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THE UNWITTING HYPNOTIST

Xavier Perez-Pons

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Ernest Jennings never studied hypnosis techniques. He was just a born hypnotist. He didn’t need to use any technique, he just stared at you with that stupid face he had, and he got you under his control. However, he was not aware of his power until the day he went to ask for an autograph to Rita Hayworth after seeing her in the film “Charlie Chan in Egypt” and immediately she was signing not only the autograph but the marriage certificate by which both they became husband and wife. Naturally, she asked for a divorce immediately after the judge declared them as such, that is, as soon as the hypnotic effects wore off. She alleged mental coercion and the forensic psychologist ruled that, indeed, Jennings had a hypnotic power that he was unaware of until that moment. That also explained why when he went to ask for a job as maintenance worker at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., he was designated chief executive officer. Of course, when the Lehman brothers realized that the new CEO had difficulty distinguishing the stock market from the Fulton Fish Market, he was kicked out.

The secret was not to look him directly in the eyes.

When he went to ENIGMA CONSULTANTS S.L. accompanied by his two sons, he was already fully aware of that anomaly in his eyes, so the first thing he did was to warn Michael and Jacob, who got used to looking at him from the side, out of the corner of his eye. The reason for his enquiry was indirectly related to his ability (or his problem, depending on your perspective) because, unwittingly, the night before he had abducted a couple of extra-terrestrial beings who had tried to abduct him previously. As a result, he now had a flying saucer in the backyard of his Rockaway home, and two big-eyed, little green men who followed him everywhere. And so saying, he took his children's cap and coat off, and Michael and Jacob found themselves face to face with two aliens. The fact is that Jennings wanted to get rid of them, but he did not know how. That's why he had resorted to their consultancy. If he had been fluent in their extra-terrestrial language or they had been fluent in his terrestrial one, that would suffice to order them to take their flying saucer and get out of this planet. But, unfortunately, this was not the case. (You, children, do you realize how important it is to know more than one language?).

After carefully examining the little green men, Michael and Jacob took a cab to Rockaway in the company of the unwitting hypnotist and his two "sons". As Mr. Jennings had claimed, in the backyard of his house, hidden under a tarpaulin, was a strange circular contraption about ten yards in diameter and a transparent dome at its apex. The two investigators considered putting the case in the authorities’ hands, but on realizing that probably the little green men would not come off well, they dismissed this possibility. The only solution, they concluded, was for Mr. Jennings to stop exercising his hypnotic power over his "sons". However, that was not an easy task because they didn’t take their big black eyes off him. Under the watchful eyes of the aliens, therefore, Michael and Jacob thought up a trickery. In an unguarded moment, Mr. Jennings would leave the house unseen while Michael and Jacob stayed at home “babysitting”. With a little luck, the aliens would regain their free will and they would skedaddle on their spaceship.

In general terms, the trickery went as planned. Except for the small detail that, for a gap of two days, Michael and Jacob’s whereabouts were unknown to everyone, including themselves. And when they appeared again, they didn’t remember where the hell they had been or what had happened to them during that period of time. Not even hypnosis was able to unravel that mystery.



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