Steve's got talent
published August 28, 2019
Brendan’s friend comes to visit, but so do his brother’s friends.
Brendan opened his eyes and squinted as the light shone through the curtains. He let out a long, loud yawn and stretched. His brothers were heavy sleepers, he looked over at their beds and saw that both were still completely unaffected by the noise. Their beds were spaced out but still in order from youngest to eldest. Dale was closest to the door, Calvin was in the middle and then Brendan was at the end. It was only their sister Alice who had her own room, though she was now travelling so Brendan was thinking of taking that over as his own space.
Brendan jumped out of bed with a burst of energy that he normally had in the mornings. He yawned again as he passed his brothers’ beds and mused at their contorted sleeping positions. Dale was half hanging out of his bed, face down with his toes touching the floor, his pillow on the floor on the other side of the bed and his blanket somehow flipped sideways so that it was only covering from his shoulders to his calves, wasting the length of it. Calvin was just as amusing but in a different way. He was wrapped around his blanket as if he was holding onto a girl as she slept, with pillows tucked in all around him. Calvin had four pillows, more than Brendan or Dale, but he only ever had one under his head; the other three could be placed anywhere in the bed to add comfort or support, though it was always dream-state Calvin that chose where they would go.
Brendan scratched an itch on his stomach as he walked from his bedroom to the bathroom. He went straight to the toilet and took a long piss. It was very yellow, which made him note that he probably should be drinking more water. He went to the sink and washed his hands, smelling the scent of the new soap after he did. His mother always tried out something different.
He looked at himself in the mirror, particularly examining his skin for any imperfections. He had a few beauty spots on his neck and along his body but his skin was generally clear. This morning however, he noticed he had a large white spot on his chin. He knew that he shouldn’t touch and just let it go by itself, but he didn’t have the patience for that. He burst the spot and washed away the puss, using the new soap again. After that, he leaned into the mirror and took a look at his own face and features. His eyes looked nice, large and blue, which he felt was one of his best features. His skin was tanned and likely had a lot collagen in it, giving it elasticity and a smooth look. Some of his teeth were a bit crooked and he had been waiting to get braces. Others said they didn’t notice that but Brendan was a bit self-conscious of it. His ears were also larger than he would have liked. When he was younger, people used to call him “flappy” or “Dumbo”, though luckily it didn’t stick and now he was quite popular.
He only slept in pyjama bottoms and typically had no problem walking around the house in them along. In front of the mirror, after examining his face, he started looking at his body and twisting around to try and get a look at his back. Whatever bad features his face might have had, his body made up for. He was smooth, tanned and toned. He played a lot of sport and that allowed him to stay fit and lean. He didn’t have bulky muscles or a six-pack, but he could definitely see the outline of what could be. He gently rubbed his body and continued to look at himself up and down.
“Are you nearly finished?”
He looked to the left and saw his mother standing outside the open door looking amused. Brendan smiled with a bit of embarrassment but then shrugged it off.
“I’m just making sure I have no deformities”
“I know you don’t - come in for breakfast” his mother replied, “DALE! CALVIN! BREAKFAST!”
Brendan made his way to the kitchen and sat down. He always had the healthy choice - granola with fruit and milk. His father was already at the table flicking through an iPad.
“What time is Simon coming?”
Simon was Brendan’s longest and closest friend. It was normal for them to hang out at the weekend and this weekend they would be at Brendan’s house.
“He should be here in about an hour”
“Okay, so the same time as Jack and his brother”
Brendan nodded absently. He was aware Jack was coming… but wait. His brother?
“You mean Steve is coming too?” Brendan asked his father, looking confused.
“Yeah, Calvin has invited him along too” his father replied without looking away from the iPad.
Just then Brendan’s two sleepy-headed brothers stumbled through the doorway and found their way to the kitchen table. Both simultaneously plonked down on available seats and started digging into cereal and toast. Brendan turned to Calvin who had just picked up a mug of hot tea and was beginning to slurp on it.
“Why did you invite Steve?”
Calvin looked at him without changing his expression. It seemed as if the invitation wasn’t irregular at all.
“I get along with him. We got on well when I stayed at Jack’s house last weekend. Why?”
“I dunno… I just wasn’t expecting it. He isn’t someone I expected to see here” Brendan replied. He shrugged it off and continued his cereal.
An hour later, Simon arrived. Just as he and Brendan went into the house, another car arrived with Jack and Steve. Brendan waved distantly and went inside with Simon. Just because Steve was invited by Calvin didn’t mean that Brendan had to hang out with him. He didn’t have anything against Steve but they were just from different groups.
Brendan and Simon went outside and were playing a game of penalty shootouts while his brother and friends were inside. However, Calvin and company soon came out and joined in the game too. While Brendan hadn’t been eager to mix groups before, he found that sport usually put him at ease and now all of them were getting along. Brendan even complimented Jack and Steve on their soccer skills even though they didn’t play on a team - maybe they should. After the game, they all went inside and played Calvin’s Xbox. Brendan wasn’t really into video games alone but he liked playing against other people. He was playing a fighting game against Steve when Calvin piped up from behind.
“We’re going to put on a talent show - everyone needs to think of a talent”
“I think we know I’m the only one who has talent here” Brendan laughed as he button mashed the Xbox controller. He lost the match against Steve but put his hand out to shake Steve’s.
“Good game” he said smiling and closing his eyes, trying to do his best impression of a humbled footballer.
As for this talent show, Brendan couldn’t help but be amazed at how much of a child he became when spending time with his brothers. If anyone had suggested this outside of his family home, he never would have even considered it. Everyone was seated in the living room, including Brendan’s parents who were given the honour of being the main judges.
First up was Calvin, Brendan scoffed as his brother sat down at the family piano and played one of his compositions. Calvin was truly talented musically and Brendan supposed this is why the show was suggested by him in the first place. Of course, everyone gave high scores. Brendan laughed to himself looking at his younger brother’s face as he saw his dismay from not get 10/10 from everyone.
Jack was up next, he had grabbed a plastic box from the kitchen and sat on it in front of everyone. Like Calvin, his talent was also musically inspired as he created drum beats using the box. He also started to sing with the extremely catchy beat in the background. Brendan was hoping that he wouldn’t be the only one that didn’t have a musical gift. Jack finished up and got similarly high marks to Calvin.
Steve was up next. He stood up and grabbed a chair, placing it in front of the… “audience”.
“I’m going to demonstrate the power of hypnosis. But I’m going to need a volunteer.”
Steve looked around waiting. Brendan seemed to feel Steve’s look fix on him for a few milliseconds longer than the others. He remembered that Steve practiced hypnosis. There was one day that he was going to let Steve try on him before soccer practice but he was interrupted by Brendan’s friend Callum. He definitely felt something that day. He started to rise from his seat as he was a little curious to see -
“I’ll be your volunteer” said Simon as he got to his feet.
Brendan rested back down in his chair. Nevermind then. He looked at Steve and for a moment he detected an expression of annoyance on his face but it quickly returned to a showman’s smile. Brendan knew why Steve might be annoyed. Simon wasn’t the easiest person to get on with as a classmate. He was pretty ruthless with insulting others that he didn’t consider to be popular, he would also go out of his way to make others feel uncomfortable. Brendan knew that he himself could take things too far sometimes, but never as far as Simon.
As Simon took the seat beside Steve, Brendan could see his devious smirk and knew he was going to make fun of the situation. As soon as he sat down, his head fell back and he started to make long, loud snoring noises. The others laughed and Steve even kept smiling, whether or not he was making an extra effort to stay pleasant, Brendan couldn’t tell.
“Come on” Steve said as he tapped the back of Simon’s head slightly, motioning to raise it up.
“Yes, masssstteeerrrr” Simon said exaggeratedly as he raised his head, stuck out his tongue and went cross-eyed. Once again he got the laughs.
Steve leaned down and took Simon’s wrist with one had while raising his other hand in front of Simon’s eyes. He started to flutter his fingers and move his hand from side to side.
“I want you to follow my fingers, your eyes on my fingertips. Concentrate on following, follow, follow…”
Simon, still with a smirk on his face, was doing as Steve asked. Brendan was sure that even Simon was curious as to whether or not this would work.
“That’s it, don’t take your eyes off my fingertips”
As Steve’s fingers fluttered around in front of Simon’s face, Simon’s eyes were pulled in all directions. Brendan even noticed that he was going cross-eyed every now and then, whether it was looking up at Steve’s fingertips or down at them. Suddenly, Steve tugged Simon’s wrist and said “Sleep!”. Simon’s eyelids shut instantly and his body seemed to go limp. He fell against Steve’s chest while Steve was now supporting his head with one hand. Brendan’s mother gasped in disbelief and his younger brother Dale left out a cry which was a mix of excitement and laughter.
“When I count to three, you’re going to wake up. When that happens, the number 7 will be completely wiped from your memory. The number 7 no longer exists and nothing fits in its place… 1, 2, 3 - wide awake!”
Simon sat up with a dazed look on his face. He turned to Steve and smiled more humbly than before. With that, Brendan saw that the Simon’s belief was genuine.
“Now Simon, hold out your fingers and count as I touch each one”
Simon held out his fingers as instructed and Steve touched them one-by-one.
“1… 2… 3… 4… 5…”
“Okay, that’s one hand”
“6… 8… 9… 10… 11-”
Everyone but Simon was laughing quietly in amusement. Simon had a look of pure confusion on his face.
“11 fingers Simon? You’re not an alien are you? Let’s try again”
Steve touched Simon’s fingers again, faster this time.
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11″
“11 again? I’m pretty sure most people only have 10 fingers. Try again”
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11″ Simon repeated with a confused look on his face as he looked up at the others.
Brendan was laughing at this little trick played on his friend. Simon looked at Brendan and he started smiling at his own stupidity. Steve looked please so far.
“Simon, look at me, look at my eyes” Steve said taking his finger and making a line from Simon’s eyes to his own. The smile had now fallen from Simon’s mouth as he stared deeply into Steve’s eyes.
Simon slumped against Steve again.
“Now, we’re going to take a little break and deepen the trance. The effects will be more… entertaining, I promise. We will be over there, you can continue with the show”
Steve whispered something to Simon who then got to his feet. Steve guided Simon to the corner of the room and sat him down. He leaned down next to him and was speaking quietly to him. Dale had already stood up to get ready to do his act but Brendan couldn’t help but to repeatedly glance to Steve and Simon in the corner, entertained by his entranced friend.
Dale did a set of amateur gymnastics, which were awful but their parents still gave him high marks. Brendan supposed this wouldn’t be much of a competition at all. He got up and grabbed the soccer ball.
“My score is 66″ he said flatly as he started doing keepie-uppies with the ball.
He got to 89 when he tried tossing the ball and catching it on the back of his neck, only for it to fall to the ground. The rest of them clapped and Brendan bowed, not paying attention to the score he was given. Just as he sat down, Steve and Simon were walking over again. Simon seemed to be perfectly fine and free from trance now. Steve stood beside the chair and Simon sat down again. Steve took out his phone and stood in silence for a few seconds until music started playing. It was ‘You can leave your hat on’ by Tom Jones. Right when the music started, Simon’s glare and smile turned seductive and he started to peel himself off the chair. Everyone already burst out laughing when they realised what was happening. Simon was thrusting his hips to the music and looking at everyone in the most provocative way he could. Brendan, his brothers and Jack had all taken out their phones and started videoing.
Simon turned to face the chair and leaned onto it, waving his ass while twisting his head back to make eye contact. From there, he began to ‘get low’, slowly… only to snap up again and grab the back of his jeans. Brendan’s mother left out a “Whoop!” followed by laughter when Simon lowered his jeans and underwear a little to show halfway down his bare ass cheeks. In response to Brendan’s mother’s cry, Simon turned and pointed at her while nodding. His hands crossed over each other and caught the bottom of his t-shirt. He pulled it off slowly, as if in slow motion, so that he was making everyone wait to fully reveal his body. Brendan was laughing hard at that - it looked like his friend really did think he was some sort of professional stripper.
Simon approached Brendan’s mother and wrapped his shirt around the back of her neck. He started dancing against her when Steve shouted “Simon, are you sure that’s the right parent?”. With that, something seemed to click in Simon’s head and he switched his focus to Brendan’s father. That got a huge roar of laughter from everyone, including the parents. Simon was sitting on Brendan’s father’s lap, looking at him seductively and trying to sing along to the words of the song. He jumped from his lap and started to unbutton his jeans, he begun to pull them down when Steve shouted again.
“What about Brendan!?”
Simon’s focused changed again and Brendan saw his shirtless friend approach with a look that said he was ready to eat him. Brendan, knowing this was all in good fun, passed his phone to his brother, stood up and grabbed his friend’s hips. He then grabbed Simon’s unbuttoned jeans and pulled them down to his ankles. Laughter erupted again but Simon was oblivious. He stepped out of his jeans and was now just in his black boxers and socks. He turned his back to Brendan and pressed up against him. Brendan reached out and ran his hands along Simon’s toned body, comparing it a little with his own. Simon turned around again to face Brendan. He put his arms around Brendan’s neck and jumped. Brendan was just able to react fast enough to catch his friend who was now looking at him hungrily and stroking his face. Suddenly, the music stopped. Brendan looked with amusement as Simon came back to reality and looked at himself, then Brendan, and then struggled from his arms to the ground. He went to pick up his pants when Steve came along again.
“Nothing out of the ordinary, Simon”
Simon stopped mid-reach for his jeans and sat back in his original seat, as if his show didn’t just happen. Steve was applauded by everyone. Simon applauded too, though he didn’t seem to know why he was. Brendan looked at his friend who was seated in his underwear and was looking forward to showing him the video of his act later.
After the talent-show finished, they started playing video games again. Brendan would find himself chuckling to himself every now and then when he saw that Simon still didn’t realise his lack of clothing. After about an hour, Brendan got up to go to the bathroom. He hadn’t notice Steve, Calvin and Dale leave bore now. It had just been he, Simon and Jack who had been playing video games. On his way to the toilet, Brendan passed his bedroom and saw his brothers sitting on the centre bed. Calvin was staring blankly ahead and Dale was looking at Steve who was seated on the bed opposite. Steve was holding Dale’s wrist and fluttering his fingers in front of his eyes, just as he had done with Simon. Brendan was intrigued and watched as his brother’s wrist was tugged and his body went limp. Brendan’s bladder was ready to burst so he snuck away to the bathroom. He took a piss, looked in the mirror at himself again and washed his hands. When he exited, he crept up by the door again to see how his brothers’ session was going. Calvin was still staring blankly ahead, clearly having been the first to go under. Steve was now speaking in a hushed tone to Dale, but Brendan could only make out bits and pieces.
“relaxed… listen… obedient… lose control… sleeeeep”
Although he couldn’t hear everything, the words seemed to bring Brendan back to the day he was going to do the session with Steve in school. He felt his brain go a bit foggy before shaking his head to get rid of the dreamy feeling. He peered through the slightly-open door again and saw Steve snap his fingers. As his brothers seemed to snap out of their trances, Steve spoke in a normal voice again.
“Now, do you remember who you obey?”
“Yes, we obey you” his brothers replied simultaneously
“And what are you going to help me achieve?”
“We will help you make Brendan your slave”
Brendan recoiled from the door and then snapped back to hear what else would be said.
“Good. Your brother will be my slave and you are completely happy with that idea. He will soon do whatever I tell him, whenever I tell him.”
With that, Brendan burst open the door. Steve turned around and his face went completely white.
“What the hell are you talking about? Stay away from me you freak!”
“Go!” Brendan threatened
Steve got up from the bed and hurried past Brendan. He rushed over to his brothers and shook both of them.
“You’re just faking, right?” he asked them, slightly worried of the answer
“What are you talking about?” Calvin asked, looking genuinely perplexed.
“Steve - he hypnotised you. He said he made you obey him?” Brendan replied.
Calvin and Dale looked at each other and smiled awkwardly, making Brendan feel a little bit crazy.
“No… I don’t think so Bren…” Calvin replied dismissively.
Brendan stood up, took in a breath and sighed. He wasn’t sure what had just happened but his brothers seemed fine now. He left the room and found Simon playing the Xbox alone, still in his underwear.
“Where are Steve and Jack?” Brendan shouted to his father in the kitchen, wanting to clear things up.
“Steve was feeling a bit sick so your mother has taken them home!”
Brendan sat down beside Simon, still unsure about what he just saw and what to expect. One thing was for sure, he wouldn’t be asking Steve to hypnotise HIM any time soon.