Today's story is not fantasy, but it does fall into another overlooked and under-appreciated genre - science fiction. Not only that, but it falls into the third category of young adult, which to the philistines who refuse to educate themselves outside their own worldview, might as well be "kid stuff." Again, we all know better.
This is all to say that I am very happy to bring you some teenagers, some futuristic worlds, and some clones with today's excerpt from the novel, ReGeneration. It's set in 2031, twenty years after human cloning first became possible. Even though human cloning is no longer illegal, not everyone accepts them, including high school sophomore, Riley White.
The author, Tamara Kelly is a mother of five (!) and somehow finds time to work on a new novel and, she adds, a few novellas "here and there," she says. After you give her story a read, check out her blog at ReGeneration Series. Enjoy!
By Tamara L Kelly
By Tamara L Kelly
Despite it being the first day of school, I was already in the principal's office. Mrs. Ward had seen my shoes and assumed they were against the school dress code. School uniforms sucked! Even though I went to a public school the district had changed their policies a year ago and forced us all into wearing “school appropriate clothing.”
It never failed that I ended up in the office, at least five or six times a year. I had all but memorized the school guidelines by now, especially the part about uniforms. It didn't specify what kind of black shoes were acceptable.
So, my thick healed, lace up Docs should have been fine. I was wearing the required navy blue skirt, white-collar shirt and had the tie loosely hanging around my neck, like a noose. My hair had been died to a black color, from the pink it had been during the summer, and a band-aid was over my left eyebrow, where a new piercing was concealed.
I sat in the hallway, now picking at the black nail polish on my fingers waiting for Principal McFarlin. In the rush to polishing them and my mind having been focused on the article I hadn't been as steady as I had earlier thought, slopping some of the enamel onto my skin and cuticles.
“Riley you're already in here?” Principal McFarlin barked across the hallway from his office. He was leaning to the side of his chair peering out the open door.
“Mrs. Ward sent me in.” I said, a lack of emotion resting on my face.
He motioned for me to come into his office. His dark stained wood veneer desk was neat and orderly, with only a small stack of papers to the right and a new name plate on the front edge. I slouched down in the chair in front of his desk, picking up the name plate and twisted it in my hands, while reading it out loud.
“Principal Marlin McFarlin?” I looked up at him. “Seriously! Marlin?” I snickered. He calmly grabbed the name plate from my grasp, placing it back on his desk, then nudging it just so, making it line up with the edge of his desk. Principal McFarlin was your typical middle-aged man with a receding hair line and a thinning spot towards the back. In-spite of me being in his office he was a decent principle. He'd actually listen to the student before administering punishment and sometimes he could be persuaded by something you said, which was what I was hoping for now.
“I thought it would take longer to see you in here Miss White. What did Mrs. Ward send you in here for?” He stood up stepping closer to the door, peering out at the front desk. It was obvious he was distracted by something else. “Torturing small underclassmen?”
“Whatever!” I turned in my chair to face him.”That really wasn't my fault last year.”
He looked down leering at me “So you say, but I'm sure that Sarah Copper would think otherwise, since you were the one to have started the name calling.”
“Mrs. Ward is looking for anything to get me written up. I guess my shoes aren't acceptable for the dress code,” it sounded harsher than I meant to, but I didn't want to talk about Sarah Cooper and her life as a pathetic and miserable wench.
“You can change into your gym sneakers.” he said. He stood to the side, towering over me, now giving me his full attention, probably attempting to intimidate me. I, however, wasn't about to back down.
“Mr. McFarlin, the dress code doesn't specify the type of shoe. Only the color.” I stood firm on my argument. He was about to speak when the main doors to the school opened adjacent to the office. Through the glass window of his office I saw a boy with brown hair and brown eyes walked in. He looked just as normal as any other boy in the school. I didn't notice anything different about him. He was wearing the school uniform, his tie was perfectly straight, his shirt was pressed, and his shoes were perfectly polished.
His hair parted and combed to one side. If you asked me it looked more like the uniform was the style of clothing he preferred, a preppy look. There were two adults with him, probably his parents. I didn't really get a good look at them, considering I was more intrigued to know if this was the boy, we'd heard so much about? They walked forward to the front desk where Mrs. Ward stood waiting on the opposite side. She motioned to Mr. McFarlin.
“Okay Riley. Get to class.” He dismissed me forgetting the topic completely and letting me off the hook. I wasn't sure if it was because of my argument or because of the current situation distracting him, but I would take it any way I could.
While reaching for my bag, “Marlin” walked out to the new arrival waiting for him. With all the fussing occurring at the front desk; papers being pushed in front of them, lots of looks from school staff and students, and knowing most of the time Principal McFarlin didn't handle the new student enrollment forms, I could only assume this was all for Liam Kingsley, the clone.