Mind Control 3
by Alvin Atwater
Continued a week after Story Two...
Tired, so very tired. I yawned as I stepped out of the school
building. That study was horribly boring and it lasted so long. I
didn't want to attend but sadly, teachers are the voices of tyranny and
can force one to do whatever pleased them, so I had to teach several
losers--I mean struggling students--some math and sciences. My day was
basically robbed from me, absolutely free.
I passed a few blocks of a busy street before stopping to gaze at a
large shining billboard. You know, one of those boards filled with
flashy electronic lights and hypnotic messages that tricked poor saps
into wasting money on their useless products. Well the billboard I
stared at was flashy but the message it displayed read, "your uncle."
Coincidence? I think not. I frantically dug into my pockets until
realizing I forgot my cell phone today. If Uncle was home, he'd be
angry because I didn't say anything about a late evening study party.
Goodbye allowance, it was nice knowing you! My current cash would not
hold me over long enough for my summer job to kick in.
Just then, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I spun but saw nothing.
"What." I yawned. "Must be exhaustion." I pushed forward, weary of this eight o clock air, eager to settle down, and watch some Unsolved Mysteries.
Then, I felt another tap on my shoulder but still, saw no one. That was
definitely a human finger that tapped me not once but twice... I
couldn't be going crazy. Or haunted. Right? Someone laughed. I looked
around but not a soul could be found except the few people that
strolled yards away on the other side of the street. Or the people that
drove by, some smirking at me, flipping birds, you know the usual
douche bag things. No one existed on my side of the street.
I sprinted for home but then the phenomenon got worse. I felt pokes
from the back of my neck to my arms and legs. I stopped, sweat dripping
from my hair, eyes darting left to right in a paranoid rage, something
grabbed my butt.
"What the hell!?" I snarled as I sprinted for a bus stop ahead. I
could see the bus from afar, heading in this direction. Home free, so,
home free. That's what I thought but someone or something hugged me
from behind. I froze, freaked, so, so freaked, afraid to turn around,
silently cursing my teachers.
Oddly enough, whatever it was felt warm and soft. I did not want to
turn around. It may be time to start believing in ghosts. This thing
was after me and I just stood. Then laughter. Oddly familiar laughter.
"This was the greatest laugh ever."
That voice. I turned around but no one was there.
"I think I'll need a trip to the asylum," I said softly.
The familiar laughter returned again in response to my comment. I
leapt backward, falling on my butt, scared stiff, debating if I was
sane, dreaming, or none of the above. Then as if she blinked into
existence, Gemini appeared in front of me, a grin on her face. I
silently debated how to react to this and came up flat. I took a deep
breath and let it out. "Gemini, answer me honestly. Do you think I'm
going insane? Have I shown any signs of mental instability?"
She laughed hard, kneeling down, and throwing herself on me. "What
in blazes-hell are you laughing about? I'm being serious here." Her
laughter retracted to a snicker but I could tell she strained to keep
it under control.
"Matt, you're not insane," Gemini said as she reached into her
pocket and pulled out something. "See." She revealed a black diamond
ring. I didn't like where this was going. I'm not talking about a
proposal. No, this is Gemini. A weird object in her hands could only
lead down to one path.
"Gemini... what's that?" I said, silently praying but knew inevitably where this headed.
"An invisibility ring," she said, grinning.
"Yep, the taps, the hug, pokes--all that good stuff were all from me."
I gave her a death glare. She grinned in response.
"Scaring the living crap out of me aside, let me guess, you stole that from the mystery club."
"You know, stole is a stronnngggg word."
"Of course the magic trick is real, so I can sadly assume this another Iyan object, right?"
"You're on a roll!"
I face palmed. "Adding to that roll, you want me to help out with its investigation."
"What if I said, no?"
"No is not an option," Gemini said.
"The hell it isn't--did I not declare that I wanted nothing more to do with the Iyans?"
"I'm part Iyan. Are you saying you want nothing more to do with me?"
"Oh don't pull that card--it's not--"
"You're doing the research with me," she interrupted.
"Yes and that's final! If you don't, I'll prank you like this until you submit."
I sighed, defeated. Knowing Gemini, she'd probably take the
invisibility prank as far as she could--nailing me in my own room,
shower--every walk. I'd live the rest of my life paranoid!
"Glad you understand," she said. "We'll talk more about it during the club meeting tomorrow."
We both stood up. "Whatever," I said. "Who's finding these things anyway?"
"That is a good question," Gemini said. "Every now and then,
someone's delivering objects to either the mystery club or the
archaeology club. He or she's hitting every lucky spot at that burial
I yawned, exhausted. "I'm heading home. Catch you later."
"Not so fast, I'm staying over."
I blinked twice. "Why?"
"You should be used to my random company by now. Besides, you never stay over."
"That...that's not important," I said, recalling the last time I
spent the night at Gemini's place. The only normal people in her
family... I forced the thought out of my head. That's something no one
needs to know or remember. "Never mind, let's go. We're only a couple
of blocks away."
She smiled. "So how's your uncle doing?"
I sped up my walk, forcing myself not to deliver her another death glare.
"Let's just hope he's not home."
I don't know if Lady Luck decided to smile on me this once--maybe out of pity--but Uncle was not home.
"Oh thank God," I whispered. "Saved!"
"Aw, I kind of want to see him yell at you for old time's sake."
I gave her a blank stare. "Really? What are you, some kind of sadist?"
Gemini laughed. "If you want, I can be."
"No thanks," I said as I walked to my room. I could hear the sound
of the living room's TV turning on and proceeded to talking off my
shoes. My first shoe suddenly lurched into the air, spun three times,
and landed back in the position I tossed it.
"Gemini," I said as I removed my hand from my chest. You know, if I
had a heart attack at that moment and died, I'd probably be a happy
man. It's a tricky situation because there is way to tell if I would
either get one win on Gemini by scarring her for life or lose due to
She blinked into visibility again, smirk on her face. "I can never grow tired of this."
"No, please do," I said. "If you want my help with the research, then stop haunting me."
"Fine, fine," she said as she sat the ring on my dresser. "You're such a stick in the mud."
"Says the gem-obsessed girl," I said as I laid back. "I'm tired from teaching the test failures."
"Yeah, I was there."
Moment of silence. Maybe awkward silence. "Gemini, I think you
should rejoin the track team. You really seem to have nothing better to
"No way," she said with a laugh. "What will the club do without me, its most dedicated member. You'll just fall apart."
"I can think of a lot of things," I said. "You may be the top
student in school, possibly guaranteed a set future for life, but
really let yourself go in the hobbies department."
"You're sugarcoating your dislike of the Iyans," Gemini said.
"A mad bunch... somehow able to defy every law of science and create
mind-controlling gemstones. It's witchcraft, I tell you." I sat up.
"But at least they're gone, right?"
Gemini grinned. "I'll take that as a no."
"Let's see, there's Demand, Love, Kindness, and Hate," she began. "We know those copies could be anywhere."
"How many copies do you think the Iyans made?"
"Who knows? The gems weren't exactly a walk in the park to make. There may not be anymore, but that's not even the scary part."
"What do you mean scary part?" I asked.
"Well, this is nothing more than a rumor. It can be found on a few
reference books about Iyan culture. There were four illegal gems
created without the permission of the leaders. Seduction, Evil, Hero,
and the supposedly the worst, Colorless."
"There are more of them?" I said. "Seriously?"
"Probably not," Gemini said. "This rumor remains unconfirmed till
this day and no evidence can be found of their existence--which sucks!"
"No, that does not suck," I said with a chuckle. "I don't even want
to go into what Seduction could do. I think it's not much of a
difference from the red. Evil, Hero, and Colorless are probably the
problems, but if no evidence can be found, they probably exploded
"Such a waste."
"So the gem girl says," I laughed. "I'm going to bed."
"Bottom half of the bed?" Gemini asked.
"So I can get kicked in the face? Nope."
After showering, (Stole Gemini's ring so she couldn't startle what's
left of my soul. Good thing she showered first.) I pulled the trusty
unused air mattress out of Uncle's closet and took it to my room.
Gemini was vulnerably slouched on my bed, reading my copies of the
basketball team mystery notes I invested in for weeks.
"At least read with some decency," I said as sat the air mat near the bed.
"Why? Are you staring?" Her blue eyes seemed to pierce right through
me. I didn't exactly stare at her but my eyes are male and it was hard
to focus on other things.
"No," I said as I turned plugged in the air mat's built-in inflator. The loud noise bought me two minutes.
Gemini rolled from my bed and landed on my air mat after it inflated.
"Is that a trade?" I said, grinning evilly. She grabbed my leg before I could move.
"Sit with me. I want you to tell me about this basketball team mystery. You seemed worked up about it the other day with Kate."
I sat down. "I--" Gemini moved so close to me that I swear I felt
her minty breath. I gave her a blank stare. "Could you not push this
story into the wrong genre?"
"Never mind," I said. "You've heard of the story right. After the
first spring home game, the entire team suddenly made separate claims
of seeing ghosts or having vivid hallucinations. All of it was tied to
some event that happened during the night of their victory party and--"
Gemini placed her hand on my leg. "What are you doing?"
"I'm just kidding," she laughed as she snatched it away.
"Do you even care about the mystery?" I said.
"Do you care about me?" Gemini said.
"Don't change the--"
"Well?" Gemini's sad face slowly manifested. Freaking guilt banged
at the doors of my barrier. There was no room to leave this unanswered.
"Gemini, we've known each other since we were kids," I said, calming
my racing heart to a manageable pace. "I'll let you answer that." When
answers can't come to mind, leave it vague, I say.
"Matt, remember that day back at the mall?"
"Yeah, what about it?"
"Let's kiss again."
Just then, my cell phone rang. I leapt from the bed and answered it, as if my life was at stake.
"It's Kate. I have a case for your team tomorrow."
"I don't have exactly a team--"
"You, Gemini, Brandon, and Rachael. The archaeology club found a
blue gemstone and a yellow gemstone at a new Iyan site." My blood shot
cold like the depths of Antarctica. "Listen to me well, Matt. Please
don't lose these! You and Gemini lost too many valuable items. I know
your reports were excellent but I want to send the objects back to the
archaeology club so that we can get them to a museum."
"If you're that concerned, get another team on it."
"Not happening. You two are the gem experts."
She hung up, leaving me freezing of cold blood, a little of
depression, and no motivation. The blue gem was back and I danced in
its line of sight. I turned around and Gemini grinned right in my face.
She heard everything.
I recalled my fears of the blue gem, every waking moment that Gemini
had it, and the embarrassing things she made me do. Especially the
public marriage proposal. I became the laughing stock of the entire
"No," I said. She kissed my cheek, smile still on her face,
excitement engulfing her like a tidal wave or never-ending surge of
traffic. "Gemini, no."
She stretched her arms out and yawned, humoring my trauma in the most cliché way possible.
"It's about time to hit the hay," she said.
"Gemini," I said softly. "You're not getting a hold of it."
Still grinning, evil at that, she said, "Matt, Demand is my
favorite. I'll do whatever it takes to grasp it again. You'd better be
faster than me out of your class tomorrow. I may start with demanding
your true feelings. Then after that, something fun, something very
fun." She turned and closed her eyes.
"So threatens the gem-obsessed girl," I said as pulled extra
blankets out of my closet. "Even if you get it, I won't let you lure me
into its range circle."
I waited about an hour, sure Gemini was asleep, and turned on my
cell phone. I opened up the web browser, then Google, and did a little
research on the four Iyan gems. At first, each page I viewed lead me to
the same crap that I already knew. Persistent, I skipped over to the
fifth Google search page and on link three, hit something interesting.
It wasn't exactly what I hoped to find but still interesting.
Demand is the gem Iyan leaders used to take full control of their targets however it is limited to one task at a time.
Love forces extreme feelings of love or desires onto targets. Iyans
held a mating ceremony during the seasons of spring and summer,
activated the gem, forcing the two chosen to desire children.
I shook my head in disgust of the Iyan tribe dictators and continued reading.
Kindness forces extreme feelings of naiveté, gentleness, or
compassion upon a target. Iyans often force enough to turn said target
into an obedient slave. The stone is able to cancel out the effects of
Hate, Iyans used this gem to create warriors. The hatred in which
the stone delivered always created a desire to kill. Iyan leaders took
the hate to another step and generated assassins too.
Non-Iyan people can only get the gem effects to last at a maximum of
one hour. Those with Iyan blood can prolong the effects up to a day,
sometimes even longer.
Just then, the sound of shuffling on my bed made me spin. Fortunately, gem girl was still asleep, just kicking.
I sighed in relief and decided to call it a night.
* * *
After breakfast the next morning, I caught the city bus to school
instead of walking. Gemini had already left ahead of me with the stupid
During first period, she seemed especially cheerful. She raised her
hand and correctly answered every question the teacher asked, putting
shame to the rest of us non-top students. When the teacher turned
around, I felt a paper ball smack against the side of my head. Anger
rushed within me but before I could flip-out, I noticed Gemini
gesturing for me to open it.
The first thing I saw was a poorly-drawn picture of a girl sticking
her tongue out at me. Underneath that was a message that read, "Are you still mad at me?"
I mentally translated that message as the meme, "Are you mad, bro?" Almost ripped the paper to shreds. Instead, I replied, "Mad at what?"
Too bad she never got that message. Chelsea stood up at the worst time and pop! The smack at her face created the grimace.
I swiftly turned. Just because I hit her in the face with a paper ball does not mean I should take the blame for it.
"Who did this!?" she snarled, interrupting the teacher.
Everyone snickered but no one ratted me out. I simply blended a laugh with the rest of the class. "I don't find this funny!"
"Sit down!" the teacher yelled. "I don't find interrupting my class funny either."
I kept this record in my head: one Matt, zero Chelsea.
* * *
When all classes ended that afternoon, I headed to the club at
normal pace. Gemini's last class was closer to the room than mine,
making it pointless to run. When I entered, Kate waved me over to a
table surrounded by Brandon, Gemini, and Rachael. To my relief, she had
the gems in her hands. Demand wasn't in Gemini's grasps! Woo!
I noticed the nervous stare in Brandon's eyes. He knew our life somewhat depended on who got hold of the gems.
"I'm holding all of you responsible for the safekeeping of them," Kate said.
"I don't know," Rachael said. "After what happened the other day... I think they seem kind of dangerous."
"I can explain why, later," Gemini said to her. Uh oh, I immediately knew she made the first dibs on the gems.
"Actually, let's give Brandon a shot at teaching," I interjected.
"I--I'd rather take the ring assignment," he said to my surprise. I
shot him a surprised glare. "You guys can handle the Iyan objects.
They're not my strong point."
"Really now." Kate's evil grin finally emerged. "It's settled. 'You
gon' learn today'--that's the old saying right? Brandon, you're taking
one of them gems."
"I can take the other," Gemini said. "Both if you like--there isn't
a single report that I created that didn't exceed the expectations of
the archaeology club or our teachers."
"You do have a point," Kate said. "You're like the best of the best
when it comes to Iyan objects, especially when you're working with
"No," I said. I had to think quickly... Working with Gemini is a
nightmare. She'd make me a test puppet in no time. Her threat last
night didn't sit well on my stomach.
"No?" I thought Kate would be the one to ask but that came from
Gemini and in a sad tone. "Do you have a problem working with me?"
The entire club jerked their heads in this direction as if they had another better to listen to.
I grinned at the face of evil. "I thought you'd never--"
Just then, the door swung open. Chelsea walked in, carrying a bag, and whispered something to Kate.
"Okay," Kate responded. "Sure, go ahead."
"Thanks for having me," Chelsea said to the club. "I'm a
representative of the archaeology club. Our president sent me to shadow
your star officers. The reports were really good, not just from them,
but all of you. Your star officers went beyond the par and demonstrated
the most impossible phenomena, so now I'm here not only as a witness
but a recorder for the Iyan documentary to be released later this year.
Do expect a great increase in club funding and awards." She turned to
our group. "Looking forward to working with you."
Everyone but me clapped. First of all, Chelsea's apart of the
archaeology club? What rock did I just crawl from under? Second, I
disliked her, a lot. You mean to tell me I have to deal with that
stuck-up attitude everyday now? This sucked! Gemini's already a
I turned around. She glared at me.
"What?" I said.
"Oh nothing. Just can't wait till I get my hands on Demand."
"Isn't the ring enough?"
"Who you think I am?" Gemini said. "Working on them both is child's play. I handle the tests, you take the notes like always."
"Yeah that's great and all until you start using me as a test dummy."
She giggled. I was relieved to see the glare gone. Could you imagine
if the blue gem got into the hands of an angry woman? Yeah, I agree
with you. Total catastrophe.
Chelsea and Kate joined us at the table. Kate still held the gems to
my relief but I knew the inventible approached; someone was going home
Chelsea and I eye made brief eye contact, blank stares if I must
say. The silent messages we gave each other were too brutal for me to
record but imagine within that two second timeframe war music.
"So, can you demonstrate the ring, Gemini?" Chelsea asked. "I've heard about its ability."
"Sure." Gemini pulled ring from her pocket.
"Not bad Matt, for a proposal ring," Chelsea said. She grasped a camera from her bag.
"You know, I think that paper ball you took to the face this morning damaged your brain more than it already is."
"Excuse me?" Chelsea bellowed, her face reddened with anger.
"Enough, love birds!" Kate said. "On with the demonstration."
Chelsea, muttered some things under her breath. Two Matt, zero
Chelsea. Gemini placed the ring on her finger. The second she blinked
into invisibility, gasps, awes, whispering, and other sounds that
voiced human curiosity took over the room.
I felt a sensation on my lips before she blinked back into visible
mode, in her original spot. I tried my hardest not to react. Nobody
should be staring at my face to notice the blush.
"Matt, why are you so red?" Rachael said.
"What are you talking about?" I said.
"You're like a tomato all of a sudden."
"Let's stay relevant please."
"That is like so amazing," Chelsea said. "Want to demonstrate the gems?"
The entire club grew silent. "What?"
"I can demonstrate the blue gem, named Demand by the Iyan leaders," Gemini said.
"No demonstration is needed," Brandon quickly said. "Remember when
she used it to make Matt propose to her in front of everyone."
Chelsea laughed. "Oh yeah. That was the day."
"I was absent that day," Rachael said. "But that seems like a pretty mean thing to do."
"I thought it was cute," Chelsea said.
"Those two are always fun to watch," Kate said. "Until they lose my material."
I sighed. "You're welcome to take my place as her torture dummy at any time."
Everyone around, including Gemini, laughed. They all thought I joked...
"So back to the matter at hand. Who's researching what?" I said.
"Let's give Rachael Demand," Chelsea suggested.
"She's too new," I said, dreading Rachael's chances of becoming a second Gemini. "I'll take it."
Silence again. "What now?"
"Well, it's kind of surprising that you're offering to take this
gem," Kate said. I began to feel her evil aura... Dear God, help us
"I just want these things documented and out of our hands to the museum, where they belong," I said.
"Then there's only one person that could partner up with you and
deliver highest quality results. She isn't the top student and your
future wife for nothing." Kate grinned.
"You're kidding, right?"
"Brandon and Rachael, you two will take the blue. Gemini and Matt,
you both will give us a full report on the yellow and the ring."
"I object to this setup," Rachael said. "I'll never learn if the two stars are sent off into their own world."
"Objection denied," Kate said as she sat both the gems on the table.
"We don't have much information on the yellow. Chelsea's on a time
restraint, so we need her to record as much as she can before she
returns her club."
"Brandon, you take charge of Demand," I said with club officer
authority in my voice. "Show Rachael the ropes, but remember she is
new. Do not put her in danger. These stones may be identical to the
original but they're still copies. Who knows how unstable they are?"
"Gemini," Rachael said nonchalantly. I shot her a glare that said, "Silence, you fool!"
"Well, now that that's over, I'm going to head home," I said as I
stood, grabbing Kindness. With Demand in Brandon's hand there only
"Good, we'll start the assignment at your house," Gemini said with glee.
My eyes widened. Uncle excuses wouldn't work on her--our families
have known each other far too long. Crap! Gym? No, as if that would
work. Thanks to my family's genes, PE's provided workouts kept me in
shape. Errands? That also is gamble since Gemini stayed over last
"Maybe later in the week," I said. "I still have tutoring to do."
"I thought that was once a week," Rachael said, shattering my awesome excuse. "You told us yourself--"
My blood froze as I remembered an important detail. "I don't remember saying anything about times."
"That's what the teacher forced," she continued. "Come on, I know
you're tired but at least try to remember the faces of your own class."
"Well now that that matter's over," Kate partially repeated me with
mix of evil, "let's get to it. I expect great things from you."
"I'm going too."
My eyes bolted on Chelsea. "You're not coming to my house."
"Yes, I am"
"No," I said.
"I'm there as both a witness and a documenter."
"Kate," I started but she already deserted us for another group. "You've got to be kidding me."
"I know you want to make out with your girlfriend but this takes priority," Chelsea blabbed.
"Just shut up and follow me," I said and headed toward the exit.
I turned around and froze, horrified. Brandon and Rachael were stuck
in an obvious diversion set up by Kate, explaining something nonstop,
distracting the two. Gemini, Demand in her hand, pointed at me, and
"Nope!" I sprinted out of there. Who cared if Gemini was once the
shining star of the track team? I planned to outrun her today.
I turned around and saw her chasing, laughing, and shortening the
distance between us. If I slipped into that range circle--and Demand's
range circle wasn't that small--that's it! My freewill, my body, my
self-control--all of it will vanish.
I recalled the first time Gemini used Demand on me. It wasn't the
marriage proposal--that only consisted of embarrassment. In her
backyard, she made me punch myself in the face. Get my rift? Understand
why I hate Demand?
I saw the city bus ahead and almost increased my sprint but stopped
when someone tapped on my shoulder. I thought I was a goner but Gemini
stood yards away. Chelsea blinked into visibility, holding Demand,
I couldn't let them win. I thought back to my research last night.
Kindness forces extreme feelings of naiveté, gentleness, or
compassion upon a target. Iyans often force enough to turn said target
into an obedient slave.
THEN A BRILLIANT IDEA DAWNED UPON ME LIKE THE SWEET RELIEF OF THE
MORNING SUN AFTER A NIGHT OF A FIGHTING OFF DEMONS AND ZOMBIES.
I tapped my gem before she could do anything and induced her with
Kindness' Iyan magic. I laughed when I saw Gemini face palm. Gemini
face palmed! Gold!
"Chelsea, hand me your gem," I commanded.
"Sure thing, Matt," she said, her green eyes gleaming with false benevolence. "I'm sorry we tricked you like that."
I petted her, grin on my face. Even when the effects wear off, she'd never forget this.
"It's okay, my servant," I said, while doing my best not to laugh.
"Make sure your friend, Gemini, gets home safely, okay? Do everything
in your power to make sure that happens."
"Yes, I will."
I darted for the city bus as Gemini pointlessly struggled to convince Chelsea to let her off the hook.
I waved out the window at the both of them as the bus took off, smile on my face. Three Matt, zero Chelsea.
* * *
An ending where I actually won! Come on, give me a round of
applause. Yes, of course, I know it's not over. The gems in my hand
didn't blow up yet. We're not devising an excuse to our club president,
Kindness' effects will probably wear off in an hour. They'd come for me. I'll be ready.
© 2015 Alvin Atwater
Bio: Congrats, you can no longer look away. Deep within, you
suddenly crave the voice of Alvin Atwater, a man born in Florida and
currently serves in the Navy.
E-mail: Alvin Atwater
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