The . . . (hypno)

© 2014 by the author

Something weird is going on.

This big problem set for my bio-chem class is due today, like five minutes ago. I put it off and put it off, and last night I had to get it done. So at ten, I shut off my phone, lock the door to my room so no one can come barging in, put on my noise-cancelling earphones to keep the racket from the hall from disturbing me, resolve to be good and not check my email or look at porn every five minutes, and sit down and get to work. I finish at 3:30 this morning and then I crawl into bed. I'm so tired that I oversleep. I wake up at 8:45, and my class is at 9:10 and I have to hand my answers in right at the beginning of class. Professor McLaughlin is so strict about that. He takes points off even if you're a minute late.

So I'm rushing about, stuffing the junk I need into my bag and pulling on my clothes and hoping they don't stink too much and making sure I have my keys and my tablet and my phone. I dash out of my room and shoulder-bump into this guy standing in the hallway. He isn't moving or anything, just staring at the screen on his phone. He's just standing there. I turn around halfway and say "sorry" over my shoulder. He doesn't even notice. I don't know the guy. I've seen him around. I think he's a friend of some guy down the hall. He stays overnight sometimes.

I'm already three or four steps down the hall when it hits me that I've seen something strange. I turn around again. I'm in such a hurry that I'm walking backwards. The guy's holding his phone in his left hand. He's got this vacant look on his face, and his eyes are fixed on the screen. His mouth is open. He's practically drooling. His cock is hanging out of his jeans, and with his right hand, he's stroking it, really slowly. Jeez, that must be some text.

Ordinarily I would stop and say something, but I have to get to class on time. I'm running as it is. I don't have time to talk. I hurl myself down the stairs and out the door. And there on the sidewalk in front of the dorm are six or seven guys all staring into their phones. All of them jerking off. What's weirder is that they're all synchronized. Their right hands are moving up and down in unison.

It's like that all over campus. Everywhere you look there are guys staring at their phones and jerking off. Women are standing around in groups and giggling and pointing and taking pictures. Some of them are even posing next to the guys. The guys don't even notice.

There's a campus cop car in front of Jordan Hall. It looks like the cops got out of their car and were walking over to a group of wankers to tell them to put it back in their pants when they stopped to look at their cell phones. The two cops have their cocks out of the pants and are jerking off too.

What is this? Is this National Wank in Public Day and no one told me? Or is it some sort of big joke? Like a flash mob or something? I seem to be the only guy around who isn't jerking off. Not that I'm going to. Jeez, some things you don't do in public. I'm actually beginning to feel a bit turned off by all these guys flashing their cocks in public.

But I'm running late. I can't stop. I don't wait for the elevator. I rush up the stairs two or three at a time. I just barely make it to class before the bell. I put my problem set on top of the pile already on the desk and find a seat. It's then I notice that I'm the only guy in the room. Everyone else there is a girl, and they're all standing at the windows looking out. Jeez, you'd think they would show a little more class.

Wouldn't you know it? I rush to class and get there just in time to hand in my paper, and Professor McLaughlin doesn't show up. It's already 9:15. Usually he's sitting there waiting five minutes before class begins. What's wrong with everybody today?

One of the girls pushes a window open and leans out. She's whistling and shouting encouragement. Soon all of them are doing that. Like a bunch of cheerleaders. One of them tells the others to be quiet—the guys are saying something now. They all shut up. I walk over to the window and look out. The guys are lined up in rows now. There are maybe ten guys in each row. In front of Jordan Hall alone there must be twenty, twenty-five rows of guys. All of them jerking off. I can't make out what they're saying. It's a chant of some sort, and they're all talking together. It sounds like "Serving sir is our profession." But that doesn't make any sense, not that anything is making sense today.

Suddenly they stop, and this voice booms out of all their cell phones. "Walk forward and turn right onto Campus Drive." This whole platoon of guys—that's what it looks like, a platoon of soldiers—marches forward in unison until they reach the street. They're keeping a perfect cadence. All their right legs moving at the same time and then all their left legs. When the first row reaches the street, they execute a perfect right turn. The whole group pivots around until they're lined up in rows again. Then the weird GPS voice comes again. "March forward 1.2 miles to Memorial Stadium." And off they march the street. All of them still jerking off together.

Oh, I just remembered. I turned my phone off last night and I forgot to turn it back on. Looks like I didn't miss much. There's just one message. Some sort of picture file. Fuck. Now something's wrong with my phone. What's going on today? The picture is pulsing. What the fuck is this? The . . .