Different colors gently flashed before a pair of eyes, all the while the world value had come up in their head. It eluded him why, not even able to tell if he thought of it or someone nearby. But his absent-minded self paid more attention, and remembered that the lights were shining off the round, lustrous objects swinging before his eyes. He saw a silver one, and a gold one, which should've been easy enough to solve the value question, except for the fact that the gold one seemed older and plain though pretty, and the silver had an intricate design that made it hard to look away from. Then another gold, shinier one came into view, then another, then one with a purplish center, then one with an octopus design.
He didn't know which to focus on, he didn't understand the value of them all. The appraisal his eyes gave was that they were all priceless, endlessly shining in the low light of wherever he was, convinced he'd forgotten something, but was too limited to a tunnel vision of swinging watches to care, and let the silence take him into welcoming darkness, which didn't last nearly as long as his body would hope.
"...and three, wide awake" *Snap*
The man woke reluctantly, hearing faint laughter as words were repeated.
*Snap* "Wide awake, opening your eyes, ready to join us again."
The man looked at the class in-front of him, all smiles, though not as big as the hypnotist at his side had, holding one of her pocket watches, eyes glistening behind her glasses.
Applause from the audience woke him deeper as he thanked her and returned to his seat.
Lee Allure kept herself from bowing to the clapping, knowing several demonstrations were still to come.
"And yes, sometimes, if you can't think of what to say during an induction, and you have something, any object at hand, that can be all you really need to get a nice induction going. They stare at the shiny, while you desrcibe what you're doing, or what they're doing, if they simply stare, and drop," she smiled at her previous subject.
Another previous subject and fan of hers, Harry, couldn't believe he was seeing Lee Allure in the flesh, trancing someone less than five feet away from him. The shock of the realization made him feel too wired to be tranced like some of the class in the front row ended up, unintentionally.
The class was interesting and informative, and he took notes as best he could, but being star-struck meant his writing and muscles weren't as sharp, in a room filled with Lee's casual, and low, inducing voice unobstructed and clearer than ever. He lost himself in thoughts of his favorite mp3s she'd made or the few times years ago when he imagined having a Skype session with her, one he wanted but hadn't yet worked up the nerve to. He was caught up in his own thought enough so that post pocket watch demonstration, everything she was explaining flew past his mind except for
"Can I get a volunteer for this next demo?"
Harry's hand shot up faster than he could've prepared himself for, somehow beating every other eager hand in the room looking to be used as a blissed-out example for a minute. Lee looked in Harry's direction and grinned at the enthusiasm, ushering him forward. Harry gave himself a moment from displaying a pep in his step that would've looked like gloating at his opportunity. His mind congratulated his body in keeping visible signs of the adoring fanboy in check.
Lee welcomed Harry to his seat in-front of the class where he sat silently, anticipation making his heart pump twice as fast, though his outwardly appearance suggested any random suggestion could've put him intstantly under. He saw Lee's lips moving, and heard the sound of her voice caress his ears, but the words didn't matter as much to him as she was addressing the audience. The prevailing voice inside his head kept repeating on a loop
"I can't believe this is happening."
"I can't believe this is happening."
"I can't believe this is happening."
"So," the loop was interrupted as she turned her gaze and aimed her voice at him. "Hi, I"m Lee - who're you?"
"Harry," he said his name in a pitch slightly higher and more embarassing than he expected. He blushed at sounding like a teenager for second. No one laughed at him, but Lee gave him a smile that said "don't worry if you're nervous, that will go away soon."
"Harry, I have your permission to hypnotize you, to touch you around your shoulders?"
"Yes, and anywhere is fine."
"Good. So tell me, what word are you not thinking of right now?"
Harry's mind did a double-take as well as his body, as it started to wonder about the odd question asked to him, and worry if there was something he was supposed to be thinking about. Unconsciously, he knew there were so many words, too many in fact that he couldn't think of, let alone zero in on one.
"Would you like me to think of a word to tell you that I'm not thinking about?"
Too stunned to say "what" yet clearly expressing it, his mind had trouble moving from the conundrum of Lee's first question, but still dared to try to ponder her second.
"Because what word could anyone not think about at any given point? Too many to count, right? Yet when you really start to think about it, maybe the mind assumes a few of those words are important enough to consider words that should be on one's mind, words that are supposed to be on one's mind. That expectation is so odd. Who set it? Who would enforce it? Would it be so bad if you really forgot? If you didn't forget, what reward do you stand to gain? So many questions half of the conscious mind or even unconscious mind has when the other half of either busied part of the mind is still trying to figure out the integral word that may or may not even be there."
"Have you ever imagined a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there? Could that be the state of the word you had in mind? Maybe it's a whole new word, one of those terribly-antiquated ones that you have to look up in those obscenely heavy dictionaries. You know the ones, thousands of pages bound together that sit on your lap and just weigh you down, while you search for that word, while your legs just get numb under the weight, a comfortable kind of numb that signals to parts of your brain that you won't need to use your legs for a while, so they can rest. You're not going anywhere for the forseeable future with this puzzle teasing your mind. Can you even put it together? Are you even close to getting a little hint as to what it is?"
Harry's brain felt comfortably buried under a pile of possible words, unable to narrow anything down. They all started to blur in his head while Lee's voice smoothed out the rest of his mind, and all of his muscles.
"Maybe I can help you with that, as I search for the word that wasn't on my mind. I feel like mine is really within reach, one that teases the tip of your tongue as you try to say it, to see if some part of you can remember better than another, you know what I mean?"
Lee smiled at the nod she received looking at the man she gave her full attention to, mouth comfotably agape, eyes more and more glazed. She wondered if Harry really was on the verge of a word, but now looked for his help with hers.
"It's one of those so close yet so far away kind of things, where I want to think real hard about it, but I know that won't really help, so I'll calm myself down with a few deep breaths..."
Lee took three long deep breaths in and out, pleased to see Harry matching the rhythm perfectly.
"And I can clear my head to see if that right word pops up. But clearing it isn't always easy, nor keeping it calm when it thinks it is close. It's close enough where I feel like I should be able to physically feel it, sensations around the body that could remind me of when I knew the word. Maybe like a tingling sensation at the crown of my head, or in the scalp, like I scratched my head there thinking of something, or trying to stimulate thought. Maybe it happens when my face flushes a little bit, from feeling joy I get when I think it's finally coming to me, but then the excitement dies down and I just unwind a little. The whole body almost unwinds with it as your chest and torso heave and gives a nice, big sigh, just like the deep breathing anyone who is tranced-inclined would know well by now."
Staring into Lee's striking blue eyes, he wondered if the sensations running down his arms was merely effects of her suggestions, or fingertips actually running down his arm in succession with mentions of going down.
"Yes, like that, just up and down, making you want to" *Snap*
The sound of a finger snap next to his left ear was a shock to the system, but not enough to wake him up. Like trance experiences taught him, it only seemed to embolden the feeling of trance, encouraging him to find a slightly deeper place to fall into, and more acceptance of whatever the hypnotist was saying.
"What? What was that?"
"What...was..?" was all that Harry could manage.
"Oh," *Snap* his right ear received. "You don't have to say anything. Was just thinking out loud. Thought I had the word just then, but managed to elude me yet again. I'll have to..." *Snap* "somehow and see if it will come to me"
"The sooner it can come to me, the sooner I can just..."
A stronger sensation convincing him of fingers actually touching him ran across his shoulder blades.
It travelled down his biceps, curving around his elbows.
"...what is that word?"
The sensation became layered as if overlapping each other, back across his shoulders a few times, his biceps a few times, his elbows felt too numb to register in his mind.
"What is that word?"
Nails softly trailed his forearms for what had to be several times. Harry couldn't tell whether his wrists were turned of the volition of her fingers, or her verbal insistence, but they turned unresistingly, and his palms and fingers tingled profusely as almost none of his hand wasn't covered by a trail of short but skilled fingernails. Pleasure shot from every place he felt touched, and circulated up and down his arms, adding to the pleasant lethargy running through him.
"I swear, if I don't think of this word, I'll feel lost until...I...do."
His ears like how she punctuated the pronoun, how her eyes brightened when she said it, and then lowered her lids back to normal, the playful gleam in them never leaving though.
"I...might feel so lost until that word comes back to me."
He was never told to look deeper.
"It was on my mind at some point; I...can't believe...I...could lose it so easily."
Nor was he ever told to match the flaring of her eyes, widening to take in as much of her eyes has he could, but mimicing her unknowingly.
"Maybe it's an unimportant word if it escapes me so easily, but...I...think it might be."
He was never told to start blinking like she was after she widened her gaze.
"What do you think? Should...I...consider it utterly lost for now?"
A lovely double-blink became the norm for both of them, but Harry felt the effects twice as strong.
"Utterly lost, somewhere hidden in some deep depths? Perhaps you and...I...should stop before we feel just as lost?"
His eyes wanted to shut, wanted to close from the exertion, but he was lost to the blue of Lee's eyes unwilling to cede as tired eyes focused on their draw.
"You look so determined though, so willing to give it thought so; it's rather inspiring. So...I...will keep thinking about it, just as soon as we take a moment to" *Snap*
His body tingled as the pleasure went deeper, while he felt like his mind clicked, grasping onto something. Lee saw Harry on the verge of figuring it out, but it must've been like trying to hold a struggling, slippery fish fresh out of water.
"What? Have you figured out the word?"
"So close" was the definition of Harry's expression; Lee giggled at how adorable he looked.
"Right on the tip of your tongue, isn't it? I...can tell. Don't let it slip down though, down like pleasure running down those arms of yours."
Liquidy, sagging arms felt the waves cascading over them again, threatening to pull his thoughts deeper under.
"If it happens to slip away again, there's no shame in that. It comes back to us eventually. You could" *Snap* "and starting thinking again later, refreshed, just like anytime you"*Snap*
The soft assault on all fronts of Harry's self left him floaty and spaced out, lingering only to the anchor of Lee that carried him downward, wanting to bring the unidentifiable word with him. If only he could relax.
"Relax!" Harry almost yelled out. "That's it! That's the word."
"I..." blue eyes flared again, "think you're right. Congratulations. Know what you won?"
Before succumbing to the familiar darkness, Harry was so happy to solve the querry posed to him, he'd barely noticed the change in surroundings. The students were gone as were their chairs. It looked like a similar room in the hotel space, but it was just two chairs with two occupants. His world shrunk to only being aware of Lee, but he never expected it to be reality, when he woke up, until he woke up again.
"Relax!" woke the same way he did before, excited to have the word, but looking around at confused faces. Most were unaware of the context, some were just lost due to second-hand trancing. Even Lee looked confused, eyes happily gleaming, but confused none the less.
"The...the word you were looking for..."
"Coming slowly back up on three. One, two, three," she carefully revived a few fallen minds in the front row of her class.
"I was looking for a word?"
"DJ, was I...." Lee looked in DJ Pynchon's direction, to see her co-presenter had been pulled under as well. She sighed happily and tended to her friend before turning her attention back to Harry.
"I asked you to think of a nice memory, just by listening to my voice. Seems like you found one if that's the word you woke up to." The class laughed, as did Harry, though he still tried to piece things together. Then it struck him. Lee was wearing different clothes than yesterday. A haze began to clear much more as he remembered her giving the trigger "remember." She'd given it to him the day before, when he had the fortune to have a private session with Lee, after several Skype trances he'd actually had. It was the best kind of surreal to meet her and experience first hand what others had said they did in thorough blogs; the experience of course didn't do description justice.
An errant thought about their live meeting was something she always liked to remind him of, how she could do amazing things with her mind. While he didn't doubt that, without thinking he did express how even he thought there were limits. He couldn't think of any when she asked, so she came up with one, one he was convinced couldn't happen.
"You really, really think you can make me forget all the Skype sessions before, or meeting the great Lee Allure in-person, are you kidding?" he asked in half-seriousness.
"I've done more than that with your mind, haven't I?"
"I think I'd remember?"
"Even if I said it's easy to forget?"
"Yeah," he said in all honesty. Harry didn't mean to challenge her like that, but he could tell that the challenge was accepted, and once she started speaking, he was all ears and ready to absorb and accept everything, even things his conscious mind though it couldn't.
Somehow, the whole memory of the individual session was replayed in her class. He looked at the time, thinking their over 20 minute session took up a good chunk of her hour-long class, but only 30 seconds passed.
Everyone in the room began to clap, knowning exactly what looking at his watch meant to him, very impressed of the demonstration, even if they didn't understand all the details.
Harry got to converse with Lee after her class ended and he thanked her for the trance; unfortunately what came with remembering was a bet they made that she obviously won.
"I told you," she told her subject, "I don't use that word."
"What word?" he tried to trick her.
She smirked, "the word you said once I told you to remember."
Harry shook his head, racking his brain again.
"I truly swear I've heard you use the word in at least one or two trances with me."
"I really can't remember if I've ever used that word; it's not a part of any usual inductions I do, even if it's a standard word in everyone else's. Nothing wrong with it; I just like other words."
"You sure as heck implied it yesterday."
Lee smiled and shook her head.
"Implied...but never said right? Right?"
Harry sighed, "Right."
"And it's not like I really have to; you've listened to my voice so long, your body just knows what to do, how to let go, how to respond when...I...get you to look at things," Harry looked in her eyes again, and was comfortably stuck there. "When I signal that you want to go deeper." *Snap* *Snap* His left and right ear received back-to-back. "When you know you've lost a bet, and now is the time to pay up."
He wanted to thank Lee later for pre-planning some parts of this. He felt the cash in his back pocket, and easily reached in it to present it to her. He didn't have to go through the trouble of digging it out of his wallet, just performing a motion as simple as how easy it was to look at the deep blue of her inviting eyes.
$25 was in his hand waiting to be taken by Lee; by the time she woke him up something heavier was in his hand, a signed copy of Lee and DJ's book Hypnotic Amnesia. He noticed the weight difference and looked down incredulously, shocked again, reminding himself he should really be shocked. "She really can do amazing things with my mind," he would keep telling himself.
"Thanks Lee, thanks D-" Harry stopped and noticed DJ had slipped under another accidental trance.
"Gotta love him," Lee smiled as she woke DJ again.
"Gotta love all of us since you have that effect on pretty much all of us."
"Good point, Harry. Try to remember that," she told him as she left with DJ to go to their next class.
"Don't have to try anymore," he told her.