“You know that part-time job in auto sales fell through?” Ree Livingstone asked her friend Ayda one Friday afternoon. “Well, it’s a good thing. Auto sales! What we do to make money. Instead I met a great guy and I’m modeling for him.” The athletic redhead with the sea-green eyes smiled broadly and looked to her friend to share her pleasure.
“Oh, Ree – modeling? Are you sure? Is it OK?” Ayda replied doubtfully, frowning and leaning forward over her iced Pepsi. Ree reminded herself that her black-haired, olive-skinned friend might be the kind of beauty who caused traffic accidents and made men in bars drop their drinks, but her parents were one exiled Iranian Muslim and one conservative Latino Catholic. They might disagree on all sorts of theological things, but on sexual morals they would have united.
“Ayda, this isn’t some kind of seedy porn gig. It’s for Charles Smail. I actually don’t know if he’ll want me naked or not, but this is ART! I went to visit his gallery and he came up to talk to me!”
Ayda was reassured and impressed. Charles Smail was an up and coming name. She didn’t herself entirely like his ceramic sculptures, which tended sometimes to the grotesque and had left her faintly uneasy the one time she’d gone to an exhibition with his work, but he was a talented artist for sure and if you considered the prices his work commanded, he should be able to pay well. Unlike Ree, she was somewhat guilty about caring so much about money, but since both of them were students and not rich, they had little choice. She raised her glass and clinked it against Ree’s.
“Ree, that’s fantastic! I’m SO happy for you!”
Shit, thought the bartender, who’d been watching the two beauties for a while in the hope at least one might be available, either she’s got engaged or she’s pregnant. Either way, not the right time for me. That leaves the Mex hottie. But when the long-legged redhead got up, so did her darker friend. He had only the pleasure of watching them sweep out with the sinuous movements of fit young women not in a hurry – one tall, leggy, slim, pale, tight-assed in the literal sense, and the other quite tall but with fuller curves, full firm breasts and an ass to die for in those pre-frayed designer jeans. Well, maybe they’d come back.
Ree was a beloved only child of an Irish receptionist and of a Scottish-German-American farmer. They had met by chance when both were visiting Niagara Falls, a location that had somehow spurred on romantic and sexual attachment. Her real name was Rhea, which the farmer had seen in a magazine somewhere and which the receptionist thought sounded classy and mysterious. Their intelligent daughter, though, had soon found out that it was the name of a flightless bird and not long after that it encouraged nasty jokes about her buns. She started to tell people her name was Ree. She had met Ayda when she had switched to major on Art and found the dark girl friendly and supportive in her efforts to catch up.
Ayda’s mix of North-west Iran and South-east El Salvador had worked well in producing not one but two young beauties with generous curves, glossy black hair and liquid brown eyes. Their religious background was not quite as Ree imagined, for both parents had a somewhat skeptical and tolerant attitude, which had turned the one into a refugee and the other into a research biochemist able to find a good job in the States. One of the many sensible compromises her parents had made was to agree that any boys they produced would have Spanish names and any girls, Iranian ones. Iran had beaten Spain 3-1.
The two girls were the best of friends and were determined that the looming world of full-time work would not take them to opposite ends of the world but at the very most to opposite ends of California. It was natural for Ayda to be concerned that Ree was not letting herself in for some seedy exploitation and to rejoice in her friend’s access to the influential and prospering Charles Smail. Ree, in turn, did not for a moment feel envy at her friend’s brilliance, for Ayda was undoubtedly the student who most impressed her teachers.
As they strolled back together towards the campus, Ayda asked her friend when her first session with Smail was.
“Tomorrow morning! Wow, I’m excited!” Ree replied.
That was, in a manner of speaking, the last time Ayda saw Ree.
When she did not see her friend at midday on the Saturday, Ayda knocked on her door to find out how it had gone but there was no reply. She tried texting, but Ree’s phone was turned off. She did that from time to time when she did not want to be interrupted, so Ayda let it be; but when her friend had not shown up by the evening, she started to get worried. She was, however, practical enough to know that if she spoke to the college authorities, let alone the police, they would not take seriously the report that a young adult had gone out Saturday morning and not come back by Saturday evening. She accessed Smail’s website and found that his combined workshop and gallery was closed on Sundays. All Sunday Ree did not turn up, and she missed a lecture Monday morning. Midday on that Monday, Ayda made her way to the Charles Smail Working Gallery.
A smiling petite blonde handed her a leaflet. Behind her was a large space was dotted with sculpted human figures, or perhaps one might best say humanoid, for some of them displayed slight grotesqueries or variations suggestive of a rather cruel sense of humor. One full-breasted, wide-thighed woman of South American Indian appearance stood naked, gazing sorrowfully at her pubic bush – but her nose was missing and out of that bush peeked what seemed to be the missing nose. Other figures were more normal but had slight distortions such as one ear or one breast being bigger than the other. Nearly all the human figures were female and all were naked. In a group, though, were several representations of animals, a horse, a pig, a monitor lizard (she thought) and two very large rabbits or hares. Again there was something a little odd about these, some suggestion of anthropomorphism. Behind a small stand with prints and tiny copies… stood REE!
It was just for a moment that she thought it really was her friend. The eyes did not respond. The lithe, detailed naked figure, frozen shading its eyes with one hand like an explorer was a ceramic sculpture, evidence that Ree had really arrived at Smail’s establishment and had sat for him. Ayda reached out and touched the thing’s shoulder. The muscle detail was extraordinary. Hadn’t Smail been a medical doctor for a while? The knowledge showed.
The “flesh” was hard and grainy. Ayda remembered what she had read about Smail’s unique process. He used an additive with a secret formula. The clay could be worked normally, then hardened in an hour or so and needed only a little heat. It was unglazed – giving the flesh a more normal appearance. Another secret formula, though, contributed to a solution in which he could immerse the sculptures so they became malleable again. Smail was well known to make several alterations to his figures while they were on display, searching for his favorite version. This ended when he sold them, of course, unless the owner was willing to send the figure back for whatever changes Smail thought fit, but the artist never released a figure till it had been shown for some weeks. That way, the practical Ayda reasoned, he could make more money from people coming to see what changes he had made, and still get a good price in the end.
“Nice one, isn’t it? Charles was grumbling that she was too literal, too naturalistic, but you obviously don’t agree!” Ayda turned round and found a very tall, slim, well-dressed, rather hard-faced blonde regarding her and the Ree figure. “Are you interested in buying, or are you simply viewing?” the woman continued with a New England accent.
“Oh, just viewing, thanks. No way do I have the money to buy a Smail!” Ayda replied.
“Well, perhaps with your looks and taste, it may not be long before you can,” the woman remarked. She was turning away when Ayda called out,
“Pardon me, but I think this is a friend of mine.”
“I think a friend of mine was the model for this.”
“Ah. Do you want to be sure?”
“Then you’d better ask Charles.” The artist himself had appeared – short, overweight, with a jowly, puffy-pink face and receding brown hair cut very short, he did not cut an impressive figure. Only the piercing blue eyes contradicted the image of a sloppy jerk, someone boring in a bar – those and the clothes, for he wore an old but expensive tweed jacket and trousers of some subtle blue-grey tint.
“Hi! I’m Ayda. I think this is of my friend Ree Livingstone,” she said.
“Oh, yes! Ree! An excellent subject – one of the best.”
“That’s great, but she seems to have disappeared.”
“But no – she’s here! Look! I should be most disappointed if she disappeared.”
“Mr. Smail, I’m not talking about this clay figure. I’m talking about my real friend Ree, a fellow student. It seems she hasn’t been seen since she sat for your sculpture.” This seemed to shake him.
“Hell, that’s terrible. How can I help? She left here about one-thirty last Saturday. I guess her manner was perfectly normal. I’m afraid she saw herself out, so I can’t say if anyone met her or anyone was hanging around. You sure she hasn’t just gone home to her parents or gotten sick or something?”
Ayda could not, in fact, be sure that her friend had not gone home or somewhere else, but if she had, it was evidence of a serious problem. She merely shook her head. Smail promised to let her know if the young lady turned up again or rang. Uncertain what to do, Ayda thanked him and wandered aimlessly around the gallery. Then she came to a shocked and sudden halt.
It was another figure that had caught her attention – one of a small, pertly-formed girl, perhaps modeled from a girl in her late teens, with small, hard breasts, short tousled hair and a puzzled expression. The clay figure reproduced – or invented – a slight scar on her left wrist. It was a precise copy of Chrissie Vialli. There was nothing surprising about that, except that the Physics professor’s youngest daughter had disappeared a month ago. Of course, in California eighteen-year-olds were dropping out and vanishing from home all the time… but she had disappeared and her figure was here. Ree had disappeared too – and here too was her clay figure. Ayda stood staring into Chrissie’s vacant eyes.
“You seem to have an interesting taste,” said the tall blonde, who had appeared noiselessly at her shoulder.
“Yes…um…well…yes, she’s very attractive,” said Ayda. If this rather creepy woman thought her reverie was because she was lesbian, so much the better.
Back on campus, she called her older sister Parisa.
“Parry, there’s something very wrong,” she said. “Two girls have disappeared and they’ve both sat for this Smail guy. Sat naked, too. He’s creepy.”
“Hey, being creepy is a constitutional right. This guy’s a famous artist, right? Both girls wanted money. That could be tied up to their disappearing. Look, Ayda, I understand how worried you are about your friend, but it’s probably just a boy or a problem with her parents. If she doesn’t turn up tomorrow, speak to your Dean and the campus police to get her reported missing. You say she often turns her cell phone off. Have you tried e-mail? You have phoned her folks, haven’t you?”
Ayda hadn’t, for fear of frightening Ree’s parents. She found Parisa’s dismissive attitude depressing. Sometimes she was too much a cop. She would have to take action herself. Yes, she’d make sure Ree was reported missing – but she, Ayda, was going to start the search herself.
“Sure I’d like you to model for me. When I first saw you in the gallery I thought, ‘That young woman has a beautiful body,’ that is, a beautiful body for modeling!” Charles Smail gushed. “When are you free? Tomorrow morning? Ideal! You do understand that you’ll be naked, of course? Nothing to worry about, and one of my female assistants will be present.”
“That’s no problem – I’ve posed nude for art classes,” Ayda replied. “I just hope you don’t put my nose in my, um, bush!”
“Not your nose… nor anyone else’s,” Smail replied.
He looked greedy, his small eyes glinting, Ayda thought. It was certainly very much in the cards that he probably tried a bit of groping with his models and maybe more. Could this have led to a confrontation with Ree, and if so, with his reputation at risk, what might he have done? She decided to leave a message for Parisa just in case things went wrong.
“MODLING SMAIL TOMORROW FIND OUT BOUT REE XXX AYDA” said the text Officer Parisa Castro received. She stared at it for a moment, exasperated. Her brilliant but flaky younger sister was sometimes too much the student. What on earth was she making a model of this Smail guy for? And hadn’t she got the message that her older sister was not going to drop work to investigate why a student had dropped out for only a couple of days? Kisses didn’t make up for it. She texted OK and got on with her duties.
There was enough time for Ayda to have second thoughts about her mission, but Ree had still not turned up. It was early to try to speak to the Dean, not a man famed for getting up at dawn, but she left a message saying she was worried about Ree. A fierce desire to find and save her friend – if she was alive – and avenge her if she was not easily overpowered her caution about her own safety.
Arriving at the gallery, she was reassured by the friendly but matter-of-fact greeting from the small blonde, who checked a book, put a tick by the name, offered her a coffee, showed her to a chair and rang Mr. Smail. Smail was slow in coming. While she waited, Ayda became aware through that mysterious animal sense of someone behind her, watching. She looked behind her. Smail had come through a back door. When her eyes met his he instantly smiled, though she was sure he had been standing watching her for some time before.
“Ms Castro! Wonderful! I can’t wait! Are you comfortable? Everything OK?” He led her through into a small studio. It was windowless and quite poorly lit, but she could see completed and incomplete clay figures stored in various places, a row of heads resting on a shelf, familiar and unfamiliar equipment, a big sink, a small, clean table and wall-mounted hooks, presumably for clothes, and three plain wooden chairs.
“Now – would you like to undress?” Smail asked. “If it makes you more comfortable, I can turn away and look at something else until you’re ready.” Without waiting for an answer, he picked up a magazine. He did indeed make Ayda uncomfortable and she didn’t expect to like him staring at her nakedness (whereas those students had been fine, even a little bit exciting) but she was not going to show weakness before this man.
“No problem, you can watch me strip or not as you like,” she said.
He stood facing her, reading the lurid magazine (or pretending too) but glancing over it as she kicked off her shoes, pulled off her plain white t-shirt to reveal her firm breasts in a gauzy white bra, eased her close-fitting black trousers to the ground revealing blue-and-white checkered panties, with some contortions pulled her white socks off, reached back to unclip the bra, placed it on top of the growing pile of clothes on the small table (having to turn her back to do so), turned round to keep an eye on Smail, whose eyes had been boring into her butt, hooked her fingers in her panty-elastic, pulled them down and stepped out of the undergarment. Smail stood almost impassively, but there was something about his eyes she did not like. She was glad she had sent that text and left a message for Professor Steiner. She picked up the panties and placed them on top of her other clothes.
“Excellent!” said Smail. She still didn’t like what she saw in his eyes, but she could scarcely pull out because of that and certainly it was little help in finding Ree.
He bent, with some difficulty, and brought out an earthenware pot with some splashes of whitish material round the edges.
“Sit down on that chair, please,” he said smoothly. She sat down. The surface was rough against her naked bottom. She heard a door behind her open. “Ah, Miss Wolf. Ayda, my dear, I’m training Miss Wolf in my techniques and she wants to sit in. You can consider her your chaperone.” It was the supercilious tall blonde. Her face was expressionless as she sat on one of the other chairs. Ayda did not want her for a chaperone. In fact she felt even more uncomfortable about Miss Wolf eying her nakedness than she did about Smail. In other circumstances she would have been proud of her superbly firm breasts, her flat stomach, her more than pretty face, her shapely legs honed by much work in the gym and by playing on the college hockey and basketball teams, her firm, round ass… but now this was a little too like being a prize hen at the farm being viewed by the Wal-Mart buyer.
Smail set a small table between them and placed the big pot on it. Watching him, she did not register that Miss Wolf had gone round behind her until the woman seized her with an iron grip. Smail took a large syringe from the pot and advanced with it. Ayda screamed. Smail grinned and plunged the syringe into her belly. Very quickly she felt helpless, weak, jelly-like. She tried to tell him that she’d left messages with the university and the police, but only a kind of gurgle came out. She tried to free her left arm – her strong one as she was left-handed – to strike out at the blonde, but it would not move at all. They carried her body to a kind of glass or Plexiglas-fronted compartment in the corner of the room; a thing she had assumed was a modernistic cupboard or possibly a small shower compartment. It was the practiced, matter-of-fact way they did it that scared her most. Inside the compartment was a small seat like in a phone booth. They sat her on it and closed the door. A light flashed and a humming, whirring noise started. Water welled up from the floor – but no, it wasn’t water, for as it covered her feet it numbed them. It rose and rose. She realized it was going to cover her mouth, but she could not kick or scream. It reached her mouth and then her nose. Just before she blacked out, she had a strange sense of changing into something else, a sudden recognition like in a dream.
After several minutes, the liquid level dropped now so it just cleared her feet. Another light flashed as Smail and Wolf watched. A dial on the side showed the rising temperature. It reached high enough to kill a man or a woman. Thirteen minutes later a light flashed again and the door flew open. Smail and Wolf picked up their new sculpture and placed it in the gallery, straightening the legs and spreading its fingers around its right breast as though caressing it lustfully. They bent it forward slightly to emphasize the fine ass. Grinning, Leila gripped the other breast at the base with both hands and looked entreatingly at Smail. He smiled and nodded. She squeezed hard – and the clay ballooned out beyond her hands, giving the breast a weird shape, narrow at the base and wider beyond.
“I think that’s enough for the present, Leila. I’ll make a few more changes maybe tomorrow, but right now, she’s ready for the visitors. Isn’t she a fine piece?” said Smail.
“She’ll be a star attraction, Master,” the tall woman replied.
Parisa Castro had finished a hard shift. First, she’d had two drunken students whom she’d stopped from stumbling out into traffic abuse her, calling her a fucking pig and then one of them threw up all over the front of her uniform. She’d returned to the station and changed into a spare uniform. Then she’d been called to a theft in a jeweler’s shop to find some mentally unstable woman who’d light-fingered and tried to hide an alarm clock, who was now screaming, kicking and spitting. Just as she was about to finish that arrest she’d been caught in a torrential downpour. It was times like that which made her doubt if being a cop was the best career choice she could have made – but at other times, times of danger, times of humor or of kindness, she knew it was right for her.
Even in California her mixture of origins, religions and names surprised people; fellow cops perhaps more than most. She’d been asked, as a kind of joke apparently, if she was related to the dictator Fidel. Since Castro was a common enough Latino name and California had no shortage of Latinos, she suspected that question wouldn’t have been asked if her first name had been Teresa or Maria. Anyway, she answered that it must be her beard that did it, and that had shut them up. She also got some nuisance attention from the men and a few of the girls because of her dark good looks and her extravagant curves (a big, deeply-parted ass and tits so big they were a serious encumbrance at times in fights and when someone had to be grabbed and held from the back. But she was diligent in her workouts, so those big curvy bits were surprisingly firm). She knew how to deal with the guys. Occasionally one got lucky but mostly they didn’t try again. She also found some of the girls were jealous and that she didn’t know how to deal with, except to try to ignore them and get on with her job.
It didn’t help that her clever younger sister was leaning on her like she was the only cop in town over some friend of hers who’d slipped off with a boy or was moping over some teen thing (OK, the friend would be twenty if she was Ayda’s age, but that was still virtually teenage). Shit, she could do with a drink. Then she supposed she ought to call Ayda and check if the stupid girl, Rhett or whatever, had turned up.
She felt tired. She hoped there’d be room to sit down in the bar, though she’d only have one beer.
The bar was pretty full, but there were just a couple of seats. She’d just gotten her beer when a familiar voice called,
“Hi, Parisa! Great! Fantastic! How’s things?”
Alex was a nice girl, but Parisa had her reasons for not being delighted to see her here. She could not, however, reveal them, and one of the only two remaining seats was right by Alex. To go for the other would be an insult, and Parisa did want to sit down. She joined Alex.
The petite, pretty blonde, small but perfectly formed as they say, was a nurse. Eight weeks ago she had been attacked by two thugs who mugged her and probably would have raped her if Parisa hadn’t arrived with her partner. It was Parisa who’d floored one of the men, disdaining to use her gun and too quick for him to pull out his knife, and Parisa who’d comforted the shocked but largely unhurt girl while Bill had chased down the other thug. Now Alex had a crush on her. The nurse’s preference was clearly a bit on the lesbian side – experimenting with men a bit but preferring women – and Parisa was now the love of her life. Parisa rather liked the girl and would have welcomed her as a friend, but not as a lover; she was beginning to find Alex’s attentions just a bit of a nuisance. This feeling, though, made her feel guilty.
“Had a rough day?” Alex asked.
“Sure have. You?”
“Me too. Two emergencies and a guy whose life we saved creating and telling us we’re all, well, the c word. It must have been harder for you. You look drained and kind of almost annoyed.”
Parisa had not been conscious of needing to talk to someone about her kid sister, but now she found a strong desire to do so. She poured out her frustrations about Ayda’s demands and nonsensical text. Alex listened sympathetically. She was a good listener. Parisa felt grateful and was receptive to Alex’s advice – to go and see her sister and calm her down face to face. Yes, Ayda needed that. Before she left, Alex kissed her on the forehead and told her she was sure it’d all be OK.
Parisa knew Alex would really like to kiss her on the lips and felt guilty at not giving the girl any indication she could do that. On the other hand, she herself had no lesbian inclinations, as far as she could work out, so probably if she did give Alex any encouragement it would become a mess. Just like her relations with Ayda right now. But Alex’s advice was right on and no doubt face to face they’d laugh and hug and be friends as well as sisters again.
She rang her sister. Her cell phone was switched off. That was unusual for her.
She arrived at the university hall of residence, showed her police ID, and went up to Ayda’s room. There was no answer. Well, there was no reason why there should have been. The kid was out enjoying herself. She wrote a note and left it in the little mailbox. She went home and called again but with no more luck. Alex sent a text and asked if Ayda’s friend had turned up. Parisa had doubts about replying, but did – saying she couldn’t be sure, as Ayda herself wasn’t around.
She spent a restless night. First thing in the morning she tried again. When there was no reply from her sister, she phoned in to the station, pleaded a personal emergency, and set off for the university campus. There was still no reply at Ayda’s door. She checked the mailbox. Her note was still there. The college authorities knew nothing – but confirmed that the girl called Ree was missing.
Parisa made a big decision. She would go to this guy Smail’s place herself and check it out. Could her sister’s concerns just conceivably have been justified? She texted Alex and set off.
The place was full of visitors, but that meant she could look around without declaring herself yet.
The sculpted figures were a bit weird, a bit unsettling. She could understand how her higher-strung sister had been seriously worried by them and by her friend’s association with the artist, some guy called Smail. They did seem to speak of a twisted mind. Was it just possible that the twisted mind that had produced them had also plotted the abduction, even murder, of a young woman?
“Keep your feet on the ground and don’t let the spooky atmosphere throw you, my girl,” Parisa told herself. Then she came face to face with her sister.
For a moment she thought it was really Ayda, posing there. The statue was very realistic. But in fact it was just another ceramic figure, undoubtedly done from life, of a naked Ayda. There was only one thing that was wrong, no doubt deliberately, and that was the weird shape of one breast. So Ayda had indeed been here. Did anyone here know what had become of her? It was time to reveal her official identity.
“Police?” said the neat young blonde. “Yes, of course you can speak to Mr. Smail. He’s resting at the moment. Do you want me to wake him? He’s been working very hard.” She seemed mildly surprised by Parisa’s flashing her badge, but no more than that. Parisa said she didn’t want to disturb Mr. Smail. She could wait. Half an hour later a taller, older blonde shepherded her through a small door and into a pleasant private room with soft colors and furnishings. The alert officer noted that it had a window to the outside world, though only to the parking lot.
“Mr. Smail will be with you in just a minute,” she said. It was less than a minute.
Smail was a profoundly unimpressive figure; dumpy, overweight, piggy-eyed, and sloppily dressed. He held out his hand and Parisa rose from the comfortable sofa to shake it. She felt his piggy eyes undressing her. She was NOT going to pose naked for this jerk.
“Can I help you?” he asked.
“Maybe so. A student called Ayda Castro posed for you?”
“Indeed she did. She looked very like you, in fact, officer. Is there possibly any connection?”
“I SEEEEEEE. And the problem is?”
“She seems to have disappeared.” Smail looked shocked.
“Well, she seemed perfectly OK while she was here, just a bit curious about a friend of hers who’d modeled here before. That’s quite normal. Of course you’ll need to be satisfied that she did leave here and I’m not hiding her or something. Miss Wolf showed her out and Miss Rillington would have seen that. Shall I call them in?”
“I’ll speak to each of them privately, thanks.”
“Of course. Any more questions for me?”
“Did she mention her friend Ree disappearing?” Smail seemed to consider.
“Well, I do recall her saying she was looking for her friend, who hadn’t turned up somewhere, something of that sort. I’m afraid I didn’t take too much notice.” If he’d given her a straight ‘no’, Parisa would have been almost sure he was lying. As it was, his vague answer was plausible – perhaps too plausible. He left, saying he’d call the receptionist.
She proceeded to interview the petite blonde, Carrie
Reed Rillington. She recalled Miss Wolf conducting the attractive Latino girl to the door and the girl going out into the street. There had been nothing unusual.
“Did you hear them exchange any words?” Parisa asked.
“Umm… yeah, Leila said ‘Thanks very much, have a good day.’ The girl said something from out the door but I didn’t rightly hear it. Sorry, officer, maybe if I tried very hard I might remember it?”
“No problem – here’s my number,” Parisa replied. She asked a few questions about Smail and the working environment, but felt she was getting nowhere.
Meanwhile, Smail and Leila were conferring.
“If she’s a real cop she isn’t here on official business,” Smail hissed. “The police wouldn’t send her to investigate her own sister’s disappearance.”
“She’s a real cop, all right,” Leila replied crisply.
“No. She’s stupid. Big ass, big tits, and small brain: Cop. And darling…”
“If she’s not here officially, she can’t have told the other officers she was coming here, or they’d have her ass.”
“Sweet, are you thinking what I’m thinking?” asked Smail quietly. She nodded almost imperceptibly. They clinched in a passionate kiss.
Parisa’s questioning of Leila Wolf gave her little to go on until she asked if she and Ayda had exchanged any words when the girl was leaving.
“I think I asked her if she’d consider recommending any friends,” said Leila, “and she said she’d think about it. Then I wished her well and she thanked me. Nice, polite kid.” Not a direct contradiction of what the smaller blonde had said, Parisa thought, but suspicious. Her bones said something wasn’t right here.
She was just finishing with the tall woman when there was a knock on the door and a worried-looking Smail rushed in. Parisa could see Carrie hovering behind him.
“Sorry to interrupt, officer. Leila – we’ve got a small crisis. Some trouble in the parking lot.” An incident? Parisa was nearest the window and she moved quickly to look through it so no one could block her. She saw nothing unusual. She leaned forward a bit to get a better view. There was a very sharp pain in her right buttock. She must have been shot or stabbed, but why there? She tried to turn around, but found her legs felt heavy as lead. She managed two slow steps backward so her ass collided with Smail. She could tell it was Smail because his cock was hard. She tried to turn around but instead hit the floor, hard. She tried to roll over but all she managed was a twitch of her buttocks. She felt like she was turning to jelly. Her brain was still working, though. The bastards! This was what they’d done to her beloved sister and to the other girl – maybe to all those figures! She was going to be turned into a grotesque naked figure in their collection. No, she’d fight! The blur – maybe it was mist, maybe LSD – was closing in on her brain, but she kept it at bay. Her legs and arms wouldn’t move, though. A high-heeled foot was planted on her ass. Leila ground the heel in and laughed. Parisa’s truculent mind gave up and was dissolved.
“I always like it when they fight,” chuckled Smail. “Carrie – I promised you’d see us do one. How did you find it?”
Carrie was bouncing up and down with enthusiasm. Her beatific smile would have melted the hardest of hearts.
“Wow, Charles, fantastic! Great! Cool! Sooo neat! What happens to her now?”
“Come and see.”
This time the subject was already unconscious while they stripped her, placed her in the booth, and when the liquid rose. Smail and the two women watched as Officer Parisa Castro was engulfed and transformed.
When her body was taken out the two women waited expectantly to see what the great artist would do to her. He was clearly thinking, a process that caused him to walk round the clay figure that had been a policewoman, a sister, a daughter, a beauty, staring at her. Finally he decided.
“As with a wood-carver or a stone sculptor teasing out of the material the shapes already hidden there, I am to accentuate what is already present,” he proclaimed, enjoying the chance to lecture a rapt audience (which was Carrie only, for Leila had heard it all before). “Now, Carrie – with your woman’s eye, what would you say is most remarkable about the piece we have before us?”
Carrie did not hesitate.
“Her big tits,” she said. “She has a big ass too, but her tits are, like, freaky large.”
“Excellent,” Smail replied. “So I make her tits bigger. However, this is where my well-developed sense of humor and my sensitive revulsion against vulgar symmetry kicks in. I’m going to make only one breast bigger. Carrie – you select, my dear. Which one shall we enlarge? The right or the left?” Carrie considered. They looked pretty much the same.
“The left, please,” she said.
“It shall be done,” said Smail portentously, and set to work. He pushed, he kneaded, he pinched and squeezed. When he stood back, the women saw that Officer Parisa Castro’s left breast was now about 50% larger than the right one and much larger than her head. He arranged the officer in a heroic pose as if for a triumphal statue. Carrie stared at it and dissolved in giggles.
“Darling, that’s one of your masterpieces,” said Leila.
“Now all we have to do is to wait for her to harden and we can put her on display. Right beside her sister, do you think? A nice touch.” He chuckled.
While the disappearance of a university student or two in flexible, rootless California didn’t necessarily set any alarm bells ringing for a few days, the vanishing of a police officer, even one off duty, had an altogether more rapid and drastic effect. At 6:47 the next morning, Alex was awoken by a hammering on her door. She threw on a toweling robe. Two uniformed officers, a man and a woman, stood outside.
“Ms. Durham?” the man asked. “May we come in?” She let them in and then wondered if she should have – but she knew of nothing she should be hiding.
“What’s this about?” she asked.
“You’re a friend of Parisa Castro?” the man shot back.
“I suggest you get dressed and then we can talk,” he replied without hesitation. She dressed in a hurry. What the hell was happening? Had something happened to Parisa? Had some jerk put two and two together and made six hundred about their not-quite relationship? But even if they’d been lovers, which unfortunately they hadn’t been, that wasn’t so much of a problem nowadays. They wouldn’t even come down on it in Mississippi, let alone here.
“What’s this about?” she repeated as soon as she had returned dressed. Now it was the female officer who spoke.
“This morning Officer Parisa Castro has failed to turn up for duty. She’s normally very prompt and reliable. We called her. No reply. We went by her apartment. No reply. We got the janitor and went inside. No sign of her.”
“We understand you and Officer Castro are very… close,” the man added, with the hint of a sneer. “We want to know if there’s anything you want to tell us.”
It occurred to Alex to reply, “Yes, there is – you’re remarkably stupid,” but instead she said,
“We were good friends, nothing more. She saved me from some jerks. I’m grateful. We had a drink or two. Only last night I ran into her in Daisy’s and we talked for a while. She was worried about her sister Ayda, a student here, who’s gone missing.”
“When did you two depart the drinking establishment?” Alex answered their probing questions with increasing annoyance. They seemed to think she was a suspect. Being a determined young woman almost impossible to intimidate, she managed to get them to listen to the story she wanted to tell – that Parisa had been deeply worried about her kid sister Ayda, who in turn had been trying to find her missing friend Ree Livingstone, and that these disappearances all revolved around the gallery and workshop of Charles Smail.
“So you reckon Officer Castro went round to this guy Smail’s place?” asked the male officer.
“Yes – and if she’s disappeared now too, it fits into a disturbing pattern with two other disappearances! I hope she’s OK.”
“Students are disappearing all the time – stoned, sulking, failed, discovering romantic love, seeking eternal wisdom,” the female officer scoffed. For her, it seemed, “seeking eternal wisdom” was a particularly ridiculous goal.
“Thanks; we’ll check it out. You can be sure, ma’am, we’ll be giving this guy Snail a visit,” the male officer reassured Alex. The police excused themselves and drove off.
The officers did indeed visit Smail. They found the gallery full of visitors and gave little attention to any of the figures. They interviewed Mr. Smail and his two assistants and were assured that Officer Castro had never been there. Indeed, they stated, they had not known she even existed. They would of course be only too keen to assist the police in any way they could. A quick search turned up nothing that the police saw as suspicious and they left without noticing the oddly lifelike sculptures of Ree Livingstone, Ayda Castro, and Chrissie Vialli standing in the gallery.
That Alex’s information and tip had proved useless encouraged them to look more closely at her again, this time as a person of interest. There were all these rumors around the precinct about her relationship with Parisa, and the fact that the officer had concealed its nature suggested there might have been tensions. Arriving after she went off to work, they turned Alex’s place upside down without a search warrant and found both a postcard from Parisa and a book belonging to her. They were disappointed to find nothing more, but the investigating officer pointed out that if someone wanted to make a body disappear, being a nurse could be a big advantage. They searched the hospital where Alex worked. Having found nothing else in Parisa’s background that looked like a lead – except for a shady Iranian who’d visited her a while back and asked questions about her, but he turned out to be CIA, doing a background check – they classified Alex as a suspect but concentrated on searching for their colleague’s body.
They had, of course, already seen it.
Alex was quite aware that she was under suspicion and was furious about it. To her, the police were worse than useless. She was full of doubt about whether she herself could have done anything – maybe insisted she go with Parisa, though Parisa could have refused – and soon decided she had to do something now. But three women had already disappeared after going openly to Smail’s place to model for him or to question him. She wasn’t going to make the same mistake.
Her original ambition had been to join the army. She’d entered training but had dropped out after realizing that being a soldier sometimes involved hurting or killing people and she actually didn’t want to do that. But she had become proficient in the techniques of irregular warfare – concealment, breaking in, escaping. She would put that to work at the gallery.
She visited the gallery once, though, to check the place out – doors, windows, and security cameras – and was shocked to come face to face with a figure that seemed to be based on Parisa. The statue’s expression looked somehow blank, but every feature was right (as far as she knew – unfortunately she’d never seen her savior naked) except a grotesquely enlarged left breast. It wasn’t the first distorted figure she’d seen there. Smail was a pervert, for sure, but she couldn’t see the connection between his repellent “art” and women disappearing. She made sure she stopped and stared at a few other figures so as to give nothing away.
That night there would be a full moon. She planned to break in the night after. As she parked her car a figure stepped out of the shadows – the figure of a man. There seemed to be a second shadowy, maybe female figure behind him.
“Ms Durham?” the man asked. “Alex? My name’s Dan Markovic.” He was young, fit looking and dark-haired, with a Midwestern accent.
Alex kept her distance and just said, “Yes?”
“I understand you’re a friend of Parisa Castro.”
“I was dating Ayda, Parisa’s sister. I was real cut up when she disappeared. She was real special to me. I spoke to her parents. I thought maybe she’d gone home or something. They gave me Parisa’s contact info but then she’d disappeared too, but she was on Facebook and that’s where I got your name from.”
“And my address?”
“I know someone at the hospital.”
“Who’s that in the shadows?”
“Come right over, Parvin.” A curvy Latino-type teenager came over. She was dressed in bursting distressed blue jeans and a dark top, which proved to be a dark blue pullover, but her face was young, innocent, and startlingly beautiful. Her long hair was neatly kept. There was a full, feminine swell of flesh around the hips and her breasts were astonishingly large yet firm. Alex couldn’t help lusting after her. The combination of innocent, girlish face and overflowing womanly curves was weird but irresistible.
“Hi, Ms Durham. You’re a friend of Parisa’s. I’m Parisa’s youngest sister. Mr. Markovic got in touch with me. My parents think I’ve gone to stay with friends, but I want to help my sisters! I want to KILL anyone who might have hurt them.”
“O.K!” said Alex, slightly disconcerted. So what can I do for you, Dan?”
Half an hour later she had recruited him for her plan. He was an instructor at a gym and seemed likely to be useful if they ran into trouble. He also seemed discreet, almost shy, and unlikely to make a wrong move. He had clearly been besotted with Ayda – so much so in a way, that made he and Alex like brother and sister in their fear of loss.
As for Parvin, she broke in to say that they just COULDN’T leave her out of it, but she needed to be back in school the next day. That startled Alex.
“How old are you, Parvin?” she asked.
“Eighteen. Well, eighteen tomorrow.”
Just before one a.m. on the night of the plan, a small car parked at the back of Smail’s gallery. Two hooded figures slipped out of it and helped one another over a wall. A third, shorter and broader than the other two, slipped off in another direction, waving to them.
There was no sign of a dog, but Alex’s flashlight picked out a burglar alarm. It was just a basic one and she knew how to immobilize it for long enough. The back door she had earlier identified as a weak link soon opened for them – and she closed it carefully. She did not really expect to find anything that night, but if she and Dan could hide out somewhere suitable, they might see or overhear something the next morning. With any luck, the problem with the burglar alarm would not be treated seriously and no sign of their entry would be discovered.
Nonetheless, the darkness gave them a chance to check for any sign that there were any prisoners held in the place. Alex and Dan crept around, their pulses beating like drums, the occasional collision with a chair or a cabinet causing them to freeze; but no returning sounds came. Either no one else was there or the inhabitants were asleep. That seemed the most likely option, for they found their way into what was obviously a small living space, presumably Smail’s, though they did come on a few signs of a woman in the place. For all they knew, though, Smail could be married or have a live-in girlfriend, maybe one of the blonde employees.
They were searching for a place to hide, and were on some stairs, when a door opened with a dim light behind it. They froze. Alex crouched, pushing herself into the wall as far as she could, and urgently motioned Dan to do the same. A tall woman was approaching the stairs slowly and steadily. She walked straight past them, wearing some kind of nightdress. It was the tall blonde from the gallery who they’d seen on their day visit. She seemed to be sleepwalking. Alex made signals to Dan like a lieutenant to his troops and they followed.
The woman led them into the main public gallery. Their eyes were adjusted to the dark and they could see quite well. She walked among the posed clay figures, touching them like a lover, caressing them, and even kissing them. Alex glanced at Dan and realized that what he was seeing was sexually exciting him. She couldn’t blame him. She realized she was aroused, too. The sleepwalking woman turned around and walked straight towards them. They hid behind a figure of a kind of centaur with a woman’s front half and a horse’s rear half. The tall woman disappeared.
Alex was now convinced there was something odd about the figures, something that would help explain the disappearances, if only she could decipher it. She was not used to relying on a man, but she was glad she had Dan with her.
Searching again for a hiding place, they came to a room at the very top of the building organized as some kind of office, with filing cabinets, cupboards, four desks and three computer screens. It offered many hiding places and a whispered conversation settled it: They would stay here. The filing cabinets were locked but the cupboards were not. They found one that was nearly empty, with a wide hole for a missing key, and resolved to hide there when people might be about. Alex set the alarm on her cell phone to low buzz and the time to 5:30 a.m.. Then they curled up separately under desks and managed to snatch a little sleep before morning.
They had been in the cupboard for over an hour when they heard signs of life outside. Alex whispered that the room they were in looked important and they should stay. She was glad Dan was well behaved, for they could not avoid touching and she could feel Dan’s warmth as he could feel hers. Dan could also feel something else.
“Is that a gun?” he whispered.
“Yep. Got it after I was attacked.”
Two hours later they heard approaching voices and someone opened the door. Charles Smail came in, chatting with the small blonde. They missed some of his words, but heard her reply: “I’m SO grateful to you, Mr. Smail, for training me like this.”
“Ah, not at all,” said Smail smugly. “You’re a good girl, Carrie. I’ve seen you’re reliable. We’re a small team here, all friends, kinda intimate atmosphere. You never know, Leila could be ill, get incapacitated in a car accident, something like that. You ought to know how things work. Besides, I plan to expand. I’ve been checking out locations in Atlanta and I’ll need someone reliable to take things in hand there.”
“Wow, Mr. Smail!” said Carrie. Alex sensed a suppressed snigger in Dan.
“Now – we turn on the screens…password one…password two…and everything’s set up!” Smail announced, as if he had just pulled a rabbit or the presidency out of a hat. Alex, peering through the empty lock hole, could indeed see that all the screens had flickered into blue life. A moment later they were showing something – a crowd of people, perhaps? No, as the definition improved and once small figures filled the screen, she could see that they were showing images of the clay figures. Smail’s pudgy fingers seemed to be controlling where the camera, if it was a camera, focused. Carrie was practicing on another screen and seemed to be able to view different figures.
“So as I’ve explained, to make changes to one of the figures once the clay has hardened, we have to reverse the process. Well, it isn’t a 100% reversal – as far as I could work out from the initial tests, a lot of memories and brain functions are lost, but not their basic character. A ballerina will still try to do pirouettes if we let her. A Mormon will still try to convert us.”
“How do you reverse it? You said you’d show me.”
“Ah. Very clever technology. It’s computer-controlled, which is why we can work it from here. Each figure has a small disk inserted somewhere it doesn’t show, usually, if you’ll pardon the expression, in the asscrack or the female sexual organ. Code ‘g$1666%!x’ activates it. Which one are you on now? The big-titted cop? Ideal! Would you like to key the code in now? Leila’s down in the gallery now to make sure things don’t go off track.”
Carrie tapped on some keys. She was obviously good with computers.
“Why don’t they just walk off when you do this?” she asked.
“Oh, there are various safeguards,” chuckled Smail knowingly. “Anyway, we just give them six minutes – you see the timer there on the screen – and then typing ‘???&96a’ knocks them out so we can fire them again. You can take more than six minutes if you need to, but usually it’s enough. Now you can manipulate the image – that’s right, clever girl – and whatever you do to the image is done to the subject down in the gallery.”
“Cool! Can I make her big tit even bigger?” asked Carrie.
“Of course. Now don’t bother me for a minute while I fix her almost-as-stupid sister to make her more interesting for the viewers. I think I’ll shift some material out of her head and torso to make her ass bigger. Beeeeeautiful!”
Alex and Dan stared at one another in the cupboard.
“Are they saying the figures down there are the actual people?” Dan whispered.
“Shit. Hard to believe, but that would explain a whole lot. But it also means they can be brought back – and Parisa and her sister are actually being brought back to life now! We’ve got to act!”
“Like how?” he asked. Alex patted the gun. But at that very point Smail took a call from downstairs and hurried off, leaving Carrie alone –she thought.
“Try to persuade her. Now that jerk’s gone, she might listen. I think you should keep the gun hidden,” Dan proposed. Alex agreed – and opened the cupboard door.
Carrie, busy with the computer, did not react immediately. Instead of jumping her, Alex said, “Hi!”
Carrie turned round and immediately screamed in surprise.
“It’s OK – nothing to worry about!” said Alex. “We’re not robbers or anything. We’re just looking for a friend of ours.”
“Oh, God!” said Carrie. Dan felt sorry for her. She looked rather sweet. She was much too nice for this Smail guy.
“Would you like to sit down again?” he suggested. “We’d just like to talk to you.”
She sat down, eyes still wide and staring.
“Women have disappeared here,” said Alex. “It’s Smail, isn’t it? He has some devilish process. He’s using you and when he’s finished, he’ll throw you away or maybe turn you into his next figure on display.”
“No!” she said.
“He will. He’s a sadistic devil.”
“Cool it, Alex!” said Dan. “She looks up to him. If you want her to help get your friend back, don’t push her too hard.”
“O.K.,” Alex replied, sounding unconvinced. “Carrie – that your name? Carrie, you wouldn’t want any more girls like you to be turned into statues and lose all they were living for, would you?”
“Hey, I kinda…Mr. Smail said it was OK to do this because it was art,” she mumbled.
“Will you help us bring our friends back to life?” She looked shocked.
“Oh, no! I couldn’t possibly do that! Mr. Smail would be real angry! I’d have let him down!” Sighing, Alex pulled out her gun.
“You’ve got no choice, Carrie. Do it!” she ordered. “Or else…”
“But you don’t understand! I can’t! It’d be wrong!”
“Ten,” said Alex. “Nine. Eight.”
Carrie cracked. She asked whom they wanted revived. Alex and Dan watched her and the screens, which focused on the immobile, distorted figures of Parisa and Ayda.
“Can they be restored back to natural, like they were?” asked Alex anxiously.
“Only by going back under the process, and only Mr. Smail knows how.” Alex reckoned it was best to get them out of Smail’s clutches, to safety. Then she or the police could deal with Smail and hopefully make him complete their recovery to what they once had been. Ayda’s eyes twitched. Her hand moved. She held it in front of her eyes. Parisa rubbed her eyes, stared, and her hand went for a gun she no longer had.
“Now we open the door for them to get out,” Alex instructed. “No funny business.” Carrie moved as if sleepwalking. Downstairs, independently, Ayda and Parisa had moved off, met each other, embraced, and walked unsteadily towards the exit. Alex kissed Parisa on the cheek and she smiled back as if half-remembering.
Carrie unlocked the front door. Dan ushered the sisters outside, not into the fullness of night, but into the first suspicion of dawn. He went back for Alex and Carrie. Alex still held the petite girl at gunpoint.
“Now I’m taking you to the authorities,” she said.
“Please – no!” Carrie pleaded. Alex’s face and voice were remorseless.
“You’re going to the cops. That’s what you deserve for what you… Urf!”
“I couldn’t let her do that to you,” Dan said to the amazed Carrie. “Shit, you are beautiful. And brave. I think I love you.” Alex lay motionless, face down on the floor.
“Have you killed her?” asked Carrie, awed.
“Nope. Just laid her out. Serves her right for what she was doing to you. She’s a lezzie. Probably got her kicks out of pushing you around.”
“How awful!” said Carrie. “You’re wonderful!” She lurched forward and grabbed him in a passionate embrace. A little later, giggling and casting glances at Dan, she posed like a hunter with her foot on Alex’s rump. Then her expression changed. “Those two figures she made me revive – we’ve got to get them back in here!”
“You won’t hurt them, will you?” Dan pleaded. “One of them was my girlfriend.”
They looked outside. Parisa and Ayda had vanished. Dan knew Parvin was supposed to be on the lookout for anyone coming out, so maybe she’d met them. He told Carrie about this.
“We’ve got to wake Mr. Smail!” Carrie insisted.
“O.K.,” said Dan.
Charles Smail was not pleased to be woken, but he quickly went into action mode, calling up Leila to get the car and cruise around looking for “two escapees and a big-titted teen”.
Carrie, meanwhile, was panicking.
“Oh, God, Charles! If they get away the police will come and arrest you! They mustn’t! They mustn’t!”
“It is an inconvenience,” he said, “but there is a security measure built into each of them.”
Leila phoned in to say she had not found the fugitives.
There were few vehicles going by at this time of the morning and the streets were almost deserted. That was for the best; the thoughtful Parvin had brought along a few spare clothes in a bag, but they were hardly adequate. Parisa was stumbling along in a white shirt fortunately a bit long for her and a pair of short shorts, while Ayda wore a tracksuit bottom and a towel. Parvin had been horrified to see that something had been done to her idolized older sister to make her left boobie gigantic – some kind of implant, maybe. Her other sister had also changed, for her boobs were a weird shape and her butt was much bigger than it had been. But both of them, though they spoke only in mumbles, seemed to recognize her and be pleased to be out and with her. It was a couple of miles to the police station, but Parvin had been warned to trust no-one, not a taxi driver or anyone, and none of the sisters had minded walking or jogging further than most Americans fancied.
However, both of her sisters were making very slow progress and they seemed to be getting slower and slower. There was a bit more traffic about now and they were getting some odd looks. Then Parvin stopped. Both her sisters had turned into grotesque parodies, much more extreme than when she’d first seen them. Parisa’s left tit was now several times bigger than her head and the rest of her seemed to be shriveling in proportion. Her white shirt had split open. Ayda’s butt was now the kind of thing a man might draw as a sick joke, an enormous lump, as long from top to bottom as her legs, and the ruins of the tracksuit bottom were ruffled around her ankles. Both of them were making pathetic efforts to continue walking, but the sisters were barely moving.
“Oh my God!” Parisa wailed quietly.
A large car drew up. The lone female driver drew down the window, looking concerned, and asked, “Are you all right, kid? Oh, God! What are they?”
“My sisters!” Parvin wailed louder. “Please help me! We need police, an ambulance, everything!”
“O.K. – jump in!” said the tall blonde woman.
“Thank you,” Parvin said, and hopped in. Leila Wolf punched her neatly in the neck and the young woman collapsed. The car turned round and drove for Smail’s gallery.
A small crowd was beginning to gather on the sidewalk around the two grotesque objects, parts of which looked almost real.
“Are they alive?” asked a smartly dressed woman.
The man with her laughed. “How could something like that be alive? It’s a trick. There’s a camera somewhere,” he said.
A teenager reached forward to touch Parisa but a middle-aged woman caught hold of him.
“That thing may be dangerous,” she warned. Parisa was now a gigantic breast with a tiny homunculus attached. Alongside her was a massive pair of buttocks with a tiny humanoid attachment that had once been Ayda.
“Out of the way, guys – police,” the officer said in a self-confident voice.
The big cop stared at the strange sight. It was disgusting. What was more, he had no idea what to do about it – until the call came through. The Smail Gallery had lost a couple of automatons, artistic figures with limited power of movement, stolen overnight by thieves who’d ignored various valuable and more portable items, so were probably pranksters. The objects had been identified, and what was better, the owner wanted them back. He could get them off the streets and prevent a disturbance. He called to the busty blonde officer sitting in the car. Together they heaved the repulsive objects into their car and set off for Smail’s place.
“So the safety mechanism is that if a figure is revived and then not restored to clay within a few minutes, whatever change was last made to it continues indefinitely until the correct code is applied,” Smail explained to Carrie and Dan. “Clever, eh? Though I must say myself. Amusing, very.” He chortled. “I don’t think there’s any need to re-code those two until they’re just a huge ass and a huge tit and nothing else. What do you think, Carrie?”
“Oh, yes, Charles, that’s GOOD!”
The door slammed. Leila had come in with the limp figure of Parvin.
“Who’s this little slut?” she asked.
“The younger sister of the other two,” Dan explained. “You’re not going to hurt her, are you?”
“Hurt her? Hell, no!” Smail replied, “Just transform her. Strip her, would you, ladies?”
Smail stood by with a matter-of-fact expression – and Dan wide-eyed and amazed – as the two blondes removed the teenager’s clothes, revealing a pretty matching pink bra and panty combination, broad hips and breasts that were more generous even than Parisa’s.
“She’s certainly a suitable subject,” Smail confirmed. “How old is she, Dan?”
“Hmm… could even be… Leila, would you check?”
Leila did not need an explanation of this vague request. She tugged down Parvin’s panties and stuck her long-fingered hand between her legs.
“Well guessed, Charles,” she commented. “Yes, she is.”
“Is what?” Carrie asked.
“A rare find!” Charles purred. “Well, better inject her and get her transformation going, then.”
The two women whispered together. They reached a conclusion. It was Carrie who was chosen to speak to Smail.
“Charles, we both think you should fuck her first,” she stated. Smail looked at her in surprise, perhaps at the suggestion, perhaps at her being so suddenly assertive. “We’d like to watch,” Carrie added. Smail looked from her to Leila to Parvin. It was as if he was a prince reviving her; at his glance, her eyes opened. She took in the scene in silent horror.
“Well, I’m grateful for your suggestion, ladies, and I do try to be a good employer – so in the interests of your satisfaction, I’ll do what you suggest,” he responded.
“Fantastic! Charles is going to take her virginity!” chortled Carrie.
Dan had been looking less and less happy since Parvin had been brought in. He was utterly obsessed by Carrie just as he had been by Ayda, and he had never much cared for Alex, but he could not forget that Parvin was there only because he’d involved her. The doorbell, though, postponed his dilemma. Leila went to answer it and came back with the news that the police had delivered Parisa and Ayda, now just one giant tit and one giant rump, both of which were being stored inside.
“Go on, then, Charles!” said Carrie. It was dawning on Dan that this wonderful girl preferred that fat slug Smail to himself.
“Leave her alone!” he shouted. “You dare touch one hair of this kid’s head and urgh.” He crumpled to the floor. Leila humorously blew on her hand with the syringe as if it were a gun.
“Do get on with fucking the virgin, Charles,” she drawled. “We’re waiting!”
They had underestimated Parvin. She kicked Carrie in the shin and made a break for freedom. Leila caught her in four strides and tackled her to the ground.
“Charles – I think it would be more fun if we didn’t tie her up and you had to subdue her,” she said. Charles could hardly refuse without losing face.
The two blondes watched the fight with interest. Parvin started winded on the floor, and her huge breasts were an encumbrance, but she was fitter than Charles, who was overweight. The decisive factor was ruthlessness. It did not even occur to the teenager to try to knee him in the balls. Charles, on the other hand, gripped the base of her left tit, pushed it sideways till it hit the floor, and pressed hard, putting his knee in her belly as she struggled. A couple of minutes later she was hardly resisting as he rammed through her maidenhead and pumped her to bursting.
“Very good, Charles,” said Leila some time later. “Presumably you’ll be the only man who’ll ever have her. What an honor for her!”
“I’ve got the syringe,” said Carrie.
“Do chummy boy here as well while you’re about it, sweet,” said Smail, looking down at the unconscious Dan.
Half an hour later the three stood taking in what they had produced: an incredibly sexy figure of a curvy young girl and a realistic figure of an athletic, well-hung young man.
“Now I have some interesting ideas about these two and the others,” said Smail. “Let’s get to work.”
The next day, there were some remarkable new figures in the gallery. One marvelous work of art showed a young couple in the act of copulation, the well-built young man entering his beautiful girl from the rear. This was not surprising as her hindquarters were ten times the size her small but perfectly formed head. Only a few people would have recognized Dan and Ayda. A large, fat pig was rolling in fake mud. No one would have recognized Parisa. Alex had found love, licking the secret lips of Parvin, whose gigantic breasts dwarfed all the rest of her. Rhee was twisted into a contorted pose a champion gymnast would have envied, at least if no one had been photographing her crotch.
Charles Smail sighed with satisfaction. He had seen his work and it was good.
“Charles, we’ve got a special surprise for you,” smiled Carrie that evening. That sounded good to him – and better that Leila was there too. A threesome was very much to his taste. He was still licking his lips when the syringe found its mark.
Visitors to the gallery had many things to look at, but the new exhibits were the main attraction. They were quite risqué: a busty young woman, a mere teenager by her face and smooth skin, was apparently being raped by a fat, balding man obviously based on Charles Smail himself. It was daring, perhaps revealing, that his first self-portrait had placed him in such a position. A slightly older and more normally proportioned young woman, like the other of Latino or Middle Eastern appearance, was crouched on the floor while an athletic man rammed between her asscheeks. The last new figure was quite different, a cruel satire: a big fat porker was rolling in fake mud, its head adorned with a police cap and its breast with a painted representation of a badge.
“Yes, Leila was saying to a local reporter, “Charles has decided to take a long vacation to recharge his batteries on the Galapagos Islands. We’re his pupils, though, and we’ll be creating works in his style.”
“That’s wonderful,” the reporter said. “My kid sister is mad keen to model for him. I’m sure she’ll be happy to do it for you. As a special kindness, could you let her?”
“Sure!” said Carrie, approaching. “We’ll be happy to accommodate her.”