Kathy found the website by accident. “Decode the Secret Message!” it exclaimed. “Win real prizes!”
And in the middle of the screen, a spinning black and white spiral, overlaid with flickering static. And a text box – “TYPE THE SECRET MESSAGE HERE”
She knew it was a scam. She knew she should close the browser window. But there was something in the flickering spiral – words – and she could *almost* see them. It started with a T – or a W – and it was a three word phrase – or maybe four…
She stared at the spiral. She thought maybe one of the words was “THE” – or possibly “OF”.
When she finally tore her eyes away, she was surprised to see that half an hour had passed. It had only felt like a few minutes. What had she been thinking?
She went to close the browser window – and then saw the small text beneath the spiral, that she had overlooked before. “Turn up volume to help decode the message. For best effects, use headphones.”
Curious, she plugged her headphones in, and clicked the icon to engage the audio. Suddenly, she could *hear* the static – a flickering hiss – and also hear the spiral – a deep, bass thrum, cycling from a pitch too low for her to hear up to a clear, harmonic note, and back again.
It felt like it ran through her whole brain, a reverberating wave of noise – intriguing, oppressing, impossible to ignore. Her mouth opened, her lips parted, her breathing shallow.
She looked at the spiral again – and the audio helped. She could see deeper – clearer…
And then suddenly it was dark. The sunlight outside the window was gone, and the indoor lights had not been switched on. Hours had passed. Kathy was tired, confused, dehydrated. She had trouble focusing her eyes. She tore the headphones off her head, and stumbled away from the computer, looking for something to eat and drink, and when she had sated herself, she pulled off her clothes, fell into her bed naked, and instantly dropped into a deep, heavy sleep.
That night, she dreamed, and in her dream she saw the spiral. Black and white arcs of colour spun in an endless dance, and across them was the grainy flicker of static. She was aware of the words beneath the images, and the words seemed even clearer now. One of them was “GIRL”. She was sure it was “GIRL” – she could see the “G” – but at the same time, but it might have been “SLUT”. Another of the words was “BLANK”. A third was “OBEY”. But none of these words seemed to go together into a phrase. She was sure the phrase was only three words – or four – but it seemed like there were too many words to fit into a single sentence.
She needed to see the real words. She had to check again what they looked like. She woke with a gasp, in a room that was still dark. The sun had not yet risen. She should sleep longer, she knew – but her dreams consumed her mind. She had to see the words. She stumbled to the computer, completely naked, to reload the site. When the spiral appeared, she put her headphones on – and the day vanished.
She had no sense of time passing – and yet, when her consciousness next returned, she knew that something was wrong. There was dim light outside.
At first she assumed it was the rising sun – but it wasn’t. It was the *setting* sun. She had been at the computer all day. But she didn’t feel as dehydrated, or hungry as she had last night. She cast her eyes about – and spied a plate with crumbs on it, abandoned on the computer desk, next to an empty drinking glass. Had she gotten up and made food, without even remembering it?
Stranger still, she became aware that there was a damp, urgent heat between her legs. Her pussy was throbbing. It yearned to be touched. It was wet, and aroused – and her fingers smelt like her pussy, too, she discovered. Had she been masturbating? What had happened to her? Was the spiral to blame?
But then she remembered *why* she had suddenly become alert. She knew the message! She had seen the words, perceived the letters, and worked it out!
Beaming with delight, she selected the text box on the screen, and typed “I AM A SLUT”.
The website pinged. A jubilant banner popped up. “YOU HAVE FOUND MESSAGE ONE OF TEN! ONLY NINE TO GO!”
She squeaked with happiness and pride at her success – and then sighed, understanding the meaning of “one of ten”. Of course! That was why there were too many words – there were multiple messages. And apparently each had a separate prize – the banner was informing her that she had just won a $50 gift voucher to spend at a lingerie store.
“Enter your name, email address, home address and phone number to claim,” said the website, and Kathy entered her details obediently.
As soon as she did, a message appeared on her phone. “Get an edge in breaking the code! Install the Secret Message app on your phone!”
Kathy was suddenly aware that she desperately wanted to uncover the other messages. If solving just one could win her $50 in underwear, what would she get for all ten? She clicked on the link in the message – and frowned. Apparently installing the app would require sideloading it – bypassing the protections in her phone’s app store, and giving it a range of dubious permissions to control her phone.
But the prize for the first message was real. And she *needed* to find the other messages. So she followed the instructions and installed the app.
Once the app was installed, more messages immediately popped up. But these were strange. One was from her father – and it read, “Well done on finding the secret message, Kathy!” Another was from boss, reading, “Great job on decoding, Kathy!” A third was from a friend, and was just a thumbs up emoji.
Was the app impersonating the people in her contacts list? That was weird, and gross – but also kind of funny, in a way. It felt good to see those messages of approval – particularly from her father and her boss, who had always been difficult to please.
She had to know, though. She phoned the friend who had sent her the thumbs up. “Hey, Mitch,” she asked. ‘Did you just message me a thumbs up?”
He sounded confused. “No,” he said. “I didn’t send you anything. Have I been hacked?”
“No,” she said, “it’s okay. I think it’s on my end. Just a weird app I installed.”
“Oh, that’s fine, then,” replied Mitch. “Have a good night.”
And then there was a pause, and he added, “Good luck finding the other nine messages.”
Kathy jumped – but the call had disconnected. Had Mitch really said that? How did he know? Or had the app somehow… sampled his voice, and added that message at the end of the call?
She stared at her phone. What was she doing? What had she installed?
There was someone else she had to call. She had missed work today, spending all day staring at the spiral instead. She dialled her boss.
“Kathy, where were you today?” he demanded.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I was sick – so sick I forgot to call. Could barely make it out of bed.”
“Will you be in tomorrow?” he asked.
“I think so, yes,” said Kathy. “I’m so sorry.”
“Well, tomorrow’s Friday,” said her boss. “Make it through the day, and then you can rest up over the weekend.”
“Thank you,” said Kathy, and went to hang up – but her boss spoke again.
“Oh, and Kathy,” he said, “I don’t want you wearing panties to work any more. If you wear panties, you get fired.”
And then he hung up.
Kathy gaped. Surely her boss hadn’t said that. Just like Mitch, it was strange, and unexpected. Could the app be mimicking her boss? It had to be.
But… her boss *was* strange. And strict.
She went to bed, and dreamed of the spiral. When she woke, she desperately wanted to go back to her computer, and find another message – but she couldn’t afford to miss another day of work. So she controlled herself, and got dressed, and and went to work instead.
But she left her panties at home.
She felt like a slut, sitting at her desk all day with no panties. Her boss didn’t comment on his strange demand of the night before, and he certainly didn’t check if she was wearing underwear. But maybe he knew. Maybe he was enjoying her discomfort. She felt her pussy get wetter and wetter as she imagined him staring at her, knowing that her cunt was bare.
“I am a slut,” she whispered to herself.
As soon as she got home, she pulled off her clothes, and vanished into the spiral. Now that she had the app, she didn’t even need to use her computer. She could look at it on her phone. She put her headphones on, and gazed deeply into the flickering static.
She could hear words in the thrum of the spiral now. It was her own voice. It said, “I AM A SLUT”.
The world vanished.
When she became aware, it was the middle of the night. It was dark. She was lying nude on the linoleum floor of her kitchen. Her cunt felt uncomfortably full, and when she reached down to her pussy, she realised it had a large, thick carrot stuffed into it. She had taken a carrot from the fridge and used it to masturbate – all without being aware of it.
But she had found another answer. She had seen the words in the spiral. She left the carrot in her pussy, and frantically typed into her phone, “I NEED TO OBEY”.
“YOU HAVE FOUND MESSAGE TWO OF TEN!” exclaimed the app. And it informed her she had won a dog collar, dildo gag, and a pair of handcuffs, valued at over $100.
Her phone rang. It was Mitch. What was he doing up in the middle of the night?
She answered, uncertainly. “Hello?” she said.
“Hi Kathy,” said Mitch, his voice awake and energetic. “Congratulations on decoding the message!”
It had to be the app. She wasn’t talking to Mitch. She was talking to some stupid piece of software. Had Mitch even called her? Was he actually awake, somewhere? Was this all just the app? “Thank you,” she said, feeling stupid.
“Tell me what you’re doing right now, Kathy,” said Mitch – and suddenly his voice was deeper, more commanding.
Kathy felt dizzy, like she couldn’t think straight. “I’m lying naked on my kitchen floor with a thick carrot stuffed in my pussy,” she said – and then gasped. Why had she said that? It was so humiliating! But Mitch had been so forceful – and she had wanted to obey…
Mitch was laughing. “You sound like a slut, Kathy,” he said. “Are you a slut?”
Again Kathy felt dizzy. “Yes,” she admitted.
“You know I’ve always wanted to rape you, Kathy,” said Mitch. “Do you want to be raped?”
At least she knew the answer to this. “No!” she exclaimed. “Mitch – how could you?”
“I’ll tell you what, Kathy,” said Mitch. “How about you send me a photo of you, naked, with the carrot in your pussy? And then I won’t have to rape you. And I won’t have to tell anyone about the carrot. Okay?” And then in the commanding voice again, “Send me the photo, Kathy.”
Then he hung up.
Kathy took a deep breath. The app was playing mind games with her – horrid mind games. It had threatened to rape her. But it couldn’t really rape her. It wasn’t really Mitch – was it?
Or maybe that *was* Mitch. Maybe the app had used her contacts to message the real Mitch, and tell him to ring her and congratulate her.
Or maybe it was a fake Mitch, but if she didn’t do what it said, it would play the words she had just said to the real Mitch, so he knew she had stuffed a carrot up her pussy and that she was a slut.
And, regardless of all of that… she wanted to obey.
“I need to obey,” she whispered.
Moaning, she turned on the lights, stumbled to a mirror, and used the phone to take a photo of her nude body, with her legs spread and the end of the carrot clearly visible poking out of her pussy.
And she sent it to Mitch.
There was no immediate reply. It was the middle of the night. If the conversation had just been with the app, the real Mitch was probably asleep. He would wake to find a photo of Kathy acting like a whore, with no context. He would probably be disgusted. He would probably hate her.
Kathy moaned – and, without realising she was doing it, she began masturbating using the carrot again.
She should sleep. It was late.
But there were eight more messages to find.
She went back into the spiral.
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