Early Bird Sneak Peeks: “Um…” and “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”!

Hi all! It’s time for another Early Bird Sneak Peek, where I share a glimpse at the story my lucky Early Bird patrons will be enjoying next Saturday thanks to their pledges at my Patreon page! Of course, if you’re not an Early Bird patron, you’ll still get a story next week–“You’re Not an Ordinary Girl”, teased previously as an Early Bird story, has already been submitted to the EMCSA. But the Early Bird patrons will be getting both “Um…” (MC) and “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” (MC MF MD)!

“Um…” is another induction piece, this one based very specifically on the use of the word ‘um’ as a trigger to stop thought. Here’s a taste:

“I know it sounds silly at first, but when you think about it, ‘um’ is a very powerful thought-stopping word. You’ve probably had plenty of times when you were in the middle of a train of thought, or perhaps even just trying to start one up, and your brain simply…stopped. That story you constantly tell yourself in your head, a narrative of your thoughts and decisions and actions as you take them, just melted away into nothing. And all that was left was a single word, one you maybe even said out loud. ‘Um…’

“And you’ve always thought that you said ‘um…’ simply because you didn’t have anything else to say, but…what if it was the other way around? What if every time that ‘um’ slipped into your head, it broke up your train of thought and left only itself for you to think? What if that simple, silly little word popped every thought in your mind like they were tiny soap bubbles every time you said it, every time you thought it, until all that you could think was ‘Um…’

“Out of Sight, Out of Mind”, on the other hand, is about a little experiment Paul is running. Daphne’s volunteered to help him test his device, but she’s finding it hard to understand why he keeps saying he’s already started the test. Here’s a taste:

Daphne tried not to let her irritation with the length of the session (four hours? Had it really been four honest-to-god hours of this and they still hadn’t even really started?) change her answer. “I think you’re very intelligent, Paul. I’ve told you that before. And I do think that you’re going to be a pioneer in your field. I don’t know that you’re already doing things that nobody else could do, but I don’t think it would surprise me if you said you did.”

Paul made a few more notes. By this time, Daphne imagined his professors reading the transcribed version like it was the screenplay for ‘Memento’ or something. “Okay, good. Now, the last question. Would you believe me if I told you that the device under the sheet beamed a harmless radiation directly into the optic nerve that put women into a trance state, during which they were heavily susceptible to suggestions? One that they wouldn’t remember at all afterward.”

“No,” she said firmly. “Because that’s stupid.” The first time he asked this question, Daphne had tried to be diplomatic. But it hadn’t aged well, and by the…sixth repetition? Seventh? She was losing count. However many it was, she was done tip-toeing around Paul’s feelings on the subject. If he wanted her to believe that this stupid thing worked, he should just quit fucking with the game of Twenty Questions and show it to her.

Hope you enjoy them!


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