“Whatcha doin’, Jess?”
Alex looks at me as I draw a crude spiral on a small wooden cube.
“Oh, uh… nothing,” I respond coyly.
“Is this a trigger you planted earlier that I don’t remember or something?”
“It’s… related, but I’d recommend playing along and pretending it’s not. If you’re down for sexy hypnosis times tonight, I mean.”
“Of course I am,” says Alex, smiling mischievously.
“Alright,” I say. I turn around, clear my throat, and mock-dramatically turn back around with the cube in my hand. “This is my new invention! The Hypnolyzer!”
“Oh ho, they laugh!” I try to say with the boldness of an old snake oil salesman from the 1910s.
“And… haha,” says Alex, trying to contain their laugh. “What does this thing do?”
“Well, I’m glad you asked! Would you follow me into the laundry room?”
We walk in.
“Here’s how it works,” I say, holding the cube near the dryer. “When the Hypnolyzer is placed on a metal surface, it kickstarts a chemical reaction within the cube that forces it to emit high-concentration psychic waves that induce relaxation and compliance in whoever’s nearby. They’ll be completely susceptible to suggestions, not remembering anything that happens while the Hypnolyzer is in effect!”
“Hm, impressive,” says Alex suggestively.
“And so!” I proclaim. “You’ll sit alone in this room with the Hypnolyzer for fifteen minutes! I’ll even let you keep your phone in case you get bored. If the Hypnolyzer does its job and puts you under my control, I’ll make you my sexual plaything for the night.”
“Mmm,” thinks Alex audibly. “And if I resist?”
“Uh…” I hadn’t thought of something to do if Alex resisted. “I-I’ll bake up that cake mix that we’ve had in the pantry for a while!”
“Yeah, finally,” I say, out of character. That cake mix is about to expire without a good occasion to put it to use. May as well use it to give Alex some incentive to try and fight the cube. “But!” I say, back in character. “That’s if you resist the Hypnolyzer.”
“Alright, challenge accepted.” Alex smiles.
They sit down in a folding chair next to the dryer and pull their phone out of their pocket.
“Alex, I’m not gonna lie,” I say, out of character again, about to put the cube on the dryer. “This kinda seems like a win/win for you.”
“And?” They smirk mischievously.
“And, uh… good luck.”
I put the cube on the dryer and make for the door.
Jess opens the laundry room door and walks out. When I hear them head upstairs, I get up from my seat and look at the cube, trying to discern what about it might hypnotize me.
I look at the spiral on the side of the cube facing me. It was drawn on quickly with a permanent marker. I stare at it for more than a few seconds before concluding that it’s not a terribly mesmerizing spiral.
I resist the urge to pick it up. Part of the “sales pitch” is that it works when it’s in contact with metal. But from what I can see, it’s an ordinary wooden cube; like Jess had hastily cut it from a two-by-four. There doesn’t seem to be any doodads or gizmos inside. Just wood with a spiral drawn hastily on.
I shrug. Oh well. Knowing Jess, this’ll probably go into effect somehow before I realize it. May as well give it time.
I open an app on my phone. One of my friends is hiking a trail a few states away; the view looks gorgeous. I see a video with a homemade jello recipe. I eventually get to the point where I see more ads than I do friends, and I close the app.
I stare back at the cube. No noticeable effect so far. I try remembering something.
The length of the longest side of a right triangle can be calculated by squaring the two other sides, adding them, and taking the results’ square root –
Okay, I can remember middle school geometry. My mind’s not too far gone yet.
I open another app and see people dunking on others about politics and comic books. Same song and dance as always.
After a few minutes, I see the beginning of a thread. “You’ve heard a lot about chicken tenders this week, from their breading to their protein content. But here’s the truth. (1/24)”
Chicken… I try to read it again.
“You’ve heard a lot about chicken tenders this week, from their breading to their protein content. But here’s the truth. (1/24).”
I try to parse the words again. I say them aloud to myself, softly.
“You’ve heard a lot about chicken tenders this week…”
From their breading, to… to… breading? I have to start over again.
“You’ve heard… a lot about… chicken tenders…”
The words leave my head as soon as they leave my mouth. I mutter them again to try and keep them in my mind.
“I’ve heard a lot… about… chicken… chicken…”
I try to put a picture to the word “chicken.” There is none.
“Chicken…” I try to hold on to the word.
I stare at my phone for a long time. The words on screen don’t seem to mean anything. The screen doesn’t seem to mean anything.
That word is important… isn’t it?
I forget to say it aloud, and the word leaves my mind.
I don’t notice the word leave.
I don’t notice the phone, or the room around me.
I don’t notice anything. I only feel… relaxed… and… compliant…
My phone’s alarm goes off. It’s been fifteen minutes.
I start preheating the oven just in case, and head downstairs.
I sheepishly open the laundry room door by a smidgen.
I hear them mutter softly back, “Alex…”
I open the door, and there Alex is, sitting down, looking at their phone, their thumb immobile. Their face is a placid picture of the calm acceptance of being controlled. The only movement I can perceive from them is a slow breathing.
I walk up in front of them and pull the phone out of their hand. They don’t resist; their hand flops to their lap once the phone comes out of it. They’re still looking in the same general direction the phone was a moment ago.
I try a different pet name.
They aren’t looking at me, remaining motionless. Knowing our past sessions and scenes, they’ve probably already accepted “Slave” as an identity now that I’ve said it to them.
Alex stands up without hesitation. They’re definitely hypnotized.
I feel a grin stretch across my face. I have a devilish idea.
“Alright, slave, undress.”
Alex promptly does so. They’re naked in front of me.
I briefly leave them in the laundry room to grab an apron from the kitchen. When I come back, Alex is still standing there, nude and entranced.
I hold it out in front of them. “Put this on and follow me.”
I wake up in Jess’s arms, naked. It’s bright outside the curtained window, but not enough to be overwhelming.
They feel pleasant and comfortable against me, as usual. It’s cozy under this blanket. I reluctantly poke my arm out.
I look at my phone by my side of the bed. 7:14 AM. Not too early, not too late.
“Mmm… babe?” I try.
“I’m awake,” Jess says, sleepily. “You okay? After I put the Hypnolyzer away last night, you were out like a light.”
“I’m okay,” I reply. “Mmm. So, it worked?”
“You tell me.”
“Well, I…” I try to remember what happened last night. I remember the funny sales pitch, then sitting down in the laundry room, looking at the cube, looking at my phone… looking at my phone…
That’s it. Next thing I knew I woke up here.
I don’t remember anything past sitting down in that laundry room to be hypnotized.
I feel a little heat between my legs. “I’m a little turned on just trying to remember it,” I tell Jess.
“Ah, good. So, it did work.”
I look at Jess, feeling my face warm up. “So, what did you make me do?”
“Would you like me to show you?”
The heat on my face and between my legs intensifies. Did Jess take pictures?
“Yes! Please!” I respond enthusiastically.
“Alright,” Jess says, getting up out of bed. They move away from the bed and out the door, leaving their phone on their bedside table.
“Uh… babe?” I say.
“Come on, you wanna see, don’t you?”
I cautiously get up. I was expecting, like, a photo or something, not other physical evidence to me being tranced out of my mind. What did I…?
Jess leads me out of the bedroom and into the kitchen. On the way in, I see the little wooden cube on the dining room table, sitting near a soda can.
Jess opens the fridge and pulls out a small cake, topped with white frosting and green words written in my perfect cursive:
“I’m a Sore Hypnotized Loser”
I burst out laughing. I can’t help it.
“Win/win,” says Jess.
“Win/win,” I say, my laugh slowing down a bit.
“Alright, I’m gonna get dressed before we eat,” Jess says, turning around.
“Whoa there,” I say, following them into the dining room. I pick up the cube. “Maybe I want to have a little more fun with this invention of yours.”
“What kind of fun?” asks Jess, raising their brows.
I put the cube back on the table, atop the soda can. I pull Jess close. They’re a little shocked, but not dismayed.
“Surprise me,” I say.
I start making out with them. I feel unbelievably sexy right now, and judging from the way Jess kisses me back, so do they.
They momentarily pull away.
“You sure you’re down for this again?” they ask me.
I pull them back in. I’m lost in them. I don’t notice time pass as we kiss. Our hands start navigating each other’s bodies. I caress Jess’s ass as they run their hands through my hair.
My kisses get a little slower. My hands feel a little more… directionless. Jess is moving their hands… down… I move closer… to Jess…
“Jess…?” I mumble, trying to hold on to their name.
“Call me ‘Master,’ slave.”
“Master…” That’s… their name…
I’m a good slave.
“You’re a good slave. Say it.”
“I’m a good slave.”
I’m a good slave.
I don’t notice as Jess moves behind me and begins fondling my chest.
“Nice and blank. Repeat,” they order softly into my ear.
“Nice and blank…” I repeat.
Their fingers circle my nipples gently, in a soothing motion.
The words feel clear in my head. I obey without question or thought.
“Nice and blank.”
“Nice and blank.”
Nice… and blank.
One of Master’s hands moves downward.
“Nice and b-blank…”
Their hand is between my legs. I barely notice how wet it feels down there. I-it feels…
“N-nice and blank…”
It feels… nice… and… and blank...
They begin stroking me, slowly.
“N-n-nice… and blank uh…”
Master is speeding up. It feels so good. I’m nice and blank and n-nice and… nice and…
“N-uh… N-n-nice and uh… huh… huh…”
The words want to fall out of my mouth, but they… just… uh… huh…
“Huh… huh… N-n-uh… Nice an-uh… huh…”
I feel… so nice… and…
“I said, ‘repeat,’ slave.”
Master’s words force mine to come out clearly in between moans.
“Huh… huh… nice… huh… and… blank… huh…”
“Good,” they coo in my ear.
Their words feel so good… I feel so good… like I’m about to… about to…
“Good slave. Goooood slave…” I say to Alex.
“Good slave…” they mutter back, moaning softly.
I remove the cube from the soda can and put it back on the table, making sure Alex can hear the *clack* it makes as I set it down on its wooden surface. I decide to let them come out of trance slowly.
“The Hypnolyzer has been moved away from the soda can, so you’re going to find the fog lifting slowly from your mind, just as gradually as it descended. Stand still for a moment.”
I make sure they’re standing stably, then run to the bathroom to grab a towel and some disinfectant wipes.
I return with the supplies. Alex is standing there, in a daze. Their expression is still deeply submerged in trance. They wobble in place slightly.
“Very good, Alex,” I say calmly. I place the towel on a nearby seat in the dining room. “Now, sit.”
They obediently do so. Their brows furrow slightly after sitting down. I think they’re starting to come out of trance, but I decide to make sure.
“Do you need me to count you up?”
“N-no…” they mutter. “I’m getting there, I just… need a minute… need a minute…”
“Okay, take your time,” I say.
“Mm… take your time…” they repeat softly.
I kneel down and start wiping the mess from the floor. What a mess it is.
“How are you feeling?” I ask.
“Good…” they say.
“What’s your name?”
“Mmm…” they pause. “Alex...”
“Good. Let your memories and identity come back. You’re Alex again, you don’t need to be a slave right now.”
I finish cleaning, giving their mind some time to clear. I sit up on the floor.
“Hey, Alex,” I ask, “what does ‘SOH CAH TOA’ stand for?”
“Well…” They take a little bit, but their cadence has quickened. “When you’re trying to calculate the sine of an angle of a right triangle, you divide the length of the opposite side of the angle by the length of the triangle’s hypotenuse…”
They go on, and I relearn the basics of trigonometry. It’s a good thing I know Alex, or my poor mathematical skills would really bite me for real.
“…and the tangent is calculated by dividing the length of the opposite side of the angle by the length of the adjacent side,” Alex finishes.
“Good, good. That’s good. Your memories and thoughts are returning to you. You’re your own person again, you have your own thoughts and feelings again, you’re returning to the way you were before I introduced you to the Hypnolyzer.”
“You know,” Alex says, voice still a bit soft. “That name’s not going to stick. It doesn’t roll off the tongue very well.”
“Do you remember much of your trance?”
Alex rubs between their thighs. “Evidently we fucked.”
“Well, yeah, but do you remember it?”
“Not really,” Alex mutters. “I’m still feeling a little afterglow, though. Mmmmmm. Can I hug you?”
I help Alex out of their seat and gently let them fall into me.
“Mmmm,” they say, into my chest. “I’m still pretty fuzzy.”
“Take your time,” I say. “We’ve got all the time in the world.”
Some moments pass, imperceptibly. After some time, Alex nuzzles their head slightly away from me.
I slowly sit Alex back up and stand up, wash my hands, and get us some cake. I get Alex a corner piece. I return to the floor with the two plates. We dig in.
“Mm, delicious,” I say. “Compliments to the chef.”
“Fuck you,” returns Alex playfully, taking a bite of their own.