After going through my clothes, I discarded them and just pulled on a t-shirt. I padded out into the living room and saw Jay bending over her brother, messing with his eyebrows. He kept whimpering in pain and when Jay moved to sit down, I saw his eyebrows had been plucked or something. I silently sat down across from them and for several minutes we just sat there in quiet tension.
“Wh-what did you want to know?” Kay finally broke the silence, pressing his fingers against his eyebrows.
“So did your master plan ever lead to to aliens?” I asked with a slight smirk, trying to push a barb under Jay’s skin. I could tell it worked. She scowled at me and I just smirked more, waiting for the answer.
“We have not come across aliens yet,” she replied. “That does not mean we won’t ever.”
“So how is it making those–dolls–brings you closer to aliens?” I demanded. “How on earth does Penny and Peanut and Lucky bring you closer to meeting aliens?”
Jay looked down at her fingernails, looking quite bored suddenly. “Not all of our research and experiments help propel our direct pathway to the stars and universes.” She lifted her gaze, matching the smirk I had worn a moment ago. “We have many experiments going on currently, Mr. Danevbie. We have… spread our wings, so to speak.” She gave a slight titter, as if that was funny. Kay moaned a bit and sunk down in his seat.
“I thought you were determined to meet aliens,” I muttered. “Has that always been a lie?”
“You seem persistent in calling me a liar,” she said smoothly. “I don’t lie.”
I snorted as I gripped the arms of the chair I was in to stop myself from launching across the room. “You lied to my father about–“
“No!” She held up a finger, shaking her head. “We told him his request was most likely not going to happen. He signed the contract, he agreed. Do not blame us for your father misunderstanding.”
“I’m blaming you for tricking him,” I replied coldly. “I’m blaming you for abandoning him. I’m blaming you for the health problems you left him with.” I dug my nails deeper into the chair. “He was in pain. A lot of pain. And he couldn’t get any help. He was alone, because of you.”
I felt like crying but I was determined not to let them see anymore tears from me. I sucked in some air and looked at Kay. I couldn’t look at his sister anymore, not at this moment. “So where have you been all this time?” I choked out. “Here?”
“No,” Jay said but I still avoided looking at her. “As I said, we have many experiments. Not all of them are here in Twinbrook. In fact, very few of them are. Are we done yet? I do not see the point of this–“
I was about to yell at her but Kay tugged at her sleeve. “You agreed,” he said quietly. “That’s why I t-took the potion. Calcifer deserves answers, after wh-what he went through.”
Jay rolled her eyes. “You are so…” she trailed off and sighed. “Very well. What else do you want to know, Mr. Danevbie?”
“You sent me Penny,” I said carefully. “And you sent me that chemical station. And you sent the formula. You–you were around when I was a kid.” I looked at both of them and Kay gave a tiny nod. “If you were so close and spying and nosy, why didn’t you help my dad? Surely you knew he was going to the hospital, surely you knew about his health problems. But you did nothing. Why?”
“You want the honest answer?” she asked.
“I would prefer it,” I replied.
“He served his purpose,” she answered and I felt my stomach churning. I was beginning to see red again. “You wanted to know,” she added, seeing the look on my face.
“So to you it’s perfectly fine to screw up someone’s body for your own twisted purpose, then just leave them with the consequences of what you did.”
“The contract, if I recall, never specified anything after the birth,” Jay replied. “Except that he was to keep you. The contract was fulfilled, no promises broken. I do not understand why you see something wrong with this.”
“You left him to die!” I shouted.
Jay stared blankly at me. “We left him to live,” she said. “With you. To raise you, as he wished. Whatever happened later in his life had nothing to do with us, as much as you insist it does. If he did not seek the medical help–“
“What medical help?” I demanded. “He went to the hospital, they couldn’t help him because his body was so different!”
“Why are you so determined to complain about what is in the past? If this is all you wish to talk about, I see no need for us to stay. I stand with what I said. He served his purpose, the contract was fulfilled. Tell me this, Mr. Danevbie, if we had sent the potion to him would he have taken it?” She tapped her finger against her cheek, her lips twisted up in another smirk. “Would he have trusted it? If we had shown up after so long, given him that pink liquid and told him to drink it to be young again–would he have trusted us?” As if to make her point, she leaned forward. “Would you?”
“The thing is, you didn’t even try!” I complained.
“The thing is,” she snapped, “it wouldn’t have been accepted. How happy was he with the gifts we sent you?”
“Gifts?” I laughed. “You mean the stuff you were using to get me to be your little toy, to do the dirty work for you? You USED me! You gave me the doll–and gave my sons the dolls–because according to you, they needed love. But why us? Why me? Why my sons? Why are you so determined to fix me into your lives? Why not ruin the lives of other people?”
“So giving you that doll ruined your life?” she asked, focusing her gaze on my wedding ring. “Does your wife feel the same?”
I wrapped my right hand around my left and closed my eyes. “I love Penny. But you just put me into a corner, a situation that I should not have been in. You may like being Frankenstein but I don’t! And I had to deal with that, and again for Peanut and Lucky!” I stood up, but didn’t walk over. I was worried if I did it would result in another fistfight. “And who are they? You admitted they’re not like other dolls. You made them. How?”
Before Jay could speak, Kay started. “I know you have questions about th-the dolls,” he said, glancing a bit nervously at his sister. “But there are s-some things we can’t tell you…”
“Because you agreed to never speak of them,” I said and he nodded. “Why? Why never speak of it? Because you know it’s wrong?” I added harshly and he gulped, going rather pale. “If you know it’s wrong, why do it?”
“Haven’t you ever done anything, just to see what would happen?” Jay asked, lifting a single eyebrow. “I’m sure you have.”
“There is a huge difference between what I’ve done and what you’ve done,” I hissed. “You’ve done bad things. Very bad, wrong, horrible things!”
“You are a hypocrite!” she exclaimed, laughing a bit. “You point your finger at us and say we’ve done bad things, when you? You slept with a woman then turned around and married someone else. Tell me, Mr. Danevbie, which one did you love? Which one did you lie to?”
I was in front of her in an instant. She didn’t seem too phased and just continued looking blissfully smug. “How dare you?” I snarled. “How dare you! What I did was make a mistake in my love life! That is nothing compared to what you did!”
“Oh?” She looked up, tilting her head slightly. “You seem to hate me for lying, when you did the same! You accuse me of using you, when you did the same!” She stood up swiftly and I stepped back, trying my hardest not to swing at her. “You are a hypocrite.”
“Murdering someone is not the same thing as mistakes in a love life!” I shouted.
“Who did we murder?” she demanded back. “We never intended on your father’s death, so who else did we murder?”
I flailed my hands around, my voice getting louder and louder. I wondered if someone would call the cops. I hoped so, then I could say the twins were trespassing. “How did you transfer souls?” I asked, remembering what had been said a little bit before. “Penny? Peanut? Lucky?”
Jay stepped back, looking slightly anxious. “We are not here to discuss–“
“Yes we are!” I interrupted. “You agreed to answer my questions? Well answer this! How did you make the dolls? How did you make them? Hmm?”
“That,” she said sharply, “is not one question I will answer. It is not imperative.”
“Yes it is!” I raised my hands and then let them fall again. “My wife? My kids? I deserve an answer, considering you’ve been sending them into my life. Why have you been stalking me? And why? What purpose?”
“Our lives are linked,” she said, taking her glasses in her hand and cleaning off one of the lens. “I’d rather have something like this in the hands of someone I know rather than a stranger.” She replaced her glasses and smiled. “I knew you would come through.”
“I am a stranger to you!” I pointed out. “You knew my father, you don’t know me.”
“But you did come through,” she smirked. “You brought the first doll to life and I can only assume you’ll do the same for the other two.”
“You are using me,” I said, my voice falling rather flat. “I won’t be used anymore!”
“So you will not be bringing the other two dolls to life,” she stated.
I clenched my teeth and lowered my shaky hand. “I will, but that is it. No more. I never want to hear from you again. Not anything! You are a monster, and you stay away from me and my family. If you ever get near or contact my children, I will hurt you.”
“YOU are the one who came HERE!” she shrieked. “You came looking for us! Then tell us to stay out of your life? You really are a hypocrite. At least your father had some sense and was not a little brat like you are! I am leaving!”
“Stop!” I said and she glared at me. “I want more answers. And none of this ‘not important’ crap, okay? I want answers. You agreed. He did something!” I pointed at Kay. “Obviously something he didn’t want to do, and that ‘agreement’ has not been fulfilled!”
“Then stop getting heated about everything,” she hissed. “Ask your silly questions, but if you start yelling at me again I will leave!”
I pushed my shoulders back and pressed my lips together. After a moment of heavy breathing, my lips parted. “Fine, I won’t get heated up about things. What did you mean about transferring souls?”
“I do not know how the real dolls are made,” she said, her hand flinging out in an odd display of emotion. “The only way we were about to make them is copying the mechanics of the doll–the same body, the same inner workings–and then transferring a soul into a doll, and have that doll be raised with love–along with a child. With enough care, the doll turns into a sort of… unreal friend. And with the right formula, the doll turns human.”
“That doesn’t answer my question,” I said firmly. “What does transferring souls mean?”
Her jaw tightened and she stiffened up before speaking. “Just what you thought it meant. We take the soul of the living and put it into the body of a doll, Mr. Danevbie.”
It was like an electric shock hitting me. “And the living person?” I whispered hoarsely. There was a few seconds before she finally answered, and it felt like I was being stretched apart as the seconds ticked by.
“They are no longer living, Mr. Danevbie,” she finally said.
“Penny,” I whispered. “Penny was someone else?”
“Yes,” she said , sounding disinterested with this conversation.
“She w-was someone else,” I croaked out, feeling sweat sliding down my body. “She was someone else. Someone living. She had her own life.” I pressed my nails into my palms, feeling rather short of breath. “And she doesn’t know this?”
“I doubt it,” Jay replied with a sigh. “When we transfer souls it seems the memories are… erased, so to speak.”
“So my wife, my Penny, she was someone else, someone living…” I had said it before but the words were tumbling out again, as if I was trying to convince myself this was really true. “Someone who is now dead. Her real self is…” I looked up at her, trying not to throw up. “Penny’s real self…”
Jay narrowed her eyes and confirmed, “Who your wife used to be is now dead.”