General Disclaimers: While it features no ‘on-screen’ sexual activity or explicit adult situations, this hypnofetish story does contain examples of fictional characters doing illegal, immoral and/or impossible things to other fictional characters. If you are under the age of consent in your community, are disturbed by such concepts, or want hot wet thrusting monkey-sex in your on-line pornography, then for goshsakes stop reading now!
Permission granted to re-post for free to any electronic medium, as long as no one's being charged to view it, and this disclaimer and e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) are not removed. It would also be nice if you told me you were posting it.
Copyright Voyer, 2005.
Mary woke up.
The Music spun endlessly inside her head. It wasn’t outside her head, however, and the vague but constricting itchiness surrounding her torso and limbs told her that she wasn’t wearing her Nightie.
She sighed a little and pulled herself from the Green.
She was looking at dancing figures on a screen.
She was sitting in a chair, her feet on a carpet, her fingers pushing against..
She looked down.
A computer keyboard.
She yawned and stretched as she looked around.
She was sitting at her desk at Adeline Wholesale Theatrical Supplies, inside the all-too-familiar walls of her cubicle. The Agenda confirmed that it was Friday. It was 9:35 AM, and she was exactly where she was supposed to be. At Work and making money. She finished her general survey of the area at the large clock mounted high on the wall, the room’s real wall, a twin of the one in the employee breakroom. It was, she noted with annoyance, approximately three minutes slow. That was going to throw off her schedule later. She would have gotten up and adjusted it, if it wasn’t sealed behind glass and controlled by a central timer over in the Building Operations department. She had to stifle an urge to march straight to the BOD and find that timer; the Agenda was not to be denied.
Instead, the Light on her hand strayed to her Purse sitting close by on her desk, and touched against it, the back-and-forth confirming the reassuring purr of power.
Waiting to be unleashed.
That helped. She pushed thoughts of the clock away. Back to typing and clicking with the mouse, moving the figures around on the screen until they lined up in the proper patterns. It took even less effort than before, consuming maybe a quarter of her attention. Additionally, her typing speed had massively increased these last few days. Mostly to amuse herself, she dedicated a bit more brain-power to the operation, and from a distance watched her fingers blur flawlessly over the keys.
She calculated that at this rate she’d soon be looking for things to do in the afternoons. All the most reason to find a new better job as soon as possible. You can only massage someone so fast, if you want to do it right...
With another piece of her mind, she considered the decor of the cubicle. The posters on the walls. A picture of Nathan on the desk. The plastic horse figurine. Useless clutter, like all the junk at Home. Those would go into the trash. The scraggly fern that she had perched on one corner of her desk, however.. That was less cut and dried. The plant was looking even more sickly than usual, but it did work, however feebly, to earn its keep, pumping out needed oxygen. (Plants did that, right? She bitterly wished she’d paid closer attention in school...)
Mary ran over the options as her fingers clicked away. Throw it away, or sell it, assuming she could find some fool willing to buy it. Or find someone to nurse it back to health.. Data clicked into slots, this time on the other side of her eyes. Anna. Anna was pretty good with plants, better than any other member of the.. Group. Maybe Mary could take the fern to her, and see if she could do anything to revive. Since the Agenda stated that she was going to be seeing Anna this weekend anyway...
I wonder why I’m going to see Anna?
She frowned slightly. Another thought to sweep away.
The morning passed. She got a few phone calls, and found that they were annoying her in a way they never had before; why did people waste so much time saying so little? Couldn’t everyone be more efficient about all of this?
On the other hand, they helped pass the time.
She ate the lunch that someone.. her slave presumably... had prepared for her. A green salad. Not bad, but could have been better. It was a shame that Clover hadn’t been around...
She noted the other employees were giving her nervous looks and avoiding her.
It didn’t bother her at all.
In the afternoon, Mary came across a strange set of company transactions she had overlooked before, and after sparing a few minutes to trace them back and untangle them, discovered that one of her co-workers, a man named Wilkins, was embezzling small but steady amounts of money from the company. It was such a transparent ruse she wondered how she (any everyone else) could have missed it before. Again, she considered her options. Take over and improve on the operation? No. That would be Wrong. She had no feelings about Wilkins one way or the other, but he had been pleasant enough to her in the past, so instead of turning him in to Mr. Brown, she dropped him an anonymous electronic note hinting that he either stop doing it, or to do a better job of covering his tracks in the future. With extreme difficulty, she refrained from offering suggestions.
In the end, for the last couple of hours, she had so little to do she just let her mind go blank.
She was driving.
Both hands on the wheel.
Both eyes on the road.
She smiled a little, remembering Wilkin’s harassed and jumpy expression in the Adeline parking lot. He’d gone peeling out in a hurry.
She had followed more sedately.
Now evening was coming on, and she was driving north into Hinkley Heights. As previously noted, it was one of the more upscale sections of the city, with row after row of expensive condos, gated office blocks and fussy little shops. There were no exciting stories about the original Mr. Hinkley. He had been dull and prosperous, and died rich at a ripe old age, and his preserved mansion was the neighborhood’s major tourist draw; Mary had gone on a field trip to visit it in high school, and been bored to death. Then after a couple of policemen had harassed Teresa here, Mary had made a further point of staying away, as a small gesture of solidarity. She only came when she was doing what she was doing now.
Like Tuneworld, Hypermart had several branches scattered in various places around the city. Mary often bought her groceries at the one nearest her apartment; they generally had a better selection than MegaFoods. Unlike the various Tuneworlds, which all tended to look pretty much alike, Hypermarts were chameleons, blending in with their surrounding. So, naturally, the Hinkley Heights branch was..
From the swooping green arches meshing over the entrance, to the overly-careful arrangement of the vegetables in their wicker baskets in the produce section, to the lack of gallon jugs of milk, to the conspicuously higher prices... it reeked of trendy yuppified arrogance. The whole attitude of Hinkley Heights compressed down into one snotty little building.
Still, for whever reason, Clover seemed to enjoy working there. Seeing what the other customers were like, Mary and Angelita had both thought she must at least spit in the deli food every morning, but Clover had denied it.
And whatever other faults Clover had, she tended to be honest.
Getting Clover to stop being brutally honest was sometimes a problem.
She also made very good food, which explained why the HyperMart had hired her, inspite of her hair dying and her laughing and gum-chewing.
Mary parked her car, picked up her old Purse, and fiddled with it as she approached the sliding glass doors.
The Light flared, and the world took on a green tinge.
The doors slid apart, and Mary made her way back to the deli counter. The deli center of this branch was much larger and more elaborate than usual, with some tables lined up along one side for customers to eat at. Mary scanned the scene, spotted Clover’s orange hair, and started to get in the proper line, behind a man in a suit and tie yakking on a cell phone with someone named, evidently, Emery.
Lines. There were a lot of people in the store besides Emery’s friend, stocking up on wine and cheese for the weekend.
Too many people.
Too many eyes, watching.
The Light flared.
The cell phone gave a noticble squawk and died.
It was like swimming against some vast tide, but Mary realized this wasn’t going to work. There had to be a better way to do this.
Clover’s shift was nearly over.
The parking lot.
Mary saw that Clover had noticed her. She waved, gestured.
meet you outside?
Clover grinned and gave a thumbs-up.
Mary slowly pushed her way back outside, fighting against the tide in more ways than one, listening to the owner of the cell phone announce his displeasure to the world in general.
She scanned the lot and spotted Clover’s little hatchback off to one side wavering a little in the Green. She drove her own car over and parked.
The Green was almost howling, the Agenda spun in fury, drowning out the Music.
She sat in her seat, stared at the entrance and trembled all over.
This was going to be so close...
So very very close..
Just in time, Clover emerged from the building, and came to her, maddeningly stopping to exchange gibes and laughs with another departing worker, a squat black woman, much blacker than Teresa.
Mary had to fight the urge to get out and run to the two of them, break up the conversation.
Clover finally came, popping a large wad of gum in her mouth as she walked. She opened the passenger door and leaned in, shifting the wad to one side of her mouth.
“Hey, Mar. Wazzup?”
The Light didn’t float as much as zip up into the air, blasting its way deep into Clover’s brain.
“You hear only my words. You see only the Light.”
Mary woke up.
Both hands on the wheel.
Both eyes on the road.
Or rather, on the parking lot of Home.
She was calm again, back in the depths of the Green which pulsed from Home in vast soothing waves, swallowing her, washing everything away.
The Agenda was being followed once more.
Everything was completely under control.
She parked the car. Picked up the Purse and the gum-wrapper from the passenger seat, slung the former item over her shoulder, and got out.
For some reason, as she finished locking the door, she paused and looked across the street.
The Agenda hesitated for a moment, then consented to pencil in some space.
Mary walked closer, her heels loud on the parking lot’s blacktop, her key-ring jingling in her hand.
She reached the sidewalk and halted there, letting the cars blow past on the street and buffet her with their smelly wakes.
There was not another apartment block over there, but instead a house. She’d looked at the structure, probably literally, a thousand times, but until this moment. she’d never really examined it. It was situated on a fairly large lot. Long and low-slung, and mostly hidden behind a tall hedge. The garage was around behind, in the alleyway.
There was also a rather sad-looking For Sale sign posted in front of it, by the front gate which cut into the hedge like the entrance to a cave.
Mary stared at the sign for a long time.
Why would she be interested in houses?
The thought of moving away from Home..
She filed away the name and phone number of the realtor. Leonard Prosser. Hotbox Real Estate.
She walked Home.
Get the mail, through the security door, up the stairs.
She made it as far as the landing below hers before she ran straight into a thought, stretched across the hallway like a physical barrier.
She remembered that he’d come up that time to upbraid her about her old music.
He’d certainly been right about that. Whatever had she been thinking, listening to that filth? She flushed a little, remembering her undignified and small-minded response.
She squared her shoulders and pulled open the firedoor.
It was well past time to apologize for her inexcusable behavior.
She marched down to the proper door, raised her fist, and tapped on the wood.
The door popped open so suddenly, it was as if someone was lurking on the other side, waiting.
He looked like he hadn’t slept in a week; there were lines etched in his face that Mary didn’t recall before. She was instantly sorry that she’d intruded. Still, he spoke politely.
“Miss Hobhouse? Hello. Is there some way in which I can assist you?”
“Um.. I’m sorry, Mr. Krish. I just wanted to..” She stroked at the Purse, but it was no longer any source of comfort. She squared her mental shoulders and pushed on. “Is this a bad time? I can come back later..”
He appeared to consider for a moment before replying.
“No, not at all. Was there something you would like to discuss?”
“I just..” Mary glanced up and down the hall. “Can I come in for a minute? I just wanted to talk to you, if that’s all right.”
“Yes, of course. Please come in.” He opened the door wider and gestured. He had a bandage wrapped around his hand.
“Hm?” It was as if he was noticing the wound for the first time. “Oh. No. It’s nothing.”
She stepped into the apartment. It looked pretty much like her own, at least in the general layout, walls and floors and such. The furniture.. there wasn’t really any furniture. There were shelves and bookcases everywhere, all filled to overflowing, if a neat and orderly type of overflowing, with no sign of dust or cobwebs anywhere.
Everything was tinged very heavily Green, and seemed to wave back and forth..
back and forth..
“I am sorry. I’m not really.. set up.. to entertain guests.”
With a massive effort, Mary wrenched her attention away from the waves.
“No. It’s nice. I mean, it’s certainly clean. Better than my place.”
“Thank you, Miss Hobhouse. Can I offer you a cup of tea?”
“Um, no.” She rubbed at her temple. “Thank you, but I really can’t stay long. My Agenda is very strict.”
“Of course. What did you wish to discuss with me?”
“Well, I just wanted to..” Mary trailed off, seeing the pile of equipment carefully racked along one wall, surround some sort of large workbench. The waves were coming from there, and pulled at her like a magnet, mentally and physically. “Is this where you do your.. work?”
“My research, yes.”
Mary took a couple of steps closer.
“Research? Into what? If you don’t mind me asking?”
“I don’t suppose you have ever heard of Snarkwaves?”
“Snark..” For a second there was something.. had Angelita mentioned something once, during one of her impromptu geoology lectures..? Mary decided the most honest answer was: “No, I’m sorry.”
He sighed resignedly.
“So very few people have. But it is a phenomenon which shows great potential. If I am allowed time enough to unravel it.”
Again Mary tore her gaze away from the blinking lights and dancing lines..
“Oh! I’m sorry! I’m intruding! I’ll just-”
“No, no.” Mr. Krish raised the damaged hand again. “I measure this in years and decades. There is still much to do. Still, I am hopeful that when I pass on, someday, someone will build on my work, if I do not finish it myself.”
Mary started to answer, to explain what had brought her here, but instead her eyes were pulled irresistably back to the bench. At the far end, there was a sort of.. archway.. set up, she supposed. It looked far more jury-rigged than the rest of the equipment, with wires going off everywhere, and things tied on in clumps.
There was someone standing inside it, where the waves were most thickly gathered.
Mary leaned enough to get a closer view.
It was Teresa.