The school bell rang. Everyone immediately started to quickly get up and pack their things.
„Study chapter 12 for the next lesson. There will be a test!“ professor Craftward yelled into the roaring class. Of course nobody listened to her anymore. They already had different and better things int their heads than school. After all, it was Friday.
Caroline Webstar headed to her locker.
„Hey, Carol,“ cheerfully said Taissa Lincoln, a friend from the class who had locker right next to hers.
„Hey. What’s up?“
„Are you going to go to that Tom’s party today?“
„Probably not. I gotta do some stuff.“
„Oh, that’s a pitty. There will be fun!“
„Yeah, Tom is a prankster.“
„Exactly. So will you arrive later, maybe?“
„I’ll see. Maybe.“
„So see you later.“
Caroline was still looking after her leaving friend. Some party didn’t bother her at all. She had a lot of things to do. Because it always took a long time to find the right one which fit and therefore she had to choose it carefully. And today was the highest time.
Caroline Webstar hadn’t had a happy childhood. She was originally from the twins but that one got tangled and strangled on the umbilical cord just a sec before birth. And although Caroline had never known or met her sister, she still sometimes felt that she had a piece of her inside her body. It wasn’t exactly schisophrenia. She just sometimes thought that someone in her head was making decisions for her, which somehow or for some reason she couldn’t decide for herself.
When Caroline was eight, her parents had a tragic car accident. Her mother was pregnant with Caroline’s another sister at that time and her father took her to the hospital for a routine checkup. The road was slightly wet as it had rained a little the day before. Long story short – the father simply lost control and skidded. They hit a street lamp at the full speed. The mother was dead on the spot, the father only had a few broken ribs and a few miner cuts. At least that was the official version. But Caroline knew what she had seen. She saw that while her mother was still in the bathroom to change the clothes, the father pulled out a bottle of brandy from one kitchen cupboard and took a double sip. Although Caroline later asked and told him about that, her father just lied and denied it all. She hated him ever since. And what more, only three months after her mother’s death the father brought home a chubby nurse which he had met in the hospital – with giant plastic silicone tits and big botox-infused lips. He always had a weakness for very evolved women – either naturrally or surgically modified. Caroline hated them both. For that reason she only came home from the school in the evening, when she only opened the fridge for a moment to take the food upstairs to her room.
As a little girl, when everything was still alright, she used to go to the forest with her father – practically every single weekend for a walk. Her father taught Caroline how to love nature. And that love and passion still remained in her. What’s a better way to stretch your lungs than a nice walk in the freash air? Her father lost that desire for nature long ago – years ago he traded it for drinking Jacks.
Caroline didn’t take it as some obligation. She simply knew that only in the forest she could completely relax and leave all the sorrows and worries of everyday life there. Once, while just walking around, she discovered a small cave. Even though it was actually a big hole in the ground. She was really fascinated by that. Caroline was naturally manual dexterous. So she decided to improve it and build a den from that. Like a place where she could hide and just relax and chill. And so one day she went to their garage, where father had various tools in the very back on the shelves. She often watched him tinkering at the workbench. So Caroline opened her small backpack and put there a hammer, rope, nails, saw and hinged for the door. She put her backpack back to her back and took in her hand several shorter planks that she found collected under the worktop. The girl almost went out of garage but a moment later she remembered something and returned for a smaller role of cloth, scissors and also a short folding shovel. With all this equipments she headed into the forest. She forgot to take a measuring tape but damn it.
At first she decided to enlarge the pit a bit with a shovel. The girl almost immediately jumped into that hole but suddenly she stopped. How will you get out of this then, you stupid? she laughed for herself. So Caroline needed to find the thicker woods and smaller logs to make a slightly improvised ladder. A lot of woods she picked up from the ground but still had to use even saw. Then she fixed it with a rope. The girl leaned the ladder against a tree and carefully climbed it. She even jumped on it a little to see if it was strong and stable enough. After a succesful test she slowly put the ladder into the pit. And started digging. She thought that it would be done quickly but still she spent there almost more than an hour because at first she didn’t have the right technique. And what more, the soil started to dropping off, even there where she didn’t want. The girl had to climb up and down the ladder innumerable times to bring strong long logs in order to make a support for the improvised ceiling. She said to herself to bring a bag of cement with her next time to regidify the walls of the den. And also to have better and stronger battery torch. She always had a small flashlight in her bacpack but it wasn’t enough. They had a massive electrical torch in their garage which consumed five big batteries. So after another hour and half she had to stop working because she simply couldn’t see anymore. Caroline left all her equipments in the farthest corner of the cave. She placed the planks at the entrance to the pit, which was about meter and half wide, and covered it all with leaves.
In the end, the whole work with that den took her almost two weeks. She surprised herself that she was able to dig a room measuring 3×3 meters – and all by herself. The walls were paneled with woods and reinforced with cement. As the last thing she made a hatch out of planks, nails and cloth, which attached them to the massive trunks on one side, where there was also a ladder. She secured the entire trapdoor at the top with a strong chain with a big padlock, and again she covered it all with leaves.
Caroline was so incredible proud of herself. Later, she brought a chair, small table and cabinet to the den. And so she spent all her free time there so she could paint, write and think in peace and simply rest, relax and chill. She felt absolutely safe in her burrow because it was in the middle of the forest, in the middle of nowhere, completely for away from civilization.
She discovered the fact that she had some skin problem about six months ago. It was just acne at first but it got worse and worse as the time went on. Sometimes she felt like her whole face was on fire. She found and ordered some special creams on the internet. They were quite good but worked only temporarily. She had to apply them at least three times a day.
One day, when she was watching random videos on YouTube, she discovered one youtuber who was talking about the Dark web and what all you can find there. Caroline was really fascinated and had to find more about it. She spent the whole evening in her room learning more about the Dark web. She wasn’t too interested in computers in general, but this really got her interest and hooked her. Before that Caroline had no idea what actually was on that dark side of the internet.
Do you need a fake passport or ID card? We have it! Do you want to sell drugs but don’t want to be out on the street? Cool! Do you have an annoying husband and want to get rid of him? We will arrange that! Wanna buy Justin Bieber’s first album? Okay!
At first Caroline was really shocked because the Dark web was still very mysterious place. But also very dangerous too. It didn’t take a long time and she discovered very detailed and elaborated article or rather manual if you want. There you could get to know what products you should buy in local drugstore when you want get rid of dead body in your garage. You wouldn’t even imagine how easily you can make simple yet effective acid which help you fast vanish everything from bones and nails to hair. It was incredibly awful and awesome at the same time because it was written for even total dumbass. And all stuff you could legally buy in every mall in your town. And on the Dark web you really found a lot of similar articles like this one.
And on that black part part of the internet Caroline found that ritual. The article was maybe too simply called „Face Time.“ Isn’t that hilarious? Dark web is really interesting place with everything. That particular article was very long and really detailed. It all started with:
„Have you ever been thinking about changing your current visage? And no, I don’t mean to simply change the clothes, dye your hair or put on some piercing. No. In this case it’s litteraly deep faked – for real. Keep reading. It’s quite simple yet very effective indeed…“
Caroline gazed on her laptop screen with mouth widely opened. Actually the hardest part of this particular ritual was that you needed to find, well, kind of so-called volunteer. Simply someone who you would swap a face with. And that was kinda problem for Caroline. At first she had absolutely no idea how and where to find the proper person. You know, she wasn’t some party girl and whatmore, almost only introvert. The rest of the ritual was quite easy – well, you needed to brew a mixture of twelve different herbs where most or all of them could be ordered online. The subsequent step was mutual inhalation to keep the faces relaxed…
As an introvert, Caroline wasn’t used to wear make-up or any fancy clothes. She felt best in a pulled up sweatshirt without a zipper and with loose tracksuit bottoms. She thought about it. If she wanted to go for it (and she really wanted), the girl had to completely change her appearence and all aspects. She might had to change her behaviour somehow – which is basically almost impossible to change her true nature – but she knew that it wouldn’t work without that. The next thing Caroline needed to think was where she would find so-called victim. Then she remembered one local club that was geared towards the gay community. Because that was exactly and the only place to look for a new face design.
At the same moment, when she was looking at the right manul on the Dark web, she immediately thought about ordering new and more suitable clothes and other stuff online for a brand new image change of her. In her mind Caroline really thanked her beloved mother for setting up her own bank account years ago, where the mother sent her money regularly and she already had a lot saved there.
It’s never easy when you want to completely put away your old life and habbits in order to switch it with a new ones. Caroline knew this very well but the article on the Dark web really caught her attention and she was willing to adapt whatever it would take.
The girl was kinda nervous when her ordered package arrived. She decided to be more punk/emo/metal hearted chick. So there was extremely short black miniskirt, tight leather chocker with sharp long steel spikes, fishnet stocking and sleeveless leather top with a plunging neckline. Caroline didn’t have very big breasts. So she needed to slightly improvised with a push-up bra and also some corset in order to at least make her bust appear bigger. The next step in changing her look was coloring and styling her hair. The girl opted for a mixture of black and purple colours. She was naturally blonde but she had been flirting with idea of dying it for some time. Caroline used to wear small stud earrings. But this time she replaced them with the big circular ones. At first she thought about putting also some piercing but finally she wasn’t brave enough.
Alright. Caroline’s total life transformation was complete. When she put all new clothes and make-up on and looked into the mirror, she was somewhat shocked and nervous. She stared at herself with mouth wide open. Because the girl in the mirror was completely different person from the one who Caroline had known basically her whole life. But in some way she felt so loosely in this punk outfit as if it had always belonged to her. Yes, she was different, at least in appearence, but after getting dressed she had feeling that she had somehow changed in character as well. But it just seemed completely and absolutely natural to her. Caroline’s eternally drunk father basically didn’t even notice the big change in her life, but she attracted a lot of attention at school – for at least the first two, three days. And it must be said that Caroline felt really happy and got used to it pretty quickly.
The big day has finally arrived. Friday evening. A day or rather time that Caroline would normally spend in her den in the middle of forest. Nope – this time she headed to a gay club. Because otherwise her entire life transformation would be poitntless.
The pink neon sign „Flamingo“ glowed from afar. Fortunately, today almost no one has dealth with what attracts you, how you feel or identify yourself. Actually, Caroline wasn’t even sure if she was more straight or gay because as an introvert she practically didn’t go out with people at all. And she more or less didn’t care about it. Boys can be assholes, but so can girls. But she knew that she must not look for a love in the club but for a victim.
When Caroline opened the door and entered, a loud music welcomed her. Although the club was quite big, it was crowdy and almost full too. At first it took a while to adapt to that loud music. The girl was still kinda nervously looking around the whole place. And then she decided to sit at the bar.
The bartender was in his mid-thirties with long hair gelled to the tip, giving the impression like he would had a starfish on his head.
„What will it be, young lady?“ he asked her while still washing the glasses.
„Well… one orange juice,“ and when the man raised his eyes, Caroline quickly added: „…with vodka, please.“
After getting her drink, she started looking around the club. There you could find all kind of people – who love the same sex, to be more specific. But today, when you almost can’t judge others, anyone can be gay, even the one who looks and acts „normal„.
Suddenly, one girl caught Caroline’s eye. She was very tall, almost the tallest in the whole club, but she stood alone at the very side of the room. She was facing the bar so Caroline could get a better look at her. What was the most remarkable thing about her? In addition to the fiery red hair, it was definitely a really big smile, which at the same time seemed a little unnatural. Caroline was almost sure that she had taken some pill that somebody had offered her. Even her gaze was somewhat absent. Caroline took a short sip of her drink. She was thinking: Should I try it? The girl weighed all the pros and cons and finally came to the conclusion that she would give nothing for the attempt.
She finished her vodka and stood up. She was waiting for a while and then slowly headed to the tall girl. It wasn’t until she was right next to her that Caroline realized how giant the girl was. She wasn’t fat at all – in fact very thin and skinny but her height was totally enormous. Even when Caroline was looking straight ahead, she was staring at the top of the other girl’s chest. The tall one seemed to have more or less not noticed her yet, even though she was already only two meters away.
Caroline swallowed and looked directly into the other girl’s bright green eyes.
„Hiya! Having fun?“
„Hee-ell ye-aah, darling!“ the tall girl replied and from the way how her tongue was tangling, Caroline figured she was high as fuck. So let’s hope it will be easy peasy lemon squeezy then, she thought to herself.
„I saw you from the bar,“ Caroline said. „Are you here with someone?“
„I-I was but that bitch…“ and the girl waved her hand vaguely somewhere.
„I know how you feel. ‚Cause I recently experienced it too.“
„Oh-h, poor thing.“
„It’s okay. Btw, I’m Caroline,“
„Coo-ol name! And I am Clara.“
„Incredible! So we can be C-C?“ Caroline smiled.
„Hell yeah!“ the tall one laughed.
„Wanna some drink? I invite you!“
„Well, this offer I simply can’t refuse!“ Clara laughed madly.
„So let’s go then!“ Caroline replied and grabbed her hand.
The girls made their ways across the club and set down at the relatively full bar.
„Two vodkas with juice, please.“
„No, pure!“ Clara crazy laughed.
And time passed. Caroline didn’t want to be completely drunk because she needed to function and therefore she pretended to down her drinks in order to pour them into Clara’s glass afterwards. Caroline’s first victim was already totally zonked and spacy with drugs and now even more with alcohol.
After an hour Caroline decided that it was the time. She leaned closely to her new „friend“ and almost touching her ear, she whispered:
„C? You know, from the first moment I saw you in that corner I really liked you. I know a place near here, quite like my hideout, where we could have some fun. What do you think?“ and then Caroline kissed Clara’s cheek.
„Oh-h, that was so sweet,“ Clara said passionately and her eyes flashed. „Yes, please. I’ll go anywhere with you, C!“
„That’s my girl! So let’s finish this last shot and we can go!“
„Well, you don’t have to tell me that twice, beautiful!“
In all their time at the bar Caroline only really had one drink and every else drinking after she just faked very convincingly. So now Caroline had almost clean head. Her new friend was the complete opposite.
When they left the club Flamingo, Clara was swaying from side to side and Caroline had to support her. Clara kept babbling but she couldn’t be heard very well and the other girl had to guide her not to be so loud.
After another half an hour passed, the girls finally arrived in front of Caroline’s den. Well, to anyone who didn’t know the hideout (which was everyone except for Caroline) it was completely hidden place. The girl had to attached camouglage fabric from the army shop to the hatch and always covered it all with leaves. And besides that it was completely dark that evening. As the girls left last remmants of light from the street lamp and stepped into the forest, they were immediately surrounded by the darkness. The girls had to pulled out their cell phones and turned on the flashlight in order to see the way. Well, to be honest it was more like only Caroline was shining because the groggy drunk Clara didn’t keep her hand up and therefore her mobile only shone on the ground. The girls were holding hands when suddenly Caroline stopped.
„C, wait here and please don’t move,“ she said and knelt down. She cleared the hatch of leaves, unlocked the lock and opened the trap door. The ladder stood there – obediently leaning against one wall. Caroline put her smartphone back into her pocket and carefully stood on the ladder. She had climbed it a million times but she definitely didn’t want to break her leg. Especially today when her big life change (or rather exchange) was about to happen.
When the girl touched the ground, she made three steps to the left and sure enough she reached for a box of matches, lying on the shelf. Caroline took one out and lit it. She looked at the flame for a moment before lighting a large lantern which lit up most of the space. She had several candles place in different places in the den, which she lit one after the other.
„OK, now you can slowly come down to me, C. But be careful!“ she shouted to Clara.
„Alright, alright, I’m going.“
As Clara was descending the ladder, she misstepped on the penultimate step and began to fall. Fortunately Caroline was right next to ladder so she managed to hug Clara and grab around her first victim’s breasts, stopping her slowly fall by letting the tall one fall on top of Caroline. For a while there was a silence. But then Clara started to laugh and Caroline joined her.
„Thanks, C. That was awesome!“
„You mean that my body is perfect for landing?“
„Exactly, like a pillow,“ replied Clara, still laughing.
„Give me a break for a second, you’re getting pretty heavy,“ Caroline said in slightly choked voice but smiling.
„Okay, sorry. But just so you know – I like being on top.“
„Great. I’ll keep it in my mind.“
„Do you want some soda after all that drinks we had?“ asked Caroline when she was set free from friend’s body.
„Yes, glad to.“
„So come and join me at the table.
Clara followed Caroline who showed on armchair.
Caroline handed her a can of Coke. Then she took a bottle of water and pulled out a small gas stove on which she placed a pot. She poured water into it and started heating it up.
„What are you doing, dear?“ asked Clara.
„Well, I guess that I can make a tea for us. Wanna join me too?“
„Maybe just a small cup.“
„Cool. It’ll be right away.
Caroline turned her back on Clara so she couldn’t see the box which Caroline had ordered on the Dark web last week. In addition to the twelve different herbs, there was a special serum that you only had to drip on the victim you wanted to swap face with. There was also a scalpel in the box. And in a small transparent container there was a green liquid that served as the last step to make your new face fit perfectly on your old one.
When the water reached the boiling point, Caroline took a resealable tea strainer, placed the herbs flowers in it and placed it all into the pot. She left it there for about ten minutes. Meanwhile she took a look on her new friend. Clara still sat dazed in the armchair, her head thrown back, the can still in her hand. It was obvious that she had enough for that day. Poor thing! But soon she will be relieved and the weight will fall off her…
The girl poured the herbal mixture into two mugs and dripped the serum into one. The liquid turned slightly red.
„So here we go, princess,“ said Caroline and gently shook with friend’s shoulder to wake her up.
„Let’s have a little girl’s tea party!“
„Yeah, let’s go!“
Caroline knew from the article on the Dark web that the herb mixture is completely safe and healthy. But still she drank it with caution at first. The most important was not to switch with the one with serum. Because…
„Wha-what is going on?!“
Caroline’s thoughs were interrupted by Clara’s scream. She looked at first victim and almost spat out the berbal concoction. Clara’s face changed rapidly. She was completely red and getting tics in her head.
„It’s really unpleasant! Stop it!“ the tall girl yelled. „My face is burning!“
Caroline raised her eyebrows and widely opened the mouth. She had no idea that the serum would react so quickly. Clara began to sweat a lot and shake. Suddenly the veins on her face stood up. It was kinda terrifying to look at her. Because her veins were even pulsing a little.
„I-I-I caan’t spea…“
But the end of sentence was no longer understandable. Yes, that serum caused paralysis. She couldn’t speak, she couldn’t stand up, she couldn’t move at all – well she could only move with the eyes. And she was scared to death.
Caroline noticed that the skin on the edge of the tall girl’s face was peeling off slightly. Caroline was still in a bit of shock but managed to get up and walk over to the ordered box. She pulled out the scalpel and opened it. Its blade glistened in the candlelight. She hesitated for a while but she knew that simply couldn’t take a step back now, there was no way around it. Not anymore.
I have to do it quick, I don’t want her to suffer more than necessary, Caroline told herself. She knew what was coming next according to the manual. And it won’t be pleasent. The girl looked at Clara again. The edges of the face had become even more detached. But her eyes! Full of fear! It seemed that the tall girl wanted to cry but with that paralysis it wasn’t possible. Caroline stepped closer to the sitting girl and took a deep breath. She grabbed the other girl’s head and turned her a bit. Clara’s eyes were dry and kinda glassy. But they where still alive for the whole time.
Alright, let’s do it, Caroline encouraged herself. She gripped the scalpel tighter and began to cut carefully. The main thing was that the face had to be completely intact. Caroline gently grabbed Clara’s beautiful face on both sides and carefully started to pull it off. She had to cut more with the scalpel once or twice to get it completely separated.
The sight of an exposed „naked“ head was disgusting. The red flesh was pulsating a little, it was full of blood and the eyes were the only things which were shining with their bright white colour and darting from side to side in fear. Caroline had to turn her head and look away. She stood in front of a small mirror and this time without hesitation she placed Clara’s face on her own. It was still warm.
Caroline, still holding cut face on her own, went to the ordered box. She pulled out the green liquid. She opened it and dripped some on the face. She knew she had to let it react for at least a quarter of an hour. With that special liquid in the colour of Shrek’s skin the cut face conformed to the new face and copied the contours of the old face. It clung to Caroline’s head and her original one soon „showed through“ the new one. This was important so that it wouldn’t arouse attention among the people…
Some might say that Caroline would be fine with those mastics and creams for her malignant acne, but they only worked for a few hours. But it wasn’t enough for the girl, so she decided to take a big step that changed her life forever. A new face always lasted her two weeks and then Caroline had to find a new victim.
The masquerade was complete!