The Weight of Expectation by Jenna Hanchey

Sandra sighed, readying a version of herself for the party. The inputs were almost finalized, but she felt more drained than satisfied. Two more to go. 

Holographic projections were supposed to make things easier, according to all the ads. “Too tired to go out? Send your Second Self™!” Instead, the program came with its own social expectations. Unwritten rules to follow. 

Like accepting every invitation. 

Tom’s birthday party, knitting club dinner, happy hour with coworkers. A version of her would be at them all. 

And when they left, she’d finally be free to spend the night how she wanted. 


Jenna Hanchey is a critical/cultural communication professor by day and a speculative fiction writer by…um…earlier in the day. Her stories appear (or will) in NatureDaily Science FictionApex’s Patreon, Stupefying Stories, and Page & Spine. Follow her adventures on Twitter (@jennahanchey) or at

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