Sam was a self-proclaimed master hypnotist, having plied the trade since a young age. Male or Female, believer or non-believer, Sam could put them under.
The girl next door? Easy. College room-mate? Feeling sleepy right away. Best friend? Chicken dance the minute someone says "kumquat souffle". Annoying little cousins? Nice and calm the whole weekend of unwanted babysitting. Lovers? Well, with their permission and consent, of course, there was total dominance. Cop trying to issue a speeding ticket? Well, not that time, but with a lesser sense of ethics it would have been a done deal, and a couple of hundred dollars saved.
Sam could sometimes even get someone under just with a look in their eyes to start it off. A little element of control and then something else to really drive it home. Fob watch, crystal on a pendulum (unusually using the reflection of light as a cue to take people under as it swung), sometimes even having the subject hand over a necklace they wore and using that. No one had ever taken more than a minute to go under and be completely controlled by the hypnotist.
Well, except one person. There was one girl Sam couldn't put under, even though she was a willing subject who wanted to go under since the day Sam had started the hobby that grew into a job. Everything was tried over the years, and as the girl became a woman Sam just couldn't get her under. Eye contact, she could break it off just for a split second at times. She could ruin it blinking. And as for the pendulum, she could fail to track it, all too often, to her frustration.
The girl as she was now was a tall brunette, with rather average looks and physique overall. Not quite athletic but not fat or overweight either. She didn't spend all that much time on her looks, because she seemed to be satisfied with how she looked with only a little effort. Not really traditionally attractive, Sam knew, but to the hypnotist she was the most important person in the world. It wasn't love, not by a long shot. The main cause was the simple fact she was the only one Sam had never managed to get hypnotised and under control.
Even enlisting the aid of other hypnotists was of no help. The girl had been going to the professionals before Sam called them colleagues and associates instead, but it was clear none of them could do it.
"You are feeling sleepy..."
"Um, I'm afraid I'm really not."
Even trying to see what the source of the immunity was proved fruitless.
"Perhaps you're expecting something else from this?" One fellow hypnotist had said to her.
"What is there to expect? I've been told so often. You're supposed to feel relaxed, and then grow more and more content until you're asleep with eyes open. The subconcious is all that's listening and you're able to implant the commands. But no matter what we do I'm never relaxed!"
Sam tried almost everything. Comfy locations, relaxing music, warm tea, scented candles, afterglows of massages, and despite Sam's own worries, trying a medicinal-approach that failed just like all the rest. Relaxing under the gaze of the hypnotist never came.
In the end it was an epiphany of sorts. Frustration. The goal had been tried so much for so long that the problem was one of expectation. Sam had expected to be fast, the girl expected to go under fast, and failure led to frustration and sealed a certain addition to the many "no" results that had gone under.
And so it was that Sam tried once more. Hypnotist and subject both lowered expectations. A long stretch was the goal, and trying to be composed and patient.
"Look into my eyes..." Sam whispered, eyes locked with the girls.
"...Look deeper and deeper..."
The girl started straight back, eyes starting to go a little glassy as the pendulum began to swing.
"Follow the crystal. See the light shimmer as it swings. It relaxes you. It interests you. Focus on the crystal, as you feel sleepier...."
Back and forth. Glint Glint Glint.
"You feel relaxed and calm. The crystal calms you. The light relaxes you. The crystal calms you. You feel relaxed and calm..."
Glint Glint Glint. Relaxed and Calm.
"Relaxed, calm, following my voice. Following the voice speaking in your head now. You're calm. You're relaxed. You're so calm you could sleep..."
She was starting to slump a little, but still held upright, still held Sam's gaze, still followed the crystal.
And then it finally happened. Sam could feel it. She was under, she was relaxed, and open. The pendulum stopped and Sam held a gaze with glassy eyes.
"When you hear the sound of fingers snapping, you will awaken. When you hear me say the words 'red banana fishsticks', you will re-enter this state of trance, and leave it again after one minute if no time is specified beforehand. You will be awoken soon, and when you are, you are to stand up, walk out of the room, and read the note on the door aloud. Waking up now, waiting for that sound, those fingers snapping, listening out for the..."
The girl blinked, but found herself standing and walking right away. She left the room, and then read the note the hypnotist had placed.
"Congratulations! At last, you went under! Now you're not the only one on Earth that won't go under. And at long last you're in complete control, Sam! P.S, don't forget to switch off the MP3 player back in the room when you stop reading this note."
Sam blinked, and then grinned. She'd finally conquered the impossible subject, and now, she could put herself under any time she wanted!
Well, just as soon as she stopped the MP3 player...