Monday, August 27, 2012



The sound of the glass dome covering him made his tiny gears whirl, first in a slow spin of wakefulness, then at a panic stricken pace. Something had gone very wrong. . .again. Malfisto quickly hopped into action, busily unfolding the many hinges of his eight mechanical legs from his sedate form of an intricate metal brooch no bigger than a coat button.
     ‘Hey! Hey you!’ he called through the glass at the distorted image of the girl as she gathered her tools, ‘What’s all this about?’
      The girl didn’t turn around, but continued at her task. ‘You know very well, what this is about. You got me into this mess. . . you will get me out.’
      ‘Now, just wait a minute! Hold up!’ he cried, tapping his front legs against the glass, ‘How many times do I have to tell you? My reprogramming didn’t make the mess!’
      ‘Tell me. . . who did it?’
      Malfisto slid his legs off the glass and crouched. ‘Again. How many times do I have to tell you? I DON’T KNOW!’
      The girl shook her head and sighed, unsatisfied. ‘I don’t care for that answer.’
     ‘Well. . .that’s all I got for ya, Sister,’ Malfisto huffed, ‘Still after all these months, that’s all I got.’

‘Hmm. . . ‘ said the girl simply.
      ‘You know. . . I’ve been thinking, since all this happened,’ Malfisto mused, ‘Who ever said this wasn’t some elaborate scheme anyway? You’re in your mess because, in a way, you ultimately wanted the mess. Believe me, back home, those who know are elated. It was the mess they wanted you to be in. Better late than never. . .’
      'Yes,’ the girl sighed, ‘All an elaborate scheme, Mal. All of it so that I could be seen as the victim. Poor little Ophelia Priestwood and her never having a say. But look! She has done her duty to the family! How good of her! Well, I’ve been taken advantage of my whole life, and I tried to remedy that by leaving home, leaving my first born, and coming here to study. Getting to spend real time in a metalwork of my very own, creating my mechanical paradise. It was the best choice I had ever made for myself, then you arrived. . . ‘
     ‘Hey! I was already here, remember? Your insane brother toted me along during his time of study. He couldn’t have gotten along without me in his freaky-deaky greenhouses, and then, well, I guess I don’t know what happened after he left. It was like a long sleep. When I woke up, he had gone back home without me, and you were in your, er, predicament. So, see? If there is a victim here, it’s definitely me! Actually, I was surprised to find you here at university. Must’ve rode in on the coattails of Alistair’s brilliance. . . as crazy as it is.’
        ‘That isn’t true, so shut the hell up!’ Ophelia snapped angrily, turning around with her tray full of tools, ready to begin.

         ‘Look, I’m sorry, okay? I didn’t mean that! Really!’ Malfisto backed up against the far side of the glass dome, as the girl sat on her swivel stool in front of him. She strapped on her specialized goggles featuring interchangeable magnifying lenses, slipped on a tight fitting leather glove onto her left hand and with no further ceremony, lifted the dome and quickly swiped him.

A swift poke of a tiny screwdriver among the intricate gears and Malfisto fell limp in her hand, paralyzed. Ophelia slipped off the protective glove, shifted a magnifying lens over her right eye, and then another, her eye enlargement, distorting her beyond recognition.

At least he could still speak, not that it would do him any good, but he could try, while he was still able. ‘I’m a rather amazing toy, aren’t I?’

‘Hmm-hum,’ Ophelia murmured under her breath without pausing her work.

‘See, that’s all I was ever made for, to be a plaything for you and Alistair. And I gotta say, it was fun. You were always much more the better playmate. Alistair had a bad habit of taking me deep into the woods, get all wrapped up in some weird plant, then take it home instead of me! See? I’m just now getting my memory back! I’ve just worked myself back to my old self, before the alteration! Now you’re just coming along and jacking my insides all up again!’

Ophelia switched between tiny drivers and tweezers, then sighed and sat them down. ‘Still no memory of what happened six months ago, then?’

‘Nope, nothing.’

‘Shall I tell you?’

‘That would help.’

‘Whomever reprogrammed you before cared nothing for my sanity.’ Ophelia switched magnifying lens again and took up her tools as she spoke, poking very precisely. ‘But, I must say, it was brilliantly done. After Kate was born, I wanted to go away, and stay gone, merely looking at my brother repulsed me to my very core. But then, a few months ago, I suddenly could think of nothing else, but to get back to him. So, I did.’

‘Yeah, okay. That choice had nothing to do with me.’

‘Oh, yes it did.’ Ophelia insisted, ‘I didn’t understand what was happening, then I heard the whirl of gears in my head, driving me to madness, wanting nothing but him. You were there, secretly attached to my skull, whirling your gears, effecting my thoughts and emotions.’

‘Oh. . .’

‘Yes, and now, what you helped create, you will will help destroy.’

Malfisto could now no longer speak and his body contracted until he was neatly folded back into his tight button form. Ophelia lifted the skirt of her dark dress and attached him to her protruding pregnant belly. His gears whirled at a continuous frantic speed. The startled fetus inside recoiled and howled in pain.

 By DS

No comments: