This is not an easy story for me to tell.
You will probably think nothing but the worst of me. You will, rightly, consider me to be a spoiled, self-obsessed, over-privileged brat who got what was coming to her. You will probably think that I'm mad, as well, or at any rate a drug casualty, and you will tell yourself that was has happened and is continuing to happen to me is nothing but a hallucination. All I can tell you is that I'm not mad, and I'm not hallucinating, and it is real. All of it. I am in a prison of my own making, and I don't know how to get out.
I was born lucky. My parents are...I won't say they're rich, but they're comfortably off, and canny investors. My dad is a merchant banker. Where I come from, that's slang for "wanker". He is a wanker, as far as I'm concerned. My mother isn't much better. However, they have good genes. I was blessed with a metabolism that can take any amount of punishment, and a bone structure that made the boys at my school weak at the knees. But I wasn't interested in them. I had already met the most gorgeous person I could possibly imagine.
You see, I have a gift. I can draw. I started drawing before I could write, and the first thing I drew was my own right hand. (I'm left-handed, so are all the greatest geniuses.) Adults used to gather around me and coo, "Oh, Keli's so good at art!" It took them a while to notice that the only thing I was interested in drawing was my own body.
For as long as I was a kid, I used to draw just my arms and legs and face. The mirror was my best friend. In school, my best subject was of course Art, with English a distant second. My favourite bit of Art class was when we had to take turn being models for the other students. I loved modelling. I loved people to be looking at me. And since I was easily the best-looking girl in class, the other students - especially the guys - loved drawing me. I got impatient when I had to sit and draw lumpy Susan Maddox or spotty Kevin Hennessy. This being secondary school, it goes without saying that we weren't modelling nude or anything like that. But in that respect, even then, when I was alone in my room in the evenings with a pad and charcoal in my hands and the full-length mirror opposite the end of my bed, I was way ahead of the others.
By the time I was eighteen, eight years ago, I was five foot nine tall, with a 32B chest and a 24 waist and 30 inch hips. I'd dyed my brown hair black, because I liked the way it looked against my white skin. (I don't tan. I burn. I don't like the outdoors anyway. There are bad people out there.) I knew every mole and every tiny wrinkle and every minuscule blemish on the surface of my body. I spent every spare penny I could get on cosmetics and treatments to remedy these deficiencies.
Of course I got into art college. It was there that I was encouraged to take my private obsession and make it public. I modelled nude to pay my fees and I spent practically every evening sitting in my expensive studio, drinking in the image of my own naked body and putting it onto paper. I could look harder and closer and more passionately at my own body than anybody else, and my tutors recognised the fact. By the time I was graduating, I was already a star.
I wasn't a nun, by the way. I got plenty of sex. I had no difficulty in scoring with either men or women. I didn't see any real difference between the sexes. All I was aroused by during sex was the image of my own body entwined around someone else's - anyone's, really. That's why my relationships were so short; all my partners ended up realising that I only ever made love with myself. I amassed one of the finest collections of vibrators in the Western world. Every room in my apartment had - has - a mirror.
I still had a life. I may have only loved and lusted after myself, but I wasn't completely anti-social. Far from it; I taught myself to cook, and I made sure that I threw the best parties. My parents kept me on a generous allowance, and what I didn't spend on cosmetics and charcoal and paper and oils and canvas I spent on food and drink and cigarettes and drugs. My idea of fun was to take a taxi out to my dealer in the suburbs, score some good coke, then head back into town and meet up with my girlfriends, get drunk, find a club where we could get ripped in reasonable privacy, then seduce the nearest willing meat puppet and drag she or he back to my flat for dirty sex, then let them pass out, so that I could sit in the solitude of dawn and draw my nude and utterly wasted body from the reflection in the mirror. Did I have a good time? You'd better fucking believe I did. The drawings themselves weren't always that great, but they were a starting point. The next day, hungover and with that awful clarity of self-hatred you get from too much coke the night before, I would use the previous night's scrawls as a starting point. Standing naked in the chilly studio, I would mark the traces of my debauches. Or rather the lack of them, because my body can absorb whatever punishment I seek to give it. The partner of the night would shuffle in, asking about coffee, and I would curtly tell she or he to fuck off, I was working. Why be nice? There would always be someone else.
That was the way it was, for five glorious years. I got an agent before I left art school. My work sold straight away. I was my own icon. There were other women artists who used their own bodies in their work, but they didn't get the prices I got. Their work was more rigorous, more difficult, less romantic, but I didn't give a shit, and when they called me on it I told them they were jealous bitches. Sometimes I got into fights. Let me rephrase that - sometimes I started fights, invariably when I was drunk and I thought someone was getting at me. One night a brilliant woman performance artist, a better artist than I could ever hope to be, dodged a punch I'd thrown and, in so doing, caused me to lose my balance, fall over and get a black eye on the corner of a pub table. Fuck it, it was all material. The picture of me I did the next day, hunched naked on the floor with the angry bruise around my eye, sold to a dealer in Los Angeles for a six-figure sum. My work was about love, about the story of my love for my own image, not about ideas. People responded to that.
I'm not a superstitious person. I knew my work was shallow, but what did I care as long as I loved making it and it sold so well? I thought I could cruise along forever. I had no plans to grow old and ugly. That was in the future. I was twenty-six, for God's sake! I still had a few years to go before I turned even thirty.
I had no idea what was going to happen. I still find it hard to comprehend. I didn't know how far your image could revenge itself upon you.
It started after one of the few Friday nights when I'd totally failed to pull. I'd been left on the bench as one after another my girlfriends had gone off with this or that boring fucking good-looking arsehole, and it probably hadn't helped that I'd tried to compensate for my lack of success with Mudslide after Mudslide. In the end I'd told them all to go fuck themselves and had staggered home on my own, pausing only to throw up copiously in the forecourt of an all-night service station, before falling into bed at four a.m.
I'd woken with a thumping head, a whirling stomach and a feeling of being generally toxic. A glass of Resolve and a half an Aspirin and a quick blitz of various soft fruit in the juicer had helped to settle me a little, but there was still the dull boring ache of feeling rejected, still the itch of wanting sex from some grateful stranger. I wanted to be envied. I felt, instead, like shit. It was half past one in the afternoon and the sky was clouded over in that drab white that always makes me want to move to a different city.
Worst of all, I felt ugly. I had one of those hangovers where your whole body feels like a huge bloated stomach balanced precariously on spindly legs. Yet I had to get to work, I had a commission to fill for a show in Dusseldorf in two weeks' time. There was nothing for it.
I slouched into my studio with a cup of coffee in one hand and a big glass jugful of water in the other hand. Retox/detox, that's my practice. I was wearing an oversized White Stripes t-shirt and nothing else. It was, as usual, too cold. I decided to start as I was - just this once, the good people of Dusseldorf were going to get me looking halfway decent.
I set up the mirror and I started to draw. And, as always, I felt the lovely bittersweet pull of longing as I followed the line of my cheekbones and filled out the ratty thatch of my dyed black hair. I was able to suggest the peculiar sloe blue of my slanted eyes by a skilful angle of the charcoal. I marked the curve of my bare thighs and calves in a few harsh, bold strokes. I knew I would rub out and redo this sketch twenty, maybe thirty times, and I would only know when to stop when there seemed to be no more options. And the final result would not look any more "like" me than the previous versions, but it would bear the trace of those efforts, and the cold and strange and intense love I had for the image of the person I was drawing.
I looked up at my reflection, and it was smiling at me. That was weird - I hadn't been aware that I was smiling. I straightened up a little, and so did my reflection. I bared my white teeth, and my reflection bared them back. I needed to stretch, and I got off my stool, turned away and leaned over backwards, then stretched my arms high over my head.
When I relaxed and turned around, my reflection was still sitting on the stool.
For a second, I thought I was still drunk, and my eyes were playing tricks on me. I blinked, deliberately. My reflection was still there, smiling at me. Then it winked at me, and waved.
What the fuck, I thought.
Then the girl in the mirror parted her beautiful lips and said, "Hey."
I felt suddenly ill. I wanted to throw up.
The girl in the mirror pouted, and said, "Oh come on. What's wrong."
"What the fuck is this," I breathed.
The girl in the mirror slid off her stool and stood on the bare pine boards, a coquettish smile still on her face.
I had to do it. I walked quickly around behind the mirror. There was nothing there. I came around the front again. My gorge was still threatening to rise. I swallowed.
As I came around the front of the mirror, my reflection did so too, mirroring my movements, but with an exaggerated edge of parody, as if she were mocking me. She leaned forward and looked at me, coolly, and said, "What's the matter? Little bit spooked, are we?"
"Who are you?" I managed to whisper.
"I'm you," she said, with a wink. "At least, I'm your image. Got a problem with that?"
"I'm dreaming," I said out loud. "It's okay. I'm asleep and I'm dreaming."
She smiled, and shook her head slowly.
"Oh no you're not, Keli," she said. "Looks like you've got what you always wanted. I'm as real as you."
"No you're not," I said, backing away towards the kitchen.
"Yes I am," she said softly, and instead of backing away from me, my reflection stepped towards the mirror and...
...raising a graceful bare leg, she stepped out of the mirror, ducking slightly to fit her tall body through the frame, and left the world inside the mirror, straightening up before me in my own room. She was me, exactly, the same black hair and white skin, the same eerily purple eyes, the same tight high breasts inside the t-shirt that now read sepirtS etihW ehT, the same long legs, only everything had been turned from left to right. She was standing before me and smiling at me, her nose stud on the right nostril instead of the left, the sapphire earring dangling from the lobe of her left ear instead of the right, the small mole on the right side of her jaw instead of the left. And she was looking at me with exactly the kind of hungry intensity with which I normally looked at her.
"What's going on," I said, my mouth dry.
"Oh Keli," she said, I said, my image said, "don't you get it? Haven't you always only ever wanted me?"
"But you're me," I said, backing further into the kitchen. She, I, padded towards me, sure of herself, smiling and confident.
"Exactly," she purred. "You should be happy. Now we can be together."
"But this is nuts," I protested. "You're not real. You're...you're an image of me. You can't be real." I backed up against the kitchen counter. My image, who certainly seemed like a whole, corporeal, carnal, live, breathing body, walked right up to me. I could feel the heat coming off her, I could smell her.
"If I'm not real," she breathed, "then how would you be able to feel this?" And she reached out, placing her hands over my breasts, touching the fabric of my t-shirt, and kissed me on the lips, pushing her tongue into my mouth.
And this is where ordinary grammar ceases to be of any use. Because I could feel exactly what she felt. I felt her hands on my tits, stroking the fabric of my t-shirt, her tongue poking between my lips - but I also felt the soft flesh of Keli's breasts, the small nipples, I tasted her mouth with its stale savour of drink and cigarettes and coffee. I felt my own fear as my image took hold of me, but I also felt the trembling, inviting sweetness of a body ready to be taken.
"Oh my God," I gasped, breaking away from the kiss. Her hands were all over me, I was gripping the kitchen counter with my own hands, but I was also caressing myself, sending my fingers around and down and under the low hem of the t-shirt, as I stitched a line of kisses up my own long white neck.
"What's the matter?" I asked in a chiding tone. "Don't you like me?"
I was half terrified, half aroused, and that was only the half of me that had woken up that morning in my own bed. The other part of me was all arousal. I was feeling shaky and weepy as my image ran her hands under my t-shirt, up my smooth flat belly, lifting the hem up over my breasts and pulling it over my head so that I was blinded. She raised my arms up inside it and tied it, so that I stood with my arms tied over my head, naked from the neck down, leaning back against the kitchen counter. The knob on the unit door pressed into my right buttock. Lips kissed my bare breasts and I knelt before myself, running my lips down my belly and over my navel and into my naked shaven crotch, tonguing me intimately. My hands were grasping my bare arse cheeks and squeezing them together and the image-Keli was burying her face in my pussy, tasting me, my dryness yielding helplessly to salty moisture.
"Oh fuck," I choked, half-sobbing, "please don't, please, I don't know what's going on..."
"It's you you've always wanted," came my voice, purring and thick from the level of my crotch. "I'm just giving you yourself."
"But...but I was supposed to be the one who made the moves..." I gasped as my double pushed her tongue up against my clit and licked me like a she-lion.
"I got sick of waiting," she murmured, and she grabbed my hips and spun me around. I gasped, and she bent me forward over the kitchen counter, spreading my legs and pushing her face between my naked buttocks.
"Oh no!" I cried as I felt her tongue, my tongue, dragging itself over my clean, exposed, puckered arsehole. This was not something I'd ever let anyone do to me, although I had loved performing it on a girlfriend whenever I'd got one drunk enough to share a bed with me, stripping my normally neat and competent friends naked, hearing them sob and moan as I planted them face-down on my bed and fucked their tight little arses with my tongue. It made me feel like I owned them, that no part of them was beyond me, that I'd been to places that even their boyfriends hadn't dared go. And now it was happening to me, and I was feeling that same cruel rush of power as I pushed the tip of my hard tongue against the clenched muscle, forcing it open, even as I was whining with revulsion and lust, my breasts squashed flat against the oiled pine countertop, helpless to stop my attacker from invading my most exclusive orifice. I weakly tried to kick backwards with my legs, but I am a strong girl, and my reflection wasn't weakened by a hangover.
Or, so it seemed, scruples. Once my tongue was inside my ass, she was fingering my pussy and making me groan with excitement. But she was only in there for a minute or so before pulling out, and grabbing me around my naked torso.
I was surprised at how light I was. I carried myself into my bedroom and flung myself on the bed.
Out of contact with her skin, I was myself again. I couldn't feel her excitement anymore and I struggled to tear the t-shirt off me, freeing my arms and at last my head. I scrambled around and sat with my arms and legs crossed before me, protecting my nudity, trying to hide on the corner of the bed.
"Go," I urged her desperately. "Please, just go."
My image sneered down at me and walked rapidly around the room, opening drawers and rummaging through them, before stopping and looking up at me with a wicked smile.
She reached into the drawer and held up my strap-on, still in its harness, together with a pair of fluffy, padded, expensive and very secure handcuffs I'd bought in Soho, and lastly...my hood. I'd always been excited about making a partner wear the hood. It covered the entire head apart from the mouth, and that could be zipped shut. With the right girl or boy I had sometimes been able to pretend that it was me in there, and it had added an extra flavour to their cries as I rode their hips, my strap-on buckled securely around me.
"No," I begged, still trying to hide my nakedness, "not that, please, I'm begging you, no..."
"Oh, I so have to try this," I said, my narrow slanted purple eyes widening down at me, my face breaking into a huge smile. I descended onto the cowering, hunched form at the end of the bed.
God, I was strong. I didn't realise how much. Within minutes I had been flipped onto my belly and my hands were securely cuffed behind my back, then I was sitting astride myself and the hood was lowered onto my head, then firmly zipped up the back. Everything went dark for me, except that I could still see the cuffed and hooded naked body of the girl between my thighs, writhing and begging for mercy. I was pretty sure what I had in mind for myself and I wanted to put it off for as long as I could.
The strap-on fitted like a glove, of course. I was reaching down between my thighs and stroking my pussy, making me moan in humiliation and pleasure, then my hips were jerked upwards and back, and the stout plastic was sliding up into me. Hands grabbed me around my chest, stroking my nipples as I was fucked from behind, and I could only beg myself to stop with little conviction.
My knees were feeling weak as I pumped into me, making me cum more than once, gasping "Oh...ohh...ohhh....aaaahhh!" as I ruthlessly fucked myself, my hands sliding over my bare hips, my other hands uselessly cuffed behind my back.
And then, as I had feared, the dildo was sliding out of me and its slippery, ridged length was moved up to between the cheeks of my arse.
"No! No! Please!" I cried as I felt the luxurious feeling of anticipation, looking down at myself, kneeling with my arse up in the air and my arms behind my back, my hooded face covered in black leather apart from the red, wet opening of my mouth, twisted with horror, begging me not to do what I was about to do. My kneeling body was clenched against the invasion, but I felt the pressure growing, and much as I tried to fight I found that the pain grew worse, the pain of trying to keep out the huge splitting thing, until with a brief scream of "AAAHH!" I gave up.
At once I felt the awful presence of the dildo, slick with my own cunt juices, sliding up into my arse. God, it was degrading. I had never been so humiliated in my life. I gave an agonised moan.