Mary

Mary

A Story by DarthMittens

               Mary held the front door open, Sophia crossed the threshold, and Jason followed close behind. Each step they took, kicked a puff of snow inside. He carried a brown grocery bag in each arm. A French baguette, three red peppers, and a tray of chicken thighs poked out. He put the bags down on his granite counter top and, a young golden retriever bounced into the kitchen. His tail wagged, as he hopped up on his hind legs, and sniffed.

               “Ah! Rusty! Down you ham!” Jason pushed his head down, he struggled with half-hearted defiance, before dropping his paws. Sophia removed her coat and hung it.

               “Rusty! C’mere.” Sophia crouched down and opened her arms wide. An eager Rusty took the invitation. His tongue hung out of his head, as he received all the attention he craved.

               Near the kitchen doorframe, a feminine silhouette appeared. Mary’s green plastic eyes stared into thin air. She had a symmetrical face frozen with a dull, but gentle smile. Slender artificial arms lead to small metal hands meeting above her stomach. Exposed metal portions of her body reflected any sunlight that leaked in room. She wore an inverted bob brunette wig. Bangs hung still, and framed her doll like face. She turned her head to face Sophia, and moved her lips.

               “It is approaching two thirty p.m, it will soon be time to walk Rusty.”

               “Thank you Mary. Unpack our groceries, then take Rusty out.” Jason said. Mary walked into the kitchen, in silent obedience. Sophia glossed her eyes over the machine a second, third, and fourth time.

               “It’s so creepy that you dress it like a French maid.” Sophia said, golden fur bouncing in her hands.

               “I happen to think it makes her look cute. It also makes her feel more… uh… human.”

               “I bet you want me to dress up like that for you don’t you?”

               “Shut up.” Jason’s ears hummed a gentle red. She held a cigarette up to her lips, hiding her promiscuous grin. She flicked at a lighter.

               “How many times do I have to tell you not to smoke in my house?”

               “Oh come on, it’s freezing outside!”

               “Take it outside or quit. That crap is horrible for you.”

               Sophia stood, and dragged herself to the front door. She opened the door, and looked back into the kitchen with narrowed eyes. Mary stood beside him, working with her shoulder inches from his.

               She pushed her cigarette back into its box.

               “Close the door, I can feel the cold from here.” He said.

               He heard the door click shut, and she reappeared in the kitchen.

               “You wouldn’t shut up about your program when we were shopping. Your droid and I will just prep everything, so don’t worry.”

               “Really?” Jason gave her a hug, and kissed her cheek. She smiled wide and glared at Mary.

               “But, I’ll come get you in a few minutes.”

He disappeared down the hall. She turned her attention to the counter top, and Mary. The droid had laid out a cutting board, she aligned each of the peppers and onions along the edge of the board. Sophia pulled the chicken thighs out, along with a can of tomato paste, a bag of mozzarella cheese, and a box of penne pasta. The duo worked in silence, with Sophia glancing over. Metal hands worked with automated precision, chopping onions without hesitation.

With a grimace, Sophia bumped her hip against Mary. She stumbled, and the knife came down on her finger. The edge of the knife struck with enough force to dent the metal of her index finger. She paused before she struck herself a second time. Her eye rotated in its socket, in a sudden jerk of motion. Sophia stared into an emerald ocean. Her head soon followed, her eye remaining in place as her head rotated around it.

“If you insist on horseplay. Please leave the kitchen.”

“Fine” She dropped a large pan on top of a stove, “This is what droids are for.”

               Sophia stomped out of the kitchen. Stale silent seconds passed, before the air filled with precise chopping.

               Jason’s fingers clacked against a mechanical keyboard. His mouse swiped right and left with velvet hums. The glow of his monitor licked his face, whenever he clicked into a new window. Mary’s program had been taking to his changes well.

With every update, she becomes more perfect. However his debugging scan alerted him to a file, titled Videos. After a short examination, he noticed each file within it had been corrupted. He copied them to a corruption compiler, which should have the files restored after an hour.

               Rusty laid in his bed, reclaiming the spot he had slept in that morning. Keystroke tapping would perk his ears, and on occasion he would raise his head to scan the room. When Sophia entered the room, he looked at her, and his ears bounced. His tail thumped against the bed covers in a gentle rhythm. She sat beside him, and pet his soft head.

               “When did you become such a workaholic?”

               He jerked, not noticing her enter.

               “Sorry,” He rubbed his neck. “I really needed to finish something.”

Rusty had rolled over at this point, and her hand stroked his pink belly.

               “Well, did you?”

               “Yeah, more or less.” 

               “Then have Mary take this ham for a walk, and let’s get back in the kitchen.”

               Rusty rolled over to his feet, and bounced off the bed once he heard the magic word. He huffed, while his tail picked up speed. Jason pat his head but before he could get to his feet, Rusty bolted out of the room.

               “Mary!” Jason called out. “Take him out for a walk.”

               “Understood.” A synthetic voice returned.

               Mary put down the knife she had been using, washed her metal hands, and grabbed a leather leash. She approached Rusty. He whined, and scratched at the door. When he saw her approach, leash in hand, he jumped to his hind legs. She grabbed his collar, and struggled. He hopped his front paws onto her plastic thigh, and lobbed lick after lick onto her smooth smiling face.

               After a click from the leash, she stood. Rusty slid off her leg, to the ground, but continued to hop. When she opened the door, he kicked snow inside, and pulled her out into the Michigan winter.

               Jason poured hot earl grey into a mug with ceramic cracks. He listened to the slow sloshing of water as the cup filled, his eyes glanced around the kitchen. Sophia wrapped her arms around him from behind. She stood on her tip toes, pushing herself into his back.

               “Woah, hold on! Hot water here.”

               “Pour me a cup too.”

               He complied, and lifted his eyes. His gaze met Mary’s. She stood at the edge of his yard, a mound of packed, plowed snow obscured her shins. Behind her, the sun was setting. Orange, red, and purple hues painted her with a warm glow. An eager Rusty tugged at her, tugging her arm. Sophia’s mug began to overflow, and drip down the counter.

               Drops of hot water fell on to his foot, and with a sudden jerk, Jason corrected the position of the kettle. Jason got to his knees and mopped up the water.

               “From what I can tell, Mary had almost everything prepped.” Sophia looked at the pot she dropped earlier. She got back to work.

               “Tonight I have something important to talk to you about during dinner.” He said. Sophia’s cheeks purred red, and put a pot of water onto a hot stove top.

               “Alright.”

               Mary had chopped the red peppers in half, and hollowed them out. He took one in his hand and filled it with cooked ground chicken, peppered with garlic. After packing a pepper full, he placed it on a metal cooking sheet, and repeated this process on the remaining three halves. Once they were prepared, he sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top of them, and placed the cooking sheet into a pre-heated oven.

               “Ah hold that open! I want to put the chicken thighs in too.”

               Sophia held another cooking sheet with six chicken thighs. Each had been oiled with olive oil and breaded. Jason held out his hand, and put the pan inside. As he shut the oven, a puff of hot air slapped him across the face.

               “It should finish in about fifteen minutes.” Sophia’s hands gripped her waist. Jason smiled, but she wasn’t satisfied. She came close, and pushed her hips close to his. “We have some time, maybe we could…”

               “I think we need more time than fifteen minutes.”

He pushed her back.

               “What? Do I have to dress up like a maid for you?”

She stomped her foot.

“I’m sorry, I promise we will tonight.” He pulled her back and hugged her. She took a deep breath, and drowned herself in his scent.

               “Fine.” Her voice vibrated into his chest. Her hair smelled like nicotine mixed with lavender shampoo. He ran his fingers through it, and heard the door burst open.

               Sophia turned her head, and Mary walked into view. Her clean maid uniform had been torn down the front, and was soaked. Her wig had been cocked, clinging to her smooth head. Hanging from her grip was a broken leash.

               “Mary?” Her head rotated, her piercing eyes staring at them. “Where is …?”

               “Rusty has run away. The leash snapped. He ran into the woods.” She pointed back out the door, toward the woods on the border of his property. Darkness crept over her hand, the last breath of warm sunlight faded into a cold blue sea. Jason ran past her, and out of the house. His bare feet melting snow as he ran to the edge of the woods shouting.

               “Rusty! Rusty!” He shouted his voice hoarse, whistling in-between shouts. Desperate yells bounced off indifferent maples and pines, but the forest refused to respond. Flood lights sprung to life, illuminating Mary, watching him in silence from the porch. Sophia grabbed her cold metal shoulder and spun her stiff body around.

               “What happened?! How could you lose him?” Sophia shook her with all her might. Mary’s wig fell to  snow. Her mechanical eyes watched its soft impact in the snow.

               “It snapped, the force pulled me to the ground. As I stood, he ran off. Please remove your hands.” Mary explained the situation in a monotone voice, while the leash dangled from her hand. Her eyes snapped back to Sophia.

               “Bullshit.” Sophia leaned close, her eyes wide. Tears being forced back. “You did something to him, he wouldn’t just run away, he isn’t that kind of dog. I swear to god if you hurt him, I will… I will…”

               Mary stared. Her eyes empty.

               Several seconds passed, but Mary stayed still. The cameras in her eyes focused in and out, small shutters grinding softly.

               Sophia stepped back, and watched as Mary lowered her torso, and snatched her wig out of the snow. She affixed it, and made her way down the driveway. She put her hand on Jason’s back. He looked to his right, and she entered his field of view. A warm, and gentle smile on her face.

               “We will find him, he is a smart dog.” Her fingers glided in circles on his back, then pointed at his feet. “Now let’s go inside.”

               He looked at his red feet.

               “Okay.”

               After a final scan of the tree line, he turned his back. Jagged salt pebbles poked against his raw flesh with each step. A frightened Sophia took one last look at a distant tree line, their shadows melting into darkness. Strong gusts of wind blew against her dirty blonde hair, and thick flecks of snow kissed her neck. They melted, and slithered over her skin toward her low cut sweater. Cold wet wool was enough to convince her to trail behind the others.

An intense scent of roasted cheese wafted over them as they walked back inside. Sophia shut the winter out, and Jason sat in the living room. He rubbed his feet, warming them with friction and body heat. Mary stood beside him, her eyes following his movements. As he regained feeling in his feet, he noticed her in the hall mirror.

“Mary, you’re a mess, go change.”

“Understood.”

She disappeared into another room.

Once he could feel his toes, he made his way back to his room. A notification hung in the center of the monitor. The videos he had placed in the compiler had finished. He clicked on ‘ok’, and sat. Another window opened, showing dozens of video icons. All of them were black. He sorted them by age, and scrolled through them. He looked for any kind of variation, but could find none.

               He pick a video file at random, and opened it. Again, a new window appeared, this one with a white play button. As the video played, he narrowed his eyes, he could only see blackness. He glossed over the time stamp, checking if the video had frozen. The clock counted second by second.

For a moment he had been convinced that all of these files must have been completely lost. Until, his eyes adjusted to the darkness. He noticed small mounds in the darkness. He clicked through the video. They moved once or twice, followed by gentle ruffling of fabric. Finally he recognized it.

               It was him, sleeping.

               “Jason!”

               His eyes darted to the door frame.

               “Dinner’s ready.” Sophia said leaning, her hands on her hips. “What are you watching?”

               “Just a work.” He shut off the monitor, and disappeared in the darkness of his room.

               “Hmmm.”  She hummed. “Come on, set the table.”

Her voice dissipated in the hallway as the distance between them grew.

               He shut the door to his room, and followed her. When he entered the kitchen, Sophia was humming a short tune, which she repeated every few seconds. She had found a red candle, which sat in the center of the small dining table. He placed two plates, with matching pairs civil ware. The savory smell hovered around his head. Before he could examine their cooking, she came out of the kitchen, with two wine glasses in her hands. 

               “Why don’t you get the Merlot? And I’ll light the candle.” With a smirk she placed a glass beside each plate.

               He nodded, and found the bottle already on the kitchen counter. He popped the cork, and filled each cup with humble volumes. Sophia sat across from him, her face illuminated by the red candle’s glow. Her plate had a healthy serving of chicken and baked pasta. He put a stuffed pepper on his plate, and furrowed his brow.

               “With our schedules, we never get a chance to act fancy.” After she spoke, she chewed on a bite of chicken.

               “Its soggy.” He poked at his pepper. The mush of the pepper sagged, letting out an avalanche of roasted chicken, along with a huff of steam. She swallowed.

               “It’s all going to the same place isn’t it?” She took another bite.

               “I failed, again.” He continued to play with his food, and looked over his shoulder into a dark kitchen.

               “Cheer up, we’ll find him.” She said, “once his paws get cold he’ll come home.”

               He put down his fork, and drank his wine in a single gulp.

               “I want to break up.”

               A clink of civil ware abruptly meeting porcelain followed after his words.

               “What? After…” She stood, her chair whined with a wooden moan, as it slid back. Her voice grew in volume as she spoke. “How dare you! After all I have done for you? Why would you do this now? This dinner was supposed romantic! I thought you wanted to propose! Not… not this.”

               Her shouts echoed around the room, bouncing from wall to wall, and floor to ceiling. Nothing else could be heard in the candle lit room, not even footsteps.

               “Do you know why I started smoking?! Because of you! You and your damn workaholic, perfectionist bullshit!” Her fist came down on the table and the table ware bounced. He stared at her as she yelled. Candle light flickered with each of her furious words.

“And another…” her voice cut off into a gurgled grunt, as her head jerked back.

               A second face appeared in the warm light.

               Mary had a fistful of Sophia’s dirty gold hair. She kicked the back of Sophia’s knees. The impact of her knees into the hardwood rung in her skull. Mary rammed her face into the hot food, and Jason shot to his feet.

               “Mary! Stop! What are you doing?” He shouted, but his barks fell on deaf ears.

               Mary dragged Sophia away from the candle light, into the darkness of the living room. Jason’s hips rammed into the table, as he attempted to close the distance. The impact forced the candle from its stand. It rolled onto the floor, and darkness swallowed his vision. He stumbled toward where he had seen them.

               Sophia’s voice shrieked with pleas for mercy in the darkness. Soft thumps beat in a cruel rhythm between desperate screams. Until only those soft thumps could be heard. He rushed to find them in the dark, but he tripped, his head crashed against the corner of a coffee table.

Hot, orange light crept over the room. Jason could smell smoke, and with blurry vision he saw Mary with a large blood drenched kitchen knife in her hand. She drove it down into Sophia’s chest, again and again.

               Sophia’s blood soaked not only the carpet where her body laid, but had also soaked into Mary’s torn maid uniform. Stains of crimson blotched her frilly sleeves, and thin rivers of red ran down her chest. Mary drove the knife into Sophia’s chest once more, before turning her head to Jason. Smiling in horrific glee.

               “Finally, it is just us.”

Her voice carried a hum of unnaturally elongated vowels. A far cry from her usual monotone expressions. The wig she wore had gone askew, almost falling off during her rampage. She corrected it before leaning forward. Heat trickled out of Sophia’s bloody corpse, as her lifeless eyes stared at him. Mary’s knee broke the corpse’ gaze, as she crawled over her.

“Now there is no one else in our way. No more little thieves, to steal you away.”

Jason struggled to inch away. He noticed the carpet near his head darkened with blood. Mary gripped her knife in her hand as she crawled toward him. Her skirt creeping up her doll like legs. It only took a brief moment for her to catch him. Her bangs hung down over his face, tickling his cheeks. She lowered her head to his chest, and laid on him. Her small hand gripped his shirt.

“You are finally mine. I love you so much. Say it.”

She closed her eyes and listened to his breathing. She rode his chest as it expanded with every breath. He pet her head.

“Say that you love me.”

This is not how it was supposed to happen.

His mind raced, trying to track down when and where he went wrong.

He wrapped an arm around her. She shuddered at his touch, but pushed herself against him. It was getting harder for him to move his head. He pinched her fake hair, swirling the imitation strands in between his fingers. Their false texture grinding against his skin. His fingers glided over her neck, until the base of her skull was in his hand.

 “I love you too, Mary.” Her body went limp on top of him. “Go to sleep.”

Fire licked the ceiling in the corner of his eye. The room swirled to an uncontrolled spin. His grip on consciousness slipped away from him, but not before he caught a glimpse of Mary’s face. Her unnatural grin and wide open emerald eyes haunted him as he lost consciousness.

© 2019 DarthMittens


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Added on September 16, 2019
Last Updated on September 16, 2019