Bliss, Haze, and Sick swam around my mind in circles. Each would come to prominence, push itself into the spotlight, grow and shift and change until it was the only thing in the universe, overwhelming and terrible in its intensity until it was replaced by the next in line for dominance. I couldn’t tell how long the cycle lasted or how many repetitions it went through. I didn’t have enough of a presence of mind to count, or to even remember what it was to not experience the world outside its lens.
Chronology only existed within each domain.
Haze numbed and dulled the senses, made me slower. Haze was the dreams before I woke, the moments after. It was the kick between my ribs, Amelia’s laughter, the buzzing of her shears as they grazed my scalp, and the cool air that reached it. Haze was the cage, the electricity of its bars, and the pain in my knees and elbows. Haze was recognizing Candy, who was curious and disgusted all at once. Haze was her umbrella poking at my ribs as I lay defeated, hungry, and scared. Haze was my relief when she stuck me with the needle that made me sleep.
Sick turned my world upside down. My stomach retching, throat closing, spitting up empty bile and water I’d lapped from my bowl. It was the floating, sick-sweet buzz when I came down from that drug. Sick made my hands shake and my skin sweat despite the deep chill that settled in my bones. Sick wormed its way through me during the long hours of nothing spent hanging, when my tormentor couldn’t make time to hurt me in any active way.
Bliss came upon me in waves that consumed my senses. Bliss was my most frequent companion. Bliss snapped into focus when that drug took its hold. It convinced me I was happy, I was safe. It took away hunger, drove away the pain. Bliss convinced me I was fine, that leaving the scraps of food for Robin was easy. Bliss made me feel like a better person than I was.
I had no way to count time in my stupor. There were no clocks, no windows in the foil-lined compound Amelia imprisoned me in. I didn’t have the presence of mind to count days if I had access to the information. I could only feel the ravages inflicted on me when I put myself together.
There were in-between states, when she let the drug’s hold on me wane; when she needed some semblance of functionality. Memories stitched themselves together more coherently in these spaces. I often spent these times gagged and caged, or restrained in one of the rubber hobble-suits Robin spent her days in.
For most of these, she simply wanted something conscious to torment. She whipped me until I cried, and then until I stopped. She reached her mind into mine and giggled until I asked for more. She mocked my poor planning. She beat Robin until her nose bled. She fucked Cunt in front of me.
Cunt wasn’t the right word for whoever was in her body. She was changed. Not like Brandi on the staircase, where I could see the seams between whatever was being presented and her real personality. Cunt felt different on a psychic level. The comforting, loving, tough butch who treated me tenderly was just gone. Some other presence was in its place. Cunt was dead.
I grew inured to the tortures fairly quickly. I became a rider in my own body. There was simply no other way to cope. I gave up. I hoped beyond hope that Jules would find I was missing. I hoped she would seek me out, psychically, physically. I hoped my fucking landlord would report me missing. I hoped Amelia would just kill me.
I still wish she did.
“You know, you’re actually prettier than I’d given you credit for.” She dragged the blade of a knife - a butcher’s cleaver, really - down the center of my forehead and along my nose. “If I were to take this cleaver and split your head down the middle-” She emphasised the word ‘split’ by increasing the pressure of the blade, sending cold, sharp, lingering pain to my core -”I’d have two perfectly symmetrical halves.” She had an infuriating arent-I-so-clever smile. “That’s very important.”
I felt myself trying to scream, to retort. I didn’t even have the choice to remain still from a sense of self preservation. She’d done something to my mind, my psychic presence, my whatever the fuck. It felt like my mind was a butterfly she’d skewered and pinned to a preservation plate. It didn’t hurt, but everything felt restrained. Beyond that, I was restrained, on my back, tied to a metal work table. I could do nothing but take her abuse.
“Robin, dear.” Amelia’s voice took on a playful lilt. “Come.”
Robin moved with a limp from the holding cell - a large dog kennel - to beside Amelia. She looked down, a submissive gesture, and waited for Amelia to address her again.
“Take this knife. Keep it right where it is.” Robin did as she was told, though did not hold the cleaver with quite as much pressure as Amelia did. Robin’s grip was less steady than Amelia’s. There was no hesitation in following her orders. Robin had been broken before I had gotten here. She was Amelia’s dog. “I think your dear little sister’s face might look just a bit prettier with some asymmetry to her. Don’t you think so?” Robin’s arm stiffened a little. Amelia paused for a moment. “Say yes.”
Robin’s struggle was evident in her grimace, but it didn’t last long. Amelia’s psychic influence washed over her for just a moment before Robin started to relax, then giggled. “Yes, Amelia.” I started to panic. My heart raced, I took deeper breaths. Tears began to well in the corners of my eyes. I wasn’t able to plead, or I would have.
“Good Robin.” Amelia stepped over me and smirked. “Cut her. Shallow. Left cheekbone.”
There was more hesitation. Amelia placed a hand on Robin’s hip. I could see the struggle in Robin’s eyes as she tried to fight the giggles in her mind. I had only been given a taste of them, to taste Robin’s particular torments. She held out longer than I had expected her to, but I knew she would give in. I didn’t blame her. Her agency had been taken from her. I could see that now. Robin never wanted to hurt me. Her agency had been ripped from her.
I didn’t forgive her for raping me. There was nothing to forgive.
After her valiant struggle, Robin smiled. She twisted the blade and pulled towards herself. Pain and terror cut deep, and I started to sob. Blood and tears pooled into my eyes, blinding me as much as it burned.
“Good, good.” Amelia made a delighted squealing noise. “Now you know the stakes of my little game, Oriole.” Amelia’s mind-skewers ripped themselves free. I twisted myself in my restraints and screamed, an animal wail that sounded like something other than myself.
“Calm yourself Oriole.” Amelia touched a gloved hand to my cheek and wiped the fluid from my left eye. “You’ll need it!” She giggled. “I’m going to give you ten seconds.” Her voice deepened into a more serious tone. “Take control of your sister’s body by then, or she’ll cut you again. Ten. Nine...”
“Wait, what, I can’t!” I balled my fists and twisted, panic and adrenaline seating me firmy in control of myself. “She’s not t-touch, I have to touch!”
“Eight. Seven. Six.” Amelia shrugged. “Figure it out. Five.” I wailed out, then took a deep breath. Panic did nothing for me. “Four.” I tried to reach out, but I didn’t even know what that felt like. My mind was firmly closed off without contact. “Three.”
“Please, please, I’ll try, please just don’t cut me please.” I repeated ‘please’ over and over and over until the countdown finished. I didn’t hear Amelia’s orders to Robin.
But I felt the laceration on my arm.
“Nine. Eight.” I begged incoherently as Amelia began her countdown clock once more. I was driven by pure animal panic. My nerves were electric, my heart racing like it never had before. I had infinite energy, and nowhere to release it.
The cuts came again, three or four, each accompanied by a faster countdown. I screamed and begged, and Amelia’s voice only grew angrier. She screamed the numbers in my ear. The cuts felt like they grew deeper, more grievous, though I had no way to confirm other than my body’s impressions of pain.
“Do you want to fucking die?” A pressure pressed down on my hips - Amelia was straddling me. My world spun as her fists connected with my head over and over again. She screamed as she threw blow after blow into my head. “This is where you fucking die, girl. On this bed, bleeding, pathetic and scared.” The knife was at my throat now, pressing dangerously hard. A single flick of her wrist and I’d be swallowing blood.
I lost all sense of myself. I wasn’t a person, I was barely an animal, I was just simply Id, scrambling for its survival. My sense of myself crackled out, like lightning striking, seeking anything. It found two conduits, two places to be.
It found the one that was least resistant and consumed it.
I was free. My panic had a conduit. I saw Amelia, on top of my body, thrashing the other me over the head with the handle of the knife. I was bleeding, though less than I’d expected to be.
I didn’t think. Robin’s body was in better shape than my own - Amelia had been giving us limited food, barely fit for one person, and I usually let Robin eat everything - so it was no surprise that my first blow knocked Amelia off of my body. I tackled her to the concrete floor, the same screams from moments before coming from a new mouth.
Amelia raised her arms to defend herself. The cleaver fell away from our melee. I could feel her presence at the back of my mind, a dagger of force pressing into my connection with Robin like it had the first time I took control of this body. I felt that force enter the psychic ‘room’ of Robin’s mind, pressing through and carving me out. I pressed my ego outwards, ‘bulging’ the walls just a little with the pressure, to keep that dagger out.
This time, I had an idea of how to fight.
Emotions were running high for both of us, so our fight was a matter of offense on all levels. She had the advantage on a psychic level, so I simply had to kill her before she could stop me. I kept up the outward ‘pressure’ while throwing blow after blow at her head and neck, digging nails and teeth wherever I could find flesh. It wasn’t pretty, and it hurt Robin’s hands and wrists to use this much force, but there was no going back from this.
The outward pressure in Robin’s mind did its part to keep Amelia’s influence out, but it quickly proved untenable. Before I realized what was happening, Robin cracked, the walls of her mind shattering with the forces I was putting upon her.
I was back in my own body when Robin’s slumped to the ground.
Everything was quiet for some time. My eyes still burned. I was still blind. I could feel more, psychically. I was more aware of Amelia. I could feel Not-Cunt in the next room over.
I couldn’t feel Robin at all.
Amelia felt fear and anger mixing, surging through her every fiber. I heard her move Robin’s body to the side, and those emotions changed color and shape. Amelia stayed fearful, though it’s texture changed.
Mostly, I felt Amelia’s remorse.
It lasted only a few seconds, and she knew I noticed it. Remorse turned itself inside out, polluted itself, and turned to sadistic pleasure. “Well, good job, you passed!” She paced towards me and laughed her sadistic, oh-so-pleased-with-herself laughter. “You fucking broke your sister. Good job! I wasn’t expecting you to do all that!”
We were moving - the table I was on must have had wheels. I started to shake. “I-is she alive?”
“Fuck no she’s not.” Amelia giggled with glee and started into a run. “I mean, she’s breathing. She’d make a great organ donor. Holy fuck girl, you’re a prize!” She stopped running, though we continued to move. She must have hopped onto some leg of the table and started to ride.
She was ecstatic, and I didn’t need magical emotion-senses to know that. She was laughing, her happiness was electric. “What do you mean, I…”
I felt numb.
We rolled to a stop suddenly. Before I could react, my restraints were loose and the rolling table was upturned. I rolled and fell and hit water.
“Bored now. Enjoy your guilt trip, Birdie!”
Hinges creaked, and something metal closed above me. I couldn’t sense Amelia anymore, or Cunt. I screamed out, and the sound was wrong. Dampened. I could only hear myself through my own body vibrations - no echo. The liquid wasn’t water. It felt dense, warm. Salty. My cuts burned where the liquid touched them.
I found myself praying. For salvation, for relief, for death. I couldn't bare existing with all that had been done. All that I’d done.
I prayed for Jules to finally come save me.