By K.A. Williams
“The world has changed,” Doctor Bertram said.
I looked past him toward my wife, Crystal, who didn’t look a day older.
“She hasn’t,” I observed. “You must have spent most of my fortune on plastic surgery.”
The doctor laughed. “Actually -” he began, but she interrupted him.
“Darling, isn’t it wonderful that they found a cure for cancer.”
“Yes,” Bertram said. “I administered the remedy as you were brought out of cryonic preservation.
You can go home in a few days.”
“Thank you, Doctor.”
Crystal and I left the underground hospital parking lot in the strangest car I’d ever seen. It had no wheels. “It’s a computerized hover car,” she said. The windows were tinted so I couldn’t see outside as the car drove us home.
Crystal and I entered our house from the connecting garage. The house looked the same although I’d never before been greeted by a disembodied female voice when I crossed the threshold. “Glad you are back home again, Mr. Hargrave.”
“Who are you?” I looked around. “Where are you?”
“It’s just Pamela, our computer. She controls the lights, temperature, and other household electronics.”
“Yes, why don’t you walk around and look at familiar objects. The doctor said that will help you adjust.”
When she left me alone in our bedroom, I shut the door and went to the closet. The puzzle box I hunted for was right where I had left it, on the top shelf inside a box of scarves.
I opened it up and looked at my trophies. It startled me when Crystal entered the room, and I dropped the box. Five earrings scattered on the floor.
She looked at the earrings and then at me. “You’re the Valentine’s Day Serial Killer. A woman was killed each Valentine’s Day for five years straight and her right earring was taken. The killings stopped the year you were cryonically preserved.”
I reached into the closet, grabbed a club from my golf bag, and swung it hard at her head. It popped off, rolled on the floor, and then came to a stop.
Her body hadn’t fallen.
Her eyes blinked. “Why did you do that?” she asked.
“What are you?”
“I’m an android. After you were cryonically frozen, your wife aged and you didn’t. Technological advancements enabled roboticists to transfer her memories and personality to an android. Me.”
Pamela said, “I’ve filmed this entire scene and sent it to the police department. You’ll get the death penalty.”
“I expect so,” I said. “I killed five women.”
“Not for that. The statute of limitations for murder is fifty years now and it’s been seventy. You’ll get the death penalty for damaging an android.”
Bio: K. A. Williams lives in North Carolina and writes speculative, mystery/crime, general fiction, and poetry. Her fiction has been published in many magazines including Mystery Tribune, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, 365 Tomorrows, The Sirens Call, Mysterical-E, and SavagePlanets. She has self-published ebooks of poetry and short story collections, novellas/novels, and Kindle short reads (under a different name). Apart from writing, the author enjoys classic rock music and CYOA games. K.A. Williams has written several books that can be purchased HERE or through our Book Store Page
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