Tuesday, 14 October 2014

There Are More Ways Than One to Keep Her Under Lock and Key

I just love pictures like this!  Images that inspire and stimulate the imagination, often through their sheer simplicity.  Take this photograph for instance, at first sight nothing much going on, just a girl standing in a rather ill-fitting uniform dress.  But look deeper, take another look.  Just one glance at the girl’s eyes and a whole scenario suggests itself, opens up.  I found this on Tumblr and added it to my Tumblr blog last week – a welcome break from struggling with my new book (which this scenario has absolutly nothing at all to do with, incidentally).

“…That’s it… Good girl!  Look deep, deep, deep in to the pattern, mind emptying like a doll, just like a dolly, a plastic plaything waiting to be told what to do next, frightened to be out of its box…  Shall we put you back in your box where you’ll feel all safe and sound and secure?  Yes?  Then let’s get you back to your room, all safely locked away…  Come along, my Little Dolly School Child…  Yes, I think we’ll call you that from now on…”

“Yes, miss…”

‘Little Dolly School Child’ – How she hated the title the woman had just dubbed her, or how she WOULD hate it, once she came to be aware of it, consciously that is!  The school uniform summer dress she had been crammed into – and crammed WAS the operative word, it seemed at least a size too small, perhaps smaller – had been the last straw, at her age.  It looked – and made her feel – ridiculous and she hated herself for kowtowing to her governess’s wishes in letting herself be squeezed into it. 

But there was so much more to it, to her life, now, so MANY other indignities she had ended up submitting to since that woman had come to stay – a lock on her door, not being allowed downstairs, having a new room set aside for her high under the eaves decorated like a child’s room, a bed which looked more like an adult-sized crib, that rule about being ‘seen and not heard’.  This was only the latest manifestation of that woman’s domination – Somehow she just didn’t seem able to stand up to her.  But making her wear a child’s school dress was going a step too far.  They’d underestimated her; she was going to make a break for it, run away; all she needed to do was find some other clothes to change into first… Well such had been the plan at least…  But…

She’d made it to the drawing room – and become frozen in space as if her brain had just iced over. A spinning, shimmering, eye-catching mobile had been mounted in the doorway, just above head height – another hung in front of the window.  Both were identical to the one which hung above her bed and at which she had spent countless hours gazing, slack-jawed and glassy eyed while the ‘relaxation tape’ her governess had introduced droned on and on and on in soft lilting feminine tones about… About what?  She could never quite remember.  Where they had been installed she was bound to catch sight of one or the other of them – and when she did… 

She was utterly captivated, rooted to the spot, had been unable to move for over half an hour, totally under the control of an entire set of deep-seated post-hypnotic commands.  She was very much aware of the bars on her room’s window, she was totally unaware of the bars which had been erected around her mind, ring-fencing her personality in within her own body, didn’t even comprehend such a thing as being possible. 

The shimmering concentric series of hollow two-dimensional spinning stars, each mounted within a larger one and spinning independently from it, would seem hypnotic to anyone one.  But when that individual has been trained month after will-sapping month, the object set up as a hypnotic trigger, obedience to it deeply and patiently ingrained – well, as a security measure it was better than the strongest lock.  She hadn’t even been aware of her governess entering, of her governess layering trigger phrase on trigger phrase, deepening her trance, reinforcing the effect such that in future she wouldn’t even be able to get THIS far unaccompanied…  It was why she’d ‘accidentally’ left the girl’s door unlocked in the first place.


Vlad said...

It's like you have said in several previous stories, mental bonds are the strongest. Also forging a cage out of the victim's mind makes for more interesting reading.

Toyntanen said...

HI Vlad and thanks for your comment.

I love that term you use, 'forging' as in "forging a cage out of the victim's mind", although for some reason I have never liked the term 'victim', though I'm not sure why. I usualy prefer ther term 'subject' , but having said that, in the case of the new book the term 'victim' is probably the more apt.

This particular segment was inspired more by something I read of someone else's work than by anything in the new book. There are many paths to forging mental fetters, just as there are many paths to be explored leading to physical incarceration, and more to isolation than physical bariers such as bars and locks.

Toyntanen said...

One thing I neglected to say was that I am also starting work on what will be - to all intents and purposes - a biography of sorts, but one primarily focussing on my experience of living with dyslexia.

I have often thought of doing something like this over the years - usually when some humorous dyslexia-related anecdote or other has come to mind - and have always imagined it as a kind of after-the-event diary. And thus the provisional title I have come up with:

Dairy of a Dyslexic. From Udder-achiever to...

(Yep! That's right! I really CAN'T tell the difference between a journal and a bottle of 'Gold Top')

Anonymous said...

Simply have to dress like an infant school girl would be enough to keep any grown woman inside. I hated when I had to go out dressed in a Gingham school dress like this with ankle socks and cardigan. No need for sophisticated mind control

Toyntanen said...

Ah! But it is in going about enforcing that imposition and other restrictive stipulations - where the modern miss is concerned - where the various methods and techniques of mind control come to the fore. Such techniques need not be so obvious and overt as depicted here, and may come down simply to force of personality; it all comes down to the girl and her own determination and strength of will.

Of course, whatever the route, once the disciplinarian has the girl in uniform (whatever form that uniform might take - it is the symbolism of her subserviance to the diciplian's will that is important)he or she will automaticaly have the psychological upper hand in imposing further behavioural restrictions.