“We need to talk.”
Jason hung his head and sighed. He knew this was coming. Had known since that night in the alley last week. He could feel the tension when they were together. The cold embraces. They’d made love only once since that night and it had been passionless. Both of them just going through the motions in a desperate attempt to salvage their life together.
“I love you.”
Jason could hear the unspoken “but”. He did not want this. Polly was the only thing that mattered anymore. The only thing that made any sense to him. If only he could have controlled himself in the alley. He’d tried. Of course he’d tried. He’d let the drunks words roll off him. Even laughed and agreed with the boozer at one point. Then the drunk had insulted Polly. Rage exploded in Jason. The rest was a blur of fists and blood. The sounds of bone breaking only fed the anger and when his vision cleared he was in the car, Polly sitting silent beside him staring at his blood stained hands.
“You’re special to me.”
Jesus, Jason thought, another unsaid “but”. He wished she would just get it over with. Just say the words he knew were coming. Break what was left of his spirit and go. They both knew where this was going, so why wait? What irritated him the most was that he had done it for her. He had defended her. Like a knight coming to the fair maidens rescue. He had slayed the dragon that had dared besmirch her honor. And his payment? No kiss. No happily ever after. Only a stumbling break up. This isn’t fair, Jason thought. I slayed the dragon.
“I’ve got a secret.”
Jason’s eyes went wide. He looked at Polly and saw the truth. She’d called the cops. She ratted him out. After he defends her, and let’s be honest, all women, by destroying that drunken foul mouthed dragon, his reward will be imprisonment. Ridicule. Misunderstanding. Some shrink picking his brain apart with poisoned words. No, it couldn’t happen like that.
“What did you do?”
Polly didn’t respond but he could read her eyes. He’d always been able to know what she was thinking.
“I can’t believe it.” He stood and walked toward her. He admired her courage, she didn’t move. She knew his temper. “After what I did for you?”
“I love you.”
Hearing those words from her deceitful, traitorous mouth sent him into a blind rage. His vision was cloudy, sounds were muffled and time slowed.
“I have a secret.”
Polly’s words brought him back to reality. The words were slurred but he could understand them. Still she mocked him, but the anger fled when he saw her. He knelt, tears streaming down his cheeks.
“I’m so sorry baby. Please, forgive me.”
Jason reached out with a trembling hand, ignoring the yells from his neighbors and the smell of both himself and his rundown apartment, and pulled the string of the Polly Talks! Doll. His Polly.
“I love you,” she says and the words are even more slurred.
“Please be ok,” he says and gives her a gentle shake.
“We need to talk,” Polly says before going quiet forever.
©2011 James Marlow
James became interested in horror after sneaking over to a friends house to watch American werewolf in London. He’s been writing fiction in one form or another his whole life. He lives in Indiana with his wife and children.