McLachlan's Husband

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mary Mclachan's husband is so happy with his new car yet something isn't quite right and as his obsession grows, Mary begins to wonder what goes on behind the garage door.

Submitted: June 01, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 01, 2014



McLachlan’s Husband


It came as a pleasant surprise when Mary McLachlan’s husband came to her with an idea.

‘Cars!’ he said. ‘I could restore a car!’

Mary had known for several years that her maternal partner had grown weary with retirement. His days had become a string of boring routine, starting with a washing load and finishing with a stack of ironing. She continued to work as a GP for the local surgery, unable to scope his mundane practice yet knew deep down that he was living in un-fulfilment. So when he uttered those words of excitement she felt he had found a new purpose; a drive to satisfy the lost years and a chance to discover his happiness.

She allowed him the access to her savings, knowing he would use it respectfully and not exceed the limit. After two days of negotiating with dealers, their garage was to be filled with a 1974 Chrysler. Mary was assured that within six months, her husband would have restored its engine, bodywork and sold on for a reasonable price. From then on he would spend the best part of four hours in the garage. A symphony of clashes and bangs would radiate throughout the house as he battled with his work of art. Occasionally she would attempt to sneak a look yet with each peek he would scurry her away in playful banter. Despite the project he was as attentive as ever. The evening meal would be made well in advance before Mary got home from work. He would even occasionally buy her flowers from the local florists. With each preparation and attention to detail, their evenings would be met with an exchange of loving smiles. 

She basked in his happiness, admiring his pluck and vibrant spirit she hadn’t seen in years. They spent evenings at each other’s side drinking tall glasses of pinot noir, giggling at their younger days and retiring to make love until they fell asleep in each other’s arms. Mary would go to work with a wonder of what excitement at what waited for her when she returned home. She knew the car would be nurturing her esteemed husband until that time came.

On one particular morning she awoke to find her partner missing from their bedsit. As her job was very demanding, early awakenings had always played a major part to her own routine sometimes waking even before sunrise. For the nature of the situation it was unlikely that he would awake before her. Despite her worries she was reassured by the clashing sounds emitting from the other end of the house. She laughed at his explanation of being up at 4 a.m for being too excited. It reminded her of a small child at Christmas. She joked about wishing for his bounce to start the day so fresh faced and ready. ‘Patients are terrified of a doctor who doesn’t give a dam’ she would say.

That evening she returned home in an effort to find a new surprise for the day. She had seen over thirty patients throughout her shift and in each one she knew she was closer to finishing and seeing her bright faced lover. To her disappointment she wasn’t met with a welcome or dinner on the table. The clashes and bangs continued to droll through her walls, much like they were that morning only this time they were louder. Mary moved stealthily towards the garage in an attempt to catch a look at the healing Chrysler before surprising him with her return home. Her hand gently eased down on the handle before it was met with realisation that the door would not open. For her husband had locked it for the first time in the whole of their marriage. When he discovered her attempts he shimmied her away closing the door firmly behind him and locking it with a key he kept on his person.

‘Sorry about dinner babe, time got away with me’

She didn’t mind the lack of food or even that he chose to lock the door yet it became apparent that her husband had spent far more than four hours in the garage that day. That evening they ordered take out Indian food as it was too late to begin cooking a meal. She enquired about how the project was getting along to which he began showering her in words of wonderment and description as to how well it was going. Yet it wasn’t the biggest question on her mind. Although she knew he didn’t want her looking at his car she found no harm in asking him why.  

‘I just don’t want to be disturbed is all. The car needs dedication and I’m the only one who’s allowed to give it to her ok?’

Mary felt his answer could have been explained better yet knew she would have more luck finding out for herself. While her husband rested at the ripe hour of 3 a.m Mary found herself tip toeing towards the garage holding the key she had taken out of his trousers moments ago. Although her husband was a heavy sleeper she found the need to be as gentle as possible. With a turn of the handle she was exposed to the secret he had been hiding from her. With a short gasp she was amazed at how well he had worked on the Chrysler. The paint work looked a thing of professionals whereas the gleam of the engine (which was on show) could have been brought brand new. She was impressed beyond belief; it gave her reassurance that his hard work had paid off for it was clear that he was nearly finished on his project. She couldn’t help but test whether the car would start or not for when they first brought it, it was nothing more a dead body of nuts and bolts. The keys dangled in the ignition tempting her to give it a turn. With one swift motion the engine roared into life making Mary quiver in ecstasy. Within a few days they could sell the car and carry on living the dream. She returned to bed with a smile before placing the key back in the same pocket where she found it.

A few days rolled on and her husband remained in the garage. Dinner was rarely ever on time and take-out food was rapidly becoming part of their daily lives. Mary noticed he was losing weight and starting to look increasingly tired and worn out. When asked if he was eating properly throughout the day he would reply ‘I don’t have time to eat’. She became weary that he wasn’t sleeping well either.  Mary would lie in bed at early hours of the morning wondering where her husband was and if he was ever coming to bed at all. Some nights he didn’t. Neighbours began to complain about the noise from the garage claiming it was too loud for when people were trying to sleep. Her husband would rage that they didn’t understand how important his work was, alienating them from the rest of the street. Mary became worried as the days ploughed on. She knew how restored the car had looked the night before and wondered why he hadn’t told her of his completion yet. For every clash and bang she heard, came a wondered thought as to what more could possibly be done on the Chrysler.

Eight months had passed and still no change to their routine. Mary now slept alone, ate alone and hardly saw her husband. She grew increasingly upset and worried as to how neglectfully he had become and needed reassurance as to why he chose to act this way. On days when she would try to look in the garage he would shout, calling her a ‘bitch’ and threatening violence if she ever tried it again. Although he had never struck her in the past she feared for what he was actually capable of. She needed to know though. Something was clearly wrong. It was affecting him, it was affecting her and she needed to know what was going on behind that closed door before it drove her insane.  While her husband took one of the only breaks away from the car to pick up supplies from a local hardware shop, Mary leapt on the chance to find her way into the garage. As she didn’t have the key this time she needed to be more skilful in her approach. Although she had never tried to open a locked door with a hair pin she seemed adamant that it would work in her favour. She bent one side up and eased it in trying her best to find the sweet spot. With a slight click she knew she had won and took a pause to prepare for whatever she might find.

With a breath and a push the door creaked open and once again Mary stood in amazement. For the car was just as she remembered the first time they brought it. A lifeless body of nuts and bolts lay in the middle, contrasting everything she had seen the other night. The bodywork was a mess of epic proportions and the engine looked battered and worn. The car was a silent picture of unease. Yet while the car lay motionless she looked round to discover the true horror. Photographs were pinned. Each one hung like a lifeless body showing the image of each time he had restored the car. The same image plastered again and again with dates changing in the bottom of each square photo.

Mary stood in silent disbelief as he approached her from behind snapping her neck and allowing her to fall. He dragged her body outside only to lock the door firmly behind him. With a wipe of his tired, worn face, Mary’s husband picked up his wrench and began tightening the screws of his unfinished Chrysler.

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