I was at a party. There was a stage where some live Disney performance was happening (it seemed to be the Lion King, though with a lot of added elements and also Mufasa was played by a really lousy actor who looked like Morpheus). Most of the party consisted of people walking through crowded corridors, getting in and out of tight spaces, and finding treasure.
The house was sort of a split-level, so any basement rooms were only about halfway underground. I managed to get into one which was spacious enough, but could only be accessed by way of a tiny tunnel which I only just managed to scrape through when the party ended and everybody had to file out.
So IRL, the day before, I had read a tweet about the Watermelon Sugar music video and how progressive it was in depicting female-gaze sexuality. I watched a clip of it, filed it away into the mental trash bin labeled “music videos that are just soft porn,” and thought I was done with it, but apparently my sub-conscience also filed this away for its own sinister doings, because it turns out Harry Styles was the owner of the house. He was showing some guy a video that indicated how he was such a good boyfriend and lover, but when it was over a heard a woman’s voice ask, “Do you really think that’s what he’s like?”
Then I was a basement room with about five naked women in it, each in a stall, like horses. They weren’t restrained by any means, but slumped against the wall and totally listless. It turns out Harry Styles was not such a good boyfriend, because the women were kept here and then raped, each only exactly once, after which they were “claimed,” bound to him and to the house like ghosts. Most of the women there were already claimed.
“You should stay,” they said. “Once it happens, you get to know everything.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You get to ask any questions you want.” I suppose this meant more like research questions, because the room had filing cabinets full of old newspapers and documents, and not questions like “OH GOD WHY IS ANY OF THIS HAPPENING?”
“Hmm no, fuck this shit,” I decided, moving towards a window in the back corner of the room. They had tried to open this window before, just not very hard, because I managed to get it open with just a little effort.
Before I left, though, I wanted to gather some supplies in the room first, including some of the documents, which would help me figure out The Truth™ about this weird situation. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to help the other women escape. Maybe it was because they were all either “claimed” already or in a state of learned helplessness that is common when you treat a woman like a horse.
Anyway, I moved about to gather my things when suddenly Harry Styles’ secretary(!) came in — a tall, severe, headmistress-looking woman who had come to escort us to our doom. Of course she scanned the room and immediately decided it was my turn. I cursed myself for having been dumb enough to try and gather my things instead of just leaving the minute I cracked the window open.
Okay, I thought, I can still make this work. She’ll probably go back up the stairs and wait for me to follow, during which time I can escape. But no, she was still standing there, expecting to escort me right out of the room. So, in a confluence of strategy and skill, I screamed “no!” and ran away, squirming through the window. She did not chase me, but I remember Harry Styles and another male crony materialized next to her, and the three of them watched me, silently furious and biding their time.
It was a bright winter day outside, January blue. It had been night when the party ended so it’s possible we were waiting all night in that room. I ran down the road through empty suburban streets. Every so often a snowflake would fall down, icy blue and about the size of a dinner plate. A big snowflake was made of hundreds of little snowflakes packed together. I picked one up and tried tearing it apart with my hands into snow, but it was as though the smaller snowflakes were held in place, in this shape, with fishing line.
I kept running down the road, unsure of where I was, until I saw my old high school, and my dad in the parking lot with my mom’s little Mercedes, a car he never drives. I began running towards him. I imagine we got out of there, but the Harry Styles mansion was in the middle of the downtown. I’d have to go back eventually.
It went okay for a while, being discrete. I had magic powers (I guess), where I could fly by repeatedly jumping, and draw myself to locuses of nearby buildings and objects, kind of like how you move around in Ghost Trick. The color of my magic was a golden white.
I hopped along the rooftops of old suburban homes as two of my friends kept pace alongside me on the street. It was strange he hadn’t found me yet. I was mostly hanging around these suburban outskirts and keeping my head low, but I wasn’t exactly careful.
“This is still his territory,” I said, and it was. Harry Styles came out of a nearby restaurant, another of his many properties, and noticed me going by. Oh god, though, he was also magic. This was a game to him. He did not want to find me because I was so desirable, but because my escape had been an insult, and I was to be punished.
He knew, effortlessly, that I would be trackable because of my magic. I realized had a small golden-white locus of my own that gave me away even from a distance, even behind buildings. My plan was to stop using magic and go into a meditative state to dim my frequency, and maybe hide in a pile of snow. I kept track of the piles of snow around me as I went, in case I needed to dive into one. (I didn’t really want to, though, because I had on jeans and a t-shirt, and like, ow? Cold?).
Then he caught up to me. Harry Styles’ magic was black with a purple glow. When I tried to use my magic to escape, he would cancel it, my light crushed by his own.
He held me in the palm of his hand like I was a fairy. He had these little paint pots in his hand, too, with gross, dark green paint, so while he was trying to speak to me I would dive into them, because if you can’t use magic, why not fuck around in some paint, yeah?
Anyway then it switched to something about Paper Mario and I woke up craving sushi.