When Síofra was initially hypnotized, it was the first time in her young life that she felt truly complete. As a half-fey who had been shunned and mocked by her mother’s community, it was the first taste of magic she had been able to access without threats of dire punishments. As a half-fey hiding her fairy side from humans, it was also the first time she had been able to let down her guard and show glimpses to a human of the wild, enchanted creature she was.
Her middle school boyfriend Evan had suggested an experiment to see if he could hypnotize her. Síofra went along, curious to see if hypnosis was at all like the magicks in the stories her late mother had told her. As she listened to Evan read slowly and haltingly from a hypnosis library book, she was surprised to feel weak tendrils of actual enchantment seep into her mind and body. The tendrils felt blissful to her, like happiness itself. Even though the boy’s enchantments felt weak and unrefined, she found that the more she surrendered herself to them and his suggestions- the relaxation, the sleepiness, all of it- the stronger his energy became inside of her. She delighted at that feeling of giving in. She was finally fully, blissfully bespelled, interacting with magic in a way she had never been allowed to before.
Even after Evan woke her up from her enchantment, Síofra felt remnants of the magic linger with her as though they were always supposed to be there. She smiled dopily up at him. He seemed somewhat confused in response, as though he were the one who had just woken up from a dream. She felt his confusion echo in her own head along with his questions about what had happened. It was like a radio where the reception went in and out of signal.
He didn’t seem to notice anything different.
Humans did not know the spells they weaved, she remembered her mother saying.
She kept her happy magical buzz until she went home for the evening. The moment her father looked at her, though, Síofra could tell that he knew. Although he was not fey like her, his encounters with the fey folk had given him the wisdom and the eyes to see the energy that raced around her body with her bloodstream. Her father’s interactions with magic had been much darker than he could often bear to speak about and he had warned her frequently of magickal dangers. He raged at Síofra for seemingly hours about his discovery, berating her for her carelessness. How did she not realize how vulnerable she was as a half human half fey? Did she realize how hurt she could have been?
The next morning, he packed a van and moved himself and his daughter out of the state.
Síofra never saw Evan again. She had been forbidden from contacting him. Her father had even demanded she erase his phone number. She could still hear him in her head occasionally though, his mind humming quietly in the background like a refrigerator.
In all of the chaos, it wasn’t until later that Síofra realized that a little piece of her was gone.
It was a small part- her interest in horses that stemmed from childhood and has lasted until- well, untill her encounter with Evan. When she and her father moved, she noticed this hole in her Self when she had taken the horse posters off of her wall, suddenly uninterested. She wondered if that was the space that had been cleared inside of her to make room for Evan.
It seemed a fair trade, she thought, for her first real taste of magic. But, between this realization and her father’s prohibitions, Síofra did not experiment with hypnosis again until she was much older.
Síofra sat quietly on the bed as her newest boyfriend packed his suitcase besides her. She did not cry. She did not know if she was still able to cry. Instead, she stared into the middle distance.
Her boyfriend and erstwhile Master touched her on the shoulder. “I think this is best for both of us,“ he said. “Now you can get back to being yourself without having to focus on pleasing me. I’m worried about you.”
Síofra nodded but inside she felt her numbness rising again. She felt the tug of her ex’s will on her mind, the strong compulsion that made it difficult to separate his thoughts from whatever was left of her. She could feel his uncertainty and disgust at her and at himself. She could tell he thought she was crazy, unstable, weak. She had given and given- not just to him but to many others through the years- her will over and over to the bliss of enchantment. Now she had the ghosts of these old loves in her mind, many voices and wills and impulses competing with each other for dominance. Her own self was growing smaller and smaller over time, stollen and quieted by faithless men who took from her while overpowering her.
Humans do not know the spells they weave, she thought, bitterly.
She had tried to explain her predicament once to an old partner, but apparently her mother’s fairy curse still held. When she opened her mouth and tried to describe the magical effects hypnosis had on her, her words stopped in her mouth and she found she could not speak at all. Any additional efforts at discussion were just as fruitless.
What was the worst, though, was that Síofra knew that she would eventually go out and find the next one. She would go online, to conventions, to munches- all in a frenzied effort to find the next man to steal her soul away. All so she could feel that blissful, perfect enchantment- that sense of being one with magic, her denied birthright. Even when she had tried to distract herself in the past or ignore her cravings to feel it, that blissful pure nothingness of enchantment always called to her. It addicted her to the feeling even as she gave more and more of herself away.
She knew the next man might be the last one. There was so little of her self left at this point that she had almost nothing to give away. But that was OK. Maybe the last of her self would be lost in her next ensorcellment and there would be no more fighting it. What was left of Síofra would disappear and she would become just an amalgamation of all of her hypnotists’ wills. That would be peaceful, she thought. She wouldn’t even be aware of the consequences.
And then, if she truly didn’t come back, at least one of her partners might finally take responsibility for his mess.