I was never successful at dating, although I went through the motions: a clean shirt, cologne and always brought a bunch of carnations. Yet, I never seemed to make it past the first auditions. Latterly, I never even got that far. No one replied to my Lonely Hearts advert and I won’t go into detail about the speed dating incident.
It was Pete down at the Airfix modelling club that let me in on his secret and lent me the book. It was old and smelled of the Oxfam shop whose twenty-five pence label was peeling on the cover. Most of it was a load of old mumbo-jumbo but the instructions on how to make a woman were clear enough. It was similar to following one of my kit manuals, although much less skill was needed.
The ingredients were simple to come by – a midnight potter in the garden was all that was required: soil from the vegetable patch, a bit of blood, a full moon and away you go.
I assembled her in the bathtub, taking due diligence over shaping her important features, and her long, strong thighs. Straw from the pigeon shed framed her face, forming her blonde locks. The final touch was her instructions: the small roll of paper detailing her duties that I encased in her head: to cook and clean, to love and obey me, and never say no. Much like any wedding vows, really.
Next morning, there she was, making my breakfast. All 6ft of her. I admit I had got a bit carried away. She wasn’t as delicate as I would have liked, but she definitely had memorable features. Sadly, she was slightly more Worzel Gummidge than Marilyn Monroe. She reminded me of my mother, so I dressed her accordingly in a housecoat and a headscarf to keep her hair in place. The Wellington boots were a practical accessory to keep the floors clean. There are always bits of dirt and bugs falling off her, mud on the sheets too, but it’s a small price to pay for marital bliss.
We had a good thing going: she obeyed my every whim and never thought to complain. It would have been perfect if that Linda down the road had kept her nose out. She calls herself “Ms”, which tells you everything. Linda had met her down at the shops and invited her to a Women’s Lib meeting. Lord knows what nonsense they put in her head. Now, she doesn’t want to stay in the house; she says she has aspirations above being a housewife. Started yapping on about getting an education and a career. Can you imagine?
So here I am, peeling my own spuds on a Friday night, and she’s off with the girls in a short skirt and done up like a makeup counter girl. Bloody unnatural if you ask me.
Iona Rule is a vet living in the Scottish Highlands, who enjoys writing flash fiction. When she isn’t writing she is cooking, reading or exploring. Her work has been published in Perhappened Mag. Instagram: @i.m.rule