The Prank (hypno)

Anton woke up in a blurry haze. "Nnnrgh, someone turn off that light..." he said, lifting his hands to block it out. As he did, the cool rock he was laying on scraped at his shoulders. "What the–" he said, as he sat up.

Looking around he realized that his guys at the frat he was pledging for had pulled one on him. He was sitting by one of the wilderness trails. He looked around and found a note, which confirmed his suspicions. It said he had to get out of the park and get about a mile down the road where there would a be a car waiting for him with clothes to pass the final test. If he was caught by the police, then he wouldn't be "brother" material.

Still trying to shake off the hangover, Anton began jogging down the trail. He needed to find a map or something to orient himself so he knew which way the car was so he didn't have to travel on the path or by the road where someone would call it in. But he was only a few minutes into looking for one when he heard the noise of a bike coming up the path. He tried to dodge into the trees, but it was too late. A man crested the little hill on his bike, saw Anton, and came to a screeching halt. He looked at Anton quizically.

"Hey man, you okay? What are you doing here looking like that?"

Anton panicked a bit. "Don't call the cops, please! I'll fail if you do!"

Comprehension dawned in the other man's eyes. "Ooh, initiation. Pretty cruel prank for your brothers to pull, isn't it though? What if you got lost? This is a wilderness preserve, not a park. There are predators here."

Anton kept his mouth shut, not wanting to badmouth the frat in case this man was a test. The other man sighed.

"Look, does the test say you can't accept help? Because I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving you out here all alone."

Anton thought back at the note he read. "No."

"Good, then I'll show you a way out that isn't so public. I'm Gary, by the way."


Gary pulled off his windbreaker. "Put this one, and walk on the other side of the bike. It's not perfect, but it will make it harder to notice if someone else comes along."

Anton nodded and did so. Gary guided Anton along the trail till they came to a fork, where a smaller, less trimmed path split off. Gary got off the bike and said, "Here, no one really goes this way because it winds between the hills, making it easier but filled with brush. The prettier trails aren't that hard, so nobody uses it." Anton nodded and followed Gary down the new path.

"So how'd they get you?


"Well, I assume thy didn't lead you to the middle of the park 'cause that would be too easy for you to figure out how to get out."

"Oh, we had a party last night. Kinda drank too much."

"Ahhh, I see. And walking with a hangover makes this that much harder."


"Well, you know, the easiest way to deal with is to focus on something. Helps to block it out. Take my bike, for example. I ride hard, and whenever I start feeling the burn, I start focusing on the sound of the wheels."


"Oh yea. The buzz is a pleasant enough sound, and it's always there. Even when I go slow, and it's just the click, clack, click, clack, over and over. It's not bad. In fact, when it's slow, it's kinda relaxing, don't you think? Just an easy, slow, steady rhythm. Click, clack, click, clack, back and forth. So slow and steady and relaxing."

Anton, still fuzzy from the hangover, fell easily into the suggesiton.

"That's right, relaxing. These sorts of things always tire people out, so it's good to find something to focus on and relax, isn't it? It just repeats over and over and over, going on seemingly forever. And you could just listen to it for all that time and relax. It just sets the pace and you follow it along, relaxing."

"Follow... it," Anton said slowly, his mind defenseless against the man's words.

"Exactly. Click, clack, click, clack, one, two, one, two, it's so easy to set your pace by it. All your discomfort just seems to fade away as you march to the sound and relax. You don't even really have to think about it, it's easy to just let your mind follow it automatically."

"Automatically," Anton repeated dully.

"Yeah, your mind just lets go and listens to the pace, follows it, does what the sound tells it to do. Like my voice. It's just as easy to follow along with what I'm saying, to set your thoughts by it, just like your pace. You just listen and let go. The voice will tell you what to do. You don't have to do anything at all but relax."

Anton, unprepared and hung over, didn't stand a chance. Now as he walked along, keeping pace with the bike, his head was hanging loosely, his mind empty. Gary smiled.

"Good, very good. It's just my day today. Find a cute guy on my ride, and he's a good subject. Now Anton, just follow me. I know a place where we can get you to lay down and have some fun. Just follow along, and let each click, clack, click, clack take you deeper and deeper into this empty relaxation."

Anton nodded, falling deeper and deeper under the man's spell with every step. Unable to do anything, but to follow along and obey...