With all this talk of being a writer, I wanted to share a few short stories I’ve composed. I’m going to share excerpts of Phillip’s Clown, as well as yet to be published material.

The first short story I will be sharing is called, The Guardian of Heritage. It’s a cautionary tale about a possible future where designer humans are the norm in society, and the effects are shocking and surprising.

Ah, the benefits of cloning are many…




It is said that the rift created by the implementation of human reproductive cloning on our society would signify the beginning of the end of life as we know it in this great country of ours, but I must digress. There is a message for society that I think we must understand. It is said that we go to the grave as physically helpless as when we came into the world. As the years of one’s life progresses, into the cold winter of old age, one takes on the characteristics of the child; completely reliant and unable to care for one’s self. The mind goes and the physical ability to maintain health and grooming go. The need for outside help becomes more and more apparent with each and every passing day…This is a philosophy of my own creation, but I wonder if the characteristics of the aged, and the way they must be cared for, can be taken and applied to our society as a whole as well.

My name is Floyd Lawford and a large tank just rolled passed my house. Since the beginning of martial law in this great country of ours, you cannot help but notice how alien these tanks look relative to their surroundings; lush green trees, perfectly manicured rock lawns, and a tank as it rolls slowly along, the turret rotating deliberately from one side to the other in menacing observance. These are the same tanks we use down at the border where I work as a border patrol agent. They don’t look out of place down there, but here, they seem to appear from nowhere, and this, my friends, is downright ominous.

As you can imagine, I, as well as my fellow officers who are not clones, agree that the world made a horrible mistake. You see, China was the first to clone a human being way back in 2038 when, by international standards, this practice would be considered unethical. Since then, the world viewed cloning as a race, and now society has been torn into three divisions: the “Naturals,” the clones that were created by the “Naturals,” and the clones who are created by the original clones. These divisions have resulted in the reformation of our country, and of the world, and martial law has been in effect for many years.  However, the clones are not to be blamed, yet it’s the clones that reproduce amongst themselves that worries me. You see, it’s these clones that aren’t right. They are far superior in strength and intelligence than even the original clones, and this has made a rough time for us Natural folk. I used to call the clones the “guardians of heritage,” but now I am convinced that they are here to do just the opposite.”


The man came into the watchtower booth with an air of confidence that bordered on arrogance. He did not immediately make eye contact with the large man who had the sergeant’s insignia on his uniform, instead, he buffed the fingernails of his right hand on the front of his uniform as he came in. He looked up from examining his nails and said, “Mason, Kenneth, reporting for duty, sir.” He handed the sergeant a manila folder.

Sergeant Floyd Lawford perused the contents of the folder as a spiral of smoke arose from the cigarette attached to his bottom lip. “Says here you’re ready for night patrol. Are you, Private?” Lawson looked up at Mason at this moment and observed the man was young, had blue eyes, and dark brown hair. He also noticed that Mason was built like a tank. He recognized the odor the man exuded, a light scent of Old Spice and hot plastic. He knew that the man was a clone because his paperwork had said so. Lawford had insisted on training Mason himself.

Mason stood taller and nodded, “I am sir.” Mason gave the sergeant an obvious once over noticing that Lawford was overweight, and apparently unhealthy. His belly hung over his belt buckle hiding it completely from view.

Lawford turned his eyes down in annoyance and evident self-consciousness. He was aware of the man’s eyes on him, and he didn’t appreciate the stare he was given. He felt violated. Lawford was sentient of his weight and appearance. He hadn’t always been like this and he felt ashamed. He consoled himself by thinking, ‘At least I wasn’t grown in a jar, cloneboy.’ Mason backed up as the heavy man stood, his face reddening from exertion. “Let’s suit up and go to the truck. We have a long night ahead of us,” Lawford said.

“Yes sir,” Mason replied, gathering his standard issue Kevlar vest, radio and gun belt. He followed Lawford out of the watchtower, slowing his pace to allow Lawford to lead the way.


The night was clear. A speckling of stars dotted half the sky. The other half was blocked out by the gargantuan brick wall that arose from the desert floor, over three hundred feet tall, running in a swaying course away for as far as the eye could see.

Lawford steered the armored truck along the great wall at a crawling pace. He had patrolled this area of the Arizona/Mexico border for many years and he knew the position of every rock, every speck of sand, every yucca plant, and bush, as well as every brick in the wall of his patrolling area. He looked bored, on the verge of falling asleep as he drove the truck down the dusty ruts of the makeshift road. Mason looked alert as he peered ahead at the monotonous landscape.

Lawford called the watchtower, telling dispatch he was stopping to administer some “dust control.” He stopped the truck and got out, unzipped his fly, and  urinated along the road. Mason thought, ‘Dust control? Dust control! Ha, ha, very funny! That’s a pretty good one!’

Lawford got back in the truck and they drove on. Lawford turned to Mason and asked him, “So tell me about yourself? Where are you from?”

Mason peered at Lawford, and replied, “I’m originally from Coralles, New Mexico, but I’ve lived in Phoenix most of my life.” Mason fell silent and looked off into the desert.

Lawford was tenuous on his decision to ask about Mason being a clone, but he blurted out his question anyway. “So, you are a clone?”

Mason shifted in his seat. “Yes, that would be what I am.”

Lawford noticed Mason’s light defensiveness, “I didn’t mean to alarm you. I was just being nosy.” He stared out at the road ahead. “I’m not prejudice or anything, I was just curious, that’s all.”

Mason looked a little ashamed. “I’ve had to endure quite a bit of prejudice in my time, and I guess I get a little defensive when the question comes up. I am human just like you.” Mason continued to peer at Lawford with resolve.

“I didn’t mean any offense, I was just…” Lawford’s radio squealed, cutting him off.

“Lawford, you copy?”

“Lawford here.”

You’ve got a number of subjects approaching from the south. Looks like 12 of ‘em at least! Copy?”

Lawford glared sharply at Mason. “Be prepared.” Both men stepped out of the truck and pulled their weapons. “Copy.”

Just then, a large explosion rattled the wall. The ground shook beneath both men. Mason shifted on his feet, as a huge ball of dust and earth descended upon him. He noticed that Lawford had begun to move from between the wall and the truck, but he was too late, as bricks, dirt and shrubbery, rained down upon him.

Mason ran around the truck and began removing rubble and dirt away with unrenowned strength. He could hear Lawford moaning, but it appeared as though he was buried very deeply in the debris. He was pinned, horizontally, against the truck by large bricks. Mason could not see him.

Mason saw movement and heard men shouting in Mexican and quickly hunkered down beside the back fender of the truck. He turned and stared directly into the barrel of a .45. Then the world went away.


Mason came to in what appeared to be the back of a moving vehicle, possibly a van. He could feel the ruts and bumps the wheels of the vehicle rode over. He was strapped to a table tightly and he could sense, beyond the pulsing of the pain in his temples, the presence of several people in the enclosed, dark space.

“Open your mouth.” A heavily accented voice.

Mason shook his head, squeezed his eyes shut, fluttered them open. A dark man with a long, thin wooden swab leaned over him. Before Mason could reply, the swab was forced into his mouth and down his throat. Mason struggled against the straps that held him down, but to no avail. He was defenseless, helpless. Then a familiar face came into view. Lawford.

What the hell? Mason was confused.

Lawford was standing at the foot of the table Mason was strapped to. He was apparently seriously injured by the explosion as an attendant was examining a deep wound on his left arm. He looked up from the wound and trained his eyes on Mason.

“Oh, I’m sure this doesn’t seem right. I just needed this to look real.” Lawford winced as the attendant touched a particularly sore area. Lawford shooed him away.

Mason was confused. Shouldn’t Lawford be trying to help him escape? Why wasn’t he strapped down as well? What was going on here?

A Mexican man in military fatigues turned to Lawford, began conversing with him in Spanish. An interpreter spoke for the Mexican. “He says he wants all of the body, for research of course.”

A man of apparent Chinese descent, in a long white doctor’s robe, stepped from the shadows and began arguing with the Mexican.

“Well, you guys can fight all you want! That was not part of the original deal, but since he has seen me. It’s the only real way to get away clean.” Lawford looked at Mason as though he were a dog, and not a human being. “You wired the funds, right?”

The China man nodded and the Mexican looked at Lawford.

“Okay, let’s finish this.”

The back door of the van was opened and Lawford was thrown out into a swirling barrage of dust. Then the doors were closed. The last thing Mason saw was a long needle, then blackness.


An American patrol found Lawford lying by the side of the road a short distance from the wall on the Mexican side. He was carried away and taken to the infirmary. In the report, Lawford stated that in an attempt by aliens to cross the border, Mason and he had been abducted. Mason’s whereabouts were unknown. The ensuing controversy was covered up by border patrol. Lawford was successful with getting away clean.


A sandy beach…

“Ah, the rewards of cloning are many, especially for me. What can I say? They make me good money and I have retired a couple of weeks early. You can’t blame cloning on the clones, but I must digress: they make for good relations with other countries and they help us keep the Mexicans on their own side of the border. My actions may not be known, but my associates at border control appreciate the ‘sacrifice.’ Who knows, maybe I’ll just sit here awhile and watch the tide, but not for long. Soon the waves will reach my present location and I will no longer be able to sit in this quiet spot. I guess it’s the way of the world.”

Questions for opinion/discussion: In a world where human reproductive cloning is the norm in society,  how would clones, and the offspring of clones, be treated? With prejudice, or not?

What would be the consequences on society with the implementation of reproductive cloning?

Phillip's Clown by Robert J. Beck

The cover of "Phillip's Clown."

Thanks for checking out my new blog! I’m new to this, so bear with me. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship between you, the reader, and me, the writer. I have many responsibilities to you, and I won’t let you down. As I settle in, and become more familiar with the tools I have here, I will expand and make things more user-friendly for you. As soon as I learn to make this page more visually appealing, I will.

I’m interested in getting to know more about you, and what drives you here. I’m interested in learning about ways I can satiate your desire to read, to gather information, to seek out new life, and new civilizations…

This is just the beginning. We have many worlds to explore…

Its always lived in the back of my mind, this compulsion to write. I’ve always felt that intense itch to compose stories, to  accommodate those abstract characters continuously tapping me on the shoulder, saying, “I need you to write this down. What I have to say is important.” Even if it was the commander of a domed space capsule, fighting against time to save people against a devastating apocalypse, or a young Papuan boy, on his quest for manhood, or a man newly released from prison with the hope of rebuilding the relationships within his family, what they have to say is important.

I want to introduce my first novel to you. I believe a lot of inspired writing, events, or incidents take place when one is frustrated. Unfortunately, and fortunately, this is the case with “Phillip’s Clown.” I just wanted to succeed, to finish what I started. To finish…Anything. Anything at all! So, I set out to write a story about a clown. A clown of a different ilk. A clown who represented strength and leadership, compassion and caring. A clown who is a big brother, a caretaker, with his own set of worries and fears, his own values and convictions.

Well, the story wrote itself really. I was just the instrument with which to convey it. The story already existed, somewhere in the ether, caught in the in-between, thriving to find its way to paper.

I believe this is a story each and every one of us can relate to. We all have mountains before us. Sometimes those mountains are glaciers where the top is unseen, shrouded by clouds that hide the truth or the outcome. Phillip, the main character in my first novel, has faced some “adult” challenges in his young life. He views the world differently than a ‘normal’ 12 year old does. Unlike most children, he is painfully aware of his mortality. Therefore, his demeanor is thoughtful and subdued.

While I was writing “Phillip’s Clown,” I could sense the presence of the characters in the room with me. They continuously encouraged me to continue with their story because what they had to say was important. They just wanted me to tell this story and provide a glimmer of hope for people who feel there is none.

When I’ve been asked why I wrote the novel, my answer is always, “Why not?” The story helped to transform my way of looking at the real world. The story helped me to slow down and smell the roses, to be a more thoughtful person. I hope Phillip helps you too.

Many novels lay ahead, including the follow-up to Phillip’s Clown. Be sure to check back often!

And so the first blog is complete. Be sure to subscribe to my blogs, and I promise to continue to make things better for all of us.


Robert Jeremy Beck