She intrigued me before I even opened her mind—she was at least 40, gorgeous, and dressed to pick up. None of this is uncommon in itself, but (without my influence) it's odd to see women that blatantly dressed, rarer still when they're that age, and unprecedented to see someone that attractive trying so hard.
I sat down beside her. Her hand was on my crotch before I'd even placed a drink order, and her tongue down my ear before it arrived. It wasn't until the cab ride home—her home, at her insistence—that I entered her mind, and was surprised to see the work of a younger, clumsier me.
Inception is an odd film. Two things about it surprised me—the first was that it was enjoyable throughout, a rare feat in a popcorn flick. The second was it's accuracy. For the first time, I wondered if I wasn't alone, if perhaps Christopher Nolan has discovered my unique ability as well. It would certainly explain how he manages to get funding for a movie that doesn't treat the audience like idiots, and it would definitely explain how he got that cast.
The vast majority of the film is, of course, completely wrong. Layers of dreams, architects, totems, that's all the realm of science fiction. But there was one part, one concept that stood out to me, made me wonder if I wasn't the first.
When you place an idea in someone's mind, on some level, their brain is aware of it. It's not equipped to outright reject a thought, but it can detect that it's out of place, and so it obsesses over it. It tries to approach it from every angle, it tries to justify it, it can't stop niggling away at it. And when a brain is obsessing over an idea, it becomes the first thing that a person thinks about when they wake up, the last thought on their mind when they go to sleep.
It grows to define them. It changes who they are, and bends the course of their life towards the thought, the idea that you've put in their head. It becomes their obsession, their passion. Their life.
It was sixteen years earlier that I had first met Mrs Page. A cursory scan of her brain had given me her name, even then, before I truly started to explore my skills. Sixteen years ago, I was only discovering my power, and was nowhere near finding its limits.
When I first met Mrs Page, it had only been for a few seconds, but that few seconds would go on to define two entire lives. I had been testing out my talent—she was as attractive then as she was now, and had easily caught my attention. I had learned to read surface information, and had quickly ascertained that she was a mother.
If I'd stopped to do the math, I probably wouldn't have proceeded. I'm not a pervert (well—not that kind of pervert) but I was probably still high off the buzz of altering my own mother, and must have simply thought that I should share the joy.
Six words. That's all it took. Nowadays I'm subtler, but there's something to admire in the stark simplicity of it. If I was altering her today, I would have cluttered it up, buried it a little, and included some additional commands to email me regularly with updates, photos. But sixteen years ago, I simply added six new words, one thought, and I was on my way.
She probably didn't even notice me. If she did, it was just a fleeting thought, wondering what one so young was doing with a gold tooth. There was no eye contact, nothing to separate me from anyone else in the crowd. Nothing to suggest that I was responsible for defining her entire life from now on.
Now, sitting beside her in the cab, enjoying the warmth of her mouth as she "got me ready", I took a trip down her memory lane, and saw how those 6 words had changed everything. How one thought had gotten her from respectable-looking young mother, to the woman who was practically coming, just from knowing I was hard.
"Pleasing your son turns you on."
Marion Page was a single mother of one. Her son, Tom, was just turning one, and Marion's mother was looking after him while she stepped out to gather food for the party.
It was the last party she would ever throw him.
She shook her head, as if shying away from a fly, and headed back to her car. What an odd thought. Of course she wanted to look after her son—his father may have been long gone, but Marion had resolved to be the best possible mother she could be. He was her world, and she was determined to return the favour.
She dismissed it from her (conscious) mind, and it wasn't until that night, when she saw the look of joy on her son's face that it returned.
Watching her young child happily open presents, she couldn't help but be aware that her heartrate had increased, her skin was flushed. It was true—pleasing her son turned her on.
Marion made an excuse to leave the room, and sank back against a wall. What was wrong with her??
The next few months, she claimed illness. Any excuse to be away from her son, she took. Her parents took it as the long-overdue grieving process finally catching up, and happily looked after young Tom for her. She tried everything—she read, she went out with friends, she painted. But all the time, the thought never escaped her. "Pleasing your son turns you on."
Had I seen the first years of Tom's life, I can honestly say that I would never have gone near his mother, never have meddled. I'm many things, but I'm not cruel, and as much as I love playing with people, they always leave me happier that we've met.
Not three months after our meeting, tragedy struck the Pages once more. Both of Marion's parents, killed in a car accident. Mercifully, Tom was at home with his mother at the time, but she no longer had an excuse, had no one else to turn to.
Her resolve, looking back through her memories, impressed me. "Pleasing your son turns you on" was in constant battle with the other phrase that defined her, one that no one had externally placed in her mind "I am a good mother."
The compromise her confused mind reached was simple. She did everything she could to set Tom up for a good life—she made sure he ate well, exercised regularly, had lots of friends. She sent him to a good school and taught him everything that she felt he needed to know to succeed in life. She was as caring and nurturing as any mother has been, but with one difference—she made sure that nothing she did brought him direct joy.
Once she learned what his favourite meal was, she never cooked it for him. She deprived him of the TV shows he liked, didn't allow him to have friends over, never gave him sweets or hugs or sang him to sleep at night. She was the best mother one could be, while simultaneously making his life a misery.
She slipped, once or twice throughout the years. She absentmindedly patted him on the head affectionately once, when he was five, but the spread of warmth throughout her body when she saw him smile got her attention, and she never made that mistake again. She went along to each of his school plays, but after his beaming face spotted her in the crowd, the wetness that followed was like a kick in the stomach, and she never risked it again.
But constantly being on guard like that, deliberately having to deprive your son, that changes a person. And over the years, Marion became more and more bitter. It was done out of love for her son—a good mother, she knew, should not find her own son a turn-on, and constantly making sure that he never got an ounce of pleasure from her, it turned Marion into a harsh and hostile person.
Placing a thought into someone's head is an interesting gambit. Once it's out of your hands, the possibilities for interpretation are endless. "Pleasing your son turns you on" had, in Marion's head, become all-inclusive. "Pleasing your son turns you on" meant, to her, that nothing else did, and so to add to Marion's joyless existence, she couldn't even find relief in masturbation. Any time she tried, her mind turned to her son, and so that part of her life was soon shut off as well.
Raised with a sexless, bitter mother, Tom could easily have become a shadow, a weakling. But again the family impressed me, and Tom grew up into a confident and self-assured young man. He grew up to be harder than he would have been, but his mother's abrasive way of raising him just made him stronger.
And so the first 13 years of Tom's life after I encountered his mother, were spent angry and resentful, feeling unloved and unwanted. His mother's years were spent miserable, hating herself, and forced to be constantly cruel to the one person she loved in the world.
The taxi pulled into Mrs Page's house. She paid the fare, and led me inside by the cock. I mentally explored the house as soon as we entered, and was surprised to discover Tom laying awake in the room next to his mother's.
Probing Tom's mind didn't tell me anything new about his early years, except for a burning resentment for his mother and her actions that she either didn't realise or subconsciously blocked. But it did offer me his perspective on the events of his fifteenth birthday,
His mother, of course, hadn't thrown him a party. She had become aware, on some level, that spending time with her made Tom miserable, and so (in a move that even the most sadistic person would have found excessively harsh) insisted that he spend the day on a walking tour of their town. Nothing but walking from one end of the town and back again, all under the claim that the excercise was "good for him".
Fifteen years of depriving her son of pleasure had made Marion develop a unique sense of cruelness.
.... There is more of this story ...