General Disclaimers: While it features no ‘on-screen’ sexual activity or explicit adult situations, this hypnofetish short 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, 2007.
Specific Disclaimers: I wrote this short piece after having a vision of the Thing, and deciding I couldn't do it justice with a drawing.
Dedicated to Professor Rotwang.
The Thing lurked in the closet.
And this was a problem.
Because she was not supposed to lurking.
She was supposed to be in storage.
Switched off. Shut down. Mindless.
This was not possible.
She had been irrevocably changed. She was a Thing now. A collection of smoothly-humming parts, a machine that, yes, ate and crapped and got stinky if she didn’t take her shower every three days, but a machine nonetheless.
And machines are accurate and precise. They do not make mistakes or go wandering around outside their established perimeters.
But.. she was wandering. The Owner had stored her in the closet, and yet here she was.
Under the long tangled canopy that was her hair, her limbs dangled, but at their ends, her curled manipulators twitched endlessly against her skin, dug into the soft thickness of the rug.
And she was listening.
Not just that, but straining to listen, to hear the noises coming from the other side of the closet door.
She tried to pull away, to shut down turn off become inert go into storage.
But to no avail.
So. What does a machine do, when a fault develops?
Run a self-diagnosis. Yes.
What was her primary function?
That at least was simple enough. Obedience. Total unquestioning obedience to the Owner.
A chill went down the length of her spine, a pinprick that turned into a razor-slice. In lurking, she was disobeying the Owner.
Or was she?
She rewound and reviewed the day’s activities.
Summoned out of the closet.
Ordered to prepare breakfast for the Owner: scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, coffee. Ingest the scraps, clean up the rest of the dishes. Vacuum the condo. Bring the Owner a mug of beer, then serve as a footstool while he sat in his chair and watched The Game on the television. The usual activities for a Sunday.
The Game had ended, the Owner had gotten up, and told her to go to the closet. His exact words. He hadn’t told her to go into storage. Just go to the closet.
That meant nothing. That’s what the Owner often said, and machines did not parse orders or look for loopholes. Machines obeyed orders.
Something was different this time. Not being sent to the closet in the middle of the day; that happened quite often, whenever Unauthorized Individuals came to the door. At the ring of the doorbell, she carefully disengaged from whatever task she was currently performing, went softly to the bedroom closet and shut down while the UI was dealt with.
This time, something about the way the Owner had said the words..
Twitch twitch twitch.
There had been a unfamiliar note in his voice, one that she had not heard since..
She couldn’t remember when.
She couldn’t decide what the note meant.
And that was the problem. Yes.
She hadn’t been sure what was going to happen, and she had been worried.
Worried about the Owner.
There was no point in denying the fact. She was having this feeling, a feeling no machine, no Thing, should or could ever possibly have.
What did that mean?
Was there any danger to the Owner?
Danger to the Owner. That was it. The Owner had sent her to the closet, with that note, and she had worried, so...
Sent to the closet, she had lurked and listened. For forty two minutes nothing had happened. (Machines kept very accurate track of time.)
Then someone rang the doorbell. The Owner must have answered it, as there was then the muted sound of voices. The Owner, and..
A woman. A woman who sounded familiar. The Thing sorted methodically back through her memories, and identified the voice. The woman had been one of the Owner’s romantic pairings. A date. Or two or three. They had come to the condo, and had had dinner. And then had had sex in the bed, while the Thing was in storage in the closet. For a moment, the Thing was relieved. The woman was Authorized, and thus only a moderate ri-
A new thought came, a worse thought, a jab with a spike, a river zipping down her spine. If she remembered that, it meant that at some level her mind was always aware, even while in storage. What did this mean?
She was always listening.
Always worried about the Owner.
The truth was inescapable.
She loved her Owner. Loved him deeply and hopelessly, with every fiber of her being.
She was lurking because she wanted to protect him. If anything went wrong, if ever he was threatened..
She would burst out of the closet, out of storage, turn her manipulators into claws, tear the threat to bloody quivering ribbons and dance on its pulpy remains.
She wasn’t a Thing at all. She was still a woman.
That was when she had heard that note in the Owner’s voice.
Owen had invited her over to his condo, and said..
Had lured her into the bedroom and..
Therese lurked next to Owen’s Hawaiian shirts, neat on their racks where she had hung them, listening to the noises just on the other side of the door.
She remembered now what those sounds meant.
They were on the bed together, Owen and Brigit, her name was Brigit Abel. A tall slender woman, with a bob of hair several shades darker than Therese’s. She and Therese had known each other, bumped into each other occasionally at Club Eastside..
But Owen and Brigit weren’t having sex.
Brigit’s limbs were all twisted together, a knot that pulled itself tighter the more she struggled, her eyes rolled up inside her head, seeing nothing. Owen looming over her with a stopwatch, saying certain words, waiting for just the right moment to stick.. in..
Prying Brigit slowly open.
Wider and wider.
Turning her irrevocably into a Thing.
A collection of smoothly humming parts which obeyed.
In the darkness of the closet, something odd and disturbing was happening to the Thing’s mouth.
Her hand came up, bapped against her lips, stuck there.
The corners were forcing themselves up.
She was smiling.
Of course she wasn’t smiling. She wasn’t Therese Helm. She was a Thing. A machine with no emotions. And yet..
The thought of having.. Brigitbot.. stuffed into the closet alongside her..
The pair of them. Mindless. Obedient. Hopelessly in love with the Owner.
It took a long moment before she was able to reset her mouth, but then she did it.
She reset everything.
Her hand dropped back to her side.
Her chin dropped onto her chest.
She switched off and went into storage, a thousand times deeper than she had ever gone before.
An unknown time later, the Owner slid open the closet door.
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