Hypnosis in the News 2: Sleeper Cell

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Ever since I saw those news reports of guy's being hypnotized late at night by a hypno-burglar I knew I wanted to find out more. One of the last reports on the subject from KITV journalist Drew Cavanaugh claimed that there wasn't just one hypnotist doing the work, but multiple guys, previous hypno-victims turned hypnotists doing the crimes? This was truly unique. I found this bordering on incredulous and yet simultaneously fascinating. I just couldn't get the thought of it out of my mind. That might also have something to do with the fact that the supposed kingpin of the whole operation, a police psychologist no less, was on the run, having alluded the authorities best attempts at capture.

My name is Seamus Potter, no relation to Harry, I swear. I am one fifth of the now two year old detective agency we call My four buddies and I started it almost as a gag after high school and after solving several cases, one in particular that had baffled local law enforcement for months, we earned our kudos and reputation in the community. We've had a steady flow of clients ever since.

My partners, Dennis O'Leary, Collin Hughes, Timothy Patterson and Riley Jacobs were good, solid guys. Guys you can count on, you know? I've known them all since I was in elementary school, we were good friends and these past few years, business associates.

It was a relatively quiet time; all we had on our docket were a couple of wives that wanted us to follow and track their husband's movements, convinced they were having affairs. Yawn! Dennis and Timothy were on those cases, leaving Riley, Collin and myself doing paperwork, organizing and looking for potential new clients. I was literally about to leave my office for theirs to discuss a potential investigation into this series of hypno-crimes when someone I didn't recognize knocked on my door.

-“Uh, is this, are you, the detectives that solved that Liszt-case?” The young man, like most in our community, had heard about that through the news. It was big – the fact that a group of 19 year olds were able to bust open a case that had police scratching their heads for months? We were awarded the Mayor's Special Honor for Community Service and were in all the papers. That case actually helped to birth our current agency.

-'The very same.' I answered back with a smile and a click of my pen against the desk.

The young man, no older than 25 entered into my office and closed the door behind him. He was nervous.

-“Why don't you sit down. Can I get you a coffee or some water?” I asked trying to be hospitable.

-“Nah, I'm fine. What am I saying? I'm not fine. That's why I'm here. It's about my dad.”

I loved it when folks got right to the point, saved me the trouble of having to preamble everything with a series of nonsensical questions.

-“What about your dad?” I asked, sitting back in my chair.

-“He's been missing now for nearly a month.”

-“Have you reported him missing to the police?” I asked.

-“He is the police!” the dark haired youth finally sat back in his chair. He had been leaning onto my desk with both elbows. “He was abducted by that kooky police psychologist that hypnotized all those guys months ago. I think he probably got to my dad. He was one of the two arresting officers on the scene and according to Police Chief Peters, they had him cuffed and in the squad car... and then, they were never seen again.”

I couldn't believe the irony. I was just thinking of inserting our firm into this mystery and in walks one of its secondary victims. Synchronicity, gotta love it!

-“Do you mind if I bring two of my partners in on this meeting, Mr.?” I asked the young man, whose name I still had not gleaned.

-“Oh, yeah, no problem. I'm Vicenzo Valentino, my dad is officer Bruno Valentino.” He took a photo from his pocket and put it on the desk. “That's him.”

I buzzed Collin and Riley, asking them both to come into my office ASAP. They were standing at my door seconds later.

-“Collin, Riley, this here is Vincenzo Valentino...” the three exchanged handshakes and greetings, as I continued to introduce him to my partners. “His father was one of the two cops that went missing in that hypno-burglar case.”

-“No kidding? I'm very sorry man.” Collin was our resident diplomat and consoler, immediately putting his comforting hand on Vincenzo's shoulder in a show of emotional support. Riley was less tactful.

-“I don't get it. If the police can't look after their own...” I cut him off. This was no time for one of Rileys diatribes on police efficiency.

-“Vincenzo's father was the last one seen with the perp. Well, he and his partner...”

-“Jorge Menendes.” Vincenzo filled in the blank with his father's partner's name.

-“They had him cuffed and were taking him downtown when their squad car went incommunicado. As I recall reading in the paper, their squad car was found outside of city limits on some dirt road or something, right?”

-“In Tupper, yeah, that's right.” Vincenzo confirmed.

-“No sign of the perp or either officer, right?” Riley double-checked.

Vincenzo nodded and added, “and they have no leads.”

The car was found three days after the officers went missing, giving Kevin O'Dell and his victims plenty of time to have made it out of state if that was the game-plan.

I passed the photo Vincenzo had given me to my two partners.

-“Nice looking family.” Collin commented.

-“My mom is beside herself. We had to take her to the hospital last week because she... she is so nervous, they actually had to sedate her. She's on tranquilizers now, but it's not good. My whole family is coming undone all because of this wacko hypnotist. And when I think what he could be doing with my dad... it just sickens me!”

I looked at my colleagues, the kind of look that said, “we're taking this case, right?” We all knew “that look” and both Riley and Collin nodded in agreement.

-“Vincenzo, is there anything else you can tell us?”

The young man thought for a few moments and then finally said, “No. That's all. Unless the police have leads that they're not telling us about.”

-“I think that's the first place to start, I'll call Ted.” Riley exited the room quickly, on a mission. Ted Morrison was his father's lifelong best friend who just also happened to be a man in blue. Ted often gave us information he technically shouldn't have. He was our inside guy at Police headquarters downtown and he wanted our detective agency to succeed.

-“I'm going to speak with the family of the other officer, what was his name again?” Collin asked.

-“Jorge Menendes.” Vincenzo repeated.

-“I'm on it!” Collin exclaimed and left the room.

-“Do you have a number at which I can reach you?” I asked Vincenzo. He gave me a piece of paper with several numbers written on it. A cel phone and a land-line.

-“We'll be in touch regularly. As we learn more, we'll update you and your family.”

And that was that. We shook hands and Vincenzo left our office.

Youth Sleuth Inc., was officially involved in the Hypno-Burglar case and I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into this one. My first call was to journalist Drew Cavanaugh. I needed to know everything he knew, stat.


-“Seamus Potter to see you Drew.” A peppy receptionist piped into the phone intercom. “You can have a seat over there.” She pointed me to a series of chairs in what was a semblance of a waiting area. I wouldn't have to wait long though.

-“Seamus Potter? Hi. Right this way!” We shook hands and I followed him down a series of halls to his office. He closed the door behind me once I had entered.

-“Have a seat. Now, from what you've told me, you're investigating the disappearance of one of the police officers...?

-“Bruno Valentino.” I filled in the blank.

-'And you want to know everything I know about the story, right?' Drew asked, a weird tone suddenly in his voice. I nodded in the affirmative, hoping he would just proceed with whatever he felt he had to tell me. I could tell he had something “big” to let out and I almost felt like I had to brace myself to hear it.

-“I'm sure you know about Kevin O'Dell's M.O., what you likely don't know, because it was kept from the public, is that there were sex crimes attached to all the cases.”

-“Sex crimes?!” This was news to me. I thought the crimes in discussion were burglaries, nothing more, and that leaving his victims in their bare feet was just part of some bizarre M.O., boy was I in for a rude awakening!

I have to give Drew Cavanaugh a load of credit for not breaking the story behind the story, and also, having been a victim himself, for being able to tell me about it, with such a disconnected lack of passion.

Foot-rape. I had never heard those two words combined before, but that is effectively what Drew described. I knew from all the reporting that the victims of these crimes were all rendered barefoot, their shoes and socks stolen along with the contents of cash drawers but that's all I knew. That's all most anyone in the public knew. It turns out, leaving the victims in their bare feet was far more than the calling card I had ascribed to it. According to Drew, with the exception of two younger victims, under the age of 18, all the hypnotized men woke with semen on their soles, including, he grudgingly admitted, himself.

This put a whole new spin on this case. Up until speaking with Drew, this was just a series of weird burglaries; now, it was also a series of fetish-sex crimes carried out on men. I had to rendezvous with my partners and bring them up to speed on all of this.


-“That's sick!” Riley's squished up face made it look like he was about to vomit.

-“How come this wasn't reported in the news?” Collin asked me calmly.

-“They kept it quiet for fear of starting a panic and because of a potential backlash against the gay community.” I answered almost word for word what Drew had told me.

-“But this doesn't make any sense...” Timothy chimed in. “The one's doing the hypnotizing were victims themselves, right?”

-“Yes, DNA evidence supports that contention.” I agreed.

-“Then what you're saying is this hypnotist not only hypnotized these guys but... what, gave each of his victims a foot fetish, for guy's feet? Is that even possible?” Timothy asked me.

Up until speaking with Drew, I would have answered no, it wasn't possible. You can't turn guys gay through hypnosis. You can't make anyone do something they wouldn't do normally while under. So how did this mastermind do it? Not only sending his victims out to rob and steal for him, but turning them into gay foot fetishists? It did indeed seem next to impossible.

-“According to Drew Cavanaugh, who was a victim himself, it's more than possible guys, it happened. He wouldn't show me the video, but apparently, he has video evidence of his... ordeal.”

-“This is crazy Seamus. I can't remember a more 'out there' case, ever!” Dennis seemed more than a bit unnerved. We all were. I mean, we all wanted to solve this case, but in the back of all our minds, I'm sure was the same worry – what if in solving this case we were to become victims? I brushed the thought out of my immediate thinking, focusing more on our next course of action.

-“They found the squad car on an out-of-the-way dirt road in the town of Tupper, I think we should start there. Drew gave me the exact GPS coordinates for where the car was found. Timmy, why don't you and Riley check that area out with a fine tooth comb. Maybe you'll be able to find something that alluded police investigators.”

-“Collin, Dennis and I have some further interviewing to do. Drew gave me three victim names and phone numbers. I say we each speak to one of them, pronto.”

I handed Collin Sanji's contact data, gave Dennis Tyrell's phone number and address. I would speak to Umar.

With our individual assignments assigned, we all went off in our separate directions determined to crack this case wide open. Now that we knew what we knew, we were even more motivated to find Officers Valentino and Menendes and get this hypnotist creep behind bars where he belonged.


Tim and Riley were on the scene in Tupper an hour or so later. It really was in the middle of nowhere, the closest home maybe two miles away from where the squad car had been found.

-“Shit, we're really in the boonies here!” Riley remarked as the two young men got out of their car and began a systematic perimeter search, spreading out in gradual concentric circles from the exact location where the squad car was found.

-“ Hey, what's this?” Timothy leaned down and picked up a discarded book of matches that looked like it had been there for a while. It was lying on the side of the road, actually, more off to the side of the road itself.

-“Where are they from?” Riley asked, getting a little excited by Timothy's find.

-“Some club I never heard of before I think... ever hear of The Ear?”

Riley hadn't.

-“Is there an address or phone number on it?” Riley asked taking out his cel phone and about ready to place a call.

-“Yeah, 555-5093.”

Riley dialed the number.

-“No service. Dude, we're literally in the middle of nowhere here.” Riley was pissed. He hated when he couldn't follow up on a lead and this was no exception.

Timothy started looking around again. “We'll call when we leave, let's continue searching...”

And the two continued their search.


My meeting with Umar was actually quite productive, if a little scary. Productive because the young man had no problem telling me everything he could remember from his experience; scary because he still couldn't remember anything about taking off his shoes and socks and what happened after that. It was as if he had either blocked it out of his conscious mind or someone else did. All he knew was that he was a victim of the hypno-burglar who just happened to steal his shoes and socks; he presented with no awareness as to the foot-rape aspect of his predicament.

But there was something else that struck me as I spoke with Umar. Several times I could swear he was sneaking peaks at my feet! We had met at a cafe across the street from where he lived and I was fully clothed, shoes, socks and all, so I couldn't understand why he'd be trying to check out my feet. I had to ask him:

-“Um, Umar, I have to ask for investigative purposes, are you heterosexual?”

The dark skinned Arab looked at me as though he were ready to knock my lights out. Then, his facial tension released and he answered:

-“Yes I am straight. But it's funny...” He leaned in closer and lowered his voice, “...ever since I had that experience at the store, you know, when I woke up barefoot, I've been... I...” his voice trailed off as if he was looking for the words to explain.

-“Yes?” I prodded him further. “Umar, you can tell me, I'm trying to help.” I reassured.

-“Well, ever since that incident I've been kind of... um... well, interested in guy's feet, but that's all! I don't like guys that way, ok? I love women. I swear! It's just that for some reason...”

I had to cut him off.

-“Umar, did you consider that maybe your interest in male feet was somehow triggered by your time under hypnosis?” It made sense to me. Or did it? This case was a real pip.

Umar's face lit up, as if the revelation I had just presented him with was just that, a revelation he had not previously considered. How is that even possible? I mean, if I had been hypnotized on a Tuesday and all of a sudden on Wednesday I was scoping out my buddies' feet, I think I'd know something was “off”. At least I hope I would.

-“That's probably it! He hypnotized me and gave me this thing for guy's feet!” Umar seemed somewhat elated to have pieced it all together, then, just as quickly, he retreated inwards, considering I guess, what else might have been done to him.

-“Umar, when you came to in the 7/11, you said you were barefoot. Did you notice anything different about your feet at the time?”

He looked at me like I was crazy.

-“Different? As in what – the hypnotist didn't paint my toenails if that's what you mean!”

Clearly Umar had no recollection of his feet being cum on and I wasn't ready to be the one to tell him about it. Ignorance is bliss my grandmother used to say, and while that can be debated, sometimes limiting one's information is for the best.

We spoke casually for another half an hour or so before I got up, shook his hand, thanked him for his time and headed back to the office.

Collin and Dennis were back from their interviews with Sanji and Tyrell respectively and so it was the perfect time for us to review and compare notes.

I could tell Collin and Dennis were none too comfortable with what they heard from their interviewees. In Collin's case, he was actually looking pale as a ghost. I wanted to hear from him first.

-“Sanji is a nice guy... he, um, he has actually sought out the services of a private hypnotherapist that's been helping him regain the memories of that evening he was hypnotized.” Collin was looking through his notes nervously. “Um, and yeah, he remembers... some dude, he doesn't know who, jerking off using one of his bare feet. Is this not sick or what?” Collin made a face of disgust.

-“Collin, I hope when you spoke to Sanji you didn't make that kind of a face. I mean, don't forget, these guys were the victims...”

-“And the culprits!” Dennis inserted. “Since the whole incident went down, Tyrell has been on a hypnosis kick as he describes it. He's been hypnotizing anyone that will let him – he even wanted to try it on me!”

-“Did you let him?” I asked Dennis, at first worried, but then, with an idea in my mind.

-“Are you nuts?! This guy was hypnotized by some fag foot fetishist and I'm going to let him hypnotize me? Forget that!” Dennis sat back in his chair, convinced that he had done the right thing. And at first, that's what I thought as well. Umar didn't try to hypnotize me, had he, I probably would have been plenty unnerved, so I could relate to Dennis' stance, but I felt like we might have missed an opportunity.

-“Guys, think about this for a second. Why would Tyrell want to hypnotize you Den?”

-“I don't know... probably more of that sicko hypnotist's commands or something.” Dennis said in disgust. “There's no way I was going to let that guy into my head!”

-“I think maybe you should have.”

-“Huh?” Collin gave me a raised eyebrow while Dennis' eyes just opened wide in disbelief.

-“I'm serious. Think about it. If Tyrell wanted to hypnotize you, it likely means he's still under that creep's control. Ergo, maybe he's still in touch with him. For all we know, Mr. O'Dell could be using Tyrell to recruit for him or something.”

-“I think you should call Tyrell and go see him again. Let him hypnotize you. Collin, why don't you go along too, as backup?”

-“Are you serious Seamus? You want me to let him hypnotize me? That's like using me as the bait!” Dennis was protesting, but also extremely nervous of the prospect of being turned.

-“I'm dead serious. We need some new leads, and I think Tyrell might just be one of them.”

Dennis and Collin got up and were about ready to leave when it occurred to me,

-“Anyone hear from Timmy and Riley?”


-“They haven't called in yet.”

They had been gone for hours and it wasn't like them not to check in.

-“Ok, you guys take care of Tyrell, I'll try and get in touch with the guys.”


The Ear turned out to be a roadside dive/bar just outside of the Tupper county line, in Rutherford. As Riley pulled into the makeshift dirt parking lot, both boys noticed the sign immediately – it was a picture of a human ear but there seemed to be a spiral smack dab in the center of the actual eardrum. The logo was kind of cool, but given that they were investigating crimes involving hypnotism, and that a book of matches lead them to a place with a spiral in its logo, they were both admittedly suspicious and jazzed with the potential lead.

-“Looks like we might be on the right path here.” Riley exclaimed while pointing at the sign and putting the car in park. “Let's try our cel phones again. Let Seamus and the others know where we are and what we're doing.”

They tried their cel phones again. Once again, neither had a usable signal.

-“Shit! What is the point of having a stupid cel phone if it's always out of service?!” Riley seemed ready to throw his phone out the window when Timothy reminded him:

-“There's gotta be a pay phone inside. We'll call from there!”

And the two young detectives exited their car and approached the front entranceway.

It was locked and a sign on the door read, “Closed for renovations”.

-“Closed for renovations?!” Timothy questioned out loud.

-“Fuck that! Let's try out back, maybe there's an open window or some other way in!”

The duo made their way around the back, once again coming into direct contact with a locked metal door.

-“Now what?!” Timothy exclaimed, frustrated.

-“Now, we break in!” Riley kicked at a small window that was at floor level, likely a basement window given its place.

-“Dude, we can't fit through that small window.” Timothy pointed out.

-“You can't dude, but I think I can.” Riley cleared all the glass away and proceeded feet first into the broken window. “I'll unlock the door once I'm in and let you in, Timster.” And he slithered his way through the tiny window frame, disappearing into the darkness of the subterranean chamber.

Timothy stood guard and waited patiently for Riley to make it upstairs and unlock the back door.

He waited and waited. After nearly ten minutes he was beginning to panic.

-“Yo Riley! RILEY!? Can you hear me? I'm waiting!!!” He wailed into the open window. There was no way he could fit through that thing he decided so he was left with nothing else to do but wait.

The door clicked open a few seconds later.

-“Dude, you're not going to believe this!” Riley pulled Timothy inside and shut the door.

They were standing in the kitchen, or what was the kitchen at one point. The place had been abandoned, dust and spider webs were everywhere. If someone was planning on renovating “The Ear” they were obviously 'playing it by ear'. The air was dusty and stale smelling as Riley lead Timothy into the main restaurant area and into a back office room. Before he opened the door however, he instructed Timothy, “Brace yourself dude.”

He creaked the door open slowly. Standing there, totally naked, totally frozen were three men, each looking more hypnotized than the next.

-“Holy shit! That one looks like Officer Valentino!” Timothy pointed, trying not to look at the men's exposed midsections.

-“And I'm willing to wager that this older one is Officer Menendes. I don't know who this one is though.” Riley got closer to all three guys, waving his hand before their blank stares, even pinching Officer Valentino's arm, looking for any signs of life or animation, there was none. There was also no sign of discarded clothing, nothing that could be used to cover the three men up.

-“Listen, we gotta get the guys out here pronto. The phone here, not surprisingly doesn't work. That means one of us is going to have to leave to get help.” Riley reasoned.

-“Cool, I'll go get help, you stay here with the naked zombies!” Timothy volunteered himself for the easier of the two tasks. Truth be told, this scene was making him nervous.

-“We'll do rock, paper, scissors Tim, ok? It's only fair.”

Riley put out paper, Tim put out rock.

“Paper covers rock, you lose man! I'll be back as soon as I can!” Riley was out of the room and out the back door in a flash. Tim could hear the car starting and pulling away. Though there were four men present in this abandoned restaurant, he felt entirely alone.
He decided rather than just sitting in this tiny room and playing babysitter to a bunch of naked statues, he'd explore the restaurant for possible clues. He began his search in the kitchen area.


-“Seamus! Am I glad I got through to you!” Riley spoke into his cel phone which had only now resumed service.

-“Riley, where have you guys been? What's going on?” My voice was clearly marked with worry, I couldn't hide it.

-“We found them – the two missing officers and one other guy, we don't know who he is yet. Timothy is with them.”

-“Slow down Riley, where are you? We'll meet you there!” I wrote down the address Riley gave me and got off the phone so that I could get on the road. I'd call Collin and Dennis en route I decided.

Riley relayed his and Timothy's location, got off the phone and made a U-Turn back to the abandoned Ear. As he drove back he couldn't get the images of the three naked hypnotized men out of his mind, their blank, empty stares sending shivers down his spine.


-“Deeper and deeper Dennis...” Tyrell's thick baritone voice was taking Dennis on a ride downward as Collin sat several tables away, watching the whole process through the top of a newspaper. He wondered whether Dennis was just going along with the whole thing or whether Tyrell was actually hypnotizing his buddy. He got his answer moments later when Dennis very casually kicked off his sneakers and used his big toes to pull off his socks. He then handed them to Tyrell under the table.

-“Holy shit!” Collin exclaimed quietly to himself behind the newspaper he was holding.

Before they got to the outdoor terrace where they agreed to meet Tyrell, Dennis and Collin had made a plan; Dennis was determined not to take off his shoes and socks and it was decided if Collin saw Dennis doing this, it meant he must have really been put under.

Collin was about to jump up and intervene when he noticed Dennis slipping his bare feet back into his shoes. Tyrell stood and as soon as his shoes were back on his feet, so did Dennis. Tyrell went to pay the bill. Dennis just stood there, almost like a mannequin, in full public view.

-“Dennis! Dennis!” Collin had run up to his friend and began vigorously shaking him, hoping to stir him awake. His efforts were fruitless though and from what he could tell, Tyrell was just about through paying the server for their coffees. He made a split second decision – since he couldn't jar Dennis awake, he'd follow them and intervene if and when necessary. Hopefully, just by following them he thought, more answers would reveal themselves.

He stood away from his motionless friend just as Tyrell had finished paying and started to head back towards the terrace.


-“Yo Tim, I'm back! Tim?!” Riley raced through the restaurant in search of his friend. It was unlike Tim to just leave or to play pranks by not answering when his name was called, particularly in a situation like this.

Riley made his way through the restaurant to the back room where he had left Timothy and the three men.

-“What the?” Riley exclaimed to open air, noticing that only two men remained, no sign of Timothy or that third man anywhere to be seen.

Riley ran down to the basement where he had originally entered. It was pitch black, but he could tell, there was no one down there.

Timothy was officially nowhere to be found, M.I.A.

-“Fuck!” Riley was panicking and didn't know what else to do or say.

He waited for Seamus' arrival outside, unable to deal with the fact that he had just lost his best friend and had no clue where he was. He was pacing up and down the gravel drive path as Seamus pulled up in his Jetta.

-“He's gone!” Riley reported, “He's gone and so is one of the men we found earlier!”

An hour later, three squad cars and a local media crew had arrived at the Ear as Officers Valentino and Menendes were taken, still in trance, into protective custody.

Youth Sleuth Inc. had done what local law enforcement couldn't do; they located the two missing police officers and had them en route to reunions with their families. But at what cost? One of their own was now missing. As Riley gave the officer information on Timothy and 'the other man', I joined a group of officers who were taking a tire mold from the dirt drive-path.

“Do you think this was from the getaway car?” I asked the African American cop.

-“Could be. These prints are not from our squad cars and they're not from your friend's car over there. If your friend Timothy and that other man left here, you'd better believe they left in a car. It's just too damned far away for them to walk anywhere.”

It was all starting to hit home. One of our own, my good friend since childhood had been kidnapped and for now, there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it.


-“Now, Timothy, I want you to listen to all of my instructions and obey them implicitly!”

The blond-haired 21-year old detective stood naked and motionless against a wall, his eyes open, staring vacantly ahead at nothing. His entire six foot one inch frame frozen in a rigid, alert stance.

-“Your partners Timothy, your partners... see them in your mind's eye... visualize the four of them, are you doing that?”

-“Yes I can see them.” Timothy was seeing Collin, Seamus, Riley and Dennis as instructed. The foursome were just standing there in a mental line-up of sorts, in that order.

-“I want you to visualize their feet, see them sitting down, barefoot, with their bare feet extended in your direction... can you see them Timothy? Can you see their feet?”

At first, Timothy was uncertain, his subconscious brain wrestling with the fact that he was just investigating a case where victims had their feet abused and now, now someone was directing him to visualize all four of his partners bare feet? What were the odds of that?

-“So relaxed, deeper and deeper with each breath Timothy, you want to obey, remember, obey. See all four of your friends sitting across from you, look at their feet!”

-“Um, ok... I see them.” In his mind, across the empty room, he could see the four of them sitting there, four sets of bare feet now facing him.

-“Look deep into their soles Timothy... look at each of their feet deeply, closely, feel yourself going deeper and deeper into hypnosis as you stare deeper and deeper into their feet. In fact, their feet are hypnotizing you, hypnotizing you!”

Timothy couldn't believe what was happening. Why were the guys doing nothing, just allowing him to be put under like this... he was confused, conflicted and was even starting to twitch nervously (his only body movement save his lips moving in response to commands).

-“They are hypnotized too Timothy, that's why they cannot help you... they are almost as deeply hypnotized as you are, as you continue to stare into their bare arches, going deeper and deeper. Their bare feet hypnotize you Timothy, SAY IT!”

-'I... their bare feet hypnotize me.' Timothy's last bit of resistance melted away.


-“Their bare feet hypnotize me.”


-“Their bare feet hypnotize me.”

“Again!” …


Riley and I left the parking lot of The Ear about half an hour after the police cleared out. It was nearly dusk and without cel phone signals, we really needed to get back into town to tell Dennis and Collin what had happened. We also had the unenviable task of having to call Timothy's parents and tell them that their only son was officially listed by the police as missing, despite him not being gone for more than 24 hours. In this case, the police were confident that Timothy Patterson had been a victim of foul play.

Since we each had our cars with us, we drove back into town separately deciding in advance that Riley would call Collin and that I'd call Dennis.

-“Yo Collin, what's up?” Riley began his portion of the conversation on the highway back into town. And that's basically all he wound up saying. Though he had important news to share with him, it was Collin who wound up sharing his news with Riley first.

-“I don't know how I lost them. It's like one minute they were there and the next, poof – they vanished into thin air. And Riley, Dennis was hypnotized!”

-“Let's rendezvous back at headquarters we'll compare notes then. We should be there within half an hour.” And Riley hung up the phone. Not sure what to do next. He called Seamus who was several cars ahead of him on the interstate.

-“Seamus, I just spoke to Collin. Bad news. Apparently Dennis is missing too!”

I was totally stunned, beyond the ability for words to escape my mouth.

-“Seamus? Are you there?”

-“I'm here.” I finally answered.

-“I told Collin to meet us back at headquarters.”

-“Cool.” And I hung up the phone. I simply couldn't deal with the loss of 2 of my friends in one day. This type of thing had never happened to us and for the first time ever since starting this business, I was seriously questioning our whole organization's future. I always knew this job had potential danger attached to it, but it had never quite hit home this way before. I tried desperately not to think what Dennis and Timothy were going through now as I drove back into town. Easier said than done. Shit!


-“Cum now Timothy!” And with that command, the entranced 21-year old came all over the bare soles nestled under his engorged crotch, covering both feet with streams and streams of cloudy semen. As his penis slowly deflated, both drenched soles closed in on it, enveloping it, squeezing every last ounce of bodily juices left from Timothy's ejaculation. For his part, Timothy Patterson felt nothing at all; to his wayward and sleepy mind, everything was like a dream, nothing was real.

-“Now, Timothy pay very close attention and obey. Look at my feet!”

Timothy's blank ocean blue eyes looked down where the voice had indicated. He saw two soles, both dripping liquid of some kind.

-“You will use your nose to massage all of your man-seed all over my feet; you need to smell, touch, taste, lick and become intimately familiar with every part of my feet because Timothy, male feet turn you on. SAY IT!”

Without even a second thought, the comatose young man repeated flatly, “Male feet turn me on.”

-“Now, OBEY my commands!”

Timothy, who had been standing in the same locked position for hours finally had no choice but to release from his attentive stance and drop to his knees. This was the only way he could get his nose close enough to those feet. He grabbed hold of both ankles and put both soles right up against his face simultaneously, using his whole face to spread the sperm onto the toes, the arches, the balls and the heels of both feet.

-“Now Timothy, tell me... what turns you on?”

In between gulps and smears, the foot-crazed Timothy managed to blurt out, “Male feet turn me on.”

-“Say it again!”

-“Male feet turn me on.”

-“Keep repeating it, you're getting harder and harder as you do... so entranced by my feet, so hypnotized...”

-“Male feet turn me on. Male feet turn me on. Male feet turn me on. Male feet...”


-“We're going to have to report Dennis as missing as well.” I concluded out loud to my two remaining partners.

-“But he hasn't been missing for more than twenty-four hours.” Collin pointed out.

-“Doesn't matter. If foul play is suspected... Riley, give Ted Morrison a call, tell him about Dennis. Have him start the wheels rolling.”

-“Yeah man, right away.” Riley left the room.

-“Col, where exactly did you lose Dennis and Tyrell?” I was thinking maybe we should go back to that area and check it out more closely.

-“On or around Fifth and Della Streets. One minute they were walking on the sidewalk, they turned the corner and then they were gone. It was almost supernatural!” Collin, like Riley, was feeling guilt for having failed his friend. They made plans to protect him, even had a signal arranged and still Collin could do nothing to stop his friend from effectively being kidnapped.

-“Dude, I assume you tried Tyrell's place?” I asked even though I was more than fairly certain that he had.

-“After I lost them, that's exactly where I went, back to Tyrell's apartment. I waited and waited and waited... nothing. They weren't there.”

Riley came back into the room looking horrified.

-“Riley, what is it?” Collin was immediately concerned.

-“It's Ted. He's... he's dead. Massive coronary. Happened this afternoon. I can't believe it. My dad's gonna be sick about this.”

-“Dude, you look pale as a ghost, maybe you should go home and be with your family.” I suggested. I knew Riley would have none of that.

-“Seamus, no offense, but I can't go home to my folks, pretend like everything is ok and forget about Den and Tim. Come on dude, you know me better than that!”

-“Maybe you should call your dad, see how he's doing then?”

-“Yeah. I'll um, do that. Just give me a few...” Riley left my office and entered his, closing the door softly behind him.

-“What great timing!” Collin rolled his eyes and crossed his arms almost in defiance of the whole situation.

-'What's that Tennyson quote, oh yeah... 'ours is not to reason why ours is but to do or die.'

-“Dude, Morrison was in his sixties, he was overweight, smoked and drank like a fish. Timmy and Denny better be ok, or I swear I'll, I'll...”

-“Chill out Col, we'll find them, we'll find them!” I didn't know what else to say. Seeing Collin close to losing it, unnerved me even more. Collin was the calm, rational and caring type. Seriously. We found that in cases involving marital infidelity, he was the best investigator because when and if he found evidence of that infidelity, he just had a way of comforting the betrayed spouse that none of us had. He really was our resident diplomat and we'd all come to rely on him for those moments when a sensitive touch was called for.

Now it was me who had to comfort Collin. And with Riley dealing with the loss of a family friend, everything just seemed to be coming unglued. It was hard to believe that I actually wanted to get involved in this case even before Vincenzo Valentino presented at my office. What the heck was I thinking?! Madness!


Ted Morrison's funeral was the next day, so Collin and I didn't see much of Riley until day's end. That gave me the opportunity to call Vincenzo for an update. I needed to know how his dad was first and foremost and whether he had any memories whatsoever of what happened to him while he was 'away'. I had Collin call and speak to officer Menendes' family too in the hopes that if I struck out with Valentino, maybe he'd score some new tidbit of info that would help us locate Den and Tim.

Half way through my conversation with Vincenzo there was a knock on my door. I asked Vincenzo to hold for a minute while I went to answer it.

-“Agent Fred Quayce, FBI. Are you Seamus Potter?”

The man standing before me couldn't be much older than myself, I guessed his age at about 25 or so, max.

-'Uh, yeah, that's me.'

-“I need to ask you a few questions about your missing friend and the two police officers you found. Mind if I come in?”

-“Uh, sure, sure... let me just get off the phone, come in, come in!”

Agent Quayce took a seat opposite mine as I got back on the phone with Vincenzo.

-“Vincenzo, can I call you back? Thanks. Ok bye.” Record timing for me anyway in terms of getting off the phone. I couldn't help but wonder how the Feds were connected to this case. Agent. Quayce soon provided me with that information.

-“As you know, the suspect is a former police psychologist and his two kidnap victims were police officers. That's why we were brought onto this case. Now that the officers have been found, unhurt, and I should tell you, with zero memories of their ordeal, our official work here is almost done.”

-“What about my friends, my two colleagues?” I asked him somewhat impudently.

-“Two colleagues? I thought it was only the one. The police report only indicated that a one Timothy Patterson was possibly abducted.”

-“Hold on a sec.” I buzzed Collin's office and asked him to come into mine.

-“Seamus, apparently Officer Menendes has absolutely no memory of anything. It's like it's all blocked out.”

-“Collin, I'd like you to meet Agent Quayce. He's with the FBI.”

Collin was floored.

-“The FBI? Hey Seamus, way to gather up the troops. With the Feds on this we'll have Den and Timothy home in no time, woo-hoo!”

As their handshake subsided, Agent Quayce illuminated the discussion some: “I'm sorry, but we're not involved in this case any more. It's back into the hands of local authorities.”

Collin appeared totally at a loss. “Wha? Then why... I don't get it.”

I interjected this time.

-“Collin, sit down and chilax. Agent Quayce was on the case because it involved law enforcement personnel. Now that we found them, their job is over.” I knew if I phrased things that way, Collin would partially lose it. And he did.

-“So wait. You're telling me, we did your job for you, sacrificed two of our friends in the process and now you're out the door without so much as a thank you? What is this, some kind of a joke?”

-“Mr. ?” Agent Quayce was directing his remarks to Collin.

-“Hughes.” Collin answered.

-“Mr. Hughes. Up until a few minutes ago we only knew of one missing person, a one Timothy Patterson. Do you want to tell me what happened to your other friend, what was his name?” Quayce took out a small pad and pen and began taking notes.

-“Dennis O'Leary. Yeah, he had been speaking to one of the hypno-burglar's first victims when out of nowhere this Tyrell dude wants to hypnotize him. At first Dennis refused outright, but then Seamus, sorry man, Seamus thought it would be a good idea to let Tyrell hypnotize him, you know, to see what would happen. You know, maybe it would lead us to O'Dell or I don't know... it was stupid in hindsight.” Collin was rambling a bit, clearly upset.

-“So let me get this straight. It was Tyrell Evans that hypnotized your friend?”

-“You know him?” I asked, though I guess it wasn't that surprising. He had been investigating the case and likely spoke to Tyrell as part of his investigation.

-“I spoke with him, yes. He was O'Dell's second victim as I recall. Big guy, right?”

-“That's him.” Collin agreed.

Collin proceeded to tell Agent Quayce everything about Dennis' and Tyrell's vanishing act, including all the guilt he felt for allowing it to happen.

-“I mean we had a signal and everything. It was up to me and I let him down. And now God only knows where he is or what kind of trouble he's in.”

I can't begin to tell you how upsetting it was for me watching Collin torture himself like this. This was not the Collin I knew. He was hurting and as fifi as it may sound, his hurt was my hurt.

-“Col, why don't you have a shot.” I opened up my bottom drawer and procured a bottle of 12 year old Scotch I kept there for just these types of situations. It had been sitting in my drawer for nearly 2 years now and was only opened twice, both times for clients. This was the first time I was offering one of my colleagues a shot of hard liquor and I couldn't believe it was Collin!

Agent Quayce was still writing as Collin poured himself a triple shot but he looked up long enough to see just how full the glass was that Collin had just poured.

-'You boys big into the hooch?' he asked as if it were an integral part of his investigation.

That was it for me. I don't know if it was all the stress of late, or that it was Collin he was insinuating might have had a drinking problem, but I jumped in eagerly like a mother lion defending her cubs from predation.

-“Listen Mr. Quayce, for the record, I've known Collin for nearly 13 years now and I've never seen him with as much as a beer in his hand. We're all on overdrive here. We haven't slept, we're worried and quite frankly, if you're off the case then I fail to see the relevance of whether or not we're big into the hooch.” I got up from my chair, my body language suggesting that our meeting was coming to an end.

-“Wait, Seamus!” Collin cried out emphatically after downing the contents of the glass in one larger than life gulp. “We need him to help.”

-“Mr. Hughes, I am going to help you. I promise you both that. But we're going to need a plan. A plan to flush O'Dell out of hiding so that we can nab him.”

-“Sounds to me like you're talking about a bait and hook operation.” I postulated with a raised eyebrow and a somewhat skeptical tone.

-“Precisely Mr. Potter, precisely.”


Tyrell Evans was hauled up in the Della street apartment that had been rented for him by Kevin O'Dell. On the L shaped sofa in the living room, the naked bodies of two young men, Dennis O'Leary, one of them. Both were sporting erections. Both were covered in each other's cum as well as Tyrell's. Neither had showered in days.

Tyrell was in his bedroom, transmitting the video he had taken to both the Gmail and Hotmail accounts he had been given. As the large files uploaded and sent, he decided to have another go with his two playmates in the living room.

He entered the living room, clapped his hands twice and as if by magic, both naked young men sprang to their feet and stood at ramrod attention, their gazes locked straight ahead.

-“Turn to face each other!” Tyrell ordered and the two young men complied instantly, their blank stares showing absolutely no awareness of the other, even as they stared into each others eyes like zoned out zombies.

-“Jack, I want you to kiss your brother, and as you do, you will purposefully make sure your penis comes into direct contact with his.”

The older and slightly shorter O'Leary brother leaned in to kiss his younger brother Dennis in mindless compliance. As he did, the tip of his uncircumcised cock-head rubbed against Dennis' slightly larger penis. Jack opened his mouth wide and enveloped his younger brother's entire mouth, forcing a deep, lasting French kiss.

-“Now you Dennis, stand on top of your brother's feet, feel his feet underneath yours, they turn you on, being in contact with your brother's feet. Your brother's feet... your brother's feet...”

Dennis placed his sticky size 11's on his brother's sticky instep. As he did, waves of ecstasy suddenly overwhelmed him, brought on by nearly 2 days of constant hypnotic conditioning. To him, there was no bigger sexual thrill than to be in physical contact with his older brother's feet. He lived for Jack's feet; his universe was Jack's feet and for more than 48 hours now, he had had sex with Jack's feet more than a dozen times.

-“Your brother's feet... your brother's feet...” Tyrell's voice was like an echo in his brain commanding him to cum. The mere thought of his brother's feet could do this to him now but the actual flesh to flesh contact in combination with Tyrell saying that phrase over and over and the fact that his brother's tongue was nearly half-way down his throat and the raven-haired 21-year old came, squirting his brother in the chin and chest.

Tyrell grabbed hold of both brother's dicks, Dennis' slowly going flaccid once again, while Jack's still hard as steel. He rubbed them together vigorously, hoping Dennis had maybe one more round left in him. Soon, Jack was cuming all over Tyrell's hand and his brother's deflating dick. Cum was everywhere and Tyrell was using as much of it to continue his body-painting assignment. Both brothers needed to be covered from head to toe with each other's (and his) semen and he was only about half-way done this mega-project... The night was still young.


-“Come here Timothy!”

Timothy rose from the makeshift bed he had been lying and approached the voice sitting at the laptop.

-“Is this your friend Dennis?”

-“Yes, that's Dennis.”

-“Do you see how hypnotized he is?” He pointed to the video that was playing, making sure to draw Timothy's attention to Dennis' nudity and his erection.

-“Yeah, he looks...like a zombie or something.” Little did Timothy realize, he looked just as zombified as his friend and business partner.

-“You like seeing Dennis hypnotized don't you?”


A few clicks of the mouse and suddenly a new video started up. This one was of Dennis and his older brother Jack, lying on a couch, bodies rigid, with their bare feet extended forward toward the camera.

-“Look at Dennis' feet Timothy, look deeply into Dennis' feet... what do they do to you?”

-“They... they hyp-no-tize me.”

-“Very good Timothy. They also turn you on, don't they?”

-“Yeah, they... turn... me... on...” Timothy's hard-on was returning, with a vengeance. Seeing Dennis and his brother's bare feet side-by-side like that was really getting him excited.

As he continued to stare at both young men's soles, noting their intricate differences in size, shape, color... he was mesmerized; never before did he realize just how sexy and aluring Dennis' feet were.

Timothy's seventh orgasm of the day was soon dripping down the laptop screen as his body was being played with and manhandled by the stranger that had kidnapped and hypnotized him. Had he had even a modicum of self-awareness left he might have realized that this man, the man that put him under, was in fact the third man he and Collin discovered in the restaurant. He was in fact, Kevin O'Dell, who upon realizing that his hideout might have been compromised, decided on split second, to play the role of hypno-victim himself.

It worked.


Riley got into the office at 6 AM the morning after the funeral. It was now day three of Timothy's and Dennis' abductions and he was determined to work till the point of collapse in the hopes of finding them or even, clues that would help lead him to them.

As he started every day, he checked his voice mail. There was only one message, from Seamus.

“Riley, hope everything is ok. Agent Fred Quayce of the FBI wants to talk to you about that third man at the restaurant. He wants a complete description of everything you can tell him from the moment you got in there to when you came back and realized that both he and Timothy were missing. Here's his cel phone number, I told him you'd call him tomorrow – 555-4184. See you in the morning. Chin up!”

-“Chin up, pff! Seamus, Seamus, Seamus. Tsk!” Riley rolled his eyes and jotted down the number before he'd forget it. He looked at his watch, it was 6:30 AM.

-“Fuck it, the Feds don't sleep anyway.” He picked up his office phone and dialed the number. A sleepy, somewhat annoyed voice picked up after two rings.

-“This better be important!” The voice also sounded threatening. Riley, for his part, could care less.

-“Uh, Agent Quayce? Agent Fred Quayce?”

-“Yeah, whose this?”

-“It's Riley Jacobs, of Youth Sleuth Inc. My partner told me you wanted to talk to me?”

-“It's freakin' 6:30 in the morning, is this an emergency?”

-“Well, my friends are still missing if that's what you mean.” To Riley, this whole cockamamie saga was an emergency so his call did not require the presence of one more emergency.

-“Lookit, Riley... I'll be in to see you this morning before noon. Make sure you're available.”

And the line went dead.

-“What an asshole!” Riley declared to the thin air around him as he stood and paced, not sure what to do next.

He decided to check his emails.

There were two from a sender he did not recognize, both had links to a private Xtube page along with an obscure written invitation. It read: Thought you might like to see your future.

“How odd, I wonder what the hell this is?”

He clicked on the first link and was directed to the private Xtube page. As soon as the video started up, Riley was thrown into a virtually catatonic state. He couldn't speak, he couldn't move as a wave of nausea and horror washed up over him like a monstrous tsunami.

The video was of Dennis and his older brother Jack. It started with Dennis sitting on some sofa, totally buck-naked while his brother stood before him swinging his cock back and forth like some kind of hypnotist's pendulum. Dennis was intently following it with his sleepy eyes, back and forth while with his free hand, he appeared to be masturbating.

Riley turned away from the screen, completely shell shocked. He stood, picked up his phone and called Seamus first, followed by Collin. They both needed to see this and he decided, he couldn't watch this alone, it was just too crude, too upsetting and way too perverse.

Seamus and Collin both agreed to come into the office within the hour, this despite the fact that Riley would not tell them over the phone why he was calling them in so early. Both figured it had something to do with either Dennis or Timothy or both and neither so much as questioned Riley as to why.

As he waited for his partners to arrive, he placed one more phone call, this one to the police. They needed to see these videos as much as Seamus and Collin and the more people actively working on this case the better. Heck, at this point, he thought to himself, he'd call in the inter-galactic police if he thought they could help.

He collapsed onto the couch in his office and opened the pack of Marlboro Lights he purchased at the gas station this morning. Though it had been over two years since he had smoked his last cigarette, without so much as a second thought, he lit up and took the biggest drag he had ever taken. This was going to be a very long day.


-“Dude, have you been smoking in here?” The whole office reaked of smoke and I almost wretched. This was not the way I liked to start my day. “When did you start smoking again, man?”

Stupid question. If Collin was drinking, it should have come as no surprise to me that Riley would turn back to old habits to calm his nerves. Heck, I wish I had a vice myself, a crutch to help me get through this shit.

-“Fuck that man. You guys gotta see this, though I don't know if I can watch it again.” He lead us into his office and showed us the email he received this morning. Actually, it had been sent last night at 11:59 PM.

The first video was five minutes long and was of Dennis and his brother Jack. It showed them playing with each other, jerking off on each other, worshipping each other's feet, kissing... it was truly, hard to watch, particularly for Collin who was still dealing with the guilt. The second video was of Timothy and it lasted less than a minute. Aside from him being naked and erect, there was no sex in this video. Instead, Timothy just stared off into the camera and kept repeating:

-“I will hypnotize Seamus and cum on his soles. I will hypnotize Riley and cum on his soles. I will hypnotize Collin and cum on his soles.” He repeated this several times, like a mantra of sorts all the while staring like a zombie into the camera. I don't even think he blinked once in that entire minute of video.

-“Guys, we have to show this to the cops!” I immediately knew this is what we had to do, pronto.

-“I already called them. They'll be here this morning and so will Agent Quayce, the ass.” Riley added that last part as he reached for another cigarette and prepared to light up.

I was sympathetic, I truly was, but I couldn't deal with the smell of more smoke, especially this early in the morning.

-“Collin, why don't you and Riley go for a walk, get us some brecky and I'll er... tidy up.” Anything to get him to smoke outside.

-“Yeah Riley, come on, we don't want our offices smelling like some nightclub. If you wanna smoke, do it outside.”

Once they were gone, I sat down at Riley's desk and replayed both videos, this time paying as little attention as possible to the guys and looking for anything, a background glare that might reflect the videographer, or something that might tip us off on his location. As far as I could tell, neither video had any of these tell-tale signs, however, in Dennis' video I could swear I heard several car horns honking in the very distant background, which at the very least, indicated to me that Dennis was likely still in the city. Hopefully, it was our city.

I replayed them once more, this time with headphones on and the volume spiked as high as it would go.
That's when I noticed it. Timothy's video had some kind of faint, distant buzzing sound that seemed to pulse... it was hard to describe, but it... it was like a kind of hum that climaxed and dissipated, climaxed and dissipated. It was starting to make dizzy, light-headed, almost as if...

-“Shit!” I suddenly snapped myself back to reality and ripped my headphones from my ears. What the hell had just happened? I'd never been hypnotized before but that's what it felt like, like that pulsating humming sound was somehow pulling me in.

I got up to make a pot of coffee. Something inside me just knew we were going to need it, today especially.

As I watched the coffee begin to drip into its cannister, something else occurred to me. How did Dennis' brother Jack get involved in this whole thing? As I thought about that, yet another thought occurred to me. I don't think any of us called Dennis' parents to let them know he had gone missing. Unless Riley or Collin did and just didn't tell me. I decided I would call them at 9 AM and break it to them as delicately as possible.

I was half-way through my second cup of coffee when Riley and Collin returned, almost an hour after they had left. Riley seemed to be in slightly better spirits and I attributed that to our resident psychiatrist/diplomat Collin. Neither of them had called Dennis' folks and for having brought it up, I was officially nominated for the deed. Truthfully, I was dreading making the call but I also knew it had to be done. Still, a part of me wondered why the O'Leary's hadn't been in touch with us. With both their sons missing for nearly 72 hours, you'd think they'd be on the warpath trying to find them. And yet, nothing?

It was 9:12 when I placed the call and got Mrs. O'Leary on the phone. She sounded bright and chipper as if she'd been up for hours and didn't have a care in the world. I wondered how that could be.

-“Mrs. O'Leary? Seamus here. Oh, I'm fine thanks. Um, about Dennis, I need to... what? He went where? Hold on for a minute ok?”

I put her on hold and turned to my two partners.

-“Guys, she says that Dennis and Jack went fishing for the week and should be back by Friday.”

-“WHAT?!” Collin and Riley both exclaimed in virtual unison. “How can that be?” Riley asked nervously.

I went back to the call.

-“Mrs. O'Leary, um, when did Dennis tell you he was going fishing with Jack? Oh, Jack told you... two days ago? Hmmm. No, um, nothing's wrong, I was just wondering when Dennis was going to be back in town, that's all. It's been quite busy here at the office.”

In the back of my mind I could hear my deceased grandmother saying, “ignorance is sometimes bliss” and well, I went with it. Truth is, I was almost happy that I didn't have to tell her what was going on and I got off the phone with her, wishing her and Mr. O'Leary well.

“The mystery deepens.” I reported to my two colleagues. “Two days ago, Jack told his mom he was going fishing with Dennis. He didn't say where, just that they'd be gone for the week. And something else...”

-“What?!” Riley asked anxiously, as if on the edge of his seat waiting for some crucial piece of infomtaion from me that was far from forthcoming.

-“That video that was sent to you? I watched it several more times for clues, anything, a sound, something that might tell us where Tim and Den are, right?”

-“Good idea dude!” Collin patted me on the shoulder.

-“Not really.” I answered back. “I can't say for certain, but the third time I watched Timothy's video, I used headphones, you know to try and focus the sound better? Guys, I'm not kidding, I think there's some kind of sound embedded into the tape... it was like a faint, pulsing buzzing sound that hummed into and out of existence. And what's weirder, after twenty or thirty seconds or so, I was starting to feel light-headed, as if...”

Collin finished my sentence for me. “As if the video were somehow hypnotizing you?”

I nodded.

Riley was stunned. “You think that's what that hypnotist creep was trying to do, hypnotize me?”

-“It's possible. I mean think about what he had Timothy saying, that he was going to hypnotize all of us?”

That's when I remembered what Agent Quayce had said about a bait and hook operation. If in fact that video was meant to hypnotize Riley then pending some kind of contact, Riley would be the bait. Maybe then, we'd have a shot at cracking this whole case wide open, get our friends back and get back to our normal, humdrum lives as private investigators. Frankly, if I never heard the word hypnotize again, I'd be a very happy camper.


It was a little after 10 AM when I noticed Riley and Collin heading downstairs, for another smoke I assumed. I decided at that point to check out the video one more time, sans headphones this time. I wasn't looking to be the next victim, just hoping for something, anything...

As I was watching Dennis and Jack's video with the volume down now, Riley's line started to ring. At first I was going to let it go to voicemail, being that it was his phone, but then I decided there was too much going on to be ignoring phone calls. For all I knew it was someone calling with a tip.

“Hello? Riley Jacobs office.”

The faint buzzing and humming sound present on Timothy's video was suddenly coming through the phone and though I knew I should hang up, something wasn't allowing my muscles to comply. There was also a slight swooshing sound, like wind that blew in and blew out. Everything started to vibrate around me, the room almost felt like it was spinning and I couldn't do anything about it, my ear now glued to the telephone receiver.

-“Riley....” A strange voice whispered Riley's name into my ear.

I wanted to shout out, 'stop this', and 'I'm not Riley' but I couldn't. Try as I might, I could not muster up the strength to talk!

-“So sleepy Riley, just like your friends, Timothy and Dennis, both hypnotized and so sleepy...”

-“sssleeeepy...” I muttered back, calling on my last ounce of strength to fight what I knew was happening. In the far reaches of my sleepy brain I kept hoping Riley and or Collin would walk in, find me, help me, somehow snap me out of it.

-“So deeply relaxed, you want to obey everything I tell you, don't you Riley?”

-“O-bey.” I responded as my eyelids shut close and I let myself fall into absolute oblivion. I felt so... weak, so vulnerable and helpless and yet, so relaxed. So incredibly relaxed...

-“You are going to meet me at the EAR, you remember where it was, don't you?”

It was bordering on laborious to even muster a simple response in the affirmative. “Yes.” I answered truthfully.

-“You will leave now and make sure none of your partners see you leaving. If they do, you will simply tell them you are going out for some air.”

-“Air.” I had no idea why I just said that, but suddenly every fibre in my body was telling me I had to leave. I had to go. I had to do what I was being told. I had to obey.

I sleepwalked out of the office and took the elevator down to the car park level of the building. I got in my car, started it up and headed for the interstate.


-“Hey wasn't that Seamus who just drove by?” Riley asked Collin.

-“I didn't see.” Collin replied, distracted by a multitude of thoughts.

-“It better not be him. If he left the office that means either it's unlocked or if it's locked, we're locked out, unless you have the key dude.”

Collin nodded, suggesting they return to the office.

When they got up to the third floor, they were relieved to find the office door open which meant that Seamus was indeed inside and that Riley had not just seen Seamus driving past them.

-“Seamus?” Collin knocked twice and opened Seamus' office door almost simultaneously. “He's not here!”

Riley was in his office. “Collin, get your butt over here, now!”

Collin darted into Riley's office, expecting the worst. There was nothing there, only Riley pointing to his computer screen.

-“He watched the video again. Stupid bastard, what was he trying to do, prove to himself that he wouldn't go under? What a fool!”

Collin was tyring to piece it all together. “Then that was Seamus you saw driving past us? And if he left the office unlocked, then chances are... shit man, what if they got Seamus?”

-“I think they might very well have. Look at this! Twenty-five minutes ago a call came into my phone from an unknown caller. Seamus could have answered it.”

Collin was trying his hardest to find something to discount in Riley's conclusions. “Riley, we don't know for sure that Seamus has been hypnotized. Maybe he got a lead or maybe...”

Riley looked at his wishful, optimistic friend, shaking his head in the negative. “Col, you know Seamus as well as any of us. He would have called us to tell us he was leaving, or that he had a lead.

-“Well let's call him then!” Collin suggested, picking up the phone and dialing Seamus' cel phone.

It went immediately to voice mail; Seamus' phone was turned off.

Collin hung up, a look of terror on his increasingly pale face.

-“What?” Riley asked.

-“It went straight to voice mail.”

The two exchanged a knowing glance. Two years as detectives, working together and the team had developed certain codes of conduct; at the top of that list, cel phones were never to be turned off. It was imperative, this according to Seamus who came up with the idea, that all five guys be able to contact each other at any point during the day or night. Turning off one's cel phone was a total no-no and was something Seamus would never do unless...


-“Ah, you are right on time Riley! Come in. Come in.” I had no idea why I was suddenly being called Riley but I obeyed just the same.

I entered the abandoned restaurant behind the man who had just called me Riley and moments later I found myself helplessly staring into this crystal dangling before my eyes.

-“Y... you're hyp-no-ti-zing m.. me.” I managed to finally blurt out.

-“That's right Riley, I'm hypnotizing you... continue watching the crystal as it spins back and forth, makes you more relaxed, more submissive to the sound of my voice, makes you want to obey my voice!”

-“Obey your voice.” I repeated back like a dazed parrot. I didn't even recognize my own voice, it sounded so... sleepy, so removed from myself. I know I would have been creeped out had I heard it while fully conscious and I likewise knew that I was being hypnotized, mentally commandeered by someone who believed I was Riley Jacobs.

As I continued to stare at that crystal, I gradually ceased to know anything, gradually gave up my will and allowed myself to simply float away into this man's powerful voice. I couldn't move.

-“Now Riley, I want you to listen very carefully to me... listen and obey, listen and obey... sit down and put your feet up on this table!”

I sat and put my feet up as directed.

I felt my shoes being taken off, then my socks. I then felt something I had never felt before. Though I was in a total cerebral fog, I could swear I felt a hairy penis rubbing against the sole of my foot.

-“What size foot do you have Riley?”

I did not answer. I wasn't Riley? Was I?

-“Riley! You will hear my voice and obey. Respond.”

-“Not Riley.”

The back and forth momentum of his penis on my foot suddenly stopped.

-“You're not Riley?! Then who are you slave?”

Slave? I wasn't a slave, was I?

-“Not a slave.” I responded through the thick cloud that seemed to be everywhere around me.

-“Oh you are going to be my slave when I'm finished with you. What is your name?”

-“Seamus Potter, sir.”

-“Seamus Potter? Youth Sleuth's leader? How fortuitous. I was planning on taking you down last so that you could watch each of your colleagues fall to my hypnotic wiles, but this will work out just nicely. Just nicely indeed!”


My master has commanded me to make this video. I am hypnotized. I am his slave, I must obey. You will focus all of your attention on this crystal pendant as I swing it back and forth, it starts to hypnotize you, starts to take over your mind. Makes you want to obey, need to obey. So sleepy. So relaxed. So hypnotized and under master's control. It feels good to do as master commands. You must obey your master. You must obey your master. You must obey your master. Follow the crystal with you eyes and sleep, sleeep deeper and deeper and obey. You like being hypnotized. You like following orders. You need to follow orders and do as you're told. So good to obey. To listen and obey. Hear my words as they hypnotize you. Hypnotize you, hypnotize you...

-“Very good Seamus! Very good. I think that's enough for now. Once I add in the background track we'll be ready for dispatch. Just imagine what your friends Collin and Riley will think when they see this video of you standing here naked, admitting your slavery to me while trying to hypnotize them?”

I imagined Collin and Riley's reaction and it was none too pretty. I knew that seeing me like this would likely send one or both of them over the edge and yet I could offer no resistance. I had no will. Barely any thoughts of my own left. Everything that I knew revolved around serving my master. That's all.

-“Lie down slave!”

-“Yes master.” And I took my place on the makeshift bed on the floor alongside Timothy, who I could barely tell, was just as out of it as I was.

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