Toymaker Ch. 01byHandsInTheDark©
I'm not going to write about how I came across my ability. Even if I did, you wouldn't be able to get it for yourself; I was very lucky. If you tried, you might get something different, instead, and it would probably kill you or drive you insane. I'll just say I was doing research into parapsychology, the study of weird mind abilities, and also into magnetism. A freak accident happened, and it left me changed. Very changed.
The changes have not all been positive. As I describe what's happened, you'll think I have it made. But it's not all good.
So what is this Ability? In part, I can read people's... I can't say thoughts, but something closer to their emotions. From some people, I get nothing at all – that's rare, though. If your emotions are very intense, I can "read" them from much further off – in fact, I can't avoid it. That's more of a problem than you'd believe.
And in part... I can affect people's thoughts and feelings. I can make you happy, or sad. I can make you off-the-wall hyper, or so relaxed you fall asleep. Yes, I can make you horny. Fear, excitement, trust, curiousity – I can "push" on all of these.
There are people I can't "write", but I have no trouble with 90% of the people I've tried it on.
(Right off, I know what occurred to you first. Yes, I'm rich. You don't want to play poker with me, though that's not how I make most of my money.)
There are all sorts of limits to what I can do. The big one is distance. Alone, I can only "reach" about five or ten feet. If I'm carrying a strong magnet, I can get to about fifty feet. Walls don't make much difference, but metal blocks the "reach" of my ability completely.
Another limit is time. I can go for a few hours, continuously. If I push it further, the ability fades out suddenly and I end up sleepy and headachy.
"Writing" is complicated. I have to feel around in a mind, figuring out where the emotions "are" and how to push on them. Imagine walking up to a control panel with lots of knobs and switches, none of them labeled. Most people's "control panels" are more or less the same, but a good number of people have unusual layouts; many times, I can't just push and immediately get what I want. But by tweaking the knobs very slightly, and reading the results, I can figure out just about anyone's controls, sometimes in a couple seconds, sometimes much more slowly. I don't literally see it like a lot of knobs, of course. There's no way to describe what it feels like. It's more like fumbling in a dark closet for particular shoes when there are dozens of shoes involved.
It went down like this – I was in the Bubble, our name for a device which was supposed to operate as a psi-amplifier, but which was so incredibly unstable and inconsistent in operation that our results were barely better than random chance. I was following a lead started by some Russian parapsychologists fifty years ago, involving magnetism and some crazy stuff involving quantum mechanics, and I was getting nowhere, but suddenly one of the pieces of gear blew, and everything else went into some crazy kind of feedback... by the time my assistants got power turned off, most of the gear was smoking, and I was unconscious. When I opened my eyes, I was staring up at my three assistants, one of them crying. I had a bizarre and brief episode of aphasia, and then things settled down and got normal again... except, I was on the edge of crying, and I was shaking like a leaf. Given the smoking equipment, I had some reason for this, but the reaction was way in excess of the cause.
Being a guy, I wasn't about to give in to some inexplicable tears in front of my staff, so I headed for a bathroom so I could get a grip on myself. But after I'd moved fifteen feet, I suddenly felt fine. I stopped, turned around, and headed back into the room – and the urge to cry returned.
And when I focused my attention on Mary, the youngest of the lab assistants and the one that was still wiping her eyes, it suddenly got worse.
It didn't take long for me to figure out that I was "reading." At first I thought I'd somehow gotten my emotions linked specifically to Mary – she'd been closest to me when the gear blew. But then Alice threw a kind of nervous tantrum about the ruined equipment, and John, who was right next to me, got quietly but intensely pissed at her. It was like a shout in my ear, and I suddenly had to get away from John. Just then Mary came over to me to apologize for falling apart – and since I now had some idea what was going on, I focused my attention on her.
Females have a complicated emotional world they live in, and it's nothing like the male world. Even though she'd calmed down somewhat, I found myself drowning in feelings I couldn't even process, some of which I didn't have names for. I stopped myself from backing away from her – I didn't want to start acting too weird – but instinctively I did something, something I didn't understand, and she abruptly blinked.
"Whoa," she whispered.
"I... wow, what a strange thing that was. I've been an emotional mess all morning. You know, I'm in that part of my cycle, it just happens. And just now it all went blank. It's just... freaky. Like someone put the emotions into deep freeze. Did the experiment do this? Because if I can reproduce this particular effect in other pre-menstrual women, I'm going to be rich..."
"We're not going to be reproducing much," Alice said. "I don't know what tore through this gear, but it's toast, and the data recorders contain trash. We just lost fifty thousand in gear and have nothing to show for it."
"We're closed for the day," I said, abruptly. "Go home. Don't talk about this to anyone yet – the university is not going to like it. I'll try to figure out what the next move is."
They didn't like it, but I convinced them to take off, and I did as well. I walked across the campus, trying to think.
I didn't care about the ruined gear, even though it was likely the end of my work here, or perhaps anywhere. Reading emotions... and that thing where I'd apparently changed Mary's emotions... that was all that mattered. Was this temporary or permanent?
As I walked, I got nailed by a very different emotion, very intense.
Two people – somewhere – were making love. I had no idea where, but it was a boy and a girl and they were both near orgasm. The guy's emotion was searing, intense, like a blowtorch. The woman's was fantastically complex and ornate, like being caught in a blizzard of snowflakes, all different colors. Suddenly the guy came, and then the girl did – and so did I.
I shook my head, and got up off my knees, which I'd involuntarily fallen to. People were looking at me, and I acted like I'd gotten dizzy – in a sense, I had. Luckily no one came over to investigate, and luckily I hadn't soaked though my jeans. I stopped, breathed... and tried to "read" again.
I got them again, the two of them. It was faint; they were both in afterglow. I could still tell boy from girl, and suddenly I was jealous of girls, because right then I learned they have this wonderful kind of afterglow that males don't have anything like. (For the actual orgasm, I'll take 'guy' for total intensity, but women win it afterwards.)
Suddenly a window opened just ten feet from me, and through the swinging curtain I saw a flash of skin. Yeah... I hadn't hallucinated any of that. I made a point of remembering which window it was, because if I could learn to hold myself together while reading, eavesdropping on their sex was hotter than the wildest porn ever.
I was freaking out, at this point. I knew I'd changed and could do something that maybe no one in history had ever accomplished, but I was terrified that I'd also screwed myself up badly, and that whatever this was, would eat my brain or drive me insane or just plain kill me. I resolved to get off campus and get home in a hurry.
But when I found myself walking past an all girl-dorm, I knew why I was doing it.
And... bingo. There was a woman in there, who was doing a deep, intense sexual burn. She was alone, and she was slowly toying with her sexuality. I settled on a bench with my back to the building, and she must have been just on the other side of the wall, because I started to get detail. I couldn't quite hear her thoughts, though I got enough clues to know she had some dark fantasies going, and was reading some kind of erotica involving very dominant men. She tormented herself with a near-orgasm, then let it back down, then built it up again. I focused in hard, addicted to what I was experiencing, and I could sense every touch of her vibrator; but it was the depth of her submission to her fantasy men that turned me inside out. She was imagining herself being taken over and over, by man after man, and coming closer to orgasm each time. Suddenly she lost control and went over the edge, hot and freefalling and shuddering and urgent. She peaked twice, the second much harder than the first, and then suddenly collapsed into an afterglow. And then she was sad.
I'd come again, but this time I knew it was going to happen and managed not to collapse or make noise. It was dizzying, though, and I was breathing hard.
I remembered how I'd – somehow – affected Mary's emotions, back in the lab. What about this nameless coed? Could I...
I fumbled, "reading" her, then trying to "write." I had no idea how to do it, only that I'd done it once by accident. Strange feelings washed over me, some mixture of my own and hers. It was like shapes, or smells... Within a minute I was doing something that had an effect on her. It was very hard to control – and what I bumbled into first was some kind of fear reaction, like I'd given her a panic attack. I couldn't see what I was doing. Nothing made sense – but suddenly I found something that just felt right, and I pushed on it.
She went wild. Immediately she was masturbating, frantically, and I heard her moan, faintly, through the window behind me. I pushed hard, and she came, instantly, and violently, and I kept pushing, making her peak over and over in rapid succession. I head a faint thump and felt a wash of shock – she'd fallen off the bed, I'd realized. I kept pushing, making her come over and over on the floor.
I let go, suddenly terrified that I could be doing damage to her, for all I knew. It has been an unbelievably erotic experience for me, but I was literally fucking with the unknown, and the implications were suddenly horrifying. I got off the bench and got to my car.
Closing the car door did something interesting – I suddenly felt cut off from the world, eerily so. I opened the door again and stuck my head out. There was... something. I pulled back in and closed the door. The something went away.
And it clicked. When mostly surrounded by metal, I couldn't read, and the faint background noise of people's emotions, a noise I hadn't even realized I'd become aware of, was blocked.
When I got home, and into the apartment building, the background noise returned. I got to my apartment, I wrapped my head in tin foil, and started laughing. That blocked it, even with openings for my eyes, ears and mouth. Good to know, for emergencies.
I spent a lot of the day in search engines, trying to figure out what had happened to me. I found plenty of fiction, and some claims about yoga that claimed something vaguely like the connectedness I experienced when I wasn't surrounded by metal, but nothing creditable that was anything like my reading and writing.
I heard a quiet thump – Majorie, my next door neighbor, had gotten home. She was around 22 and gorgeous, but she liked guys younger than me, so we'd had friendly conversation and nothing else. I knew a little more about her sexuality than I should have; the wall between her bedroom and my living room was thinner than she might have liked. She generally had a guy over about once a week, and it wasn't always the same guy. I'd had my share of fantasies about grabbing that long blond hair, bending her over the back of a sofa and fucking her from behind.
I "read" through the wall, shamelessly, but got nothing. She wasn't within reach. I pulled together a little dinner, trying occasionally, impatiently. At one point I heard a faint male voice through the wall – she wasn't alone tonight. Just the thought of what I might get from her had me aroused and hard.
It took almost an hour, a very frustrating hour, but suddenly I got something. She was horny, and while I couldn't get thoughts, I was certain she was turning herself on with the thought of teasing her male friend. Horniness comes in flavors, I realized, and each unique kind of desire, each fantasy, affects the emotions differently. The co-ed had been driving herself wild with submissive, yielding thoughts. Majorie's desire was more about what her body would do men, and didn't feel at all submissive. They were both hot, though. I was immediately erect.
Then there was a little thrill of fear and excitement – I guessed he was touching her.
I smiled grimly, and tried a little writing. My idea this time was to very, very lightly toy with her sexuality, instead of just pushing on it like I had for that woman in the girl's dorm.
She was very, very hard to figure out, emotionally; much more complicated than the coed I'd blasted earlier. I kept it to light, experimental touches, and finally found something that worked on her.
Slow, very gentle "touches". She wasn't aware that she was being messed with, but her arousal went up. I kept gently toying with, as the guy with her touched her. I could tell when she started touching back, and I rewarded her with a slightly firmer push. Fuck, her response was hot! I grabbed my cock and stroked, slowly. It was suddenly very hard not to slam her mind as hard as I could, and force wild orgasms out of her... but I was determined to learn more about this.
I formed an image of her in my mind – leaning back against a wall, legs open, being touched and handled, being made to arch and offer her pussy. I tried to "send" that image to her, pushing it into her brain. I didn't know exactly if that would work or what it would do, but it felt right, somehow.
There was a soft thump – she'd leaned against the wall – and a soft moan, barely heard through the wall. The guy with her didn't need more encouragement, and I could feel her wild response as he handled her body. Then I could feel the fire explode in her, and guessed he'd fingered her.
But I didn't want this to end in any hurry, and I pushed another image at her – her, kneeling, kissing his cock. She felt a flash of fear, but I pushed it again, harder. I heard another moan, and then a soft thump as she went to her knees. I pushed more images – her hands behind her head, her pussy pushed forward and rubbing against his leg as she sucked him. Apparently she thought it was all her own idea, and she found that submissive, slutty pose extremely hot.
And then I pushed, edging her towards orgasm, and then suddenly away again.
She went crazy. She didn't want to stop sucking him. But she ached to come, and grinding her clit against his shin wasn't quite getting her there. I pushed and stopped, pushed and stopped, until she was ready to scream. And I could feel him getting impatient with her haphazard, distracted sucking.
I pushed another image at her: elbows and knees, ass up, head curled against the wall, taken hard from behind. It was probably too submissive a pose for her, because I could feel her being a little shocked at herself, but it's how I wanted her to be, and I hit her with fast, light pushes, edging her ruthlessly with that image in her mind. In seconds I heard her give a frantic whimper, and offer herself up.
Immediately she got taken, and thumped against the wall. I rewarded her with faster, harder taps, pushed her to the very brink, held her there... and continued to hold her there as the guy came inside her. I could feel her wild frustration through the wall, and wickedly, I decided to deny her her release entirely. She thrashed against the wall, and then I got to "read" her faking an orgasm. It was fascinating.
I took myself to bed, and ended up masturbating myself to sleep. Controlling her, even with her orgasm ruined, had been very, very hot.
The next day the university called me to say I was done experimenting on their dime. I wasn't surprised. There'd been no useful results from the research (none that I was ever going to publish), and we'd blown up a lot of gear. I smiled and called an old friend, Will.
"Will? James. You still got that poker game going?"
"Hey, James, what's new? Yeah, game's still going, why?"
"I want in. I've been sharpening my game some..."
"James... last time you lost two fifty and you swore you wouldn't be back. You're welcome to sit in, but I don't want to hear any whining when you get cleaned."
"Don't think I'll get cleaned. Is Angela still in the game?"
"Yeah, and her game has only gotten sharper. But if you're hoping to get your hands on her, forget it. She's all about the cards when she's at table. She's more of an ice queen than ever."
Pretty, pretty Angela. Lovely, innocent face, sweet curves, and a mind that calculated poker like a computer. She'd walked away with over two hundred of my money last time I'd played, and her smile had been just a little mocking.
"Hell, no. I just want my money back."
"Forget it. You won't get a penny. I lose fifty to her a week, on average."
"My place, tomorrow night?"
"James... you gone a little crazy or something?"
"Nope. Just feeling like the cards are going to talk to me tomorrow."
"Fine. I'll be happy to take your money, and so will the rest of the crew. Bob was going to be unavailable this week anyway. See you at eight?"
I sent the next day studying poker odds and practicing against an online poker practice site. Then I pulled out a thou in cash, spent a little on good snacks, wine and some harder stuff, and lemonade. The lemonade was for me – I had no idea how alcohol would mix with my new ability and this wasn't the evening to find out. I dumped a tablespoon of vodka in the lemonade so if anyone picked up my drink, they'd think it was hard. I dressed as well as I could, given my wardrobe.
Angela showed up first, just before eight. Blouse, skirt, pearls. She was a marketing exec somewhere, and didn't appear in public unless she looked good. She looked good now, though not quite in Majorie's class. I pushed that comparison out of my head. We chatted, and she managed to bring up how brave I was being, crossing cards with her again. I just smiled, a little mockingly.
Will, Peter and Tom showed up, in that order, and after ten minutes of chitchat and setting out snacks, we opened up a new deck and got down to play.
My problem at poker wasn't so much knowing the odds, though my recent research told me I hadn't been folding enough. I just tended to put too much hope in what I thought were cues other people put out, when they looked at their cards. The solution to that was simple – I wouldn't be looking at faces during the game.
The first deal sent me a 3 and an ace down, and a 3 up. Not a very strong opening, but I decided to stay in. Angela folded outright, and so did Tom. My next card was a 7, and Will was showing a pair of fives. I folded. Will ended up with a small pot, based on a trip of 5's.
The next deal I got a 2, 5, and J, and folded outright. At seventh street, Angela took it with just two pair. She wasn't afraid to semi-bluff, I remembered.
But the next deal I got K and J of hearts down, and 9 of hearts up. This was a shot at a flush, and vague hope of a straight. The next card was a jack of spades, and Angela was showing two queens, diamonds and spades. Now I had to think. My pair was under hers, and potential flush was a longish shot, whereas she had a shot at trip queens. Only one other heart was showing on anyone's porch, but that didn't prove much. I decided to stay in for a couple streets and see if things improved.