chapter 1Scott had always been a skinny kid. It had never been much of a problem but after his first year in college, he couldn't help wishing he could gain weight. It didn't help that his room mate was a gym rat. They'd been going together but nothing was helping. Scott had even been drinking protein shakes but after a month and a half of sessions with Ryan, he was as skinny as ever.
"It's no wonder you're such a beanpole," Ryan said one evening after they'd eaten dinner. "You've barely eaten anything. You can't gain muscle without fuel, dude."
Ryan was right, he knew it, but Scott had never had much of an appetite. His friends were always commenting on how he'd missed meals or not finished something they'd bought him but it wasn't on purpose. He just didn't have that urge to eat that so many of his friends seemed to have.
The next day, he saw a flyer in the student resource office that caught his eye.
"No motivation? Need to achieve something just out of reach? Let us help you help yourself!"
At the bottom of the flyer was a local number. Scott noted it down and decided to give them a call just to see what it was.
He was sure they wouldn't be able to help him but it didn't hurt to try.
It turned out to be a hypnotist in town that specialised in breaking smoking addictions and helping people lose weight.
"Have you ever helped someone gain weight?" he asked over the phone.
"No..." the voice said on the other end. "Is that something you want?"
"Well, I need to start eating more," he said. "I'm going to the gym but I'm just not able to hit my calorie intake."
"Why don't you come down this weekend and I'll see what I can do for you."
Scott wrote his appointment time down and told the girl on the other side of the call that he'd see her soon.
When it was time from him to make his way down town, he found the directions on his phone and began to get nervous. He'd never even thought about hypnotism before but there was no harm in learning more, was there?
He found the place easily. It was a small place wedged between a restaurant and a bookstore that he'd never really noticed before. A bell rang as he entered the shop. It was a holistic therapy shop with crystals and other things he didn't recognise lining the walls.
"Can I help you?" asked a cheery man behind the counter.
"Uh, I'm here for an appointment with Phoebe," Scott said nervously.
"Certainly! Just go through the curtain over there," the man said, gesturing to the right of the shop. "She'll be right with you."
Scott walked through to a small, well lit room. A girl walked down the stairs in the back and smiled at him confidently.
"You must be Scott," she said and walked over to shake his hand.
He nodded and sat down opposite her when she motioned for him to do so.
"So, I understand you're here to try to change your eating habits," she said.
He nodded and explained the problems he'd been having with remembering to eat and eating enough.
"I have some ideas," she said. "Hypnotism accesses your unconscious mind. I can make someone disgusted by smoking when they've had the habit their whole life. I'm sure I can make your body more accepting of food."
They talked more about the process. Scott thought he'd have been more apprehensive but the longer Phoebe spoke to him, the more relaxed he felt. The way she put it, there was no real risk.
"My plan is to make you associate certain sounds with food and hunger. That way, you can choose to play them at certain times to maximise your food intake. How does that sound?"
"That sounds good," he said.
After they went through what sort of sounds to use and how it would work, Phoebe had Scott lay back on the couch. He'd almost been expecting her to pull out a pendulum or something like that because Scott had never really put much thought into how hypnotism.
Phoebe talked to him quietly, her voice soft as she played chimes in time with her voice. It sounded just like a meditation tape he'd heard back at home. He sat there and listened to her words, slowly drifting until he felt like he was just on the brink of sleep. Her voice was so easy to listen to...
All of a sudden, Phoebe was standing in front of him. He took a breath and came back to himself. The room around him felt like it was falling into place slowly; the real world spent a few moments rendering in his mind before he was fully back to himself.
"Are you okay to stand?" Phoebe asked.
"Uh, yeah, yeah I think," Scott said.
He stood up, his head feeling surprisingly clear and looked at the clock on the wall. Half an hour had passed in the blink of an eye.
"How are you feeling?" she asked.
"Good," Scott said. "Yeah, I'm good."
Phoebe played a chime and the effect was immediate. Scott was ravenous. He started looking around for anything he could eat but then Phoebe played a second, slightly lower chime and his hunger disappeared.
"Wow," he said. "That works surprisingly well."
Phoebe nodded and showed him how he could download the two exact chimes onto his phone. She set them up for him so that he could set a time between the two chimes to give himself a period of time to eat in.
"I'd suggest setting them fifteen minutes apart to start with, maybe a few times a week," Phoebe said. "I'm busy all next week but I can set us up a second meeting in fifteen days to see how it's working for you, does that sound good?"
Scott nodded and Phoebe noted something down in her diary and gave him a business card with her email for and queries and the time and date of his next appointment.
They went over the plan for treatment once more and then Scott left the building surprisingly optimistic.
He stopped by the grocery store on the way home and picked up a few snacks. At first he went for a few different things but then made an effort to buy bigger bags and more options than he usually would have. He was going to push himself, just to see exactly how well it worked.
When he got home, he went to his room and unpacked the bag of food on his bed. He was home alone, which was good, because he didn't know how Ryan would take it.
He looked down at the box of doughnuts, the large bag of chips, two packs of cookies and two cans of soda and wondered how much he'd be able to get through in fifteen minutes. He knew that some of his friends could probably get through it all in some time but it was much more than he'd be able to eat usually.
He picked up his phone and set the two chimes to sound fifteen minutes apart. As soon as the first one sounded, Scott was overcome with an immense hunger. He dug into the closest thing he could, which happened to be the box of doughnuts.
He managed to finish the first four in two bites each, washing them down with gulps of soda. He ate in a way he never had done before: there was no thought involved, he just knew he had to force as much food down his throat as he could. Scott finished the last two doughnuts before tearing into the bag of chips and shovelling handfuls of them into his mouth.
Scott was vaguely aware of the fact that he was starting to feel a little full. He usually would have stopped at that point but he wasn't in control. The chips were gone quickly.
He opened the first pack of cookies and made his way through half of them before the second chime sounded and he froze. His stomach ached, having been pushed further than he ever had before. Scott pushed the remaining food away from himself.
He sat back gingerly, leaning against the wall, and rubbed at his aching belly. He knew it had definitely worked but he didn't know if it was going to do anything long-term.
Scott let himself rest the next day but the day after, he tried again. He made himself some pasta for lunch and purposely made much more than he'd usually eat. He set the chimes up when he was alone and proceeded to stuff his face until his phone allowed him to stop.
He was surprised at how much he managed to eat the second time around, wondering if the hypnosis had helped him in stretching his stomach already. He spent the next half hour recovering, barely able to move from how full he was.
There was something overwhelmingly relaxing about the whole experience. Maybe it was the loss of control or maybe it was the knowledge that he was slowly regaining control of his body. Over the next four days, he used the chimes for another two meals and found himself regularly getting hungry more often.
His energy levels felt higher than they had in a long time.
Slowly, he pushed the times and frequencies of the chimes up higher, until he was using them for one meal a day for thirty minutes. He was always so painfully full after but it was definitely working. He hadn't skipped a meal since the third day into the treatment.
7 chapters, created 5 years , updated 5 years
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