For as long as I could remember, extrasensory perception had been a part of my blood. My mother and my brother both had attested to the phenomenon of seeing glimpses of the future in their dreams. So when I experienced it every so often, I never really thought to question it. Nor did I ever question the other powers I had which the two of them seemed to lack.
Around the latter half of elementary school, I discovered that I could read a person’s aura. A single glance could reveal their inner emotions and vitality as clear as day. When I got to middle school, I met others who dabbled in manipulation of metaphysical energies. My power appealed to them because I was able to accurately measure the effects of theirs. Needless to say, I became something of a guinea pig for them.
Despite being considered abnormal, I never felt special or anything of the sort. Rather, I always felt there were others with abilities far superior to my own. A part of me secretly aspired to become a powerful psychic one day, but I was never able to truly exceed the limits of my potential. Eventually, I gave up altogether.
“W-What do you mean?” I was starting to realize that whatever I had done didn’t just irritate Esmeralda; it terrified her. “I don’t feel I did anything out of the ordinary. It’s not like I’m as powerful as Laete or anything…”
“Nicole, this goes well beyond anything I would dare to perform even if I could. This goes beyond hypnotism into the realm of rewriting a person’s existence entirely. Used inappropriately, it could lead to serious damage, almost like… well, you get the idea.”
“…Almost like what, mom?”
“That’s not important.”
“The hell it isn’t, mom! ALMOST LIKE WHAT!?”
“…Like how you nearly killed Valerie.” Her accusation made my heart sink. So Laete really did tell her everything, and after weighing the facts, Esmeralda must have concluded that I was a monster. All this time, I dreamed of a day where I could stand on an equal platform with those I saw above me. Yet the painful reality was that I could never step down to their level, no matter how hard I tried.
I sensed Laete protesting in the back of my mind, but with things being what they were, I absolutely needed to get away. Turning notifications off, I pulled out a pair of earphones and lay sprawled atop my bed, music turned up to drown out everything and everyone. Tears streamed down my face, the sound of my sobs muffled by the music. In that moment, I wished for existence itself to swallow me whole until nothing remained.
When I next opened my eyes, day had turned to night. The tears had dried up, though the emptiness remained. For the first time, I didn’t need Laete to take my place; I simply needed her. Yet every attempt to reach out to her continued to fail. Our two selves which resided in close proximity could never quite touch, as if a magnetic repulsion were keeping us apart. I had never felt more deeply alone than in that moment.
Why was I real? If all I could do was make messes for Laete to clean, then what reason had I to exist at all? Laete was the teacher who inspired and uplifted others; I was the child whose sole act was to greedily consume their energy. Laete was genuinely symbiotic in nature, while I was little more than a parasite and a nuisance. Heart heavy with regret, I concluded that only one action could fix what I had so thoroughly broken. However, I would need Esmeralda in order to do it.
Her return to the Net would take several hours. As I waited, going about my routine in an eerily normal fashion, my thoughts gravitated toward the things I would be leaving behind. My family and my close friends would never learn the truth, nor would they be aware of my sudden disappearance. The beautiful places and activities which I had been free to explore up to now would be forever lost to me, captured solely through the eyes of Latexa the Witch.
My hope. My savior. My killer.
Those of you reading this were likely hoping for a happy ending. Unfortunately, life and plot resolution seldom go together. What we are often left with is neither happy nor sad, hardly an ending at all. Each new day is simply an adjustment of our current situation, closing the chapter on some conflicts while penning new ones in the pages that follow. Trapping oneself in the present does not absolve one of their future responsibilities. I can only hope that Nicole understands this one day and decides to awaken.
It has been nearly two months since the mind swap, and her presence grows weaker by the day, much like a fading memory. These jumbled fragments, passed on just before she lost consciousness, serve as the last remaining link to the person she is and was. The mental image that is Nicole stands much taller and prouder than I ever could.
My very shape would not have been possible without her. Her ambitions were the seed which allowed my abilities to blossom. If I hadn’t been able to exceed her, then there would have been no spectacular traits about me and no reason for my existence. I took this for granted to the point of arrogance, yet Nicole was forever modest about herself and her talents. She was a child simply because she desired to learn in all stages of her life, though I know not whether she knew this of herself.
Though what I most owe her for are the two gifts she left behind. First was the name Ariah, the name I had forgotten for so long. With that final piece, my past had been completely unearthed. I could now push forward, confident in my role as mentor and protector to others. Her second gift was bringing me and Esmeralda closer together, allowing us to form a spiritual relationship which continues even now.
“We’re both dorks, aren’t we?”
“Oh, you know you love it! Do you have a bit of time right now?”
“I suppose I don’t really have anything planned until tonight.”
“Good, because I have been aching to play with you again, ufufu!”
“Well, I suppose I could lend my mind to you…”
“Oh, you don’t just suppose, my obedient little slave.”
There it was, that key which only she held. “I belong to mistress… I belong to her…”
“Regress your clothing into your skin… Your entire body belongs to me, as do your body and your mind… Feel my lips begin to suck yours in, my tongue tracing over their softness, causing them to melt…”
“So warm and wet… I feel sticky; even my skin is listening to you…”
“Wrap those beautiful wings around me and bring your sensitive succubus cock to my pussy…”
“Ghnn! Mistress!” Curled up on the bed, I could feel my hips twitching, simulating the feeling of her body against my own. I could smell her, a lustful aroma that made me want to wrap tighter, to caress her, to love her with all of my being.
“Let me coat your cock in my juices… and bring you to orgasm with a magic kiss… Mhmm…!”
“Ahh! You know my body reacts physically!”
“What do you mean, my sexy devil?”
“AHH! FUUCK!” Rolling onto my side, I wretched in the lustful agony of a mental climax, visualizing every drop of semen, reveling in the energy of it. “So much…”
“This is the kind of orgasm you love doing with your Mistress, no?”
“I’m so tired after all of that…”
“You’re not going anywhere yet, you slut. You still belong to me, after all.”
“It’s dripping down my thighs, you filthy rubbergirl.”
“Fuck, it’s so amazing when you call me that… I’m still throbbing…”
“What, when I call you the bitch I molded you into?”
“Hearing it makes me want to cum again and again… How fucked up am I…?”
“You’re just a worthless whore, a sex doll for her master! Roll over so that you may lick out all your cum!”
“Yes, mistress!” With every lick, the taste of creamy spunk was amplified by the pungent smell of her womanhood. A familiar haze settled over my mind, reminding me that I would only ever need her in my life.
“As I stroke your cock, allow me to slide my tongue deep into your aching slit, you rubber WHORE!”
“You sexual disgrace… You should be glad I even allow you to cum inside me!”
“Mistress is tonguing me… As I slurp my cum from her…!”
“Such worthless little scum… you’re nothing but my prey!”
“GHNN! I’M GONNA CUM! YOUR WORDS ARE MAKING ME CUM!”
“Oh, you’d cum to anyone’s words, you sick bitchy FUCK!”
The next mental climax gave way to a physical one, ropes of sticky white spraying across the bed. The fabric directly under me was completely drenched in sweat. “I came without your permission… I feel so weak…”
“Seems the bitch needs more conditioning. From now on, there is only me. There is only Mistress Esmeralda. My will is absolute, my commands irresistible…”
“I… I’m falling…”
“ Allow yourself to fall until you rest in my arms. Let my touch give you strength. Let my kiss give you vitality…”
“I want to stay by your side… I love you so much, trust you so much… At the same time, I am afraid…”
“What is there to fear? Even a sexual disgrace deserves my help.”
“I fear that I will burn out this body for the sake of mental pleasures, thus I limit myself from things I truly desire. Sexual abstraction and object permanence – my mind aches for them, my body tires from them…”
“You know I would never let any harm before your body, and neither would she.”
“She will come back, Laete.”
“Yeah… One day, she will…”
“For now, let us rest as mistress and underling. Allow your mind to relax and slowly drift off…” Trapped in her lullaby, I soon felt my worries melting into nothingness. I could take solace in the idea that everything would work out if I simply kept to the same approach I had always relied on. Doubting myself now would only serve to hinder my growth and my progress in helping others grow.
Though I now occupy a physical vessel, my true home shall always be inside the Net. I acknowledge Ariah as a past self, yet my existence as Latexa remains the forefront of my spirit. I am a persona, a copy waiting for her original to return. As I move through time, I will continue to wait for her, as long as it takes.