Her dilated eyes engrossed by the flickering LED, Susan patted her head, rubbed her stomach and recited the names of the Presidents.
Heather giggled. "Mom's being silly!"
"No, honey," Doug smirked. "Mommy's being hypnotized. She has to do as I say."
"Don't fill our daughter's head with that nonsense," Susan snapped. "There's no way this junk you bought off the Internet works."
"Hop on one foot," he commanded.
"Face it Doug," she said, getting up. "You paid fifty bucks for a black box with a blinking light." She started hopping. "You got ripped off."
Heather clapped, squealing with laughter.
"For crying out loud, woman, it WORKS!" Doug replied, flicking the Hypnotizer X1000 off. Some unheard sound died off, making his ears pop. "I've been controlling you like a puppet."
"I was playing it up, Doug. For the kid." She walked away, rolling her eyes. "Bathroom break."
Doug fumed. If only Heather hadn't insisted on watching, he had some choice commands in mind to prove Susan really couldn't resist…
"Can I play?" asked the little girl.
"No, dear," he replied, fiddling with the Hypnotizer. "It's not for children."
Susan returned, pushing Heather away from the device.
"How many times does it have to fail before you give up?" she asked patiently.
He flicked the switch. A high-pitched static sounded, on the edge of hearing. Susan's eyes fixed on the front LED, dilating fully.
"Hold your arms out in front of you, Susan," he ordered.
She ignored him. "See? It's–"
"C'mon, mom!" Heather whined, walking over. She pushed her mom's hands up, herself. "You gotta do as he says!"
Susan smiled at her daughter, still watching the light. They both put their arms out together, like it was a game.
"Listen!" Doug frowned. "Your hands will pull together as you fall deeper. Once they touch, your mind will go blank."
The LED flickered.
"Doug, this isn't doing anyt-"
Heather's little hands clasped. She was drooling, immobile.
Susan laughed. "I think you might've hypnotized Heather, though." She patted her daughter's head in amusement.
Frustrated, Doug cranked the dial to its maximum.
"Go deeper, Susan!" he commanded. "Completely in my power!"
Susan stopped blinking.
Heather's jaw hung open. She melted into the chair.
"You are a mindless slave!"
The wait was torture.
Susan said, "Nothing."
"Sorry, the light turned off…" she said, looking at the LED.
"Oh, for Pete's sake," he said, turning it around. It flashed. His eyes dilated. The high-pitched sound filled his brain. Doug stared.
"You cannot think. You must obey," Susan commanded, grinning. Her eyes freed, she looked down at her daughter. "Heather, honey, go to bed. You will sleep deeply and hear nothing."
Obediently, Heather tottered off toward her room.
"As for daddy… he really did hypnotize me," she admitted, pulling out the earplugs she'd retrieved from the bathroom. "Now, it's time for his punishment…"
She pushed a hidden button on the device. Doug moaned with helpless lust.
"Luckily, mommy read the manual."