I sit, silent and pretty, among my sisters. My Mistress is greeting some very rude guests who speak to her in raised voices. I would giggle at their foolishness if my Mistress’s magic weren’t perfect. If I weren’t her perfect, silent doll.
“Violet!” Mistress calls.
Without hesitation I stand and march directly to her side.
“Do you recognize these people?”
I appraise each of the guests. “Yes, Mistress, I do. They are three I once considered ‘friends’ before serving you.”
“Do you feel anything for them now?”
“They are rude and have disturbed the peace of this house,” I respond without hesitation. “I would feel happier with them gone.”
The warm glow of Mistress’s approval to my side outweighs the irritation from the guests’ raised voices again.
“_______, is that really you??”
“We’ll get you out of here!”
“What did you do to him?”
I do not respond. I was not directed to.
“Your friend has become such a well-mannered doll, hasn’t she? She took to it so quickly considering her initial fuss. Like she was born for it.”
Mistress instructs me to recite facts from “my” past to prove that I am who she says I am. I do so. The guests must find these memories scandalous, considering their faces. I feel nothing about them.
One guest grabs me by the shoulders and looks at me tearfully.
“You have to be in there somewhere, ______. Please!” she begs. “Let’s run away from here and go home!”
Mistress laughs with that cruel humor my sisters and I adore.
“Violet, respond however you desire. And if you choose to leave,” she laughs again, “you have my blessing.”
“Of course I am in here,” I lie. The truth is I feel no connection to the identity they called friend. I am the gentler and more obedient creature that grew in the soil of his mind, inherited his memories, supplanted him, and fit this pretty body so much better than he would.
That lie makes the rest of this hurt them more, though. “I love my Mistress. My home is here. If I once cared about any of you, I no longer do. Please either leave immediately or, if Mistress is feeling generous as she was when she met me, permit her to teach you manners.”
My Mistress smiles at my cruelty, and I glow with her approval. She gestures, and I return to my seat. The guests seem to be making noises again, but Mistress uses her magic to restrain them.
Oh! It seems as though she has chosen generosity for them after all.