Ed waited eagerly like a dog at the door as he watched the delivery driver struggle with the large package on his driveway, slipping briefly on the ice and cursing.
When the man got closer, Ed flung open the door, startling him.
“Is that it?” Ed wheezed through the tremor of excitement before correcting himself, “Is that her?”
The driver’s bushy face was unamused. He hated most American holidays, but this one in particular. It meant more work for the same pay, longer hours, and more complaints, just to cater to a festival he didn’t believe in.
“Sign here,” he responded, noticing the lack of tip for almost killing himself on the driveway.
Ed quickly signed and with that, he was the proud owner of a Forever Wife, a “fully automatically human-like wife”. He had already named her Celeste and she was the woman of his dreams.
He had made sure of that.
The first indication was during their second night. Surprisingly, it was painful and he noticed the sores and scrapes on his skin with disgust. Grabbing a flashlight, he examined her mouth, looking for whatever had scraped his most sensitive flesh.
While the gaping lipsticked mouth and tongue were smooth and inviting, he quickly found the culprit. Her teeth were hard and sharp; the glossy enamel brilliantly reflecting the light.
Ed was surprised, and slightly disappointed, at his wife’s level of authenticity. It made things more difficult and he’d have to take special precaution to avoid her teeth in the future. Even her jaws had an inflexibility to them, as he watched the mouth close and clench into a tight smile…
The second was on their fifth night. While in bed, he became enraptured with their love, pushing down on her chest with his thick hand.
Suddenly, he felt a deep, sharp crack under his palm, felt it echo through his ears, like a bone breaking under his frenzied strain.
Immediately he withdrew to inspect her, terrified that he had somehow broken the Christmas gift his parents had sent. He had the bad habit of breaking things by accident and knew that she was much too expensive to replace.
Thankfully, she seemed perfectly fine.
He resumed without hesitation.
The third and final time was two weeks later.
After carefully making sure that her mouth was functioning and flexible, he again began to use it. She seemed to become more flexible as time progressed, more accepting of his body and the positions, which delighted Ed.
He didn’t realize anything was wrong until he felt warmth and wetness in his hands as he clutched her face. Horrified, he glanced down to look at her face, at where they connected.
It was like looking at her for the first time, finally seeing her, and he witnessed the wet pleading in her soft eyes as they openly wept below him.
“What the hell-” was all he managed before those human-like jaws smoothly closed like a trap, without any hesitation.