happened. But your ID definitely says December.”
“Uh, yeah. I was born after two minutes after midnight, just past the 24th” Dorothy lied. She felt that he didn’t believe her but she wasn’t coming clean.
“That could do it,” the Doctor concluded. “Well, we have a few options here. Reversing the treatment is not exactly recommended. You could disappear altogether.”
“So, what are my – our – choices?” Left Clone Dorothy asks.
“I can’t use these clones. No body wants a half a man. Woman. Sorry. What we can do is merge the three of you. If you will stand one in front of the other and step into each other.
The clones did as they were asked. The machine buzzed and whirred unhappily. There was another plopping sound and the clones became one person again. There was a little mismatching – the left breast was on the right and the right breast was nearer her stomach than it had been. There was a bald patch on her head, with a hair growth on one knee. As annoyed as Dorothy was, the Doctor seemed pleased.
“Well, I think we are done here. It went much better than I expected.”
“You call this good? What is bad?” Dorothy asked outraged, her voice came from her nose. She lifted her misplaced tit in anger and it flopped where it was, almost lifeless.
“Well, we have had worse. It may have gone so well because you were only two minutes off.”
“They really are on top of things,” Dorothy thought, remembering that her real birthday was way off, somewhere in May. “I just want to ask you one thing. What does all this have to do with 50% off discount?” Dorothy asked, feeling just how ludicrous she must look and incensed that this wasn’t what she came for.
“Well, you see when we bought the place, we got stuck with all of Juicy Seconds used sex merchandise and we have to shift it somehow. So, you will have 50% off of anything you want. You get the sex toys; we get the clones. Win-win.”