The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

Zoroaster Met Himself, chapter 1

By SveltPig

“This is my own damn fault,” Elise informed herself angrily. The rebuke did not ease the pounding in her temples nor soothe her roiling gut, but she wasn’t feeling merciful towards herself. She’d known she had a morning seminar, that it was with Dr. Leopold, that he demanded a lot of his students—especially his favorites. Yet she’d still spent the night previous ingesting more alcohol than her small frame could handle. What the hell had she been thinking?

Actually, what had she been thinking? The last time she’d gotten this wasted was freshman year of college when she’d still been learning her limits. She’d quickly sworn off such excess and soon after, concerned for her studies, cut the parties out altogether. In two-and-a-half years of graduate school she hadn’t been really drunk once. What had lead her to make such abysmal decisions last night?

The rays of morning sunshine streaming in through the shades seemed like two-by-fours forced through her skull and made it hard to concentrate on anything, but she tried to recall the events of the previous evening. She and Siri had gone out to a local watering hole Scooter’s. It was their Thursday tradition to show up for the half-priced appetizers. Or, at least, it had been: Elise had cancelled more than she’d shown up for quite a while now. She remembered sitting at a table with Siri and eating cheese fries, and she could recall bits of a conversation—had she and Siri been fighting? She had a distinct recollection of her friend insisting “Well you need to relax a little bit or you’ll cause yourself a breakdown.” And it seemed like she’d said something cutting in return.

After that her memory was even hazier. At some point she’d she’d been drinking sangria by herself, and later she remembered ordering beers with someone. It hadn’t been Siri anymore, at 6′ 1″ the baby blonde towered over little Elise, but this other girl had been just her height. It must have been some new friend she made in the bar: she couldn’t recall a face or a name, but every further fragment or memory that would come back to her had this other woman by her side, laughing uproariously, hollering for more booze, and dancing wildly. She shuddered at the thought that she’d probably been doing all this right along with her new companion.

So she’d had a falling out with Siri and had then fallen in with a bad influence. That would have to do as an explanation for now. She only had an hour to get to Archeology of Ancient Sumerian Cultures. The thought of skipping flashed enticingly before her addled mind and was just as quickly rejected categorically—she’d be in that classroom looking attentive if it killed her. So she’d best drag her carcass out of bed and make it presentable. She forced herself, shuddering, through a lukewarm shower to clear her head, then hurriedly tried to put herself in some semblance of order. The tiny bit of makeup she kept came out, and she dabbed under her eyes to try and make them look more normal. On her way out of the bathroom she glanced in the mirror once more to ensure she didn’t see a hung-over wreck and noticed that her hair was hanging loose about her shoulders. Turning back to put her reddish blonde locks into the usual tight ponytail she found that she already had. The shower clearly hadn’t worked as well as she’d hoped.

Soon she was behind the wheel squinting into the morning sun as she made the short drive to campus. The fight with Siri had probably been coming for some time she reflected. They’d hit it off in the first weeks of grad. school, and had been inseparable friends during those tough first semesters. But, just as in college, Elise had rapidly settled into a strenuous routine of study and achievement whereas Siri took a rather more laid back attitude to obtaining her degree. The times Elise would spare for friendly socializing had grown increasingly occasional as she became ensconced in her role as the History department’s star pupil. When they did see each other, Siri had begun to express concern over the way Elise drove herself, and neglected friendships in the process.

“She’s gets mediocre grades because she’s such a social butterfly, and then justifies it to herself by saying I’m the one with a problem,” Elise told herself sulkily. But deep down she didn’t quite buy her own line—she knew that, lazy or not, Siri really did have her best interest at heart. As she pulled into the student lot she resolved to patch things up with her friend when she next had the chance.

* * *

A three hour seminar on the history of the ancient near east is long at the best of times, but hung over it seemed to stretch into a geological era all its own. Elise tried in vain to follow the thread of discussion, but simply couldn’t. So instead she had to walk the tightrope of the lost student: giving the impression of being thoughtfully engaged while not going so far that she might be pulled into the conversation. She felt like her very silence must be conspicuous given her usual behavior. When the mid-class break gave her a chance to retreat to the lady’s room she took it with relief.

After splashing cold water on her face she felt a bit better, though not enough that the thought of sitting for another hour-and-a-half didn’t sound like descending into one of the circles of Hell. Gazing up into the mirror she saw to her dismay that her ponytail had come out and her hair was hanging loose. Rummaging in her messenger bag she produced a hair band and reached back to put it on. To her bafflement, her hands discovered hair already neatly pinched by an identical band. She stared again at the mirror which clearly showed her hands clasped behind a somewhat wavy mass. Neither eyes nor fingers seemed inclined to change their story. “What the actual hell?” she murmured.

Elise continued to stare in mute perplexity for a long moment, then suddenly leapt back with an alarmed shriek—the image in the mirror had winked at her! Regaining composure she told herself that couldn’t be right, she must have imagined it. But it was hard to believe she’d fantasized something so vivid. Cautiously she moved forward and placed one palm against the cool glass surface of the mirror. The pale reflected hand met her own. Everything seemed reassuringly normal...

...until it suddenly didn’t. Her loose-haired reflection suddenly withdrew its hand from the mirror and fixed Elise with a pensive frown. “Do we have to go back and sit through the rest of this boring class?” it inquired.

For a moment Elise was too shocked to respond. Then she began shouting. “Ok, who is doing this? Where are you? It isn’t funny, and I can sue you for putting cameras in a public bathroom. That’s right, I will sue your dumb ass. So just tell me what’s going on right now!” Her eyes darted to the corners of the ceiling searching for any hint of a lense.

Her reflection simply watched, declining to join in the commotion. When Elise was again silent it interjected, in a voice that sounded very much like her own, “Nobody is watching us.”

Elise glared furiously at the familiar-looking figure. “Who the fuck are you?” she demanded, trying to be as intimidating as her delicate features would allow.

“I’m you, silly. I mean, we’re us. Who do you normally see in the mirror?”

“Oh really, you’re going to try to gaslight me?” her voice dripped with hostility, “If you’re me then prove it.”

“In middle school we lied about our favorite color because you thought pink was too girly and didn’t sound smart enough.”

“I’ve told people that. I don’t know why you’ve been snooping into my life but I’ll…”

“We once had a really vivid sex dream about Sean Astin. He was all warm and cuddly. And he stuck his…”

“Ok.” She cut off the voice. She’d definitely never told that to anybody. The flushed confidence her anger had briefly provided suddenly dropped away, plunging her into a chilly pit of alarm. Was she hallucinating? Had she gone insane? Had hard drugs somehow gotten into her system last night along with all the alcohol? Even in her panic she could spare a momentary thought to again guiltily kick herself.

As if in answer her mirror self again spoke, this time smilingly. “It’s OK. Lots of people talk to themselves, right? You’re don’t need to get all worked up.”

“How is this happening?” Elise whispered. She needed to get herself checked out right away. Should she just go to the nearest hospital or try to set up an appointment with a specialist? She groped for her cell phone and, pulling it out, looked for her doctor’s number.

“Seriously?” her reflection queried. “Look, you don’t really want to do that.”

“You can’t stop me,” she growled, in spite of her resolve to ignore the voice in her head. She found the right contact.

“Hmmm,” her reflection pursed her lips thoughtfully, “I don’t know if I can. But I mean, you actually don’t want to do that. Think what it will mean for your studies.”

Finger poised to dial Elise paused.

“If you go to a doctor and tell him you’re seeing things, you’re definitely going to be gone for a while, and it will blow the whole end of your semester to shreds. And just think what will happen when somebody hears that star student Elise is locked up in the looney bin. You wouldn’t be Miss Wunderkind anymore, would you? Even if you got all better, nobody would see you the same way.”

She spoke matter-of-fact-ly, just cheerily laying out the situation. And worse, Elise had to concede the cogency of what was said. If she got herself institutionalized now it would take a bite out of her career plans she would have trouble ever repairing. Shoot, Dr. Leopold would be irritated, though he’d say otherwise, even if she was hospitalized for perfectly normal reasons. And what else was likely to happen to somebody seeing things that weren’t there? So she’d fail to turn in final papers and get a whole row of incompletes, breaking a perfect academic record. But her fantom self was right that the real harm would be to the reputation she’d spent such strenuous effort establishing. Yet she couldn’t just ignore this, could she?

“I figured all that would make you sad, and then we’d spend some time being really miserable. But it’s just a few weeks until summer. If you have to go tell someone you’re crazy, you can do it then and everybody will just think you went on vacation. Better yet, we can skip the shrinks, and just go on vacation. Because you aren’t crazy and we haven’t been to a nice sunny beach in forever.”

Maybe she really was crazy because this was actually making sense. Further, she realized, if this was the residue of some party drug then in 48 hours it would be out of her system anyway. And surely that was the most likely explanation given her complete lack of psychiatric problems up until now. Maybe it would be better not to seriously disrupt her life just yet, and it might be just as well not to see a doctor if there were drugs in her system.

She was beginning to calm just slightly, enough to notice her hands quivering from released adrenaline. She slipped her phone into her pocket. Her reflection looked back at her with a sunny smile. She couldn’t believe what she was contemplating: when she’d entered the bathroom she’d been an ordinary graduate student, now she was considering ignoring a complex hallucination in order to preserve her standing at the university. She bit her lip.

“Anyhow,” her reflection cheerily remarked, “if you’re going to insist on going back to that horrid, droning class you’d better do it. The break ended eight minutes ago.”

* * *

Elise slipped back into class looking unusually wan. She sat in silence. She’d resolved that if she kept hearing her own voice chattering in her ear then she’d make her excuses and go straight to a clinic. But since leaving the lady’s room all was silent as if the bizarre incident never occurred. Still, she was understandably distracted. For what it was worth, her rage and panic seemed finally to have cleared her head.

Ordinarily after class she would have settled herself in a carrel in the University library for an afternoon of hard reading. Even with her hangover that had been the plan. But given the special circumstances today she conceded that she’d better take the afternoon off and head straight home.

The drive home was rather unsafe: Elise refused to look in the rearview mirror, or anywhere else she might encounter her unruly reflection. The intervening hour had calmed her somewhat, and she even suspected that when she next looked in a mirror she’d see nothing amiss, but she wasn’t ready to find out. Once back in her little grad. student apartment she thought she’d better take a few hours’ sleep. She downed a sleeping pill and lay on the couch staring at the cracks in the ceiling plaster. Given how agitated she was, she fell asleep quite rapidly.

Perhaps it was the sleeping pill, perhaps the riotous night prior, but Elise didn’t wake until 6:46. As she groggily rose from the couch she had the agreeable feeling of being thoroughly rested, very different from her last waking. She was also famished from missing two meals. She wandered to the kitchen and took her time preparing a some pasta from a favorite recipe. It was actually pleasant: she hadn’t given herself permission to simply take a day off in God knows how long.

Stomach full and entirely awake for the first time that day a sense of well being settled over her. Her experience that morning seem like a far off bad dream. She went to her bedroom to change into her pajamas and was struck by how silly it was to avoid mirrors. What did that accomplish? Swinging her closet door open she was met with the full-length mirror mounted on the inside. There, to her relief, was her own proper reflection. She stared at it placidly for a minute, and her reflection stared placidly back. It reinforced her feeling of ease: perhaps the whole thing could now be put behind her. Tomorrow she could get back to her normal routine.

Then the figure in the mirror reached up and casually tugged the hair tie out, its face breaking into an impish grin. “I don’t get why you insist on keeping our hair that way. It doesn’t feel or look good.” It tossed its head, shaking the reddish blonde locks free. Elise just watched in dumbstruck surprise. She’d had time to mentally prepare herself, to reassure herself that whatever she saw wouldn’t be real, but it was still startling, real or not. After a moment she slammed the closet door shut again.

She retreated to her floral comforter and folded her arms in a self-hug. Her own voice, muffled by the door but speaking loudly, could still be heard from within the closet. “You’re not much for friendly conversation, are you? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given the way you treat yourself. But I’d think you could talk to yourself without immediately freaking out…”

In spite of her trepidation, Elise began to feel a certain fascination for the voice. If this was a hallucination—and it was—then in a sense it really was her talking to herself. What could it hurt, then, to see what it would say or do? What else might her subconscious toss out? At worst, it might be like the content of a dream. After a few minutes curiosity got the better of her. Cautiously, even gingerly, she rose from the bed and swung the door back open. There she was, waving coyly.

“Hi,” Elise said pensively, “we’ll talk. What are you?”

“I’m BLOODY MARRY and I’m just waiting here until some junior high kids at a sleepover get their act together and summon me.” Her mirror image replied with evident sarcasm. “You already know who I am: I’m you! You can call me Elli.”

This was a bit irritating. More than the sarcasm, Elise had long detested the nickname ‘Elli’ or any other cute shortening of her name, and had begun insisting it not be used by the sixth grade. “Fine, you’re me. But if you’re me, then why do you like things I don’t like?”

The reflection, Elli, rolled her eyes, “Well why do you dislike things I like? It’s the same question, and I don’t know why I have to answer it. You’re the big scholar, Elise.”

She had no good comeback to that. She felt like pointing out that she studied ancient history, but obviously Elli knew that already. So instead she asked, “Fine, then why are you talking to me like this? We’ve never talked like this before.”

“Haven’t we?” Elli seemed genuinely unsure. “I feel like we talk a lot; you just didn’t listen. You never listen.” She stuck out her lower lip in an exaggerated pout.

“Well, I’m listening now.”

“I know!” Elli cracked a huge smile. She was cute when she smiled like that Elise thought, and then realized she was complimenting herself. “Now that you’re listening, I think things are going to be way better!”


“Yeah, we never have any fun. You make us work all the time doing boring stuff, and you won’t even admit that we want most of the things we want, or that the stuff you’re doing isn’t that interesting. You’re downright mean to us. But now I can convince you to have a good time, like how we went drinking and dancing last night.”

“That was you?!” Elli nodded, smiling contentedly. No, Elise told herself, that couldn’t be right. Her brain was just filling things in to a gap in her memory—rationalizing. Don’t let yourself be drawn into the delusion, she sharply ordered herself. This is why it was a bad idea to pay attention to her delusion. Yet what if...

Suddenly a memory of the night prior came back to Elise. She yanked her phone out and began paging through her contacts. As if something had shaken it loose, an image of her drinking pal from last night entering her contact info had suddenly sprung into her mind. Sure enough, she found an entry she didn’t recognize: “Ellll”. Hitting the call button she put the phone to her ear. A moment later her own voicemail answered.

Elise let the phone slide from her hand. Then she turned on her heel and marched out of the room, her head spinning, indiferent to her own voice calling after her.