Janet couldn’t believe it actually worked, yet the evidence of her success sat directly in front of her. Janet’s slack-jawed expression almost seemed to match that of Rachel, but while Rachel’s eyes were devoid of any signs of life, Janet’s were filled with surprise and excitement. She stood there staring at her roommate, unsure of how to proceed. So much planning had gone into this, but now that she was at the crux of her first goal, her brain seemed to just shut down.
She tried to remember what she was going to say to Rachel at this point. It felt like she spent hours trying to figure it out earlier, going so far as to have it written down. The words wouldn’t come to her, and she left the sheet of paper tucked in her desk, hidden from prying eyes. She dared not risk leaving to grab it.
Instead, the young girl took a moment to ponder over the events that led to this moment. Even if Janet had been confident in what she was doing—and she certainly wasn’t—she still wouldn’t have expected things to have gone so smoothly.
Her roommate had just returned home from her last course, ready to relax for a bit before she went right back to the grind. Despite her generally carefree nature, she preferred to finish her school work early to ensure her weekend was open and free of distractions. She would likely be trying to drag Janet along to some new adventure, eager to get the reclusive girl out to experience the world the way she saw it.
More often than not Janet would decline. Usually Rachel would end up staying in herself, just to keep Janet company. Sometimes Janet would say she felt guilty over it, as if she was holding Rachel back, but Rachel would just explain that there were plenty enough adventures to be had at home.
If what Janet had planned for today were any indication, Rachel’s remark might just be true.
She greeted Rachel as casually as possible, worried that her nerves would cause her to act suspiciously. The more she tried to act normal, the more conscious she felt of every inch of her body, of every action she performed. Does she normally wave when her roommate arrives home? Maybe she should stand up. Or should she pull her feet up and tuck them under herself on the couch? She then realized how long she had been staring, and chided herself as her roommate took her shoes off and placed her belongings on the counter.
“Hey, do you mind if I show you something I’ve been working on?” Janet asked as Rachel began walking towards her bedroom.
Turning around just moments from the hallway, Rachel responded, “Sure, what is it?”
“It’s just a simple visual program I created for my design class,” Janet said as she gestured towards the tablet on the coffee table before her. “It should only take a few moments of your time, and I could really use some feedback on it.”
Nodding with a friendly smile, Rachel bounded across the room on the balls of her feet, plopping down on the couch next to Janet with a bounce. She watched as Janet turned the tablet on, smiling at the cute puppy that appeared on the screen. ‘Such a dork,’ she thought lovingly.
Janet quickly clicked on a program on the desktop. The screen flickered a bit, evidently loading whatever the project was, before it went pure white. Rachel kept looking, waiting for something to happen. Eventually she began to notice some soft coloration flitting across the screen in various changing shapes.
“Ooh, it’s pretty!” Rachel exclaimed. “Is it some sort of screen saver or something?” she asked, turning towards Janet. She noticed that Janet looked a little nervous, but just assumed she was a bit worried about what she might think about the project.
“I suppose it could be used for that,” Janet said with an apprehensive chuckle, aware of the true nature of the program. “The project is to create something that could be used as an application for a service company. I thought I’d design something that could be shown in medical offices, like waiting rooms or something. People are always so worried there. Like, maybe they’re expecting some bad news, or maybe they don’t know what to expect, or maybe they’re in pain, or—”
Janet caught herself before she rabbited on further. She was looking down at the floor. Was that what she should be doing? She turned her head back towards Rachel, slightly worried that her friend was no longer looking at the screen. “It’s supposed to help relax people... I mean help them relax,” she corrected herself.
Did Rachel notice the difference? Was there a difference? Janet decided it wasn’t the best time to be arguing what she hoped was just semantics. Rachel didn’t seem to note anything unusual.
“Well it certainly is pleasing to look at!” Rachel exclaimed before turning back towards the screen, eliciting an imperceptible sigh of relief out of Janet.
More soft colors danced in front of her as she tried to follow some of them with her eyes. “Maybe you should try it on yourself, you seem really wound-up today,” Rachel suggested, her voice getting softer.
Another nervous chuckle. “Yeah... maybe I will... later,” Janet replied. She paused briefly, trying to recall the script she replayed in her head a thousand times today. She felt like she was giving a speech in class, her body warm and her hands clammy.
She wasn’t even sure if words were necessary. Theoretically the program should work as long as the subject was staring at the screen. Her coaxing could just be superfluous, but she reasoned that if the person was guided while they watched, it may make the program more effective, so she continued leading Rachel.
“A-as I mentioned, people are just so nervous when they have to see a doctor. I figured I could create something for them to focus on, so they could forget about all their worries.” For her part, Janet was impressed with her story. There wasn’t any school project that she had created this program for, of course, but she knew Rachel would likely ask about it while she still could. As far as she could tell, it was certainly a plausible explanation, and Rachel seemed to believe it.
She continued on. “They could play these on the screens in waiting rooms. People could just watch the colors as they flowed across the screen. They would start to relax as they stared. All their worries would just fade away, not a care in the world.”
Janet was staring intently at Rachel now, watching her every expression. Seeing the small changes in her smile, the way her eyes seemed to dart around, following the colors, the soft “Mmm”s that she elicited as Janet talked, all these things filled Janet with hope for her success.
“Eyes following the movement on the screen. All stress and worry just evaporating from your body as you feel your muscles relax. It feels so good to relax and stare. Just letting go of any tension in your body. The more you stare, the better you feel. It’s so effortless to just stare, and the less effort you have to put forth, the more you are able to relax. Staring is such a natural state, doesn’t require any effort at all. So you can continue staring while you continue to relax.”
Janet could feel the excitement building within her. She hoped it didn’t register too much in her voice, but based on Rachel’s reactions, or lack thereof, she’s not sure it would have mattered. She watched as Rachel’s arms fell to her side, resting on the couch. Watched as her eyes began to lose focus while her eyelids simultaneously began to droop. Watched as her mouth slowly opened, her smile fading into nothing.
Janet had stopped talking. She was almost entranced herself as she watched her roommate. Time seemed to slow down for her. Part of her was afraid that Rachel would suddenly come to, but the girl remained motionless, her droopy eyes glued to the tablet in front of her. Her breathing was almost non-existent.
Catching herself staring—again—Janet resumed her speech. “You want to relax, and in order to do so you have to give up doing things that take effort. Thinking takes effort. The more you think, the less you’ll be able to relax. Feel your thoughts slow as you feel yourself become more and more relaxed.”
Janet stood up carefully. She couldn’t bear sitting still any longer. It had worked. It had actually worked. She did a happy little dance to herself. Months of planning, months of programming, made all the more difficult by the fact that she couldn’t test it on herself. How could she? It’s not like she wanted Rachel to come home one day to find Janet in the same vulnerable condition that she was currently in herself. Janet didn’t want to think of what might have happened if the roles were reversed, but the intrusive thought did bring a slight tingle to her body.
It was at that point Janet became aware of the dampness in her pants. She had gotten so excited watching Rachel go under, it wasn’t until she had a moment to step back and analyze the situation that she noticed her own arousal. She had just put her roommate into a trance. Ideally she could do anything she wanted at this point. Make Rachel do anything she wanted. Make Rachel anything she wanted.
She had to be careful, though. Sure Rachel was in a trance, and theoretically, if Janet’s program worked the way it it was supposed to, anything should be possible by now, but the result thus far only proves that the program can induce a trance. She was still in unexplored territory, so she contemplated what her first move should be.
Lost in thought, Janet realized she had been absentmindedly staring at Rachel’s chest for quite some time. She looked up to Rachel’s face, still expressionless. Would a touch disturb her? It would be useful to know. With a shaky hand, Janet reached out and softly poked Rachel in the shoulder. Her eyes remained on Rachel’s face, looking for any sign at all. She waited.
Janet shivered. She never expected the experiment to be so enticing. Rachel made no reaction to touch. That was a good start. Urged on by the current results, Janet decided on a bolder test, her arousal impeding her judgment. Her hand drifted downward. Her palm cupped Rachel’s breast, hidden behind her shirt. She felt the warm softness and gave a gentle squeeze.
Janet’s hand jerked away, skittish to the slightest of reactions, when she heard a soft sigh erupt from Rachel’s mouth. She studied Rachel, her hand held near her own shoulder as if it was bitten. She saw no other sign of life other than the steady movement from Rachel’s shallow breaths.
She breathed a sigh of relief and decided to move on. “Rachel, can you hear me?” Janet tentatively asked. Caught up in the moment, it felt like an eternity waiting for a response, but then she heard it. The faintest of a “Yes” came out of Rachel’s lips. Janet trembled a bit at that single word. “Rachel, tell me how you feel.”
“Good... calm... relaxed...” came Rachel’s soft reply. No emotion, just matter-of-factually stated.
Part of Janet wanted to scream in celebratory excitement. Being one step closer to having her fantasies come true was truly testing her restraint. There was still one more thing she had to test. In order to achieve her dream, Janet’s program had to be able to change someone. If it could do that... Janet shivered at the possibilities. Invigorated with determination, she continued her experiment.
“That’s good, Rachel. You’re doing so wonderfully. Keep watching the screen for me. You are currently in a trance. Because you are so relaxed, you have no thoughts. Remember, thoughts take effort, so if you want to remain relaxed, you must not have any thoughts. If you have no thoughts of your own, you can let others do the thinking for you. Let me do the thinking for you, Rachel. Let my words become your thoughts. Now tell me, Rachel, what are you going to do?”
“Let you think for me... your words.... my thoughts...” Rachel droned on.
“So relaxed for me, Rachel. So open for my words. In a moment I am going to wake you up.” As Janet said this she carefully flipped the tablet over. Rachel’s eyes followed the movement until the screen was out of sight, at which point her eyes remained fixed where they were. With her head tilted ever so slightly farther down, a small drop of drool began to form on her lips.
Janet had given some thought into what her first test should be. She didn’t want to try anything too forward. After all, if things backfired... well, Janet didn’t really want to think about what might happen then. She had come up with something simple and subdued.
In Janet’s current state, though, ‘subdued’ wasn’t enough. Rachel was there in front of her, ready to do anything she asked. Janet never realized how tempting that notion actually was. She had never been so turned on at the thought of absolute control. She couldn’t help herself as she changed her plan to something a bit more satisfying.
“When you wake up, you will still feel very relaxed. You won’t consciously remember anything that happened while you were in trance. You will instead just remember me showing you my program, and believing it was wonderful. Lastly, from now on you will only refer to me as Mistress. Do you understand, Rachel?”
“Excellent, Rachel. Now... wake up”
Slowly the smile returned to Rachel’s mouth, and life to her eyes. She turned to Janet and said, “Thanks for showing me your project, it was really wonderful. I’m sure you’ll get a good grade on it, Mistress!”
Janet had been staring expectantly at Rachel, but upon hearing those words, an ecstatic grin appeared on her face. It worked! She could actually change people! She had never felt so relieved before. Suddenly her goal seemed in reach, something that was actually attainable. Just a few more days-
Rachel nervously giggled a bit, adding, “Not sure why I called you Mistress, Mistress.” The embarrassed blush that was on Rachel’s face was replaced with a look of confusion. “Mistress...” Rachel said again, becoming more concerned. “Mistress...” she repeated, as panic was setting in. “Why can’t I say your name, Mistress?!”
Janet was shaken from her thoughts as she looked over at Rachel in shock. Something was wrong. She messed something up. It seemed her program had been able to do everything she wanted it to do. It was able to induce a trance and affect people while awake, but she had been careless. Rachel was now forced to call her Mistress, but Janet never suggested that she should view this as normal.
Watching Rachel panic, Janet tried to quickly think of how to resolve this when she realized the biggest mistake she had made. She didn’t leave a shortcut to bring Rachel back under. How could she have forgotten something so basic?
Janet reflected the same panic, unable to maintain her composure. “Rachel, I... I can explain.” She had to think of another way, and fast. She looked towards the tablet, still face down on the table. The program had worked, but Rachel hadn’t been so worked up the first time. Was she in too much of a fit to be brought back under? It had also taken some time before. Janet wasn’t sure if it would work, but ultimately she decided that she didn’t really have a choice.
“Explain? What do you mean explain?” She watched Janet’s movements, confused as to what Janet could know about... whatever it was that was happening to her. “What are you...” Rachel began, her mind racing, trying to make sense of the situation. She noticed how Janet kept glancing at the tablet. She thought back on what had transpired before the incident, suddenly realizing how her roommate had been acting unusual ever since she walked in. As Janet began reaching for the tablet, Rachel asked, “You... did you do this?!”
Crouching towards the table, the tablet was just inches out of her reach when Janet became paralyzed. The reaction was enough to give credence to Rachel’s assumptions. “Listen, Ra-Rachel... if you’ll just...” the meek girl stammered. She watched as Rachel stood up, towering over Janet. With a sudden force of will, Janet lunged the remaining distance towards the tablet. She hurriedly turned it over to face Rachel.
“Mistress, what the hell is... going...” Rachel questioned before her voice began to trail off. The flash of light from the tablet caught in her peripheral vision. As soon as she noticed the colors, her eyes locked onto the screen.
Steeling herself, Rachel slammed her eyes shut with all her strength, allowing her thoughts to come back to her. “What the hell, Mistress!” she shouted as she blindly charged forward, knocking Janet onto her back, the tablet flying to the floor a few feet away.
Janet scrambled on her knees towards her tablet, turning it every which way to make sure it wasn’t broken. Quickly realizing there were no signs of damage, she turned towards the hallways, too shocked to speak as she watched Rachel rush towards her bedroom. Within moments, the bedroom door slammed shut. The sound of the lock reverberated in Janet’s ears. She collapsed onto her haunches in shock as she stared at the door in the distance. Her tablet was held loosely in her hands. She was so close.
Her mind was all over the place. Janet didn’t know what to focus on. She thought about what Rachel might do. Would she call the cops? Her parents? The school? Janet wasn’t sure if anyone would believe the story, but she was equally unsure if she was willing to risk that chance. She thought about what she should do. Apologize? Try to explain the situation? Try to induce her again? Her thoughts kept circling in her mind, over and over.
On the other side of the door, Rachel paced her room, her hands cupped over her mouth. She kept trying to say Janet’s name quietly to herself, but a different word came out every time. She had never felt anything like it. She wasn’t even sure how to describe the sensation. Every time she tried to say her name, it was like someone else was taking over, speaking through her, forcing her to say something else.
She wondered if Janet really did have a part in this. Her actions certainly hinted at it. She was defensive. An innocent person wouldn’t have reacted that way, she deduced. But how, she wondered. It seemed to have something to do with that wonderful program that Janet showed her, but that didn’t make any sense. All she did was look at it for a few seconds, and Janet didn’t say anything other than explain what it was for.
And why mistress, of all words? It didn’t make sense. If Janet was behind all this, what was her goal, to humiliate Rachel? It was so out of character for her. She was such a quiet girl. Was she harboring some darker secret?
Rachel didn’t know what to make of it all. She wasn’t getting anywhere with this, though. If she was going to figure this out, she’d just have to confront Janet herself.
“Mistr- damnit!” Janet heard through the door after what felt like hours, finally breaking the torrent of deafening thoughts in the silent room. The voice was terse.
“Look, I know you can hear me,” Rachel began, leaning against the door with her right hand. “I don’t know what it is you did to me, or how you did it. For now, I want to know why.”
Rachel waited for a response. She could hear Janet moving around. Eventually she felt the door shake a bit with a soft thud as Janet sat against it on the other side.
Tired of waiting, Rachel kicked at the door, eliciting a subdued yelp from the other side. “Answer me!” she shouted, wincing at the pain caused by the kick.
“I... I didn’t mean... please, Rachel, don’t... I can fix this... just...” Janet managed to choke out.
“And you’re going to fix it. Right now, let’s go.”
“If I... in order to fix it, I... I need to use the program again...” Janet stammered. She wasn’t sure what the response would be to that. Her voice was distressed. The two of them never had an argument before, Janet had never seen Rachel get mad at anyone.
After a short time, the door opened unexpectedly. Janet just managed to grab the door frame in time to prevent her from falling all the way back. She looked up to see Rachel staring right back at her, a look of incredible disappointment on her face. “I’m sorry I yelled at you, just..”, Rachel began. “Just fix this.”
Janet nodded, and then sat up. She could feel the eyes on the back of her head as she made her way back towards the couch, back towards where her tablet was, back towards her key. The walk was the most uncomfortable she had ever felt around Rachel.
Upon reaching her destination, she turned around and stared at her feet. She couldn’t bring herself to meet Rachel’s gaze. She remained motionless.
Rachel sighed, “Let’s just get this over with. Use your wonderful program thing and undo what you did already, and then you and I are going to have a talk about boundaries.” She forcefully poked Janet in the arm, pushing her slightly towards the couch. She watched as her roommate turned, reached down, and picked up the device. The screen flashed on, and all Rachel could say was “Oh...” before her consciousness slipped away.* * *