Signed First Edition Ch. 01byblacknight99©
Author's Note: This is a work of fiction. In order to develop the plot, it was necessary that the protagonist suffer from a particular medical condition. I chose to have him develop this malady by being present (albeit in the past tense) at an actual natural disaster. I apologize to the reader in advance if I have misrepresented any of the facts surrounding this event. Also, I do not wish in any way to detract from the recognition of the hundreds of real heroes that proved themselves on that fateful day. Their selfless actions and sacrifice (in some cases, the ultimate sacrifice) should be an inspiration to us all.
October 24th, 2011
I sat in bed and contemplated horror.
I had been on a Robert E. Howard kick of late, and, having finished most of his Conan stories and novels, I was now perusing his horror short stories, most of which had been originally published in Weird Tales Magazine in the late 1920's. In my opinion, he far surpassed both Merritt and Lovecraft in sheer readability and content. Most of his stories and novels, long out of copyright, were available free online in just about any e-reader format you could want. But now, I wondered if I could advance his writing through blogs or re-released books.
I sighed. This was yet another preoccupation on my part. I was filthy rich and bored ... both maladies relatively new in my life. I was also lonely. My wife had gone to one of her parties, leaving me in the sole company of Mr. Howard ... not bad company, I'll admit, but as good as he might be, he can't hold a candle to Elaine.
Now, I realize that you, the reader, did not come to this website in search of either literary criticism or to hear about a guy who was lonely for his wife's companionship. You came here for a tale of "erotic mind control"... which I promise to deliver. However, I must insist that you bear with me, at least for a few more paragraphs, while I dedicate these opening passages to necessary "back-story" explanation. Without it, the reasons why I was alone (and lonely) that night are sorely wanting, not to mention the events and people that shaped the actions that followed.
I learned shorthand on my own, back in high school. I keep a small journal ... in shorthand ... for the sake of exactness and historical accuracy. Let's face it; if it isn't written down, it eventually ceases to exist. That's why I can be accurate about the dates in this story. It doesn't take a journal to remember the most important date, though. Friday, March 11th, 2011. That date might not mean anything to you ... but it will live forever in the memories of about two percent of the world's population. I had just finished my third year of grad school, and with the distinct possibility that the United States would soon approve its first nuclear power generating plant since 1978, a team of experts (including a hand-picked contingent of grad students) was making the rounds of the largest generating plants in the world. That's why I was at the Daiichi (Number One) reactor in Fukushima on that fateful date. You remember it now, don't you?
That day, I had the distinct opportunity to do something that very few individuals ever have. I was suddenly given the ability to save the life of another human being ... the lives of several, in fact. Maybe I should have thought more about it ... but I didn't. I acted. Right away. Even after all that's happened to me since, I'm sure I would do so again. I do not consider myself a hero. There were lots of those ... that day, and the days that followed. But I had just been in that classroom across from the reactor room, and as I left, another group of students entered. And so, I knew exactly where it was ... exactly how to get there ... exactly what I had to do ... after the ground finally stopped shaking ... after I had my bearings again. The doors had all been secured, of course ... just as they were supposed to automatically secure in the event of an emergency. But, in truth, nuclear facilities are nothing like Hollywood depicts. There was some construction going on near me, and the sledgehammer just happened to be there. And a door is just a door. I got back in after about thirty seconds of moderating pummeling; and eventually, I got through the rubble, and another door, and more rubble and yet another door.
The group was a little frantic, to say the least, knowing (as experts inevitably know) that a quake of that magnitude wouldn't end the troubles along a coastline. It took more than half an hour to dig one young lady out of some debris, and, hoisting her inert form over my shoulder, I led them out of there ... back out the way I had come. There were twelve of them. A few minutes after regaining our freedom, I had the horrible experience of watching one of them drown in the second half of the disaster. Another one eventually died from radiation exposure. Still, I feel pretty good that so many are still around ... including the young lady I carried. We've stayed in touch. She later sent me a letter, and her little two-year-old daughter drew me a picture that I still have to this day.
It would have ended much differently for me if that had been ALL I did on that day. But the tsunami had overflowed the reactor building itself, including the backup generators that provided coolant to the reactors. I joined a team that immediately went back in and tried to get them running again. Not that it did any good ... at least at that point. Ah well ... the best laid plans.
Now, your entire concept of nuclear radiation may be overshadowed by Hollywood definitions, as well. Let me just set the record straight. Radiation does NOT lead to superhuman mutations, nor (on the other end of the spectrum) is it always fatal. But radiation and live tissue do not, as a rule, mix well, whether it be through exposure from the sun or some open gamma source (though in the hands of a radiological oncologist, for example, it can obviously be bent to do our will). Normally, however, when radiation meets humans, it heats and destroys. That's all. Period.
The bad luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time was followed by three incidences of incredibly GOOD luck ... all of which were family related. There is no tissue donor better than a sibling ... and of all the types of siblings, an identical twin is absolutely perfect. I am fortunate enough to have one. When Elaine was finally able to get there, a week after the quake and tsunami, she was carrying my first blood marrow transfusion from Tod. By that time, I was sick ... REALLY sick, and Elaine, my wife of one year, was my best luck by far. She never left my side ... there in Japan, a month later when I made the trip back to L.A., and through all the convalescence after that.
The third stroke of luck was my father, a soft spoken, understated, savagely ingenious lawyer. The insurance company somehow determined that I had been exposed to radiation only after choosing to disregard my own safety by going back into the reactor area; and in so doing, I had also chosen to voluntarily terminate my policy BEFORE being injured. My medical bills were already in the high six-figures ... bills that Pop was paying ... even while he was quietly putting legal machinery in motion that was spectacularly choreographed. He fast-tracked a suit for actual and punitive damages, and the week before the lawsuit was to be heard, articles ran in all the Tokyo newspapers decrying the fact that "America's Machiavellian Healthcare System" would abandon a "hero." The State Department somehow got wind of it (I wonder how?), and a letter even came out of the White House. It was only a max-$250,000 policy from the University's chosen insurance agency, but after they looked up dear old Pop the day before Jury selection was to begin, the company begrudgingly decided it was in their best interest to settle out-of-court for fifteen mil. Pop took no fees except the money needed to settle the hospital bills thus far.
And so, we finally find ourselves back at the beginning of our story. Elaine and I had moved into a VERY nice house in a very nice neighborhood in Pasadena. My career in nuclear research was over (hell, I wasn't even allowed to get an X-ray for the next several years), though I certainly didn't NEED an occupation. Elaine had quit her job as a copywriter in order to care for me ... and she had more or less decided she would never go back to work, either. The unspoken truth was always with us ... I might not be around for very long. The immune system problems were finally over (or at least "in remission") thanks to Tod's bone marrow. My hair had grown back, and there had not been any signs of cancer ... yet. But we had decided to live life to the fullest. I tried hobbies ... lots of them. Book collecting, literary blogs (hence my current fascination with Mr. Howard), clock repair, sketching ... even fly tying. We planned to start travelling soon.
Elaine had turned to charity work, fund raising, book clubs, garden clubs ... and most recently, "theme" parties. You know ... cookware parties, fashion wear parties, lingerie parties ... that sort of thing. The previous week, she had somehow been invited to a "sex toy" party, which, I must say, turned into quite an interesting diversion after she brought her purchases home. I wasn't sure what this current "party" was, but she'd been gone a long time now. I was just about to give in to my impatience and call her cell phone when I heard the car in the driveway.
"Hi, Honey!" She swept into the room, lighting it up with her presence. "You're looking great!" (She, to her benefit, had never started a conversation with "How do you feel?") She practically ran to the bed and kissed me, then just as quickly pulled away before I could capture her in my arms. "Here, I got something for you. I'm going to take a quick shower before bed."
"What's this?" I asked, digging into a paper bag which obviously contained a book. "Where have you been, anyway? You've been gone for four hours!"
She stopped suddenly and looked at the alarm clock. "Really?" she asked quizzically. "I could have sworn I'd only been gone about an hour." She shrugged, dismissing it, and continued on. "It was a book signing," she said loudly from the bathroom. "Strangest literary event I've ever attended! There were only four of us there ... four girls, I mean ... plus the author. I bought you a copy of his book. It was kind of expensive ... a hundred dollars ... but it's a signed first edition! That makes it valuable, right?" The shower started running.
I grimaced. In the vast majority of books, "first edition" actually means "only edition." And if the author was signing for small groups, it most probably meant that he was desperate to sell any books at all. Someone had wrapped the book in gift paper and I was struggling a little to get it off. Finally, it came clear of its wrapping, and I was stunned at the title. "Using Erotic Hypnosis to Voluntarily Enslave Your Wife or Girlfriend," by Reginald Cathwright. I stared at it, unbelieving. Elaine was in the shower, and I couldn't very well question whether this was some kind of joke until she got through.
Now, one of my hobbies (recently acquired) was collecting books. You can always spot a bibliophile when he first picks up a volume. He checks things ... the dust jacket, the binding ... and then, once he finally opens it, the first place he goes is always the title page and title verso (the page after, or flip-side of the title page). This particular volume sported neither dust jacket nor cover illustration. I nodded silently at the title page, realizing something, at least. It was a "small press" book ... that is, a book published by a small, private printer. Many small press books were limited editions, and this was one, too.
"Laid out in Octavo and printed entirely in Altadena Medium Serif Semi-Bold by Ralph Gray Publishing, Altadena, CA. Book # ____ of 500 Signed, Limited copies." The number "147" had been written into the blank in ballpoint pen, and the author's signature had been scrawled in the space below the title. The verso showed that the book was, indeed, a first (and only) printing, published earlier that same year. The volume was slender ... only about a hundred pages, and printed on glossy paper. It sported numerous photographs of a woman in the process of being hypnotized, though it didn't take a keen eye to spot that some of the images had been manipulated. Whoever the hypnotist was (out of frame), he was dangling a clear gem in front of the entranced woman ... but the gemstone (or whatever it was) had been added after the fact, obscuring the actual thing she was so enthralled with. In some of the pictures, geometric lines and angles had been added, showing the reader where best to hold the trinket in relation to the woman he intended "enslaving."
The woman in the photos was certainly attractive. She was slender of figure, had a smooth, clear complexion, dark hair and sensuous features. She wore a strapless garment in the opening pictures, and her eyes were bright and intelligent. In successive frames, her eyes dulled, her eyelids drooped and then finally closed as she slumped in her chair, asleep. Further along in the book, she was pictured without the garment, her breasts prominently featured, though her nipples were always just below the edge of the pictures, out of view. Her eyes, when open, were vacant and staring.
The shower was finally turned off, and a few minutes later, Elaine appeared in the doorway to the bathroom, naked and fresh, her brown hair slightly damp and wild. She issued a sort of giggle and ran to the bed, jumping in and burrowing under the covers, pressing her spectacular body against mine. This surprised me. When Elaine was "in the mood," she liked to primp for me, spending time on her hair, trying to entice me with a slinky nightgown, having fun by encouraging me to seduce her. Now, she used my lower chest as her pillow, and she reached down and laid her hand on my cock, gently stroking my balls with her fingernails.
"Mmmm, I missed you tonight," she murmured. She snuggled even closer to me, and then sighed deeply. "Oh, wow," she continued, barely above a whisper. "Suddenly, I'm really sleepy."
My cock was responding to her gentle stroking with rigid resolution, if you'll pardon the alliteration, but now her sensuous exploitation began slowing even more. "Hey," I told her. "You're not going to go to sleep and leave me like this, are you?"
"It's been a long evening," she muttered groggily. "I'm awfully tired. Can we wait 'til morning?"
"And just what DID you do this evening?" I asked in what I hoped sounded like mock indignation.
"I was hypnotized," she answered bluntly.
"Oh WERE you, now?"
"Mmm-hmm," she nodded her head against my chest. "Cathy ... the girl who asked us there tonight ... she volunteered to be the 'subject' and let Reggie hypnotize her. But Reggie told all of us that lots of times, girls in the audience would go into trance, too, and that we shouldn't feel bad if we felt ourselves going under. So Cathy just sat there, looking at this diamond-looking thingy that Reggie was dangling in front of her, but the way they had the chairs arranged, all of us could see it, too. And it was really ... shiny. Really ... really ... um ... shiny." She sighed again. "Really ...."
Her hand had long since stopped its movement, and it lay heavy on my balls, my cock jutting at gallant attention between the base of her thumb and index finger. Her breathing was deep and steady in sleep, and she stayed like that for a long two or three minutes; then her body jerked ... a falling sensation ... only to recover as she took her hand away from my most sensitive parts and she threw her arm across my chest, her right leg coming up and resting on my upper thighs as she hugged my whole body to herself. She moaned slightly, sighed once again, and then her breathing returned to the steady rhythm of slumber.
Well THIS was another fine mess! What the hell was I supposed to do now? I didn't want to disturb her, and I hadn't been inclined toward masturbation recently, anyway ... not since we'd decided to try to have a baby. Elaine had shown no reticence toward sex at all in the past few months. But her full breasts pressing into my side, her thigh pushing insistently against my full balls ... not to mention the prurient topic of the book I was holding in my hands ... left me yearning for far more than a peaceful night's sleep. With a shaky exhalation, I abandoned all hope of an immediate erotic encounter and I turned my attention instead to the thin volume she had presented me.
The first time I perused it, after examining the title information, I had simply flipped through the thing, taking in the photographs. Now, I went to the first page ... the introduction ... and I was shocked at what I found. The author was presenting the book as a first-person, one-on-one sort of narration meant specifically for the volume's new owner. He tended to be a bit verbose, so please allow me to paraphrase a bit.
It seems that the author and his lovely wife (the hypnotic and photogenic subject presented in the book) felt that they had a "gift" for spotting a woman with profoundly ingrained submissive tendencies ... a woman who would be susceptible to hypnotic suggestion, and in fact, a woman who actually yearned for the loss of emotional control that was possible only through an especially deep trance state. Since I, the reader, was now holding one of these signed, numbered books, my wife (or girlfriend) was considered to have had the privilege of being deemed such a woman by the author and his spouse. The introduction went on to explain that this hypothesis was confirmed during an intimate get-together with these two, along with one or two other lucky ladies who had been deemed to possess the same proclivities.
During this little gathering, Mrs. Author (i.e., Mrs. Cathwright, unless a pseudonym was in play), agreed to volunteer to be the hypnotist's subject for the evening, but the seating chart was designed so that each of the ladies present would have a clear view of the hypnosis-inducing trinket used to instill this loss of consciousness. Once again, the fact that I was holding this book was proof that my wife (or girlfriend) did, indeed, succumb to the deepest levels of hypnotic surrender. (Unwritten logic, of course, implied that the other ladies present did an equal job of "succumbing," since a conscious member of the group would undoubtedly have raised bloody hell.)
I was to be assured, the introduction went on, that nothing "physical" had happened to my wife (or girlfriend) while she was taken into the deepest depths of her subconscious. I could be equally confident that nothing was implanted in her mind in the way of "triggers" that would alter her perceptions or cause her to suddenly reenter such a trance. In an effort to persuade me that hypnotic control was real, and that her suggestibility could permanently "enhance" our relationship, one simple, innocent change had been accomplished while she was "under;" one which would manifest itself in the near future.
The goal of this exercise was to convince me, the lucky spouse (or lover), that hypnotic control of this special woman was not only possible, but preferable. She loved this loss of power ... and what red-blooded dominant individual would not jump at the chance to provide all the control she so desperately craved by making her a personal sex slave?
Now, it just so happened that the gem which was used to place her in her hypnotic nirvana was specially cut ... a unique design, specific only to her (and presumably, at least, the two other women who had been chosen for tonight's "book signing"). If I wanted to give my wife (or girlfriend) the special control she yearned for, I could call Mr. Cathwright at the phone number provided at the end of the introduction, make an appointment, and arrange to buy an exact duplicate of this specially-designed gemstone. While my wife (or girlfriend) was in her trance, she had divulged a few little facts to her hypnotist ... one of which was an approximation of her spouse's (or lover's) net worth. Based on that information, the price for this invaluable device might vary from person to person, and my particular price would be so noted ... but I would be sure to understand that it was one hell of a bargain, considering the fantasies ... hers as well as mine ... that were sure to be fulfilled through the possession of this artifact.