The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

“Art Appreciation”

Michelle stared blankly, her eyes going unfocused as she simply let the picture in front of her dissolve into a blur of light. Her mind was utterly blank; no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t summon even a single thought into her head. She felt almost cartoonishly dumb, staring vacantly into space, unable even to pretend to think intelligently, but... it was all she could do. It was who she was. She couldn’t hide it, couldn’t run from it, couldn’t resist it. All she could do was embrace it. So she did.

She turned to Penny, who was looking at the same painting with a much more appreciative expression on her face, and said, “Sorry. I just don’t get it. It just looks like a bunch of, of...” She waved her hand at the canvas in front of them. “Wiggly lines and circles. I mean, what’s it even supposed to be? If it had a title or something, maybe I could figure out what he was trying to say, but... ‘Composition 8’? That doesn’t tell me anything.”

“It doesn’t need to tell you something,” Penny said, in a voice that Michelle could tell was trying very hard not to sound exasperated or condescending. “Kandinsky wasn’t trying to convey information, he was trying to describe feeling through shape and color. It’s not supposed to be something, it’s supposed to let you bring yourself to the work without the distraction of specificity. You don’t think about Kandinsky, you feel him.”

Michelle let out a sight that she hoped didn’t sound as frustrated as she felt. “But I don’t feel him. It’s just wiggly lines. How am I supposed to feel anything about wiggly lines?” Michelle felt a little bad about sniping at the other woman, but she had warned Penny that she was probably going to have exactly this reaction to the Guggenheim. She was a technical writer, and abstract art always just seemed like it was art that was bad at its job. Michelle hated art that didn’t clearly communicate its message—it felt like a test she was being set up to fail. How was she supposed to know what the artist was saying when they went out of their way to make everything as obscure and confusing as possible?

“You feel however you want to feel about it,” Penny said, a slight tightness in her jaw the only sign of any irritation she felt. “That’s how art like this works. The reaction you bring to it is always valid, because it’s your feelings.”

Michelle sighed again, beginning to wish she’d never taken Penny up on the offer to do a little ‘art appreciation’ while she was in town. She knew that this was Penny’s thing, and she was trying to make an effort to share her interests—it seemed only fair, given that Penny gave her a place to stay while she was in New York despite only knowing her from the online message boards they both frequented. But couldn’t they just have taken in a musical instead? “I feel bored and annoyed,” she said, aware that she was descending into pettiness but unable to stop herself. “Was that what he was trying to make me feel?”

It could have gotten bad there, if not for a museum worker gently coughing behind them. “Excuse me,” he said, pushing his thick glasses back against his nose nervously. “Um, I’m sorry to interrupt.” He fidgeted for a moment, seeming so tense that Michelle was sure he was about to tell them to stop making a scene. Nerdy white boys got weird about walking up to black women in the middle of an animated conversation. Not that Michelle was hoping to get kicked out, but it would at least save her from a day that was getting worse by the moment.

But instead, he just said, “Um, hi, yes, um... there’s a tour about to start, looking at some of our rarer Dutch modernists, and I was...” His voice almost cracked. Michelle tried not to notice. “I was wondering if you wanted to join? We’re going to be showing some pieces not available for general exhibit, and discussing the artist’s intent. I just thought, um... I mean, if you didn’t have anywhere to be, if you weren’t, you know, with anyone...”

It sounded like the worst pick-up line Michelle had ever heard, but Penny didn’t even glance in her direction before saying, “Fine. Honestly, I think Michelle might do better with a tour guide.” She stomped off in the direction of a gathering group of people, and the tour guide sheepishly followed. Michelle paused a moment, trying to decide how much she actually cared about making an effort, but then she remembered that she was still here for five more days. It was worth it to keep the peace, financially if for no other reason. She took a deep, fortifying breath and went to join the tour group.

There were only about seven of them, all women from the look of it, but the guide didn’t try to round up anyone else. He simply said, “Hello, and welcome to the Guggenheim! We’re going to take a little tour together of some of the private galleries here; these are parts of the museum that are off-limits to general admission, due to the value and in some cases controversial content of the art involved. We don’t like the idea of any art being completely off display, though, so you and I are going to take a look at it together. Shall we?” There was a general murmur of agreement, and he turned and led them to an elevator.

They all got in when it arrived, and he pressed a button labeled ‘SB’. “Now, we’re going to be looking at some art done in a style known as ‘De Stijl’, or ‘Neoplasticism’. It dates to the period between World Wars I and II, and was also an architectural as well as an artistic style. Some prominent artists in the movement include Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian, and Bart van der Leck, but we’ll be starting with a look at a few other artists who had their own ideas about the school.” The elevator doors opened with a chime. “If you’ll all follow me?”

“Now this...” the guide took Michelle’s group around the corner and down a flight of steps. “This is one of our more interesting galleries.” He unlocked a small, windowless door and ushered them through, one by one, into a long dark hallway with paintings on one wall. Only the painting directly in front of them was illuminated, though. The rest of the hallway faded into shadow.

(Michelle didn’t notice that the guide locked the door behind them.)

“These are the works of Gustav van Niftrik, a contemporary Dutch painter who believed like his predecessors in Neoplasticism that art had the potential to truly transform the spirit by bringing it into contact with an immutable truth, if presented in the right context. He designed this entire gallery—not just the paintings, but the layout and lighting as well—in order to give his work the context necessary to transform his audience. You’ll note that in this first painting, which he calls ‘Receptive’, the subject of the piece has a look of rapt fascination on her face? That’s Gustav telling you to open up, to be captivated by what you see. Just stare at it for a moment, you’ll know when you’re ready to move on.”

Michelle took a moment to gaze at the painting, a portrait of a woman’s face drawn with almost photo-realistic clarity. The picture was drawn as an extreme close-up, the surroundings entirely absent in favor of providing every detail of the subject. Like the tour guide said, she had an expression of wide-eyed preoccupation—her jaw hung open loosely, and her facial muscles were slack as she stared in obvious enthrallment at something. It was so real that it almost made Michelle want to turn around and see what the woman was looking at, but she forced herself to continue studying the painting.

Penny was looking at it too, Michelle noticed out of the corner of her eye, but the other woman seemed more irritated than fascinated. “Excuse me,” she said, somehow making the two most polite words in the English language sound like she wanted to start a fight. “But you said this van Niftrik was a modernist?”

The guide smiled evenly, like a chess master watching someone open with a familiar move. “He was actually more of a successor to the Neoplasticists,” he said, his voice syrupy with mock praise and decidedly less nervous than before. “The history of the modernist movement is a very interesting discussion that we can have another time, but for now, let’s just give everyone a chance to contemplate the work, shall we?” Michelle was pretty sure that was only going to piss Penny off further—she’d seen the other woman get into arguments on the message boards about art that lasted for weeks—but Penny only stared sullenly at the painting in reply.

With the distraction taken care of, Michelle could once again devote her full attention to the painting. It felt nice to have something with a clear intention behind it—this van Niffering guy wanted to make a piece about someone being really into something, and he conveyed it amazingly well. Michelle didn’t know why they hid paintings like this—they were some of the best things she’d seen in the whole museum so far.

As she continued to stare, Michelle noticed that the painting held a secret—when you looked closely enough, down in the very depths of the pupils of the eyes, there was a little black-and-white smudge there. Almost as if you could see what she was seeing if you only tried hard enough. She leaned forward slightly, trying to get a better look at it—it felt strange, like she was gazing right into the eyes of the woman in the painting as she tried to get a handle on what she was seeing.

One or two women wandered off from the group, further down the hallway, but Michelle wasn’t really paying attention to them. She was too busy getting a closer look at the center of the subject’s pupils. She stared harder, her eyes burning with the effort of keeping them focused unblinkingly on the painting, but finally she was able to make it out. “There’s a spiral—” she began to say, but the guide smoothly cut her off.

“Yes, that’s right,” he said, his voice calm and assertive. He didn’t sound anything like he had back up in the open galleries; he sounded completely confident and in control. “If you look very deeply and closely into her eyes, you’ll find a hidden spiral in them. Gustav liked to hide little hidden graphics and images in his work, as a reward for the attentive viewer. But let’s not disrupt the experience of others, shall we?” Shamefaced, Michelle subsided into silence and simply let herself look at the painting. She tried to find other hidden symbols, but her gaze kept coming back to that spiral in the model’s eyes. It was so easy to find now that she knew it was there. So obvious. And so well-drawn, almost like it was turning right in front of her as she watched...

Michelle lost track of time staring at the painting. The guide’s voice sounded as if it was coming from a long way away, and nobody else was speaking. It was just her and the woman in the portrait, like the two of them were looking right into each other’s eyes. Michelle could imagine the mystery woman staring back at her, seeing the reflection of the spiral in Michelle’s eyes that was the reflection of the spiral in the woman’s eyes... it felt almost meditative, like she could simply let her mind go silent and let the picture speak to her. So she did.

Eventually, Michelle’s feet moved her to the next painting. It didn’t really seem to be a conscious decision on her part—after a while, she just felt a sudden intuition that she had learned everything she needed to know about ‘Receptive’, and her legs just carried her further down the hallway. It curved, she realized as she walked through the semi-darkness; her body moved in a slow, inward curve that she couldn’t help imagining as walking down the spiral in the woman’s eye. As she continued the path to the next work, she could hear the guide’s voice getting louder again, and she realized he had gone on ahead with the rest of the group.

As she rounded the gradual curve, she saw light again, this time illuminating another painting of the same woman. Penny stood in front of it alongside a smaller group of women, and the guide gave her a warm smile as he gently steered her into the right position to get a good look. “This one is called ‘Relaxed’,” he said, his hand warm on her wrist as he gently cupped her chin to help her find the perfect angle to view it from. “You can see how the subject is so much happier and calmer, how having her spirit opened up to the immutable truth of art has made her peaceful and ready to learn more. Gustav is saying here that it’s okay to let go of preconceptions, of tension, of everything. You’ll feel better once you relax. You’ll know that it’s time to move on.”

Something sounded off about his words, or his tone—he sounded almost too soothing, like he was trying to tell her a bedtime story or something—but the thought slipped out of Michelle’s mind almost as fast as it formed. She was too busy staring at the painting—this time, the picture had zoomed out a bit, showing the woman lying on a white couch and looking at the camera with a dazed, sleepy expression on her face. Her eyes were only half-open, with only the irises and a sliver of pupil showing against the whites, and she had a smile on her face that made it look like falling asleep was the best thing that could possibly happen to her.

It didn’t take long to pick up the message van... van Niffeling? van Nifferen? van Nippleberg? Michelle was usually good with names, but somehow her thoughts felt strangely blurred by exhaustion. Gustav, she decided. Gustav was easier. She knew what Gustav was trying to say—it felt good to be relaxed. She didn’t need to think too hard about it. That meant she could start looking for the hidden symbols. Michelle let her eyes range over the picture, examining every detail to find out what secret messages the painting contained.

She wasn’t disappointed. Every button of the men’s shirt that the subject wore had a number on it, counting down from five to one as Michelle followed them down from the collar. Below that, the last button contained another one of Gustav’s elaborate spirals, this one with such a profound illusion of motion that Michelle felt genuinely dizzy looking at it. She leaned forward, enjoying the sensation of pleasant giddiness she experienced, swaying from side to side to make the effect even stronger. A smile slowly spread across her face, and Michelle somehow knew that it looked just like the one in the picture.

She almost forgot to look for more, the spiral was so enthralling, but she made herself keep her heavy eyes moving. She found a series of wavy lines in the fabric of the couch cushions—it seemed just like extra detail at first, but when Michelle flicked her stare from left to right and back to left again, she found that the lines looked like they were moving in the opposite direction of her gaze. It was an amazing optical illusion; every time she looked left, the lines moved right, and every time she looked right, they moved left. She felt like she could keep chasing it forever.

Distantly, she noticed the last few women in the group catching up with her, even as some of the ones who’d been there longest drifted away with the guide around the corner and out of sight. It didn’t really concern Michelle, though. Everyone became Receptive at their own pace, and everyone became Relaxed at their own pace. Michelle would just watch, let her eyes follow the patterns in the picture, and when she was Relaxed, she would know it. She sighed, feeling tension go out of her in a whoosh with every exhale.

It didn’t feel like being tired, Michelle thought loosely as she fell into the rhythm of staring right to left and left to right. It felt better than being tired, like she was sound asleep already and awake enough to enjoy it. She could feel so blissfully relaxed, so open and receptive, and yet fully aware of the pleasant sensation flowing through her body. She could stare at the spiral, watch the moving lines, and go deeper into this state. She could go as deep as she wanted to. So she did.

And then she was moving again. She didn’t really think about it—thinking felt too much like work right now. Her body moved all on its own, sleepwalking down the curving hallway to the next painting in the series. The curve seemed to be getting tighter now, like the gallery really was a spiral and she was descending into it bodily as she got closer and closer to Gustav’s truth. The sleepy smile on her face widened as her pace picked up instinctively, her subconscious urging her on to the next scene.

Which meant that she almost tripped over the pile of clothing in front of the third painting. “This one is called ‘Willing’,” the guide said, putting a hand on her hip to move her directly in front of the picture. “Most women don’t stay here long; once you’ve been made Receptive and Relaxed, it’s very easy to willingly embrace Gustav’s immutable truth, isn’t it?”

Michelle could only nod in reply, her mouth hanging open in utter fascination as she gazed helplessly at the subject of the painting. She was standing next to the couch, her whole body in full view... in more ways than one, as the portrait captured her in the last second of disrobing. Her shirt hung from a single finger, held away from her body in the act of allowing it to fall to the floor, and the rest of the woman’s clothing had already joined it. Judging by the subject’s smile, she had been longing to take her clothes off for Gustav well before he’d allowed her to.

‘For Gustav’. The words seemed out of place for a moment—she was his model, yes, but she didn’t do things ‘for him’ in that sense, did she? But the more Michelle thought about it, and the more she looked at the spirals hidden in the discarded panties and the crumpled bra and the skirt puddled loosely on the floor, the more she realized how right it sounded. The subject was willing. Willing subjects were willing to... to do things. For others. Michelle’s mind teetered on the edge of a steep, slippery slope, her hazy thoughts struggling with the idea of being completely Receptive, totally relaxed, utterly Willing. She knew that if she stared just a little bit longer, found another secret spiral, that it would be enough to tip her over and send her all the way down that slope of blissful, wanton desire. Staring any longer, even a second longer, would make her Willing.

So she did.

Her hands moved on their own, shrugging off her jacket and pulling her shirt over her head to join the growing pile of clothes on the floor. She undid her bra with an urgency she hadn’t felt since she was in high school and making out with her first boyfriend, desperate to get her tits out in the open so they could be played with. She was in motion again almost before she could step out of her jeans, kicking free the panties with a last stumbling step before hurrying eagerly around the tightening curve to the next painting.

“’Obedient’,” the guide said when she arrived. It was just him, now; Penny had already moved on, so had the other women, and it was just Michelle ready to join them. He moved her body in front of the painting and played with her breasts from behind, his hands moving over her whole body possessively as he whispered in her ear. “That’s the immutable truth you’ve been waiting to embrace, the power that you can feel transforming your spirit. Look at her, see how happy she feels, see how blissful obedience has made her.”

Michelle nodded, whimpering as she felt his fingers slip into her wet cunt and tease her clit with slow, swirling touches. The painting was... it was magnificent. It was the woman on her knees, the subject subjected to submission, but more than that. Michelle could see spirals everywhere. It was the most perfect optical illusion Michelle could possibly imagine, every line and curve of the kneeling subject composed of an infinite number of tiny spirals woven together in a single cohesive image. Michelle’s eyes fluttered, her thoughts collapsing into the heart of every single spiral individually and draining away in less than a heartbeat.

“Good girl,” the guide said. His voice sounded so powerful in Michelle’s ears, but she couldn’t tell whether he felt more dominant around her now or whether she simply felt so submissive that anyone could take her into their will. “That’s it, feel your mind and your body becoming so joyously obedient. You’re almost ready, ready for the final picture, the final truth. All you need to do is cum for me, pretty girl, and you can move on and sink deeper. And we both know you want that so much.”

Michelle gasped, her body sagging into the guide’s touch as he fucked her deeper and deeper with his fingers and his words. She couldn’t stop herself anymore, she moaned openly and surrendered deeper to the hypnotic images in front of her as her legs spread wider and wider and her eyelids fluttered until the painting wobbled in her field of view. She was going to cum, she realized. She was going to cum and when she came her will would give in completely and when she gave in completely she would never be free and suddenly she knew that was exactly what she wanted. She wanted to cum and surrender and be obedient. So she did.

The orgasm was so intense, better than anything she’d felt in years. She shuddered and shook in the guide’s arms, her whole mind full of the force of the pleasure he wrung out of her. It felt even better because there was nothing between her and the sensation—she didn’t need to think, she didn’t need to respond, she didn’t need to do anything but cum and cum and cum until her mind became practically drugged with bliss. When he finally took her into the room in the center of the hallway, her mind and her muscles felt so limp and lazy that it was a relief to be able to sink to her knees alongside the other women.

They were all staring at the last painting, a picture of a spiral drawn so finely that Michelle’s mind tripped over itself trying to find where any line began or ended. She let out a lazy sigh as her eyes crossed and uncrossed, and her hand crept down between her legs to tease herself while she gazed into the heart of the spiral. It felt so easy to stare now. She was Receptive and Relaxed and Willing and Obedient, a good subject who only needed to follow instructions and surrender.

“’Mindless’,” the guide said. “You and the painting both. You don’t need to think anymore, not ever again. Just stare, just touch, just obey, and when you’re ready you can meet Gustav directly. He’ll explain to you what your new roles will be, and how to fill them. But for now... just stop thinking and watch.” He switched out the lights in the room, leaving them in darkness apart from the light shining on the spiral image in front of them.

Michelle stared blankly, her eyes going unfocused as she simply let the picture in front of her dissolve into a blur of light. Her mind was utterly blank; no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t summon even a single thought into her head. She felt almost cartoonishly dumb, staring vacantly into space, unable even to pretend to think intelligently, but... it was all she could do. It was who she was. She couldn’t hide it, couldn’t run from it, couldn’t resist it. All she could do was embrace it. So she did.