Tiffany sighed as she opened the door to her flat, cringing as the door hinges creaked obnoxiously. That had been something she had wanted to fix for weeks. It meant, inevitably, that she couldn’t sneak by to her room without having to talk to Hannah… Maybe if she just rushed to her room she could-
“Tiff!” Hannah’s head sprang out of her door like a ginger cuckoo clock. “You’re back late again!”
“Yeah, I guess.” Tiffany strained a smile. “I did leave a note this time…”
“I mean, I don’t have any problem with that because we’re at college now so we’re, like, completely free to come and go at all hours in the morning and I don’t know about you but that’s a level of freedom I’ve never had and honestly I’m still getting used to it and truth be told it’s even cooler in this private rental away from campus because although student dorms were like a whole new world—oh, like in Aladdin!—I would so love to go back and forth to class on a flying carpet, wouldn’t you? I mean, I’d be terrified of swallowing a bug or a bee flying into my head because knowing my luck it would be stinger first and you know how that would go down. Oh my god I didn’t get a chance to tell you yesterday because I didn’t see you but a bee flew right into my friend’s soda bottle and you’ll never guess what she did she put the lid right on and just wouldn’t stop shaking it but the bee just kept—“
It took Tiffany a few moments to adjust her mind to the point where she could comfortably semi tune Hannah out and start functioning again instead of feeling trapped, nodding her head to a conversation that would never really end. It was a technique she had perfected in the few months they had lived together, where she would nod along or grunt in agreement to whatever Hannah was saying for the first few moments of the deluge that Hannah would unleash, to the point that Hannah seemed comfortable that Tiffany was listening. Tiffany was then able to start gradually moving and Hannah would simply follow her wherever she went and continue talking. Tiffany would still nod occasionally or offer two to three words that reassured Hannah she was being heard, but otherwise entire hours could go by while Tiffany went about her business with an unsolicited background audio track.
Tiffany had found this much easier than trying to shut Hannah down, which just ended in hurt feelings and an uncomfortable living space for several days. Therefore, Tiffany went about taking her shoes and coat off, dumping her bag in her cosy bedroom, going to the toilet (Hannah thankfully hovered outside the door for this part), and getting a glass of water from their annoyingly narrow kitchen. All the time, she was vaguely aware of what Hannah was rambling about. The bee survived and nobody got stung, calculus is hard, she wished Tiffany would wash dishes as soon as she used them, and she was really looking forward to seeing her parents in a few weeks time.
Tiffany had less energy to engage with Hannah than usual. Had she known the clever and helpful girl she sat next to in several of her classes the previous semester was capable of quite so much incessant chatter, she would have reconsidered proposing they split rent on an apartment. Tiffany learned before they moved in together that Hannah was kind, organised, tidy, and was pretty reserved. What Tiffany learned after they moved in together was that Hannah was only so shy until she warmed up to someone and was away from public spaces. She also lacked appropriate boundaries, and Tiffany had been clambering over these obstacles ever since.
One of Hannah’s most frequent tirades was her lament about not having a boyfriend and being clueless when it came to dating. Apparently, her entire catalogue of experience involved going steady for two weeks in high school where the most that happened was pecks on the lips and some suggestive shoulder groping. Tiffany had taken Hannah along to a couple of dorm parties in the previous months, but Hannah was still in the ‘clam up and hide in the kitchen’ mentality when it came to social gatherings.
As Hannah talked animatedly about how the book version of “The Notebook” was so much better than the film, Tiffany found herself looking the redhead up and down. The thick, curly red hair that was Hannah’s most eye catching feature was somewhat unkempt and tied back in a swirling ponytail, like usual. She needed to change conditioner to something that worked better, Tiffany surmised, and it would be transformative. Her freckled face was cute the way a baby bunny was cute, and Tiffany couldn’t help thinking that a touch of lip gloss here and some eyeliner there would subtly morph cute into sexy. Hannah had lovely deep green eyes, they just needed to be given some emphasis.
The biggest thing Tiffany would change if she could, apart from the verbal diarrhea, was Hannah’s dress sense. She was ages with Tiffany, yet dressed like she was in middle school, with High School Musical t-shirts and bright, mismatched colours on most days.
Tiffany couldn’t help but think of Lucy just then… As much as she didn’t like the petite brunette with resting bitch face, she had to admit that Lucy dressed impressively. Her makeup and hair was consistently elegant, and she carried herself with a confidence that Tiffany occasionally admired. Of course, Lucy ruined Tiffany’s attraction to her by being insufferable and rude. Nevertheless, she could certainly teach Hannah a thing or two about presenting herself. Hannah wasn’t as short as Lucy, or quite as slim, but she was still small, and Lucy could turn the adorable into alluring.
Of course, if Tiffany got Hannah in front of the Algorithm for ten minutes, well…
She couldn’t help picturing her flat mate blank, mindless, and most of all, mute. She could whisper harmless little commands into her subconscious mind, make her a touch more agreeable here, a bit more presentable there…
“Hey,” Tiffany said, interrupting Hannah’s exhilarated description of a manga called ‘Fruits basket.’ Hannah blinked in surprise a few times.
“Do you wanna come and hang out at my friend Josh’s flat the next time I go?” Tiffany asked as nonchalantly as she could manage.
“What, really?” Hannah’s eyebrows raised so high they threatened to disappear into her hairline. “Because it’s just I remember you telling me that Josh likes his tight-knit circle of friends and I totally understand that you don’t want to upset that and are you sure? I mean, I have wondered about what it must be like as you do spend a lot of time—“
Tiffany couldn’t help herself anymore. She put her finger up against Hannah’s lips and shushed her gently.
“Yes, I’m sure,” she said to the stunned Hannah, trying not to laugh at her flatmate’s bewilderment. “But I’m really tired now and need to get to sleep. I’ll let you know the details later.”
She withdrew her finger from Hannah’s mildly chapped lips and retreated into her bedroom. She closed her door, making sure it clicked. She hoped this wasn’t one of those times that Hannah continued the conversation through the keyhole.
Instead, she heard Hannah say, “Okay… Um… Goodnight!” and she seemed to leave.
Tiffany breathed a sigh of relief and collapsed on her bed. She could feel sleep creeping up to claim her, but she fought it, instead rolling over and taking out her phone. She immediately went to check if Alice had replied to the messages she had sent while on the bus.
No luck. The messages had been delivered, but Alice hadn’t looked at them. “She must be asleep already,” Tiffany thought, “Alice is typically quick to reply.”
What did she remember of the evening that Tiffany had lost? It drove her nuts that Erin had her memories back while Tiffany herself couldn’t remember a goddamn thing.
Despite how much she had wanted to let Josh put her into a trance so she could reclaim the night’s memories, she knew she had made the right choice in coming home instead. Josh has been in the chair with nobody else there except Erin, so there was no telling how many commands and secret instructions she had thought up and planted in his mind. It would only take her to tell Josh to implant a trigger in Tiffany’s mind if he ever had her alone in trance, and then Tiffany could just as easily be like Alice was at the start of that evening… naked, kneeling, mindless, and obedient for Erin.
Mistress Erin… Mistress Erin in her catsuit that had made Tiffany weak kneed and incredibly tempted to submit her mind and body. Tiffany felt her cheeks flush at the memory of it, and the urge to touch herself while imagining licking Mistress Erin’s toes while being told to obey was increasingly distracting.
Dammit… She had to figure out how to get control over everyone, otherwise Erin would. Tiffany would lose herself to that catsuit-clad goddess, and she was about sixty percent sure she didn’t want that.
However, she no longer felt confident in her plan to become the one in charge. Her friends seemed all too aware of how dangerous the Algorithm was now that it had wiped everyone’s mind for an evening. Yet they all seemed increasingly eager to continue developing the program, to develop the Algorithm to the point where it could trance anyone within moments.
But to what end? How could they possibly develop something so incredibly powerful and not use it? Or if they did, how were they going to use it? And on whom?
Tiffany couldn’t help herself. She grabbed an empty notepad and started scribbling ideas, names, and plans.
Erin. Slave. Make it so she doesn’t mess with me again. Have her wear that catsuit more. Maybe make it so she controls me sometimes, would be pretty hot to play her slave once in a while.
Alice. Lover. Have her go teetotal until she kicks her addictions and have her stop chasing the asshole men who are bad for her. Have her fall in love with me, make her happy. <3
Josh. Slave (platonic). Make him okay with being out, help him find a good man. Use program on that man to make him loyal and true to Josh. Be best woman at their wedding.
Trev. Slave. Make him dump Lucy’s uptight ass. After that, idk, maybe lover alongside Alice or slave kneeling with Erin.
Lucy. Slave, oh fuck yes slave. Domestic servant perhaps, maybe make her wear a french maid costume, she can take care of my chores, my meals, and, um… other things, lol :D
Hannah. Slave. The perfect flatmate awaits. Have her reign in the chatter, learn to groom herself so she looks like a sexy fox, not a grade schooler. Have her take care of everything in flat, and then maybe me? Idk, might have enough slaves at this point…
Marion. Not slave… but install triggers in case I need them, can’t morph Alice into a new better self without her flatmate noticing, after all.
More to follow…
I have triggers for Alice and Trev, so that’s how I’ll get to everyone else. Need to make sure Josh and Erin aren’t around at the same time… divide and conquer! Muhaha! >:D
Use Trev to get to Lucy. Use Alice to get to Marion. Get to Hannah myself, then use everyone to get to Erin and Josh…
Oh! Forgot one person.
Brainwash Tiffany. Put her in the chair with a loyal slave giving only instructions that they have been told to say. Then I can fix her… Make her into…
Idk, I’ll figure it out. Either way, give her confidence… Make her love herself, not be mean about every little flaw… Make her kind to everyone, especially those she controls. Make her happy…
Tiffany’s pen slipped from her grip as the tiredness finally overcame her. Eyes dropping shut, her head slumped onto her pillow beside her scribbled notes and she fell into a deep, dream-filled sleep.
Tiffany woke with a snort and a start. Disoriented, she looked around her room as the fog in her sleepy mind cleared. Her light was still on, she was still wearing yesterday’s clothes, and by the look of those smudges on the smooshed notepad on her pillow, she had ink on her face. With a groan, she looked at her phone and then cursed loudly, tumbling out of bed.
The next twenty minutes were a blur as she threw off old clothes, brushed her teeth, splashed her face with water, and attempted to get dressed with a diminished wardrobe while her overflowing laundry basket silently mocked her.
With a passable outfit including dark blue tights, a black miniskirt, and a dark red hoody, Tiffany ran out of her flat clutching a banana and a slice of bread with a rushed splodge of Nutella haphazardly smeared across it.
She crept into her lecture hall twenty minutes late and hid in the back row, praying no heads would turn to see her unkempt hair or the traces of pen she wasn’t able to remove from her cheek as she rushed to get herself organised.
Not wanting to start failing in her classes because of her newfound obsession with the Algorithm and the possibilities that lay with it, she found she was actually able to focus on classes for a change, even though her mind wandered more than once.
She had her notebook with her, and couldn’t help but jot down a few names of girls in her various classes that more than turned her head. She made little notes about what she wanted them to do for her, and wondered if anyone saw her blush.
The day passed in a flurry of lectures and tutorials, which came as no surprise, Friday often being Tiffany’s most hectic day. Typically, she would be organised enough to have her work uniform with her so she could head directly to the Moviemagic movie theatre after classes, but today she had to slink away half an hour early and rush home to shower and change.
She got to work five minutes late all flustered and apologetic. Her duty manager Dennis gave her the standard painful lecture about respecting the company’s time and how disappointed he was in Tiffany. When Tiffany pointed out it was the only time she had ever been late, it seemed to give Dennis a moments pause. He muttered to Tiffany to not let it happen again, then went to berate one of the clerks for being too generous with the cheese on a portion of nachos.
Tiffany spent most of her shift imagining ways to punish Dennis were she to ever get him under the control of the Algorithm. Could they maybe downsize the setup to a tablet or something? Tiffany got excited thinking about having such power to entrance and control wherever she went. She would have to ask Josh about that the first chance she got.
Her shift went by with Tiffany trapped in a sort of reverie. Her job was pretty straightforward, so she was mostly on autopilot. Two tickets for the latest Disney live action disappointment, sure. Half and half sweet and salted popcorn, no problem. Did you know we have a deal where you get a drink and a hot dog for five times the price you could sneak the equivalent calories in as it looks like you’re doing in that bulging jacket of yours? Not interested? Shocker…
As Tiffany went to serve her next customer, she almost screamed in surprise.
“E- Erin!” She stammered, her heart suddenly pounding like a jackhammer. Erin wore a devilish grin on her face, delighting in Tiffany’s surprise. Tiffany was quick to notice the dirt on her check and the tender looking scrape across her forehead. “Ohmygod! Are you alright?!”
“I’m great, Tiff,” Erin replied brightly, before realising what Tiffany was staring at. “Oh, this?” She motioned casually to her head. “Just a little mishap on a halfpipe. It literally happens all the time, don’t sweat it.”
“God, it looks painful…” Tiffany frowned. Erin liked her skateboarding and tricks, but this wasn’t the first time she had bruises or scrapes. She was in more baggy clothes this evening, with dirt covering her purple hoodie and a few smears on her baggy jeans. The scrape on Erin’s brow looked very fresh and like it hadn’t been cleaned. Tiffany glanced around the theatre foyer nervously. It seemed pretty quiet, as all the movies had started for the night. The only sales now would be from the crazy people who stepped out of the movies mid-way to grab food or drink. “C’mon,” Tiffany gestured, “let me take you to the staffroom, get you cleaned up.”
Erin cocked her head and looked Tiffany all over. Smiling slyly, she teased, “Aww Tiff, you’re not going all soft on me, are ya?”
“What? No!” Tiffany shrilled, her voice much higher pitched than she would have liked. Why was she blushing? She should be terrified. Erin could be here to trance her, or command her to drop to her knees in mindless obedience. She could say a single word, and Tiffany would fall under her spell, ready to be led away to a life of enslavement and submission. Tiffany wondered if she was wearing her catsuit under her clothes again, or if she had something else just as smoking hot that Tiffany would drool over upon its reveal.
Realising that she was staring a lot and not saying anything, Tiffany spurred herself into spouting more words. “I mean, it’s just you look like you could use a wash cloth and a band aid is all…”
“Oh, so it’s so distracting and fugly you just must do something about it, is that it?!” Erin snarled in indignation.
“No! What? No! Look, I’m…” Tiffany felt her cheeks burning, but then Erin burst out laughing.
“Relax, Tiff! I’m fucking with ya!” the tomboy snorted, laughing even more when she saw Tiffany’s irate expression. “Okay, okay. Seriously now…” Erin heaved a deep sigh in an attempt to stifle further chuckles.
Tiffany glared at Erin across the serving counter. Erin in turn raised her hands up and bowed her head playfully.
“Okay, all jokes aside, I really need to talk to you,” she explained. “But I don’t want us to be interrupted by your work or anything. I was hoping you could meet me in the diner across the street once you finish up? That gonna be soon?”
“I don’t know… I guess,” Tiffany replied, clutching her arm anxiously. “Maybe 45 minutes or so.”
“That’ll work,” Erin nodded. “I just really need to talk to you. Preferably with fries and coffee.” She started to saunter out, skateboard in hand.
“Isn’t it a bit late for coffee?” Tiffany called after her.
“It’s never too late for coffee, Tiff! That’s just crazy talk!” Erin called back. Spinning round to wink as she neared the exit. “Besides…” she called when half out the door, “I’ll need the caffeine boost if I’m gonna recount all of last night’s craziness to you…”
Tiffany watched her vanish through the entrance doors, wondering whether or not she felt brave enough to actually meet her. It felt like a trap to her, aside from the fact that Erin could have easily tranced her in the empty foyer just then. But she was promising to tell Tiffany all about the previous evening. It didn’t take very many moments for Tiffany to know that there was no way she could make herself avoid seeking Erin out now.
The last small portion of her shift went by at a snail’s pace. Her mind wouldn’t stop racing about what Erin was going to say, about what she was going to reveal about the previous night’s occurrences. Was she really just going to tell Tiffany everything? Or was she just holding the information over Tiffany’s head? Tiffany was often good at reading people, but she had no clue to the inner workings of Erin’s mind. Yet, she couldn’t shake a sense of foreboding as the minutes crept by.
Tiffany finally clocked out and nervously headed across the street to the diner. As she entered, she carefully scanned the place. It was a 24 hour diner and was in a lull that was sure to end when the nearby bars began to close, but at a little after 11, this was some way off. There were a scattered handful of customers that added to the ambience coming from the buzz of fridges and the drone of the news channel on the tv behind the serving counter.
And there in a back corner booth was Erin, waving her over. She sat with a mug of coffee and a large pile of college books that had somehow been stuffed into her backpack. Tiffany’s heart jumped in her chest. Why was she so nervous? She bit her bottom lip, wondering what was going to happen. Pictures of Erin snapping her fingers in front of Tiffany’s eyes filled up her mind. Tiffany saw herself go blank and mindless, staring a million miles away as Erin started feeding her with instructions on how she was going to serve. Tiffany pictured herself stripping down right there by the diner booth before getting onto her knees and obediently leaning in to her new Mistress’s waiting, deserving pussy.
Feeling a rush of arousal to her crotch, Tiffany snapped herself out of it and tentatively walked over to Erin.
“You came!” Erin grinned as Tiffany slid into the booth opposite her.
“You didn’t think I would?” Tiffany asked, genuinely curious. The more she could figure out about Erin’s thoughts and motives, the more she could protect herself from her own fantasies. Before she could figure out if that even made sense, her attention was drawn back to the conversation.
“I wasn’t sure.” Erin shrugged, putting her textbooks to one side. “I dunno, I thought you were more likely to than not, but, like, sixty-forty.” She made a wobbling motion with her outstretched hand.
“And what would you have done if I hadn’t?” Tiffany asked as she grabbed a menu and started to peruse.
“Eh, well I would have ordered some food at some point.” Erin shrugged again. “And then I would have sent you a text with a sad face. No words, just a sad face. I’d let you stew on that, y’know, then I’d see you at Josh’s whenever. Except I wouldn’t text you right away, because I totally left my phone at the skate park like a moron…”
Erin leaned forward earnestly. “Say, actually, Tiff, could I borrow your phone a minute? You have mobile data, right? I don’t have Mike’s number memorised, but if I could just quickly log into my email, I can let him know what I want him to do with it, and I can threaten him in case he thinks about pawning it as a joke.”
Tiffany instantly felt uneasy. Erin seemed nervous in asking for her phone, which was odd, because what was there to be nervous about? It made Tiffany not want to hand it over, but then, wouldn’t that be a bit of a dick move? What if Erin was just nervous because her phone was lost?
She couldn’t ignore the alarm bell ringing in her mind, but she also didn’t feel justified in freaking out over it. She unlocked her phone and handed it over with a, “Yeah, sure.” Conscious that she couldn’t see the screen, she then asked, “Do you need me to show you how it works?”
Erin shook her head vigorously as she typed away on the phone. “Naaah, an Android’s an Android, I’m good. Lemme just finish this and I’ll order us some fries.”
There was a nervous tension as Erin typed. Tiffany didn’t know what to say, but she couldn’t help but feel that Erin was up to something. What if this was the trap? Tiffany pictured her phone being handed back to her and suddenly having the image of the program swirling in front of her. Her eyes would be drawn in, her mouth would go slack, and Erin would watch with amusement as she slipped into mindless trance.
Tiffany shook her head quickly to dispel the intrusive idea, then felt an instant panic, feverishly looking to Erin to see if she had been watching. Thankfully, she was still focused on Tiffany’s phone.
“Dear… dickhead…” Erin murmured as her fingers danced across the touch screen. “Give me back my phone tomorrow at the park in the same condition that you found it or I will take your phone and ram it up your butt. Sideways.” She grinned as she hit a few more buttons then handed the phone back to Tiffany. Tiffany checked for any traces of Erin’s activity, but all she saw was her home screen.
“I was in incognito mode,” Erin explained casually, “so not gonna clutter up your browser app with my login details. Anyway- Fries!” She leapt up and clapped her hands excitedly. “You want a drink? What’re you having?”
Tiffany shrugged and replied, “I dunno, like, diet soda?”
Erin gave Tiffany a thumbs up before she sauntered over to the counter to order the food and drink. Tiffany watched her for a few moments before turning her attention to the books laid over the table. Political Science, English Literature, and History. Tiffany grabbed the nearest book, a thick volume on the culture of Victorian England, and studied it with fascination.
Tiffany was a bookworm. She consumed books the way most people consumed hot meals. She did additional reading on all the subjects she studied, and usually had two or three novels that she got through on the side every two weeks. The books Erin had looked fascinating to her, even though none of them would directly aid her own studies of Psychology, Biology, and Forensics. She wondered why she never knew Erin was studying such interesting topics. Erin never really talked about schoolwork or studies, she always seemed to act like she didn’t care about it.
“Ahh, the Victorians!” Erin exclaimed as she plonked back down opposite Tiffany. “It’s a good read, but trust me, you wouldn’t want to be a woman living back then. Well, it might be alright if you were rich and somewhat lucky, but still…”
“You look like you have a full study timetable…” Tiffany remarked.
“Yeah.” Erin shrugged. “I just hope it helps me make something of my life. I still have no idea what I want to do exactly, my ambitions are all rather short term.”
“Oh yeah?” Tiffany responded. “What are they?”
“Oh, you know…” Erin rolled her eyes and looked off to the side. “Don’t flunk out, manage to pay rent this month, not do or say anything stupid to anyone or get into a shitstorm of drama. The usual.”
“Yeah…” Tiffany nodded along. “I guess that’s pretty decent goals to be getting on with.”
“We’re both failing at that last one though, Tiff…” Erin said, her eyes now falling squarely on Tiffany’s. As Erin leaned forward, Tiff found herself mirroring the green-eyed Tomboy. Erin looked more like her usual self today, wearing no makeup, which left her looking somewhat androgynous. But now that Tiffany had seen the feminine allure in Erin yesterday, she wasn’t able to unsee it. She was surprised to still find herself attracted to Erin, even with the baggy clothes and scraped forehead. Perhaps it was because she knew what hid underneath. Perhaps it was the memory of seeing her blank and mindless under the influence of the program two days ago when everything to do with it had started.
“I… I know,” Tiffany replied. She felt her heart rate increase rapidly and she could feel each nervous breath as it entered her lungs. Was this it? Was Erin about to reveal everything?
“So…” Erin began, leaning closer still. “What I need to tell you is…” She then seemed to struggle to form the words, her face contorting into various expressions of annoyance and indecision. “You know… I don’t want to tell you yet. I know I need to at some point, but I feel like I have some element of choice in it. You ever know you need to do something but keep putting it off?”
“What do you need to tell me?” Tiffany asked anxiously, her hands clenching into nervous fists as she tucked them underneath her folder arms.
“A few things. There is something I need to tell you, and a fair few things I simply want to tell you. It’s all about last night, though…” Erin looked away for a moment, scrunching her face up in thought. When she looked back up at Tiffany, she had a bemused smirk on her face. “I literally don’t know where to begin…”
“Start at the beginning,” Tiffany suggested. “The last thing I remember was being outside Josh’s apartment and you telling me you were going to turn me into an emu.”
“Ha!” Erin grinned from ear to ear. “I did say that, didn’t I?” She chuckled softly, her hand dancing in front of her face as though she were embarrassed. Tiffany’s heart was still beating with excitement and anticipation, and she couldn’t help but smile at Erin’s mannerisms.
“Well, spoiler alert, but you weren’t an emu at any point… I guess the first thing was that Josh and Trev were there when we arrived, Lucy was in the bathroom, and we realised that Trev was still doing that whole “M’lady” thing from two days ago…”
“Oh yeah!” Tiffany’s eyes went wide as she remembered laughing about that on the first night. “What did Lucy say about that?”
“Well that’s exactly it, we didn’t want her to notice, so we frantically put Trev into a trance to remove it. Just in the nick of time, I might add. But then Josh suggested this game…”
Erin went into the particulars of the bottle spinning game and started detailing who lost and what the program was used for on them. At some point, their fries and drinks arrived at the table, and Tiffany picked away at the occasional fry, engrossed by Erin recounting the night, and finding it truly fascinating that she herself had been an active participant and yet couldn’t picture a single detail. Her racing heart settled down somewhat the more Erin spoke, and soon she was calm, but still completely captivated.
“So then it was just you and Lucy left…” Erin continued, leaning forward and making her voice sound deep and dramatic.
“So I lost, then?” Tiffany suggested. “That’s how I lost my memory. Holy crap, Lucy won? But she said she couldn’t remember either!”
“Ahem! Tiff?” Erin interjected, placing her hand upon Tiffany’s. Tiffany stopped dead as an electric sensation shot up her arm. She didn’t flinch, but instead took a deep, sharp breath before looking down at Erin’s hand, then quickly up at her face. Erin looked determined and with the hints of an amused smile. “Let me tell the story, okay?”
“O… Okay…” Tiffany felt her voice falter as her entire body froze up and she sat rigid. Her heart began to pound again as Erin’s hand wrapped around her own, and the tomboy gently pulled it over the table to her.
Erin looked nervously into Tiffany’s eyes and then down to their touching hands. Slowly, she turned Tiffany’s hand over so it was facing palm up, and with her free hand, started making little circle motions.
Tiffany felt a warm, tingling pleasure glide up her arm as Erin’s fingertip gently span around her palm. She felt strangely drawn into following Erin’s fingers, and a kind of excited calm washed over her. This must be it. Erin must have conditioned her to respond to this stimulus. She felt exhilarated, knowing Erin was about to drop her deeply down into trance. Why didn’t she stop it? Why didn’t she try to get away while she still could? The answer slipped neatly into her mind as if it had been placed there at some secret time in the past. She wasn’t able to get away, because she had been programmed to stay, and watch, and let Erin’s swirling finger pull her mind into a deep trance.
“So there the bottle was… Spinning round and round… Round and round… ready to land on either you or Lucy…”
‘That must be it,’ Tiffany thought as her heart raced harder than before. She had already been programmed by Erin to obey. It only felt like she had free will, whereas in reality, she was never going to choose to go straight home from work, and she was never going to be able to escape the trap she was now in. Erin was in control… All Tiffany could do now was let it happen… She felt herself relax and waited for the moment her mind would dissolve.
“Which reminds me, Lucy wanted to find out what happened last night as well…” Erin spoke softly. “She texted me… earlier today, asking if she could meet…”
Tiffany felt some of her relaxation ebb away. Lucy? What did Lucy have to do with this?
“And since her memory stops at the part with this spinning bottle...” Erin’s finger was still circling Tiffany’s hand, but somehow the touch had lost its magic. “It makes sense to wait here, with the bottle spinning and spinning, until she arrives, and you can both learn the outcome together.”
Something clicked in Tiffany’s head. Instantly, the excitement, the arousal, the anticipation, and the relaxation were doused like a fire blanket had quite effectively smothered them all. She jerked her hand away from Erin’s twirling finger.
“Lucy?” Tiffany asked, not even trying to hide her disdain. “You asked Lucy to come hang out with you? With us?”
Erin looked like she had been slapped in the face. “I- I- Well- I mean...”
“Why did I think…? Oh I’m such an idiot!” Tiffany muttered. “If you were really going to trance me, you would have done it the moment you got your memories back. This wasn’t… Urgh!” Tiffany wrangled her hands through her hair. Shame flooded into her mind, a torrent she didn’t know how to stem. She actually thought Erin wanted her, that this was her power move to make Tiffany her slave! Clearly Tiffany had thought that she wanted that, to have come this far and convince herself she had already lost control… But bringing Lucy here...?
The spell was shattered. Tiffany didn’t know what to think anymore.
“Look, Tiff, Lucy just wanted to know what happened last night too! But she might call your phone instead of mine because I don’t have mine! I don’t understand, what’s wrong?”
Tiffany looked at Erin, feeling disgusted at herself and angry at Erin. Neither of the emotions made sense, but she couldn’t tell them that to make them go away. No, she needed to go away before she said something unfair and irrational. What would that even be? ‘How dare you not enslave me to your will! I can’t believe you’re not living up to this unrealistic fantasy scenario I have in my mind that I haven’t shared with anyone!’
She almost laughed at the angry insanity inside her head. Instead, she sighed. Erin had no means to control her, and she also wouldn’t be putting herself in such proximity to Tiffany if Tiffany had the means to control her back. A part of her was tempted to utter, “Sleep, Erin, sleep,” just for the sake of it, but she would feel utterly silly in doing so when nothing happened, and Erin would also know exactly what she meant by it. If she hadn’t installed the trigger in Josh last night, how could she have done so to Erin?
“I’m sorry, Erin. I shouldn’t have come,” Tiffany admitted as she got to her feet, doing her best to keep her anger within her for just a few more minutes. “Yes, I want to know what happened last night, but I’m not in the right place for it right now, clearly. Maybe we can meet up again, or you could tell all of us together next time we’re at Josh’s. If he invites us back, that is…”
“Tiff! Wait,” Erin demanded, leaping to her feet, looking hurt and confused herself. “Is it because I invited Lucy?”
“No! Well, maybe. It’s… it’s just complicated, okay…” Tiffany admitted. This was, after all, pretty true. She liked Erin. She never realised she liked her until everything with the Algorithm happened, but now she was wanting to kiss her, to feel her touch, to run her fingers through her hair and bite her neck while Erin reciprocated. But more than that, Erin stirred fantasies of control, of power. She wanted to whisper irresistible commands into Erin’s ear and have her transform into a blissfully obedient sex slave. She wanted Erin to snap her fingers and feel her willpower melt away into a horny mess of arousal and submission. She wanted all of it, and so much of it seemed mutually exclusive to the point where it just confused and disoriented her. She needed time to think, she needed to sort herself out. And she needed, so very badly, to stroke her constant fantasies into a real orgasm, as her mind and pussy kept getting far too excited for her to think straight.
She needed to go.
“Look, text me or something when you get your phone back,” Tiffany suggested gently. “Even if it’s just that sad face for me to stew on. Bye…”
Erin’s face was a mixture. Sad, angry, confused, and something else Tiffany couldn’t quite place. Instead of saying anything, she gave a brief, dismissive wave, and slumped back into her booth.
Tiffany turned back when she reached the diner’s exit to see Erin with her head buried furiously into one of her study books, so much so that it seemed the book might catch fire from her expression. Tiffany felt a pang of guilt as she walked out of the diner into the cold night air.
It felt like the night had gotten significantly colder and darker since Tiffany entered the diner, despite not that much time having passed. The street was fairly busy with people out for their Friday night drinks and clubs. Bright neon lights lit up half the windows on the street, and dull bass could be heard from somewhere nearby. Tiffany hugged herself for warmth and tried to stifle a sob.
She hadn’t walked more than twenty yards towards her bus stop when her phone went off. Stopping to look at the caller ID, she groaned. It was Lucy. Clearly she was close by, maybe she was worried that she couldn’t get through to Erin’s phone. As much as Tiffany loathed the idea of talking to Lucy right now, she figured she may as well answer it, tell her that Erin was still in the diner and that she wasn’t, and politely cut her off if she tried to answer more questions. She answered and put the phone to her ear.
The only words she heard were, “Tiffany Trance.”
A fog descended on Tiffany’s mind, so sudden she was barely aware of it. She tried to think what the words meant, but the thought drained away faster than it could form. Her eyes fluttered for a moment, then stared into empty space in front of her. Her breathing slowed to a steady, deep inhale, and a slow, relaxed exhale. Her hand eased its way down from her ear, gradually obeying gravity until it hung limp at her side. Her phone balanced precariously in her loose fingers, but though she felt the plastic, she didn’t make any effort to try and prevent it from falling. She stood perfectly still, keeping balance in the chilly night air but otherwise motionless.
She didn’t know she was in trance. She didn’t know anything in that moment. She simply was relaxed, still, calm, and free of all thoughts.
“There you are,” a voice said. “Whoops, better grab that before you drop it.” Her phone was gently pulled from her fingers. “Are you nice and blank?”
“Yes.” The word came out of Tiffany’s mouth not as a conscious reply, but an unwavering truth.
“Good…” the voice replied. “Alright then, listen closely…”