The Mask becomes You
By Carefully Random
I wake up naked on my bedroom floor. Uncomfortable. My eyes open to see my ceiling bathed in sunlight. I can’t remember falling asleep. I was staring. Just staring. I couldn’t stop. It’s funny how you never remember the moment you fall asleep. I don’t even remember lying down. I was sitting up, staring.
I feel the mask still against my skin. It feels so right there. Comfortable. At home. I instantly wonder if I still look like a Goddess.
The buzzing interrupts my train of thought. It drills through my head and then everything else hits me at once. Pain greets me like an old friend, hugging me all over while promising to spend the day with me. I immediately take the mask off my face and angrily throw it across the room. I want to scream at the walls. Instead, I awkwardly turn over and crawl towards the source of the incessant buzzing. It’s coming from my bag, itself abandoned on the floor with half the contents spilling out. Through my tiredness my hands fumble and the buzzing has stopped.
Three missed calls and two messages. The missed calls are from Stacy, so I figure the messages will be too.
wat did u do 2 shes just standin here!
Oh shit! I forgot Rebecca! I look at the time. Oh fucking hell she’s been like that for almost twelve hours. I scramble to throw on any clothing I can find while trying to open the second message.
srsly tara gt over here shes startin 2 sway I think shes goin 2 pass out
Feeling my panic rising quickly, I throw on some trainers, grab the mask, stuffing it clumsily in my bag before sprinting out the door. I glimpse Katie’s surprised expression as I rush out of our dorm. It looks like she made me breakfast. No time for that now.
I race across the college grounds, clutching my phone tightly as I furiously pump my arms. Overwhelming feelings of hunger and pain clamor for my attention, begging me to slow down. I push through my own reluctance. I grit my teeth as I keep up the fastest sprint I can manage. My chest hurts. Keep breathing. Breathe. Breathe!
Hours. She’s been standing there for fucking hours. I will myself to go faster but my legs complain too much.
Halfway there, my phone starts to ring again.
“I know!” I call down the receiver, shouting between breaths. “I’m coming, I’m almost there!”
“Hurry, she’s getting worse!” I can barely hear Stacy as I jump over a low wall. Hanging up, I try my hardest to move faster.
By the time I reach the door to Stacy’s dorm building, my lungs feel like they’ve burnt to a crisp. I reach the door to Stacy’s dorm ready to collapse.
I grab the handle. Pausing, I lean my head against the door and allow myself a moment to inhale deeply.
I enter without knocking, quickly closing the door behind me.
“I was this close to calling 911!” Stacy snaps at me as she ushers me over to Rebecca.
Right where I left her, she has the same look of longing on her. Stacy has moved furniture around so Rebecca has some soft seats to land on if she does fall over. Thoughtful girl.
“Ok, look away” I order Stacy as I unzip my bag and bring out the mask, fumbling with sweaty hands. Stacy turns to the wall as I put the mask on.
Staring into the vacant eyes of the girl I ensnared, I try to muffle my heavy breathing and command her. “Ok Rebecca, you can move now.”
She physically slumps before my eyes, it’s like watching a tire deflate. I quickly take the mask off.
“What’s… going on?”
“Are you ok?” I ask.
“Yeah. No. I don’t know.” Rebecca starts to look around in general confusion, before staggering to the bathroom, locking the door behind her.
“You can turn around now.” I tell Stacy.
“Are you sure?” she asks. “You’re not going to wipe my mind, control my thoughts?”
My laugh is half humor, half terror.
“Come on” I sigh, “I wouldn’t do that to you.”
She turns and I get to see her beautiful face. Her smooth skin, those gorgeous lips. But the smile I’m so used to seeing, isn’t there.
I could use the mask to make Stacy happy again.
I could make her feel anything I wanted.
No! I will not allow myself to think that way. Stacy is my friend! No matter what I do to anyone else, not her.
“Are… are we ok?” I ask nervously.
She sighs. “Look, I have to process this, it’s a bit too much for me right now.” With a slightly softer expression, she adds “For what it’s worth, I appreciate that you’ve not tried to magically fix me with a mind fuck.” The dorm door clicks behind her.
I feel the adrenalin wear off and all the aches and pains jump in to take their place. I allow myself to collapse into the waiting armchair. I also now notice how sweaty I’ve gotten from my sprint across campus. I can’t help but reflect how I haven’t quite made the transition into the goddess lifestyle yet. I start to smirk as I run fingers through my frayed hair. I should go easier on myself. It’s only day 2 after all.
Ok. Time to pull myself together. I reluctantly lift myself out of the armchair and knock gently on the bathroom door.
“Rebecca?” I ask, “You ok in there?”
“I’m fine.” she calls back abruptly.
After a few moments of silence, I say “You sure?”
“Ok.” I call back, frowning at the door. I wait a few moments, hoping for more of a reaction. Nothing.
Alright, that’s fine, I can wait. With some difficulty, I push the armchair so it’s directly facing the bathroom door. I get comfortable, put the mask on, and wait.
Five minutes pass, I get bored and venture into Stacy and Rebecca’s kitchen to help myself to some food. As I’m pouring myself a bowl of cereal, I suddenly remember rushing past Katie who by the brief glance I got on my mad rush over here, had prepared an incredible breakfast spread for me to enjoy. I take out my phone.
“Morning, my slave.” I purr down the phone at Katie.
“Goddess! Oh thank you for calling! I was worried when you ran out this morning, I didn’t know what to do!”
“It’s ok, don’t worry” I tell her, “Here’s what I want you to do.”
I give Katie my detailed instructions and hang up, immediately looking in my phone for another number.
“Hi, David?” I ask. “Yeah, it’s Tara. Hi.”
“Oh, hi, Tara, hi. Umm, how are you?” he replies with a hint of surprise.
“Oh, I’m divine” I grin down the line. “Come over to my dorm?”
“Now? Your dorm? I have cla—” someone interrupts him on his end of the line, I hear some muffled debate and then eventually “Yeah sure, which dorm are you?”
I give him Stacy’s dorm number and he tells me he’ll be here soon. “Can’t wait.” I tease, before hanging up and almost bursting into laughter. It’s as if my mind and body are instantly revitalized at the mere thought of enslaving others. I feel unstoppable.
I’m still in pain, of course, but it doesn’t feel as bad now I’m back in control of the situation. Katie was coming to tend to my needs, David was coming so I could tailor him to suit Stacy’s needs, and Rebecca’s needs would bring her out of that bathroom eventually, into my waiting gaze.
I sit on the armchair and munch the cereal, contemplating my next move. I’ve missed my morning classes, but there’s still an afternoon of lectures and a tutorial, and the possibilities are endless. I could enslave entire classes, make them all bow to me and worship me like a goddess.
Could I enslave the whole campus? The city? The country? The world?
Interesting. Did this power have a limit? And if it didn’t, would I limit myself? Hell, would I want to? And more pressingly, when would Rebecca emerge from the bathroom so I could go shower? She’s probably waiting for me to leave, but I can’t allow her to talk to anyone else before I enslave her.
The solution pops into my head instantly. I get out of the chair and knock on the bathroom door again. “Rebecca, I have to go to class now” I lie, “you sure you’re ok?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Have fun in class.” comes her brisk reply. Seems we’re both lying.
“Ok…” I feign hesitance, “See you later then.” I go to the dorm door, open it and close it firmly enough that it should be audible from the bathroom. I then creep back to the armchair as silently as I can and resume my waiting game.
It’s a couple of minutes before the door opens. It swings slowly, deliberately, and then Rebecca takes a single nervous step out with her eyes tightly closed shut. I hold my breath. Does she know I’m still here or just suspect it?
“Tara.” Rebecca says. “I know you’re there, and I want you to leave.”
I stay silent. She’s bluffing.
“Look, I heard you on the phone, calling people, I think you were inviting them over?”
I don’t move, but instead take the longest, most drawn out exhale of my life to not be heard. Come on, give up and open your eyes already.
“You came here last night, and you put on a mask, and then I felt feelings I’d never felt before. And then I was in there, and heard you and Stacy talking. She was asking you if you were going to control her thoughts or something, all normal like. It all sounds like a prank but Stacy’s not like that, so it’s something weird. You’re acting all strange, and I want you to leave. Leave me alone!”
Shit, I really hadn’t thought she’d be listening to everything being said out here! How much of the phone calls did she hear? I try to remember if I called Katie ‘slave’ or by her name. God, it was only a few minutes ago, why did I take off the damn mask… Focus, Tara! You have a more important situation to deal with right now.
“Look, I’m not going to open my eyes until you’re gone, so get out and stay away from me.”
Come on, just a little more. I’m not here Rebecca, I swear you’re talking to yourself, so just open. Your god. Damn. Eyes.
She sighs, and I tense in anticipation.
“You’re not here, and I am just fucking nuts…” Rebecca mumbles, and takes another step into the room. I can almost feel her eyelids begin to flutter open.
And then a knock at the door.