I walked up the gravel path to Mary’s house and opened the old wrought-iron gate. It was dark out there; her home was out past the end of town. An October moon hung low in the sky to the West and I could see wisps of smoke-like clouds race across her face. We were experiencing an ‘Indian summer’ and the last few days had been warm and mild, the air filled with the scent of the brown, dead leaves.

I’d been seeing Mary for a month now. She seemed a genuinely happy girl, constantly laughing and smiling. When she did, her strange, yellow-green eyes sparkled. I was impressed at her joyous personality because I knew of the hardships she’d faced during her life. Her mother, Mary Wilkins had passed away only a few years prior, and Randolph, her father, was not often home. But just last week he was. I’d noticed bruises on both her wrists as if she had been held firmly. Mary told me her father had been home and ‘was sometimes not a very nice man.’

I questioned her no further.

Mary answered my knock; a mirthful smile curved her crimson-lipstick lips. We both understood that tonight was to be the night. I handed her the bouquet of wild flowers I’d picked along the way. The scarlet dress she wore seemed odd to me, old, or something an older woman would wear, not young, beautiful Mary. Still, the deep red of it, tied with a sash, complimented her hourglass figure. She closed with me and whispered a delicate ‘Thank you Jason’ in my ear, letting her fingernails lightly stroke the back of my neck. Shivers ran through me to the ends of my fingers and my heart beat stronger within my chest.

Untying a wide black ribbon from her dark hair, Mary bound it around my eyes and murmured, “Come with me.” Taking me by the hand, she led me down the path and back to the road.

We walked slowly a short ways down the road and then turned off onto what I felt to be a well-worn path. I felt tree branches brush my face, and thick bushes tried to stop my progress. The slower we walked, the more excited I became. Mary’s scents drifted back to me, and my body ached for the pleasure of her body.

We halted in a grassy area and I felt Mary bend and begin to untie my shoes. As she stood once again, she ran her hands lightly up my legs to my waist, undid my pants, and exposed me. Slowly, she pulled me down on top of her.

I groaned with my desire and minutes later, when Mary felt I was ready, she suddenly pushed the ribbon up off my eyes.

In an instant I saw it all. In the moonlight her laughing eyes were replaced by large, black, lifeless orbs that stared unblinking into mine. Her face was impassive. I looked up and stared right at a grave marker before me that read:


                                                Mary Wilkins

                                      Beloved Wife and Mother


“Oh Randolph, Randolph!” Mary hissed her father’s name from a mouth that now held a wicked grin. Too late. Too late! I couldn’t refuse her! I groaned and released myself physically and spiritually to Mary.

For now and forever, I would be Mary’s boy.




John Berry holds an MA Creative Writing, University of Oklahoma, 2005. An old, sophomoric effort from 20 years ago.