Chapter 4: Fiancés and fathers
Copyright © 2017 by Brian Bixby
The woman who leads me out of Ed’s apartment is a total stranger. I wish she’d stayed that way. How she’s taken control of me means I can see into her thoughts to some extent, a bonus feature! It’s no pleasure. She doesn’t like me, she doesn’t like normal people, and she’s ruthless about her objectives. Anyone who crosses our path as we head down to her car has their memory wiped carelessly. My disappearance isn’t going to be easily traced, if she has anything to do with it.
I’m told to get in the passenger seat, buckle up, sit still, and shut up. All of which I find myself doing without any ability to stop. Which gives me a grand total of three things to contemplate. I watch where we’re going. I try to follow her thought processes to figure out exactly what’s going on. And I try to keep from spilling a fairly full bladder, thanks to last night’s drinking and my captor’s not thinking about allowing me to go to the bathroom before leading me out of Ed’s apartment.
I’m pretty successful on all counts. I can’t get her name, but she’s doing this to force me to marry her brother, Mike. She’s disgusted with the Council for not forcing the issue about my marriage, and enraged that Mike isn’t one of the demigods they’re considering to match with me. Apparently Mike isn’t the brightest light on the Christmas tree, and there’s something sexually wrong with him as well, which my captor cannot even bear to think about. I get the picture that Mike and his sister aren’t too highly thought of by the Council. Charming.
We are out in the suburbs, the west edge of Waltham, when we finally come to a stop. My sister Agatha lives only about five miles from here. If I could get Agatha here, Mike and his lovely sister would be beaten within an inch of their lives. But I don’t have a phone; it’s back in my shoulder bag in Ed’s apartment. Not like whatever-her-name-is would let me use one. And I do so wish she’d let me use a bathroom; I’m starting to get cramps from my bladder.
I get a better look at Miss Sisterly Love here as she frog-marches me out of the car and into the house. Like most of Mum’s people, she’s taller than me, but not by much, sandy-haired blonde, not quite so pale a complexion as Mum or Agatha, and she’s developing frown wrinkles while still in her twenties. She’s not married, no sign of it on her, which is weird. She’s old enough, and if she can do this to me, she’s got enough of a demigoddess in her to make her marriageable material. Maybe there’s something wrong with her, too.
The image of her brother I can get from her thoughts doesn’t look much different from her. Weaker chin, stupid look on his face. His sister knows what he looks like nude. I am not impressed. He’s overweight and it’s all fat.
I am desperately trying to figure a way out of this. I do not want to become the wife of this guy. Me, a mindless sex slave and housekeeper to a man whose looks are a turn-off for the rest of my life. I can’t bear the thought. And yet I’m trapped. I can’t think of anything that will get me free. The only power I’ve got that could get me free is in my eyes, and that won’t work on this one. She’s a demigoddess, after all.
The house is a split-level suburban place, a bit run down. The paint job needs redoing. The screen door’s spring doesn’t work, and Miss Congeniality here has to pull it shut. The interior smells a bit like a hospital. Up the stairs we go. We get to a door, and she stops. She looks at the door, not me, as she says, “This is my brother Mike’s room. He’s going to be your husband. You love Mike. You want Mike. Take off the bathrobe and toss it aside. You want Mike so badly . . .” That’s as far as she gets.
Everything she said is the truth for me. I do love Mike. I am getting very aroused just thinking about his name, let alone the images in my mind of what he looks like naked! And he’s just behind that door! Marrying him would be the best thing that ever happened to me.
There’s only one problem. My bladder. And getting aroused isn’t making it any easier to keep it in. I try to be careful while removing the dressing gown, but I am so afire with passion for Mike that I move too much, too quickly as I take it off. My bladder cuts loose and I just start pissing on the floor.
I’m getting tired of unintentionally pissing. Mike’s sister slaps me and starts yelling at me and turns me to face her. Bad move: some of my urine spills on her.
She screams and looks down at her sodden pants leg. And I realize to my surprise that her control over me is broken. So when she looks up to yell at me again, I leap at the one chance I have to break free. I look her straight in the eye and try to force her to see my colorless eyes in their hypnotic form so I can take control of her. I don’t think it will work. But I’m out of alternatives.
To my surprise, it starts to work. She can’t look away. And I think I’ve got her, way more easily than I figured, if I were going to succeed at all. But somehow she’s fighting back. It’s hard to see into her mind. And then I figure it out. She’s got massive mental conflicts, a whole bunch of severe repressions, all of which keep her mind in violent turmoil. That’s what’s making it hard for me to control her. She’s not consciously resisting me at all.
I have managed to take control of the mind of a demigoddess. Yay, me!
But it’s tough holding her with all that turmoil in her mind. I don’t dare experiment, because if I lose her, she’ll turn the tables on me, and I’ll become Mike’s sex slave for sure. I figure there’s one way that will certainly render her harmless. I unlatch all her repressions.
The next moment I am kicked out of her head by the recoil. My head feels like someone struck me with a baseball bat. Everything is hazy for a moment. And then my head clears. I step back, worried about what my ex-captor will do next.
I need not worry. Ms. Sister-Procurer is just standing there, tears running down her cheeks, a look of horror on her face, a shudder running through her body every so often. Whatever I unleashed in her mind, it’s completely consuming her thoughts. I’m standing in front of her, and she doesn’t even see me. I’ll bet she isn’t aware of anything happening to her outside of her own head.
Time for me to escape, before whatever’s happening to her runs its course. I fish in her pants pocket for the car keys, gather up the dressing gown, find I tossed it far enough away that it isn’t urine-soaked, put it on, and leave the house. The only sound I hear from her direction before I leave is that of a door being opened. Maybe Mike and his sister are about to have a very touching reunion. I couldn’t care less.
The dressing gown isn’t the greatest fit; it’s Ed’s, after all. But it covers me up enough while I drive carefully to Agatha’s. I don’t want to get pulled over, not without a license in a car that isn’t mine, wearing only a dressing gown, and with nothing on my feet. It just wouldn’t play well. But I don’t get stopped the whole way to Agatha’s. I pull into her driveway, get out of the car, walk up to the side door, and ring the doorbell there.
Agatha comes out of the kitchen into the little porch there. She sees me, smiles, and opens the door. “Hey,” she says in jovial tones, “is that what the fashionable people are wearing in Boston these days?”
Yeah, the dressing gown has a horrible “Polynesian” print design on it. Thanks for noticing, Agatha. I give her a black look. “I had to leave in a hurry,” I deadpan. As she steps aside, I walk into the house.
“New old car, too, I see,” Agatha says as she closes the door. Then she sniffs. “Hey, Daphne, don’t want to get personal or anything, but you smell of piss. Want to take a shower?”
Half an hour later, I’m sitting in the back yard with Agatha, drinking coffee and munching on various pastries. I’m wearing some of my own clothes, which magically appeared in the bathroom between the time I stepped in the shower and when I came out. Someday I’m going to have to ask Mum and Agatha how they pull that trick off.
Unlike me, Agatha looks like our mother. Squarer face, a bit taller, much broader in the shoulders and more muscular, but recognizably Mum’s look. She’s ten years my senior with two boys, both hellions (as befits the scions of a god of war), whom husband Henry is watching as we sit back here and each try to find out what’s going on.
Agatha leads off. “Who’s Edward Parseghian?”
I have to think about that a moment. “Probably my one-night stand of last night. I don’t know if I ever got his last name. Why?”
“Because Mum called you this morning, and he answered your cell phone, throwing her into a panic. She thought you’d met with foul play at the hands of the Council, and was cursing you and the Council in equal measure. I’ve called her and told her you’re here and okay.” Agatha laughs. “Mum did have some nice things to say about Parseghian. Called him a gentleman.”
I shrug. “Maybe. He had other things on his mind last night.”
“So did you, I’ll bet. Not thrilled by the gods deciding you need a husband?” Agatha knows me well enough to guess my feelings.
I grimace. “You going to lecture me on my love life?”
Agatha snickers at that. “I’ll let everyone else do it.” Her look switches from amusement to concern. “Seriously, what happened to you, sis?”
“I was mind controlled by some woman who wanted to force me to marry her brother Mike. That’s her car in your driveway.”
“Figures. You’re a hot commodity on the marriage market all of a sudden. I wondered about the car, so I looked in the glove compartment at the registration. It belongs to Maria Tarretti, who along with her twin brother Mike are so seriously screwed up that, unlike you, they were completely and officially dropped from the marriageable rolls years ago.”
I give my sister an eye. “That’s them. You know why they were dropped?”
Agatha ponders that a moment before answering. “No, not directly. But there are clues. Incest runs through a lot of the gods and their offspring.”
Well, that would explain the woman’s sexually repressed nature. I bet there’s more, though. As Agatha says, incest isn’t rare, even though it’s officially disapproved, so I doubt it’s a disqualification all by itself.
Agatha asks me, “How did you get away from them?”
Oh, Agatha’s going to be surprised by this. “Her control over me broke when I pissed on her. And then I controlled her, long enough to unlock her repressions and take her out of the running.”
I wait for the reaction of complete disbelief, but it doesn’t come. Agatha is looking at me as if what I’ve told her is no surprise. So I put it into plain words, “I mind controlled a demigoddess.”
What Agatha says next surprises me. “This is with your funny eyes, right? What’s new about that?”
“Back when they ran tests on me, I couldn’t affect the gods or demigods at all.”
“Well, maybe things changed. You’re older. Maybe you’re a late bloomer.” (As if there is any such thing among the gods.) Agatha looks directly at me. “Try it on me. See if you can.”
I would never ever consider doing this to Agatha. It won’t work (I think), and she’s my sister. But she invited me. Still, I ask her, “You sure you want me to try it on you? What if I succeed?”
Agatha holds out her arms in the stereotypical pose of a hypnotized person. “Then I am your slave, master.” She drops her arms and laughs. “C’mon, Daph, if I can’t trust my own sister, who can I trust?” And she looks right into my eyes again, waiting for me to do it.
Mentally I do the equivalent of taking a deep breath. Here goes. I drop the brown from my eyes and let Agatha see them as she wishes.
Seconds seem to pass. Agatha says, “I don’t think . . .” A few seconds later she adds, “Oh, my, how pretty.” She is just looking into my eyes, her face blank. And I can see into her mind.
I have just taken control of my sister, a demigoddess who rivals goddesses in strength. And I can sense that for some reason, she wanted me to do it, if I could. But I can’t imagine why. So I ask, “You wanted me to try this, Agatha, because you thought I might succeed. Why?”
“Because it demonstrates something I’ve suspected for a long time.”
“The man we were told is our father is not your father.”