Cause when you do that voodoo I'm just like a doll
That the pins keep pushing into . . .
The first time it happens, he assumes it's a lactic acid sort of thing. He hasn't been eating enough bananas or something. Whatever, it doesn't matter, he'll take some potassium when he gets back to the hotel but for right now, he's gotta push through the sharp pain in his side—like he's back in high school gym class, running laps or something—and keep performing.
It happens again later that night, sharp, piercing pain flowing from his spine down to his toes this time. He's really fucking glad it didn't happen on stage, because he full-on screams and writhes on the hotel room bed, trying to get away from the pain. Nothing helps, and he knows his band members can probably hear him. Eventually, the pain goes away on its own. It takes him the rest of the night to be able to fall asleep, sure that as soon as he lets his guard down, the excruciating pain is going to come back.
It doesn't happen again for weeks. When it does happen, it's a hotel night and Adam's half way through his nightly cleansing ritual. It's a slow burn, up his right arm as he wipes away foundation and glitter. He shakes his arm out a few times, but it doesn't help. By the time he manages to finish and crawl onto the bed his entire arm feels like it's on fire. He spends the rest of the night awake in bed, cradling his arm to his chest and trying not to scream. If he's going crazy, if he has to cancel the tour, he's doing it tomorrow, when it's daylight and it doesn't feel like someone's trying to kill him from inside his own skin.
The next morning he opens his door and finds a mannikin sitting outside, posed so that it's looking up at Adam with the little blue buttons sewn to its face for eyes. Adam doesn't want to touch it, but he knows he can't leave it sitting in the hall either. He grabs it with his right arm—phantom pain skittering up from his elbow—and stumbles back inside.
The doll has yarn hair that's done in a high pompadour, blue eyes lined in black thread, and a pink, smirking mouth. Its right arm is burned, charred. It still smells like smoke and ash. In its stomach is a push-pin (the lactic-acid burn of the first time) and in its back, right where the spine would be on a human, an old-fashioned hat-pin jabs in and angles down toward the doll's feet. Adam pulls the pin out, half-expecting to feel it in his own body when he does, but nothing happens, just a trickle of sawdust leaks from the doll's back, and Adam can see a piece of paper shoved into the doll. He pulls it out, unrolls the scrap and throws the doll across the room.
It looks just like you, doesn't it? Don't worry, my new doll looks even better.
He barely makes it to the bathroom before he throws up.
Monte is the first person Adam tells, and as it turns out, the only one. Monte looks at the doll, looks at Adam and shakes his head. “This is what believing in astrology gets you,” he sighs. “Look, all the books and shamans seem to agree, if you believe in it, it has power over you. So, stop believing.”
Adam would like to take Monte's advice, but he can't. He already believes. He already knows it's real.
That night Adam spends spreadeagle on his bed while phantom hands push straight pins into his body, keeping him splayed open and stuck to the bed. He feels like a butterfly, pinned to a piece of Styrofoam and struggling futilely to get free, even as it dies. If he struggles too hard, he'll shred his wings.
He's too tense the next day, and even one of Cam's legendary back rubs doesn't help. The only good part about any of it is that he puts the tension and excess into his performance. His show just keeps getting better.
There's a note waiting for him on his bed when he gets back to his bunk on the bus.
Tonight, you're going to want to scream, but I'm not going to let you.
Adam goes through the motions of getting ready for bed, climbs in, lays down. He shivers as the bus starts up and they move on through the night toward their next destination. He hears a noise outside his door and calls out, but no sound comes from his throat. He coughs, tries again, but his voice is gone. He screams silently through the rest of the night, his voice missing, his heart pounding.
When morning comes, there's a knock on his door, and when Adam opens it, all he sees is a mannikin, sitting just like the other one had, looking up at him with big blue eyes. There's a startling moment when Adam realizes that this mannikin has no mouth. He gasps, and there's actual sound and he's so grateful that he can make noise again that he breaks down into tears. He puts himself on vocal rest for the rest of the day, but his voice still sounds hoarse from all the un-screaming he did.
He actually manages to sleep through the night, which is wonderful, but unnerving. Two nights after the night when he wasn't able to scream, he wakes up to invisible fingers stripping off his clothes. Adam opens his mouth to scream, but there's something blocking the way. At least he recognizes that he's been gagged this time; it's nowhere near as terrifying as knowing that no matter how hard you scream, you won't make a noise. Before he's done thanking whatever gods exist that he still has a voice, his hands jerk over his head and up against the headboard. He tries to move them down, but it feels like they're tied there. Something silky and smooth slides around his throat, and down and around one thigh. He moves to get away, but when he moves his leg, the silk around his throat tightens.
The words predicament bondage pop into his head and Adam gasps. His other thigh is tied down, immoveable. Only the thigh connected to his throat can move. If he tries to stop whatever is about to happen, he'll kill himself, or at the least, damage the voice that makes his living. If his mouth were free, he'd probably be sobbing right now.
Something presses up behind his balls, slides smooth and cool down to his ass and pushes in, and he wants to jerk, knows he should try and get away, but if he so much as twitches, he's going to put strain on his throat and he hates this, hates that he can't get away. He whimpers against whatever it is that's covering his mouth and shifts restlessly as what feels like fingers twist up inside him, obviously preparing him for something. Adam's pretty sure he doesn't want to know what.
Hours pass, and Adam's body is played with—played—by unseen hands, filling his ass, jerking his dick, and right when the starburst-bright of orgasm is flashing behind his eyes, something jerks him back—pain shooting through his eyes, or the feeling of a thousand pins being shoved into the soles of his feet all at once. Morning comes and he's messy and right on the brink, and he hasn't slept all night. When the bonds and the hands melt away, Adam can't do anything but shudder on his bed until the sun is too-bright in his eyes and he forces himself up and into his bathroom. He spends the rest of the day huddled under a blanket on the couch in the lounge, waiting to get to the next venue and steadfastly not watching the horror movies Tommy keeps popping into the DVD player.
It gets worse the next night, fingers replaced with vibrators and possibly a dildo or two. By the time it's three o'clock, Adam's too far gone to really remember, shaking apart with pleasure and pain and knowing that no matter how hard he tries, he's not going to get to come. By the end of the week, Adam's begging behind the gag that isn't there, trying to persuade a faceless, nameless entity to let him get off, because he can't do it during the day—he has interviews and performances and a band to practice with and friends to talk to—and at night he's pinned to his bed, completely unable to do anything about his needs because someone's using magick—voodoo—to keep him where they want him.
Just as the sun is dawning on a sleepy Sunday morning, the pressure building behind Adam's eyes in the way that he knows is going to signal pain, something shifts, and instead of being denied, instead of being given torment in exchange for his tears and begging, everything goes deeper. It doesn't matter that as orgasm approaches, rushes up his spine and makes his fingers tingle, there are also white-hot sparks of pain lancing over the backs of his thighs. It makes it better.
Adam comes with a gasping shout, all the restraints and toys dissolving with his orgasm, and when he comes down from the high, he falls asleep almost instantly. When he wakes up, he's sore and stiff and sticky and more satisfied than he can ever remember being. That night, he's almost disappointed that there are no phantom ropes tying him to his headboard, that there isn't any cotton wrapped around his mouth to muffle his cries. He sleeps long and hard, and when they get to the venue that night, the performance is spot-on perfect in a way it hasn't been since the beginning of the tour.
A week passes, and there's no sign of his friend with the voodoo dolls. But then, when he comes back from performing one night, there's a lump in his bed. He pulls back the covers, and there's a perfect replica of himself lying there, scaled back to be about as big as a Barbie doll, but anatomically correct. It's tied into a very familiar position, and there are toys stuffed into it's ass and mouth. It's thighs are scored, almost as if someone took a straight razor to them.
The note waiting on his pillow doesn't surprise him.
Next time I'll do worse than cut up your thighs.
Adam already knows it doesn't matter. He's conditioned to want it now, and no matter how bad it gets, he's always going to crave more.