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Mary and Tina

Wet Chip 2.6

By Diomedes | Robert O'Reilly | 14 Feb 2023



Two very different brains

“Can we both go back inside?” Tina and Mary said, almost in unison.  Mary continued, “I just don’t want to think about this right now”.

“Sure darling, you two go back and stay safe.  Rich, I think we should explore that hardware store and find some real weapons.”

He agreed and off we went.  This door was locked.  The front plate glass window was smashed and we were able to crouch in.  It was your typical small hardware store, narrow isles and items stacked up to the ceiling.  There were a few things on the floor, nothing behind the till which was open and empty.  I checked a switch and the lights were out.  The place was still orderly and well stocked with home hardware.

In the small tool section we made some progress.  Rich picked himself out a long knife with a leather sheath that could slide on his belt.  Then we saw several shiny hatchets and each took one.  As Rich slid his knife on his belt the idea struck me that if I could find a carpenter's belt I could park my hatchet in the ring for the hammer and free up my hands.  We found just the right type, a wide belt where the pouch could be slid off leaving just the ring, the only thing we wanted.  Rich discarded his belt and wore his new knife on one side and the hatchet on the other.  We were all set, like cowboys, better than the cavemen earlier.  But what we really wanted were guns.  So we kept up our search, and it didn’t take long.

In the back there was a door which opened to an office.  Sitting at a desk and keeled over was a skeleton with rags of clothes partially covering it.  In its lap was a revolver and the skull had a large exit wound at the top.  It was an obvious suicide.  The gun had three bullets left in the cylinder and we spent the next half hour searching every drawer and cabinet in that room for more bullets but found none.

“Rich, this is a great start but we need more weapons.  There’s got to be a firearms store on this street and now I feel safe enough to explore, so let’s go find one”.

We must have walked a mile until we did come across one, fully stocked.  The street was deserted and eerily quiet.  But the fresh air and the mild exercise of walking was a great pleasure in itself.  My legs felt stiff before.  Now they were loosening up.  We talked about this as we went, and also the skeleton.  Rich guessed that it must have happened about three years ago.  The bones were white.  Perhaps rats and mice had eaten the flesh but even I agreed that it had to be older than a year.

We came out of that store with our mission accomplished.  We had four handguns with holsters four riffles and dozens of boxes of the proper bullets for each one.  We took so much because we found a small shopping cart in the back and we loaded it up, taking turns pushing it all the way home.  That walk too was quiet pleasant, both of us chatting away and happy at our success.  It was already noon when we returned.

The women seemed equally happy as we entered the room, greeting us with broad smiles.  Mary was sitting in a chair by the table and Tina was standing behind her with a comb and scissors at hand, trimming and brushing her hair.  The strange thing was that Tina was now wearing Mary’s blouse, unbuttoned, the one she had complimented, which was different than the one she had on before.  Mary was sitting in only her bra and underwear and Tina had nothing else on likewise.

“You two girls look comfortable”, Rich said, admiring Mary’s body.

“We are, very much so”, Mary said.  “But we’re also hungry.  Would you two be so kind as to go back to that restaurant and bring us some more food, something different.  We’ll clean up the table while your gone.  Then we’ll all have a pleasant and long lunch together.  Oh, and could you leave that shopping cart in the hall.  I like your new belts.  You do excellent work together”.

We did as we were told but as we walked away, both of us confused at their appearance and words, Rich broke out, “something is up with those two.  They didn’t even mention our guns and standing there half-naked”.

“Your right, they’re acting very strange.  It must be the sensations of being awake again.  Though I won’t complain if they want to live in their underwear”.

“Suits me fine too” Rich replied.

Soon we were back, this time with some canned soup and four bowls.

“It sure would be nicer if we could heat it” Mary offered as we were finishing up.

I remembered seeing a small hibachi grill in the hardware store and mentioned it.  We could place it on the floor by the window, open it and cook.  Another errand.  I went to the window to see if it would open and it did.  A gentle breeze blew in with the most perfect temperature, tingling my skin.  It must have been late Spring.  The two women rose and stood before it, as if bathing in it.

“Why hadn’t we thought of this before.  This feels wonderful”, Tina said.

Then she went on, “Would you mind gathering up everything we’ll need to heat food.  It’s such an excellent idea, and a meal to cook.  And if you could take your time and give us the next few hours alone”.

Then Mary spoke, “I know this sounds strange.  But we’ll explain everything to you at dinner and I think you’ll be pleased to hear what we say”.

“Why not say it now”, I replied.

“No, we want to frame it just right.  It’s complicated.  You’ll have to wait”.  She kissed me warmly then gave me a slight push towards the door.  Rich received the same treatment and off we went, like two sulking boys.

We spent the rest of the afternoon gathering up what we were told.  We were wearing holsters now with our chosen handguns.  Rich kept his knife.  We spent some time arranging our new arsenal in Rich’s unit, stacking the appropriate ammunition by each rifle, leaning against a wall.  Then we wandered out along the street, checking out more stores aimlessly, talking constantly about what might be going on in the girls heads, enjoying the sunshine and finally coming home with another shopping cart full of all sorts of bric-a-brac, the hibachi, fuel, flashlights, cans of food and even cosmetics and hairbands for our girls.

As we opened the door and pushed the cart in we found that they had pulled the mattress from the bed to the floor right in front of the window, in the sun, moving the table away.  They were lying there naked, tanning themselves, holding hands and smiling in bliss, barely lifting their heads to greet us as we entered, then lying back again.

Mary spoke, “just give us a few more minutes to catch the last rays of the sun.  Our bodies crave it and we’ll be tanned again and you’ll love us for it.


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B.A. in Latin and Greek from U.C. Berkley. Writer, Blogger and retired Electrician.

Robert O'Reilly
Robert O'Reilly

I am educated in the Western Classical Tradition, B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Latin and Greek, English major, one year at U. of Toronto, studied under Alain Renoir and Northrop Frye, read most classics full time for many years after university in French, English, Latin and Greek to the modern day. I am interested in the near future of technology, what changes it imposes upon our heritage and character as humans. Short stories and Essays are my medium.

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