There’d been dozens of naked pictures of her on the drive.
When she loaded it up, when she saw the first one, it stunned her. Almost literally. She felt like she’d taken a blow to the head. Like she'd been shunted into some alternate reality. She clicked through the whole list, front to back, by rote, eyes glazing over, struggling to find access to the very real horror she knew she had to be feeling.
Always her, always alone, in black and white, in a featureless neutral space. No objects. From any angle, on her back, on her side, standing, kneeling. No acknowledgement of the camera. Nothing in her eyes but a dazed placidity.
Her makeup changed between them sometimes, but it was recognizably her makeup. Whatever she would have been wearing when she was, what? summoned? activated? to go somewhere and take her clothes off and pose.
She knew what it meant. She’d had plenty of time to think these last—jesus, three days now? That’s how long she’d been holed up by herself with this. How many times had she clicked the set through? Her anxiety would spike, she’d think there was something she’d missed about the drive, about the images, some meaning or some clue, and the only thing that calmed her was to go through the whole folder again, methodically, front to back, till she convinced herself that nothing was different and nothing had changed.
Legs up. Legs spread. Ass spread. Leaned forward, pushing her tits forward with her hands. Leaned backward, legs splayed wide, one hand at her crotch. Always the same hypnotized vacancy of expression.
What it meant was, there was someone out there who could make her do all that. Who could make her forget doing it. Who had been able to for as long, weeks maybe, as it had taken to compile this—what was it but a catalog?
The pictures were lewd, some of them—more so, the further you went through the set—but they were never erotic. They said nothing except, this is inventory. A live doll in her collection of poses. Bend her any way you like.
Whoever it was, they were completely sure of their hold on her. They wanted her to know about it. That was how little they thought she counted in all this.
The drive, she thought, was a calling card. They wanted her to know that the pictures were only the start.
In a way then, when the text followed it was almost a relief. Something definite. It was still that first day. Two images, a page from a tattoo book and a captioned close-up of a bald pussy with the design inked “precisely two inches” above it. She understood immediately she’d been given an instruction.
She checked her reflection again. She still hadn’t gotten the tattoo. She didn’t want it, she didn’t want any tattoo. Much less there. So far she’d avoided doing anything that might acknowledge the command—hadn’t searched the image, hadn’t looked up tattoo shops online or books, hadn’t left the apartment to wander by the place down the street. In spite of how much she itched to think of doing those things.
She’d shaved was all, like the girl in the second photo. She’d never done that before either, but she didn’t hate it. In her mind it was a kind of compromise, a bit of preventive magic, a way to ward off the dark premonition that inevitably she was going to give in to the tattoo.
Couldn’t they just blank her and make it happen that way? Why didn’t they already? She kept going back into her bedroom to the big mirror, at once frightened and aroused, convinced this time that it had happened, while she’d slept, while she’d zoned out. Or just since the last time she looked.
She’d stopped bothering with clothes the last day or so because all they did was get in the way. For some reason she could only feel confident the tattoo wasn’t there if she was completely naked when she checked.
She’d stare for minutes at a time at her newly bare mound, filling the pattern in with her mind, wondering after all if the spot didn’t need a tattoo, as a design element. Wondering what it would be like to have needles working so near to her slick, nude cleft. Whether she’d pass out from the pain, or come in her chair.