When Ashley saw the image on the screen, she didn’t think about what was going to happen.

She didn’t think that it had been put there, angled just so in this slightly secluded room, so that nobody would run across it by accident. She didn’t think that it was significant that she’d been led into this room, away from the rest of the party, all by herself. She never considered that when she just randomly happened to notice the screen, it wasn’t actually that random.

She didn’t think it was odd that she was so quickly fascinated by it. She didn’t question why she’d drop everything to lock her eyes on what was, really, just a simple screensaver. She didn’t think about whether or not it was strange how she could feel her eyes widening as she stared. She didn’t pay any attention to how the noise of the party now sounded distant and muffled and insignificant.

She didn’t think about what would happen next – that one of the guys would come and fetch her soon, take her downstairs, to the real party. She didn’t worry about what would happen to her there – the inspections, the indoctrination, the sampling of the merchandise. She didn’t think about what the rest of her life was going to be now – endless hours of staring into screens like this, sandblasting her brain to a small, easily manipulated nub, before being sold off. A life of sexual servitude to the highest bidder, and her too empty-minded to understand, too vacant and passive to care.

She didn’t think about how strange it was that her entire fate changed just by looking up at the wrong moment.

What she did think was Oh, that’s pretty. That’s all it took.