A Place with You in Mind

A house is inspected and explored by an interesting visitor.

The entrance to a large, conventional house opened slowly, revealing a figure standing in some of the light from the outside. The figure’s name was Claudia to most, a name most might never forget if they met her. The woman was dressed in a matching cream-colored business pant suit, with a red blouse underneath the jacket, a shade of red matching her ankle-high boots. She stepped over the threshold, looking around curiously at the domicile’s surroundings.

Before stepping in, Claudia literally didn’t know what to expect. The outside structure seemed unique, yet similar to so many houses she’s seen. There were none to compare it to though, as this one was out in the middle of nowhere, and nothing neighboring it in sight. The interior reminded her a lot of the house she grew up in, for better and for worse. After years of a shitty childhood, her only joys in life then were playing the piano and the prospect of leaving her terrible old-fashioned parents and West Virginia town behind. She didn’t let it bother her, as she enjoyed touring new places in the Midwest now, like this one.

Walking across the entrance, heels gently clicking against the wood floor, she surveyed the furniture and structure like a real estate agent or potential home owner. It looked appealing so far, even despite the potential changes to be made. Claudia had enough walking room to comfortably see everything she wanted to. A couch, and two love seats, no TV, a stairway leading to another floor near the entrance, and a black grand piano near the back of the room. It all had a good feng shui feeling to her, like everything was more or less in an acceptable place. The lighting, usually brighter than today, was dim and subtle, much to the delight of the woman. She touched the patterned walls of white with thin black-stripped lines.

“Pretty, but could be better,” she spoke out loud in a mountainy accent. Out of her pocket, she pulled out a cigarette pack, gracefully placing one between her pink lips, and took in a slow, satisfying inhale after lighting it. A stream of smoke blew into the air, having pink coloring a slightly stronger consistency than normal cigarette smoke. It hung above Claudia as she stared at the wall.

After a few minutes, she reached out to the wall, tracing some of the black lines with the whites of her French manicure. She felt them over and closed her eyes, trying to envision the perfect look. Hushed tones were whispered, changes Claudia wanted were made to almost no one in particular. She could imagine the touch of her fingertips changing the shape of the wallpaper in some parts, seeing the lines bend and curve in her own mind. The smoke that hung in the air never dissipated, but wafted toward the ceiling until it caressed the nearest wall like her hand did, smokily covering the wall and making similar changes of their own. All the while, a beautiful piano solo started playing in her mind, and it just played louder and more intricately the more she thought of it, eventually from the direction of the grand piano in the room.

When she finally opened her eyes again, she stepped back to see the changes she thought of implemented. The striped wallpaper how was a white rose floral design over a dark navy-colored background in her eyes, blooming all over the expansive room. Beethoven played on the piano as if on cue, adding to the overall ambiance of the room.

“Much better.” Another drag of the cigarette and more pink smoke fill the air, trailing behind her like an animated supplicant.

“What is this room called again?” she asked no one in particular. As if expecting a response, the room itself responded “the frontal lobe,” quieter than a mouse.

“Ah yes, where all the thinkin’ happens.”

“Yes,” the disembodied voice whispered back.

“I can’t help but approve of what I see here.”

The room spoke no words, but sighed contentedly.

Parallel to the house’s entrance and near the piano, there was a room leading deeper into the house. Some of the smoke trailing the suited woman slid under the door’s gap at the bottom. The door opened to a long, surprisingly narrow hallway. It was very simplistic in design, like a section of an old-style country house. There were several doors on either side, only one set were directly across from each other. The sound of her heels clicked mixed with the piano playing behind her and echoed throughout the hallway as her leisurely steps headed toward the end.

At the back of the hall, there was another staircase leading to upstairs and maybe a basement, and a door next to it. The gap at the bottom was alit with pink coloring, similar to her lip-liner and her smoke. She gripped the old-fashioned white door handle and entered the new room. It was a closed-off back patio to the house, furnished only with a few chairs for lounging in, and long windows spread across the room. Outside, all that was visible was pink smoke, very similar to what she blew from her lips every so often. She could only smile at the hazy, colored sight before her.

“The occipital lobe, yes?”

“Yes,” a voice whispered back.

“I’ve always wondered why this is kept in the back.”

She took a seat in the nearest rocking chair and stared at the outdoor smoke absent-mindedly and happily.

She pushed off one heel to start a rocking motion as she looked. “Despite what ya see, I wonder what ya want to see.”

Seconds later, an opaque, oversized mirrored view of Claudia’s face pierced the haze and greeted her sight. It smiled at her, and the normal-sized Claudia smiled back, observing her expertly-done make up and supermodel features. It winked at her, and she got up to leave the room and peruse the rest of the property.

From the end of the hallway, she trailer her hands outward to touch the walls, dragging her nails, concentrating with her eyes shut for seconds before seeing the trail of bright pink carnation-flowered designs behind her until she reached the doors lined up across from each other.

She opened both simultaneously, their length long enough that the small lock mechanism sticking out nearly touched each other. With both doors wide open, each looked like the smaller hallways that led to the outside. From her pocket, she retrieved a fresh cigarette. The sound of lighting it was suddenly, artificially louder, more hollow, as was the sound of her first exhale. Heels clicked across the wood floor with the same quality, along with her voice.

“These sounds are so lovely. Your temporal lobes are so impressed with them, these sounds that echo through here. To hear a lighter click reminds you of me, to hear heels click reminds you of me. Beethoven, or any piano playin’, reminds you of me. To hear me reminds you of what I mean to you, and how ya can’t get me out of ya head.”

As that voice resounded across the hallway, her words reminded her of something, and she promptly close the door, still hearing the faint echoes of exactly what she stressed as important or meaningful. She returned to the back-end of the hall, but walked up the stairway this time. At the top of the stairs was looked like a door to an attic of an old house. Her fingernails tapped against the old white door.

“What the hell was this part called again?”

“P..parietal lobe.”

“Right, right. Kind of an uninspired name for it if ya ask me.”

Opening the door, the woman walked into a huge white void, off-setting the color of her suit, stretching far beyond what her eyes could see.

“The scope of awareness like this never ceases to amaze me, but neither does this.”

The woman stretched out her arms and the fingers of both hands, as it to get a grip on something with an extreme width for her thin frame. From that pose, she closed her eyes and began closing the distance between her hands. If anyone could see her, they might have the impression of watching a delusional woman trying to deflate an invisible balloon. The delusion was powerful enough as the horizon darkened, blackened, and closed in on her position, until she stopped moving her hands. There was maybe 10 feet left of the void surrounding her, while Claudia’s French tips touched and enclosed a rounded shape.

“Spacial awareness, custom settin’,” she laughed to herself, before throwing her arms out and re-establishing the white void. She felt a whoosh around her at the reverting, but the only sound was of her own voice and breathing. Satisfied, she opened the door behind her and strutted downstairs, positively ecstatic at all these new features she thought about playing with.

Back in the hallway, she looked over the rooms and realized how miscellaneous they all looked to her. Other than the previously-entered doors, they all looked the same to her. None of them were marked much to her dismay. It was an annoying guessing game she found herself playing, but she did play for what she wanted to hit next.

“Hmm…emotions, emotions. Where are ya, emotions? Ya got to b-”

She was cut off by a creaking sound coming from one of the doors, made ajar by someone or something she was unaware of. Instead of feeling fear, curiosity made her approach the door and open it wide, exposing the insides. It looked like a cluttered, yet somehow highly organized combination of broom closet and office. The most regulated part of the house by far.

“This must be that big limbo…gland, I think it was.”

“Limbic system,” she was corrected.

“Whatever, it’s the chewy emotional center I was lookin’ for.”

She knew there was more to it than just emotions, but the last she researched it, it was a clutter of several functions that slightly confused her, but sounded important none-the-less. At the back of the room looked like a fuse box of some sort. She guessed it was “the Insula, or Insult or somethin’ like that.” Navigating her way through the over-crowded room, and opening the box, she looked at all the regulators and dials inside, thinking about a simple solution to the complication. She really didn’t have to mess with it, but was too curious to let it remain there untouched.

There was a screen indicating what looked like temperature in Farenheit. She touched one of the levers, thinking about what would make the most impact, being surprised at how just her touch affected the number, raising it by a few .01s the longer she touched it. It knew her touch, and that seemed to be enough for her. All ten of her fingers caressed every dial in the box, one-by-one, until the room was becoming noticeably hotter for her. She left it open as she walked back toward the threshold of the room, but not before taking a very long drag on her cigarette, and depositing the smoke throughout the room until everything was covered in pink. She spoke as her words were carried over the wisps.

“Ya can taste the sweetness of the smoke, the breathtakinly cool scent or my warm touch. Feel the connection between us. Feel it strongly, deeply, like we’ve known each other for much longer than ya could’ve ever imagined. Never forget what feelins ya have for me.”

She closed the door, imaging every crevice soaking in the vapors. As she walked back towards the main entrance, for a bit of rest, she heard something strange – the piano solo had stopped.

For the first time since she entered the house, a small tinge of uncertainty came over her. She didn’t exactly know what to expect when she came in the house, but everything seemed to be going her way, in her eyes, until now. She had a guess of what it was, but approached the front of the house, cautiously intrigued to see what it really was.

Stepping through the door, it was mostly the way she left it, with a few key exceptions. The dim electric lights occasionally flickered brighter, a part of the wall lost its floral design and went back to its original striped coloring. And of course the keys of the piano were static. Claudia sighed in annoyance, thinking of what could have caused these issues. Her nails tapped on the piano’s back in contemplation, until the piano started playing again. A Stravinsky solo.

Claudia shook her head in deeper annoyance, nearly in agitation of that choice of music.

“No one told me this house was haunted. Ya’d think the brochure woulda mentioned that.”

She sat down on the nearest loveseat, while a vague apparition sat on the couch next to her, barely able to make out the face or any other details. Best she could tell is that it was male.

“Previous owners almost never reveal everything about the property to strangers,” a slightly booming voice surrounded them, as if speaking on the ghost’s behalf.

“I’ll have to bring that up with the realtor.”

“This house was never for sale,” the voice spoke stronger.

“I am giving ya credit, cause ya did surprise me in all this. I was sure I’d go uncontested here.”

Claudia got up to walk back to the hallway, but found the door firmly locked, no matter how much she struggled. Out of nowhere, the apparition leaned against the wall near the door, his mere presence undoing the wallpaper he leaned against. She sat back down in the love seat next to the ghost who’d looked like he never left his seat.

“Why were you so sure of it?” he asked her.

She put out her last cigarette in a nearby ashtray and lit another with more dramatic flair than usual. She slowly, calmly took a drag on it and blew it all into the air above them.

“This looked like a pretty vacant place if ya asked me. A bit outdated too. The previous owner, what’s his name, coulda sprung for a decent redecorater.”

“George, the current owner’s name is George.”

She waved her hands over the sections of walls still bearing white roses.

“George, previous owner, ya can’t tell me my preferences aren’t better.”

“I can, especially if you have a problem with Stravinsky” he spoke confidently.

“Beethoven is timeless, Stravinsky just feels aged.”

“You’re one to talk about ‘style’ in that case, and in case you haven’t figured it out, there was sentimental value in the original setting.”

“Highly overrated reasonin’, but to each their own.”

Claudia looked around, noting the lights weren’t flickering anymore and were maintaining a brighter setting.

“So what’s the plan now? Am I to sit here and watch ya undo all my hard work?”

“No, you’ll be leaving soon.”

“That doesn’t sound like a good host to me.”

“And you don’t sound like an invited guest.”

They both smiled contemptuously at each other, both plotting their next possible move. Claudia felt a section nearby, somewhere in the room that seemed an important part that she overlooked. It was directly below them, she’d concluded. The apparition had a signature about him, and she could sense a concentrated part of it under her. She couldn’t remember the name, but she knew it had something to do with interpreting the movements of others. She wondered if George used that to feel her movements around the house, even predict where Claudia would venture out to.

“The Basal Ganglia, in case you were wondering.”

“Who comes up with these names?” she asked.

“Better men than me, than you too.”

“I’ve never found a man better than me.”

Claudia looked the form up and down, noting how much more detailed he was becoming as the seconds passed, almost resembling an unfinished living cartoon character at that stage.

“Still haven’t, Mr. Haint.”

She at least knew why George hadn’t moved to vacate her from the premises completely yet. He was trying to feel his way around to make sure that what she changed was gone. She had a signature herself and maybe it was easier to keep her there to identify what was being removed, like giving a dog a cloth with a scent to help it sniff out its target. He didn’t seem to notice the pink smoke above them that slowly moved away from both of them and under the hallway door’s gap. It moved stealthily through the hallway, not bothering to contend with whatever might be undoing her influence, but headed directly to a part of the house she had not visited yet, and if she remembered the room right, could make all the difference.

The pink smoke traveled across the floor until it reached the stairs at the end, and moved down to reach a new door. It covered the surface of it as if to assess what it covered. After a few moments, instead of twisting the door handle, it slipped into the keyhole of the old-fashioned door.

Back in the main room, Claudia saw the expression change on her host’s face, as if noting something was wrong.

“Ya look weary. What’s the matter Mr. Haint?” she asked innocently.

“N-nothing.” He looked in the direction of the door, trying to figure out why he felt strange all of a sudden.

“Oh, ya had me weary for a second. It’s good to hear that nothin’s the matter.”

The apparition felt part of his barely-embodied self twitch a little.

“Nothin’s the matter, nothin’ at all.”

He heard her words, and against his better judgment almost believed them. Wanted to, thinking things were going his way.

“Excuse me, I need to c-”

“Ya don’t want to go,” Claudia interrupted him.

“What?” he asked confused, standing stark still, processing why he couldn’t move to leave.

“Ya’d rather stay,” the female voice spoke with confidence.

He found himself standing upright, and staying that way, despite his insistence that his legs go forward.

“The Cerebellum, now that term I remember pretty well. I don’t understand the origins of most of these words, but dammit if this one doesn’t sound sexy to me.”

He wanted to turn around to look at her, but his head had the same problem the rest of his body did.

“I think ya wanna find yourself in my hand.”

Before he could process it, he turned to see Claudia with an outstretched hand, and struggled in vain against placing his cheek on her palm as she stroked it.

“Motor skills and movements, planning and timin’ of actions, and all that good stuff. I was savin’ that for last, but maybe I shoulda made that more of a priority. But who knew you could form ya own avatar here while I was here too, use it to mess with my redecorating. And who knew my ‘signature’ accessin’ the Cerebellum meant that even the movement of ya avatar is under my control. Really fascinatin’ results so far.”

The look on his animated face suggested he was about to cry.

“Aww, poor baby. Don’t like where ya are at this point?”

Claudia giggled at how his head tried to move to shake.

“Ok, I can extend a-mite mercy ya way.”

Some of the pink smoke at the Cerebellum let up and he fell to the floor out of exhaustion.

“How’s that?”

He didn’t bother to look at her, but his legs got up and tried to make a dash for the hallway door.

Claudia’s anticipation let her hands to quickly come together so her French tips touched in a familiar motion. His dash was cut short as everything but a foot in-front of him was pure darkness.

“Do you know where ya are now?”

He heard her mocking question, but still couldn’t believe his eyes. It looked like had he gone any further, he would’ve fallen off the space in-front of him and into a black hole of an oblivion; it looked like a section of the main room cut-out and rounded. He was blind to everything outside of the space. The blackness approached him and he literally jumped back a few feet, noting Claudia laughing from behind and how it looked like she’d taken a step back. He swallowed in fear on the floor while she towered over him, knowing exactly where they were, easily guided by the signature that was still left all over the house. She couldn’t see it directly, but could feel exactly where to go.

She released her fingertips from themselves, testing whether the small space would remain if she moved her hands; there was no effect. She was thankful for not having to keep her hands like that all the time, and for knowing how to expand it again. Her steps moved with more authority than ever, the absolute center of the space that wasn’t darkness. She stepped to the door previously locked to her, watching it open at her insistence, feeling the cowering, faded man behind her stay close to her for fear of falling. She didn’t know if he’d really fall away or get sucked up in darkness temporarily, or even if he’d be safe if he did. Claudia didn’t really care to dispel George’s fears; he was much more agreeable this way.

They walked through the hallway, finally reaching the stairs down to the Cerebellum. The structure reminded her of the rear entrance to an attached garage. Entering, the room looked like a collection of levers and switches, most with Claudia’s pink smoke covering the full length of them. He could see some of the levers move at the same time he was, amazed at how some of them were working in real-time. Claudia spotted what looked like a door at first, but the closer she got to it, the more it resembled an elevator.

“I wonder where this goes.”

The doors opened like an elevator at her touch, and they pair walked in to observe the elevator options, but saw none. Curiously, she touched where the panel would usually be to choose floors, and the doors closed, and both felt the motion going down.

“This is the brainstem,” George said, fascinated.

“Yep, I reckoned the same.”

“Where are we going?” he asked. He fell against the elevator floor, feeling exhaustion from being controlled under duress.

“Curious about that myself,” she said honestly. “What’s significant about this part?”

“Regulates survival attributes, like breathing, eating, and sleeping.”

She thought about it for a second, and asked her companion, “what would ya expect to find the further down we go? Anythin’ special? Would you be able to guess the designs?”

“M-maybe. I have no idea what to expect.”

“I think I might.”

“Where?”

“Someplace…special.”

Claudia felt a theory forming in her own head, based on the design of this entire place. Who had more clout here, and what were the real extents to the structuring. She eagerly began verbalizing her theory.

“I wonder how far down we’re travelin’ underground. This elevator seems like it’s takin’ a one-way trip to somewhere. Wouldn’t be surprised if our destination is someplace warm.”

“Hell?” he said sarcastically.

A scary, seductive look was shot over her shoulder.

“Probably not hell, but probably someplace sinful. Can’t ya feel the temperature risin’ a-mite already? Sittin’ on the floor, ya should be even more aware of it than me.”

Watching him press his hands flat on the floor, she helped him along.

“Lookin’ at the floor won’t help. Close ya eyes and really feel it.”

Forgetting she still controlled his body a great deal, he pressed his palms more firmly to the floor, followed by his face, to see if there was more palpable heat coming.

“Yes, I feel it a little.”

“Keep yourself down thar. Much more comin’ to feel.”

He moved his head away in case it got really hot suddenly, but kept his eyes closed as her suggestion of using his faculties to feel.

With another long drag of her cigarette and spreading the pink smoke into the car, she continued.

“It might be crazy, but part of me hopes we’re gettin’ closer to a heated core, like the core of a planet, or some underground power plant. Something about a strong heat source givin’ warmth to everything around it, seems incredible. It probably heats the house above us now when it’s very cold.”

A pink cloud formed from the smoke and came down to the floor where the helpless man lied, waiting to feel something more than he was already feeling. His mind so focused on the heat that he was only vaguely aware of the cool-feeling pink covering his torso like a vest.

“The closer we get, the hotter it gets. The closer I get, the hotter it should get.”

The man’s body relaxed involuntarily, feeling covered, and protected for some reason. The edge of the cloud extended below his waist and began making a stroking motion.

“Maybe some of my pink smoke has filtered down all the way to this place and made arrangements for my appearance. I’ve always liked it hotter than most people can stand. A hot, sultry temperature that puts people in the mood to be looser with themselves, to want to recline and stretch out, to feel sweat, and maybe do somethin’ that causes sweating.”

His face was back on the floor again, but feeling heat directly instead of trying to feel for it. The stroking against his pants continued unbidden, and the only thing keeping his hands from joining the motion was her suggestion that kept them bound to the floor.

“Ever have those really hot days where ya just want to lay in bed that morning, or that evening, where you can feel the heat all around ya? Might think to yourself ‘if I’m goin’ to feel hot, I’m goin’ to feel hot the right way.’ Ya hand makes a slow motion under the cover, welcoming the heat the exact moment ya feel the touch.”

Claudia’s new suggestion freed his hands up to move where she described, and the moan he made as his hands and her smoke rubbed him was loud and infectious, giving her a reason to moan herself.

“The hotter it gets, the more ya want that heat, the more ya don’t want it to stop. No need for a fan, air conditioner or cool breeze; that’s not what ya body needs now. Feels too good to stop, it’s unthinkable to do much else from stroke yourself and focus on nothing but what feels good.”

The white-suited woman crouched before the writhing man and blew a new stream of pink smoke over the man, doubling what covered him, covering his hands, assisting in helping him to comply with her wishes. He inhaled some of her pink smoke, and she found that his form improved, became more defined as she did so.

“I’m sure we’re still quite connected to that survival part of ya, a part where a lot of my signature remains. Those important functions are at my disposal, but I see no reason to reshape those primal parts of ya. Just me having been there, with a part of me still there, stresses their importance. Thinkin’ of me, just might make ya breathing deepen. Those nostrils flare like you’re excited, and each breath is just more for you to take in.”

A fresh stream of pink smoke covered his face and entered his nose. He exhaled through his mouth while the pink smoke was inhaled in seconds.

“Thinkin’ of me, every nap, daydream or long night’s sleep you take will just get more vivid. Ya own little getaway from the boring world, a paradise of everything about me. My body, my voice, my gestures and mannerisms. Everything you noticed about me replayed and relived in your deep, fulfilling sleeping.”

Claudia loved how she could actually see George’s eyes and eyelids, and how it looked like he was fighting between staying awake to look at her, and wanting to sleep to let his imagination run wild with his favorite thoughts of her.

“I think when ya think of me, even things you eat will just taste better. If we went on a date, anything you ordered at a restaurant might be the best meal you’ve ever tasted. And who knows where else your appetite might take ya.”

She laughed as it looked like his mouth was chewing on some imaginary snack.

“Nothin’ feels better than to be here with me, in my presence. The sight of me can drive you so wild on the inside, yet so docile on the outside.”

Slits of his eyes opened slightly, and he got enough of a look at Claudia to moan in agony.

“The further down the elevator shaft I go, reaching that hot core, it’s like one heat source meeting another, doubling everything you’re feeling. And you are reaping all the benefits.”

The ride down seamlessly became more horizontal as they moved into nerve pulses that eventually brought them to their destination. Claudia stepped out of the elevator with George in tow, floating in a pink cloud that cocooned him. He looked so peaceful, yet stimulated, as if he was lying in bed in the middle of a wet dream. The minimized spacial awareness was still in effect, so nothing was visible past a few feet in front of them until she remembered her trick, holding her hands together again and throwing them open. Claudia took in her surroundings. The strucuture of the new locale was strange, yet made so much sense. It was like an annex to a huge facility running on automation. The outside had the sophisticated layout of factory with lines of piping and conduits running in concurrent directions. Inside, the further they moved into the interior, the more it resembled what Claudia thought the inside of a car engine would look like, a purely mechanical space with many small functions to service a few important purposes.

“I really shouldn’t be surprised by what I see, and yet I am,” she told herself. “The over-importance…”

The temperature there was nearly as she thought it would be, a very sultry, abundant heat. Steam flowed easily from some overhead piping, the spaces they walked through were enclosed and tight, the smokestacks outside burned hotter than most she’d seen in her life. The only thing that kept its visitors from being bothered by the heat was Claudia’s smoke, that wrapped George in it tightly, and a separate, thinner cloud acting as a forcefield around her. She wasn’t sure she needed it though. She didn’t want George touching the surrounding pipes and such for fear of burning, if that was possible, but she was too curious herself to not test such a thing with her own hand.

Her fingertips touched what looked like a hot pipe, surely carrying steam over a long distance in the factory. She didn’t feel burned by it at all; coming into physical contact with it made her hot, but she found she matched the intense heat of the pipe, and anything else she touched. In a corridor of piping, she leaned her suited back against a wall of them for several minutes, noting how their shared heat increased the longer they touched. George seemed to notice it too, but his eyes remained closed and he was more fidgety in his sleep.

“I think ya wanted me to come here George. So very happy to have me here right now, havin’ Claudia in the belly of the beast, just sets it aflame. Workin’ so hard to impress me, to show me how powerful all of this is. It’s doin’ a wonderful job, I can assure ya that much.”

At the sight of the first vent she’d come across, Claudia took the longest drag of a cigarette since she’d arrived, and blew its contents fully into the vent shaft, feeling her signature not only travel, but spread throughout the system. She waited patiently, and was rewareded by eventually noticing the steam had transformed into Claudia’s smoke, from the piping, to the huge smoke stacks outside.

“Guess you can add ‘Claudia’ to the list of causes of global warmin’,” she smirked.

All the while, George felt he was so close to something amazing. He might call it an orgasm, but he knew it was more. Before he could reach anything, he felt plume of pink across is face, inhaling as much as he could, feeling better inside and out. He also felt Claudia’s hands covering his face.

“Do ya know how amazing we are when we’re so stimulated, so inspired like this?” she whispered deeply into his ears. “We have so much potential in this state, so motivated to do anything we want, anything we desire. Bein’ near me, I know I am what you desire the most. I desire you and so much more. We’ve made unimaginable changes to this place, every structure is what we want it to be. I think if we work together, all of this could be exactly how we want it. I want it a certain way, and you want me, and what I want. Let’s work together; let’s make me so happy.”

She ended her seduction with one last puff and exhaling of smoke into his face as he took her words to heart.

After having decidedly spending enough time in the factory, Claudia and George returned to the elevator, changing it’s trajectory to ascend back up.

It took some time for them to reach the top again; she could sense a change, but could not see it. Once the doors automatically opened, they revealed something of a different layout than before. Claudia stepped out of the elevator, noting first how the floor was no longer wood, but marble. Staring up from the new flooring, the efforts of Claudia’s and George’s signatures working together were laid bare to their eyes.

The house was gone and what remained was a huge penthouse, spread out like the entire top floor of a 5-star hotel. Every previous room separated by walls and doors was now out in the open and sectioned and placed to her liking. The walls at the edge of the condo all carried varied floral designs of white roses, pink carnations, dandelions, tulips, all of her favorite flowers. Stepping forward into her new space, the footsteps of a fully-formed muscular man behind her padded slowly, wearing nothing but a happy smile and a proud erection.

A section of plush couches that sunk into the ground like a pool for more plush cushions was closest to Claudia, and she walked to the opening of the couches, to lounge and enjoy the new domicile she created with her new servile host. She lit a new cigarette, and blew the smoke over him again. He inhaled it graciously, and his body understood the commands laced in the smoke. She reclined as his hands moved to her suit pants to help remove them, while what remained of her smoke went to his groin. Pulling her white pants and pink panties off of her, he went to work on her without any prompting.

Claudia moaned in absolute ecstasy as she surveyed all the work she’d done, around her and below her, and allowed the smoke to stroke so they would soon come together…

* * *

Claudia came back to herself, almost moaning out loud from the orgasm he just had. The neurosurgeon across from her silently had his orgasm, but only in his head.

It took a few moments to regain her bearings; it’d been a long time since she spent so much time in one mind. As a woman who’d gained psychic powers at 19, she loved peering into the minds of other on a daily basis, something just reading thoughts, sometimes controlling them. It fit her nosy nature and internal desire of wanting to know people’s true selves and what went on in their minds. But she’d always wondered for the minds she could penetrate, what the structure of the mind would look like if she were to fully insert a part of herself there.

She smiled as she looked at the good-looking doctor, looking dazed and confused in his own office. The name plate on his desk read “Dr. George Zunis.” Between them on his desk was a diagram of the different parts of the brain, the map which she used to tour his mind. Her time in his head stretched to about a half an hour in the real world. He wasn’t kidding about thinking of the brain structure as symbolically a bunch of inter-connected rooms. She hoped her little power-trip in his mind, making a house into a penthouse, didn’t do any damage to his mind. But the way things went, and finding out that he had his own internal access especially, meant some of her expectations were certainly exceeded. Maybe everything would revert to what it was before she entered, and she’d have the pleasure of renovating that sexy mind all over again.

She was glad the doctor was successful enough to have his own bathroom, she psionically gave him a suggestion to enter it and freshen up there. She would have to make him ignore the small stain of pre-cum there; maybe she’d have to do the same for his receptionist outside. Claudia lit a cigarette while she waited for the doctor to finish, fairly sure he wouldn’t ask her not to again. It remained a marvel to her that she saw regular, greyish cigarette smoke, while he saw the thicker, pinkish type that seemed like the most natural, intriguing thing to him from an illusionary suggestion. It was a product of being enamored with Poison Ivy’s pheromonal hypnotic dust; a cute color with a devastating effect. She couldn’t help but take it a step further in the most creative of ways.

The experimentation was undoubtedly a success in her eyes. She’d have a lot to talk with the doctor about what she saw there, the changes she made, and what he could contribute to help her with other minds. After living with a psychic prowess for four years, she had no idea where her powers would take her, or to their extent, but she intended to find out. She’d certainly establish a link to his own mind to keep track of it, and give Dr. Zunis a few reasons to reach out to her of his own accord.

Claudia still wondered how different things would be if she’d developed her powers as a teenager, or even younger. Maybe fate decided bestowing them when she came of legal age was for the best, with the minds she could have recklessly, intentionally harmed. She chose to never look back, to be proud of who she was despite her past, and to know how exactly what she was capable of. It’d been one adventure after another, educating herself, acquiring minds, affections, and some tributed wealth wherever she went. Her accent, which she could control after several years, always gave the impression of a lower IQ or lesser amount of sophistication, whether people around her said it or thought it. They would appreciate her drawl and old-style jargon like the vocals and lyrics of a siren after she was done with them; undoing everyone’s expectations of her was maybe her favorite part of the power she wielded.

George came back out of his bathroom, making a decent effort to clean his pants. He sat, blank-faced and staring at Claudia, waiting for her next spoken or mental command.

“Instead of just lookin’ at thoughts, I’ve always been curious at the structure of the mind itself, maybe like you’ve wondered in your career what brain surgery feels like. Amazing how much more devastating puffs of smoke and a soft voice cut deeper than any scalpel. Of course, psychic powers help too.”

She reached into his mind, and allowed the subdued part of his mind to come out of his stupor. It took some coaxing as he seemed to enjoy the state she put him in. In less than a minute, he was back to his wakeful, professional self, willing to swear that he’d just spend their whole visit consciously discussing parts of the brain.

“So, Claudia, I hope my lecture on the subject wasn’t too boring.”

“Not at all Dr. Zunis. I’m the one who came to ya about this, so I knew what I was gettin’ myself into. I should thank ya for making it the least boring discussion on the subject ever.”

“That’s very kind of you, kinder than my students when I taught the subject.”

“Before I forget, which part of the brain allows for the toleration of a Stravinsky solo?”

“You’re still on that? It’s just as classic as Beethoven.”

“I’d have to disagree with those people. Besides, Beethoven is better for ya brain.”

“How so?”

She grabbed one of the doctor’s business cards, and wrote a number on the back.

“I’m at this hotel for a spell. Give me some time, and I’ll convince you that Beethoven is all you want to hear, in music at least.”

George snickered at the suggestion, trying to think of a way to respectfully turn her blatant offer down, but that and the rest of his thoughts halted out of shock as it looked like reality was collapsing all around both of them. His visitor didn’t seem to notice what he did, as her face showed no signs of panic. Actually she was almost as strange as the lack of their surroundings.

She looked around with curiosity as if she could see something, and she looked at him. Her hands even made a weird gesture of enclosing something. After she put her hands down, for no good reason, she strolled up to him as if nothing was wrong. The sound of her heels was almost hollow, deep. She sparked her lighter and the sound was just as significant. He didn’t know what brand she smoked, but pink smoke exited her mouth and was blown into his face, bringing a huge wave of apathy with it. From her pocket she produced a set of headphones and placed them in George’s ear, and Beethoven clearly played, creating a dreamy smile on his face.

“I don’t think that’s an offer you can resist George,” each word she spoke was as clear as the sound of each piano key producing a note.

Claudia gave him an intense look that seemed to come with a strange click and tugging on his mind. It wasn’t painful, but it wasn’t exactly pleasant at first. There was a sensation of what felt like an additional presence, a set of eyes in his own mind. It was the kind of thing that would’ve creeped him out, but at that moment it felt…right.

The confused doctor came out of his daydream, or hallucination to see Claudia giving him an intense, yet playful look.

“Sorry, did you say something?”

“I said ‘I don’t think that’s an offer you can resist George.'”

Pleasing images pressed on, in his mind, as if they were his thoughts. It went on until all he could say was

“Ok…”

“Lookin’ forward to your call, darlin’.” Claudia handed him the card she wrote on, and walked away smiling, blowing one last puff of cigarette smoke in his office. He smiled back, watching her put on small earphones with “Fur Elise” playing as she departed.

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