The Swamp (hypno)

For Mick, it was all just a big joke. Ever since he was little, all the people of New Carran had been afraid of the swamps north of town. No one ever openly said why. They talked about the creepy fog, or the strange lights, or the moaning you could occasionally hear. But they would never be caught dead saying that it was faeries. Sorry, the Sidhe, Mick thought sarcastically. His ex-girlfriend had been very particular about the correct terminology to show respect. Not that he cared, which was why he was currently walking deeper into the swamp.

It had been a bet from one of the new guys. A factory had opened up in New Carran, and so a bunch of new people had flooded into the town, and made fun of the local yokels. So when Mick challenged them over it, they picked the one thing that had made the others back down, betting him to cross the swamp. But they'd picked the wrong guy for that, because Mick had never believed in any of the crap that the town shoveled about the place. He'd been in the swamp before, so he jumped at the chance to make $500 and show up the new guys.

Mick smiled as he waded through one of the pools, the water coming up to his neck. This was deeper in then he'd gone before, but he knew the animals, and had a compass on his watch, so he was sure he wouldn't get lost. Unless the faeries come and get me, he joked to himself. But as he reached the edge of the pool, he stopped in shocked surprise. Standing there, at the edge, was a rather large wooden cabin and dock. He could have sworn it hadn't been there before.

Who the hell lives out here? Mick thought. He knew it wasn't anyone from town, because if the town had heard about it, they would have never shut up about it. As if to answer his question, a tall, muscular man walked out of the door of the cabin, caught sight of him, and walked over. Definitely not from town. Mick thought. I definitely would have noticed someone as sexy as he is... Wait, what?

But before Mick could analyze the odd thought, the man spoke. “Hello my boy. My name's Tulane. What's yours?”

“Mick.” he replied, staring into Tulane's rather pretty hazel eyes. “How long have you lived here Tulane? I hadn't heard of anyone else who wasn't afraid of the f-” Mick got dizzy for a moment. “of the Sidhe who supposedly haunt here.”

“Oh, I've been here a while, my boy.” Tulane said, keeping eye contact. “I've never really been one to be social with my fellows, so it's not surprising that you haven't heard of me specifically.”

“Wha?” Mick was finding it hard to think, and his speech was staring to slur. “Wha' do ya mean specifically? And s-stop callin' me boy. We're the same age.”

“Oh, but we're not my boy. And I can refer to what's mine any way I choose.” As Tulane said that, his eyes dissolved into whirling hazel and black spirals. Mick opened his mouth, trying to reply, trying to hold to the brief flash of anger he felt, but the spirals were too fascinating.

“Much too fascinating.” Tulane said, seeming to hear Mick's thoughts. “There's nothing else you can do, really, my boy. You can just sit and stare.”

Mick knew this to be true. All he could do was sit and stare at the pretty spiral, and look at the black opening forming in the center. It's was a perfect black void, seeming to pull him in. “Exactly.” Tulane smiled. “It's pulling in all the messy free will and disrespect and disobedience. You don't need any of that anymore.”

“Don't need any of that anymore.” Mick repeated hollowly.

“But empty spaces aren't good for you, you know. So let's fill those spaces with subservience and obedience and knowledge that you're my slave.”

“Yes, master.” Mick said, the animation coming back into his voice as his new persona took hold.

“Poor little mortal fool. My new boys usually have to come from travelers on the road, I haven't had someone from town for decades. You were just too prideful, and now you've payed the price. Not that you'll mind it now, you'll be happy as can be serving me. And you'll lure who I want from these new townsfolk too. But first, to seal that you're mine. Take off your shirt and come with me.”

Mick did so, knowing only to bliss of obeying his master...

Continued in The Door