What’s in the box?

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  We bring the box into the back of the store and Natsuki follows inquisitively. Haruka’s limp form is sitting in the large sink in the corner, her limbs hanging over the edges awkwardly, her head lolling back. I think she surprises Natsuki because I hear a small gasp behind me as we set the box down on the table in the middle of the room.

  Dalton grabs the box cutter sitting on the sideboard and opens our delivery hastily, scoring across the thick brown tape and pulling the the cardboard apart. Beneath is what I expected – a much more elegant box, a casket made from fibreglass. There’s an identical one on the other side of the room, albeit six months older.

  No one’s said a word in minutes, there’s a strange electricity to the proceedings that I don’t really understand. It’s exciting for sure, welcoming a new member to the Womb, but the silence has taken on a life of it’s own, an ominous, unspoken serenity reverberating from the coffin that commands it. I think Natsuki’s probably guessed the contents before Dalton ceremoniously slides the heavy lid off and towards him, but she still cranes her neck to get a better look. I’m at the opposite end of the table, watching as a pair of perfect feet are revealed, then the legs, with skin so pale it’s almost translucent in this light. The curves of the thighs roll into view next, cushioned by the luxurious white velvet interior of the box.

  Piece by perfect piece the naked body is revealed, up past the navel to the modest breasts and the expertly crafted and strangely sensual collarbone and finally to her face; defined, striking, and freakishly lifelike. She has a tumble of believably blue-hewn hair. Looking at her I get the same shiver I got when we unboxed Haruka. The same strange sensation of guilt, as if it were a corpse, serene and peaceful and ready for us to defile. Or our customers at least.

  “Behold,” Dalton says, “the new girl.”

  “This isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I said we needed help, Dalton,” I say, half annoyed I hadn’t been told about the addition to our family.

  “Kirei,” Natsuki whispers, leaning over the coffin to get peer into our new dolls eyes. She asks Dalton what her name is.

  “Mitsuki,” Dalton says without pausing for thought. He had obviously decided long before the order arrived. “Well, get to it,” he continues, looking at me.

  “What? Get to what?”

  “The test drive. Take her for a spin,” he says, straight faced and serious. “I did the honours last time, it’s only right.”

  Natsuki understands English enough to know what he’s asking. She looks at me expectantly, but I’m unsure exactly what she’s expecting. I look between the two of them, then to Mitsuki, then back to Dalton.

  “I think I’m good,” I say quickly.

  “You’re the guy pimping these out every day. It’s only natural you try them at least once.”

  In the strange world of the Womb, he might actually have a point. Natsuki even nods, but she might just be messing with me. Don’t get me wrong – the curiosity’s always there – but once I’d cleaned Haruka out for the tenth time there was little drive left in me to explore it, or her. Besides, I don’t feel like shlepping Mitsuki upstairs and riding the plastic prostitute this early in the morning. Especially not with Natsuki there to see me condemn myself to such an act.

  I shoot Dalton a look and he seems to get it. He drops it, at least, and signs Natsuki’s delivery sheet and sends her on her way, off to hand out the rest of Kabukicho’s sordid produce, none as exciting, I’m sure, as our naked silicone sex doll.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:
The two lovely 2D ladies above are Mitsuki & Haruka from the anime Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien, and they are the onomatological inspiration for the two dolls in the Womb.

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~ by Joseph Blame on November 13, 2010.

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