M4M kink writing. Control and transformation of men. 18+ only.

Shadow’s grasp

Ted turned down a deserted corridor, leaving the lobby behind and cautiously entering the “OFF LIMITS” area of the historic Capitol Theater. The lobby’s lush decor and the scent of stale popcorn gave way to a functional, slightly chaotic backstage, dimly lit by naked bulbs that cast long, quivering shadows across the walls. The floorboards creaked underfoot with Ted’s every step, disturbing the otherwise tomblike silence.  

Startled by a low-hanging cobweb, Ted reflexively brushed off the lapels of his plaid jacket and rubbed his face. The last thing he needed was a spider in his beard. As he passed racks full of musty old costumes and shelves stacked high with paint cans, he straightened his collar and thumbed the button of the tape recorder in his jacket pocket. This would be the most influential scoop of his career if he could only keep his nerves in check.  

He continued deeper into the bowels of the theater until he approached a row of dressing rooms, each marked with a star and a nameplate. The first one bore the name of the stage hypnotist whose sold-out show had captured the entire city’s attention. After a brief appearance on the local morning TV show, the Amazing Shadow packed the house every night, single-handedly bringing the Capitol Theater back from the brink of bankruptcy and kickstarting the revitalization of the entire downtown core.  

To Ted, it all seemed too good to be true. His editor at The Daily told him that investigating the Amazing Shadow was a waste of time. His coworkers lambasted him for criticizing such a positive development in the city’s beleaguered downtown. Even his boyfriend Paul tried to dissuade him from pursuing the story. “Babe, you ought to go see his show before you judge the guy,” Paul told him uncharacteristically sternly. “The Amazing Shadow is doing great things for this town, and he deserves our support.”  

Ted confirmed the tape recorder in his pocket was running and then rapped his knuckles sharply against the dressing room door. There was a brief pause, then a low “Enter” beckoned him inside.  

The dressing room was even more dimly lit than the corridor outside, and Ted blinked a few times to force his eyes to adjust. The space was cramped but organized, with trunks and suitcases stacked five feet high against one wall and a large mirror dominating another. Seated on a small sofa in the corner, the Amazing Shadow adjusted His necktie and looked at Ted expectantly. Ted didn’t notice the door clicking shut behind him, sealing the room with palpable intensity.  

“I know what you’re doing,” Ted began. His heart pounded in his chest, but his face was determined. He furrowed his brow as he continued, his voice steady and accusatory. “Your stage tricks. They’re not just illusions. You’ve been manipulating people. Controlling them.”  

The Amazing Shadow stood and crossed the room. The man cut an impressive figure in His tailored tuxedo. Ted struggled against the urge to withdraw as the hypnotist approached him. He was at least a head taller than Ted, with a barrel chest and an immaculate salt-and-pepper beard. The tuxedo fit Him perfectly in all the right places, accentuating His broad shoulders and massive thighs. Ted gulped. If the Amazing Shadow hadn’t been a stage hypnotist, He could have played professional rugby or done strongman competitions. 

Shadow leaned in, a smile playing at the corner of His lips. “Ted, My dear assistant,” He said smoothly, “you have quite the imagination. But I assure you, what I do is purely entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less.”  

Ted opened his mouth to ask how the Amazing Shadow knew his name, but the hypnotist shook His head curtly, preempting the question. Ted’s mouth went dry, and the words on the tip of his tongue disappeared. He struggled to think in the face of a fog slowly creeping into his mind, clouding his thoughts.  

“P-people have been—” he stammered, his voice creaking. “Everyone is talking about You. You’re doing something to them.”  

The hypnotist came closer, so close that Ted could feel the man’s body heat radiating off Him. Ted inhaled his scent and resisted the urge to close his eyes. A rapidly growing part of him wanted to lean forward and let the Amazing Shadow envelop him.  

“Ted, think about it. Why would you confront Me here, alone, if you truly believed I had any power over you? That would be very stupid of you, wouldn’t it?”  

Ted nodded dumbly. The Amazing Shadow’s argument was predicated on a level of logic Ted struggled to comprehend.  

“Perhaps you’re just tired,” the hypnotist continued, “or confused by the bright lights and the thrill of the stage.”  

Ted swayed on his feet. Bright lights? The thrill of the stage? But they weren’t on a stage; they were in a dressing room, weren’t they? The Amazing Shadow continued speaking, but His voice became an indistinct murmur to Ted.  

“Maybe you’re right,” Ted whispered, unsure of what he was agreeing to. His resistance crumbled under the weight of the skilled manipulator’s hypnotic power. “Maybe it was just the excitement.”  

“Of course,” the Amazing Shadow agreed, placing a commanding hand on Ted’s shoulder. “You will do wonderfully tonight. You have such a natural talent for the stage. It would be a shame not to embrace it.”  

Ted felt the warmth of the Amazing Shadow’s hand spread into his shoulder and, from there, to his entire body. He nodded slowly, the original purpose of his trip to the Capitol Theater fading into confusion and resignation. The Amazing Shadow’s presence strangely comforted and reassured him. As the hypnotist’s deep voice droned on, Ted drifted more and more deeply into a pleasant, dreamless sleep.  

The Capitol Theater was alive with applause as the Amazing Shadow concluded another mesmerizing trick. The house roared with laughter and cheers as the onstage volunteers obeyed the Amazing Shadow’s increasingly absurd and comical suggestions. Ted clapped along with the audience, his hands meeting in perfect, rhythmic timing. The plaid-wearing, stylish-yet-scruffy investigative journalist was now garbed in a garish, sparkly blue blazer that shimmered under the stage lights with his every movement. The blazer paired incongruously with a neon pink bow tie that seemed to glow against this starched white shirt. Ted’s broad, cheesy smile, slicked hair, and gaudy attire made him the epitome of a vaudeville assistant, designed to catch every eye in the room.  

“Thank you, thank you to My wonderful audience volunteers,” the Amazing Shadow bellowed, sweeping His cape dramatically. “And let’s not forget My incredible assistant, Ted, without whom the mystical acts of mesmerism you’re seeing tonight would not be possible!”  

As the crowd cheered, Ted stepped forward. The perfect picture of delight, he bowed and waved to an audience obscured by the blinding stage lights. Yet inside, his stomach churned with dread and frustration. His mind screamed in silent protest, starkly contrasting the jovial, overbright figure he cut. Each movement felt choreographed by someone else, and each smile was a mask fitted so tightly that it felt fused to his skin.  

He handed the Amazing Shadow a sealed envelope, a prop for His next act. Ted’s fingers brushed against the coarse paper, the sensation both alien and distant. He knew he ought to resist, that he should disrupt the show and break free, but his limbs wouldn’t obey. His body was no longer his ally but a traitor, succumbing to the Amazing Shadow’s invisible puppet strings.  

As he stepped to the side of the stage, positioning himself behind the prop table, Ted’s thoughts raced. This isn’t me. I’m not the Amazing Shadow’s assistant. I’m a journalist. But the thoughts faded as quickly as they came, drowned out by the hypnotic commands he was compelled to obey and the intoxicating approval of the delighted audience.  

The Amazing Shadow continued act after mind-warping act, and Ted’s internal resistance waned. His obnoxious, eye-catching costume felt more comfortable, and his movements less forced. The energy in the theater grew with each eruption of laughter and applause. Meanwhile, Ted’s identity merged with the role the Amazing Shadow had crafted for him. He laughed at the hypnotist’s corny jokes, assisted with seamless perfection, and accepted the audience’s applause as if it were his life’s calling.  

In a quiet moment, as the lights dimmed and the Amazing Shadow prepared the audience for the grand finale, Ted caught his reflection in a piece of stage glass. The man smiling back was a stranger, his eyes too bright, his grin too wide. Ted watched his reflection, a spectator in his own body, wondering if the real him was still there somewhere, waiting to break free or whether this had been the real him all along. 

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  1. Charlie Mann

    I write for NYCRubberBound, are you interested in other contributors?

  2. Charlie Mann


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