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Post-Wedding Horrors
by Trisana McGraw

It was quiet in the main hall of the Principle Office as binomes cleared away the mess of the would-be wedding. A tense silence hung over every sprite and binome, broken only by the occasional murmur of activity as the smashed pews were taken out, as the trampled flowers were thrown away.

The sprites still wore their formal clothes. Bob was checking Glitch for Megabyteís whereabouts, while Matrix was pacing the doorway, continually checking Gun to make sure it was loaded.

Dot was slowly walking down the hall, doing her best to regulate the cleaning-up, but desperation welled up in her chest, and she slumped down in a pew not broken by the fight, her eyes wide but dry.

Matrix came away from the door and saw his sister. He approached her and knelt down, cautiously placing a hand on her shoulder. "Dot?" he whispered in concern.

She lifted her head and tried a very shaky smile for him. "Iím okay."

Matrix clenched his teeth and took a deep breath. "Iím so sorry, sis," he said, anger and guilt warring on his face. "I should have deleted him when I had the chance. This is my fault."

Dot shook her head, afraid that if she tried to speak the words would come out as sobs. "No, Enzo, itís not your fault," she finally managed, laying her hand over his. "Itís not."

Matrix stared back at her with gratitude and a grim agreement. He climbed to his feet and went to go back to patrolling the doorway. AndrAIa touched his arm, but he only looked at her for a moment before going on.

A shimmer in the light caught Dotís eyes. Taking care for her dress, she sank to her knees by her bouquet of flowers, dropped in haste as Megabyte revealed himself.

Dot reached out for her bouquet and cradled the daisywheels in her arms. Shiny and beautiful before, they were now trampled and dirty, the flowers broken from the stems. They symbolized everything of that second.

Everything had been so perfect. She had been so happy only a microsecond earlier, walking down the aisle to be married to Bob and live happily with him.

But it hadnít been Bob waiting for her at the altar. It had been Megabyte, masquerading all along as Bob. And when the real Bob had tried to stop her, had declared his love for her, she had ignored him because she had chosen the other Bob.

The "original" Bob.

After everything she had experienced, after a lifetime of losing her family and anything else she had known, Dot had wanted, for once, for something to work out for her. Just once! Was that so much to want? she pleaded to herself.

She had gone to the copy because he reminded her of the good times. What a basic thing to do. GlitchBob Ė no, Bob. Bob, Bob, Bob Ė had lived the war with her. He had fought to return to her. He had kissed her.

And Dot had rejected him like an out-of-date zipboard. She felt as bad as Megabyte right now.

Thatís what Megabyte had wanted all along: to play with Dotís mind and her heart, as well. To make her feel the safest and happiest she had ever felt Ė and then to rip it all away in one harsh movement.

What would have happened if Bob hadnít shown up when he did, if Glitch hadnít found the real Bob? Dotís stomach roiled when she though of the leer Megabyte had given her, his "one final kiss" to her. She could only imagine what horrors he would have done to her if they had actually been married.

One of the binomes in the cleanup crew stopped by her side and stared at her with a look of concern. He handed the bouquet to her, and Dot nodded her tearful thanks.

The binome grabbed her wrist and leaned close to her face.

"My pleasure, Ms. Matrix," Megabyte sneered.

Dot screamed and tried to back away. "Here!" she shrieked, and immediately Mouse and AndrAIa were at her side. The binome tried to run away, scared, and Dot felt her heart contract as she realized that it wasnít Megabyte, shifted in another disguise. She had only imagined the virus.

Bob sprinted toward them, only to find Dot breathing hard and the poor binome shaking with fright.

"Iím sorry," AndrAIa told the innocent. "She made a mistake."

Dot hid her face in her hands and sobbed loudly, letting the tears fall after holding them in for so long. She felt hands rubbing her shoulders, Mouse saying, "Itís all right, Sugah. Megabyteís not in here."

Dot was pulled against a sprite, and she realized it was Bob, smoothing her hair and trying to soothe her, his words hesitant but sincere. Dot stiffened and tried to push him away. She didnít deserve Bob, not after all sheíd done. But she couldnít find the strength to fight.

Another arm encircled her, and Dot felt Matrix kiss her on the cheek. "Iíll get him, Dot, I promise," Matrix said, and she could hear the burning hatred in his voice. Dotís crying increased, and now her entire body was shaking.

Hysterics gripped her, and she couldn't speak, couldn't think, could only sob brokenly as her heart shattered into a million pixels.

END

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