Denise Grant stood at the corner of the Science Building waiting for that bitch Alicia Stevens to finally show up. Goddammit, she'd show her this time. She'd get her back big time for all the humiliation she had put her through after their break-up.
Denise went through the memorized list in her head. First, there was the very, very public break-up where Alicia had French-kissed the first boy she saw after loudly announcing that she and Denise were done. Then there was the scribbled attack on the wall outside the cafeteria: THE BEST CURE FOR LESBIANISM IS DENISE GRANT! Then there was the party where Denise had just wanted to ask her what had made her so mad at her, and the bitch threw a glass of red wine on her favorite dress. And then finally, there was the message on the school forum with the subject line: "Denise Grant, proof of female incels?"
That had been the last straw. It had taken almost two months for Denise to track down the randomly appearing magic store through hundreds of online discussions and forums. It never stayed in one place for longer than a week, and it might be in San Francisco one week and somewhere in nowhere, Rhode Island the next. She had been lucky to find it only a few hours away at a practically abandoned mall in North Dakota, and she hit the road, skipping the day's classes, to race there before the place vanished again, too far away to visit.
The magic mirror had cost her a full month of her mad money, but she knew it would be worth it. And Alicia would know then what it was like to be the target of revenge instead of the one who instigated it. The beautiful but bitchy blonde would know then what it was like to be at someone else's mercy. At her mercy, Denise mused with a wicked grin.
She felt the slight weight of the plastic case held at her side. Inside it were several outfits, from casual clothing like pants, shorts, and tops to fancy rhinestone dresses and even dress-up costumes like Playboy bunnies, vintage cigarette girls, flappers, go-go dancers, and even circus performers -- but all cheaply made and designed for a typical girl's fashion doll. On top of the clothes was the mirror that would make her revenge possible, an ornate chrome thing with a circle of reflecting glass and several cherubs molded into the long handle.
Denise was practically wet with excitement. Soon, the bitch would be hers again, and this time hers for as long as she wanted to keep her. There would be no more humiliating, painful break-ups, no more wanting to date other people, no more why are you so possessive. Just the sweet, beautiful blonde girl Denise had longed for since the beginning of college three years ago.
But it wouldn't do to get her right away. No, there would be too many people on the campus. She would have to find a way to get her alone first and even then in a way that wouldn't arouse any suspicion when people started to realize the popular girl was missing.
So she waited, counting the minutes tick by on her smartwatch until classes were over for the day. Any moment, Alicia would come out of the red brick building, strutting like she owned all she surveyed and like she hadn't a care in the whole fucking world. But she would learn soon enough that she didn't own shit and would be owned instead. She would learn that she shortly genuinely wouldn't have a care in the world other than looking beautiful and staying in mint condition.
Denise smiled, then took a deep breath, and cleared her throat. The doors swung open and students mobbed out onto the campus. She waited for the one particular flopping and bouncing ponytail to emerge, and when it did, she walked up to her former girlfriend, risking the opportunity to be humiliated again.
"Alicia," she said softly and apologetically as she touched the girl's arm to get her attention.
"What the hell do you want, Denise?" the girl spat.
"We need to talk."
"Not in a million years."
"I need to apologize."
"Didn't you already try that? I said I didn't ever want to talk to you again."
"Well, I think you'll want to talk about this."
As they talked, Alicia kept up a walking pace that made Denise struggle to keep up, but she pushed herself, determined.
"That's what I need to apologize about. I have pictures."
"Pictures," Alicia asked.
Denise nodded. "Yeah, of you when you slept."
"But you sleep naked, that's why I'm telling you. I took them without asking because I assumed you wouldn't mind at the time. I thought about being a bitch like you and posting them on the forums or printing them up and taping them on the walls or something, but I realized I couldn't do that to you, in spite of all the shit you did to me."
"Listen, Denise. I didn't post the graffiti. I don't know who did. I guess someone at the party who saw me kiss that guy."
Denise sighed and looked away. "It doesn't matter."
"Just wanted you to know. Thanks for not sharing those pictures. Can you get rid of them?"
She nodded again. "I figured you'd want to witness it as I took them off the cloud and off my phone, just in case you don't trust me."
"Sure." Alicia waited a moment. "Aren't you going to get your phone?"
"Not here. If I'm going to do this for you, I want you to do something for me too."
Alicia laughed loudly. "So this isn't about the pictures at all."
Denise looked down and away, counting the ants as they meandered across the sidewalk. "Nothing like that. I just want to get rid of them at the lake, where we had our first date. No tricks. No double-crosses. No trying to get you back. I promise. Just do this one last thing for me, and I'll never bother you about anything again."
"On my feelings I still have for you."
"Fuck that. Do you promise?"
"Fine," Denise said. "I promise."
"Okay, fine. Let's go, but no weird shit."
"No weird shit."
Alicia led the way, always keeping several steps ahead of Denise, obviously not wanting anyone to assume they'd been seen together again after all that had gone down between them. It looked to Denise that if anyone watching assumed anything, it would be that she was stalking her ex and doing it badly. Still, she didn't care. She just followed the blonde's bobbing ponytail. taking in how cute she looked in her white denim short shorts, black tights, low-heeled zip-up boots, and pink camisole top. It set off her tanned -- from the tanning bed, of course -- skin perfectly.
She would be a beautiful and unique addition to her collection.
They reached the lake in about fifteen minutes and Alicia stopped immediately at the entrance to the park that surrounded it.
"Okay. We're here," she said. "Let's get to deleting."
Denise smiled weakly. "To the dock, just one last time."
Alicia sighed deeply, her chest rising to emphasize her unwilling effort.
"Please," Denise said.
"No weird shit."
"No weird shit. Promise."
"And if you were taking pics of my ass on the way, they're going to be deleted too."
"No pics on the way. The phone's been in my pocket the whole time."
They made their way around the walkway and onto the dock. Hidden safely around the edge of the wooded area. It was a cool day and the park was mostly empty anyway, and there were no boats on the water. A perfect day.
"Let's see that phone," Alicia said, her face stern, almost angry. She clearly wasn't enjoying the afternoon.
"Here, hold this," Denise said, handing her the plastic case that contained the mirror and doll clothes.
Alicia took it and grumbled about it, but didn't say anything this time. Denise dug through her pockets and came up empty, just as she knew she would.
"Shit," she said, "I forgot. I think I put it in here."
"What is this thing?" Alicia asked.
"New doll stuff for my collection."
"God. You and those dolls."
Denise used Alicia's hands like a table and opened the case so that it opened with the lid blocking her ex-girlfriend's view of the clothing and mirror inside it.
"Please hurry. I have places to be."
"I'm doing my best. Sorry."
Another deep sigh.
"It must be under this," Denise said and grabbed the mirror from the case. "Pretty, huh?" she asked, showing the looking glass to Alicia.
Instantly the girl caught her reflection and seemed to be in a trance, locked into her own gaze, unable to divert her eyes from her own beautiful face.
There was no response. "Played right into my trap, Leesh," she said.
She traced her index finger along the back of the mirror. Words started to appear in a gold script. Welsh, Denise reminded herself, translated from a Druidic spell during the time of the Roman occupation of Britain.
Peidiwch â bod yn ferch fyw mwyach
Byddwch yn degan am byth
"Thank god for the pronunciation guide on the web," she said, "or this would never work."
She spoke the words she had practiced so many times after getting the mirror. To ensure she was speaking correctly, she had even taken a stray cat from the campus and tested it on her. It took a few tries, but she finally transformed the little gray tabby into an even more little gray tabby, a toy pet fit for a doll.
No sooner had she recited the spell than her former friend started to glow a dim green, like an aura that could have been seen by anyone, had anyone been nearby to actually see them. But that was she had chosen the secluded dock where the two had kissed for the first time, not for any sentimental reasons Alicia might have assumed. Just for the privacy to do the spell unseen by witnesses.
A gull squawked above her, and Denise looked up to curse at it, then lifted her arm to block out the sun. As she did, she knocked the mirror loose from Alicia's grip and it fell onto the dock. Looking down so she could pick it up and hold it in front of Alicia again to finish the spell, she made the mistake of looking into the mirrored glass herself.
She stopped cold.
She couldn't even scream the "No!" that caught in her motionless body. She could only watch as her own body took on the same green aura Alicia had. Her own body started to change from living flesh to a flexible rubber coating of fake skin.
As she grew smaller and smaller, she heard the sounds of Alicia starting to stir. No words, just grunts and moving her head and arms around again finally, but clear evidence that the spell had altered its target.
She continued to shrink as her intended victim continued to regain her wits and consciousness.
After a few timeless moments, it was all over, and Denise looked up at the giant Alicia from the floor of the dock. The human girl leaned down and picked her up, holding her next to the plastic case of doll clothing. "I could have sworn there was a mirror here too," she said, but there was no trace of one. "I guess she took that with her."
Denise knew though, that with the magic used up, the mirror had disappeared, returning to the inventory of the little man who ran the little magic shop.
"That idiot. I can't believe she left her shit here. I'm just glad those photos are gone.
There never were any photos, you dumb bitch, the newly created Denise Doll thought. That was just to get you out here.
She examined the doll for a minute or so, noticing how much it reminded her of the stupid possessive slut she had broken up with. Sure, the sex had been amazing, but the girl had just been so goddamn jealous, and that was the one thing Alicia couldn't put up with from anyone.
She couldn't resist peeking beneath the doll's black yoga pants and sports bra to see the blank places where any real woman would have sex organs. It was a holdover from her time playing with dolls as a kid. But not as an adult. That was her ex-girlfriend Denise's creepy, childish thing, and she wanted nothing more to do with it.
She placed the little brown-haired doll in the case and closed it. The least she could do was drop it off at the dorms for someone to return to Denise.
The Denise Doll had been dropped off with the Resident Assistant, who used her master key to let herself in and return the doll and the case of clothes to Denise's room. Denise had watched as the R.A. put her on the shelf with several other dolls, then took her down, changed her into a leotard, tights, and leg warmers instead, then put her on the shelf again. Then the doll girl simply stood there, watching what had been her room, wondering how her plan had turned out this way, knowing the spell was permanent, knowing full well her fate was sealed by the mirror.
After a few days, people started to look for her, but of course, they never thought to look for the missing co-ed on her shelf of dolls, especially not in the embarrassing 1980s workout outfit.
After a week, all her stuff, dolls and all, was packed up and returned to her grandparents, since she had lived with them after her parents had died when she was still a baby. They kept the boxes in their attic for two years, adding all the clothes and toys and knick knacks still in their missing granddaughter's room in the middle of the second year. But after that, realizing Denise would most likely never be found, they donated it all to a thrift store.
As Denise felt her tiny body dumped onto a metal shelf, she saw the price on the doll she landed on top of.
But even then, she waited for a long time for someone to finally want her.