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Cloning -- fiction by Maya Wurtemberg

Katherine was a charming, sensitive, and polite young girl who woke up early for church every Sunday. She wore lightweight dresses which got caught up in the wind. She’d spend long hours in solitude making daisy chains and finding seashells for her collection.

Katherine had friends in every class: Sarah, Charlie, Aaron, Lisa, Cameron, Sophie, and Jude. But her best friend of all was Morgan—a boy she’d known since first grade when he didn’t know how to tie his shoelaces. Morgan was a grade higher than Katherine but it didn't matter.

Most conversations she had with her friends were all about the latest this and the latest that and who likes who and whatever new things they’d bought. But her conversions with Morgan always seemed to be more meaningful than that. They’d discuss important topics like their future and the world and religion and family problems and books and music and why their uncles were creepy. They’d talk about everything and nothing at the same time.

And after school, Morgan would walk Katherine home and do homework with her and sometimes stay for dinner. And they would sit in Katherine’s room, with her on the bed and him on the floor and always with the door open because her parents were like that. But it never mattered. They had nothing to hide.

The girls in Katherine’s school were different. They collected movie ticket stubs, instead of seashells. They didn’t do their homework and they were rebellious in ways that make grandparents frown. But Katherine didn’t mind and she convinced herself and everyone else that she was happy because she was spontaneous and because Morgan helped her find pretty shells for her collection.

And Katherine was Katherine. But that was all before.

Before she moved away. Before she started going by Katie. Katie who didn’t give a damn. Katie who was insecure but didn’t understand why. Katie who was scared of her own thoughts. Katie who threw her collection back into the ocean.

Katie was a fiery, defensive, and wild young girl who slept in every Sunday. She wore a leather jacket and bold lipstick because someone said it looked good on her. She cut her hair short, dyed it purple, and called it confidence. She’d spend long hours in solitude listening to music her parents didn’t approve of and driving to places her parents didn’t know of.

Katie had friends in every class: Samuel, Georgia, Amelia, Joey, Ruben, Annie, and her boyfriend Steven. But she wasn’t close with any of them. She got tired of talking about the latest this and the latest that and who likes who and whatever new things she’d bought.

And after school she would forget to do her homework and she’d sit in front of the TV in her basement with a microwave meal, watching things she wasn’t supposed to watch and she would call Steven because she was a bitch if she didn’t.

And the girls in Katie’s school were the type to blot their lipstick on old receipts and be proud for stupid reasons. They all had boyfriends who weren’t that great and they were doing just fine without their Bibles. And Katie convinced herself and everyone else that she was happy because she had a spunky new hairstyle and microwave meals.

And Katie was Katie. But that was all after.


Maya Wurtemberg is a high school student living in California. She loves and values having discussions through which she learns about other perspectives. Maya writes as a form of self-expression and reflection, usually in a stream-of-consciousness style. She enjoys reading, analyzing, and appreciating the works of others.

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