Emily was a cute girl. She had blonde bushy hair that she usually kept in two thick ponytails, fairly large boobs that made it easy to charm men when she wanted something, and plenty of cute clothes. She was, generally speaking, the kind of girl guys saw at a party and wanted to sleep with. She knew it, too. A sophomore in university, she'd opened her legs for several guys on different occasions. Her mom and older sisters wouldn't be proud of that, but it wasn't a big deal. None of her partners had girlfriends, anyway, so she really hadn't ever done anything wrong.
It was two thirty PM, the end of her Psych 101 class. Something bugged her about the girl in the back of the class. They'd opened the class with one of those banal "two interesting things about yourself" exercises and they'd chosen that they were autistic and a hypnotist. For some reason, this made Emily far more upset than it had any right to. That persistent sense of unease had persisted, unyielding, through the entire period. Even as she packed her things her brain felt stuck on how much it irked her. She decided, on the way out, to talk to a friend about it.
"Hey, Chris," she greeted with the usual smile she gave boys when she wanted something (often, but not in this instance, on purpose).
"Hey, Emm," they answered with a distant smile of their own. "Something up?" Chris was a bit of a social butterfly, being the kind of soft almost-jock that got along with pretty much everyone. She figured if anyone (any NORMAL person, at least) could answer her questions he could.
"Who...is that?" She gestured at the girl in question. They were skinny, with fairly sizable boobs proportionate to the rest of their body (though still smaller than Emily's) and similarly wide hips and shoulders.
"Oh them? With the pink hair?"
"Yes, them! Obviously!"
"Well," Chris looked slightly perturbed, "that's Tammy. Why do you ask?"
"She," Emily started walking away in a huff to avoid being noticed by the girl she now knew was named Tammy. "She thinks she's a hypnotist!?"
"Well, uh," Chris shrugged, easily keeping up despite Emily's long steady strides. "She is one. I think. She lives on my floor and gave a demonstration once." Emily wheeled on him with an annoyed eyebrow raised.
"Isn't your floor men only?"
"Well, uh, yeah, usually? I think maybe she didn't apply to be housed with girls on time or something. She's funny. Bit of a loner, though. Always in her room." Emily laughed. She'd have an easier time buying Tammy's story if they were a high schooler bragging that their boyfriend totally took her in a helicopter once. A nerd with no friends pretending to be a hypnotist? Laughable. "I think I heard her joking at the RA that she only leaves her dorm for food, class, and queer club. Sounds lonely, right? You'd never guess from how confident she is."
Well. That was that. The girl was obviously just trying to impress her classmates. Hell, maybe she had a thing for the teacher.
Emily groaned. It was five fifteen PM on Friday. One of Chris' girlfriend's friends had texted her Tammy's number and encouraged her to reach out if she wanted to. She hadn't brought the fraud up once since her conversation on Tuesday! She sighed and looked at her makeup. She wanted to go to a party that night, but...she also almost didn't. Getting drunk didn't sound all that appealing at the moment.
She decided to go. On the way across the section of campus to the back with the apartments, she changed her mind back and forth multiple times. In the end she thought, "fuck it!" and turned to go to the cafeteria and eat some goddamn mozzarella sticks. But, as if God himself had chosen to laugh at her, she bumped into Tammy on the way there.
"Oh, hi!" The girl's pink hair was straight and flowed in a mane almost down to her knees. She wore a cute, kind of gothy dress with lace but the look was somewhat thrown out by the worn down sneakers she wore with them. "Sorry to bump into you, I'll just be going!"
"Wait!" Emily shouted as if by instinct. The other girl arched an eyebrow.
"Is something wrong?"
"You're...full of shit." Welp. That was something she'd said. Tammy frowned intensely.
"What...do you mean? I'm sorry I bumped into you, I didn't ruin your shirt did I?" The air between them hung heavy. Why had Emily said that? Even if this girl was some weird loser telling tall tales in class to make herself seem cool, this was some grade school level shit. Emily took a deep breath.
"Hypnosis is fake." Tammy seemed to breathe a huge sigh of relief. Color returned to the girl's face in places that Emily hadn't even realized had lost it. And...was that a pair of cat ears on the headband the dork was wearing!?
"Well, uh, I guess? I mean, it's as real as placebo meds are. It's a really fascinating topic and-"
"Shhhut it! Zip!" Emily glowered at Tammy. Tammy seemed scared and trapped, but some other emotion was present that Emily struggled to identify.
"H-hey. You...you okay? You seem...really upset." Emily growled and stomped for a second before calmer heads prevailed and she was able to take a deep breath to ground herself.
"Yes. But hypnosis is fake."
"Maybe it just doesn't work on you very well? There are all kinds of inductions and, like, the stereotypical one-that's relaxation-doesn't work on me very well cause I have ADHD-"
"I've never tried," Emily glared, "cause it's fake. It wouldn't work on me." Tammy sighed and shrugged.
"Well...no. it won't. Not with that attitude. Maybe we could give it a shot?" Emily glared at her. "I just wanna prove it's real, since you know. It is." Smelling an opportunity to catch this dork in a lie (and having nothing better to do), Emily sneered with condescension.
"Sure thing. Not gonna work though."
"Alright then, where?" Tammy asked. "I usually do it in my dorm room, since I don't have a roommate, but I also usually do it with friends where being alone with me makes them feel safe. Don't want this to be unpleasant for you at all." Emily narrowed her eyes.
"No, you're just saying that because you want it to work."
"And if I was lying, I'd expect it to work no matter what." Tammy shot back. "Your place or mine? Or somewhere else?" Emily had no clapback prepared, so she sighed.
"Mine. I don't have a roommate either. Well, I do, but she's out for the night."
The path to Emily's dorm had been long and awkward. A sense of dread slowly started coming over her. What if it worked? She ran a few horror scenarios in her head. Tammy could make her humiliate herself, undress her, change who she was deep down-
No. She shook her head, her steps getting heavier as she approached the door to her room. She opened it and let Tammy in, grateful the floor seemed to be empty. Then she slipped in herself and took a deep breath. This wasn't going to wo-
"You seem stressed," Tammy whispered. It was as if she'd become a different person as soon as the door closed. Hands, cold and long with slender fingers, gently caressed her shoulders and started kneading. The other girl's voice had taken a musky, commanding tone. Tingles swarmed the base of Emily's skull. "Text one of your friends, okay? Let them know you're trying something. I want you to have a lifeline okay?"
"Wh-what?" Emily muttered even as she did as she was told. She chose Gediva, a girl two doors down from herself who was as much of a loner as Tammy seemed.
"You feel safer knowing someone has your back, right? I know I do."
"Shhh." Tammy guided Emily to her bed by pushing her shoulders, then used pressure to make her sit on it. The blonde girl complied almost automatically. Her eyes were dilated. She was breathing heavily. "Gooood girl. School can be sooo stressful, right?" Emily nodded slightly. Tammy's voice had changed again. A little higher, still musky and seductive, but...motherly. Caring. Like a good nurse, almost. "I know, I know. It's rough. I'm soooo sorry. But you're doing soooo well." She gave Emily a sweet, patient smile. A feeling of trust had started to form in Emily's brain and she tried to fight it, pulling herself out of her stupified relaxation somewhat.
"Shhhhh." Tammy took the back of her fingers and began gently stroking Emily's cheek. The girl trembled as something deep within her reacted to the display of affection. Tears came to her eyes for reasons she did not know. "I don't care if it 'proves' anything. It doesn't matter whether it works. What matters is making you feel niiiice and relaxed." The word "relaxed" seemed to prance past all the walls in Emily's head like a mischievous cat, slinking in and taking residence.
"Mhm. Goood girl. Good girl. Just listen to my sweet, soft voice," Tammy smiled, "and relax. Now, I'm going to count down from ten, and eaaaach number is gonna make you sleepier and sleepier, kay?"
"Oh...kay…" Emily breathed breathlessly.
"Ten." Tammy started. She lowered Emily's head onto her pillow and draped a sheet over her. Emily didn't even notice she was feeling sleepy until her partner reached seven. She tried to understand why it felt odd, like she shouldn't be listening, but she just...felt…
So...sleepy...she yawned. It felt good. Her body was loose and heavy. She needed a nap. She was safe.
"Five." The pillow got softer, her sheet got cozier, and everything was just...nice. Emily felt sleepy. She felt comfortable.
"Four." She smiled a little. Tammy's voice was actually really nice.
"One." Sleep took her.
"Gah!" Emily jumped to a position sitting up. "What did you-"
"I put you to sleep." Said Tammy, looming over her with an apologetic smile. "Then Realized it was only like five thirty and you have your makeup on." Emily jumped to her feet.
Oh my god.
It had worked.
"Nothing?" Tammy chuckled. "Whatever. Got you some restful sleep. You look like you need it."
"What makes you say that?" Emily glared daggers.
"I dunno, you just seem...like, tense. All the time. "
"And why do you care?" Emily pouted. "Why SHOULD you care?"
"I dunno, why not?" There was a knock. Tammy jumped like a startled cat. It was Gediva.
"Hey, is something up? You sent a really cryptic text and then one that was just gibberish." Emily opened the door, face flush with embarrassment.
"Hi!" She tried to hide Tammy from the third girl's line of vision using her own body but it didn't work. "I fell asleep on my phone." Gediva gave an inquisitive look to Tammy.
"What?" Emily glanced between the other two repeatedly. She was lost. "Were we WHAT?"
"AHEM." Tammy cut in, awkwardly. "I'm, uh, you know I'm a hypnotist right? We have English together?" Gediva nodded. "Well, she thought hypnosis was fake. Made, like, a weirdly personal deal out of it? I just put her under as a demonstration." Gediva nodded with a slight frown.
"Alright then...I guess that makes sense."
"It IS fake!" Emily objected. The awkward air was diffused somewhat.
"Well, I dunno but like. My brother has hypnotherapy and it works wonders for him." Emily stared, dumbfounded.
"Alright, Emily," Tammy shot in. "How about this: I put you under again. Gediva watches. I do something to prove it worked, and if I encroach on any boundaries your friend here stops me. That okay?" Emily sighed. That seemed reasonable.
"Alright." She sat on the bed. "But all you did was lull me to-"
"Relax." Tammy placed a finger on Emily's lips, silencing her instantly. That aura of calm confidence, like a lion, came pouring out again. Experience did little to stop it from cowing Emily into silence. "Just listen, okay? My voice is niiiice and pretty. Just sit, and listen, and relaaaax." That feeling of all-consuming calm came back, like Tammy's voice was a murky ocean overwhelming her mind. She was suddenly floating freely, at Tammy's mercy. "That's it, juuust like that." Tammy took the finger from Emily's mouth and began patting her head. Emily liked that. "Just let allll the working parts in your brain slooooow down, just liiiike my voice." Her brain felt dim, like a submarine losing power. Thoughts blinked in at intervals and were slowly, gently consumed.
"Juuuust like that. Let your brain relaaaax. You can let go, that's a gooood girl." Muscles Emily didn't know had been tense were suddenly completely unwound. Had she lost her vision or were her eyes just closing?
"Just lose yourself in my voice. My sweet, caring voice. Thaaat's it, you're safe, so safe, no need to be strong here, it's okay, goood girl, let your brain turn off. Three...two...one."
Tammy snapped. The last light in Emily's brain shut off obediently. She was blank and empty, ready to obey.
"Is hypnosis real?" Tammy asked.
"N, noooo." Emily answered.
"Hmmm," thought Tammy. "I...usually get to know girls better before a first session. I...kinda broke, like, a lot of rules and etiquette doing this...alright. Okay. Whatcha thinkin bout?" A pause.
"Noooo...thing…" answered Emily.
"Good girl." Tammy praised her gently. "Are you hypnotized?"
"I...d,don't...think so…" she whimpered.
"You are. You're hypnotized."
"But…" Emily's face scrunched up. "I can't be…"
"Umm…" Emily reached into the murky water filling her head. She found nothing. Her face scrunched up with stress.
"You can be, okay?"
"Oh...kay…" Her face relaxed again. Tammy had an idea.
"You like taking orders?"
"Okay. That's fine. Do you like listening to people?" A pause.
"Good girl. You can listen to me, right?"
"I...cann." Letting Tammy's soft kind voice fill her brain felt good. Emily could do that.
"Goood girl. I say you're hypnotized. Are you?"
"So that means it's real. Right?"
"Good girl, Emily. Now, do you mind being touched?"
"Oh you know. Hugs, nuzzles, the like."
"I duuuunno," she answered, "depends who."
"Donnn." Emily slurred in response. Tammy grinned.
"Well, I want you to feel a nice, angelic sparkle on your skin. Kay?" Emily nodded. "And it's lovely. Comfy. Soft. SAFE. Right?"
"Yyyeaaaaah," they moaned.
"Good girl, now, when I snap, you'll wake up, and that's gonna be how I feel. One, two, three!"
Tammy snapped. She hugged Emily. Emily liked it.
Why did she like it?