Catherine already knew what her fatal flaw was, although she didn't actually expect it to ever be fatal. In fact, she didn't really even think of it as a flaw. Being inquisitive was a good thing, as far as she was concerned. It was a sign of an active, intelligent mind. And it had never really gotten her into too much trouble. Sure, she'd gotten a few scoldings as a kid for trying to find out what her Christmas and birthday presents were--she remembered her dad saying, "Curiosity killed the cat...Cat," and the two of them bursting into giggles as he couldn't hold his frown. But apart from giving her an interesting nickname, Cat had always thought of her curiosity as, at worst, an endearing quirk. She never tried too hard to repress it, and loved to indulge it.
All of which explained why she couldn't help but stop, that warm summer day as she biked through the forest. It wasn't that it was so unusual to see someone sitting by the side of the bike path, although you didn't get many people this deep in the trails. It wasn't that the person she saw appeared to be a little girl, sitting under a tree with her knees drawn almost all the way up to her chin, staring intensely at Cat as she approached. It was that the girl had a box balanced on her knees, an ornate wooden box with beautiful baroque carvings, and she held it tightly with both hands as if to keep it safe, even this far away from any potential thieves.
As soon as she saw it, Cat wondered what had to be inside the box to make the little girl so protective, and she knew she'd never get any peace until she found out. And if that wasn't a fatal flaw, it was near enough.
She brought her bike to a skidding stop just a few feet past the girl and leaned it against a tree, then turned back to the girl. "Hello!" she said brightly, just before her voice froze in her throat. Not out of fear, merely out of embarrassment--up close, the 'little girl' looked to be about Cat's age. She was slender and willowy, with barely any breasts to speak of, but Cat could tell that it had just been the girl's clothing and body language that had suggested youth. Her eyes told a different story. Nobody looking this girl in the eyes could mistake her for a child, even if her long black hair was done up in pigtails and she had a little pink ribbon in her hair. Cat felt silly for greeting her in the kind of tones you reserved for talking to very small children.
"Um, hi," she said casually, trying to salvage her pride. "My name's Cat. What's yours?"
The girl looked up at Cat, her face slightly glum. Cat couldn't quite shake that impression of the girl as child-like, and her voice didn't help. "Zoe," she said, sounding every inch the bored child humoring a grown-up.
"Hi, Zoe," Cat said, trying not to sound like Mister Rogers when she said it. "That's a really interesting box you have, there."
"S'a birfday present," Zoe said. It sounded almost affected, like she was a grown-up impersonating a child. Which, Cat reminded herself, she clearly was. But why come out here, all the way to the middle of the woods, and impersonate a little girl for the benefit of a chance passer-by? "It's magic," Zoe added after a moment.
"Magic, huh?" Cat said, sitting down next to Zoe. "What's inside it?" She'd meant to ask, 'What's magic about it?' But the desire to know what was under the lid that Zoe held so tightly shut could only be forestalled for so long, and Cat had never been known for her patience.
Zoe scooted around so that she was facing Cat. "Take a look for yourself," she said, handing the box to Cat.
Cat hadn't really expected it to be that easy. From the way Zoe was holding the box, she'd expected to have to do some serious cajoling to get the girl to let her see the contents of the 'magic' box. Still, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Cat set the box on her knees (sliding her feet forward a little to lower the box so she could look into it more easily) and opened it up.
She was more than a little disappointed at what she saw. "It's empty," she said.
Zoe rolled her eyes. "Well, duh!" she said. "You haven't put anything in it yet! Just keep looking." Cat furrowed her brow in confusion--what was she supposed to put in there? But after a few moments, she saw something in the box. A tiny sprinkling of glittering dust just seemed to...appear. It was like it just caught her eye, and suddenly she couldn't think how she'd missed it.
"See, it's a magic box, just like I told you!" Zoe said, responding to the change in Cat's expression. "It's a thought-eating box. When you look into it, it takes the thoughts out of your head and puts them into the box. And soon, it's going to suck away every single thought in your brain until there's nothing left but a docile, obedient slavegirl."
Cat burst out, "What did you say?" Because she couldn't believe it, not at first. It just sounded so absurd that the words exploded from her lips before she could even think about it. But the glittering golden dust did seem to have covered more of the bottom of the box in just the few moments she was looking at it...a sudden chill crept up Cat's spine. Something was very wrong here. Zoe had been waiting for her, waiting to trick her into looking into the box so that it would...would...it would do something, Cat knew. Zoe had just said it, she could almost remember what it was, but before she could recall, the words were already gone.
"Wh-what did you say?" Cat repeated, not in shock this time, but simply out of confusion. She'd said something about the box, hadn't she? Cat thought she remembered thinking that she needed to stop looking inside the box, but the second she thought about it, the thought slipped away from her and she couldn't remember what it was she was supposed to stop doing. So she just looked into the box, hoping that the memory would come back to her.
"Nothing important," Zoe said. "Just keep looking. So what brought you all the way out into the woods today?"
"Um..." Cat stared at the box for a long moment. The glimmering, sparkling dust was really very pretty. "I was biking, just exercising." She suddenly wondered how long she'd been sitting here. "I should really get back to my...um, my..." She suddenly couldn't remember how she'd gotten out here. She hadn't walked, she knew that. She'd used the thing, the thing you rode... "It's the thing with the pedals," she said absently as she racked her brain for the name. She knew what it was, she was sure, she'd seen it dozens of times...but as she thought about it, she couldn't actually recall ever seeing one before. Every time she thought she remembered a...a thing, with the things...the memory vanished.
"A rose?" Zoe asked with a giggle. Cat giggled too, picturing herself riding a rose through the woods, but then the mental image was gone too, leaving her entirely unsure of how she'd gotten here at all. There was just a long blank stretch in her day, and the more Cat probed at it the blanker it got.
"I, um..." Cat started to respond, before realizing she wasn't entirely sure what she was going to say or even what she was responding to. Zoe had said something, but even as Cat reached back for the memory, it was already gone. Even remembering what she was trying to remember suddenly felt like an effort, and as that faded away too, Cat suddenly felt like she was trapped inside an hourglass. She couldn't find any firm footing, the ground was just trickling away underneath her and she couldn't remember, she couldn't think...
Suddenly she realized. It was the box! Every time she thought of something, the box was just sucking the thought away. She wondered how many times she'd come to that realization, but then that worry vanished, leaving just the realization behind. She needed to stay calm, to just sit there and try not to think of anything until she could find a plan to...to...every plan she came up with just melted away to nothing before it could even begin to form, leaving Cat to stare helplessly at the box. She needed to stop thinking, she knew that, because... because... because she did. She had to remember not to think. She had to remember not to think. She had to remember... remember... it was no good. The thought was already gone. Cat grimaced. And she usually had such a good memory, too!
Zoe scooted forward a bit, getting right up close to Cat so that the box lid covered her face right up to her eyes. "So, Cat...that is your name, right?"
Cat nodded, but even as she nodded, she wasn't really sure anymore if it was. It sounded right, didn't it? Cat. Funny name for a girl, Cat. The more she repeated it in her head, the more it just sounded like a nonsense syllable. Cat cat cat cat cat. Cat cat cat...she blinked. What a silly word to get stuck in your head, she thought. Oh, well. Gone now.
Zoe reached around the box, putting her hands squarely on...on Her tits. "So where did you come from before you came out to the forest?" she asked, but She didn't even register the question at first. She was too shocked by Zoe's sudden familiarity. She couldn't just grope Her like that! It was wrong! There were rules, social codes, and...and She felt them all just soften and fade out of her mind even as she tried to remember them. She tried to remember that she didn't like strangers touching her...gone. She tried to remember that Zoe was a girl, and She wasn't into girls...gone. She tried to remember what her parents, her teachers, her pastor had told her...and suddenly realized she couldn't even bring those people to mind. Their faces just seemed to become blank, generic, and then...nothing. Even the thoughts that she wasn't trying to think of seemed to be fading away, stolen silently while she was distracted by trying to remember what she was forgetting, and leaving nothing at all behind.
Nothing except Zoe's fingers. That pleasure, that sensation was continuous, rushing in with every tiny, stroking touch to fill all the blank spots in Her mind. And even as She thought about how odd it was that she had so many blank spots in her mind, she found herself forgetting that she remembered them and then that just became another blank spot to be filled by pleasure. Zoe's hands felt good on her titties. She forgot that too, but a pinch to her nipples reminded her.
"So where did you come from before you came out to the forest?" Zoe asked, and She forgot even before she remembered that Zoe had asked it before.
"I live in...um...the city, over there, with my boyfriend, um...he's a...ohhhhh...I...I work at, at...I...I don't know," She finished in slightly plaintive tones. All those memories, all those thoughts, just vanishing out of her mind even as she tried to think of them, like water trickling through a...a...she tried to think of an appropriate metaphor, then she tried to think of what a metaphor was, then she just thought about how good it felt when Zoe rubbed Her nipples with her thumbs.
Zoe kicked off her shoe and slid a bare foot between Her thighs, pressing rhythmically against Her pussy through her biking shorts. Her eyes rolled back in her head as she felt that yummy pressure against her...her...her whatever-you-called-it, She didn't care anymore. It just all felt good, Zoe's hands on her thingies, her foot on Her other thing, it felt like she'd just been here forever, letting...letting this strange girl, whoever she was, rub...rub things, they were nice, felt good, She couldn't remember...she came hard before she forgot what an orgasm was.
She couldn't remember anything anymore. The box seemed to glow, it was so full of glittering dust, and she just stared at it, feeling so good all over for some reason, but every time she thought about it, she couldn't remember, and she wondered exactly what 'remembering' was because she seemed to be trying to do it so often and failing, and then she couldn't remember remembering and then she wondered what she was thinking of and suddenly she realized that she couldn't think at all about anything, and she knew that the second she thought about thinking that the last thought she'd have would be to wonder why she couldn't think and that even as she realized it, the thought of thinking was already g...
The box closed. Cat stared straight ahead, not even noticing. Zoe took the box out of her unresisting hands, and carefully reached inside without looking. She concentrated, and a few simple concepts--walking, talking, toilet training, that sort of thing--flew into her hand. Zoe wanted a slave, not an infant. Pulling them out, she pressed them against Cat's temple, and a tiny amount of life returned to the girl's eyes. But she still had that sexy, sleepy, docile look that made Zoe eager to train her other birthday present--her even better birthday present--how to lick pussy.
"Come on," Zoe said, standing up and brushing the dirt off her skirt. "It's time to take you home." She took Cat's hand in her own, and pulled the other girl to her feet.
"Home?" Cat said, uncomprehendingly.
"Yes, home," Zoe said as they began to walk deeper into the forest. Cat didn't even notice the bicycle leaning against the tree, and wouldn't have known how to ride it if she had. "Where you and I live as lovers, and you are my happy slavegirl, serving me and obeying my every wish..."
Zoe kept talking as they walked off, the words sinking into Cat's empty mind like water into a dry sponge. Even as Cat absorbed the details of her obedient slavery, even as she let them fill the core of her being, some tiny part of her remained. An essential part of her, one even the box couldn't take away. Underneath the programming Zoe was even now instilling, some tiny element of the old Cat ignored it all, refusing to be subsumed.
Unfortunately, that part of her was wondering exactly what was in the box Zoe was carrying.