You’re dragged down the glittering halls, feet shuffling along the soft carpet. You’re not going to give the guards the benefit of an easy drag, but eventually they drop you in the throne room.
“And who do we have here?”
You stand up and take in the amethyst room.
Amethysts adorn the walls and throne, rich purple tapestries drape around the room. Even the lamps have a purple hue.
On the throne lounges a lamia, purple waves in their thick flowing hair. A crown sits atop their head, encrusted with purple gems.
But it all pales to their tail.
Their violet tail is more vivid and sparkling than the actual amethysts in the room. It glitters as if covered in tiny amethysts.
“We found them sneaking in the royal garden, your majesty,” the guards say.
“Looking for a royal flower to bestow upon your beloved, perhaps?”
You don’t want to give the tyrant the satisfaction of an answer, but you know things would get worse if you remained silent.
“A most beautiful flower from the most beautiful lamia’s garden, of course,” you say.
As much as you hate the monarch their elegant charm was well-known.
The lamia monarch snapped their fingers and ordered the guards to leave them. You glance back at them retreating before you turn back, only to see a violet rose immediately before you.
“For you,” the lord said. “But be careful, it hides thorns, as many do.” You take the rose.
“I feel I can get an honest statement from you,” the monarch said. “Most wish to fawn and gain approval, they say what they think I want to hear. But tell me, honestly”–they lifted their glittering tail–“what do you think of my tail?”
You certainly weren’t going to speak fully honestly. “I think your tail is beautiful.” True–beautiful and terrible.
The lamia lord slipped their tail around you and pulled you closer. “Would you like to see it closer?”
“Oh, no, my lord, I am not worthy of it,” you lied.
You glanced up at the curt response and stared. The lamia’s purple eyes were indigo now–no, violet–purple–indigo–what was… this beauty… beyond anything you’d ever known…
“You are far, far below the honor of my purple beauty, aren’t you?”
You were halfway through saying, “Yes, my lord,” before you realized you weren’t trying to lie. You sputtered out a, “N-N-Nuh…nnnyes… Yes, my lord…”
Why were you trying to resist? This majestic creature deserves your allegiance. Nothing else held such glory.
“Now, you’re going to tell me what you were really doing in my flower garden, right?”
“Yes… scouting for the rebels… charting routes of attack…”
“And you know rebellion is wrong, don’t you?”
The monarch nodded. You nodded along with them.
Rebellion is wrong.
“And you’re going to give me the names of your co-conspirators, right?”
“Yes, my lord.”
The idea of “your” co-conspirators feels odd to… “you”. “You” don’t really exist. You couldn’t exist compared to the vast glory of this lamia lord. You are so insignificant in comparison…
You’re really more a part of them than your own being.
The monarch grinned. “Of course, we have to punish you for your transgression, but for so cooperative I’ll give you a choice. You can either spend forty days in the dungeon, where we will twist, spike, burn your body…”
“Or I’ll never look upon you with my eyes again.”
“Dungeon, dungeon, dungeon,” you plead, body crumpling upon the monarch’s tail propping you up. You’re nothing without the lamia lord. You only exist through the lamia lord. You must submit yourself to the purple royal glory…
You huddle in your robes against the ruins of an old wall. All day the desert had been burning hot, but now the sun is down, the world is dark, and you’re afraid you might freeze to death before morning arrives. What you wouldn’t give for a small sun during the night.
You jump up at a sudden light breaking through your shut eyes and you open your eyes to a blinding brightness. Not in the sky–the desert remains cold–but a light has emerged from behind another wall. Its searing brightness makes it hard to look at, but it’s hard to look away.
Eventually your eyes adjust to the light and you see it’s a lamia, her skin bright with golden blonde hair spreading from her like rays of a sun, her brightly-glowing tail yellow as a sea of sunflowers.
“Oh dear, you look so cold and alone,” she says. She slithers closer.
You stare into her yellow eyes, bright and shining as small suns. She herself shines as bright as a small sun. You feel a similar painful sensation as staring at the actual sun, but her pulsating eyes keep your gaze in place.
“You need someone to warm you up, don’t you?”
You feel a growing heat as she comes closer, and you lean into her warmth.
“You need a light to follow,” she says. “A light to lead you out of this darkness.” Her tail slips around you, and as her scales rub over you an intense warmth flows through you. It’s hard to move.
“Follow the light of your life,” she says. She backs away; despite your difficulty moving you get up and follow as if on command, her tail wrapping around you to help you follow, her sunny yellow tail enveloping you in warmth and light.
Her eyes continue to burn into yours.
“Follow the light,” she says. “Give in to the light. Let the light fill your mind.” She leads you down a chamber into the ruins, lighting your way as you follow.
The bright light fills your eyes and mind with burning pain, but you smile as her golden burn sears your thoughts away.
The lamia envelops you in her blinding yellow light, leaving you blind to everything but her–your sun.
“You want to worship your sun,” she says. “Let me be your sun goddess. I’ll keep you safe and warm.” She stares into your eyes; you’re blind to all but her bright yellow power.
“Let me burn away all those dark thoughts and leave nothing but my hot light controlling you…”
He cuddled with his boyfriend on the couch, gazing into his beautiful eyes.
“You just want to snuggle like this all day, don’t you?” his boyfriend said.
He giggled. “It’s like you read my mind.”
His boyfriend giggled. “It’s more like I wrote your mind.”
They watched as the head of their latest victim stared lifeless from the fire, the skin melting away until only the fractured skull remained, charred and unrecognizable. Another murder, another burning. They grabbed the bucket of water to douse the flames.
Instead the orange flames burst higher as the liquid hit. The murderer stumbled back–did they put something instead of water in the bucket?
They stared as the fire grew, and the skull shook. The fire surrounded the skull, and orange fires appeared in the skull’s eye sockets.
The skull floated. The murderer stared whimpering.
“YoOoOoOuUuUuU!” the skull shrieked. “MURDEREeEeEeRrRrRrR!” It floated towards them, fire twirling behind it. The murderer shuffled back, voice caught in their throat, until they finally squeaked out a series of, “No, no, no.”
“You deny this?” the skull asked. “The evidence is plain to both of us, murderer!”
“I’m sorry!” the murderer screamed. “I can’t–I can’t–I’m sorry–”
“You better be, buddy!” the skull shouted. “Do you have any idea how long this is going to set me back?” The skull grumbled.
“The one day I forget to cast a protection spell…” The skull looked between the murderer, the fireplace, and the other bags of bones. It leaned closer; despite the orange fire it wasn’t hot to the touch. “You need help, buddy.”
“I know, but… I can’t!”
The skull stared at them.
Well, the skull faced them. It didn’t have eyes to stare with anymore. Although it did have fire.
Orange, flickering, twirling fire…
The murderer stared, body gradually going lax, fear evaporating into a shroud hiding away their thoughts.
Just stare at the fire…
Stare at the fire… pretty, burning encompassing…
The skull floated back and forth in a swaying motion, and the murderer followed it, eyes drooping, mouth slack.
“There, that’s better than murdering people, isn’t it?” The skull moved up and down and the murderer nodded.
“Now, listen here, murders mcgee,” the skull said. It spoke, and the murderer listened. The murderer obeyed. “Here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re going to get up, go to your car, go down to the police station–look, they’re lousy, but they’re the best we got right now.”
“Sorry, forget that,” the skull said. “You’re going to drive your car to the police station and turn yourself in. Tell them you’ve been murdering people, there’s evidence in your house, give them your address, then have them lock you up. Got it?” The skull made the murderer nod.
The fire burned in the murderer’s mind… burned away their resistance… they obeyed the fire…
The skull watched them stand up and leave to their car and drive off.
“I really hope they can drive while in a trance like that,” the skull muttered.
Anyway it turned out the murderer’s brother was the chief of police so despite a confession and overwhelming evidence they were never convicted, so after the wizard magic’d themselves up a new body they hypnotized the whole police force to to become garbage collectors instead.
The end! Ethical hypnosis ending!
You stare in awe at the brown snake coiled on the table, twice as thick as your arm. The patterns are so intricate and swirling you nearly feel like entering a trance staring at them.
It looks so lifelike. You ask if it’s solid chocolate.
“Not solid all the way, no,” the chocolate confectioner says. “A chocolate shell full of chocolate cream. Heavy cream, too, if this snake wrapped you up for real you’d hardly be able to move.”
It seems a shame to eat the snake, the design and construction so well-crafted.
In fact, with the snake’s great mouth open it almost seems to be inviting you to be eaten by it. You shudder and turn to the confectioner. She smiles.
“Would you like to see how these masterpieces are created?”
As the confectioner takes you to the back you’re excited to see if it’s more like some sort of Willy Wonka contraption or if it’s more stoic, like ancient sculptures creating complex statues. The giant vat the confectioner climbs a ladder up to makes you suspect the former.
The confectioner removes the lid on a giant vat of chocolate, big enough to make ten or twenty chocolate snakes. She takes an almost comedically oversized wooden spoon and begins to stir the vat’s contents.
“Take a look down there.”
You look into the vat at the liquid chocolate.
It’s quite warm, even this far up. You imagine they stir the chocolate until it’s smooth enough to harden into perfect shapes, the consistency and texture just right. It’s a bit odd, though–it looks like 2 or 3 types of chocolate are in there, not merging into one consistency.
It makes the chocolate colors swirl, spinning with the spoon, spiraling…
You lean closer. It’s so warm. You shouldn’t get too close, but it’s so nice to watch the expert stirring, swirling chocolate… like a chocolate hot tub… you could dive right in…
“By the way, what’s your favorite animal?” the confectioner asks.
“Huhmn? Chocolate. I mean…” You’ve such got chocolate on the mind your mind almost feels sticky. Your thoughts feel like molasses, but you mutter it out, your favorite animal.
You wonder why she asked. Maybe she’s going to make you a chocolate sculpture of your favorite animal?
That sounds nice…
You fall into the vat.
On some level you know you should be panicked, but the chocolate spiral remains in your mind, keeping you in a warm chocolate trance.
The chocolate is hot, burning, but it’s really just like a sauna, melting away your stress, your body, your mind. Your mind is one with the chocolate; the rest of you will follow suit.
You sink into the chocolate…
You dissolve into the chocolate…
You are the chocolate.
or grey depending on where you live
You blink. Sight returns to you, but dark. You’re standing, but you can’t move, and something is over you–heavy–a helmet? Some sort of suit. You can’t move to look at yourself, but it’s too dark to see anyway.
You realize part of the reason it’s so dark is everything is gray–the world is monochrome. You can’t see any colors, like an old television. Did you fall into Pleasantville? You remember a gas filling a room, someone with a knife… a scalpel? What happened?
You try to shift in place; you can wiggle a little but are stuck in place otherwise. It feels like there’s something coming out the back of your neck with the helmet, other bits jabbing elsewhere on you, your breathing quickens wondering what happened to you–
You feel a prick on your neck and the panic passes. In fact, you feel like how you might sinking into a soft bed or a warm bath, the feeling of safety and warmth from a homemade cookie or a cuddle…
Why were you worried, again…? You feel sleepy… You’d like to lay down…
Another prick in the neck and you’re so drowsy, you could probably doze off standing up. You seem to be held in place, so you won’t fall down. You’ll figure out what’s going on when you wake upzzz…
A sharp pain jolts you awake, followed by a sharp pain in your eyes. Bright light floods your sight, and you try to shut your eyes, but something holds them open.
You see color again, but it’s so harsh and searing, it hurts, the reds and yellows clashing into the blue and green.
On one hand, you’re glad you don’t just see gray now, but on the other–
Another prick in the neck and pain shoots through your body. You grit your teeth, twitching in place. The pain burns and twists inside you; you’d do anything to end it.
Your vision swims. Your sight darkens.
When you wake up again the pain is gone and the world is gray again. You sigh but tense up, afraid of what will happen next. More pain? What is going on?
You panic at another prick but then relax–no pain. Soft feels. Good joy. Feeling of a pillow, hugging a plush…
A gray spiral appears before your vision, a pretty swirling spiral, it feels nice to stare at the soft gray sight, soft spiral, soft head, soft thoughts…
You doze off in muted gray euphoria, no need for any other thoughts.
Next time you open your eyes the colors are back. The harsh, painful colors. Pain pricks you, your body shudders, bad bad bad. You pass out again.
Next time the sweet, soft, muted gray world returns, and you’re happy. No pain, no colors, just joy in gray perfection.
Next time the colors–you’re able to shut your eyes. Colors bad. Don’t like colors.
Next time the world is gray and you get to see the beautiful gray spiral again.
Eventually every day is nothing but gray, and soon you can move again.
You see commands in your mind’s eye and you follow them automatically. Completing a task gives you a burst of euphoria. No reason to do anything but the tasks you’re given.
No reason to be anything but a good drone.
You never were anything but a good drone.
Your commands remind you of this every day. Good drone every day, nothing to see but beautiful gray.
Then one day the commands stop.
The euphoric pricks and spirals disappear.
Your mind comes back to you. You’re not a drone. You’re a human, a human who can see…
Pain shoots through your eyes at the loss of the gray. The colors are awful. You clench your eyes shut and fall to the floor. You want the gray back. You need the gray back.
After a horrid eternity of color, the gray returns and you regain your calm.
You receive a command to accept an apology for the temporary loss of service, but those responsible for the attempt to remove your wonderful position as a drone have been dealt with, and hopefully another break like that won’t happen again.
Hopefully you’ll have gray days forever.
Your eyes open to darkness. Still the middle of the night. You start to groan at the thought of trying to fall back asleep but realize you can’t move.
Why can’t you move? Why do you feel so heavy? It’s too dark to see anything, what’s going on-
Your lamp switches on.
The string of your lamp pulled by a black tail, darker than shadow, leading from the lamp to over your bed, a long, heavy body sitting over you, with the head directly above you looking down.
“Greetingsss, little morsssel,” the snake speaks.
You were going to scream, but now that the snake is talking you’re too confused to. The snake moves closer into your vision. You can almost see your reflection on their pitch-black eyes, darker even than all their dark scales.
“Sso sssorry for interrupting your sssleep,” says the snake. “Allow me to make it up to you…”
Your sleepy eyes stare wide at the snake’s black eyes. Your reflection in them disappears, replaced by black empty shadow. Shadow sneaking into your eyes…
The light of your lamp disappears. The shadow fills your sight, the shadow fills your mind, and you feel so heavy. So heavy, yet quickly emptying. You drain away, a vacuum for the darkness.
You’re nowhere now. Nothing. Empty. A shadow. Floating in the void. Your mind a void.
You exist in darkness, yet you are emptier, the crushing darkness pressing against you. Your mind absorbed by shadows. Blank. Nothing. No light. No existence. Floating in the bliss of dark oblivion.
Hello, darkness, my new master.
You open your eyes, staring up at the ceiling. You try to sit up but something’s holding you down. Straps. Your eyes adjust to the dim light–it looks like you’re in a hospital room. Sterile, white walls, dull machinery, a constant beeping. How did you get here?
A bright white lamp is moved over you and you clench your eyes and turn away. It’s far too bright. It doesn’t need to be that bright, does it? You don’t even know why you’re here.
Something shifts your head and locks it in place. You feel something spindly on your face.
Your eyes are pushed open and you stare at the white light. It’s blinding. You can’t even see the room around you the white light is so bright. It hurts. It feels like it’s filling your head. Your head feels so heavy. It doesn’t hurt so bad anymore. The white light is infinite.
Your entire world is filled with the white light.
You can’t think. Too much light blocking your thoughts.
Your mind feels like a blank canvas, and yet it feels full, like it’s already been drawn and painted over to the full extent possible.
You see red blood, you see orange fire, you see a yellow sun, you see green meadows, you see blue oceans, purple gems, pink hearts, brown chocolate, all at once, all blended into one pulsating ray of infinite light filling you, expanding your mind.
You are the light.
You’ve always been the light.
You are nothing but the light.
The light is everything, and you are everything and nothing.
There is only light.
White light into infinity.
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