by M. R. K
Is Hank's car living, and is his wife a machine, or has he finally lost his sanity?
|Machines can Break Hearts too
By: Matt R. Konopka
Honorable mention in Breakfast Club of Writers Contest 2-08
First Place in Troublesome Musings Contest 8-08
Featured in the Unofficial Erotica Newsletter 4/09/08. Featured in the Action/Adventure Newsletter 8-08
Don't do that, Hank. You don't have to look away from me. Your wife isn't here, and after all, you're only looking. That can't hurt. That can't hurt at all.
Hank glanced at her, the way his eyes crept over her slender features timid and unsure. He imagined what she would say. His long time friend, Phil, strode carelessly next to him, his long legs carrying him much faster than Hank's short, stout frame.
Her body gleamed under the angry, summer sun. Wide, colorless eyes winked at him. She smiled, urging him to come nearer.
He thought of being inside her.
Phil droned on and on about his success at the car dealership, motioning at vehicles on the lot. The words wafted through Hank's ears, barely there. He didn't care about Phil's sales. He cared about meeting her.
Please, Hank. Please come by me.
That's it. He needed to.
"Phil, could I t-t-take a look at h-h-her?" That damn stutter of his. She would probably find it embarrassing, like Mal, his disrespecting wife of over twenty years. He should never have married her when he was twenty, she twenty three. Life could have been so much different.
"Which one, Hank?"
He lifted his finger and pointed. What if she didn't like him?
Phil shadowed the sun from his eyes and followed Hank's finger. Spotting her, he smiled from ear to ear and clapped his friend on the back.
"Caught your eye, did she?"
Phil nodded. "Yeah, she's a beauty. Just came in yesterday."
They walked over to her. Hank's legs shook as they approached.
Don't be afraid, Hank. There's nothing to fear with me.
She was unlike anything he had ever seen before. Sporty, with a lean, midnight blue body that curved around the sides to a muscular hood. Headlights shaped like cats eyes peered up at him desirously. Chrome rims gleamed close to his feet. The car itself sat just inches off of the ground, the double exhaust pipes bent upwards. There wasn't a scratch on her, not even a slight tear in the black, convertible top.
Am I beautiful?
Hank smiled, red roses swelling up in his cheeks. He held out a hand, fingers lingering near her. Heat radiated from her smooth skin. He looked at Phil, itching with curious desire.
"Sure, be my guest."
He ran his fingers over her, suppressing a grateful giggle. A sense of comfort washed over him, warming his hands. He followed along the length of her body to the rear end, admiring her there for just a moment, and then continued to the other side.
Through all of this, Phil watched him closely.
"What is s-s-she, Phil?"
A cautious tone crept into Phil's voice. Hank paid no attention. He wouldn't let him keep him from her.
"She used to be a Corvette Stingray. Guy who owned her customized her, spent years with her."
Phil cleared his throat.
"She has problems running though, Hank. Doesn't always start. The mechanics can't figure out why. Damndest thing, actually."
"I think she'll start for me."
"Maybe. But Hank, you can't afford a new car right now. I know the Mustang crapped out on you, but you still have the Honda, don't you?"
Ah yes, his 1967 Mustang. The love of a short three years. He'd spent every day in the garage with her, taking her out occasionally for a night on the town, just the two of them. Of course, Mal grew jealous over time, eventually despising the car. They'd argued and warred with each over for it, but he would never give up the car.
To his horror, the engine blew one day on the way back from a trip to Raven Park, the only place that was solely his. Sugar had been poured into the gas tank. The damage was irreparable, minus buying a whole new engine, which he didn't have the money for at the time.
Hank didn't have any enemies, not that he knew of. It could have been some rotten kids, so diseased in youth, looking to play a prank. But he knew. Mal would never admit it, of course, but he could still see it in her eyes, a hint of triumph over the Mustang. She'd done it out of vengeance.
That was months ago now.
"The Honda isn't g-g-good enough, Phil. She doesn't give me w-w-what I n-n-need."
Phil frowned. "Well, come on, there are better things to spend your money on."
Hank looked up at Phil, lips tight, thinking how much he'd like to strangle him. His friend took a step back.
"C-c-cars are all I have."
"What about your wife? Mal's a beautiful woman, Hank. She's perfect."
Hank pushed past Phil and moved around to the driver's door. He grasped the handle. It should have been hot. Instead it felt cool in his hand. The door opened with a soft sigh. Inside, the bucket seats were made up of black leather. The polished dash glowed invitingly. He eased himself inside, letting the seat wrap him up in its arms. She felt good inside.
Do you like me holding you like this, Hank?
He placed his hands on the wheel. It didn't feel like leather. It was more velvety, like clean skin.
Everything inside seemed normal. The all black interior was a little worn, dusty, but nothing that a little love couldn't fix. Only the shifter seemed odd, with a hole at the tip of it and the button to move it placed on the side.
That, and instead of smelling like most used cars do, pungent with a hint of oil and rust, she smelled of summer lilacs.
Phil leaned down, observing the inside and then bringing his eyes to Hank.
"What do you think?"
"I l-l-love her. Can I have the k-k-keys?"
Phil grunted and dug in his suit pockets. He retrieved the keys and held them out. They clinked together, dangling in front of Hank.
"I was out here right before you came in, trying to see if I could get her to start. Technically, she's not even for sale. So you know, this is pointless."
Hank grabbed the keys from him.
He pushed the keys into the ignition and twisted. The engine roared like to life, like a creature which has slumbered for decades, awakening with a ravenous hunger.
Phil cracked his jaw and shook his head. "Well, I'll be damned."
The car purred. Hank laughed and patted the wheel.
"I told you."
Mal was waiting for him in the garage when he got home. The garage door crawled up, and there she stood, silhouetted by the darkness and the light coming from the kitchen. He could wait for her to come down the steps, run her over and flatten her body against the floor.
Hank straightened up and let Sally idle for a moment. He'd decided that was a good name for her.
She doesn't understand us, Hank.
"Of c-c-course she doesn't," he grumbled.
Mal waited patiently.
He took the keys out of Sally and stepped out. Sound vanished from the oil scented garage, leaving a building pressure of tension. Neither of them moved. He just stared at the shadow that was his wife.
"What did you do?"
"I b-b-bought a c-c-car."
Mal bit her lip. "I can see that. Why? We don't have the money for this."
She deserved to be hit by him.
"I n-n-needed something."
She switched on the garage light. Tools were scattered everywhere, along with splotches of grimy, black oil from the Honda. He didn't keep it in the garage anymore. The two of them shared it, which was another reason to keep it out there. This was his space.
Red nerves zigzagged out of Mal's pupils like tiny bolts of lightning. She sniffled and wiped her nose, then wiped her hand on the silk blouse she wore. Tears wouldn't fall from those eyes which had dried up from too much sadness so long ago. For a moment he felt all resentment for her slip away. At times like these, she still appeared human to him, not the nagging droid he'd become so familiar with since their marriage.
She came down the steps and walked over to him. Her bare feet slapped against the hard cement of the floor, breaking the silence. The footsteps sounded heavy, as if she wore metal boots. She wasn't a heavy woman, though. Mal was thin and looked like she had stepped out of a fifties homemaker catalogue. After all, she didn't work. House cleaning was her life.
"Aren't I enough?" She reached out and touched his arm.
Hank gasped and jumped back. Her fingers were like solid ice against his skin.
Mal let her hand linger for a moment, staring at him, and then pulled it back.
"Don't you love me anymore?"
No, he didn't.
Then tell her, Hank. For me.
He sensed Sally watching him, imagined her pulling up behind him, pushing him forward, urging him to say it.
"Of course I l-l-love you. I'm j-j-just having a w-w-weird d-d-day."
Mal eyed him. She calmed, but not with relief. Instead, she surrendered to the knowledge that he was lying. She had an inhuman way of being able to know.
"Alright. I'm going to bed. There's spaghetti in the fridge."
She turned and staggered out of the garage. Hank held a hand out to her, then decided against it. He should let her go.
You should leave her for me.
Hank trudged up the stairs to their bedroom some hours later. The spaghetti had tasted rotten, as if it were some machines interpretation of the food. As if that were any different from the usual meals prepared by Mal. That's why he had gained some weight over the years, by secretly eating fast food late at night. Not always, but most of the time.
Thin veils of moonlight trembled into the darkness from a single window in the upstairs hall. Shadows from the banister held their place in the light, transcending from the wooden railing into tall, dark pillars. Hank stepped through this, passing by an empty nursery that he'd built at a time that seemed lost in memory now.
At one point they'd both wanted kids, when they were first married. Success never came their way. Mal couldn't conceive. She had a cold womb, as he always thought. No child would ever grow in the barren, heatless pit of his wife. He supposed that's when their love had started to creep under the house to die.
Hank put a hand to the door of the nursery, always closed. Children's laughter fluttered through his ears, a ghostly laugh which had never existed.
I can give you children.
Sally called to him from downstairs. Her beauty hadn't left his mind since seeing her earlier that day. It flitted through his brain. He wanted her. Even at this moment, tired and feeling the heavy force of sleep bringing him down, he wanted her.
You can have me whenever you want. I'm yours forever.
He dragged his hand away from the nursery door and trudged into his bedroom. A hiss seeped past his lips as the door creaked open. Mal was a silent sleeper. Waking her would be a mistake. He eased himself into the room and closed the door behind him.
The room, though so wide and large for a master bedroom, held so little. A single dresser and their bed were all that occupied the nearly empty space. Sleeping next to Mal, it always seemed fitting that way, since he was alone in here. This room was empty, no matter how much furniture they placed inside. There would always be some vacant spot that could never be filled, some space of open loneliness.
He removed his suit and tie, then his black socks. Hank left on his boxers. Neither of them had slept naked together for at least a year now. The sheets pulled back with a sighing wisp.
Her body laid still. She looked peaceful. He could take a pillow and put it over her face. It would be so easy...
Maneuvering his flabby body, he began to lie down onto his welcoming pillow.
"You're not sleeping in here tonight." Mal's voice startled him.
"Then what s-s-should I do?"
"I can't bear to have you next to me right now. I know you don't care."
The same speech she gave every night. The same sad voice.
"You know t-t-that's not true."
"I d-d-don't." Now she was the one stuttering as if her brain were malfunctioning.
Sounds of whirring mechanics drilled on the bed. Hank glanced around until he realized the strange sound came from Mal. Tears wet the bed like dark spots of grease.
"Please. Get out."
Hank jumped out of the bed and stormed towards the door. He yanked it open and glanced back, noticing how Mal's skin gleamed metallically in the white glow of the moon before he slammed the door shut.
You can spend the night with me. I'm lonely here.
He closed the garage door behind him. A musty smell wafted up around him like a translucent attacker. No worries about that. She would smell of lilacs. It would be sweet.
Her eyes followed him as Hank ambled over to Sally, implying a deep craving. She yearned for him to be with her.
Hank opened the door. Despite the cool air in the garage, the door was warm. And it felt different. Not hard like metal. Soft. Fleshy.
The frame of the door widened as he crawled in. Sally embraced him.
Something seemed odd about the interior of the car. Humidity radiated from the dash and the seats. Drops of sweat clung to his skin. His boxers dampened.
I want you, Hank. You're all I've ever wanted.
What was she doing to him?
"There's n-n-no way."
There is always a way if you want it bad enough. If you love enough
A steady beating built up inside of her. Like a heart. Fabric ripped and tore as oil filled veins sprouted and branched off into spider-webbed designs; in the panels, the dashboard, the seats, the ceiling. They pulsed blackly with fresh life.
A moment of fear passed through Hank, slipping away with the soothing moaning that vibrated all around him. It was the voice of a lusting woman.
Everything became soft, organic. Metal stripped from the panels and frames, transforming it all into reddish, membranous tissue. It throbbed with each beat of the pulsing heart. The inside of Sally burned with a reddish-purple hue, wrapping Hank in its awing brilliance. He widened his eyes, overtaken by the surreal colors.
I've never felt more alive, he thought. All these years, so little excitement, and now...this
The moaning rose higher, higher. Ripping tears split the steering wheel in half, giving way for a long, sensuous pink tongue to slither its way out. It waved at him, swinging left and right. The red lips of the wheel puckered at him desirably as the tongue rolled over nothing. Her heart beat faster, and now he could tell that it was coming from somewhere under the hood, though it seemed to be all around him.
Hank reached for the shifter and found that it to had turned to flesh. Looking down he could see lightly colored, vibrating tissue deep within the shifter. The button near the top had turned into a tiny pink muscle. He touched it, shuddering at the feeling it gave him. It was soft yet hard, wet, like a woman's clit.
Which meant that the inside of the shifter must be...
"Is this r-r-really h-h-happening?"
The moaning lulled at him.
Yes. Make love to me.
He wanted her badly. But what if she rejected him? What if he didn't please her?
You don't have to worry about any of those things. I won't judge you. Not like her.
The mouth of the wheel spread wider. He held out his fingers and traced a line around Sally's smooth, voluptuous lips. Her tongue lapped at his fingers, probing them. She felt good against his skin, so warm.
Be inside me.
Yes. He couldn't wait any longer.
Hank yanked down his boxers, letting his rigid cock spring up. He pulled himself forward and let her take it into her mouth. Sally's lips closed around him, tightening around his hard length. They were moist around his flesh. Her tongue flicked at his tip, showering his nerves in pleasure.
He closed his eyes and slipped his fingers into the shifter. Stringy fluid pooled around his fingers as she gasped. Hank let his fingers slide in and out of her, twisting them around the silky walls. He rubbed at her clit with his thumb, sometimes hard, sometimes soft. The light surrounding him pulsed with each delighted moan that escaped from Sally.
Yes, Hank, yes. This is everything I want. This is everything I ever need.
As he quickened the speed of his fingers, so did she roll her tongue over his entire cock, taking him deep inside of her. Sally's lips sucked hard and needfull. They moaned together. Heat spread throughout the interior. Everything became moist and wet and sticky. She licked at him ravenously, wanting more, more, more.
Do you enjoy me?
"Y-y-yes! I love you."
Mal would never do this for him. But Sally loved it. Sally craved to make him happy.
Ecstasy filled him. He moaned louder and louder, the pulse of the car beating faster and faster, pounding in his head, pounding, pounding, his erection coming, coming so fast, her tongue running over him, the lips sucking at him, he was coming, coming, coming...Hank released his seed into her mouth at the same moment that she came, covering his fingers in a thick, black fluid.
Her lips still around his cock, he sensed her gulping his semen while he convulsed, his member slapping against her tongue.
He pulled out of her and dropped back into the seat. The pulsing of the glowing lights softened, fading away. Sighing, he closed his eyes and laid his head back.
"I h-h-haven't had that for s-s-so l-l-long."
Neither have I. You were so good. You were perfect.
"So were y-y-you."
Hank fell asleep then, listening to the throbbing pulse of her heart as the warm tissue walls beat all around him, encircling him like a soft, red blanket.
Mal's voice, somewhere near him.
"Hank?" She sounded alarmed.
His eyes fluttered open, finding Mal standing near Sally's driver door. She must have noticed the way that he glared at the sight of her. He observed Sally's interior. All normal. Experiencing her seemed to be only a dream now. And maybe it had been. Experiences like that couldn't be real.
"What d-d-do you want?" He spat the words at her. She winced.
"I came to apologize. I'm-"
"Save it," mumbled Hank.
She stood back. "What?"
"Just l-l-leave me alone."
He shoved open the car door and moved out. Mal took a step back, allowing room for Hank's weight. Positioning himself on his feet, he looked at her. So fragile, so timid, so Goddamn infuriating.
"I'm l-l-leaving you."
Her knees wobbled. "What did you say?"
"I'm leaving y-y-you."
Her legs gave way and she fell to her knees, hands smacking on the floor to keep the rest of her body from falling over. The smack resounded like a gunshot.
"How can you say that?"
"B-b-because I am." He didn't feel sorry for her anymore. Enough was enough. He was tired of all of the accusations, all of the complaints, all of the lies.
And you have me now.
Yes, and Sally. Precious, loving Sally.
Hank lumbered towards his groveling wife. She grabbed at him, digging her cool fingers into his meaty ankles.
She spoke, faint of breath, blurting her words out. "Please. Hank, please."
"I love you. I know we fight, but I love you. Please don't do this to me."
Mal couldn't look at him. Her long brown hair hung down over her eyes. Through thin gaps, he could see strands of mucus hanging from her nose. The smell of grease and oil intensified in the garage.
"I'm d-d-done with you."
Mal stared up at him. "I know we haven't made love for awhile. I've been confused. But I know now. I know I still love you. I can still please you."
Her face was level with his boxers. She pulled them down, taking his flaccid penis into her mouth. There was no wetness, no tight warmth. Her mouth was cold, lips dry. It was like he was being sucked by a hollow pipe, feeling much like when he'd used to stick his cock into the bathtub faucet, imaging it as the cunt of a woman.
Mal tugged on his cock vigorously, but there was no pleasure in it. He stayed flaccid. Hank noticed the way her skin looked. Gray, shiny with sweat, metallic. Even her hair didn't look real anymore. It drooped in thick, frizzy strands like a wig. Sharp bristles of it stabbed at his waist while she continued. Mal moaned, doing her best to get him excited, as any good sort of slave would do, but nothing happened.
You know what true pleasure is now.
All the while Sally watched, observing every depressing move. He didn't like the way she watched. He sensed a hate for Mal that swelled in the room, two seconds from rupturing.
He thought of stopping Mal, grabbing her by the hair and throwing her off of him. Instead, he let her go. This was the last time she would do anything for him.
On cue, she pulled at his thighs, urging him down. He followed, pushing her back onto the floor and ripping her nightie from her body. Phil had been right to say she was beautiful. Her slender body held perfect, round breasts. Tight abs stretched tautly under her skin, allowing for smooth, curved hips. She reminded him of the wives from The Stepford Wives. Too perfect. Inhumanly perfect.
Their sex was empty, impassionate. Mal moaned every five seconds as a machine would. It wasn't real. None of it. They couldn't call it making love. Love didn't exist in whatever this was anymore.
When they were finished, Mal closed her eyes warily and thanked him.
Hank didn't say a thing.
You can't have both of us, Hank.
He stared at Sally. She seemed to have inched closer while he lay on the floor with Mal. The grill, her smile, looked slack, thin. Angry.
She was right. He couldn't have them both. Sally was his obsession. Mal was a lifeless thing.
Hank stood and walked over to his tool chest.
She shouldn't have done that. You should have left her sobbing.
What was done was done. He opened a drawer and took out a screwdriver.
Mal paid no attention. Probably, she didn't notice. She too was lost in a world of thought, much less regretful than his he supposed.
Hank shut off the garage light.
Mal called to him. Her voice shook. "Hank?"
He would take her apart. Take her apart like a broken machine. Through the darkness, he stalked towards the sound of her voice. She continued to call for him, leading him towards her. Her breath brushed lightly over his bare leg. Grabbing her by the hair, he drove the screwdriver into her throat. Twin, yellow lights flashed in the dark where her eyes should have been. He screamed and fell away from her. Her eyes lit up the room with a yellow glow, flashing for an instant with mechanic life, and then faded away with a slow, electric hiss of static.
No sound broke the silence.
What had he done?
Hank felt his way along the floor, fingers slipping on the blood that pooled at his knees. An emptiness snuck into his heart.
Why had he done it?
"Mal, I'm s-s-sorry."
Sally's engine rumbled in the dark.
Headlight beams switched on, catching Hank in a wave of light. He held up a hand to the glare and tried to back away. There was no room. The work desk loomed behind him.
Sally's engine roared. Her body bounced with each press of the gas.
You can't have both of us. You made love to her.
"I d-d-don't love her. D-d-don't do this!"
I got what I needed from you.
Sally shot forward, tires screaming against the floor. Clouds of smoke whooshed up into the air. Hank screamed to, holding up both hands to the approaching, catlike eyes that in the dark looked so much like some demonic creature. In the raging light, he saw that Sally's grill smiled.