Frank grabbed his wind-up key and slipped it on. He pulled his coat tight and got into his car. The sky was dark and menacing. And just as he slammed his car-door the first drops of rain fell.
Even the small distance to the porch was enough to drench him and a bolt of lightning illuminated the sky just as Sheryll opened. He liked the young woman and she smiled in compassion as she took his wet coat. "Horrible weather !" She said.
"Phew !" He said. "I hate rain, especially rain like this."
"You get the coffee and I'll call the Mistress."
When he heard her, Frank felt a shiver run down his spine. He imagined her, like an impregnable fortress. Hard as the metal she was made of. He wanted to embrace her cold hard body so much he couldn't sleep at night.
He pulled the coffee from the machine and poured himself a cup. He listened to the distant thunder and the howling wind. Even the house felt like rocking under the wind.
Then, he heard Sheryll call him on the intercom.
"You can come to the dressing room."
Frank grabbed his white jump-suit. He paused before putting it on. He'd been losing weight ever since he met Terminatrix, unable to eat a bite. He reached for the trimmer and trimmed his already short hair, which made him look like a refugee from a seventies distopian s-f movie.
He waited for the door to open and invite him to one of the chambers.
He walked into the room and sat down on the hard stool that was the only feature in this room. He'd never been there and looked around. His heartrate was up and he expected her to appear at any time. A wall slid open and on the silver bed lay the metal woman of his dreams and nightmares. Terminatrix...
Terminatrix stared at Frank with her dark visor. Distant thunder could be heard.
Frank fell on his knees and bowed to her. "Mistress, I am your slave." He said, feeling the cold marble floor through his knees and sleeves.
"Get up 118811." She said coldly.
Frank shivered as she spoke. She is so beautiful, he thought, what a shame I have to avert my eyes.
He looked at the floor and heard the sound of chains rattling.
"Get up, slave..."
Frank raised his narrow face and saw that Terminatrix was walking round him.
"Look in front of you !" She said coldly.
Recessed in the wall was a disc. As he looked, it began to slowly turn and Frank could not resist staring at the swirling pattern. And then he could hear a voice...
Frank woke up again and stared straight at Terminatrix, sitting on a silver bed. He looked again and besides her on the bed was a smaller, smoother female robot, staring at him. She was tied to the wall with a chain and looked particularly naked and vulnerable emphasized by her narrow frame and face. She had long silver hair that hung over her back.
Her body was round and smooth unlike the angular Terminatrix adorned with her razor sharp spikes.
"Get up !" She ordered the robot to her feet.
"Kiss her !" Terminatrix suddenly commanded yanking her head towards Frank who swallowed a lump.
"Yes mistress." He hesitated a split second and grabbed her. He pecked her on the cheek
She watched him silently with silver eyes and waited.
"Rub him." She ordered the robot.
"Yes.mistress." The robot answered.
She ran her fingers over his sides and kneeled before him. Her fingers played over his body.
Frank did not dare budge when she unzipped his jump-suit. The robot slipped her hand into his clothes and began rubbing his chest in a downward motion.
"Wait !" Terminatrix got off the bed and stared down at the two of them.
"Did I ask you to rub him somewhere ?"
She paused and stared at them.
Frank wouldn't even dare to breathe.
"Come here." She said, motioning the robot.
She got up and stood before the pedestal Terminatrix was standing on. "You still cling to your humanity, no ?"
The robot didn't answer.
"You want to become one of us ?" He voice sounded as cold as a glacier.
Frank frowned and watched the little robot grovel before Terminatrix.
"I don't think you are that committed yet !" She said and just grasped the sides of the robot's head and pulled it off.
A young woman screamed and raised her hands to reach for the mask beyond her reach, tears streaking down her face.
Terminatrix casually discarded the mask over her shoulder and crossed her arms.
"Perhaps one day ..." She said in her perfectly cold and emotionless voice.
The woman just bunched in a bundle and began to sob.
"And you, scrub that floor ..." And Frank felt that squeezing in his stomach he had every time she spoke to him, but at only half strength this time...
And then she left.
Frank went for his bucket, but stopped halfway and went over to the sobbing woman. He approached her carefully and gently put his hand on her shoulder.
"Are you going to be okay ?" He asked gently.
The woman raised her head and just jaggedly breathed in. "I tried so hard..." She managed to whimper and resumed crying.
He looked at her pretty face with her long blonde curly hair and lovely blue eyes filled with tears.
"Here, take mine." He said holding out his handkerchief.
She grabbed it and rubbed it over her face.
"Here come and sit on the bed." He said, forgetting where he was for a moment.
Here eyes went wide open. "No that's her bed !" She recoiled.
"But we can't leave you on this hard cold floor ?" Frank said, smiling gently to her.
"I'll be okay." She said and slowly got up.
Back in the mansion Frank had dressed himself again. Outside the storm was still blowing hard.
He saw the woman sitting in the cool-off area, while Sheryll brought her a cup of hot cocoa.
"Can I join you ?" he asked.
She nodded weakly.
As he got in the ample leather seat, he looked at the woman, with her long dress and long curly hair, she looked more like the kind of girl that was into folk music, drawing unicorns and New Age crystals ...
"I'm Frank." He said.
"I'm Gabrielle." Besides looking like an angel, she had an angel's name. Her eyes were still red.
They just sat opposite each other with one of those uncomfortable silences.
"You come here often ?" She broke the ice.
"About once every week, sometimes more, sometimes less." Frank said.
"You want to drink something ?" Tall Sheryll asked.
"Just get me a coke, I have to drive." Frank said, looking outside at her rain crashing into the windows.
"Talk about bad weather !" Sheryll said and the wind made the house rock just to make its point.
"Is my bike inside ?" Gabrielle asked.
"Yeah, it's in the garage." Sheryll said.
"How did you get in here ?" Frank asked bluntly
She smiled and flushed a bit red. "Well ..."
"No, just forget it, I didn't want to be so rude ..."
"Not it's okay." Gabrielle said. "I'm happy to be able to talk to somebody else about it."
"I've always had this hard, cold technophile side to me. And when I heard you could get it here, I decided to have a try."
"As simple as that ?" Frank asked a bit surprised.
"That's about, it, except it took me quite a while to get in touch with them, I almost gave up several times."
"Not me, I was just dumped in here by my former mistress."
"She was angry at you ?"
"No, I had just grown out of S&M somehow, but here, with Her ... !"
"Oh, yeah, Her ! I used to think she was the most beautiful thing in the world."
Sheryll returned with a can of coke and a painful expression.
"I'm sorry, Gabrielle, but she has just informed me she decided not to give you another go at it. I'm so sorry." Sheryll said, almost with shame.
Gabrielle turned white, like somebody had just signed her death-warrant.
"But ?" Was the only thing she manage to weakly blurt out.
Frank suddenly knew what had been nagging him in the back of his head. It was anger.
"How can she do this to her !" Frank jumped out of his seat. "Look at her, she's on the verge of a nervous breakdown !"
"No, wait, I'll explain ..." Sheryll said defensively, but Frank just exploded.
"After all, we're customers !" He said angrily. "Let me talk to her !"
Sheryll went almost whiter than Gabrielle. "Uh ... No, you can't, not right now at least ..."
"I want to see her !" Frank shouted and at the same time the lights died and a bold of lightning illuminated the room.
Sheryll, although bigger than Frank moved over as he went towards the backstage door.
He tugged at the knob and pulled it open.
"Don't go in there !" Sheryll screamed. "You're not supposed !"
Frank realized his mistake as there was no light for him to go see his hands in front of his face.
He heard Sheryll's voice behind her.
"For the love of God, come back Frank !"
But a flash of lightning poured in through the door and Frank saw "Terminatrix" in gun-metal letters on a door opposite him.
"Frank, don't do it, you'll regret it !" Sheryll said.
Sheryll went back to comfort Gabrielle, who felt sorry about the whole mess and cried her little heart out.
"She's not going to harm him ?" Gabrielle asked after a while.
"No, she won't." Sheryll said comfortingly.
A door opened and Frank returned with a big flash-light.
Sheryll looked up. "Now you know ..."
"Yeah, but I never suspected anything like that." Frank said, scratching the back of his head and smiled at Sheryll.
"I've had a discussion with your ... Her !" He composed himself at the last moment. "And she told me Gabrielle was too delicate to go through the kind of fantasy you provide here. But she told me that I could perhaps help..."
Sheryll took Frank's hands in hers.
"You had some wonderful times in here ..."
"Yeah, I know." Frank said.
"You're not too disappointed ?"
"Once you know Santa doesn't exist it's not the same thing." Frank said.
"Are you sure, she'll be okay ?"
"At this time and with this weather ? Nobody'll notice." And he looked back at the silver robot-woman waiting for him in the car.
"She'll be happier with you !" Sheryll just grabbed Frank and hugged him. "Enjoy yourselves."
"Don't give my regards to her yet, I'll come back once in a while !" He said.
Frank got in the car and the robot cocked her head towards him.
"Are.we.going.home.master ?" Metallia asked.
"Yes." He looked back at her and saw Sheryll stand at the front door and besides her, Terminatrix in full glory.
"Deep down ..." Frank said to himself and drove off while Metallia put her hand on his knee.