[Summary: The second script of the second iteration of the Heavy Prey series, exploring common hypnotic tropes. The titles are indicative of the content being explored.]
Let’s talk about fear.
As survival instincts go, it’s fairly straightforward. You perceive something, your brain recognizes it as a threat, your body is primed to react. That’s where the situation grows somewhat more complicated. Instincts begin to vary – are you primed for fight or flight? Or does your brain lock up with indecision, making you freeze instead?
The reality is that none of these things are fixed, nothing is set in stone, every scenario permits a different, distinct, outcome. So, let’s play with the parameters a little bit; we both know you’ve got a thing for certain sorts of villains.
Because, of course, fear runs parallel to arousal, given the proper circumstances. You perceive something, your brain recognizes it as a threat, your body is primed to react…just like before, only there’s a second mental circuit happening, sometimes simultaneously: between the recognition and the reaction, a semi-conscious self-sabotage that funnels fragments of the fear response into lust. You see a familiar, favorite monster, and you get horny.
This could be a problem if you had a sudden need to run, couldn’t it? Brains are funny things, but very rarely are they quite this counterintuitive. Of course, there is no way you’d be getting aroused if the stimuli were real. Part of your brain is aware that you’re not in actual danger…isn’t it?
Or perhaps there’s a tiny bit of you that leans into that self-sabotage. Something slightly askew about your instinct, subverting your sense of self-preservation because underneath all the theory…you want to be the prey.
Now the interesting question is, does that desire to be prey depend at all on the predator in question? Do you have enough time to process and identify before your body starts to react inappropriately to the premise?
Some predators are, as you know, more obvious than others. What happens when the only indicators you have to go on are a marginal increase in room temperature and the faintest trace of an unfamiliar scent?
As with encountering any strange scent, you reflexively take in a deep breath – funny little reflex, isn’t it? Luckily, this smell is surprisingly pleasant…yet it seems off, as if you should know what it is.
Nevertheless, the exploration continues…curiosity is such a dangerous thing. You begin trying to identify the source, which is a quick process: you notice a leafy plant with a lone flower, and you are certain it wasn’t there before. It doesn’t appear to have any kind of pot or container, which you’d mark as a bit strange except you have this intense urge to lean towards the flower and breathe deeply again.
Which is, of course, redundant; the room is filling with the unfamiliar fragrance. Still, the flower seems to beckon you – it’s a vibrant shade of your favorite color…was it that color before? Besides, what harm could a flower do anyway?
Another long whiff of the scent reveals new information: a surprisingly potent soporific effect. You can almost feel the tension draining out of your body in tandem with your perception of the aroma; the longer your breaths in, the more tension flows out. This makes it easy to lean towards the mysterious plant. It is so pretty, after all…
Not a normal color for a tulip, but not quite the proper shape for a daffodil, and the blossom is too large to be an iris. As you contemplate the nature of your fragrant friend, the bulb begins to open, revealing petals that almost glow before your eyes, which you’d notice if the scent didn’t simultaneously get much more pungent.
Each breath is almost overwhelming, so you could be forgiven for not noticing the slight luminescent pulsing of the petals, or even for failing to realize the flower itself is growing larger before your eyes. Besides, it is a beautiful…lotus, yes, that’s the word. You have vague recollections of a story or two about these, but those thoughts are so difficult to hold in your head.
Of course, stories wouldn’t be much help when you are already so heavily sedated, even if it were a perfectly mundane lotus flower. We both know it is anything but normal, otherwise the small sinewy vines that are ever so softly snaking around your arms and legs would be awfully confusing.
Instead, you simply find yourself in a comfortable daze, each successive breath a little deeper than the last. Predatory plants weren’t a concern before, though for a fleeting moment you wonder if you’ve fallen prey to this particular one in the past. But the blossom is so lovely, and it smells so amazing…
A more aware version of you might recognize how the gentle pulsing of the petals has spread to your body or understand that the plant is drawing nourishment from your thoughts, your mind, your will. Your perception, however, is compromised, not that you care.
You can feel a soft smile forming, unbidden, on your lips. It’s so nice of the lotus to wrap you in its vines, so you can enjoy the smell without worrying about moving too far away. Those vines have grown astoundingly fast, too, covering most of your skin by this point. The pressure of an individual vine is imperceptibly light.
Still, the sum of all the vines creates a substantial barrier to motion, not that you’re trying to move. If you were fully conscious, you’d probably wonder how you got so very close to the plant, or how the bloom is almost the size of your head all of a sudden.
Conscious, though, you wouldn’t be so fixated on how the petals are almost dancing, waving in an imagined wind. It’s such a mesmerizingly beautiful display, combined with the brighter pulses. It feels natural to just enjoy, not to concern yourself with anything at all.
Anything except nourishing the blossom, that is. There is a new instinct taking hold deep in your head – the lotus needs you to feed it your thoughts, and you must comply. It feels incredibly important to you, even while you drift deeper under the power of the plant…it’s so hard to keep yourself from falling asleep.
Maybe you’ll just have a brief rest, a short nap. You’re already so comfortable, despite being bound tightly. Yes, have a bit of rest so you can feed the flower more…
In a few minutes, the scent will fade and allow you to drift awake. The flower will almost certainly have disappeared by then, the only question remaining is whether it will take your memory of its presence with it…again.