The next morning, Becky crept downstairs and grabbed some yarn before tying it to her watch. It made her feel stupid, but one of the books had mentioned pulling on past experiences, so it seemed logical to try and make this whole thing as similar to Felicia's act as possible even if that did force Becky to sacrifice a little bit of her dignity.
She took a few deep breaths before stepping into the kitchen. "Hey, Mom," called Becky.
"What is it, sweetie?" asked Mary as she put her coffee down.
"Can I try something on you? It is part of a project I'm working on!" Becky said with a grin, trying to sound both enthused and calming.
"Of course!” replied Mary, What do you need me to do?"
"Well, it is a psychological test! So, could you come and sit on the couch for me?"
"Okay," agreed Mary as she walked into the living room. It was clear she was becoming suspicious of Becky and her motivations, but Becky tried to steel herself. She needed to try this.
Once Mary was sitting on the couch, Beck moved close and sat next to her and pulled out the watch, letting it hang in front of her mom's eyes. "Okay," she started, only for her mom to interrupt.
"Sweetie, are you going to try and hypnotize me?" chuckled Mary, "You know that only works in cartoons, right?"
"Well, that is the test. And you saw the magician at the county fair."
"What magician?" interrupted Mary. "I don't remember there being a magician?"
Becky blinked in disbelief. "Before the choir? Felicia?"
"No? Wasn't it that bluegrass jug band?" mumbled Mary as a shudder ran down Becky's spine. Not only did her mom not remember her time as Dita, but it also seemed that she didn't remember Felicia at all. This was worrying, but it was now clear that this whole thing was not some accident. Felicia had done this intentionally. She had re-added the Dita trigger and made her mom forget about the show.
"Oh right, I forgot," lied Becky as she started to sway the watch. "Okay. Keep your eyes on the watch, watching it as it swings back and forth. Keeping your eyes just on the watch, unable to pull your eyes from it," said Becky gently as she tried to imitate Felicia as best as she could.
Mary's eyes followed the watch as it swung, but she didn't seem to be affected by it. In fact, she looked more awake than normal. But Becky didn't let it deter her. She continued to talk as the watch swung, hoping that this would work.
"You just need to watch the swinging watch. And as you watch the watch, you'll realize just how tired you feel. Just how sleepy you are. You're feeling so tired. It has been such a busy day. A busy day and you want to sleep, the watch is making your eyes tired, so very tired," continued Becky as she tried to sound as calm and relaxed as possible. However, Mary didn't seem to be affected by this.
"Sweetie, I don't think this is working," admitted Mary.
"Yeah, I'm sorry," sighed Becky. "Well, it was useful data if nothing else!" she added, keen to keep up her cover story.
"I'm glad I could help." offered Mary, "But could I have my yarn back, please?"
"Oh right," giggled Becky awkwardly as she started to untie the watch. Without thinking, she mumbled, "I bet Fantastic Felicia never had to deal with this," to herself. However, a few seconds after the words escaped her lips, the sound of a wolf whistle echoed around the room.
"Mortal!" shouted Mary as she jumped out of the chair, her eyes now fully glazed over.
"What?!" spat Becky as she tried to pull herself together. Had her Mom made that sound her ringtone? Becky quickly pushed herself up off the floor and tried to work out where her Mom had gone. However, before Becky could pull herself together, she heard the front door slam, making it clear that her mom had escaped yet again.
Becky groaned as she got up and grabbed her mom's phone, hoping that the caller would help her predict her mom's movements. However, as she looked at the screen, her heart dropped. There hadn't been a call. Mary had played the audio using her phone's media player. She had somehow downloaded a random sound effect off the internet.
As Becky burst out of the door and started to blindly chase her mom, she mentally tried to work out what had happened. She ran through everything in her head, trying to work out what had set her mom off. The only thing she could think of was Fantastic Felicia. Usually, Becky just called her Felicia. This was the first time she had used the full name in front of her mom. It sounded like a good way to cover your tracks, make it so that the victim couldn't even say the name without humiliating themselves.
Becky started to walk through the streets, desperate to find her mom before she did something humiliating. But she had no idea where Dita Disgusta would want to go. Last time she had gone to a place her mom knew, so she could only presume that Mary would do the same again but she couldn't be sure.
As Becky paced the streets, she checked her phone in case someone called her again. However, no calls came in, forcing her to hunt down her mom on her own. Becky was unsure if the daylight was a good or a bad thing. The crowds would make it harder for her mom to get around without being spotted, potentially slowing her down, but it meant there were many more people she could humiliate herself in front of.
Becky's eyes continued to dart left and right, doing her best to try and make out any hint of her mom. After walking for nearly an hour, Becky came across something that made her heart skip a beat. A crowd of people was gathered outside of a costume shop, all of them looking with confusion.
Becky ran across and looked over the store. The place was quite messy, and someone in a uniform was looking around with confusion. "What happened?" asked Becky to a random bystander.
"Some brought a costume and started acting weird," started the person, only for Becky to cut them off.
"Which way did they go?" she demanded, already presuming that this was her mom. Who else would do this kind of thing? The bystander pointed down a street, and Becky took off, hoping she could find her mom before she did anything else.
As she dashed down the street, Becky tried to think up a plan. It seemed that Mary was actively resisting being untriggered, meaning that Becky would have to whistle before her mom could grab her or tie her down again. Before Becky could finish her thought, she saw Mary walking around a park. She couldn't be sure it was her mom, but it would be weird if there were two people wandering around in a massive Dita Disgusta costume complete with a giant horned hat.
Becky steeled herself and put her fingers in her mouth as she ran forward, whistling as loud as she could. Mary spun around, but mid-movement, her eyes glazed over and her expression softened. "What. Why am I in the park?" she mumbled to herself.
"You went on a walk," panted Becky as she looked around, praying that no one had seen them.
"Why is my outfit," started Mary, but Becky quickly cut her off.
"For my project," Becky said through another forced smile. "For my project, you were helping. Very helpful," she added. Mary just mumbled in agreement. Becky slowly led her Mom out of the park and towards the house, doing her best to make sure the group hanging around the costume store didn't spot them. As they walked, Mary slowly woke up. Becky's suggestion that this was all a project became truer to Mary, and she even started to ask about it and discuss it.
Becky did her best to keep her story straight, trying to make her lie seem realistic without making it too big. But as they walked, Becky plotted. She needed to find out every single trigger that Felicia had put in her mom so she could work to make sure they didn't get set off without Becky being present to turn it right back off again.
The second they got through the door, Mary changed into her normal clothes and started making lunch. Becky used this time to hide the Dita costume in her room. She also borrowed her mom's phone and deleted the sound effect.
"I feel terrible," she mumbled as she scrolled through Mary’s phone, wanting to make sure there were no more triggers or surprises hidden within it. Thankfully, aside from the sound effect, Becky couldn't find any hint of further tampering. It made sense. Her mom could have only been with Felicia for a couple of minutes. She didn't have time to set much up.
"Lunch!" called Mary, drawing Becky from her thoughts. She put Mary’s phone back and went for lunch, the cogs in her head turning the entire time. She had no idea what to do. Her attempt at hypnotizing her mom had failed and while she could try again, she didn't have faith in her skills.
Nothing else Becky could think up seemed like a good idea. And thus, she spent the next few days being jumpy, always on the lookout for anything that might set Mary off and cause her to run off again.