Jeremy tapped his foot, trying to hide his impatience. He stood in line with Rebecca, his daughter, at the coffeehouse just around the corner from the Roslyn Derkins Theater. Despite being late in the afternoon, the shop was still crowded. There was a long line of mostly men stretching back almost to the front door.
The single father rubbed his daughter's back. Her navy wool sweater felt rough to his hand. There was no mistaking the couple's relationship as father and child. They were a spitting image of each other. Jeremy's strong features and trim body made him look dashing and athletic. The same build, however, made Rebecca look boyish and wispy.
Checking his watch, Jeremy was glad to see they still had thirty minutes until Rebecca's audition. A drama girl throughout high school, she'd been the star in every production. Her supporting father's small IT firm that he ran kept them happy and would have provided the financial resources needed to send her off to a large Arts school. Her grades and applications, on the other hand, hadn't been enough to get her in.
She decided to take a shot and work her way into the industry, rather than study her way in. Today was her first major audition and she'd asked her dad to go with her for moral support. She'd been insistent that they arrive early for the audition and they'd arrived way too early. The theater hadn't even opened yet. Rebecca was a nervous wreck waiting outside so Jeremy suggested a cup of coffee or tea to calm her down.
"Do you really think I can get a part?" Rebecca asked, not for the first time that day.
"Yes, honey. You'll be terrific. You'll do just fine. They won't be able to stop from falling all over themselves just to get you to contract."
Rebecca beamed and hugged her father's arm. "Thanks, Daddy. I'm just so nervous because I'm not beautiful or busty like those girls on TV."
"You're beautiful to me, sweetie, plus there's more to acting than just looks, and you've got it. You'll do just fine," he answered and patted the hands hugging his arm.
The line in front of them was barely moving. Jeremy checked his watch. At this rate, they wouldn't have time to drink their coffee. Jeremy wondered what was taking so long.
As if she'd read his mind, Rebecca said, "I bet all of these people are here for the same reason we are. They're here early and wanted a drink before auditioning. I'll never get the part over all of these people!"
"Shhh," Jeremy said and hugged her head to his chest. "You'll do just fine. There's lots of rolls to be had, plus most of the people here are men. They wouldn't be going for the same parts you are. You'll do just fine."
"You'll do just fine. Just think of what you want to drink and don't worry about the audition."
The two stood in silence for several minutes and the line crept forward. They hadn't made it half way through when Jeremy saw the reason for its sluggishness. The barista working the counter was topless and had the most massive breasts he'd ever seen. She was filling orders for cream by milking herself directly into the customers' cups. The process in itself wasn't slow, but the gawking patrons prevented the line from moving with any kind of speed.
The startled gasp from his daughter showed that she, too, had noticed the reason for their delay. "Oh my god, daddy! Look at her! If a girl like that can't get a part, how could I ever imagine that I could?"
"It's okay, honey. You'll do just fine. Not everyone wants to be an actress."
"This isn't like auditioning for my school play. This is serious."
"You'll do just fine."
A man reading a newspaper nearby folded it up and slammed it on the table. If it hadn't been for his outburst, Jeremy would never have noticed him. He was too average looking, too ordinary. "That's enough," the man said. "You two, come sit down." He pointed at the empty seats across from him.
"I'm sorry, we don't really have time for..."
Against his will, Jeremy's feet moved him forward. Rebecca gave him a terrified look that let him know she'd gone over against her will as well. They each pulled a chair out and sat down. Jeremy gave his daughter a reassuring look and said, "Don't worry. You'll be just fine."
The man let out a frustrated cry. "This is ridiculous! How many times do I have to hear you say, 'You'll do just fine'? I know, technically you just said, 'be just fine' but it's still close enough to piss me off."
"I'm sorry, mister. I didn't know I was offending you..."
"It's not just me. Anyone within earshot is probably wishing for bad things to happen to you."
The man cut Jeremy off. "Hey, lady," he said to a girl sitting nearby. She was dressed as if her natural habitat was a night club, not a coffeehouse. Her pink floral print halter top v-ed down to show every inch of her artificial looking breasts. Her long blond hair hid the strings tying her top on and draped down the sides of her body causing Jeremy's eyes to focus even more on her exposed cleavage. Jeremy wondered what sort of upbringing could produce a girl like her. "What would you do if you heard this guy say, 'You'll do just fine' one more time?"
The girl glared at Jeremy. "Probably kick him in the fucking balls."
"See! It's not just me."
Hanging his head, Jeremy glanced over at Rebecca. He couldn't read her expression. "I'm sorry, I won't say it anymore."
"No, it's too late for that now, Jeremy."
"How did you..."
The man waved his question off. "Really, Rebecca here is already 19 and if she doesn't have the self confidence to make it on her own without you constantly saying, 'You'll do just fine'." The man shuddered. "I don't think I'll ever be able to say those words again. Anyway, as I was saying, if she doesn't have the confidence to make it on her own without ... those words, then you really messed up as a parent.
"I think you have done a pretty crap job. Look at your daughter. She's pathetic. She's got this whole," the guy waved his hand around in a small circle pointed at Rebecca, "innocent girl next door thing going on, but it's really quite annoying. You're 19, girl! Grow up. You don't need daddy around to hold your hand.
"'Aww, everyone's so much prettier and better than me.' Please. You only do it because you want the attention. You want the sympathy. You've got the confidence in you. Hell, there hasn't been a single play you haven't had the lead roll in. How you fucked up on your applications so bad, not even I know that. My only guess is you did it so Daddy here would feel sorry for you."
Their host took a sip of his coffee and let the scared stew for a minute.
"Here's the deal. Your daughter, like always, she's going to get the lead in the audition and be wildly successful. I'm telling you this now. And you know it's true that I can do this."
Both Jeremy and Rebecca nodded their heads. Jeremy didn't know how he knew, but the core of his being radiated with the knowledge that the man was telling the truth.
"So, you see, there's nothing to worry about. There's no reason to say those words. If, for any reason you [i]do[/i] happen to say them, there will be a punishment." The man snapped his fingers and the huge breasted barista left the customers at the counter and came over.
"Are they going to help me remove whatever is stuck up my ass?"
"No. They disgust me. Get their orders so they can leave and I don't have to look at them anymore."
The woman turned to Rebecca. "Well, aren't you just so cute! Has anyone ever told you, you should be an actress?"
"Actually, I'm waiting for an audition to start."
The man clapped his hands once. "No chitchat! Just orders."
"Sorry, sir. What can I get for you, dear?"
"I'll have an earl grey," Rebecca said.
"And you sir?" the waitress asked Jeremy.
"Just a black coffee."
The woman looked downcast. "Are you sure you wouldn't like some cream? It's homemade!"
"Okay, two creams."
Jeremy and Rebecca still hadn't regained the free will to move about, so they sat in silence while they waited for their orders. The man sat back and started reading his paper again. Jeremy wondered what their table companion meant by "punishment".
From the other side of the newspaper, the man said, "You know, this wasn't my paper at first. Belonged to a guy not much older than you, Jeremy. I made a bet with him that he couldn't resist fucking this slut." The man let out a chuckle. "I kind of cheated, though. I took away his distaste for nasty skanks. It's not like I made him like them, it's just that he no longer hates them. Would have been too easy for him to pass on temptation otherwise. But don't worry, I'm playing straight with you. Just guaranteed success and punishment for you-know-what."
Not really having a clue what the man was talking about, Jeremy nodded. "What do you mean by punishment?"
"I mean, you will become an even worse parent than I think you are. I'm sorry, Rebecca. You'll probably have to suffer through it until things get better."
A drop of sweat rolled down the side of Jeremy's face despite the cool temperature. "What will happen? What do you mean?"
"Tsk tsk tsk. Now where would the fun be in telling you? You'll just have to wait and see."
At last the woman came back with their orders. She gave them their cups and then backed up. "Hold your cup up a little higher, mister," she told Jeremy.
.... There is more of this story ...
Mind Control /