The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

The Unknown Object

Chapter XXXIX

Note: The characters in this story are 18 and older.

“Jenny, you are certain you are not forgetting anything?” Eileen Li stood at her daughter’s bedroom door, her face slightly fretful. She had never been particularly pleased about her only child’s participation in track and field. In truth, the only reason she had allowed Jenny to join a sports club was the fact that the school’s career counselor had said that colleges preferred well-rounded students, and since Jenny was already studying piano and doing after-school tutoring, an athletics extracurricular would look good on her university applications.

“Yes, Mama—I have my uniform, three changes of clothing, my toothbrush, toothpaste…,” Jenny obediently double-checked the things in her bag. She knew better than to sass her mother, as silly as Jenny thought she was being. She was just going to spend the weekend at a track competition, but the way Mama was acting, you’d think she was going to some sort of weekend bacchanalia. Still, she was lucky to even be allowed to spend the night at Heather’s. Mama had, until recently, forbidden sleepovers because she worried that Jenny’s track teammates would be a ‘bad influence’ on her.

“What about shampoo? Soap? Your sunblock? You know you have such sensitive skin. I hate it when you spend all day out in the sun. You tan so easily…”

“I have my sunblock right here, Mama,” Jenny said, taking it out of her bag and showing it to her.

“Do you have your hairbrush?” Mama moved towards Jenny and began to gently stroke her long black hair. “If you are out in the sun all day, your lovely hair will become brittle.”

“Our school will have a big tarp set up, I’ll just sit underneath it when I’m between races, I promise.”

“All right, all right. I know I am worrying too much…”

“It’s okay, Mama.”

“Now, today after school, I want you and your teammates to go straight to your friend Heather’s home. No dilly-dallying.”

“Of course, Mama. Heather lives walking distance from school, so we’ll go there as soon as school lets out.”


“And I’ll call you as soon as I get there.”

“And what must you avoid while you’re at the competition?”

At this, Jenny couldn’t help but sigh. Every time there was any sort of social event, this topic came up.

“I’ll be focused on the sports event, Mama.”

“Yes, but specifically, what will you avoid?”

“…I won’t be talking to any boys, if that’s what you mean,” Jenny said, but her expression must have betrayed her annoyance, because Mama crossed her arms and glared at her.

“I am saying this for your own good, young lady—I know what adolescent boys are like. Or are you forgetting that I have seen all six seasons of Gossip Girl?” Jenny’s mother was convinced that television dramas were an accurate reflection of what teenagers were actually like, and nothing Jenny had said could convince her otherwise.

“Don’t worry, Mama,” she reassured her, trying to put a note of sincerity in her voice. “I won’t talk to any boys.” Unless they’re cute, she mentally added.

“Good. I know you think I am being silly, my girl, but you know what happened to your auntie…she was on her way to graduating from an Ivy League school, full scholarship, and then she became pregnant by that…that…

“By Uncle Larry, you mean?” Jenny had heard this cautionary tale dozens of times before.

“Yes, your Uncle Larry…and of course, his career came first, so she dropped out, gave up a promising future to marry him, and now he is just a middle manager at a small corporation, with three kids to raise on one salary.”

Jenny nodded, as though acknowledging what a terrible fate had befallen her auntie. Everyone in her family told this story as though it were some sort of awful tragedy, but Jenny knew that Uncle Larry (who was, for all intents and purposes, the most milquetoast middle-aged white guy you could possibly imagine) earned six figures a year and that her Aunt Rainie seemed to be perfectly content as a homemaker. Jenny suspected that the real problem wasn’t that her auntie had dropped out of college, but the fact that Larry wasn’t Taiwanese.

Still, no need to bring that up.

“Don’t worry, Mama. You can trust me.”

“That reminds me,” Mama said, as though she’d just recalled something important. “The last time I dropped you off at your friend Heather’s home, there was a young man there.”

“A young man?” Jenny was puzzled for a moment, then realized who her mother was referring to. “Oh, you mean Heather’s brother.”

“That boy…be polite to him, but try not to be too friendly. He might get a mistaken idea.”

Jenny tried to stifle a laugh, and didn’t entirely succeed. Her mother cocked an eyebrow at her.

“No, Mama, please don’t misunderstand. I wasn’t laughing at you. I just thought it was funny…I don’t think I’ve spoken more than two words to Heather’s brother in the entire time I’ve known her. All he does when we come over is hide out in his room. I think he’s scared of us, or maybe girls in general.”

“Hmm,” Mama pursed her lips noncommittally. “Well, better that than the alternative, but still—these teenage boys, I know what they’re like. Just keep in mind what happened to that poor Lane Kim in Gilmore Girls.”

“Yes, Mama,” Jenny nodded obediently, zipped up her bag, and followed her mother downstairs for breakfast.

* * *

“I wish I could watch your competition—it’s the last big one of the year, isn’t it?” Gordon Moore asked, scratching the stubble on the side of his face. He watched as his daughter Tricia finished packing her bag for the sleepover she’d planned at her teammate’s house. He’d hoped to accompany her to cheer her on, but Gordon was a construction crew foreman, and something unexpected had happened at the site he oversaw—a site coincidentally located right next to Tricia’s school. Apparently, the forested area that he and his guys were supposed to clear out had turned out to have live electrical wiring buried a few feet underground. One of his boys had almost fried himself by accident after mistaking the mossy, thick cables for pieces of lumber. The cables had clearly been there for years, most likely several decades, and yet they didn’t appear in any of the site plans the construction company had been given by the city. Now Gordon and his guys would have to work on cordoning off all the cables, figuring out where they led to (the last thing he wanted was to be responsible for a major power outage), and thinking of possible workarounds.

“Yeah, it’s our last competition, unless we qualify for another regional…and that’s, for real, unlikely at best,” Tricia mumbled as she tossed her track uniform into her sports bag.

“That ain’t a good attitude to take, Trish,” he said. “You’ve got a strong group of girls with you—I’m sure you and them can qualify. I’ve seen how fast you run.”

Tricia rolled her eyes. Pop was an eternal optimist, but she was just being realistic. The only two standout runners on the team were Heather West (who had been MIA recently, and just plain acting weird when she did bother to come to practice) and their team captain, Samantha Andrews.

Then there was her best friend, Jenny Li. Jenny worked really hard and practiced her heart out—if there was one thing Heather could never fault her on, it was her commitment. But Jenny was also barely five feet tall, and skinny. No matter how much heart she had, her legs just weren’t long enough—they weren’t runner’s legs.

And as for Heather herself? Well, maybe she’d been a great runner a few years ago, like her Pop said. But then—puberty hit.

Heather looked down at her chest. She wasn’t particularly self-conscious about it, but she knew her boobs were way too big for a track and field athlete—they literally held her back. Finding a sports bra that actually held together during competition had actually been a bit of a chore, and she’d seen boys staring at her when they thought she wasn’t looking. Of course, if the boys were cute, she wouldn’t have minded so much, but they were usually nerds and goobers.

In fact, ‘nerds and goobers’ described most of the guys at Lansdale High, other than Samantha’s boyfriend Doug (he was def a hottie). So, for Tricia, this upcoming competition was more than just a chance to show off her athletic prowess—it was an opportunity to socialize with athletes from outside Lansdale—and maybe, just maybe, hook up with a good-looking boy from one of the other schools’ teams. The guys from Central High that she’d met at the last competition were especially cute—when she met them again at this event, she’d have to find a way to get their digits. Now that was a great motivator.

“Don’t worry, Pop,” Tricia said, giving her dad a thumbs up. “I’m gonna give this competition a hundred percent.”

She finished stuffing her sports bag and zipped it closed, and tossed it towards Pop, who deftly caught it.

“That’s my girl,” he chuckled. “Now, let’s go downstairs, grab some breakfast, and then head to school. By the way, will Heather’s mother be dropping you back off here after the competition, or do you want me to pick you up at her house?”

“Uh, I’m not sure. I’ll send you a text on Sunday morning, okay?”

“Sounds good to me. Now, let’s get downstairs, before your mother starts hollering at us both.”

And with that, father and daughter headed off to breakfast.

* * *

Samantha Andrews sat at the dining room table, finishing her rye toast and orange juice. She could hear both of her sisters upstairs, getting ready for school—they were running late as usual, and the sounds of their panicked voices reached all the way to the first floor.

Samantha sighed, looked around the dining room, the morning sun shining through the window, gently illuminating the surroundings. Mom and Dad had left about thirty minutes earlier (they both worked long hours—Dad at his real estate office, Mom at her law firm), but that was typical. With track practice, school stuff, and her boyfriend Doug keeping her busy, Samantha barely saw either of them these days.

For a moment, she pondered the upcoming competition. She wasn’t exactly confident about her team, if she were being honest with herself. Oh, they performed all right in the local track meets, but that was mostly because the other schools they faced off against had terrible teams. But when it came to these bigger events, they tended to lack focus.

Jenny and Tricia were both boy-crazy, and Samantha suspected the only reason they were in the track and field club was to meet guys. Not that they were very successful. The last time Jenny had met a guy at a competition, things had seemed to go swimmingly until they’d begun making plans for a first date. Jenny made the mistake of mentioning her parents didn’t allow her to go out with boys, and that any ‘date’ would have to be done under the guise of a study meeting, and that she’d have to be chaperoned by one of her female friends. The guy had quickly ghosted her, and Jenny had been depressed for weeks afterwards.

And Tricia? Yeah, she was perky and cute, but she was also a toxic gossip. Whenever she went to a track competition, she ended up posting lengthy messages on WhatsApp groups about who had hooked up with who—inevitably, she’d gotten a reputation as being a complete blabbermouth, and the boys seemed to quickly figure out that any interactions they had with her would quickly become public knowledge to everyone in the track community. There seemed to be an unspoken rule about Tricia—if you were a boy, you could look at her and flirt with her all you wanted, but actually dating her (or, really, doing anything with her) was a bad idea. Tricia didn’t know this, of course, and none of her friends had the heart to tell her that she was seen as someone best avoided unless you wanted to have every detail about your personal life dissected by the track community at large. And it didn’t stop Tricia from trying to use athletic meets as her personal dating pool, despite her lack of success.

Still, whatever ulterior motives the two girls had for participating, at least they showed up to practice consistently. They might be average runners, at best, but at least they were there. Heather, on the other hand…

Well, Samantha was concerned about Heather quite frankly. Before the past few weeks, Heather had been the strongest member of their club, next to Samantha herself. Dedicated, passionate, hardworking—someone who truly loved track and was devoted to being the best she could be. She and Samantha had even talked about joining the track team in college together (they were planning on applying to the same ones).

But after that whole mess with Eddie, Heather had changed. Setting aside the shock of Heather secretly having dated the same creep who’d sent Samantha pictures of his gross dick, the effect that the whole situation had on Heather’s mental state had seemingly destroyed her motivation for track. She’d missed days of practice, and when she’d finally started showing up again, her mind seemed to be somewhere else entirely.

It’s not like I wasn’t affected by this whole situation, Samantha thought to herself. My boyfriend ended up getting suspended over the fight with Eddie, and I was subjected to photos of the creep’s boner. But you don’t see me freaking out and not showing up to practice.

Maybe she was being unfair and unkind, but as team captain, Samantha was under a lot of pressure—if the team didn’t perform up to par this weekend, it would reflect poorly on her. And then Coach Goldberg might-

Just then, her train of thought was interrupted by the sound of a car horn.

“Sophie! Rachel! Doug’s here!” Samantha shouted.

“Just a second!” one of the girls shouted from upstairs.

Samantha took one last bite of her toast, gulped down what was left of the orange juice and, grabbing her bag, walked out towards the entrance where Doug’s car, a red Tesla Model 3, was idling next to the sidewalk. She waved towards the car, and saw Doug waving back.

As she slid into the passenger side seat, her boyfriend leaned over and gave her a quick kiss on the lips.

“Morning, Sammy—where are the twins?” he asked. Doug had been driving the three siblings to school for the past few months and, sweetheart that he was, was still doing so despite being suspended from school.

“Still getting ready…as usual. One of these days, you should just take off and leave them here,” she smirked.

“Oh, yeah, I’m sure your parents would be real happy if I did that. They’re already pissed about my suspension—they might tell you to stop seeing me,” Dough laughed.

“Are you kidding? My parents love you—they’re constantly telling me what a catch you are.”

“They’re goddamn right about that,” he grinned.

It was true, too. Mom and Dad adored Doug, though Samantha suspected it had more to do with the fact that Doug’s family had serious money more than any of her boyfriend’s personal qualities.

A couple of months ago, Samantha had asked for permission to spend the weekend on Doug’s family’s yacht. Seemingly worried about her safety, her parents had asked Samantha what type of yacht she’d be on, and had googled the exact model, a 24-meter superyacht that Doug’s parents had owned for a few years. When Mom saw a photo of the ship, her eyes had immediately lit up. Her parents had ultimately given their approval, and Samantha and Doug had spent the weekend on the yacht by themselves (Samantha had conveniently failed to mention that the ship might belong to Doug’s family, but they weren’t going to be on it that weekend). They’d lost their virginities to each other then, and Samantha’s parents had gotten used to her spending every other weekend on the yacht with Doug’s family (and sometimes his family really did join them).

If Mom and Dad suspected Samantha was sexually active, they’d decided not to make a big deal about it. Samantha, for her part, discreetly got a prescription for birth control pills from her gynecologist—after all, no matter how much she loved Doug, she didn’t want to be one of those cautionary teen pregnancy stories they talked about during health class. Though she’d initially been hesitant, she’d grown to enjoy making love with Doug—the affection, the intimacy, knowing that the two were making their bodies one…of course, there was also the secret satisfaction, the sense of maturity there came with being the only one of her friends who was having sex. Occasionally, she’d see envy in Jenny’s, Heather’s, and Tricia’s eyes when she talked about her weekend getaways with her boyfriend, and if she were being completely honest with herself, she liked that.

“Sammy, you sure you don’t want me to join you for the track competition this weekend? I could drive up and we could share your hotel room,” Doug said, gently placing his hand on her knee.

“That’s a bad idea for so, so many reasons,” Samantha sighed. “I’m sharing the room with Jenny and Tricia, first of all—“

“I could book an individual room instead, and you could drop by there,” Doug interrupted.

Samantha shook her head.

“Second, you have no idea how upset Heather’s mom would be if she caught us—she doesn’t have the laissez-faire attitude that my parents have. She’d view it as a betrayal of her trust, and—“

“We could be careful about it. And why do you care about what Heather’s mother thinks?” Doug shrugged.

“Because she’d see it as her duty to tell my parents, and then we’d have to have a very uncomfortable conversation that we’ve been successfully avoiding so far. Besides, I really do want to focus on the competition. And you and I both know that if you came over, I’d be doing anything but focusing,” she grinned.

Just then, Sophie and Rachel, wearing their school uniforms and carrying their books bags, came dashing out of the house, cutting the two lovers’ conversation short (as far as the twins knew, the most Samantha and Doug had done was hold hands and chastely kiss each other).

“Good morning, Doug! Sorry, sorry, sorry!” Rachel said as she and her sister climbed into the back seat.

“Morning, Doug. Sorry, we were up late last night watching Riverdale and kinda, uh…forgot to set our alarm this morning,” Sophie explained as she and her sister both buckled up.

“No problem, we’ve still got time,” Doug grinned. “You girls excited? TGIF, right?”

“Yeah, we’re gonna go to the mall this weekend,” Rachel stated. “What about you, Doug? I mean, you must have a lot of free time, not having to go to school and all.”

Rachel!” Sophie said harshly, elbowing her sister in the ribs.

“Ouch! I didn’t mean anything by it!”

Samantha rolled her eyes.

“Haha, no worries,” Doug said, putting the car into ‘drive.’ “Even though I’m suspended, they’re still giving me assignments, so I’ll just be doing homework over the weekend, pining away for Samantha.” He turned over to her and gave her a quick wink.

Samantha sighed and shook her head.

And with that, the Tesla Model 3 headed towards Lansdale High.

* * *

That afternoon.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Berger, but we’ll have to postpone—maybe next Monday or Tuesday?”

Tim was on the phone with Eddie’s mother, trying to explain to hear that he wouldn’t be able to do another yoga session with her today. Secretly, he was pleased at the slight desperation he thought he could detect in her tone—had she really enjoyed it that much? And of course, he was tempted (very tempted) to have another sexual romp with Barbara Berger under the guise of yoga training.

But no, he had to be firm. He had other plans for this evening. And next week, he’d control Mrs. Berger again and replace the illusion of yoga training with the reality that she was now his slave, part of Tim’s growing harem.

A harem which would, if everything went according to plan, add a few more members today.

“Well, I understand, but I just thought we’d gotten off to such a wonderful start—I really want to get into the habit of doing these sessions regularly,” Mrs. Berger replied on the other end of the line.

“I know, Mrs. Berger—tell you what, we’ll meet for sure on Monday afternoon, as soon as I get out of school, how does that sound?”

“Monday afternoon…yes, I should have no problem. So you’ll be going to Heather’s competition all weekend? I’ll be rooting for her—I just hope the poor dear doesn’t injure herself like my Eddie did. You know, that’s why he had to stop…”

Tim gave a silent sigh. Of course, that wasn’t how he remembered it—Mrs. Berger had completely freaked out when Eddie injured his leg and essentially forced him to quit track. But he wasn’t going to argue about that with her now.

Just then, he heard the front door open and immediately after that, the voices of his sister and her friends, laughing and giggling as they walked through the entrance.

“I’ve gotta go, Mrs. Berger, but I’ll see you on Monday, okay?”

“Yes, Monday, promptly at four, alright? I’ll drop off Eddie at the library so he can keep working on his project and then I’ll be right there—”

“Sure, I’ll be waiting! See you then,” he interrupted her, and then hung up the house’s phone before Mrs. Berger went off on another one of her Eddie-related tangents.

Tim tiptoed from the living room towards the foyer, his heart thumping faster and faster as he did so, and the girls’ voices grew louder. He peeked around the corner, hopefully unseen, and stared at the group of four, all wearing their school uniforms. Samantha, Tricia, and Jenny were carrying overnight bags.

His sister, of course, he was now…intimately…acquainted with, but he still found himself entranced by her beauty. The big brown eyes, small nose, and lovely smile—it was hard to believe that just a week ago, she was just his annoying sister when now she was so much more. She wore her white school blouse and pleated skirt, and had her brown hair tied up in a hairband. She was giggling as she spoke to Jenny and Tricia about something. He’d instructed her, while she was entranced by the ray gun, to behave completely normally until the time came to put her friends under control—he didn’t want any of them to get suspicious beforehand, and they might think something was ‘off’ if Heather suddenly started behaving subserviently towards her brother.

Next, he turned his admiring gaze to Tricia Moore. About as tall as Heather, blue-green eyes, fair-skinned, cheeks sprinkled with freckles, her curly red hair reaching just past her shoulders…she was a real beauty, even though personality-wise Tim had always had the impression that she was a little childish and obnoxious. His eyes drifted below her shoulders to her most…obvious attributes. Tricia had very, very big boobs, especially for someone who was supposed to be a track athlete. Tim could imagine how her breasts would jiggle and bounce if she ever decided to run track without her sports bra on. He could picture himself just playing with those overripe melons for hours on end.

His eyes then moved towards Tricia’s friend Jenny Li. About half a foot shorter than her redheaded friend, Jenny had long, glossy black hair and light olive skin. She had lovely, rounded dark hazel eyes, and unlike her peers, wore no makeup. She was thin, but not skinny—her arms had a bit of muscle definition. She was, however, fairly flat-chested. If she’d been a bit taller, Tim mused to himself, she would be a fast runner, but no matter how nice her legs were (and they were, he noted, quite nice), she was just too short for track. As she chatted with her friends, she let out a laugh, a melodious sound. Tim wondered how she’d sound like once he had her moaning in pleasure.

Finally, he looked at Samantha Andrews. The lovely, lovely Samantha—the track team’s captain, Heather’s best friend. She’d been coming over to Tim’s house for as long as he could remember. It used to be that she was just the little brat Tim had to put up with, the one who sat down in the living room with Heather to monopolize the TV by watching reruns of Modern Family and The Office. But over the past few years, he had to admit to himself, she’d developed…quite nicely, he might add. Long, wavy blonde hair, large blue eyes, a cute, upturned nose. Like Tricia, she was fair-skinned, though she had a healthy glow about her and a slight tan. She wore a bit of eyeshadow, just a hint of blush, and lipstick. And then, of course, her body—medium-sized breasts, a thin waist, long, muscular legs. She’d been the featured star of more than one of Tim’s masturbation fantasies, sometimes along with her two friends. Unconsciously, he licked his lips as he stared at her.

The girls, who’d been chatting and giggling up to that point, suddenly went quiet, and Tim realized they’d seen him staring at them. He gave a slight, hesitant wave hello. He wondered if they’d seen him staring at their boobs.

“Uhm…h-hi, Timothy,” Samantha said awkwardly. The other two girls just nodded.

“H-hey,” he said, a frog caught in his throat, and suddenly, he was just an awkward, chubby teenager again, staring at a group of girls who were clearly out of his league. “Uhhh…a-are you all looking forward to the competition tomorrow?”

“Uh…yeah?” Tricia said, rolling her eyes. “Like, of course.”

“Can we go up to your room, Heather?” Jenny said, in a soft voice.

“Oh, uh, yeah. Uhm, Tim, we’re gonna…we’re gonna go up,” his sister said, and then, before he knew it, the foursome was trotting up the stairs. As they did so, he could hear them whispering.

...I think he was ogling my boobs… creepy...

not so bad...he’s just...awkward...” That last comment was from Jenny—she’d always been the nicest of Heather’s friends.

As they ascended the stairs and disappeared from view, Tim felt his cheeks burning. He was blushing, embarrassed.

“Goddammit,” he mumbled harshly, under his breath. “What was that? After all I’ve done, how can I go weak-kneed at a bunch of…fuck…”

He walked back towards the living room and sat on the sofa, next to where he’d left his school bag. He felt emasculated, just like he’d felt every day of his life before he’d found the mind control gun. Heather’s friends looking down at him, as though he were beneath them. He hated that feeling. He never wanted to feel that way again.

Well, just you wait, ladies, Tim thought, glaring angrily towards the ceiling. In just a little while, you’re all going to be mine.

* * *

On his laptop, Eddie scrolled through the design plans for the underground bunker and compared them to several of the architectural plans he’d found available online at the city planner’s website. None of them seemed to match the microfiche files he’d found in the library, but he wasn’t entirely surprised. The digitized versions in the city website were for historic buildings, and Dr. Müller’s demolished mansion and its surroundings most definitely did not qualify for that distinction.

He sat at the dining room table, his laptop in front of him, and stacks of printouts. Eddie had become fascinated by the research task in front of him—what he’d originally thought of as an impossible, onerous task had become a puzzle to solve—was Dr. Müller’s research a hoax? What was in the mysterious bunker?

He skimmed through some of the PDFs he’d printed out. One set of printouts in particular had caught his eye—it was a list of equipment that was destined for the address where the underground bunker was located. The list read as follows:

Modified RF Array

Echo Wave Receptor

RCA TK30 Camera (x2)

Replacement Cathode Ray Tubes, Braun-Type Mk. 4 (x30)

Insulated Cables (x5)

RF Amplifier (Brainwave Modification Type)

Massive Electronic Oscillator (for RF Amplifier) w/connective cables

Antenna Transmitter (for RF Amplifier)

And so on, and so forth. The list continued for several pages, and Eddie had no idea what any of the equipment was, but a lot of it seemed to revolve around that RF Amplifier (Brainwave Modification Type). ‘RF’, as far as Eddie could tell, referred to radio frequency.

Was the bunker some type of laboratory designed for mind control experiments, he wondered? It sounded too crazy, too far-fetched to be true. And Eddie still hadn’t figured out how he was going to get permission from his parents to visit the construction site where it was located—and if they somehow, miraculously, approved of his going there, the school sure as heck wouldn’t allow him to just look around at a construction site until he found the entrance.

He was still considering ways of persuading his parents when his mom wandered in from the living room, a slight frown on her face. She looked at her son, hard at work on his assignments, and gave him a strained smile.

“How’s the work coming along, dear?” she asked glumly.

“It’s coming along alright,” Eddie shrugged. From her tone and the expression on her face, he suspected Mom wasn’t in the mood to accede to any requests right now.

“That’s good,” she nodded. “Next week, I’ll get in touch with your teachers to let them know what good progress you’ve been making.”

“I should be done by then,” Eddie reassured her, though he still had so many questions about Dr. Müller and his research. “Say, is everything okay, Mom? You don’t look very happy.”

“Oh, is it written that clearly on my face?” Mom asked. “I just—well, I really was looking forward to my yoga session today, but it got unexpectedly cancelled.”

Eddie tried to hide his surprise—he knew that Mom had enjoyed her yoga session, but he hadn’t realized how much. She seemed really down about the cancellation.

“Well, couldn’t you just practice on your own?” Eddie asked. “I mean, I could find you some exercise routines on YouTube that you could follow.”

“I’m afraid not—it’s a two-person routine. And it’s not like I can ask your father to help me—he’s at that conference all weekend.”

Eddie had never heard of two-person yoga. Was it kind of like having a spotter when you were at the gym?

Still, this might be a chance to ingratiate himself with his mother, maybe help her get over the anger she still had about his getting suspended, maybe even make her react favorably to a request to head to the construction site to investigate Dr. Müller’s bunker. It was a long shot, but still…

“I used to spot my teammates all the time when I was in the track club, Mom. Do you want me to help you with the yoga routine?”

His mother’s reaction was—unexpected. Her eyes opened wide and she covered her mouth with one hand as she gave a slight gasp, as though he’d just proposed that the two of them go out and rob a bank.

“N-no, I couldn’t ask you to do that, it wouldn’t be…”

Eddie, used to his mother’s overprotectiveness, misunderstood her reaction entirely.

“It’s always the same thing, Mom—you never let me do anything physical. Do you really think I’m going to get hurt doing a little yoga at home? Am I that weak and fragile?”

His mother flinched slightly at that.

“It’s not that, dear, it’s just…,” she looked away. “You…you really want to help me?”

“Of course I do, Mom” he said. “I bet I can help you do whatever it is that you did at Mrs. West’s house. It’s probably a pretty basic routine.”

“W-well…it is supposed to be an introductory routine. It’s just yoga, after all. It’s perfectly normal, no matter how it might seem…,” his mother’s voice trailed off, and she looked to be deep in thought.

“Y’see? I’m sure I can do it.”

Eddie’s mother took a deep breath, and then nodded.

“All right, Eddie. If you want to help your mother so much…let’s do it. A yoga routine. Together. I’ll go get everything set up.”

Eddie gave his mom a thumbs up and, as she left to prepare everything, went back to work on his computer.

Had he taken the time to look, he would have noticed that, as his mother walked out of the living room, her hands were trembling.