He looked up from the glass of amber liquid he contemplated. The study was dark but for a lamp with a flexible neck bent at an awkward angle casting a light on his large ornate desk. Shadow grew up the walls from the plants in the corners, pointless fucking things but Vivian had nagged him until he’d put them in here just to shut her up, which was how she seemed to get everything she wanted. His dreams were lying in so much ruins around his ankles like trousers at a public toilet and she was nagging him over a bunch of useless fucking plants. He drained the glass and set it on the desk.
The door to the study opened and the bright overhead light flared to life, a miniature sun assaulting his eyes and he recoiled as his eyes worked frantically to contract and block out this sudden surplus of spectrum.
“Eric, why are you sitting here in the dark?” Vivian stood framed in the doorway, her magnificent figure overshadowed by her voice, pitched at the exact frequency to bore into eardrums.“We’ve got to be at the party soon and you’re not even dressed.” The cloud of perfume led her into the room and around his desk. His jaw clenched.
“You didn’t forget, did you?” she asked, reaching a hand out to caress his cheek in the manner he had(thought?) he had found so sexy. Now he turned his head away from her hand and pushed the rolling chair back.
“I’m not going. I need to think about some things. You go. Have fun.” He stretched his face into a horrible smile which fooled no one.
“Right, then everybody gets to ask me where you are and I get to spend all night explaining why I’m wandering around by myself? Get your ass up off that chair and into your tuxedo or else.” Without another word she turned and swept from the room.
For a moment, he stared after her. Finally, his jaw relaxed with a conscious effort, and he refilled his glass with the amber liquid. This time, he filled it to the brim. He’d met her in some bar somewhere after some fight with Nancy. He’d stormed out rather than deck the bitch, and a blonde with only half a dress on oozed up to his elbow and asked for a drink. It was a story as old as dirt, he supposed. Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy fights with girl, boy goes to a bar to drink, boy meets other girl, boy fucks other girl in bar bathroom. Marrying her had been a drunken whim upon which she had seized with delight, knowing the size of his pocketbook. It wasn’t a love story for the ages, or the proudest moment of his life. Not that cheating on Nancy really bothered him. It was getting drunk and fucking a random woman in a bar, just like a common drunk, which really got under his skin. The knowledge that he was doing the exact same thing as millions of men in millions of bars all over the world.
That only came later though. After the booze wore off and the euphoria of parading her in Nancy’s face was no longer a viable option. Although, he had been done with Vivian even before Nancy had murdered Sandra. Vivian’s days were spent in non-stop spending, talk, and insistence that they go out to parties. Once there, she would cavort around and show off her ring to dozens of acquaintances he had never met nor cared to. Without fail, he would become bored, end up at the bar, drink too much and wake up the next morning with only Vivian’s accounts of what had happened the night before.
He looked at the two dolls, sitting behind his bottle of scotch. He had given the house a once- over, just to make sure there was nothing useful or embarrassing there. He had gone through the entire place, and found nothing worth tin shit, or aluminum for that matter. He had been about to leave the last room, his daughter’s, when the dolls had stopped him. They stared at him, their eyes pleading. Don’t leave us here for some random stranger. Save us. Rescue us. Love us. It was ridiculous, of course. He was a grown man, he never played with dolls, now or as a child.
But here they were. Sitting on his desk. Flanking his bottle of scotch. Watching him drink it. It was fucking weird.
“Fucking weird,” he told the one on the left, the blonde in the white dress, and tried to arch his eyebrow to match the crack above her eye. He was quite drunk by now. He drained his glass and looked at the other one, the brunette with the black dress. “And don’t you start on me.” He hauled himself to his feet and staggered. “I have to go to a party.”
An hour later, he had poured himself into a tuxedo and was swaying by the door, waiting for Vivian to apply a last coat of spackle to her face. He was just beginning to reflect that he should have a drink while he was waiting for Christ’s sake when she appeared at a door, clad in a fur he vaguely remembered as having a five figure price tag.
“Eric, you look terrible. How much have you had to drink already?” Vivian looked at him with color rising in her cheeks, never a good sign.
“I just had a few,” he said and pawed the door open for her. “Your chariot awaits, milady.”
“It better just be a few,” she said, sweeping past him in a rustle of silk and fur. “If you embarrass me, I will kill you.”
He shut the door for her, a smile on his face, and tried unsuccessfully to cock his eyebrow like the doll, apropos of nothing. He caught sight of himself in a reflection and chuckled. He looked like a fool.
With a squeal of rubber they were away, flying down the driveway toward the party at forty miles an hour. He took the mailbox out with his right turn and accelerated. Before long the car was in the correct lane heading in the correct direction and Vivian was screaming at him.
“….stupid ass! Could have killed us both, I knew you were too fucking drunk, you–”
“Oh shut up can’t you!” he yelled at her, passing a slow-moving sports car on a corner. “We’re going for a fucking ride, you and I, and you should really just sit there and shut up. You don’t hear them complaining do you?”
“THEM?” she shrieked at him, scrabbling at her seat belt as he swerved to avoid an ill-timed merge by an oblivious motorist. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“The girls in the back appreciate a nice drive,” he said, and giggled. Vivian looked behind her as she snapped her belt into place, her eyes dropping from eye level to gape at the two dolls, one in black, one in white, sitting in the back seat, belted in. Staring at her. STARING AT HER.