Story Preview: DEB

Digital Enthrallment Brainwashing
A Smuthunter Short

(Not as short as originally planned)

            “Hi Chris, can I… can I um… show you something? It’s that thing I mentioned earlier.”

During class Tara had passed him a note that said: Can I come to your dorm room later today, I have something to show you.

It was an odd request from someone he didn’t really know, it was also kind of fun to get a note; it reminded him of high school and not senior year of college.

She’d knocked on the door to his pod even though it was open, and one of his roommates had led her down the hall to his unit. Chris had ended up living on campus all four years because it had turned out to be easier than off campus living.

Tara was a sophomore, and almost mousey. The class they shared together was an art appreciation elective, one of several that made up most of his final semester.

“Sure, what’s this mysterious thing?” He was trying to be friendly, but she had a nervous energy that made her both quiet and impossible to read.

“It’s this phone app a friend of a friend sent me, I’m part of a beta test for it, and I have to sort of share it with people to help with feedback and stuff.”

Tara was wearing high wasted pale blue jeans, black ankle boots, and a white and black striped shirt that rode a little high and showed off just a touch of her pale stomach. Being a red head, a brownish redhead with no freckles just pale skin, Tara was profoundly white.

“Um okay? That’s cool, what kind of app is it? Is it a game, do I have to put something on my phone too?”

Her shirt was long sleeved and tight across her chest, but that might have been because her chest would have made anything tight across it. Tara knew how to dress, kept her straight hair mostly short, and was pretty cute, but that slight standoffish and quiet aura made it hard for Chris to think about her in that regard.

“I should just show you, it’s super weird, but it’s cool too.” Tara had taken out her phone and started to swiped and press, “Here.”

She held the screen up to his face, and he watched as a black line and a white line on a gray screen met in the middle and started to swirl. As they did, he heard a clicking sound that sounded like an old clock. The screen became a black and white spiral that was rotating in time with the tick tick tick sound effect.

“What is this? Is this like a hypnosis app? Are you trying to hypnotize me?”

Tara’s porcelain face turned scarlet, “No, uh, I don’t think so, I just have to have you watch it for a few minutes. It’s just a thing.”

Chris laughed, “Sure, okay, whatever you say.”

“I mean, it’s not like, you don’t think like a phone app could hypnotize people do you? That would be super weird and dangerous. But I guess, I think this app’s called DEB, it’s named after the woman who invented it, and she says it’s supposed to help you relax, so I hope I haven’t been hypnotizing myself, but it does help me relax.”

Chris felt kind of sorry for Tara. She wasn’t a great talker when she was nervous, and she was clearly nervous and embarrassed, but she had kept the screen up to his face.

The spiral turned at the same even pace and the tick tick tick kept its time, but as he watched it, he thought he could see something else in the pattern, something translucent, or like a magic eye poster. He let his eyes soften, and took the spiral in.

There was something else in the image, like a second curving shape that was a tangent to the lines, and as he felt himself blink and re-focus, Chris made a point to soften his vision again to try and see it.

“It’s cool isn’t it? It really gets your focus, and kind of blocks everything else our right?” Tara’s voice was softer, less taut with nerves, and more confident. “I’m supposed to ask if you can notice you’re more relaxed and focused now, it’s been two minutes.”

“I guess so. Is it just the spiral, I think there’s other stuff there?”

Right as he asked, the spiral animation split into two, like watching an ameba reproduce, and then there were two spirals spinning at the same rate with the same tick tick tick, Now, he saw those same ghost images in both spirals but he still couldn’t make out their shapes, past being round.

Then, the screen flashed black, and he blinked, then saw block letters on the screen. They were overlaid on top of the spirals, and barely flickered in and out of his vision, showing up with each tick, one after the next, breathe relax, repeat.

“The thing is paced to prompt you at the ideal time to help you relax and focus, so just keep watching the screen, watch the words and the spirals, and tell me, are you noticing the way you’re feeling heavier, and more grounded, more relaxed and focused now as you watch?”

There was something hypnotic about the screen, but in a corny kind of way. But, corny or not, Chris was feeling more relaxed, and he was breathing deeper now too. His whole body felt still, and he was blinking more regularly, in time with these little flashes of white and then black on the screen, paired with the words and the ticking sound.

“Yeah, it pulls you in.”

He felt a little dreamy as he answered, and kept on letting his vision blur as the spirals went around and round. Every time he thought he could make out the hidden images underneath the spirals, right as they would start to take more of a solid shape, the screen would flash with the click and disrupt his vision, replacing what he had almost seen with one of those words, breathe, relax, repeat.

“Good, I’m supposed to tell you to go with it, to stay focused, and just keep letting yourself relax now. We’re three minutes in, so just keep watching it, now okay, and it’s okay to blink, I’m also supposed to tell you that, that and it’s also okay if you just feel like closing your eyes, to let that happen too, then just open them again when you’re ready, okay.”

Chris found his eyes closing for a second and it felt good, but the nagging mysterious phantom image on Tara’s phone still hadn’t come into focus. But, as he decided to open his eyes the tick tick tick sound seemed to tell him it was okay to let his eyes rest just a little longer.

“Open your eyes and watch the screen Chris, you’ll feel more relaxed when you do.” Tara’s voice was in his ear now, and he could feel her breasts pressed against his back.

He opened his eyes and found the screen still in front of his face, but she had moved behind him, “I’m supposed to remind you that even after the five minutes are up, we can stay sharing this screen and the relaxation program until you’re ready to stop, so it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been going now, okay?”

Her voice was still quiet, still reserved, but she sounded less nervous; Tara sounded like she was feeling what he was feeling, like they were on some kind of trip together.

“You are hypnotizing me aren’t you?” He let himself say those words, and it was funny to ask. He was feeling good, and her closeness to him felt more right than he ever would have guessed it would, and if this was hypnosis, it wasn’t that bad.

“The app can be a little hypnotizing I guess, but I’m not hypnotizing you Chris. You’re not being hypnotized right now, you’re just watching the screen and relaxing, right?” He felt her breasts press a little closer into his back, and Chris couldn’t tell if she was pressing in or he was leaving back.

“You’re not being hypnotizing right now Chris, just relax into the screen and tell me what you’re seeing.”

Those soft words, that quiet voice felt so passive, and it made him feel passive too. Tara was lying to him, he knew this was obviously hypnotism, but he just went with it and let her keep going through the act.

“I see two black and white spirals spinning in time with a ticking sound,” he felt his eyelids flicker as he described the screen, and then felt a wave of heaviness moving through his eyes down to the tips of his toes.

“And there’s something else I can’t really see,” he blinked again, and there was something happening to him, something making all of this theatre more affecting. Maybe it was because he’d agreed, at least to himself, that he would let Tara hypnotize him.

“Keep watching, you’ll find the images coming into focus now. I’m supposed to tell you that when your eyes close, that’s just natural and easy, that’s just what you’re supposed to be feeling because of the relaxation now that you’re so relaxed.”

She was almost giggling now in that soft restrained voice, and if Chris didn’t feel like the floor was starting to melt under his feet he would have wanted to laugh a little too. Instead, he sighed and blinked, then let his vision go soft again.

“What do you see?” her words were so delicate and curious that it seemed like her question had unlocked something in his eyes.

There were two round objects there mixed with the spirals, and as the screen flashed black and white now on and off, he thought maybe there were words too, but he kept blinking and things kept shifting.

“I see…” his voice caught in his throat as he let out another sigh, but one he wasn’t expecting. He blinked, and behind the spirals he saw breasts. He saw large, pale white breasts with perky nipples at the center of the spirals.

Part of me wanted to offer a shorter sample, this is like half the story and the ‘reveal’, but I hope by now it’s clear that I try and be as straight forward with what stories are as possible. One of these days I’ll do a real surprise story.)


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