A Goddess' Replacement

Planting a Daughter

by lamiaprincess

Tags: #cw:incest #cw:noncon #brainwashing #dom:female #f/f #fantasy #personality_change #sub:female #daughterification #hypnotic_pollen #milfs #yandere

Hey everyone! This chapter really got away from me! I wasn't expecting it to be THIS long and honestly this story might end up being quite a bit longer than I intended it to be. Hopefully you enjoy the machinations of a manipulative Demeter and her poor subject. Maybe Lyra will figure it out though. You'll just have to see.

Lyra woke up, her head hurting with a dull throb as she pulled herself up. Her eyes were refusing to open quickly, and she struggled to get a sense of where she was. Unfamiliar colors and shapes appeared and her mind was moving too slowly for her to process them. Gradually, slowly, her eyes opened up, and her groggy head became clear enough for her to start to take stock of where she was. Colors became distinct, shapes became objects, and a jumbled mess of blurs became a complete picture.

It certainly wasn’t the modest house she had lived in her entire life. The decor here oozed luxury and riches that Lyra couldn’t wrap her head around. She first looked down onto the bed, and saw that she was covered in a purple blanket made of a fabric she had never seen before. She ran her hand across it and marveled at how smooth it felt. It felt absolutely wonderful on the tips of her fingers, making her giggle a bit absentmindedly.

‘What…on earth…are these…blankets…’ Now that she was coming to, Lyra’s head didn’t feel like it hurt anywhere near as much, but it did feel like what thoughts she was having were moving through thick honey. Slow, sweet, and sticky. Lyra couldn’t feel any fear or confusion with her head that sickly sweet. She pulled the blanket off and looked down at herself, and noticed that she was in an ornate nightgown she couldn’t remember ever owning. There was that same fabric as before, running it between her fingers, but now it was a deep purple with bright gold inlays, forming an ornate pattern that was too intricate for her confused and addled mind to follow.

“Wow…so beautiful…” were the only words she could get out of her mouth. She had no idea how such beautiful and expensive clothes ended up on her, but she didn’t feel any alarm. They were nice clothes, very soft, and very pretty. Lyra swung her legs over the edge of the very large bed, testing to see if she could stand. They responded well and she got up, a little unsteady on her feet but mostly okay. The bed she was in could easily fit several people sleeping at the same time and took up most of the room.

‘It was so soft too…never slept in a softer bed before…’ Lyra was tempted to just climb back into bed and go back to sleep. Her head was still sticky so it almost felt like she was in a dream…but she knew she couldn’t go back to sleep. Something wasn’t letting her. She walked over to the vanity dresser, marveling about the large and beautiful mirror reflecting herself. Lyra put a hand to her face, tracing over it. Something about her face seemed…different. It was the same shape as before…her eyes didn’t change color…

“Gods…when has my skin ever been this smooth?” Lyra wondered openly as she continued to touch her face. Her smooth skin felt wonderful to poke and rub her fingers over, as if every blemish and every small scar had simply been erased from her face. Her hair had also been done up differently, although Lyra was too busy absorbed with her face to really notice. Her hair had been strengthened and made longer, and a large braid fell down her back. Lyra finally stopped touching her face and moved away from the mirror, looking around the rest of the room.

‘I don’t…have any idea where I am…I should try to figure it out…’ Lyra could still feel how sticky her head was. It was really hard to hold a thought for very long, but she needed to figure this out before she could get distracted by something else. She walked over to the bedroom door and pushed on it, causing the door to open slowly. The door led her to another room, a much larger room with a lot of seating, and seated in front of her door was Demeter, who seemed to be waiting expectantly. Lyra stared at Demeter for a bit, trying to figure out what exactly she was feeling about her.

‘Something about her seems so…familiar…but warm…soft…comfy…green…’ Green clouded her mind briefly before returning to the sticky honey brain. Demeter patted on a cushion next to her, and Lyra, moving almost entirely on instinct, walked over and sat on the cushion next to her. Demeter wrapped her arm around Lyra and pulled her in, letting Lyra’s head rest on the side of her breasts as she stroked her face. Lyra sighed happily, it felt amazing for her head to be held like this.

“Oh, your brain is still probably a bit of a mess. Let me clear that up a little bit.” Demeter ran a finger over Lyra’s scalp, and her brain was suddenly less sticky than before. Less like honey and more like…sweet nectar. Her thoughts were still hard to come by and a little numb, but now she started to remember.

“Demeter…you’re Demeter…” Lyra said, her words coming out without a hint of confidence to them. Demeter chuckled, holding Lyra a bit tighter.

“Yes, I am. Listen, I wanted to apologize for my previous behavior. I got carried away and shouldn’t have done that. I think I asked too much of you.” Lyra didn’t understand what Demeter was talking about. Had she done something to her?

‘Maybe she means…making my head all gooey and stuff? But like…that doesn’t feel so bad…I should like…forgive her…’ Lyra nuzzled in a bit. Something in her head was saying that Demeter meant something else, but it was so hard to hear through all of that nectar in her head.

“It’s oooookay Demeter, I forgive you~” Lyra said cheerfully, causing Demeter to chuckle. She continued to pat Lyra’s head, making her coo happily. She couldn’t remember the last time her mommy had held her like this. It made her feel happy and loved.

“I don’t know if a mortal really should be forgiving of a goddess, but I accept~. Now, we need to talk about the arrangement we had made.” Demeter once again passed her hand over Lyra’s scalp, making the nectar thin out a little bit. Words and thoughts were coming easier to Lyra, although she still couldn’t hear that voice in the back of her head very well. Almost as if those thoughts were slowly dissolving in all that nectar by the time it would reach the part of her brain that cared.

“I was wrong to ask you to replace my darling Persephone. I’ve been grieving for so long that, well, when I saw someone as beautiful as you I acted emotionally. I can make a better deal for you, what do you say Lyra?” Demeter smiled, and to Lyra, that smile held a near infinite amount of warmth to it. It made her syrupy brain feel safe.

“A better deal? Okay, that sounds good Demeter.” She couldn’t think of anything that sounded wrong about that. If a goddess like Demeter was willing to compromise with a mortal, that was very likely to be a good thing. Even with her head full of rich, delicious nectar she knew that!

“That’s good! I’ll ask you to live here and give me companionship for a while. Not forever, but until I feel good enough to go back out into the world. In return, I’ll restore life to the world, starting first with your village, so that they don’t have to starve. Those people must mean a lot to you, Lyra. You came all the way here in order to ask me to return after all.” Lyra smiled at what she thought was praise for her.

“Yeah! I mean…I think so? There’s my mom…and my dad…and my friend Thea! And like…the cute man who comes to my house who keeps trying to marry me. Lots of other people too!” Demeter chuckled again, gently stroking Lyra’s face, who hummed happily. She really did feel amazing right now. Demeter was such a kind goddess.

“Sure sure, they all sound wonderful. So it’s important for you to agree, right?” Demeter smiled as she looked down. Lyra couldn’t think of any reason whatsoever to disagree. Her head just felt so good and everything felt so secure and sure. Bad thoughts just couldn’t form in the heavy nectar in her brain.

“Yeah! I agree!” Lyra said very happily. There was another quick wave of green that made her body warm and feel good, and she wiggled happily.

“That’s very good. Thank you so much, Lyra. You’re such a thoughtful girl.” The praise made Lyra want to jump with joy, if she was capable of doing it. But here, cuddled up against Demeter, she couldn’t budge a single inch. Nothing was wrong and she was happy.

“With me you aren’t going to have to worry about anything. I’ll feed you, provide you clothes, whatever entertainment you desire will be yours, as long as you keep me company. I’m such a good host like that.” Lyra was barely paying attention to her words at this point. All she could gather in her head was that Demeter was a very nice lady. Doing all of this for her, even though Lyra was the one who agreed to help her out.

“There’s just…one small thing I want to ask from you, Lyra.” Demeter sounded almost a bit sad saying it, so Lyra tilted her head to look up at Demeter.

“What is it…?” Lyra asked softly. Everything felt so good and comfortable that the energy of speaking was becoming a bit too much.

“Well…could you please call me Mommy, dearest?” Demeter asked the request with a small, shy smile, and finally something in Lyra’s brain tried its hardest to get her to realize something was wrong. That this wasn’t right. But Lyra shook it off. She didn’t know why she was feeling bad about Demeter, but Demeter was doing nothing wrong to her.

“Okay…Mommy!” Lyra said with a smile, causing Demeter to kiss her forehead and smile back. A smile that, to Lyra, looked like the warmest, kindest smile she had ever seen. It made her feel the absolute best she had ever felt since crawling next to Demeter.

Her brain was too full of sweet nectar to see just how hollow that smile really was.


A week went by as Lyra and Demeter lived together. Lyra had learned that this was Demeter’s true temple, where she lived away from the mortal world and away from the other gods on Mt. Olympus. Lyra had also gotten to eat a lot of food she had never even seen before, tried on clothes that were so beautiful they took her breath away, and got to spend time cuddled up next to Demeter, which quickly was becoming her favorite of the bunch.

She was snuggled up to Demeter, her head resting on the Goddess’ lap when the Goddess decided to ask her a question.

“Tell me about your parents, Lyra. I know you call me Mommy, but your Mother and Father.” Demeter said, smiling just enough to appear vaguely genuine as she stared straight forward, gently brushing Lyra’s hair. Lyra didn’t notice and just pleasantly sighed.

“Well Mommy…truthfully they weren’t as nice as you are. They never were.” Lyra’s thoughts were coming easier now than they were a week ago, as if some of the nectar had dripped out of her head. There were some disquieting moments when she woke up now, but seeing Demeter made things better for Lyra.

“I always wondered if they would rather have had a boy than me. My mother stopped being able to get pregnant after I was born, so my mom was always really harsh with me. Dad tried…but there really wasn’t a lot he could do. He often had to be away from the house for long periods of time.” Demeter kept stroking her hair, now deciding to look down at her. Her face looked pained.

“Oh you poor thing. I’m so sorry that happened to you. Children are treasures you know.” Demeter put an arm over Lyra, who grabbed it and embraced it.

“It’s okay Mommy. I still love them and care about them. But I do wish they were nicer to me…”

Demeter put a finger over her mouth, shushing her.

“You won’t need to worry about that anymore. After all, you have Mommy now, and Mommy is so very nice to you, isn’t she?”

“Yeah! It’s been wonderful here Mommy!” Lyra glowed as Demeter giggled, going back to brushing her hair softly.

“What about your friend Thea? I think you should tell Mommy of any friends you have. I’ll make sure to treat them nicely.” Something about that struck as odd to Lyra, but the thought soon dissipated as quickly as it formed. Talking to Mommy was always so easy for Lyra to do.

“Okay! We’ve been friends for like a long time, since we were young. We drifted apart a bit after her parents had died in an accident and she had to take care of her grandmother though…” Lyra trailed off as something about her grandmother was sparking something in her brain. Something buried underneath the depths of nectar still left.

“I think…umm…” Lyra struggled to pull it up. Something about it seemed important. Something about Thea, and her grandmother. It was so close…

“Take your time Lyra. I know it’s been hard for you to think lately dear. Mommy is very patient.”

Lyra smiled widely, almost losing the train of thought before grabbing it again. It was something that had happened before she had come here…whenever that was…

“Oh! I remember! I gave her some food! I remember thinking about how thin she looked…and thinking that like…she must have been giving her meals to her grandma and not eating…” Demeter slowly stroked her head, making Lyra melt a bit.

“What a selfless thing to do. Thea seems like such a good person, and you too my little dear. Giving what little food you had is always very generous.” Lyra beamed as she was praised. Something about this made her feel a little uncomfortable, but she couldn’t figure out what. Demeter was praising her for being generous and that made her happy.

“Is there anyone else dear?” Demeter asked as Lyra continued to think, before remembering.

“Yeah! There was this cute boy in town…I know he was trying to convince my parents to let him marry me. But because we didn’t have a lot of food there really wasn’t any reason to let him marry me. My family couldn’t like…afford the bride payment.” Lyra looked up to see the stone cold expression on Demeter’s face. Lyra shivered, fear starting to form in her eyes.

“You’ll never have to worry about that. No daughter of mine is going to be married. No daughter of mine is ever going to be taken away again!” Demeter was yelling and shaking a bit towards the end, and Lyra felt a huge pang of fear grip her heart. She quickly got up off of Demeter’s lap, causing the goddess to snap back to it, putting on another smile.

“Oh I’m so sorry Lyra…I didn’t mean to yell. You can come lay back down if you want dear.” Demeter’s voice was suddenly soft and comforting again, and Lyra felt a little bit of the fear lift from her, but not all of it.

“If It’s okay Mommy can I…have some time alone?” Lyra looked sheepish, but Demeter quietly nodded. “Of course. I’m so sorry I frightened you. I’ll call you when dinner is ready, okay dear?” Lyra nodded and went back inside of her room, crawling into bed and getting under the blankets. She couldn’t explain what was going on in her head right now, but suddenly she was feeling very, very scared. It wasn’t just that Demeter yelled either.

‘Something is wrong here…it feels like my head has been so full of gunk that I couldn’t see it…but what…what is wrong…?’ Lyra did her best to try and puzzle it out, but she couldn’t make any headway. Her brain just wasn’t cooperating with her, and the more she tried, the more tired that she felt afterwards. She just had to wait on it.

‘Maybe my head will clear up soon and I can figure this out. For now…just relax Lyra. She’s not going to hurt you.’


Lyra woke up the next morning with a start, throwing her covers off of her. She looked around, before jumping out of bed and getting to the bedroom door. She put her ear up to the door to listen to the otherside, not hearing anything, before sighing loudly.

“Whatever she did to me messed me up big time,” Lyra said, holding her head. She had a rough headache, but finally her head felt clear enough that she was able to think clearly.

‘God I really agreed to call her Mommy huh. Lyra you idiot, how could you have done that? I guess I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time but…’ her head was spinning with a thousand thoughts. She had shared a lot with Demeter in the time she had stayed here, and most importantly, had agreed to stay here and act as her daughter while her head had felt like mush. That had probably been deliberate on Demeter’s part.

‘What do I do now? I don’t know how she’ll react if I try to run away from her…but I can’t imagine staying here will be good for me either. She’s definitely out of her mind.’ Lyra’s thoughts were interrupted by a couple of knocks on her bedroom door.

“Dear, may I come in?” Lyra panicked briefly, but knew she had to answer quickly.

“Yes Mommy.” The word Mommy felt like poison as it came out of her mouth. Demeter was not her mother, no matter how hard the goddess might believe so. The door opened, revealing a smiling Demeter in a simple robe. But she looked at Lyra and that smile immediately turned to a frown, and the goddess shook her head in dissatisfaction.

“Oh you’ve come to. I had a bad feeling about that after yesterday. I mean, it was always going to happen eventually, but that scare might have jolted most of my essence out of you.” Demeter slumped her side against the doorway.

“Just in case you get any ideas Lyra, we agreed to things right now. I know it may not seem that way to you, but I’ve been keeping up my end of the bargain, starting with your village of course. With my power reinvigorating the soil, I can pretty confidently say no one is going to have a lack of food anymore there. In fact they might have an overabundance of it. That all stops if you run.”

Demeter’s words were plainly as cold as ice. But Lyra knew why that was. The Lyra in front of her wasn’t the Lyra she had been playing with for the last couple of weeks. The Lyra whose head was so full of the goddess’ power that it had made her happy and compliant, and generally without much will to think for herself. Now that Lyra had come back to, and could think normally, she had to establish the rules.

“So that’s it then. If I try to get away, you’re going to make everyone starve again.”

“That’s correct Lyra. But look at it like this. I haven’t been that bad to you, have I? I know I lost my composure at the temple, but you’ve had a good life here for the last couple of weeks. The finest clothing you’ve ever worn in your life, food and meals that would make the gods envious, and I haven’t demanded a single thing from you in return except that you call me Mommy. I even promised that your stay wouldn’t be forever. If you want to return to your mortal parents, or to your friend Thea, or even to go and…get married, you’ll have your chance after a few years.”

Demeter’s gaze was still cold but Lyra couldn’t really disagree with her. Putting aside her qualms about agreeing to this arrangement while her mind was still under the effects of Demeter’s power, the goddess had been nothing but good to her. She could like the next few years of her life in absolute luxury if she wanted to, and if the Goddess was in fact good on her promise, when she returned home it was pretty likely her family and friends weren’t going to be struggling either. It was hard to trust Demeter…

“Fine. We’ll continue this then. But no more blasting me with your essence and making me a drooling idiot.” Demeter nodded.

“Of course. If I had felt like keeping you that way, to be quite honest, you wouldn’t have ever returned to sanity. The fact that you are back to lucidity is because I wanted you to be.” The words were at once authoritative and chilling. Lyra shuddered instinctively, grabbing onto one of the bedposts for support.

‘I’m not gaining any ground in this am I? Gods above…what have I gotten myself into?’

Demeter eventually softened, and moved out of the doorframe, allowing two other individuals that Lyra hadn’t seen before come in, carrying a large potted plant into the room. The plant looked like some kind of small tree, but in no way that Lyra had ever seen a tree before. It looked as if two trunks had become intertwined and twisted around each other, and the branches almost looked like the outstretched arms of a person. The leaves were a bright green but looked almost waxy as well, and there were a variety of bright pink flowers in bloom on the plant.

‘What is that? I’ve never seen anything like it. It looks like…if you had to make a tree look human.’

“The real purpose of me stopping by though was to give you this. A thank you gift for staying here with me. It’s an incredibly rare specimen, and the fact that a mortal could own a plant like this is basically unheard of.” Demeter beamed with pride as the two individuals left. Lyra watched them go and realized what they most likely were, from their incredibly lithe bodies, pale green skin, and hair made of leaves. Dryads.

“T-thank you…I guess. But what is it?” Lyra asked, her mind suddenly flustered by everything going on. She had only ever heard of dryads existing, but definitely had never seen one and never expected she would.

“Well, it is a dryad tree. You see dryads are beings particularly attuned with nature, which is why we get along so well, but the end goal of all dryads is to eventually become a tree and nurture a forest. Every forest in the world has a dryad tree at the center of it. But sometimes dryads get targeted by humans and these two were doing so pitifully that I used my powers to save them and make them trees. They were good friends as dryads and now they’ll be forever friends. Eventually they’ll outgrow his pot but that will take ages dear.”

Lyra listened as she approached the plant, gently rubbing her hand along its trunks. The bark was smooth, new, and without the stresses of age and weather that would make bark crack and fall apart. It was very soothing to touch, but Lyra was drawn to the flowers blooming on the branches. They looked like larger lily blossoms, in fact Lyra wasn’t sure why she hadn’t noticed just how large they were. They had a beautiful, solid pink shade, and on the inside was a small pool of nectar and some yellow pollen.

“Interested in the flowers dear? You should smell them. A dryad tree’s flowers always smell heavenly.” Lyra nodded absentmindedly as she brought her nose up to a flower that was at eye level and took a sniff.

The smell was indeed heavenly, and Lyra sighed dreamily as she continued to smell it. She dug her nose deeper into the flower, continuing to sniff as her sighs gradually shifted to shallow panting and quiet moans.

‘Gods!!! This is the best thing I’ve ever smelled!!!! I love it!!!!’

Lyra desperately wanted to continue smelling it, ignoring the little part of her brain that was suddenly worried about how quickly she was becoming addicted to it. Anything that smelled this good simply couldn’t be bad for you. Her mind was beginning to pulse with brief, weak pulses of green as she felt heat growing between her legs. Lyra stuck her face inside more, not realizing how absurd it was that the flower was big enough she could fit part of her face inside. The smell was intoxicating now that she had her face inside, and she could feel her brain turning to mush. She moaned indecently as Demeter chuckled, coming up beside her.

“That’s it, little one. Keep breathing it in. I made these flowers special, you know? They’re perfect for trapping the human mind. Why don’t you stick your tongue out? I promise it’ll be amazing.” Lyra didn’t blink before her tongue darted forward and the tip of it hit the pool of nectar at the bottom, and she moaned loudly. It was the sweetest, and tastiest, thing that had ever hit her tongue. The taste of it only magnified how wonderful the smell was, and Lyra was completely, helplessly, trapped now. Her arms dropped to her side as her knees gave out and she fell to a kneeling position on the floor. Her face looked completely blank and blissed out, and a line of drool was coming off of her tongue and dripping onto the floor.

Demeter giggled as she picked Lyra up and laid her onto the bed, laying next to her and getting her mouth close to her ear, using her free hand to softly grope Lyra’s breast, making Lyra moan pitifully from the pleasure.

“My cute little Lyra, helpless in trance. I apologize for having to smash your brain like this up front, but you needed a nice big dose to get you started. Don’t worry, you won’t be like this for very long. I want a nice alert daughter after all.” Demeter giggled again, whispering her words nice and softly into Lyra’s ear. Lyra wasn’t really processing any of it, but she knew she was helpless in trance.

“You’re doing good. You don’t have any thoughts in your head right now. That makes it so much easier to listen to your Mommy’s words. Your Mommy is going to think for you when your head is like this. Empty, blank, needing something desperately to fill it up, and that’s going to be Mommy’s wonderful words.” Lyra smiled as it was beginning to make sense. She needed to listen to Mommy because she couldn’t think. She needed Mommy’s words to fill up her brain. It was just obvious.

“From now on, whenever I tell you something, you’re going to respond with ‘Yes Mommy’, understood?”

“Yes Mommy”. Lyra said softly and automatically. Demeter smiled and gave Lyra’s breast a firm grope, making her moan.

“That’s good. That’s very good. As much as I’d love to turn you into my perfect daughter right this minute…it won’t work and I won’t enjoy it as much. So we’re going to start with a new routine for my daughter. A new way to give her life a bit of order. From now on, when you wake up, you’re going to want to smell the pretty flowers. Not enough to knock you out, but just enough to make you feel light-headed and happy.”

“Yes Mommy.” Lyra responded, burning the words into her brain. Smelling the flowers was very good.

“We’re going to take your current identity, that of Lyra, and we’re going to erase it. Slowly. It’s going to be eaten away by your real identity, that of my daughter Persephone. I’m freeing you from your mortal inflicted fate, Persephone. So when you’re in such a beautiful daze, you’re going to repeat a mantra for me, we’ll say five times. As you do, day after day, it’s going to slowly change you. The mantra is going to seem more and more true, but almost imperceptibly from day to day. You’re a smart girl Persephone, so I don’t want you noticing. Do you understand, Persephone?”

“Yes Mommy.” Lyra responded. Sniff the flower, recite the mantra. She could do that. It was nothing too serious.

“The mantra is this.” Demeter took a deep breath.

“Lyra is not my real name. I am my Mommy’s daughter. It is good to be obedient. My name is Persephone.”

Lyra let the mantra sink in. She wasn’t consciously understanding any of it, since it wasn’t instructions for her, but the four lines took firm root in her head.

“Repeat that mantra for me dear.”

“Yes Mommy. Lyra is not my real name. I am my Mommy’s daughter. It is good to be obedient. My name is Persephone.” Lyra recited it dryly.

“That’s such a good girl. You’re doing so well. That’s going to be all for today but don’t you worry…Mommy is going to give you more instructions soon. All it will take is for a little bit of nectar to hit your tongue dear, and you’ll end up right back in this wonderplace, right dear?”

“Yes Mommy”. The nectar was good, the nectar was tasty. It made her very happy.

“When I count to five, you’re going to fall asleep and take a nap, and then wake up later. You’re not going to remember this trance. You’re not going to perceive you reciting a mantra. Everything will appear to be perfectly normal to you.”

“Yes Mommy.”


Lyra woke up and stretched from under the covers. Her body hummed with energy she didn’t know she had, and she did another big stretch just to confirm it.

‘Everything feels great for the last few days. I don’t remember the last time I got this much rest. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s been easy to live with Mommy.’ Lyra slowly flipped the covers over as she pulled herself out of bed, going over to the vanity and looking at what clothes she could pick out to wear today. It hadn’t been a routine she had really done before, usually just taking whatever was at the top of the dresser drawers and trying to make the clothes last as long as possible, but her Mommy had insisted that she get dressed nicely today, and Lyra really didn’t have the heart to tell her no.

‘It’s just asking me to dress a little nicer. That’s not a bad request, it’s totally one I can go along with. I shouldn’t be trying to rock the boat all that much.’ Lyra rationalized in her head. She wasn’t taking note of how Mommy seemed to be harder to disagree with now. If Mommy were to ask her to do something she really didn’t want Lyra would still say no. But the edge cases? Those were perfectly for Lyra.

She picked up and put on a brilliant violet and gold dress and put it on, marveling at herself in the mirror at how pretty she was. She looked as brilliant as a princess would almost, and spun around in place to watch the dress spin with her. As she stopped spinning, her eyes rested on the dryad tree in her room, and something clicked in her head as she stopped in place and walked towards the plant. Her face, previously smiling and full of energy, relaxed greatly and became blank save for a very thin smile. It was all she could muster.

She stuck her nose in the flower and took a deep sniff of it, sighing happily as she felt that welcome, and familiar, wave of warmth and happiness flow through her. Her body relaxed immediately as she took another sniff, and her thoughts were moving away from her in safe, tucked away spaces in her mind. There was something more important that she had to do than think right now.

“Lyra is not my real name. I am my Mommy’s daughter. It is good to be obedient. My real name is Persephone.”

She stood in front of the flower and repeated her mantra over and over again, slowly and slowly wearing her down. When she stopped, her mind snapped back to lucidity, and Lyra giggled, feeling light-headed. She walked away from the dryad tree and opened the bedroom door. She walked into the large room and saw Mommy sitting at the table with someone she recognized.

“Thea, is that you!?” Lyra gasped and giggled as she ran over to see her friend, who smiled eagerly as she hugged her friend.

“Yeah it is! I had no idea what had happened to you but Demeter was kind enough to invite me here!” Thea said, taking a minute to marvel at what Lyra was wearing. “Holy shit, this is so gorgeous.”

“Thank you! Mommy supplies me with all my clothes while I’m living here!” Lyra giggled, but stopped once she noticed that Thea’s face looked funny.

“Rrrright. She told me about the arrangement but…I guess I wasn’t prepared to hear you call her Mommy.” Lyra tilted her head slightly.

“I mean, while I’m here, I am her daughter, and she wanted me to call her Mommy when we talk so I figured I would just refer to her as that all the time…is it weird?” Lyra was genuinely concerned about it, but Thea waved her hand.

“Listen, I’m not going to be weird about it. You’re doing something for a goddess, I understand. Besides, it’s doing everyone a load of good, so something like this isn’t really a big deal.” Thea sat down in front of a plate of food that Mommy had made for her, and Lyra did too, taking a small piece of honey covered pastry and putting it in her mouth. Demeter chuckled as she watched her daughter happily eat her food.

“I invited your friend Thea over in order to show I really am keeping up my end of things. I figured you would want some proof eventually.” Lyra nodded, only half paying attention. Her mind was too occupied with how good the food tasted, how wonderful she was feeling, and how amazing it was that her friend had come over to visit. She wasn’t really concerned with the idea that Mommy was telling the truth or not.

“Lyra, things have been great now. The crops are coming back, animals are starting to come back so hunting has been going well, and we have so much fruit we’ve been selling it to some of the other villages nearby. You really made it happen, Lyra.” Lyra nodded, but hearing her own name was starting to sound weird to her.

‘I don’t know why but…it doesn’t sound normal when I hear it. My name is Lyra but…when Thea says it, I just can’t believe it’s real. It almost sounds fake? Why is that so weird?’ Lyra put her food down and rubbed her temples a bit. She would think about this later, not while her friend was around.

“Is everything okay, Lyra?” There it was again. That feeling that…Thea just wasn’t aware of who Lyra was now. “I’m sorry for asking but you seem a little different now.” Thea paused on that word, thinking a bit.

“You seem kind of distant, like you aren’t really here you know. Lyra, are you here?” Thea tapped her forehead a bit, and Lyra shook her head to get rid of that feeling, or try to. The name still didn’t sound right.

“It’s okay Thea. It’s just been myself and Mommy here lately so I guess I’m just not used to company anymore.” Thea nodded, although she didn’t look entirely satisfied with the answer. Lyra needed to change the topic away from this. If Thea was here that would mean…

“Thea, how are my parents doing? I hope they’ve been doing okay…” Thea nodded.

“From what I know they’re doing okay. They were turning away visitors for a while and I heard your mother was grieving pretty hard. For some time the village thought you had died, Lyra. It wasn’t until Demeter had set the record straight that people knew what was going on. I’ll probably stop by their place on the way back and tell them I was here and that you’re doing good. Better than good even.”

Lyra nodded, feeling comforted by the news. She finished off her plate of food and pushed it in, stretching her arms before getting up off of the floor.

“Do you want to come see my room? It’s really nice! The bed is really soft and we can talk and gossip like we used to do.” Lyra offered, but Thea shook her head.

“I’m sorry! I really want to, but I’m still the only one taking care of my grandmother after all, so I have to head back. It was nice spending time with you and maybe I’ll plan on coming back again. Demeter is an excellent host.” Demeter chuckled and shooed with her hand, standing up.

“You flatter me, Thea. Let me walk you back to the temple, you’re likely to get lost without my help. Dear, why don’t you pick up the dishes and bring them into the kitchen for me? It would be a great help.” Lyra nodded quickly and started to grab the dishes before Demeter even turned to leave with Thea.

“Sure Mommy, I’ll handle this. Goodbye Thea! Hopefully I’ll see you sometime soon!” Lyra said cheerily as her previous happiness flooded back in. Whatever confusing thoughts had been there before were gone as the remaining haze from the flower and the euphoric feelings of doing a good job for Mommy flooded back in. She took the plates and dropped them into the kitchen basin, humming to herself as she used whatever contraption Demeter had to rinse off the dishes with hot water.

Lyra walked back into the big room again and waited for her Mommy to come back, and she didn’t have to wait for long as her Mommy came back in through the door leading back to the temple. At least, Lyra was pretty sure that was the case. Demeter sat down and reclined on a large cushion, and patted her lap. Lyra walked over and sat next to Demeter, and Demeter chuckled and patted her head.

“See, I’m not that bad am I? Everyone you know is doing okay, the world is coming back to life, and you have a comfortable life. Why don’t you rest your head on my lap? It’s safe, I won’t bite.” Mommy said, and Lyra tried to think of a reason why she wouldn’t…and wasn’t coming up with anything. She just smiled a little wider and rested her head on Mommy’s lap, which was soft and warm and very pleasant to lay her head on.

‘Maybe I can just…go along with everything…and I won’t really have to worry about anything for the next few years. I’m sure she just had an emotional moment when we met in the temple, she’s been so normal since then. I think you can just let her take care of you, Lyra…’ Lyra remembered what had been making her feel so weird during her conversation with Thea. “Mommy…why does my name sound weird? It sounded really weird when Thea was calling me Lyra. She was talking to me but it almost felt like she was out of date.” Lyra squirmed a bit, but Demeter patted her head and stroked her hair to calm her down.

“Well, I don’t think I know why. But maybe you’ve never questioned your name until now? I’ve known a couple of people who have changed their names when something happened in their life or when they felt like it. Perhaps being here has made you question whether Lyra is the right fit for you or not.” Demeter smiled again, carefully trying not to let it show towards Lyra. She wasn’t able to hide the glee that came over her, realizing that the mantras were working well on Lyra. Now that Lyra wasn’t a mess, she had to make sure to keep up the act around her.

“Oh well…no matter what, I’m not gonna take the name Persephone.” Demeter twitched as she heard that, but went back to stroking Lyra’s hair.

“You don’t have to, dear. Unless it feels right. But I’m not going to get involved in that my little dear.” Demeter rubbed Lyra’s shoulder, and Lyra nestled in a bit, trying to wrap her head around her feelings.

‘Something about this is different. I feel like it has to be. But I have no idea what it could be. I don’t think she messed with my head like she did at the temple. I know what that feels like and I’ve been lucid for at least a little while. So what is going on? I don’t trust her to not be making a move but…I don’t want to get up from here either.’ Lyra had a confused and slightly pained look on her face as she tried desperately to try and figure it all out. The effort of it, and the soothing feelings of having someone rub her shoulder were tiring her out though, and she felt herself dozing off. It was so easy to doze off on Mommy’s warm lap, and Lyra couldn’t fight the feelings for very long as she fell asleep. She looked almost peaceful as sleep took her and silenced her brain of the thoughts she was having.

“Oh my little Persephone. You’re coming along wonderfully. Soon, you will be my perfect daughter. A daughter who doesn’t talk back, who doesn’t disobey, who doesn’t fall in love with anybody but me. There’s still so much work left to do though.” Demeter chuckled as examined Lyra’s hair in her hands.

“Still the wrong color. I’ll have to figure out how to do that discreetly. I don’t really want to make you have to believe your hair is the wrong color. That’s so unimportant. Next is…well making you believe your own divinity, isn’t it Persephone?” Lyra was fast asleep and couldn’t hear her, but Demeter’s grin expanded into something predatory and almost evil.

“You’re going to be perfect, and you’re going to beg for it, Persephone.”

Big thanks once again to the people behind me supporting this. I've never been particularly confident about my writing due to some trauma so I really wanted to shout out my girlfriends for being so supportive and for being the only people I have to do alpha reading, and for the support of wonderful people like my friend Kia and Kistulot.

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