In his expensive, light grey suit, unshined shoes, I watch him in his deep sleep, in my cream coloured armchair. I say my armchair, it was partly because of him that I have it.
You see, I am sat opposite him, in another, similar armchair in front of a burning log fire. He has been like this for almost an hour.
His name is Russell Brooks, and for the past five years he has worked within the financial district of the capital. He's been a banker, a chartered accountant, an audit manager, the type of person who gets up the ladder by any means necessary. If getting his way meant stabbing you in the back or stealing from you, then he would not hesitate.
This is how he worked. Everybody knew it, but he was operating within the law. He did steal. He did lie. He knew how to work the system in his favour and he exploited it to its potential. Nobody really liked him, but he didn't care. Profit and excess are everything to people like that. Once they have money, and a taste of luxury, then they would do literally anything to keep it.
He used to live in Newcastle, with his wife and two boys. Yet, one day he simply walked out on them, heading for the streets of London where the streets were made of bank notes and the buildings were of the finest diamonds and crystals.
One day with his other half, window shopping, they were looking in the window of a jewellers when he suddenly turned tail, walked back to his car, leaving his wife standing by the window by the bracelets, as he drove away, all the way to London.
You see, I was there also, watching him. I hoped he would do that, and in my car, I followed him all the way. In fact, I kept my eye on him for a while, even when his wife tracked him down, and he denied all knowledge of her. 'I don't know you', he would say, and I know he meant it.
For a while he was a heavy smoker, and in trying to quit had tried willpower, had tried nicotine patches, but then he saw an advert in the back of a local free newspaper. An ad placed by me.
He decided to try hypnosis to cure him of smoking, and I was advertising myself. Not just for smoking, but for anything that hypnosis can do, and believe me, it can do a lot.
The thing was though, I cured his smoking habit in a heartbeat. I knew I could, that was easy, but I wanted to try something else. Could I turn this man into a success, something he could never have been?
Before coming to me, he was of no significance whatsoever. One of those people that got their heads down, made no fuss of anything, quite a shy person who worked in the financial department of a supermarket. A bland individual, a face in the crowd, remembered by a few, for only a short while.
Could I turn this meek person, this timid man into a confident success in the nation's capital?
The answer is yes, I could. I think I succeeded very well indeed. I got him to wire me some of his finances. He wasn't aware of what he was doing, or why, I had made sure of that, but everytime he was paid, 10% would come to me, and I did very well from him. I got this house, and most of what it contained thanks to his greed.
Now though, the experiment was over.
When he had come to see me to be cured of his smoking, I had put him into a deep sleep, a trance. Aside from telling him to hate the very sight of cigarettes, I completely changed his personality. Could he be someone totally different? I planted times and dates into his psyche, so that when he was looking in the jewellers window, that was when the time occured for him to leave for London. That was when the old him changed into the new him.
He secured an interview for a banking company, and as with all job interviews the key is in getting them to like you. Body language, personality, make them like your presence so they want to be in it again. Then, they would methaphorically throw your cv over their shoulder. 'When can you start?'.
Up the ladder he went, even being invited to join several exclusive clubs reserved only for wealthy, high status individuals. He bought himself three houses in the capital, bought six cars he hardly used, didn't give a single penny to charity, or to buskers. In fact, he thought buskers and street entertainers lowered the tone of the area, and even made some suggestions to several politician friends to get them 'thrown away' as they irked him simply by being there.
He climbed society's hierachial structure until he ended up here, asleep, opposite me, the one who made him, back in a house in a Newcastle suburb. The clock in his mind ticked early in the morning when he had to attend an important meeting. He was approaching the swivel doors to an office complex when he turned and headed back to his car, back to Newcastle where he pulled up outside the train station.
That was where I got in and led him here.
I stood up and approached him, looking down at the man who helped make me who I am. I am grateful to him of course, but the experiment has concluded. It succeeded far beyond my expectations. I can make anybody do anything, and I fully intend to exploit that. I know I can do far more than what I have done here, with him. I wonder how far I can go.
I lean down and talk quietly in his ear:
'In five minutes you will wake. You will leave this house and drive back to the jewellers where you will return to your former self as if nothing has happened. You will have no memory of this, of me. You will be you. Thank you for everything, more than you will ever know'. Then I turned and walked out of the house.
I just wanted to watch him go back to his normal self, so I sat in the back seat of the car and waited for him. He soon emerged and got into the drivers seat. None of us spoke. I don't think he knew I was there.
It wasn't long in getting back to the jewellers, still there after five years parking outside. Why is it jewellers never go out of business? Nobody can afford their stupid prices for even the cheapest thing, but still, it seems they are immune to any financial failings.
We both left the car. Russell crossed to the window. I stand near a phone-box, looking inconspicuious. He looked at the bracelets for what seemed like one whole minute.
"Expensive these, arn't they?" he said, looking around. "I said they're...." He frowned, looking around.
"Where's she gone?" he muttered. He stood there for a few moments, shook his head, walked back to the car, and drove away, driving 'home'.
I smiled, gave him a little wave, and knew my work had much more potential.