I don’t know how it works, just that it does.
I took the shot, woke up with a headache, and cursed the gullibility I thought had taken me for another ride. Then I looked in a mirror and saw that my face was gone. I don’t mean that literally—all the physical features were there—but they were different: gruff and tan, with a high broad forehead, prominent cheekbones and dark scratchy hair covering the cheeks and chin. It startled me so badly I had to look away.
A noise from the other room—short, quick, distinctly feminine—drew my attention away from the bathroom and the mirror.
Entering into darkness, it took a few moments for my eyes to adjust. The same carpet, the same drapes greeted my new eyes. A cursory glance was enough to assure me that everything else in the room was right and in its proper place, that I was the only thing different. Movement in the far corner, near the open door of the closet, where I knew from long familiarity there was a floor-to-ceiling mirror, caught my attention. I approached, and was greeted by a woman who appeared on the edge of hysteria.
“Baby?” she gasped.
“Yes, dear. What is it?” I had trouble keeping the smugness from my voice.
“What—what is this? What’s going on?”
“Why, whatever do you mean?”
I placed a hand on either side of her neck and felt the delicate bones beneath skin stretched taunt. I squeezed, gently at first, but soon she was wincing and trying to duck away from my grasp. I let her squirm herself back into the closet, into a corner. She looked very much like the rabbit she was, caught in my hunter’s snare. A rush of emotion bubbled up from my groin—I liked the way it made me feel, heightening my senses and expanding my horizons.
“Is it…like this every time?” I asked, breaking character for the first time.
“What are you talking about?”
“This…feeling. It’s incredible.”
I felt invincible. Like I could climb mountains, crush boulders, fuck for hours. As I advanced, the feeling intensified. Something bulged the front of my pyjama bottoms, and it rubbed painfully against the cotton fabric. It wants out, I decided, and smiled wickedly at the implication. I could get used to this. Having the power, literally this time, over life and death. Does that make me a God? As far as this woman is concerned, at this point in time, I suppose it does. It’s not like it’s even rape, really. After all, have you ever heard of anyone raping themselves? It’s not possible. So I might as well enjoy myself. It’s not like I’m going to feel the pain. It’s not like he’s ever going to tell anyone….
“You know something, Chris? I used to wonder, if you really loved me, how you were able to do it—hurt me the way you did. But now that the tables have turned, now that you’re the one cowering in a dark corner, alone and helpless, and I’m the one with the power, I’m the one in control—I can sort of understand.”
“But you want to know something?” I continued. “It’s not going to save you.”
“Cheryl,” Chris gulped, “Cheryl, please.”
“Nothing’s going to save you now.”