Hey guys, here’s the next chapter in this story. In this chapter, there is a fair bit of mind control stuff. If you want a refresher on how mind control works in this series, read the first few paras in Chapter 4. Hope you guys like it. Enjoy.
Chapter 13: To err is human.
Maya stood in the stands with her schoolmates. She had her hands folded and prayed to God. “Probably, last minute,” someone said behind her. Just a few minutes back, the opposition scored and now the scores are level. Cheers rose around her as their team got hold of the ball. Immediately it was passed to Ben. Ben was running towards the goal. But she could see he was not running at full speed. Not a lot of people could play for ninety minutes and not get exhausted. She saw through his brain and gave him an adrenaline rush. She could see the adrenaline flowing through his brain. With renewed energy, Ben passed and dribbled between the gaps and within seconds he was in range to shoot. “Shoot,” she prayed out loud. He shot. The team burst into celebration as the whistle blew and people around her were cheering and hooting. She sat down smiling. She was the reason for the happiness around her and that made her happy.
She ran to discover Ben under the stands. She hugged him tightly. Ben was her boyfriend and they had their first kiss yesterday. It was at her seventeenth birthday party.
“Did you see that?” he asked. “I thought we were going to lose on time,”
“I know,” she answered into his chest, “You were so fast that last minute.”
“Yes, I was so exhausted but the blood rush helped me.”
“If not for you, we wouldn’t have gotten all the points. You did great,” she looked up into his eyes.
“Thanks, babe,” he leaned into her to kiss. But he stopped the kiss abruptly. He looked ashamed. ‘He can be so sensitive sometimes,’ she wondered.
“What is it?” she asked him.
“It’s,” he stopped, “I’m sorry,” he said and she couldn’t figure out why he was apologizing. “Yesterday, I never intended to kiss you. The thought just came to me all of a sudden. I’m sorry if I’ve crossed the boundaries. That was why I was avoiding you today.”
Then it clicked on her. Before he kissed her, she was thinking of the kiss. ‘Kiss me,’ she had repeated to herself inside her mind when he was near her. That must’ve turned out to be a Command. He was compelled to kiss her. ‘Oh my god,’ she panicked, ‘I forced him to kiss me. That is sexual assault.’ All of her happiness melted away. She took someone’s free will away and used it for her sensual purposes. ‘I’m a terrible person,’ she wondered. She withdrew from his grip and walked a few steps away from him. ‘But why is he feeling guilty? If I didn’t like it, I would have told him that. That means he should know I am okay with it. He should be okay with it. Does he not like me? Did I do anything wrong?’
“I can understand if you don’t want to talk to me. But just remember, it was not my intention. It just happened,” he said.
‘Why does he have to say it like that?’ she wondered. ‘It is not me, it’s all you’ was how she felt when he said that. She broke up with him. She couldn’t stand the feeling that she somehow used him.
Days passed, and she realized she was being played by him. She looked at him in the hallway, hand in hand with another girl. He already moved on, and she was still heartbroken. He didn’t technically cheat. It was cheating nonetheless. She walked away quickly from the hallway and hid from everyone in her secret spot. She cried her eyeballs out. Tears streamed down her face, running the mascara down with them. She must’ve gone for a long time because Sharon came looking for her. Sharon gasped taking a look at her.
“What happened? Who are we going to kill?” she said.
Maya giggled and got control of her emotions. She already told her what happened with Ben. She didn’t tell her mind control part but she told her that she sort of forced him to kiss her. “Now, I feel like I’m a terrible person. I feel stupid. Maybe I shouldn’t have broken up with him. Maybe he was right to move on to another girl quickly because I forced him to kiss,” her thoughts were jumbled.
“No, he is trash. He doesn’t deserve your tears. He cheated on you, even if you don’t believe me. He just wanted you to feel like shit. And for you, you didn’t force him. Even if you did, everybody makes mistakes. People do wrong things sometimes, but we can correct them.”
‘Wrong,’ she wondered. “What? I don’t do wrong, Sharon,” she snapped at her. “Maya can do no wrong. Understand that.” She regretted yelling at her. ‘She was only making me feel good.’ She wondered.
“Yes, understood.” Sharon seemed flustered.
Maya sat beside Sharon in the chemistry lab. Exactly a year before, she was weak and heartbroken. Now, she learned how her powers helped her. One would stop holding back when one can control someone. That’s exactly what happened to her. She used her powers recklessly now. But she was careful with Commanding someone after what happened with Sharon. She used their emotions to control them. She turned to her fellow student behind and showed her record, “Is this correct?”
She shook her head, “No,” and she explained what was wrong with it. Sharon was looking at her when she turned around. “What?” she asked.
“Why couldn’t ask me?” Sharon asked.
Maya smiled at her. After what she did to her last year, that was not productive at all. “Okay,” she passed her record with amusement, “Did I do anything wrong here?”
Sharon looked at it and looked at her, “I don’t see any wrongs here,” she said. That was the issue. When she made a snide opinion that she can do no wrong, it became Command in Sharon’s mind. Now, she wondered everything Maya did was right. Maya realized it a few days later when it happened. She tried to undo it, and she didn’t know how to do it. She even told her about her powers of mind control expecting that it somehow may work. But she acted like that was the most natural thing. She made her promise that she would never tell anyone about her powers. In a few weeks, Sharon was in complete control of that Command.
“That’s why,” she smiled, “I don’t ask you things like these.”
“Really, you didn’t do anything wrong,” Sharon said.
“Fuck’s sake. Even if I shit in your mouth, you would not see that as wrong,” she laughed at her own opinion.
Sharon wondered for a bit and said, “I don’t see anything wrong with it either,”
“I know, sweety. Now, concentrate on the class.” She felt bad for Sharon. She wished that didn’t happen because that Command had made her the pinnacle of a Yes-Man.
After the class, they walked through the hallway. Ben passed her and she Surged his guilt when he looked at her. He seemed crestfallen. But she didn’t care. She confirmed that he indeed cheated on her even before that infamous kiss on her birthday. ‘He should consider himself lucky that he is only feeling guilty,’ she wondered. She was experimenting on someone, and he wouldn’t like to be subjected to that. A group of four people were standing by the wall and two girls were snickering. She was fairly certain that she was the cause of that laughs. She walked up to them and asked, “What are you laughing at?”
One of the girls started talking, “Oh, little Maya,” she all the time hated that, “It’s nothing. Billie here commented on how filthy and ugly your shoes are. And I said that they look better than your face.” She looked down and found her white sneakers are indeed filthy. But that opinion made her angry and it showed on her face. She could burst their brains and make them fall to their knees. But all she did was Soothe their happiness. As their faces fall flat, she moved up to her face and said, “You don’t want me your enemy, Jess. Take care.” She walked away from them and Sharon followed her. She gestured to Mat who was standing beside the girls to follow her and he did. He was the test subject of the experiment. She was testing her limits on him. She noted he was petrified. And rightly so. She was controlling him with fear.
She sat down on a chair when they reached an empty classroom. Sharon sat on another one. “Close the door, Mat,” she ordered. He locked the door and turned around. She surged his fear just as his eyes fell on her. She could see some tremors pass through him. “Are you dumb?” she sneered with her mouth curling. She behaved like an insolent bitch when he was with her. She did this in addition to the emotional manipulation. She couldn’t just surge his fears and have nothing to show for, in her actions. The fear needs something physical to connect. But sometimes she thinks was it just acting or had she become cruel? ‘Cruel,’ she wondered, ‘I’m long past cruel now. With what I’m gonna do now, I’m a downright barbarian.’
“Do I need to give an invitation for you to come? Can’t you think?” she said in disdain. He walked quickly. “Stop,” she said and he did. “Your girl, I hate her. Can’t she live with herself without thinking about me all the time? Or is she jealous that you spend more time with me than her?”
“I don’t know, Maya,” he replied as sweat beads formed on his forehead.
“I can’t punish her for her mistakes. So, I will have to punish you,” he gulped as she said that. “Don’t worry, I will not beat you.” He still seemed terrified. “Now, crawl to me like the dog you are.” Sharon beside her hadn’t even batted an eye at this strange situation. In her eyes, this was not wrong at all.
“Maya?” he begged.
The smile on her face disappeared. Anger returned to her as she narrowed her eyes and she increased his fear. “DO IT,” she yelled. He slid down to his knees and crawled forward. She could see that he was teary-eyed. When he reached her, the tears were flowing down his cheeks. ‘I don’t feel sympathy for him. He is just a test subject. I need to learn more about my powers so that I can be useful to the world. He is just collateral damage. It happens at all times,’ she told herself that.
She crossed her legs just in front of his face. He looked at her as a teardrop fell on her shoe. “Do my shoes look dirty, Mat?” she asked him.
“Yes,” he said not even looking at them.
“So, I have been told. Who told me that? Ah, yes. It was your girlfriend. It must’ve bothered her so much. Be a good boyfriend and rectify what was bothering your girlfriend,” she said sweetly. He was dumbfounded and didn’t move an inch. “You’re fucking dumb,” she scoffed “Clean my shoes, dummy.” He reached for his kerchief, and she kicked him under his chin. “No. Behave like a dog and clean them with your tongue.”
“Please, Maya. Don’t make me do this?” he started crying again.
“LICK MY SHOES,” she said loudly with her eyes wide, a threatening look, and surged on his fear again. He fell into the motion of dragging his tongue on her shoes with muffled cries. She made him lick both of her shoes till she was satisfied. She made his fear surge whenever she wanted. She kicked to throw him backward. He fell and lay flat on his back. She stood up, moved to stand beside him, and looked down at him. She could sense the tip of her shoe was touching his ear. He looked at her with that terrified look.
“Why are you doing this to me? What have I done wrong? Please,” he begged her.
She lifted her left foot and placed it over his mouth. She was still looking at him when she spoke, “It is nothing against you, Matty,” she grinded her shoe on his face, “Why do we crush bugs? Because we can.” She bent down to get close to him, exulting more pressure on his face with her foot. “I do this because I just can. And you get crushed under my boot because that is the best you can do with your life.” And she walked away from him. She turned around when she was at the door to see him kneeling. “Come to the lake house tomorrow,” she said and exited the room.
Mat knelt there listening to the fading footsteps. He stood up when he couldn’t hear any. He wiped his tears with his hands and rushed to the bathroom. He rinsed his face and his mouth trying to clean the filth on his tongue.
After that, he went home thinking about her, ‘How can a human treat another so terribly? Does she even have a heart? Or is she an alien acting as an impostor in Maya’s body?’ Maya was a sweet girl before. She was not like this a few months back. ‘Yes, you get intimidated by her from time to time. But that happens with every gorgeous girl.’
He lay on his bed. He remembered his mom telling a few years back, ‘I don’t know, Mat. Sometimes, I’m afraid when she comes near me.’ He dismissed it then. Now, he was so afraid of her that he couldn’t think of her without sending jitters down his spine. She had told him that he wouldn’t like her wrath if he ever tells anyone about their private meetings. So, he never told anyone about what happened behind those closed doors.
He wondered Sharon was a kind girl too. But he was quickly reminded how cruel both of them were. He talked to her as she was also part of their private meetings and she said to him, “I don’t see anything wrong with what Maya is doing.” She laughed and walked away. He was stunned. ‘How can a person be so content with torturing someone?’ he wondered.
What happened today was beyond his understanding. He had begged her to stop. That’s when he realized that she doesn’t see him as a human. “We crush bugs just because we can,” he paraphrased her words out loud. ‘I do this to you just because I can,’ it reverberated in his brain as tears formed in his eyes again. She saw him as a bug under her boot. She couldn’t care less if he gets crushed under it. Tears streamed down to his ears. She asked him to come to the lake house. Ordered. He couldn’t keep this up. He had to do something.
He went to the kitchen and came back with a knife. It gave him a false sense of security. He thrust that under his pillow and tried to sleep. Maybe, he could kill her with that knife tomorrow and get this over with. Prison couldn’t be worse than this.
“Wake up, Mat,” he heard his mom shouting. He was startled and immediately his hand went under the pillow. He gripped the knife and didn’t bring it out. He looked at his mom, and she was holding her phone to her ear. “It’s Maya,” she gestured to her phone and he tightened his grip on the knife, “She says you asked her to go to the lake house with you.”
“He just woke up, sweety,” she said to Maya on the phone. “He will be there in an hour.” She looked at him and said, “Go, Mat. She is almost there. When you promise someone that you’re going to do something, you do it.” He looked at his phone and there were ten missed calls from her. He let go of the knife and ran to get ready. “How are you, sweety?” she was talking to Maya as she walked away from his room.
‘How can I hide this knife from her?’ he wondered as he was driving his rover. He was about to reach the lake house. The lake house is a gorgeous place. He remembered enjoying his summers here. Now, he was terrified to go there. Maya was in front of the house as he reached it. She probably was returning from her running. She walked to the door and stood there. He parked the car. ‘I can not do this. If I fail, she is gonna torture me even more,’ he wondered about the knife. ‘It is best to not make her angry.’ He put the knife in the glove compartment and got down.
He climbed up the ledge and looked at her. He felt that his fear of her before was insignificant. He was glad that he put the knife away because he wouldn’t have been able to move a finger against her with this much fear in him. He stopped a few feet away from her. “Good morning, Maya,” he faked a smile.
“That’s it,” Maya scorned. “You’re kidding me,” her eyes changed to hard steel and his fear increased more. “You have some guts. You’re not even going to apologize,” he looked at his feet and wondered he should’ve apologized right away. He felt her grab his hair and pull forward. He moved without any resistance. He was a few inches taller than her. “Kneel, you filthy dog,” he felt ashamed and hurt whenever she degraded him. He was also fairly certain that’s how she sees him. He didn’t want to defy her. So, he knelt and apologized to her. She didn’t let go of his hair but pulled it up. “I think you forgot about your punishments when you didn’t satisfy me.” He felt more fear as he looked up at her. Three slaps landed on his cheeks rapidly. He was already crying. “Oh, little crybaby. You think I care if you cry,” with a firmer tone she continued, “I care if don’t follow my orders. Understand?”
“Now, get down and take off my shoes,” she ordered.
He bent down and unlaced her running shoes. “Kiss them first,” she barked another order before he could remove the shoes.
‘How can she come up with these degrading tasks?’ he wondered. He pulled them off one by one. She walked into the house with her socked feet leaving wet footprints on the polished wood.
“Crawl after me,” she said. He encouraged himself to do that. He had already done that once before her, and he could do it again. He crawled into the house passing the threshold. She looked back at him and said, “Kiss where I walked.” More degrading work. He bent down to kiss her wet footprints. He continued doing so until he reached the couch.
She lifted her feet and landed them on the table before her. “Lick here,” she said pointing to the footprints she just left. He was aghast. He could see her eyes narrow down and as expected his fear increased. He bent down quickly to lick the wet spot as if someone had smacked his back to do so. He heard her say, “I was just wondering how will those taste. Like sweat or the wood.” He looked up at her. “Because you are here, I thought I could make you do it. You’d do anything to please me, right?” she asked him.
“Yes, Maya,” he gulped.
“Then tell me, how does it taste? Like my sweat or the wood?”
“It tasted like the wood, Maya”
“How disappointing,” she made a face. Even her soft expressions made him nervous. “Wait a minute, how do you know the taste of my sweat?” ‘Like salt,’ he wondered but didn’t say it. She crossed her right leg over her knee showing him the sole of her socked feet. Now, he understood what she wanted him to do. He widened his eyes to look at her. She said with a wry smile, “Come get a sample.” He had no choice but to do it. He could see they were damp. He touched her feet with the tip of his tongue. “Come on, lick them,” she hissed through her teeth. He dragged his tongue on her socked foot. He tasted the sweat and licked the filth on it. He leaned back after to look at her. She nodded to him lick the floor. He did so, “It still tastes like wood, Maya.”
She sighed. “Okay, I need some lime water when I come back,” she said and went to the washroom. He stood and made his way to the kitchen. He brought a glass out to make lime water and while he was doing that, he saw the kitchen knives. ‘I can do this,’ he wondered looking at them. ‘If I’m unable to do it, she would torture me more.’ He wondered that was not different from what she is doing now. ‘She would kill me,’ he wondered about the worst as he was mixing the water and lime juice with a spoon. ‘It is better to die than live a life like this,’ he made himself strong and grabbed the knife. He hid it in his back pocket.
She was waiting for him when he came back from the kitchen. He walked to stand beside her, bent down to hand her the glass, and called, “Maya?” She didn’t acknowledge for at least a minute. He stood there like that and wondered, ‘I’m just a piece of furniture in her eyes.’ She smiled at him when she took the glass. Even with a smile, he was afraid to look into her eyes. ‘I have to put the knife away again. I can not do this,’ he battled with himself. ‘Yes, you can,’ somewhere he found a pinch of courage inside him. He brought his hand to his back and slowly tried to draw the knife out. He could see her concentration shifting from her drink to him. ‘I can not do this,’ he told himself again. ‘DO IT,’ the other part screamed at him. He drew the knife and swung at her rapidly. When it was inches away from her, he heard her shout, “STOP.” Everything stopped in that second. He was so afraid that he couldn’t move. If he was not panting, he would’ve wondered he was unable to breathe.