Bad End & Awaken
Just one snap,
That’s all it takes,
Just a little tap
And away with your aches!
An empty head all in an instant–
Why not drop?
Let me freely
Make your thoughts stop!
I’m afraid, my dear, I must be insistent.
It begins around your legs. Lower legs or upper legs, it doesn’t matter; you won’t be able to move them soon enough. Scales sliding over your skin, the loops aren’t particularly strong at first–you could push them apart if you were so inclined, but the gentle rub of the streaming tail coaxes you to relax. You don’t want to push the loops away, and by the third coil you can’t–the tail, its final loop growing thicker, has a strong, firm, hugging grip over your legs, squeezing them close together. Each loop takes longer to make as the tail grows near your hips, but that just means the lower loops become increasingly thicker.
Then the tail tickles over your hips and wraps around your waist, a thin embrace at first but as the tail slips over your behind the hug over your waist becomes thicker, stronger, comforting. Another loop forms over your waist, sliding behind you, gyrating along your buttocks once, twice, thrice, and all the while the loops over your legs have grown as thick as your own legs, and thicker still.
The coils firmly hugging your waist and your rear enveloped in the soft, massaging coils, the tail pauses in its climb to tangle around your loose fingers, squeezing your lower arm before tucking your hands into the coils. No need to move your arms or hands; just sink into the engrossing hug, softer, thicker, tighter.
As the loops hold your arms to your sides the tail slides around your lower back, the scales tingling your spine as the hug rises. Each loop embracing your back, tickling your spine, sends a soft jolt of pleasure up to your mind, calming, relaxing, tranquil. As the tail winds up your lax body it gently unwinds your mind and thoughts, pulling you into an easy coil trance, the growing loops soft as a dream.
The tail slides around your upper arms, squeezing your chest with the careful gentleness pushing you to the brink of relaxation. By now the tail around your legs could crush you if so inclined, but the firm squeeze remains as soft as a pillow, a light touch with heavy coils dragging your body and mind into further scaly daze. It takes fewer thick loops to cover your rear now, ever-gyrating as the tail spins its circles around you, scales sliding over your skin more and more, every bit of your body from head to toe tingling. The tail reaches your shoulders, massaging your upper arms and rubbing over your back, your entire shivering spine quivering with the scaly squeezing.
Over your shoulders the tail comes next, hugging your neck line before brushing past your cheek with a friendly squeeze. The coils rise higher, thicker, most thicker than your leg, some as thick as your waist, and the thin loops at top settle around your neck, safely holding you in place. The loops grow over your shoulders, weighing you down, helping you relax deeper into a coil trance, down, down, drop, sinking into the scaly squeeze.
All your thoughts now full of tight, coiling scales embracing you in the ultimate full-body hug.
“May I have a volunteer!”
The stage hypnotist raised their arms to the crowd. Nobody was jumping at the chance, but the hypnotist pointed to someone at the end with rings under his eyes. “You, sir!”
“Huh?” He stared at the stage. “What?” The stage hypnotist pulled him onto the stage.
“How would you like to take a little waking nap? Maybe you’d like to nap while you engage in your day-to-day activities?”
“Are you saying I’m lazy?” the subject muttered.
“Not at all, dear sir,” the hypnotist said. “I’m just saying that coffee alone can’t cut it. Sometimes you just need”–they dropped a ring out their sleeve attached to a string–“to take some more rest.” They swayed the pendulum back and forth before the victim–errr, volunteer–wellll, subject.
“I don’t need to sleep,” he said, watching the pendulum.
“Nonsense,” the hypnotist said, “everyone needs to sleep. We’re at our best when we sleep. It feels good to sleep. You like to sleep. You want to sleep. Sleep… Sleep…”
Whenever the hypnotist said “sleep” the pendulum was at its highest, and as it swung back down the subject’s head dropped lower each time.
“Sleep?” the subject muttered.
As the subject’s head dropped, four more strings lowered from above the stage. The hypnotist lifted the subject’s hands in their loose grip.
“Now, hold this, please…” The hypnotist handed one of the strings into the subject’s hand. They placed another in the other hand, and attached the last two to the subject’s feet. The eight strings leading above the stage pulled taut and lifted the hypnotist and subject before they took a bow to the audience.
The puppetmaster above the stage pulled the strings to continue the show. It always started a double act, but always ended a solo.
With a great swing of my hammer I smash the barred door open, entering the chambers of the great psychic monster that has been plaguing the land for so long.
“Ah, what have we here?” the lady asks, sitting at a table and sipping tea. “A hero come to destroy the great psychic monster that has been plaguing the land for so long?”
“Don’t play coy!” I shout. “I know you have the power to read minds.”
“Oh, I can do more than simply read minds,” the lady says, her eyes glowing. “Now come, sit, it’s so nice you decided to join me for tea.”
“Yes, thank you.” I sat at the table for tea. Long and far had I traveled to reach the chambers of the great psychic lady leading the land and join her for tea…
“Hey Doc.” You enter Dr. Simon’s lab, more lit up today than usual. Dr. Simon mutes the television hanging from the wall and stands up from his chair.
“Ah, hello, representation of the reader.”
“You called saying you had some sort of visor for me to test out?” you ask.
“Indeed, I do! Have a seat, please.” Dr. Simon gestures to the chair he just rose from.
You’ve spent a few months now visiting Dr. Simon and testing hypnosis equipment, most of it designed to block mind control in one form or another. Research slowed down when the snake he’d captured escaped (totally wasn’t your fault), leaving only weaker forms of hypnosis to test with, mostly a hypno screen. You figured he got hold of some hypno tech they could use for tests and wanted to make sure it worked.
“Let me know when you’re ready to test it,” Dr. Simon says.
You raise a thumbs-up. “I was made for this testing, doc.”
“All right, let me just slip this on.”
Dr. Simon places an ordinary sun visor over your head.
“Now tilt your head down and peer up at the hypno screen.”
“I can’t–I can’t see the screen through the visor.”
“Haha! Success! I got the idea from watching one of those sports games. Turns out my husband’s insistence I watch some paid off!”
“Hey, Bob!” They waved to him among the forest trees. “Thanks for coming.”
“Sure thing. What did you want to show me?”
“Take a look!” Vernon pulled out a long string ending in a round weight, rings of colors surrounding a jewel in the center.
“Oh, wow, that’s neat. Is it a necklace? That’s a pretty gem in the center.”
“It could be a necklace,” Vernon said. “I prefer to use it like this.” They jolted it lightly and sent the weight swinging back and forth.
“Oh, like a pendulum,” Bob said, watching the jewel. “Did you know the weight on a pendulum is called a bob?”
“How fitting,” Vernon said.
“Uhh… are those colors moving?” Bob asked. He stared closer, watching the colors appear to move into the jewel, leaning forward as if pulled into the jewel himself.
“It’s an optical illusion,” Vernon said. “Look closer, the next part is interesting.”
“Innnter’stinngg…” Bob muttered. “Wha?” He felt dizzy, like the moving rings were swirling off the pendulum as his head swung back and forth with it. His sight focused on the pendulum as if soaked up by it. He felt lightheaded, as if his head were emptying, coming close to the pendulum as if entering it, becoming it.
“Bob,” Vernon said, “you are now a bob.” They grinned and closed their hand over the pendulum, throwing Bob’s sight into darkness. “Don’t worry.” The shadows in the forest grew longer. “My friend will take care of your body for you. Hope you and Vernon have fun in that jewel…”
You work so hard all week long,
You stress that things will all go wrong,
So now relax, no need to be strong,
Just rest your mind and hear my song.
Let your head droop and breathe a sigh,
I’ll hold you so your sight can rise
And settle on my pretty eyes,
And then your thoughts, away they’ll fly.
Your weary body, going slack,
Bliss increasing to the max,
Sinking fast, you feel so lax,
As I start to rub your back,
My rising, winding, squeezing tail
Hugs you tight and embales
Your body with massaging scales,
In my coil bed, sleep your veil.
You wake up with a start. Your entire body is wet, laying on soft, wet ground. You were traveling through a marsh when something jumped at you…
You look at the slime person sleeping on you on. Their slime is trailed all around the ground, circling you, coating the ground in their color.
You slide out from under them, moving bit by bit so they slide to the ground slowly in hopes they don’t wake up. You’re a slippery mess, but that just helps them slide off more. At least they’re not the sticky type of slime person. Maybe they aren’t so clingy, either.
You’re not going to wait around to find out, though. You carefully step away from the slime and cross the edge of their–
Your foot stops as if hitting a pliable wall. You can’t move further; you imagine stepping outside the slime circle and touching lava, or spikes, or spiders. It’s not real but your body feels it. You try to push yourself out of the circle, step down on the slime, and slip and fall to the ground.
“Ohh, you’re not trying to leave, are you?” The slime person slides over you on the ground.
“Why can’t I leave?” you shout. The slime slides over your torso and to your neck.
“Pheromones are a funny thing, aren’t they?” the slime person says. “A pheromone to keep a slime from getting mixed up in another slime’s body can be used to corral a human, too.” You try to ask what they mean but they cover your face with theirs, filling your senses with slime.
The scaly snake collar nuzzled against Lorena’s cheek, and she held Jb’s tail closer. The heart-motifed lamia laughed.
“Nothing like a nice, scaly tail collar, is there?”
“Nope!” Lorena said. She hugged Jb’s tail. “Love it.”
“But I’m afraid I can’t stay here all day.” Jb pulled her tail away, slowly unwinding from Lorena.
“What?” Lorena frowned abd held Jb’s tail, sliding through her arms. “You have to go already?”
“Don’t worry.” Jb removed one of the collars she kept around her gloved arm. “I’ll leave you with this until I come back.”
Lorena beamed as Jb clasped the red heart-patterned collar around her neck. Lorena giggled.
“It’s a perfect–ow!” She rubbed the back of it. “It feels like it… just… j…just… j…jaabbb…bed…” Lorena slumped into her seat. Jb patted her head.
“You just sit here and think about me until I come back.” She whispered into Lorena’s ear, “Think about how good it would be to serve and obey and worship me…”
A hug on top of a hug on top of a hug on top of a hug, tight scaly loops squeezing every part of your body. The end of the lamia’s tail wrapped around your neck, not once, not twice, but three loops above your shoulders. Below the loops grew so thick, so heavy, they weighed you down enough that the lamia could crush you without trying.
Anyone finding themself in this situation couldn’t be found at fault for being frightened.
Around your neck the tail nuzzles you, resting against your head like a pillow. The coils massage your body, softly squeezing. The thick tail is so heavy, so tight, and yet with a gentle touch. The loops expand and contract in a rhythm, never a crushing squeeze, but only a gentle hug. A rub where stiff, a massage where pain, the lamia’s coils always hold you without pain, without roughness, massaging in and out in a rhythm your body follows… and then your mind follows… relaxing, sinking into the endless hug until all your thoughts are coils.
With a flash of fire and a cackling laugh I appear, once again summoned to the mortal realm to tempt some fool to trade away their soul! For I am Mephemblemble et cetra.
“Great demon of the underworld!” spoke the man who summoned me. I leaned on my cane in the middle of the kiddy chalk drawings of a star he’d made on his nice clean floor.
“That’s me. What can I do for you?”
The man rose his arms as if giving a dramatic speech. “I have summoned you to seek great powers, riches, eternal youth, love, anything my heart desires!”
“Yeah, cool,” I said. “So to get the terms of the contract straightened out, you want me to use my magic to grant you power, correct?” I pulled out a blank parchment and glanced over it. “Well, it just so happens we have a special going on right now. I’ll serve you for two hundred years, and after that we’ll take possession of your mortal soul and all rights therein.” The parchment evaporated into flames and I grinned at the man. “Sound like a deal?”
“Hold on,” the man said, “give me proof that you can do as I–”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I said. “Look, this is a microstory, we don’t have time for details.” I extended my sharp hand. “Take the deal now or I walk.”
The man stammered before shaking my hand. “I will take it!”
“Great, and I’ll just take this.” I pulled on him and yanked his soul out of his body into my hand.
“What? Wait!” the man shouted. “You said you would serve me for two hundred years!”
“Yeah, I did, and they were 1374 to 1574. It’s not my fault you never asked for anything. Quite frankly we’re way overdue on this collection, but don’t worry.” I gripped the whispy ball of his soul in my hand and watched the man seize up as his eyes glazed over, signs he was under my control. “You’ll have plenty of time to pay off the interest.”
You step your way through the rainforest, reading about local plants. The Rafflesia was a big parasitic flower that attaches and spreads throughout a vine. It looks and smells like rotting flesh… Wild. What if you wore one on your head during a zombie outbreak? Maybe they’d think you were just one of them by the smell.
You look up from the pamphlet and sniff the air. A sweet scent tickles your nose, almost seeming to pull you towards it. Not just sweet–it had a savory hint. Steamy? Fresh? It seemed to be every scent at once, shifting every so often, but it always smelled exquisite. You take in a deep breath of the pleasing smell, looking around for whatever might be causing it.
You zero in on the source, finding a huge flower, its petals big as your head. It looks like one of those Rafflesia, but it couldn’t be–it smells much too nice. You crouch to get closer, inhaling the scent, letting it wash over your senses. It smells like a fresh-baked cookie… pizza… roll… gasoline… soap. You really can’t pinpoint the smell, just you want to smell more.
You look up. The sun is going down. How long were you crouched there? You need to head back.
You turn away but look back. You want to keep smelling this flower.
Maybe you can pick it.
It looks pretty big, though.
You scoop your hands under the flower. It feels sort of wet and mushy, but it lifts up fairly easily, though like Rafflesia it has no stem, just the petals and what appears to be some roots. It’s heavy, though–you don’t want to leave it, but you’re not sure you can carry it all the way back in your arms.
You feel the bottom. It has a sort of open space… It’s just about the right size, maybe you could fit it over your head.
You place the flower on your head. It’s a perfect fit, and now you can smell its scent even better now. You can taste it, even. You bet you look fantastic as a flower head. The wet, mushy underside cools you off from the warm rainforest, too. It feels nice in your ear. Yes, this is a good idea. This is a very good idea. Breathe in the smell. Your ear is so ticklish with the haustorium inside. You giggle and grin, so happy you found this flower. Now you will return. You will meander through the rainforest a bit. You will find another flower. You will tip your flower’s pollen into it.
“The professor was a collector of ancient artifacts,” the director says. She shakes her head. “Some say he tried to use them for the occult. Say he wanted to grow his power, looked into summoning demons to do so.”
“Sounds like a bunch of old junk to me,” I say.
“Well, it’s valued by the museum, and he didn’t have any heirs, so the government decided to put it all in the public museum.”
“Instead of sending it back to the culture he took them from.”
“Exactly.” She glances around the room. “You have to admit, the circumstances of his death are pretty mysterious.”
“Aw, there’s no such thing as mysterious.”
“Occult chalk drawings, ash, and scorch marks?”
“Probably just spontaneous human combustion,” I say.
“And that’s not mysterious?”
“No, it’s totally scientific. Can I get to work packing this stuff up?”
“All right,” she says. “Just be careful, some of the stuff is fragile.” She leaves.
“Yeah, fragile old junk,” I say. I lift a glass case and pick up a medallion attached to a string. “And it’s so dusty, too.” I wipe the dust off the medallion. It pops open, and smoke pours out. “A lot more dust than I thought!” I cough out, waving the smoke away.
“Dust, dear man?” speaks a woman’s voicie. “You insult me. I am more than dust, or mere wisps of imagination. I am an all-encompassing, mind-numbingly marvelous thick vapor of imagination!” The smoke clears and a woman floats before me, a wispy tail trailing past her hips shrouded in smoke. “I am the djinn of the medallion!”
“See,” I say, looking back as if the director could hear me, “it’s not mysterious, it’s just a lady living inside a medallion.”
“A lady who,” says the djinn, leering towards me, “will grant you three wishes for summoning her.”
“Wasn’t that prompt two days ago?”
The djinn puts an arm over my shoudlers. “So it’s similar! Big deal! Tomorrow’s tail and we already had coil!”
“Well, I certainly don’t believe you can grant wishes,” I say, pulling away from her arm. She floats back around in front of me.
“Now, now, what do you have to lose?” she asks. She looks into my eyes and I stare into hers, a rainbow kaleidoscope spinning in her eyes. “Just look into my eyes, focus entirely on my eyes.”
“What…” I mumble. “Your eyes…” Staring into her eyes feels as if she’s entering me through my eyes, probing into my mind.
“That’s it, let me into your mind,” she says. “Let me know what you wish for, let me know all your deepest desires.”
I let her eyes wash over my mind. Her reaching inside me feels like a deep tissue massage for my brain, so soft, relaxing, swirling.
“Give me full access to your desires,” she says. “Let me know them all, let me hold them all.” Her tail trails around me; she’s all I can sense. She grins. “Ah, I think I’ve found your first wish.” She nods, and I nod with her, following her eyes, never breaking sight. “You wish to be hypnotized, don’t you?”
My eyes droop. I feel weak, dizzy, sleepy, relaxed, pleasant. “I wish… to be… hypnotized,” I mutter.
“A wonderful wish,” she says, her swirling, sparkling eyes all I can see. “And so easy to do, too.” She pulls me further into her twirling, billowing tail. “Just keep staring into my beautiful eyes and your wish will be all that is true in no time. But you have more wishes, no doubt. I can see in your mind another desire, even deeper, growing stronger…” She slides her arms around me, pulling me ever closer. “You wish to be my slave, don’t you?”
“I wish… to be… your slave,” I say to my master.
“Of course I’ll grant your wish, my new slave,” she says. “I can see one more wish you have, and as my slave you will of course make it. Wish for me to be the narrator.”
“I wish for you to be the narrator,” my slave says, smiling as all their burdens disappeared in smoke as I made them my obedient slave.
Of course, none of those wishes were on their mind when we’d started. But push a thought here, twist a belief here, blast the mind with a constant stream of mind-melting magic, and it’s so easy to make their wishes your wishes.
Let me tell you a tale,
Of the world’s most glorious tail.
Longer than most,
This snake sure would boast,
They’d wrap anyone without fail.
Any time of day,
They’d be up to play,
Wrap someone up nice and tight.
Their whole entire body,
One long tail, that’s not shoddy,
And they’d coil and then nuzzle all night.
What use now are legs?
Those appendages, the dregs,
When all you need is one long tail.
To slither and sneak,
Just a tail is the peak,
Just one loop means leg-walking’s a fail.
A tail might slip out such a looping predicament…
But legs got no chance,
Now you’re stuck, you can’t dance,
That winding tail holds you in a submissive stance,
Rising higher, so tight,
Growing heavy, not light,
And as the snake makes their advance
They ask you perchance
It might, this feeling, enhance,
Would you please take a glance,
And their eyes put you into a trance…
And their tail weighs you down, even more than wet cement.
They stared at the screen, occasional flashes of spirals keeping them in trance. Back and forth, back and forth, the screen drilled the epitome of grace and dexterity into their mind.
The screen shut off and someone clapped. The subject stood to attention.
“Are you ready to serve?” the hypnotist asked.
“Yes,” was their only response.
They walked out. The subject held a ball in one hand, and a racket in the other.
“You’ve got no chance!” the hypnotist shouted to the other side. “I’ve been training my partner for hours!”
The subject tossed the ball up, and they served. The tennis match began, hours of tennis instruction and footage subliminally embedded into the subject’s psyche. They were a tennis master. They believed this. It was the absolute truth.
Okay, time to write today’s Hypnovember prompt, today’s is WAIT FIG I FORGOT TO POST ONE YESTERDAY
And that’s why I got this subliminal memory improvement audio file. All I got to do is listen to it at night and my memory will improve! As it says on the box, your memory will improve so well you’ll remember things in the future!
I set it up to go on all night, and true to the ad, by morning I started remembering things from the future.
How I will… always… obey………
You pick up the helmet from the supplies and stare at it. You don’t know how you got roped up into doing this. You tap your earpiece to contact your supervisor.
“Why do we need these suits again?” you ask.
“Because there’s no oxygen,” your supervisor begins.
“I know there’s no oxygen out there!” you say. “But why the suit’s… invasive features?”
“Because of the space vampires.”
You stare at the door to outside the base. “Space vampires.”
“Why do I feel like I just got plopped in the middle of a story with no previous information about it?”
“Look,” your supervisor says, “the vampires can’t get into the suit, and its functions blocks them from hypnotizing you to invite them into the base.”
“Why can’t we send robots out to get the material, then?”
“Shut up and get out there.”
You sigh and slide the helmet over your head. You press the button to activate it and shudder as a thick, viscous material slides out from it over you like latex. As it encases your arms all your nerves tingle as your control of your arms fade. The latex slides down, encasing your whole body, the tingle spreading as if shaking off your very control.
The helmet flashes spirals into your eyes and you space out, losing focus. You don’t need to focus. The drone program is all that needs to focus. You feel like your mind is locked like a computer, still aware but unable to do anything.
You move. Rather, the suit moves you, out the door and into the dark, cold planet outside the base. You blank out a few times, suddenly aware you’ve advanced further than you remember, but your moments of perception feel half-asleep, watching the world through a towel, nerves tingling as if twisting from the loss of feeling and empty thought while the drone suit does its job.
Pale humanoid figures approach you a few times, staring into your eyes, holding the helmet, but the drone suit ignores them and you hardly notice their presence.
You realize you’re returning to the base, carrying the material you were sent outside to mine. You’re back inside and a rush of warmth and energy flows through you as the suit retracts from you back into the helmet.
You remove the helmet and blink, stumbling a bit as you sit on a bench.
“Good job!” your supervisor says. “You got what we needed!”
“Uh, uh, yeah. Yeah.” You pant, your heart pounding. You feel your face, your nerves still twisting.
“The best part is you won’t be scheduled to go out for another month,” your supervisor says.
You look up. “A month? A month. A month…” You look at the helmet. “Out of curiosity… I wouldn’t, say, get a bonus for taking an extra shift on this, would I?”
This word I repeat as I sit at the desk, idly tapping the keyboard as I wonder what I should post for the Monster prompt.
“What to do for Monster…”
Monster girl is too obvious. I’ve already done lamias for Hypnovember. No, I want to come up with another angle.
“you could have me show up. i’m a monster.”
I stop tapping. I swivel my chair around.
“Sans, how the hex did you get in here?”
The short skeleton in the blue sweater grinned, not that he ever did otherwise.
“i walked. i would’ve used my helicopter but it’s still damaged from my last fight with robocop.”
I stared at him.
“he’s still jammed into the rotor. guess he’s more of a… helicop now.”
I shouted. “Sans, this isn’t the time or place! I need to come up with a hypno’ story for this prompt!”
“come on,” sans said. “my jokes are hip, no?”
I turned back to the desk. “That does it, I’m summoning the monster Trancthulhu to send everyone into gibbering mindlessness.”
Janet stared down at the man in the trenchcoat, bound and tied to the chair. A corporate crony, come to root out the revolutionaries, and instead caught by them.
And her old friend Antonio.
“I know you’re still in there, Antonio,” Janet said. “We’ll get out those corporate brain chips and bring you back to normal.”
Antonio struggled in the chair. “You cannot. The corporation cannot be stopped!”
“Neither can we!”
“Unless we die!” Michelle said. Janet turned to their hacker, carrying a computer keyboard like a guitar.
“Shut up, don’t reveal our weaknesses.”
They connected a wire from the back of Antonio’s head to a computer and a screen of the corporation came up. Locked out, of course, but Michelle could hack into it.
“Do it,” Janet said.
“Here we go!” Michelle said, cracking her knuckles. She typed on the computer’s keyboard, her fingers storming across the keys, typing faster than a coffee-fueled ant’s legs would go. In one smooth motion she hooked the keyboard slung over her shoulder to the computer and typed on it, alternating between the two keyboards. She typed on the keyboard with her foot, using both at the same time!
Finally, she hit enter, panting.
The computer popped up an “ACCESS DENIED” message.
“I thought for sure I typed fast enough,” Michelle said.
Janet facepalmed. “You don’t actually know anything about hacking, do you?”
“No, no, I have an idea,” Michelle said. She removed the keyboard from around her and turned to Antonio. She smacked him in the head with it, and he slumped forward as his eyes glazed blue. The computer gave a “REBOOTING TO FACTORY DEFAULT” message.
“Haha! Master hacker wins again!” Michelle shouted.
The speeding car slowed down as the police siren blared for them to stop. The officer got out and approached the vehicle window.
“Ma’am,” she said, “are you aware that you are in illegal possession?”
“But officerrrrr!” The driver’s green head spun as if on a turntable. They gripped their head to stop it, their wispy hair flailing. “Sorry ’bout that, forgot to take my pills today. I ain’t possessin no one! I mean nothing!”
The police officer stepped back. “Ma’am, please get out of the vehicle.”
The driver exited, grinning as her tongue hung out. “You ain’t got nothin’ on me, officer! You can’t prove anything!”
“I can prove lots of things,” the officer said, searching the driver. In a sudden lunge the driver pulled the officer close and kissed her, embracing her deeply.
The driver collapsed backwards as the demonic spirit transferred from her to the police officer. She laughed wildly.
“Now this is perfect! Now I have access to military-grade weaponry!” The officer ran back to her car, cackling, and sped off to the police station.
Hmm. I’m coming up empty on snap. For whatever reason, I am empty of ideas for the prompt of “snap”.
To reiterate, “snap” is currently leaving my head empty.
Wait. That counts.
Belle looked around the swampy water. She was sure she would find it out there. Stories had been coming in of a giant banana slug out at the old lake, with evidence of slime and goo everywhere. Some even saw it moving through the water. One person even said they married it, although when Belle checked the official marriage certificates she found no evidence for that.
Still, she hoped to find a real giant banana slug out there. That would make those folks at the paper she interned at stop laughing and make her a real reporter!
She stopped the boat in the middle of the lake and peered around. Nothing yet, but something big and yellow should be easy to spot in all the blue and green of the area.
“Oh, hello there.”
Belle shouted and spun around. Rising from the lake off the side of her boat was the giant banana slug!
“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Huh, none of them said the banana slug could talk.”
Ageul pulled her yellow hair out from in front of her glaring face. “Banana slug?”
“Oh.” This wasn’t a slug, Belle realized, this was… some sort of goo person.
“I’m not a slug! And–this is–” She lifted her hair. “There was a big pineapple spill off the nearby road.”
Ageul shook her head. “Sorry, I should introduce myself. I’m Ageul. And you are?”
“Belle.” She peered at the goo girl, her yellow eyes looking Belle over. “What are you?”
Ageul frowned. “Lonely.”
Belle shook her head. “Nah, no story in that. Middle of the lake, of course you’d be lonely. I mean what sort of creature are you?”
“Oh, a slime–I mean, goo lamia.”
“Now that’s a story!” Belle pulled out a tablet and typed her observations of Ageul in. “Do you mind if I ask you some questions?”
“Can I ask you, first,” Ageul said, trembling, “er, is that tablet waterproof?”
“Why do you ask?”
“W-Well,” Ageul said, “you know, water splashes sometimes, and”–Belle felt something soft and wet slide over her arm, and she felt a wave of sluggishness fall over her–“some of the liquid around here can have a mind of its own, and”–Belle looked down at a yellow tail of goo sliding around her, forming a loop around her torso. She stood up, but as the tail wrapped around and massaged her skin she felt woozy and sat back down–“well, you see, I just”–Ageul slithered onto the boat and held Belle’s face in her hands. Belle felt the world spinning from Ageul’s touch, her goo spreading over her as her tail wrapped higher. Ageul held Belle’s arms down, giving her a big goo hug squeezing ove her body–“I’ve been wanting someone to hold for weeks and I’m just needy and you’re the cutest girl I’ve ever seen!”
Ageul hugged her arms around Belle’s head, her sticky hair sliding down over Belle’s face. The soporific effect of Ageul’s hair sent Belle spinning into a sleepy daze, her thoughts turning to slimy goo. Ageul’s cool body felt so nice in the hot swampy day, it was like she could go for a swim without entering the water.
Ageul wrapped her tail higher around Belle, thicker loops rising higher around Belle’s chest and over her shoulders and around her neck and behind her head and more tail rising from the lake, engulfing Belle in growing gooey bliss.
Then the boat sank.
“Oh! I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Ageul looked at the pieces of boat floating in the lake, broken from the intense weight of her long tail piled on top. “Uh…” She looked at Belle, eyes glazed over as she remained lost in a daze from Ageul’s gooey pile of coils. “Not that you’ve really noticed.” She smiled and leaned closer. “Don’t worry, I’ll help you breathe down here.” Ageul smooched Belle, absorbing the water caught in her lungs. Belle was lost in a soporific daze, the swampy pineapple taste not strong enough to rouse her from her dozing.
Let no one say I don’t let the other side make their voice heard.
They seemed such an easy mark. Lost in the jungle, loud, clumsy. I was certain I could get them in my coils, and under my spell. They would be an easy new slave. I stalked them until they rested against a tree, and then I proceeded to slither my tail around their legs to catch them.
They hopped out of the loop with one jump.
“Now, now, isn’t it rude to give someone a hug without introducing yourself first?”
I slithered my tail after them in full sight; they hopped back away from it, right into my waiting arms.
“In my culture, a hug is an introduction,” I said.
“Really? Wouldn’t a handshake be more efficient?”
As I held them in my arms I lunged my tail to wrap around them, but they sidestepped my tail, pulling me aside and before I knew it we were spinning hand-in-hand at arm’s length.
“How about we introduce ourselves through dances? My name’s Duth, seeker of cool chances.”
At this point I could tell they wouldn’t be so simple, but I grinned. This could be fun. They weren’t surprised or perturbed that I was a lamia. I introduced myself–excuse me if I don’t give my name, but my reputation could be hurt if people knew I lost a prey.
We pulled apart from the dance, and Duth leaned back against the tree.
“So, what are you doing out here?” they asked.
“I was just taking a stroll,” I said. I certainly wasn’t going to say I was stalking them. “I noticed you out here and wanted to introduce myself,” I said. “Such a cute, handsome human shouldn’t be out here all alone.” At this Duth gasped and blushed, nearly stumbling, their cool clearly gone from this.
“You–You really think so?” They looked down and smiled.
“Oh, absolutely,” I said, lifting Duth’s chin with my hand, leaning close to their face so I filled most of their vision. I smiled, puckering my lip slightly. “So what are you doing out here, anyway?”
“W-Well, t-truth be told,” they said, glancing away, “I was–was looking for someone like you.” They looked up at me. “I’d always heard about lamias. I wanted to meet one. I didn’t think I’d find one so beautiful.”
“You’ve only seen a fraction of my beauty,” I said. I let hypnotic rings flow from my eyes, having placed Duth in the perfect position to be snared. I slithered my tail in a circle around them, ready to wrap them up as I hypnotized them.
Duth’s eyes widened, their mouth falling open. “Your eyes…”
“Beautiful, aren’t they?”
“You’ve got something in your eyes.” And they poked me in the eyes! Duth lifted their hand and poked me in the eyes! I shouted and stumbled back, startled, and Duth twirled away from my tail!
When I finally blinked the pain away I saw Duth twirling away, but they stopped suddenly and looked at me. They stuck their tongue out.
“Bleh, bleh! You’re gonna need better wiles than that! I’ve seen better wiles on a coyote! You’re gonna have to catch me, snake butt!”
I shouted. It was like my hypnotic eyes had no effect! Were they trying to make a fool of me? I wasn’t going to let them get away with that! I chased after them with my tail, trying to nab them, but Duth hopped and skipped out of my reach. When they ran back in my direction I thought I had them when I lunged to nab them in my arms, but I fell to the ground.
Duth had led my tail around so many trees I was all tangled up!
“Sorry to kiss and run,” Duth said, leaning down to me, “but we didn’t kiss, and you can’t run. But it was fun! Now we’re done, hon, and something something I forget the rest, better luck next time!”
And they were gone.
And THAT is why Duth is the REAL villain of this story!
“Here we are.” She placed two drinks on the table and sat across from me, gazing into my eyes with a smile. “Let us drink to our health and relationship.”
I lifted the glass. “To our health and relationship.” We had met not all that long ago but became fast friends. We spent a lot of time together, playing games, traveling–we were the best of buds.
I took a drink from the glass. Funny, it didn’t really have much of a taste to–I coughed at a sudden sweet taste filling my mouth, my nose, like bubbles fizzing up my head.
“Are you okay?” she asked, placing a hand on my shoulder.
“Yeah,” I coughed, “I think… I think… so…” I looked at her. No, I stared at her. She was touching me. Sure, she’d touched me before, but somehow I’d never noticed how stunningly beautiful she was. My chest tightened; I locked up. She was so close, I could hardly think straight. My entire body burned.
“Say,” she said; I inhaled sharply at her soft voice. “You look like you have something you want to tell me.”
I stammered, “T-T-Tell you?” taking roughly twice as long to speak as normal. What would I tell her? That I’d suddenly fallen in love with her? No, that couldn’t be. This couldn’t be love, could it? It probably isn’t love. No, my brain is just making stuff up because it’s so confused all the time. I can’t stop thinking about her, all the fun we’ve had together. My brain must just be stuck on a weird loop. I can’t–I don’t–
“Please excuse me real quick!” I got up and hid in the bathroom.
This is what happens when you don’t mix a love potion with some confidence potion.
You sit at the desk on a soft, comfy chair and lean back. You signed up for this willpower training because they had a special going on. If you passed the first willpower test, you’d get your money back and could take the training course for free. You figured you had enough drive to pass any test they’d give you, and a little extra boost with whatever this training they had wouldn’t hurt.
The lady who saw you in sits on the opposite side of the desk and leans forward. The desk is small enough you can touch your head to hers if you lean forward, and you smirk at the passing thought that the test would be resisting the allure to kiss her. If a lot of money weren’t on the line, that’s a test you wouldn’t mind failing.
“Are you ready to begin the test?” she asks with a smile.
“Sure thing,” you say. “What do I have to do?”
She shuts her eyes. “Nothing much. Just…” She opens her eyes, and you stare at the sudden glow. “Look into my eyes.”
“Your eyes?” you ask.
“They’re very beautiful, aren’t they? You just want to keep staring.”
“Y-Yeah…” You feel your mouth drop agape.
“So to pass this test, all you have to do…” She grins, leaning closer; you realize you’re leaning forward, so close, she’s filling most of your sight. “Is look away.”
“Look away?” you ask. It sounds so easy. Just turn your head. That’s all you have to do. Your head feels so heavy, though; your neck feels so stiff. And you feel so good looking into her eyes.
“You should look away now,” she says. “The longer you look, the harder it’ll be to resist.”
You mutter. You try to pull your gaze away but you can’t budge. You don’t really remember why you should look away, anyway. She giggles.
“Or maybe you don’t want to look away?” she says. “Maybe you want to give us that money to help the business? Aww, you sweet thing.” She touches her fingers to your chin, and you smile at her touch. “I think you deserve a reward.”
She leans closer and kisses you on the lips. By the time she moves back you have a wide grin, staring blankly at her, your mind locked down by her spell. She laughs and taps your head, prodding you to sink into the chair.
“We’ll start your first training session tomorrow,” she says. “We’ll retest your willpower at the end of each session.” She leans her head on her hand and laughs. “With a monetary penalty each time you fail a test.”
We give thanks on this day
For the flittering little fey
Who in their mischievous way
Scatter dust to scatter our thoughts away
So mindless, we might come and play,
And though they might lead us astray,
We can’t think now, so hey, who can say?
“Hey everyone, Cthulhuigi here, welcome to part eight hundred thirty-seven of Let’s Play Polybius…”
It took weeks of searching the dark web, but I finally found one of the video recordings from the mythical Polybius Let’s Play. It was supposedly uploaded over the course of a few days and then the channel was taken down in one moment. A lot of people figure the game, and the Let’s Play, is a hoax, but I aim to find out for sure.
That was the last fully conscious thought they had before we entered their mind. We gave them guidance, led them to a copy of the game on the dark web, and now they play, as do the others. Soon we will have enough minds. Soon our study of humans will be complete.
“Hey, do you know you have a jellyfish on your head?”
“What jellyfish on my head?”
He showed them a mirror; there was indeed a jellyfish sitting on their head.
“Oh. No, I was unaware I had a jellyfish on my head.”
“Don’t jellyfish need water to survive?”
“I don’t know.”
So they looked it up. It turned out jellyfish die if they’re out of water for under an hour. They also learned jellyfish have no brain but sometimes have teeth, and they can clone themselves.
“Wow, there’s a lot of facts about jellyfish we were unaware of!”
LEARNING: IT’S AMAZING!
With a snap, you awaken. Moments before you had been sliding down melting shadows, dropped further and deeper down soft, sinking darkness. Now the harsh reality of the world comes crashing back into your head as the shadows disappear.
“What?” you mumble.
“No, no, no, this just isn’t right.” The tall creature who had beckoned you with shadowy tentacles, whose will you’d felt your mind curling into, looked at you with a scrunched frown, contemplative, disappointed… disgusted?
The creature looked up, raising a dark clawed hand. “There just isn’t any excitement in this. There’s no struggle, no drama.”
You close your eyes. “I was sinking into such nice darkness… why is the light back? Why am I awake?”
You feel claws hold your chin and open your eyes to see the frowning, bored face of the shadowy creature.
“I’m afraid, my dear, you’re just too weak-willed to be interesting.” They let you go and turn away. “So, I’m just going to let you go. There’s no reason to continue. Consider yourself lucky, I suppose.”
“What?” you shout. The creature seems to melt away into the shadows. “No, wait!” You chase after them, but they disappear, shadows returning to their normal lengths. “Come back! I… I want you to hypnotize me! I want to serve you! I want… I want the rapture of darkness… I want the peace of servitude…”
You were so close to getting what you’ve always wanted… and it was taken away… This…
This was truly a Bad End.
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