Gently Bitten

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Homework

"How'd your date with Sandy go?"

Ben stared muzzily at his annoyingly morning-ready roommate, trying to hide a flash of guilt at the dreams he'd just been having about the girl in question, and a flash of annoyance at having been woken out of them. "It wasn't a date."

"Sure, ok, you went over to her dorm room all evening to study."

"I did! Well, to help her with some homework. And I wasn't there very long."

"Dude, you went over there at 8 after dinner and didn't come back until I was in bed asleep."

"Yeah, I wondered about that. Did you get sick and go to bed early or something?"

"I partied! I turned in early... at 2 in the morning!"

"That can't be right. Maybe our clock is off." They both turned to look at the clock, which read 7:13. The morning light coming in the window made that an entirely plausible time.

"Um, I dunno, whatever," muttered Ben. "Anyway it wasn't exciting. She's supposed to try hypnotizing someone for her Psych class. She tried for a while but it went nowhere, I just couldn't get relaxed enough. Eventually she gave up, thanked me for helping her out and apologized for wasting my time, and I came home."

"Uh-huh."

"Seriously, man, that's what happened!"

"Ok. What's this?" Ben's roommate fished out a piece of paper that was protruding from the back pocket of Ben's jeans from the night before, in the heap he'd left them in before crawling into bed. The paper was covered with neat, even writing in Ben's distinctive hand, and the two saw that every line on the front and back of the paper said the same thing, over and over: "I don't remember writing this. I don't remember writing this. I don't remember writing this."

"Uhhhh..."

"Let me guess: you don't remember writing it?"

"I think I better call Sandy."

Ben's roommate smirked. "Have fun with that. I'm off to breakfast."

"Yeah, ok," Ben replied distractedly, dialing.

"Good morning, Ben!" came Sandy's cheerful voice over the phone. "Did you sleep well?"

"Yeah, but what did you do to me?"

Sandy giggled. "I take it you found your homework from last night?"

"Homework?"

"Yeah, your hypnosis homework. You know, 'write these words out 100 times, young man!' Feeling them become more true each time. What I love about it is that reading them when you're awake makes you aware I gave you that suggestion, but it also reminds you of the way it feels to write them out, the way it feels as they become more true. Even reading them while you're awake makes them more and more true."

"Ok, um, that's really twisted. What else did you do to me last night?"

Sandy giggled again. "I take it you don't remember writing that?"

"No, how'd you guess?"

"Well..." her voice dropped a bit, and became huskier, "because if you'd found the other page, we'd be having a different conversation."

"What other page? What do you mean?"

"Let's just say I *really* like chocolate. Remember that, ok?" Sandy hung up.

Worried about what other secret remained waiting for him from the night before, Ben searched every pocket of his pants and every fold of the rest of his clothing from the pile by the bed. He took everything out of his wallet, but found nothing. Eventually he decided she'd been messing with his head and that he'd best get to class. He threw on some clean clothes.

Slipping on his shoes, he found a lump in the toe of one of them. Fishing it out, he discovered it was a wadded-up piece of paper... which, when unfolded, had the same neat lines of handwriting on it.

This one said "I am Sandy's hypnotized slave. I'd do anything to please her. I am Sandy's hypnotized slave. I'd do anything to please her..."

"Ok, *that*'s cheesy," he thought. Then he flushed a bit as he thought about what it would be like to *be* Sandy's hypnotized slave. Helplessly compelled to do anything she said... which so far it seemed like maybe he *was*. He flushed more. Maybe she'd use him for sex. He imagined what it would feel like to hear her tell him to go down on her, and to find himself kneeling without even thinking about it as she slid her pants down. Thinking about himself as her hypnotized slave. *Knowing* he was her hypnotized slave...

Ben stuffed his feet quickly into his shoes, and ran to the store to buy Sandy some chocolate.