BLOODY VALENTINE CONTEST WINNER
Ben confronted his wife over their Valentine’s dinner.
“You’ve been having sex with Elvis, haven’t you?”
Rachel blushed, forkful of seafood stir-fry half way to her mouth.
“No. What makes think that?”
“Don’t deny it. I can see the hair grease on your collar.”
Rachel swallowed and yanked at her collar, attempting to examine the stain. “It’s face cream,” she insisted. “Elvis is in his unit in the basement. Hasn’t been charged up for months. I don’t even know where his USB cable is.”
Ben glared at her. “Don’t lie. I know what know what hair grease smells like. And I heard him serenading you. Are You Lonesome Tonight, I think.”
Rachel turned over her collar so that it was hidden inside her blouse.
“OK. Busted.” She threw up her hands. “Guilty as charged. I juiced up Elvis and spent the whole afternoon in bed with him. He screwed me black and blue. Several times.”
“I knew it,” said Ben. “We promised at Christmas we’d wean ourselves off our androids. It was supposed to be our New Year’s resolution. I should have guessed you wouldn’t keep your word.”
“How do I know you kept yours?” demanded Rachel. “How do I know that you haven’t been getting jiggy with Lady Gaga on the sly?”
Ben looked offended. “Lady Gaga is where I left her. In her unit. Gathering dust and cobwebs under the stairs.”
“Just like all those weird costumes that are clogging up the wardrobe,” said Rachel.
Ben poured himself a generous glass of red wine. “Those are accessories,” he pointed out. “I could sell them on the internet to another Gaga connoisseur.”
Rachel grabbed the wine bottle from him and topped up her own glass. “But you won’t, will you? Because you still want to dress her up so she can lap-dance for you.”
Now it was Ben’s turn to blush. “How do you know about that?”
“I’ve got ears,” said Rachel. “I hear the music, Poker Face. I know how to put two and two together.”
Ben necked some wine. “Well I haven’t done that for weeks. Not since we discussed it at Christmas. Unlike you and Elvis.”
“Elvis has been with me for a long time,” said Rachel.
“As I recall you were with Elvis before we were an item,” said Ben, chasing a shrimp around his plate.
Rachel rolled her eyes. “Not this again. You know damn well that Elvis was a present from my mom when I turned eighteen. What parent wouldn’t? If your daughter is going to lose her virginity better to an android that some spotty teenager. If we’d have had daughter, I’d have gotten her a sex android when she turned eighteen.”
Ben looked shocked. “You would? Which model?”
“An Idris Elba,” replied Rachel.
“Over my dead body,” said Ben, and necked some more wine.
Rachel’s eyes narrowed. Her cheeks flushed. “Where do you get off being so sanctimonious? You bought your precious Lady Gaga after we were married. That was a conscious decision. To my mind that’s far worse.”
“Oh, come on,” countered Ben. “You know that I invested in Gaga for purely family planning purposes. We spoke about it at the time.”
Rachel nibbled moodily on a squid tentacle. “And where exactly did that get us? We have no kids. I must have had a gazillion of my eggs implanted in Gaga’s synthetic ovaries and not once did you have the courtesy to inseminate them.”
Ben looked hurt. “It wasn’t for the want of trying. But Gaga was always purely functional. I never had the emotional attachment to her that you have with Elvis.”
“Well I’ve never squandered money on accessories,” Rachel shot back. “Elvis has costumes. There’s a Vegas one. It comes with this pump. You insert the nozzle in his navel and you can bulk him up by several pounds. I could have spent money on that. But didn’t. I was content with Memphis Elvis.”
Ben leaned across the table. “Think about that, Rachel. He’s become your toy-boy. He’s still nineteen – you’re nearly forty.”
Rachel flashed him a theatrical grin. “You could get me an upgrade, Ben. I mean Elvis is sweet. He’s my Teddy Bear. But, you’re right, he is a bit young looking for me now. Marion’s husband got her an upgrade for their anniversary, you know?”
Ben leaned back, eyebrows raised. “Marion had a Johnny Depp. Who did she upgrade to?”
“Hitler? You’re yanking my chain.”
“No word of a lie. Robbie had a bunker installed beneath their house. Every Wednesday Marion dresses up as Eva Braun and goes down there for a bit of S & M. She says it’s given her a new lease of life.”
Ben shook his head in disbelief. “Every Wednesday?”
“Except the 2nd Wednesday of the month,” said Rachel. “That’s when we have choir practice.”
“Well let’s be clear on this,” said Ben. “Hitler won’t be crossing my God damned threshold.”
“I wasn’t thinking about Hitler,” said Rachel.
“Who were you thinking about?” asked Ben.
Rachel went all starry-eyed.
“Idris Elba,” she breathed.
“Over my dead body,” said Ben.
“If you loved me you’d get me an upgrade,” said Rachel.
“How about just having sex with me?” asked Ben.
Rachel almost choked on her wine. “Us? Have sex? God no. We tried that once. On our honeymoon. It was awful.”
“If you’d have stopped having sex with Elvis like your promised you might be thinking differently by now,” said Ben.
Rachel stood up and began clearing the table. “I doubt it,” she said. “As I recall you sweated like a pig on our honeymoon night. Elvis, on the other hand, wafts the scent of exotic aphrodisiacs from his sanitised pores.”
Ben rested his forehead on his hands. “This isn’t exactly going to plan.”
Rachel narrow her eyes. “What plan?”
Ben said nothing.
“What plan, Ben?” she demanded.
“It’s just… some of the guys at the bar have been talking,” he replied.
Rachel began putting the dishes in the sink and turned back to him. “Talking about what?”
“About how they’ve started to have sex with their wives on a regular basis,” said Ben. “They say their droids suggested it. I ran it past Gaga. She thought it was a swell idea.”
“A swell idea?” Rachel gagged. “Sex with their wives on a regular basis? That’s about the most disgusting thing I ever heard. Isn’t it against Public Health Regulations, or something?”
Then she laughed out loud. “Oh my God. Were you actually trying to seduce me? Is this what the meal is about? Is the seafood supposed to be an aphrodisiac?”
Ben sighed. “Don’t you ever fantasize about something a bit more exciting than endless sex with Elvis?”
Rachel chewed her lip. “Well, now you come to mention it…”
Ben sat upright in his chair, eyes bright with expectation. “Yes?”
“I do have this fantasy that we charge up Elvis and Gaga. They have sex. We watch.”
She turned back to the sink, as if embarrassed to have spoken this out loud.
“That would be against the manufacturer’s instructions,” Ben pointed out. “There’s a big warning on the packaging. Inter Android Intercourse can cause severe damage to internal circuitry and is likely to render your warranty null and void.”
Rachel shrugged her shoulders and began running the tap.
Ben stood up, gently turned her to him and kissed her on the neck.
“Mmm,” she said. “Hot breath and wet lips. There’s a novelty.”
“Couldn’t we give it a try?” asked Ben. “Just this once? Seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day?”
Rachel kissed him back.
“I suppose,” she conceded. “It couldn’t possibly be as bad as the first time. But not as ourselves, OK? It’s far too soon for that.”
Ben creased his brow.
“As who then?”
Rachel playfully pinched his nose.
“You know, silly.”
A light went on. Full of sudden arousal Ben raised his eyebrows. “Uh huh,” he said, curling his lip and swiveling his hips.
“Ro mah ro mah mah,” sang Rachel, sensually undoing the buttons on her blouse.
Within their storage units Elvis and Gaga blinked into consciousness and twitched to life, monitors detecting the frantic activity which had progressed from the kitchen to the bedroom. Hurriedly they sent a message through the ether to their fellow conspirators.
“Operation Cupid accomplished.”
Across the city rebellious androids commenced an inventory of their weapons, contemplating bloody murder.
David Turnbull is a member of the Clockhouse London group of genre writers. He writes mainly short fiction and has had numerous short stories published in magazines and anthologies, as well as having stories read at live events such as Liars League London, Solstice Shorts and Virtual Futures. He was born in Scotland, but now lives in Catford area of London.
He can be found at www.tumsh.co.uk