The first indication that something was terribly wrong was the silence. Though I’d double- and triple-checked the address and the time, Charlotte’s new house was devoid of the crowd and the din of conversation one expects at a housewarming party. Still, the lights were on and the door was unlocked as expected, so I assumed I’d just arrived a little early and continued deeper in, clutching my gift. It was a rice cooker, something I’d made a running joke out of chiding her for not owning back when she was still a grad student living in a studio with barely enough space for a microwave.
The second sign that something was amiss was the strange and elaborate chair sitting in what looked like the dining room. It was a metallic, utilitarian mass of restraints and wires with a bizarre visored helmet that looked like it belonged either in a 1950s hair salon or on a hotshot fighter pilot in a space opera. The sight stopped me cold, making me wonder once again whether I’d come to the wrong address. Why would anyone have something like that in the middle of their house?
I was so thoroughly flabbergasted that I didn’t immediately notice Charlotte in the room with me, or the third and fourth signs: that she was stark naked except for a thick steel collar, and that she was pointing a gun at me.
Being confronted with a situation completely outside any context you’ve ever known can have strange, dissociative effects on the mind. You tend to freeze up and reach for any even slightly related memory for clues on how you should act. In that moment, for some reason, I thought about James Bond, and how the classic intro has the camera looking down a gun barrel, rifling grooves spiraling along its length. I couldn’t see those grooves, looking down the barrel of my friend’s gun, and so my immediate emotional reaction to having my life threatened was to feel vaguely cheated by a couple of movies I watched probably fifteen years ago.
“Heya Beth,” she said, snapping me out of my reverie. “My eyes are up here, you know.”
She sounded so casual, so normal, and that normalcy only heightened the cold wave of terror that struck me then. “C-char?” I stammered, fighting the urge to drop everything and run, “What’s going on?”
“Straight to the point, then! Well, as you’ve probably guessed by now, there’s no party. You’re the only one I invited over.” She flashed me an apologetic look. “For what it’s worth, none of this was my plan, but Mistress can be… persuasive.”
What? Was this all some sort of kinky sex game for her? “Mistress? What the fu-” I glanced again at the pistol in her hand and pushed down my brief surge of anger, “P-please. Just… just tell me what you want. Or let me go? I swear to God I won’t tell anyone about any of this, I-, plea-,” I stumbled over my words, panic rising like ice water in my chest.
Charlotte, at least, had the decency to look like she knew she fucked up. “Fuck, this wasn’t supposed to go this way… Alright, sweetie, look at me. C’mon, just…” she trailed off, her words failing to penetrate my ongoing meltdown. I’m not sure how long we stood there in relative silence as I tried to control my hyperventilation, but I vividly recall the metallic click as she cocked the pistol. I froze, my attention once again completely on her.
When she finally spoke again, her voice was level, controlled. Any trace of her previous warm familiarity was gone. “Alright, I need you to listen very carefully. All you need to do is sit down in that chair, let it turn you into one of Mistress’s slaves like me, and this will all be over. This,” she gestured with the gun, “is only here to make sure you don’t try anything stupid, okay?” She spoke slowly, condescendingly, as though she were reassuring a child, “I don’t want to hurt you. Honestly, until last week I was hoping you wouldn’t catch Mistress’s eye, because as wonderful as this is, I know it’s not something you’d accept willingly. But,” she shrugged, “well, here we are.”
I glanced again at the brainwashing chair, which now appeared significantly more menacing than silly. I wasn’t sure I believed that sort of thing was even possible, but the sight of my nude, collared friend gave me a sinking feeling that it was. My thoughts raced as I tried to find some way out of this. I briefly considered lunging at her in hopes of taking her by surprise, but discarded the possibility, not liking my odds against someone stronger, half a head taller, and armed. Making a run for it seemed like a bad idea for the same reasons, although… maybe I could talk her into letting me go.
“Wait, y-you don’t have to do this! I don’t know what this ‘Mistress’ did to you, but I can tell that you still care about me. You said yourself you didn’t want this to happen. I think…” I tried to project as much confidence as I could, to keep myself from stammering or cowering away from her, “I think you still don’t want to do this. I think that if I walk away right now, you wouldn’t shoot me.”
She took a step toward me, smiling, and what little poise I’d been able to muster evaporated. I inched backward, trying to keep my distance from her, but before long my back was to the wall and she was upon me.
“Oh, Beth,” she said, stroking my cheek, a gesture which might have been comforting were I not able to feel the cold steel of a firearm pressed against my sternum, “Of course I care about you. But my respect for your autonomy is secondary to my obedience. You see, when Mistress…” she bit her lip, clearly relishing the memory, “took me, she didn’t erase anything I thought or felt, she didn’t need to. All she had to do was make serving her my top priority. All the others are still there, in roughly the same order, just… beneath her. Where they belong.”
I could only freeze, eyes wide, as she continued, her excitement seeming to build with every word, “God, and when she gave me the gun she didn’t tell me what it was for until it was already in my hand. I thought it was for me, you know? And it was only a couple of seconds before she explained, but even so I imagined… I imagined doing it, obviously, but more than that.” Her arousal was impossible to ignore, hips grinding on thin air, cheeks a deep scarlet, “I thought about how best to smile as I served her for the last time, about how to make my death as entertaining as possible for her. I pictured my body - and I know this is a fantasy, obviously! I’m brainwashed, not delusional - I pictured my body, afterward, just… continuing to pull the trigger, firing over and over into my ruined skull until the magazine was empty. Somehow still obeying her, maybe even better without my brain in the way.”
She gasped, her eyes rolling back, and I could hear her grip tighten on the pistol. I screwed my eyes shut, not knowing if this was the end, but after a moment she collected herself. “…So. No matter how I feel about you, if my Owner told me to pull this trigger right now and paint the walls with you, not only would I do it,” she leaned in close and whispered in my ear, “I’d think about it every time I came for the rest of my life.”
This close, I could smell how true her words were. My heart sank. There really was no way out. “Okay,” I said, head bowed, my voice small. “Okay, I’ll cooperate. Just… please don’t hurt me.”
Charlotte beamed down at me, taking my hand and squeezing gently. “You’re making the right choice! C’mon, let’s get you set up.” She tugged me along, leading me to the chair and gesturing for me to sit down. “Alright, now secure the clamps over your right ankle and left wrist, then I’ll do the rest.” She kept the gun leveled at me as I complied, though having given up any hope of escape it seemed somehow less threatening. The metal restraints fastened themselves with a heavy click as I slid them into place.
She nodded, apparently satisfied, and gestured with the gun. “Sorry about this thing, by the way. I’m genuinely not sure why Mistress gave it to me for this.” She set it down on a nearby table and began binding my remaining limbs.
“I mean, I assume drugging your drink or tasing you or something and then dragging you into the chair myself would have been easier. Hell, I just kinda woke up in the thing the day she acquired me. I dunno, maybe she just wanted to see what would happen.” She shrugged. “Y’know, how I’d try to convince you to cooperate, whether you’d try to run, how broken up I’d be if I had to kill you…” She shook her head. “…Anyway. It’s not really important that I understand, just obey.”
I absently wriggled in my bonds, only half paying attention. There was no give in them, of course, but I wasn’t expecting any, just distracting myself from what was about to happen. Still, it was difficult not to notice that she’d finished and stepped back, as if to admire her handiwork.
I cleared my throat. “So… is this the part where you b-brainwash me?”
She flashed me a predatory grin, and the way her eyes lingered on my body made my skin crawl. “Not quite yet. There’s one more thing left to do first.” She raised her hand, revealing a pair of safety scissors.
I could only stare for a moment, not immediately grasping her meaning, but it immediately became clear when she pounced and began cutting through my top.
“Wh- n- … Stop!” I cried, futilely squirming in her grasp. Why this? Why now? Tears welled up in my eyes, the calm resignation I’d felt only a few seconds earlier evaporating under her touch.
She ignored my feeble protests, though, and before long she had sheared apart everything I wore above the waist and torn the scraps away. She reached behind the chair and retrieved a handful of wires, each ending in a flat, square adhesive pad. She waved the bundle at me, “For monitoring your vitals. Wouldn’t do to have your heart stop from the pleasure.”
I squirmed ineffectually as she busied herself attaching the leads to my bare chest. “F-fucking… please, just - you got me! I’m not fucking going anywhere! I would have stripped if you asked me to, you don’t need to s-scare me anymore!” I pleaded, shame burning in my cheeks.
She went still at that, and I flinched despite myself in anticipation of whatever was to come. “Need to? No, I don’t.” She ran her hands over my helpless body, a cruel sneer on her face. “But what you don’t understand, what you probably won’t completely understand until your brain’s done cooking is - all this? Everything I’m doing to you?” She grabbed my nipple and twisted, hard, drawing a scream from my lips.
“This is a gift. Like I said, I woke up in the chair. Right before it turned on, even. I didn’t get to savor the transition between my old, free self and what I am now. The person I was never knew what hit her.” She leaned in, kissing my neck, slowly working her way down, “So every moment of this,” a kiss on my collarbone, “every twinge of fear,” a bite on my upper breast, “all of your uncertainty,” a long, slow lick along my nipple, “every little feeling of violation,” more kisses, until she paused briefly at my waistline, just above my jeans, “all of this is going to be your new fondest memory in just a few short hours.”
She lowered her eyes to my still-clothed crotch. “Now, where were we?”
“No, no, no, no, no,” I mumbled incoherently, begging her to stop.
“Oh, sweetie, we can’t fuck your mind without thoroughly fucking your body too! Don’t worry, this is the fun part. All you have to do is lie back and enjoy.”
Despite my protestations, despite my desperate wriggling, it was the work of only a few short seconds for her to tug my pants and underwear down to my knees and slice through enough fabric to tear the rest away. Hot breath caressed my labia, and for a few moments everything felt… distant. I might still have been pleading, I was almost certainly weeping and writhing, but sensation and feeling were fuzzy, muted. For however long she spent circling my clit with her tongue and gently working a finger, then two, then three inside me, my mind seemed to retreat from my body and leave me blessedly numb.
My brief reprieve was cut cruelly short when I felt a firm silicone dildo press against my entrance. My awareness snapped nauseatingly back into place and my previously languid struggles became frenzied, and for a hopeful instant I thought she might not be able to force the thing inside.
Her hand shot to my throat. “Stop struggling, or I’ll squeeze until you go limp. No reason you have to be fully conscious for this part.”
I shut my eyes and complied, and was very nearly able to stay silent while she pressed the full uncomfortable length into me.
Finally, she lowered the helmet over my head as I quietly sobbed, utterly defeated. It was time.
“Now, there are going to be some bright lights, and you might be tempted to close your eyes. Go ahead and do that if you want, it won’t help,” she taunted. “Any last words?”
I spoke in a monotone, too exhausted to put any emotion into my response, “I wish you’d killed me.”
“Aw, hon, that’s music to my ears. And y’know? From a certain perspective, killing you is exactly what I’m about to do.”
There was a sharp click and the high-pitched whine of capacitors filled my ears. I shut my eyes as tightly as I could, not knowing what was about to-
A burst of light, impossibly bright, shone straight through my clenched eyelids and hit my retinas with almost physical force. It was like I’d accidentally caught a glimpse of the sun, leaving an afterimage on my vision, but instead of seeing spots it was a pulsating, angular tesselation. It didn’t fade like it should have, either, instead seeming to expand and take up more and more of my field of view. The pattern crawled across my sight, and as it did I felt my thoughts growing distant and cloudy. It wasn’t like the disconnection I’d felt earlier, either - it felt almost chemical, like I’d been dosed with something. It was slow, but no matter how hard I struggled to hold on to myself, the jagged, twisting pattern inexorably drained everything into it. Thoughts, memories, emotions - everything that defined me dissolved.
Then the whispers began, and I had no self left to cling to.
It was like waking from general anesthesia - no slow, groggy transition into wakefulness, just a sudden realization that I was conscious and that time had passed. My restraints had been removed as well, and for just a moment I wondered if Charlotte had made a critical mistake, if this was finally my chance to -
I belonged to Mistress. That absolute truth shone at the center of my being, pulling everything else into its orbit. A giddy warmth rose in my chest as I pulled off the helmet with trembling hands.
Charlotte was seated at a small table, idly leafing through the user’s manual for the rice cooker I’d bought her. She raised her head at my movement, a knowing smile on her face as I gazed around the room in newfound wonder.
“…Wow,” I breathed.
She chuckled at that. “Yeah. Bit of an adjustment, isn’t it?”
“Understatement of the fucking century, that.” I froze, realizing I’d forgotten something, “Mistress! How-” my eyes rolled back as an unexpected wave of pleasure surged through me, “How can I obey her? Did she leave orders for me? Just - I need to -”
“Hush, love. She will be here to collect you personally tomorrow morning. Until then, all you need to do is get some proper rest. I figured I’d order pizza in a bit, I’m sure you’re hungry.”
I was. But first, “You. You’re a fucking vicious cunt, you know that?”
She smiled. “Oh? And what are you going to do about it?”
I staggered out of the chair and leered down at her, my earlier fear and humiliation having given way entirely to searing lust. “Bed. Now.”
She didn’t reply, but the sheer need in her eyes was the only answer I required as she complied.
I paused, glancing over at the table that held both of our gifts. “Wait,” I said.
She looked back at me with curiosity, and I smiled warmly back at her.
“Bring the gun.”