I read a short story about four years ago and can't remember the title or author. The only thing I know is that it is relatively old -- like Huxley or Asimov era. Can anyone help me?

The basic synopsis is this: a man clones himself and has his clone do the parts of his life that he doesn't enjoy. He deceives his wife about this; she doesn't know he has a clone. Whenever the man and the clone are both home, the clone is locked in the "toolbox" in the basement. The clone starts to treat the man's wife better than he had previously. His wife starts to fall in love the clone, and the man decides he needs to get rid of the clone. When he tries to do so, the clone overpowers the man and locks him in the toolbox in the basement!

I'm hoping to share this story with my English class this school year. Any help is appreciated!

  • 1
    This is also the plot of "Fat Farm" by Orson Scott Card, which appeared in Omni in 1980 (@Gallifreyan:was the answer just accepted, or back in'14?)
    – Spencer
    May 19, 2017 at 21:24
  • @Spencer You can hover over the check mark to see when an answer was accepted - July 22, 2014. May 19, 2017 at 21:31
  • Kil'n People by David Brin is an interesting (non-macabre!) novel about a whole society based on this idea, if you like this 'genre' Sep 15, 2020 at 10:19

1 Answer 1


You're referring to "Marionettes, Inc" by Ray Bradbury. It was originally published in "Startling Stories" magazine but you're far more likely to have seen it collected in his "The Illustrated Man and other stories" anthology. You can read the full version online here.

“I’ve had him for a month. I keep him in the cellar in a toolbox. My wife never goes downstairs, and I have the only lock and key to that box. Tonight I said I wished to take a walk to buy a cigar. I went down cellar and took Braling Two out of his box and sent him back up to sit with my wife while I came on out to see you, Smith.”

at the end;

Braling Two said, “I’m going to put you in the box, lock it, and lose the key. Then I’ll buy another Rio ticket for your wife.”

“Now, now, wait a minute. Hold on. Don’t be rash. Let’s talk this over!”

“Good-by, Braling.”

Braling stiffened. “What do you mean, ‘good-by’?”

Ten minutes later Mrs. Braling awoke. She put her hand to her cheek. Someone had just kissed it. She shivered and looked up. “Why—you haven’t done that in years,” she murmured.

“We’ll see what we can do about that,” someone said.

The story was also converted into a short TV segment in the Ray Bradbury Theater;

Part I

Part II

Part III


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