It hadn’t been a great date. Shannon wasn’t really enthused about online dating to begin with. Andrew was the first guy from the site she agreed to actually meet, and he didn’t do much to improve her opinion.

He leered at her chest the entire evening. He had nothing interesting to say. He wasn’t hideous or anything, but it didn’t look like he had even the basics of personal grooming and dress sense under control. Why had she found this guy at all interesting online, again?

He tried to kiss her at the end of the evening, but she rebuffed him. He told her what a great time he had, and asked if he could call her sometime.

“Look, Andrew, I’m sure you’re an amazing guy,” Shannon said, not at all sure of that. “I just don’t think we’re a good fit, you know?”

Andrew nodded, a look of dull acceptance on his face. “Sure, I understand,” he said. “I really like talking with you, though. I hope we can still be friends?”

Shannen smiled as best she could. “Of course,” she said, fervently hoping she never heard from him again.


The next morning, Shannen’s phone vibrated. It was a text from Andrew. She sighed. So much for the hopes of a clean break.

“hey baby, check this out”, the text said, with a link underneath. Shannen tapped the link, and

[the lights and colors flooded the screen. they were harsh and garish and she couldn’t look away. they were searing, insistent. they tunneled right through her eyes, into her brain. they burned her mind, left scorch marks on her thoughts. then they faded and she felt herself forget]

smiled as she replied. 

“Hey yourself. What’s up?”

Andrew’s response was nearly immediate.

“had a graet time last night. should do it again tonight. u busy?”

Shannen’s smile faltered a little. She did have a great time last night… right? Why did that feel strange, remembering that? Regardless, she didn’t think Andrew was the right guy for her. He was funny and cute and charming, but… she couldn’t put her finger on it.

“You’re great, but I don’t think so. Feel like we should see other people. Hope you understand!”

She felt bad, and there was a distant worry in the back of her mind that she was missing out on a great, once-in-a-lifetime guy. She didn’t really think that was the case, though. She wasn’t sure why she’d think that.

“no prob. hey, check this out real quick" 

Shannen tapped the link at the end of Andrew’s text, glad he took it so well. He really was 

[the light roared into being again, so bright and immediate she gasped. It hurt. It hurt her eyes, looking at it. It hurt her mind. She could feel it burning, charring, turning bits of her to ash. She wanted to turn away, close her eyes, but all she could do was stare. it was horrible and endless and she could feel it changing her, right up until it suddenly went away and she forgot]

such a great guy. Maybe she was making a mistake…

“I mean, I guess we could just grab a coffee or something. How would that be?”

Her heart was in her throat. She hoped Andrew would be into that. Otherwise, she might lose him, and… no, she couldn’t really think about that. 

“nah. how about u just come over here and we fool around?”

Shannen shivered a little. That was what she loved about Andrew. He was so decisive. He saw what he wanted and just took it. She felt so lucky that what he wanted was her.

“Ooooh! You’re so bad. When should I be there?”

His answer, thank god, was quick in arriving.

“2 hours. from then til now, watch this. i dont think you u watched it enough before our date. i want u totally brainfucked by the time u get here.”

At then end, a link. Shannen grinned. Andrew could be so weird. Whatever – she’d watch whatever he wanted. He was so

[the lights blinded her again. She felt like she was falling into them, could hear the air whistling by her ears as she fell, deeper, deeper, deeper. Her eyes were nothing now, the light passed right through them. It glared directly into her brain, cutting away everything in its way. It burned, it was awful, horrific, and she wanted it to stop, desperately tried to close her eyes. She could feel tears forming from staring without blinking, felt them run down her cheeks, but she kept staring, kept letting the light in, kept letting it rip her mind apart. She wouldn’t be able to think when this was over. She’d go to Andrew and be totally empty, totally obedient. She’d be his puppet, his pet, his plaything. He’d rip her mind to shreds and she’d smile idiotically at him. He’d turn her into a brainless fuckpuppet and she’d love him for it, thank him, beg him for more. She could feel it happening, feel her own mind being ruined and discarded, and she just wanted it to be over, wanted it to end so she could forget, wanted to forget, forget forget forget]

perfect. She’d do anything he wanted.

Shannen looked up, surprised. It was time to leave already! Time to go see Andrew. God, he was amazing. She hoped she looked okay. It was so important to be her best for him. He was the perfect man. She couldn’t wait to see him.