Just a Slave
Jackson sat in the darkest corner of the bedroom, bloodshot eyes, trembling hands over his head. He was muttering to himself once again, desperate words to remind him of what was real and what was not.
“I’m not Amber’s slave. I’m not Amber’s slave. I’m not Amber’s slave...” he droned.
Amber was the girl next door, literally, a lovely redhead in her mid-twenties who had one day come to him whispering seductive words about her shiny belly button piercing. A fan of both flaming hair and body jewelry, he had allowed himself to be captivated by both and then his nightmare began.
For someone so young, Amber was quite the vixen already, one whose natural charms had been enhanced by the witch magic that ran through her veins. The non-believer never saw it coming but, even if he had, the outcome would have been the same.
In little over two weeks, she changed everything about him. He stopped drinking beer, hanging out with friends, watching his favorite shows... instead, carrying out her orders no matter how absurd they were. Balancing an umbrella on his nose during a rainy day was but one of the humiliating things she had in store. He hated it as much as he loved it, conditioned by the spell’s magic filaments as they dug deeper inside his brain.
“I don’t like your name,” she said after the second week was gone. “Slave is better. From now on, that’s all you’ll respond to, understood?”
“Yes, Amber,” he readily complied. Whatever name she loved was the name he would go with. He would be hers for the rest of his life... until she left.
It happened on a Summer morning. The sun was hot, but everything else was cold, especially the way she hopped on to an SUV and waved goodbye without even looking at him.
“It was fun to fuck you, but I have no use for you anymore,” she said. The vehicle driver was her newest conquest, a toned bodybuilder whose favorite pastime was going down on her. He never saw them both again.
Only the suggestions remained, the memories, the lingering traces of the fake persona she had created to replace his true self. The conditioning stayed in place, reinforced by the imaginary needs buried within his brain, addictive lights flashing at every turn. He sat and cried.
“I’m not Amber’s slave. I’m not Amber’s slave. I’m not...”
So what was he? He didn’t know. A ghost, a remnant, a husk, disembodied consciousness broken from inside out. The brainwashing would not go away unless one of them died but who knew where she was and how many additional lives she had destroyed already? Would he able to hold a gun to her head and fire the trigger to release them all or would he cower in fear and mindless devotion the moment she called him “slave” again? A question for the ages but they would not answer.
Still muttering, Jackson stood up, put on an old coat and stepped outside. A full moon hung over him and it was blood red, calling for one final sacrifice.
Three people saw him walk across the street all the way to the beach. Two of them laughed at his disheveled posture, mumbling he looked high. Only one realized he didn’t know how to swim the moment he entered the water.
No one mourned him for he was just a slave.