She was by far the most beautiful woman in her high school graduating class; but that would have probably been true even if the class had 300 members instead of 30.
Ingrid had dreams of becoming a model and actress; like so many young women with similar goals, she ended up in New York, courtesy of Greyhound. She found the cheapest apartment she could, and set out to get any kind of work in the field, no matter how small.
Despite her obvious beauty, her lack of experience and training was a big strike against her in the highly-competitive world of New York modeling. After 10 weeks, her savings were almost exhausted, and she faced having to go back home in defeat. More than anything, she did not want to have to admit failure.
prayed for a solution; and it arrived that night, although not in the form she
Most nights, Ingrid had stayed in, tired and discouraged after another long, fruitless day in the waiting rooms of modeling agencies, casting offices and the like. But something told her she didn’t have much time left in New York; she had to get out, and see some people.
She took a bus, and soon found herself in the heart on Manhattan. She had decided to make it a real night on the town, but had made no specific plans. She wore a short, form-fitting red velvet dress, high-heeled white pumps, an imitation diamond necklace and matching earrings, and looked absolutely sensational.
For a while, Ingrid walked along the street, not knowing what to do with herself. She didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of bars; but was in no mood to dine alone in a restaurant. Finally, she stopped at a sign outside of a small club. Inside a metal frame with cracked glass was a poster announcing, “The Amazing Zargon! Master of the Mind!: She looked at the picture of the wild-eyed character, and decided this might be amusing.
She paid the small cover charge and went inside.
Ingrid was glad that at least some of the paying customers were dressed up nicely. She didn’t feel so bad about her own outfit as she crossed her legs and ordered herself a drink. She was on her third glass when The Amazing Zargon finally stepped on the stage.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” The Amazing Zargon said with a smile. “I’m looking for a lovely young lady to come on stage and help me in my hypnosis act. Would any of you out there like to be hypnotized?”
Ingrid was supporting her tipsy self with her arm on the table. Her elbow slipped; however, her head nodded and the hypnotist smiled. He stepped off stage and helped her back on with him.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, you will now see a few simple commands that I don’t recommend trying at home without training,” The Amazing Zargon said as he turned toward Ingrid in a chair. He waved his hands in front of her bemused expression while saying “You are getting sleepy....very sleepy." Ingrid thought it would be fun to go along with him, so she let her eyelids droop and close. Zargon continued to speak to her, but her conscious mind did not hear him until he proclaimed: "When I snap my fingers you will be -- a chicken!”
Ingrid immediately stood up with her hands on her hips and elbows flapping while she clucked on stage. The audience all burst out laughing at the lovely young lady appearing ridiculous.
“Now my dear, you will be a dog!” The Amazing Zargon declared as Ingrid dropped on all fours and started moving about with a barking sound coming from her mouth. “Stand up, at attention!”
Ingrid did just that as he walked around her and smiled slyly. “You are now a plastic mannequin. You can not move or even blink. You don’t need to eat, sleep or even breathe.” He snapped his fingers and she could feel her body locking in place.
Walking in front of Ingrid, the hypnotist proved his point first by waving his hand in front of her blank, staring gaze, then by tapping her on the forehead and watching her rigid body drop to the pad on the stage floor without flinching. She was stiff as a board.
Zargon smiled to himself; she had come in alone, was supremely beautiful, and a perfect hypnosis subject. She would meet his friend Donna’s needs perfectly. At this point, Zargon bowed to the audience, and then summoned his assistant, who would be with him for the remainder of the program. The first thing they did was pick up Ingrid by her head and feet and carry her backstage. Ingrid remained rigid like a statue.
“We need to give her a chance to loosen up a bit,” Zargon told the audience with a laugh. But of course, he was going to do no such thing. He left Ingrid frozen backstage for the remainder of his act. “It will give her a chance to get used to it,” he thought to himself.
Zargon had never made it to the big time, but he had enough of a show to give the customers in this small club their money’s worth. At the end of the evening, he bowed to the round of polite applause and quickly hurried off stage.
He walked into his dressing room, and found Ingrid, still immobile. He placed a hand on her cheek, and stared into her unblinking eyes. “I’m sure you’re wondering what’s going to happen to you, dear. Well, all I can say is, your life is never going to be the same again. But I don’t want to tell you exactly what Donna has in store for you. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.”
magician sat down, picked up the phone, and dialed a number from memory. “Donna?
It’s Zargon....I’ve got the goods for you....She’s an almost six foot tall blonde
beauty, somewhere in her late teens or early twenties.....I want a good price
for this one....”
About 20 minutes later, a delivery van pulled up in the alley behind the club. A tall, dark-haired woman stepped out and knocked on the club’s back door. Zargon greeted her. “Hi, Donna, it’s been too long.”
The woman ignored his attempts at friendliness. “Where is she? I hope you haven’t wasted my time again!”
sighed. Okay, it was going to be all business; he could play it that way. “Don’t
worry, I know you’re going to like what you see.” Zargon began walking toward
his dressing room, and the woman followed. A minute later, Donna was carefully
studying Ingrid’s beauty.
“Very impressive, Zargon. I’m sorry I was harsh with you. Five thousand is a very fair price.” She reached into the purse she carried and handed over a roll of 100-dollar bills.
Zargon unwrapped the roll and began counting. “Don’t worry, it’s all there,” Donna said. “Now, how about helping me load her up?” Zargon nodded; soon; Ingrid was shut up in the back of the van, speeding toward her fate.