The Addicted Natural Ch. 01byblacknight99©
The following story is for adults only.
Chapter One – Enter the Antagonist
My story is one of either failure or immense good fortune, depending on your point of view. Something that I wanted very badly was given to me as a gift, but as with almost all things we most greatly covet, it came to me at a price. I was faced with a terrible temptation, and succumbed. Almost every day, I ask myself if I should have done this thing, or if perhaps I should try to undo the knots in this web I've made. Should I forsake my unbridled happiness for what I know is the "right" thing to do? But then I figure ... don't be stupid.
I will attempt to write this in the formal way. Step one: introduction of characters. In the first part of this story, there are four or five in our drama: two protagonists, one antagonist, and a couple "others," who were such minor characters that I won't even mention their names. As for the antagonist, I won't mention him now, either, since I can hardly be dispassionate enough to describe him without prejudice. We'll just get to him as he enters this narrative in the next page or two.
Of the two protagonists, I'm definitely the least noteworthy, so I'll quickly dispatch with myself first. I've always been a bit of a slow starter in life, and while I should have entered college immediately after high school (I even had a scholarship), I went into the Army for four years instead. It wasn't a total waste, since I wound up writing for numerous military newspapers and periodicals; learning the practical side of writing, so to speak. I earned a couple more foundation scholarships in the meantime, and wound up with as much free education as I wanted when I got out. Now, at the time our little story begins, I'd soaked up seven years of higher education, and I found myself a 31-year-old student; the "old man" in just about every class I took. Of course, all good things end eventually, and I knew that very soon, after I got the doctorate, I'd have to move over to the other side of the fence permanently as a prof. The school already had a spot waiting for me. I figured I'd take it.
I was the school's most published student. I did, and still do, freelance magazine articles for the most part. My claim to fame was my appearance. I am so average in every respect that I tend to blend right into my surroundings. No one of any repute ever noticed me. When I asked a guy a question from a crowd, he never looked at me when he answered, he looked at someone else. And that's a real plus in my line of work. You'd be surprised what someone will say when they think the person he's talking to is of no importance. I've gotten some remarkably candid quotes in print. Of course, the "unobtrusive" look has a lot of disadvantages, too; especially in the girl-department. THEY all tended to overlook me, as well.
One of the strange, unimportant "others" in my cast of characters was a famous author who had been given a fellowship at the university. Great deal, a fellowship. A six-figure fee, usually a free apartment or rental house and a living allowance. All one has to do in return is lend his or her name to the university for awhile and either teach or be a guest speaker in the class of his or her choice. This lady, with one successful novel in print and one on the way, chose this opportunity to "get away" and write a third during her fellowship. As a course, she chose a little one-hour, 400-level creative writing seminar for a small class of 30 hand-selected students. 400-level. Read that as: undergraduate. I didn't qualify. I pulled some strings, called in some favors from the dean, and was finally allowed to "sit in" as long as I didn't get involved in the discussions.
And on the first day of the class, there she was. You guessed it, Protagonist Number Two, the real topic of this missive, Brenda Breakman, hand-selected senior English student.
Now, this is the point where I'm supposed to go into great detail about her overwhelming beauty. The truth of the matter is that I wouldn't have really called her beautiful at all. Cute. I'd definitely say she was cute. Small (maybe five-one or two), slight, shy. Mysterious. Maybe that's what attracted me to her. I just couldn't figure her out. She had a sort of unassuming curiosity about her, a sharp intelligence wrapped in a soft exterior. A puzzle.
I'd first met her two years before when I'd been a TA for a sophomore Shakespeare course. I'd considered asking her out then, but there are pretty strict rules about such things, even for Teaching Assistants. And, of course, I'm a pretty shy sort myself. For whatever the reason, I'd blown my chance to get to know her better then, and I hadn't seen her since.
She'd changed. She wore large, owlish glasses that seemed to have very little magnification. Her long, straight, dark hair was now pulled up into a severe bun on the back of her head. She didn't seem to wear makeup, though that didn't do much to distract from her clear complexion. But it was her clothes that really made the difference. Baggy sweatshirts over loose-fitting jeans and suede boots seemed to be the only thing she would wear to that seminar. Week after week, the outfit would change in specifics, but always remain the same in effect. I got the impression she was hiding her figure, which, as I remembered, was really very nice.
I talked to her on the first day of the author's seminar. She remembered me, and seemed to like to chat about this and that. But we never really had much time immediately before or after class, and I either never found the opportunity or the courage to ask her for a date. I think it's what we both wanted. I hated myself for being such a wimp. Maybe I feared a rejection. Whatever the reason, I found myself thinking about her more and more as the weeks went on, and actually fantasized about her at night in bed. She was slowly becoming an obsession. On the Friday our little drama took place, it was the next to the last class on the schedule. If I didn't make my move soon, she might have to remain a fantasy forever. (Is that what I really wanted?)
When I saw her that day, I froze. Gone were the sweatshirt and baggy jeans. A crisp, white blouse, tucked into a pleated skirt, was unbuttoned enough at the top to reveal some ample cleavage provided by an under-wire bra. Her long hair hung behind her in a ponytail. On second glance, I came to believe that the small amount of makeup she wore was intended to hide a sort of permanent blush that gave her a glowing aura. She looked fashionable, sharp and innocent. And provocative. I couldn't take my eyes off of her.
She gave me a little wave from across the hall and started walking my way, when she was suddenly intercepted by a guy who wore a baseball letter on his sweater. She smiled at him and talked for a little while, constantly casting glances my way. I got the impression that she wanted to talk to me, but I didn't know whether I should interrupt their conversation. Then the class started, and my opportunity was gone. After the lecture, the scene was repeated almost precisely, but this time it was a guy from the drama club that nabbed her before she could make her way over to where I stood. Again she kept looking my way, but didn't seem to be able to end her conversation with the guy. I had an important appointment (with "other" #2), and I finally chose to leave her there with her new fan club. Almost immediately, I regretted my decision, but the interview I was rushing to had been planned for more than a week, and I couldn't risk being late.
The article I was considering was about the alleged abuse of "mail-order brides" from India. America men of Indian descent arranged with matchmakers back home and paid a dowry to the girls' families, as well as the costs to have the young women flown to the States for marriage. It was an increasingly popular occurrence that, according to the lady I was interviewing, was leading to consequences that included physical violence and even murder after amorous "buyers" became bored husbands. I met her on campus, took her to my house, and talked to her for almost three hours before she finally left. I wasn't sure how I was going to write the article. It was most certainly going to sell, probably to a large national mag, but I was in the middle of my thesis, and taking time out for this was going to be difficult.
When there was a knock at my door, I originally thought it was my interview subject returning to further plead her case, but to my surprise, it was Brenda. Her appearance had shifted slightly again, and I took in the differences in a few seconds. Her hair, still braided behind her, had worked loose into a few little wisps in places, and her makeup had been retouched, so that there was slightly too much on her cheeks. Her glasses were gone. But the most pronounced difference (it didn't take a trained investigative reporter's eye to see it) was that the under-wire bra was now missing, and her full breasts jiggled slightly when she moved, her nipples prominent beneath the thin fabric of the white blouse. She stood looking up at me with a pleading sort of look, and quietly asked if she could come in. I told her that of course she could, and stepped aside before I realized she wasn't alone.
Enter the antagonist, stage center.
Brenda paused just inside the door and turned back to me uncertainly. "Fred," she said to me, "this is The Great Menlo." She raised a hand slightly, indicating her companion. The guy was dressed in grey slacks, a double-breasted blue blazer, and a white turtleneck shirt. He must have used half a can of mousse; not a hair was out of place. His broad smile showed a mouth full of straight, white, perfect teeth.
"Greg Menlo, Freddy. I'm really pleased to meet you. I've heard a lot about you."
I hesitated before taking the outstretched hand. His grip was weak. He sounded just like a used car salesman scenting a sale. Nobody called me Freddy.
"Mind if we come in a minute, Freddy?" he continued smoothly. "I'm a magician and hypnotist, appearing at the Student Union Theater this week. Maybe you've heard about it?" He looked at me questioningly and the smile faded for a moment. "Guess not. Well, I'd like to show you something." He stepped over to Brenda, put a hand lightly on her back and led her through the foyer into my living room.
I felt disoriented and not a little pissed off. Who did this Bozo think he was, coming into my house with my girl and making himself at home? But then, she wasn't my girl, was she? Quietly, I closed the door and followed them.
When I got to the living room, I found Brenda looking around her with a bit of that old intelligent curiosity I'd found so intriguing, but when she saw me again, she seemed uncertain and maybe a little ashamed. Menlo just looked at me and smiled.
"What's this all about, Brenda?" I asked.
She jumped. She obviously hadn't expected me to put her on the spot. She glanced quickly to Menlo, then back at me with a sort of shaken, pleading look. Tears formed in her eyes. I suddenly realized that she had no idea what this was all about. I turned my gaze to her companion, and perhaps he read something in my face. His broad smile faltered for a second, but he pasted it back on for my benefit.
"Freddy, my boy, I'm going to give you a gift," he continued in his best salesman accent. "Absolutely free. No strings attached." Again, my look must have spooked him a little, and the smile became crooked before straightening again. "Sit right there and watch for a minute." He nodded at an overstuffed chair beside me. "Just let me do my thing, and I promise you'll never regret the day you met The Great Menlo."
He seemed to be waiting for me. I felt as if I'd had an advantage and watched it slip away. Begrudgingly, I sat on the arm of the chair. Seemingly satisfied, he turned to Brenda, who was still glancing guiltily around her. She reminded me of a child I'd once seen in the toy section of a department store whose parents had finally found her and were scolding her for having wandered off. I got the feeling that she liked being here, but knew she shouldn't be.
"Brenda," Menlo said sternly, and she quickly turned to him and looked up. "Look into my eyes."
How corny can you get? Look into my eyes? But I watched, flabbergasted, as she did just that. She gave her head a slight shake in a little negative gesture, her lips parted slightly, and she took sort of a half breath as she prepared to object, but he placed a finger gently on her lips to stop her.
"Shhh," he scolded lightly. "Just look into my eyes and relax. That's right. Just relax. You know what's going to happen, don't you? Just let it happen. That's right. Relax."
They made quite a picture. She, a full head shorter than he, looked steeply up into his eyes. His head was tilted sharply down toward hers. Their eyes were mere inches apart.
"Let the feeling happen now," he continued. "Let the heaviness come. The wonderful heaviness. The feeling is embracing you now. Let it happen."
He had a lot more to say, but for once I simply wasn't paying attention. A feeling I had never experienced before was starting to form deep inside me. Rage. I very quickly came to the decision that the girl before me meant a great deal to me, and that something profound was happening to her that I should protect her from. Still, I sat rooted to the spot, watching dumbly as Brenda's arms fell loosely to her sides and she swayed slightly as he continued to pull her into some sort of hypnotic trance. I'd never seen this done before, though I'd read about it, of course. She was totally, completely enthralled. She seemed to want this, to need it. His words were calm commands that she accepted and then responded to immediately. I remember him using the word "obey," and my anger leapt to new heights. He told her to sleep, and her eyes slammed shut. Then she swayed for a moment and leaned heavily against him, her cheek against his chest. He held her lightly in his arms.
He continued to ignore me completely as he talked to her, giving her instructions that I didn't seem to want to hear. All I cared about was my mounting anger. I waited patiently for him to finish. I had never contemplated killing a man before.
I was shocked out of my violent reverie when Brenda opened her eyes and looked about her, but her gaze seemed to bore right through me without any sort of recognition. Then she turned, looked at the couch, calmly walked over to it, lay down and closed her eyes again.
Menlo finally gave me his attention. He bowed a little, as if to a crowd, and swept a hand in Brenda's direction. "Well, there she is, Freddy Boy. She's all yours, body and soul."
"What did you do to her?" I asked levelly. Somehow, I kept my voice from exploding.
"Oh, we had a little fun." He grinned broadly and gave me a little, knowing wink. "Kind of a mousy little girl; intelligent as hell, but that type is always a sure bet in my business. It's the fantasy of the whole thing. They practically go under by themselves." He looked at her as if she were medium-sized trout, caught on a fishing trip with the boys. "This one's a little short in the experience department, but I'm sure you can remedy that, huh, Freddy?" He winked again, then brought his hands up and cupped them in front of his chest. "Nice body!"
He stopped abruptly, startled. Somehow, I was standing, though I don't remember getting up. I think he was finally beginning to understand what I thought of him. He thrust a hand into his pocket, and I saw a flash of gold. A pocket watch. My eyes bored into him. I imagined my fist hitting his face.
"Geez, look at the time!" he stammered. The watch seemed to move a little. I wasn't paying attention. "I go on stage in an hour. Gotta be moving on." The watch moved again.
"What did you do to her, asshole?" I hissed.
"Do? We just got to know each other, 'ya know? You just need to let me explain ...." The watch snapped shut, and danced a little on its chain. I wasn't paying attention. "Nice watch, huh?" he muttered nervously. Again the bit of gold moved. "I use it in my act. Why don't you just relax, Freddy. You look kinda uptight. Just relax, and let's talk about this."
The world seemed to shift at that point, and it crept into the back of my mind that perhaps he really did have the power to alter men's minds; for while he, himself, seemed to remain in solid focus, the living room around me appeared to be moving. My rage did not allow me, at first, to make the proper deduction. The living room was indeed moving, or rather, I was moving across it toward him. But Menlo, waving the watch in front of him, was backing away from me as fast as I was approaching.
"You raped her, didn't you?" I growled.
"Rape?" he screamed. "Christ, Freddy! You need to hear me out, here. You got it all wrong! Everything was completely ..." He groped for the word. "... consensual!"
We were in the foyer, now, and he tripped and fell heavily on his ass. He sat for a moment, holding the watch in front of him on its chain as if it were a crucifix, and his last defense against the oncoming vampire.
"Consensual?" I roared, taking another step toward his quivering form.
"Shit, yes! She wanted it more than I did! Now, just let me explain ...."
I reached out with both hands toward his neck, and he did a sort of duck-and-roll away from me. In an instant, he was on his feet. He thrust the watch back in his pocket, scampered to the front door, and fumbled it open.
"Consensual, Hell!" I yelled. I worked to get my voice under control. "You put her into a trance and filled her head full of your garbage," I said accusingly. "How is this any different than a date-rape drug? It might make an interesting study for the District Attorney's office. I happen to know him."
"Christ, Freddy! Don't talk like that! It wasn't rape, I swear!" He was outside now, backing down the steps toward the sidewalk. "Listen! I've fixed it so that you're the one who can wake her up. Just do it! As soon as she's awake, she's going to want to talk to you, to tell you all about it. Whatever she tells you, I swear it's going to be the truth. As God is my witness, everything she says will be the gospel truth! Shit!" I had started after him down the steps.
"Don't call me Freddy! Nobody calls me Freddy!" I continued to advance.
This seems to have been the last thin thread of sanity for him, for his eyes literally rolled in their sockets, and he let out a high-pitched squeak of a scream. Still backing toward the street, suddenly realizing that I wasn't going to stop, he spun around and ran right into a small sycamore tree next to my walkway. Careening through its branches, he finally made it to the sidewalk next to the street and ran as fast as his legs would carry him back toward the campus.
I stood watching him, and slowly began to wonder why my hands hurt. Looking at them, I was able to get my mind off of murderous thoughts as I tried to unclench my fists. Eventually, my breathing returned to normal, and I walked back inside to the sleeping girl who would forever alter the course of my life.
She lay on her back on the couch, her hands folded on her flat stomach, her face a picture of peace. The corners of her mouth were elevated ever so slightly in a wistful smile. If she was dreaming, it was a good dream. The gentle rise and fall of her chest was the only movement. Her nipples were erect.
I pulled one of the chairs over and sat, leaning forward with my elbows on my knees, watching her. Eventually, I could put it off no longer, and softly said: "Brenda. Brenda, wake up."
Almost immediately, her eyelids fluttered open. She turned slightly to look at me, then raised her arms above her head, yawned enormously, and stretched like a cat. She was smiling. My eyes were naturally drawn to her chest as she arched her back. Seeing where my gaze had settled, she flushed and lowered her arms, but decided it would be silly to cover herself now, and sat up, blushing, with downcast eyes.