Frame of Mind
The moment Gregory saw the wooden frame at the Antiquities shop near his place, he knew he had to buy it. Helena’s birthday was coming up and, she loved her collection of relics almost as much as he did. The price tag had more numbers than he was used to, but that was okay. Someone as special as her deserved it all, no matter the cost.
The 18th century rectangular polychromed and gilded piece was adorned with golden seed beads against a dark red background. Elements that resembled a series of interconnected spirals appeared in the corners and center of the longest sides. Viewed from a certain angle, the intricate pattern exhibited an uncanny 3D effect that captured anyone’s gaze quite easily. A slightly worn-out oil painting rested on the inside. It was of a beautiful mid-twenties blonde woman wearing a sack-back gown with a tight bodice and a low-cut square neckline. Two large ribbons down the front had the same symbology embroidered in them, a fact impossible to be overlooked. A lady of wealth, for sure. She was almost as magnetic as the frame herself.
“Stunning, is she not?” Mr. Davies, the owner of the shop, peeked behind his shoulder. He was a squalid man nearing his seventies who was always smiling despite his never-ending collection of crooked teeth. Gregory knew him since he was ten and, in thirty years of existence, he had spent a considerable fortune procuring all sorts of family heirlooms. The money he was about to spend was almost matched all other previous purchases combined.
“Everything about it is.” He replied, angular face and bottle-green eyes reflected on the Venetian table mirror next to the object of his admiration. “Who is she?”
“You are looking at Amelia Marceau, Comtesse de Beauregard. She was a true force of nature and way ahead of her time.”
“What do you mean?”
“The Countess was one of the first women in France to openly proclaim that men were naturally inferior to women. She even wrote a treaty about it that was sadly lost to a fire in her Château. Loved by many, feared by even more, not only a true female supremacist, she was also a powerful witch.”
“Now, you are just pulling my leg, Mr. Davies.” Gregory scoffed. “A witch? There is no such thing as witches!”
“And yet, you seem to be completely enamored with one right now. Ask yourself why it is you cannot take your eyes off the frame, young Gregory. What is catching your attention?”
“This pattern, here...” His right hand slid across the winding symbols, radiant warm spreading across the palm. “I have never seen anything like it before.”
“And you never will again.” The older man cleared his throat. “Legend says it is of her own design, a mystical representation of divine feminine power that never falters and cannot be resisted. Can you feel it?”
He was not sure. There was something there, an unseen spark creeping up his fingers but power? Magic? As a biochemist, he believed in DNA, proteins, and cell parts. Anything beyond that was best left to corny Young Adult literature or movies more focused on special effects than telling a compelling story. Magic was not real, but Helena was, and she was adorable, the only woman he would ever...
How bizarre. He loved her from the moment he met her, but not once had he found himself thinking of nothing else but the need to...
Greg’s pupils widened and then immediately shrunk, his field of view collapsing into a single focus of reality, one where everything of good that happened in this world began and ended in her pleasure.
“I can see it is happening again.” Mr. Davies chuckled. “Good. Good! Mistress Amelia will be proud of you, Greg. And your beautiful fiancée as well. I am sure she will never look at you the same way the moment you confess just how far you are willing to go in order to...”
Obey her always.
“You already know what you have to do from this moment forward, correct?” Asked a mellifluous voice emanating from the picture itself.
“Y-yes...” He muttered, knees trembling. He laid the frame back in its place, smiled vacantly at Mr. Davies, and headed towards the exit. “I am sorry, I have to go now.”
“Of course, I understand.” The sexagenarian thrall nodded. “Make her happy, you hear?”
Greg left the store, never to return until his submission proved complete. For some, it took days, for others, weeks, or may be months. Everyone was different, but the results were always the same. All male souls were born to kneel. Mr. Davies was no exception.
“You did well directing his attention to me, slave.” The Countess’ disembodied presence wrapped around his soul.
Gently, he took a bow before the painting, and shivered as a powerful erection made him feel like he was a teenager again. “My pleasure, Goddess. I knew he was ready to hear and accept you now. I believe this one will never stray.”
“As do I, but it is still not enough. Get me more servants. The word must keep on spreading.”
“Yes, Goddess.” He kneeled to kiss the floor, a sight that caught the young Asian couple that had just walked in, completely by surprise.
“Is everything okay?” They both asked in unison, yet her voice spoke the loudest.
Mr. Davies glanced evilly at his owner’s depiction and replied:
“Everything will be perfect, soon.”