Shelly pumped hard on the bars and pushed down even harder on the treadle as she looked dead ahead at the swirling patterns on the screen that was mounted on the wall.
Even so, the effort, both physical and mental, to keep going on the machine was difficult. After the initial brainwashing, she’d assumed things would be easier, things like her twice daily workouts, or her new diet, or the hours in front of the makeup mirror, or the day long shopping trips.
They weren’t though, they were just as hard as they had ever been. She had never been obsessed with her looks, even if many men complimented her on them. Instead she’d always found it hard to get all the interested in that “girly” kind of thing, instead enjoying more intellectual pursuits in her spare time.
Once in a while, she’d been able to force herself to go all girly, get dressed up for an occasion or some such. She’d even lost a few pounds once for her best friends wedding, by those times never lasted. She’d quickly fall back in to her old habits and not think about it again.
When she’d been snatched from her parking lot at work, she’d done what any sane person would have, she’d kicked and screamed and fought tooth and nail. But after a few days in front of the spiraling patterns, and the methodical music that played over the speakers in the room, well, she’d settled down and eventually succumbed to them.
She knew when they released her back to her old life that she was no longer the same person. Gone were all those intellectual ideas, replaced with new ones that focused on her looks and personality. Those new ideas drove her to work out more, to get dressed up more, to look prettier “for the boys” as the refrain echo in her head.
But what they didn’t do, was make it any easier.
It was still just as hard to get on the machine and workout. It was still just as hard to get dressed up. It was still just as hard to put on makeup.
The difference was that, before, it hadn’t bothered her in the slightest if she didn’t do any of those things. Now… well, now it gnawed at her very soul if she didn’t. So much so that the last time she’d “skipped” a workout, she’d curled up into the fetal position for well over an hour, rocking softly, whimpering, until she’d broken down and almost run in to the workout room and did twice her normal time on the machine.
Her eyes watched as the swirling colours slowed and faded from the screen, to be replaced with a simple message instead “Workout #2 complete.”
A shiver of pleasure ran through her body as she slowed and stepped off of the machine, grabbing a towel to wipe the sweat from herself. She walked from the workout room in to the bathroom and took a quick shower before sitting down in front of the makeup mirror.
Another screen, mounted behind her so she could see it in the mirror’s reflection, started to swirl and she let out a slight whimper as she picked up a tube of pink lipstick and started applying it.
There was another screen in the kitchen, where she would be practicing her cooking skills next, another in the living room above her main TV where she would be watching the latest fashion shows after that. A final one was in her bedroom, mounted on the ceiling, where she’d be masturbating herself to sleep later that night.
As she applied more makeup, she wondered once more who had done this too her, why they had done it, but there was no obvious answers forthcoming.
She’d quite her job a few weeks after the initial catch and release, and made other changes to her life as well, like dropping off social media and distancing friends and family. Beyond that, she was also receiving some kind of allowance in her bank account every week, more than enough to keep her in a comfortable lifestyle, even with all the shopping she’d been doing lately.
It would have to change at some point, she knew this, but still had no idea how or when.
Till then, she’d just have to force herself to do what she knew she needed to. Even if that took every once of mental strength she had, leaving none left to try and resist the swirling patterns that filled her mind each and every day.