After the lavish ceremony the Landgraabs paid for, Amy gracefully said goodbye to all the guests, batting her pretty eyelashes and giggling like a schoolgirl in love, making Malcolm’s parents feel confident that their son was going to live a long, happy life with his new wife. Amy gave Malcolm a tour of the house, going on and on about how expensive and lavish everything was. Malcolm appreciated his new home, but he couldn’t stop staring at the beautiful wife he had.

“And this is where you’ll be sleeping,” Amy finished the tour, opening the door to the smallest bedroom in the house. Malcolm’s face fell. This wasn’t a room. It was a plywood and drywall box with a few flimsy furniture pieces thrown in.

“You’re… you’re joking, right?” he asked nervously. “Amy… you’re my wife. I’m your husband. We’re supposed to sleep together and share everything and love each other…” he stammered. Amy laughed cruelly.

“Please, Malcolm! Enough with the girlish fantasies! This isn’t a Disney movie! Listen carefully, because this is how this marriage is going to work,” Amy snapped, coming very close to Malcolm’s face. “You are to do exactly what I say, when I say, no exceptions. You are to sleep, shower, use the bathroom and spend your free time here and only here, understand me? You are not to have a job or leave the house for any reason other than to do my grocery shopping. You are to prepare all my meals for me. You will be living off bread and stale cereal. You are to clean everything in the house, the toilets, the counters, the dishes, the beds… everything! You are to provide me with a daughter as well. That’s the only time you’re allowed to use my bed. There will be a three strike system put in place. If you don’t comply with everything I just outlined, you will get a strike. Oh… I should mention that not getting me pregnant within six months or giving me a boy will be an automatic three strikes…” she added with a twisted grin.

“And if I get three strikes?” Malcolm asked, his eyes wide with horror. Amy grinned wickedly.

“Would you really like to find out?” she breathed. Malcolm fervently shook his head and Amy smiled and clapped her hands together. “Excellent! I’m so glad we’ve gotten everything straightened out, Dear. Now rest up tonight. Tomorrow’s going to be busy for you. You need to clean the house, make my breakfast and start trying to make a baby with me,” she told him brightly, skipping off to her own lavish bedroom to get a comfortable night’s sleep. Malcolm put his head in his hands and collapsed on the rusty cot in his dungeon.

“I married a monster…” he muttered.

Malcolm quickly became the maid of the house. He had a cheap TV set with two channels in his room, but he had very little time to use it.

From sunrise to sunset, he was cooking Amy’s meals, cleaning up her messes and trying desperately to get her pregnant. The only good thing about his marriage was the sex. As much of a monster as Amy Femme was, she was still an incredibly attractive woman and it was easy for Malcolm to forget about her dictator-like personality and get caught up in the moment with her under the bedsheets.

Malcolm quickly found out that his wife was a criminal. He would often get calls from the police station, telling him that his wife had been arrested and asking him if he’d like to bail her out. Of course he always did. He was terrified of what she might do to him if he didn’t. It infuriated him that she was out mugging innocent people and stealing, but he never said a word. After a while, he became used to the abuse and resigned himself to just compliantly doing everything she demanded and getting attached to the routine of cooking breakfast, cleaning, sex, cooking lunch, cleaning, cooking dinner, cleaning, sex and then sleep. When his parents called to ask him how he was, he would lie and say he was just fine and that he and Amy were very happy together and trying to start a family. In truth Malcolm Femme was walking on eggshells around his wife and living in fear.

The sixth month following their marriage finally arrived and Malcolm was on edge. He remembered Amy telling him that if he didn’t get her pregnant in six months, he’d get three strikes. He still didn’t know what would happen if he got three strikes, but he was certainly not eager to find out. If his wife was capable of chaining her husband up in a dungeon like a caged animal, he had no doubt that she was also capable of much worse. He consoled himself with the fact that she’d been throwing up every morning for the past two weeks and that was a good sign, though it wasn’t much fun for him to come in and clean up afterward.

Amy finally walked in the door after her doctor’s appointment and Malcolm almost broke a plate in his eagerness to hear the news. This was it. If she wasn’t pregnant, he didn’t want to think about his own fate. “Well?” he asked. “Are you…?” Amy scowled.

“What have I told you about speaking in front of me without permission?” she snapped and Malcolm shrank away. “But, yes. I’m pregnant. Lucky you,” she sneered before stalking away. “And clean those dishes! They’re filthy!” she screamed down the stairs.

Malcolm breathed a sigh of relief as he loaded the dishwasher, and despite the abusive situation this baby was conceived from, he couldn’t help but smile a little bit. His wife was having a baby. His baby. He was going to be a dad. He was going to have a family. He just hoped for his own sake that he was going to have a daughter.