Part 2 – In which Fiona finds her true self, the Lion shows new capabilities and valiant rescuers intervene
Three months had passed since PCs Christabel Somerton and Demetria Lindsay had been petrified in the grounds of Masters Hall in the depths of rural North Dorset. During that time, as the daughter of the house, Fiona Mason, had promised them, they had been shat on by birds, misused by laughing tourists and half-revived to be screwed by Fiona’s doting daddy Charles. Demetria’s generous black charms attracted Fiona’s regular attention, especially for caning and whipping, while Charles and his wife Diana were more attentive towards the innocent-looking, superbly leggy Chrissie who had amazingly been a virgin until petrified and then revived and deflowered by Charles.
Sometimes when the Masons enjoyed a session with their revived prey, they changed the poses. The two young policewomen were now posed bolt upright, each saluting with one hand while the other snaked between the girl’s own private lips. Meanwhile the victims whose disappearance had drawn the luckless officers to Masters Hall, the four eighteen-year-old Japanese schoolgirls, no longer stood in line with each girl inspecting the bottom of the one in front. Instead, one lay naked and writhing on the ground while the other three stood round her with their arms and legs positioned to strike her, but frozen back into yellow sandstone.
It was towards the end of a dank autumn day when Fiona walked alone into the woods called Bowndes Wood between the lawns and the Happisford road. Tucked into her arty, slightly hippyish tasselled bag she carried the Lion. This was the first time she had been allowed to carry it out of the sight of her father and out of the house.
Her father had instructed her in the thing’s properties and history at some length, and she had been an attentive student, especially after he had turned her elder sister into stone at her instigation. The Lion had belonged to the Masters who had built the Hall. When precisely they had acquired it was not known for sure, but one statue wore the garb of a serving-girl of the very early years of the seventeenth century. They must have acquired it as part of their trading activities in Africa or Asia, but who they bought or stole it from, no-one knew. After the last Masters of that name, Sir Danvers, had lost control of Masters Hall, he had made sure just one item from his former wealth, the Lion, had found its way to a reliable relative and descendant of the seventeenth-century Masters, and a line of Masons had held the precious charm till one of them was able to regain Masters Hall. Charles explained how his own fascination with the Lion had led him into inconclusive researches and finally to the name of young Dr Lin Andersen, an American expert in ancient religious art of the Middle East and North Africa. He recounted with some satisfaction how he had researched Dr Andersen till he was satisfied she was discreet, single and a brilliant authority; he had studied photos of the rising academic showing her neat figure and elfin charms; then he had approached her privately and indicated, with the backing of photos, that a piece of exceptional interest had come into his possession from his father and that he would pay all expenses plus a generous fee for her to come secretly to England to view it and unravel its mysteries, which he was sure she could do. Academic curiosity and a touch of vanity – to be trusted so much – drew her to him. At Masters Hall he showed it to her, making sure that he presented it in a box which he set down on the table, so he was not touching it when she stared into the face of the Lion. She was awed and entranced. She held it up to the light, felt it all over and placed it reverently back in its box. It was an outstanding piece, she told him, and no doubt meant to have some religious or magical purpose, though what, she could not tell. It was undoubtedly 1,800 to 1,300 years old and showed evidence of both Arab and African influences, which suggested most likely it came from some part of the Sahel region of Africa just south of the Sahara, where there had been several ancient and rich cities. When he was sure she had told him all she could, he told her she would be privileged to see something special, picked the Lion up, and held it before her eyes. She stared and her mouth opened wide as she turned to stone. Charles had laughed and had arranged her in a suitable pose, and since then, she had occupied pride of place in his bedroom, often used as a stand for his dressing-gown and hat.
Fiona thought her daddy was just marvellous, just evil when he did things like that.
He had also carefully explained to her the Lion’s properties. It would only work in the hands of a male member of the Masters family, a descendant of the one who had built Master Hall. He had to hold it for it to work, and to show the victim or victims the face of the Lion. Presumably it had once worked for someone else, an African or an Arab, but it was now programmed to obey a Masters. Strangely, it was also programmed to work only within the confines of the Masters estate. Having an enquiring mind and a Science degree, Fiona found this last point very odd, but her father said it had either been programmed that way by someone who had knowledge now lost, very likely to prevent its misuse by some dissident member of the family who might steal it – or the Lion was intelligent and recognised the home territory of its owner. While Charles, like his Mason ancestors, owned property in Portugal, the Lion had never been tested there for fear of it being lost in some shipwreck or plane crash or even to a pickpocket or mugger.
Her father, she knew, was a worried man despite his wealth and successes. He had no male heir and unless Fiona married and had a male child, he would have to pass the estate and the Lion to some other relative. But Fiona did not intend to be parted from the Lion. It was a measure of her father’s love and trust that he allowed her to carry it around within the estate: perhaps he hoped this would encourage her to get married quickly and produce children. After all, she was nearly twenty-three and existing from home on the proceeds of various freelance work plus a little help from her parents.
Fiona was walking with a purpose. For the last four months, a couple from one of the nearby villages had been using Bowndes Wood as a meeting-place for secret sex. They had good reason, for they were both married. Fiona recognised the tall, stately, ice-calm, posh-voiced Indian woman as Sunita Sukhdev, a doctor from the village, while their conversation Fiona overheard while hidden and watching told her the man was Gary Marsh, a garage owner. Gary had stubble on his chin, a rough voice, muscular arms with tattoos and a beer belly. He was the doctor’s bit of rough.
Fiona settled down in her usual hiding-place in the depths of the rhododendron bush. She did not have to wait long. For trespassers and secret lovers, the couple were quite noisy, having perhaps become overconfident that no-one would disturb them. This time, while Gary gave his all, Sunita’s heart did not seem to be in the sex. When they had finished, she peevishly snatched back her blue-and-white panties from Gary, slipped them on, reached for her bra, rearranged her beautiful, long, glossy black hair and without looking at him said,
“Gary – this has to be the last time. I think my husband’s getting suspicious.”
“Uh?” Gary grunted. “Suspicious, is he? Well, as long as he’s just suspicious, there’s nothing to worry about. And if you’re worried he might give you a thrashing, I can sort him.” The tall, beautiful doctor fastened her bra, her tight, almost juvenile breasts sticking out as she did so.
“No, Gary. I don’t want to leave him and I don’t want to hurt him. You’re nice, but…”
“BUT WHAT? You’ve had your bit of fucking fun and now you’re just saying thanks for the fuck and so long? Like trading in an old car? Fuck that!” Gary’s face had gone very red. Clumsily but powerfully, he grabbed at Sunita and pulled her towards him by her long black hair.
“LET GO!” she yelled – and when he did not, she slapped him hard in the face. He let go and stared at her as if she had turned into a wild animal.
“You…you…” he burbled.
“HUMAN BEING!” Sunita shouted. Picking up the rest of her clothes in a bundle, her pert, round, taut rump filling the tight panties, she stalked off, heading towards a point just right of the rhododendron bush. Gary, who was still naked at this point, did not follow her but began to dress hurriedly.
“Hello!” said Fiona, almost bumping into Sunita as she pretended to have walked round the back of the bush.
The doctor stared at her and could only say,
“Lovely day for a walk!” said Fiona.
“Er…yes. Um…who are you?”
“Fiona Mason. My daddy owns this place. You’re Dr Sukhdev, aren’t you, from the village?”
“Oh. Yes.” Dr Sukhdev was evidently not only startled by Fiona’s sudden appearance, and disadvantaged by her own semi-nakedness, but concerned that Fiona might order her off the land or even call a gamekeeper or the police.
“Don’t worry. I’m not going to eat you,” said Fiona; but as she said it, she realised she actually would quite like to eat Dr Sukhdev, or at least do something with her. On a sudden impulse, she drew out the Lion and dangled it in front of Sunita. “Have you ever seen anything like this?” she said, repeating her father’s favourite words. Sunita began to stiffen and her eyes to glaze over.
Fiona stared into her lost, enslaved eyes with surprise and joy. She had not really expected it to work. Her father had said the Lion only worked for male members of the family – but now she knew it worked for her.
Gary was now almost dressed and was stumping after his lost love.
“Sunny! Sunny! I’m…” his voice died out as he realised something strange had happened.
“Sunny?” he asked with a note of panic; then to Fiona he said, “Who are you? What are you doing?”
Fiona quite fancied Gary. She could quite see what the Doctor had found attractive – a large cock, a certain brute power and simplicity – and she had seriously considered making the garage-owner her mate to produce the next male heir of Masters Hall. Gary’s fate now depended on his next words and actions.
“I’ve turned her to stone,” said Fiona. “Isn’t she nice?” Gary’s mouth dropped open. He stared at the now very obviously transformed Sunita Sukhdev.
“Sunny!” he wailed, touching her shoulder and recoiling. He stared at Fiona. “You witch!” he said. He had made the wrong choice.
“Strange what this can do!” said Fiona, holding the Lion up to his face. It was supposed not to work on men, but somehow she had known in her heart it would work. Gary’s lumpy flesh began to turn into beautiful white marble.
Doctor Sunita Sukhdev, however, had not changed into white marble. Not had she changed into black jet like poor PC Demetria Lindsay. She had changed into beautiful burnished copper.
Fiona stared at her two marvellous conquests, her very first two. There would be many more, but these would always be special. She caressed their limbs and faces, enjoying the different textures of fine marble and smooth metal. Copper! Indian types turned to copper! Black ones to jet, yellow ones to sandstone and whites, even quite swarthy ones, to marble.
Her scientific mind analysed the information. The Lion must have several settings, and there would be tipping points that sent a victim either towards one fate or another. If you could experiment with, say, twenty people of mixed white and Indian parentage, for example, you’d find the lighter ones turned to marble, the darker ones to copper and even the ones right in the middle would go one way or the other. Fascinating! Well, she could leave these two in the wood for the time being. She wanted to show them to Daddy.
“I don’t know what to say, Fie,” Charles Mason said after staring at the preserved couple. “I was going to go to this one on Thursday about my back trouble.”
“You told me the Lion only worked for male Masters and only on women, Daddy,” Fiona reminded him, a gentle suggestion of reproof in her voice.
“Well, yes, so I did, and I really believed it. I let your mother try it once on some stupid student girl who’d come collecting for foreign orphans and it didn’t work. I had to step in to retrieve the situation. Family tradition tells that Eduardo Mason’s second wife tried it too, on some insubordinate servant, and her husband had to step in to deal with the wretched girl – and my grandmother certainly tried it on an old school friend with the same result.”
“How did you deal with the student, Daddy?” asked Fiona, intrigued as she hadn’t heard this story before. If her father was trying to change the subject, that was no problem: she could put that right later.
“Oh, took the Lion off her, of course, apologised to the student and showed it to her myself,” he replied. Don’t you remember her – just inside the private ground-level toilet, standing with her marble collecting-tin? The tin’s empty, by the way. I saw no reason to waste nearly forty pounds.”
“Perhaps the Lion chooses its masters,” Fiona suggested. “Can I use it again, Daddy? Pleeeeeese?”
“Of course, darling girl. Only don’t go overboard: too many disappearances around Masters Hall and we could get idiots digging up the lawns. Speak to me if you have someone in mind.” He held out his hand for the Lion and she gave it to him. As they walked back to the Hall together, he spoke again.
“You still do really need to find a mate, darling,” he said. She laughed.
“Yes, Daddy, I know. Leave it to me,” she replied. “By the way, they left one car, the man’s, just outside our boundary. I’ll drive it to Devil’s Leap and leave it there. The police will think it was a suicide pact and they jumped in the sea.”
“Fie, you’re a real Masters,” her father replied.
On the way back they passed the petrified policewomen. Charles gave the slim Christabel a friendly pat on her pert rump and Fiona honoured her favourite Black doll, Demetria, by pretending to squeeze her stone secret lips with her long fingernails. Christabel and Demetria watched and felt helplessly as they had done for three months.
That night, over fine malt whiskies, Charles and Diana discussed their daughter. Diana had been shocked to hear that the power of the Lion had passed to her, but they agreed that Fiona was totally committed to the work of the Lion and the Masters tradition. If only she could find a man who could be trusted, preferably one who could help with the victims as well as bringing up an heir to continue the work.
“Besides, darling, the way she talks, all that girly ‘Pleeeeease’ and so on, it sounds more like a sixteen-year-old than a girl who’s reached her twenties,” Diana commented, “and she’s just a bit fixated on you. A good man would help her grow up. So would a baby to care for.” Charles, a little reluctantly, agreed. They also agreed to go over and revive the Doctor the next day for a little shared fun.
Just over two months later Albert Smith parked his brown van in a lay-by on the same Happisford road. On one side rolling countryside stretched away, fields, cottages and wooded hills. On the other, overlooking the lay-by, was the high brick wall that marked the boundary of the Masters estate. He clambered out, sauntered away from the vehicle and lay down in the dirt, choosing his place carefully. Once down, he was motionless and a passer-by would have thought him unconscious or dead.
Albert Smith was not his original name. He had taken it on because it bore some resemblance to his real name and because he reckoned it was ideally English and ordinary. He was a Somali refugee who had fled warlords and civil war in his own country. There were many who fitted that description, but most of them had one important difference from Albert: they were innocent victims of the conflict. Albert had successfully convinced immigration officers that his life had been at risk from a warlord, but had concealed the reason – that he had raped the warlord’s daughter.
He was waiting for a nurse. The nurse’s name was Sophie Graham and she regularly jogged along this stretch of road to keep fit and because she liked the countryside. She was blonde, long-legged and shapely, curvy but with no surplus fat. She had an intelligent, sympathetic face and she smiled a lot. Albert might ideally have liked a bit more meat on her, but in all other respects she was ideal. He had been watching her for some time and had found out her name and profession from chatter in the pub (Albert had soon abandoned Muslim restrictions on alcohol). He was not unattractive to women and had not been without partners since his arrival, but he had become obsessed with this one. He did not dream of approaching her, chatting to her and asking her out. That would spoil it. He just had to have her. She ran over and over again through his dreams, her tight arse wobbling and writhing about in its bright blue Lycra packaging. He couldn’t explain his obsession – she wouldn’t even be the first nurse he’d raped, as there had been that big-titted New Zealand piece in the clinic he and the boys had overrun in Southern Sudan. She’d been good fun, her big blue eyes, her stupid face, her stupid pleas for mercy, her huge tits and what the boys had done with them, and of course she wouldn’t be telling any tales – but this one was going to be even more special.
He waited for the sound of her trainers lightly spanking the hard road surface as another man might savour the bouquet of a fine wine and anticipate the taste. Then he heard them, and there was no sound of traffic.
Sophie rounded the bend and saw the van parked in the lay-by. Then she saw the crumpled figure lying on the ground. The driver must have felt ill, pulled in and then collapsed. Her training and sense of duty kicked in. She was a nurse. She ran to the man, who seemed to be some kind of African or Arab. She felt for a pulse. The man groaned, rolled slowly over and grabbed her by the neck with muscular hands. She did not have time to scream – only to make a little “Oh!” noise – before he pulled her down, gripped her neck hard and rolled on top of her. She was a strong young woman with self-defence training, but he was far stronger. Soon she lay limp as he dragged her to the edge of the park wall, threw her on to the top of the wall, clambered up after her and pulled her down on the other side.
In the lay-by, the van still stood properly parked but there was no sign the nurse had ever existed.
Much later, the twisted but still quivering body of the nurse lay on rotting leaves and mud under the stately oaks of Masters Park, dressed only in a good-luck bracelet and one white sock. Albert finally pulled out, having pumped her in five places (he had an eye fetish) and placed his sinewy hands around her slim neck to finish her off.
“Hello!” called a young, female voice.
Albert straightened up, stuffed his cock clumsily back in his trousers, stood between the nurse and where he thought the voice had come from, and said:
“I don’t think we’ve met,” said Fiona Mason, advancing. “My name’s Fiona Mason. What’s your name?” Albert was befuddled.
“Albert – Albert Sm…iles,” he replied, staring at the pretty, apparently unsuspecting girl in designer jeans and “I Shot JR” t-shirt.
“What a nice name! Who’s she?”
“Er…my girlfriend. We do it a bit rough, maybe you understand?”
“Oh, of course!” Fiona laughed. “Only Albert, you really don’t need to do what you were going to do.”
“What do you mean?” asked Albert, edging towards her till he could grab her.
“Strangle her, of course, silly! Well, it makes sort of sense. You raped her and you don’t want her telling on you. But there’s a much better way. Don’t be stupid and try to grab me, or you’ll get a very nasty surprise.” To his own amazement, Albert stopped on the point of making his grab. Something about this strange girl frightened him, but also fascinated him.
“What…what’s the better way?” he asked. The girl smiled at him, nicely but casually as if he’d just opened the door for her. The nurse groaned. The girl knelt by her head and spoke softly:
“Hello – I’m Fiona Mason. I live here. You’ve had a rather nasty time. Would you like to look at something nice that will calm you down?” She dangled the Lion in the nurse’s face.
The nurse struggled to see through her gummed-up eyes, but soon they, like the rest of her body, began to stiffen. Albert had recovered his nerve and had been creeping towards the posh girl to grab her, beat her up and, after a bit more fun, send her the same way as the nurse – but at the sight of his victim turning into fine white marble he stood transfixed.
“What have you done? Who are you?” he asked in a trembling voice.
“Silly boy – I told you. I’m Fiona Mason. My daddy owns this place. I’ve turned this stupid bit into stone,” she replied slowly and clearly, as if to a child. The Lion was back in her bag.
Nurse Sophie Graham’s contorted body was now a beautiful work of art. Albert’s mouth dropped open. For a while he could not speak but then he said,
“Are you a witch?”
Fiona screwed up her face and then burst out laughing.
“A witch? No, I’m a Masters. Well, maybe I’m sort of a witch, but not like people think. I don’t have a pointy hat or a black cat. Mind you, I could quite like riding on a broomstick.” She giggled again.
Albert had never met a woman like this before. There were ancient stories of female demons, but somehow he had never expected to meet one with an upper-class English accent and a silly t-shirt. He was fascinated. He was hooked.
Fiona knew he was dangerous. She had seen his small movements aimed at being able to jump on her. He was obviously very strong. If he once grabbed her, she might well not be able to get the Lion out in time. Besides, turning him to stone when he already had his hands around her throat might not be ideal. But the danger excited her. He excited her because he was dangerous. She had never felt like that about a man before.
“Who was she?” she asked, tapping the petrified nurse with her toe.
“A nurse. Her name is Sophie Graham. I was watching her a long time. She went jogging past here, same day, same time.”
“And you got sort of obsessed with her till you just had to have her? And chatting her up and asking her out and giving her wine and food and then f*cking her just wouldn’t do?”
“I know how it feels. I feel that way about some of our victims. Come with me – I want to show you something!” She skipped off and Albert followed till they came to the statues of Dr Sukhdev and Gary. “I did these two, Albert. They were my first,” Fiona explained. “Gary has a really, really big cock! But silly me, you wouldn’t be interested in that. I am, though! I control it! Evil!”
Albert looked at her wide-eyed but said nothing. He followed her again till they came to statues of two policewomen, a slim, leggy white marble one and a busty, big-arsed black jet one.
“I told Daddy I just had to have the black one, and, darling man, he got her for me!” Fiona told her new friend. “Wasn’t that sweet of him?”
“These are real policewomen?”
“Haven’t you heard? The two who went missing? Yes, they’re real policewomen.”
“I hate police!” Albert said, “policewomen specially. Women should not order men!” As soon as he had said it, he feared he had offended the witch girl. He did not want to be turned to stone – but also, he realised, he wanted to please her.
“Umm..” she said, not looking offended, “I think women who do things like being policewomen or nurses are really asking for it, don’t you?”
Albert had learnt enough about English culture to realise such sentiments were usually expressed in irony or parody, not for real, but the witch seemed as if she meant them. He did not want to offend her or to look foolish before her. He played for time.
“Asking for it?”
“Asking to be raped, of course, silly! That’s what you did to that stupid girl back in the woods, wasn’t it?”
Albert could only stare for a while, but then he just found his voice:
Fiona laughed and blew him a kiss.
“Fantastic! Quite right too. I think we’re going to be friends. You can fuck the policewomen later if you like. Would you like that? Oh, silly me. I should have explained we can revive the statues, only part way, but enough for some real fun.” She caressed Demetria’s magnificent black stone tit and spoke softly to her:
“Demetria, darling, Miss Piggy, this man is a rapist and attempted murderer. Are you going to arrest him? You should, you know. You’re not? Oh dear – why?”
Halfway to the Hall, in view of Demetria and Chrissie, she put her arms around Albert and drew him to her.
“Mummy – Daddy,” Fiona said over the claret at dinner, “I’ve found a mate.” Charles knew his daughter well enough to realise this was not a joke or even a declaration half-meant but soon to be withdrawn. She meant what she said; and what she wanted, she got. He felt a pang of regret at the prospect of surrendering his wonderful daughter to a strange man – no, not surrendering, sharing; but he knew well that a successful mating would assure the future of the dynasty and the Lion itself, and a good, ruthless man, as he was sure Fiona would have selected, would be a great help.
“Darling!” cried Diana, “how wonderful! Who is he?” Her daughter looked radiant, she thought.
“He’s local, he’s a van driver, he’s from Somalia, his name is Albert Smiles,” Fiona announced, and as an afterthought, “he’s a rapist.”
“But that’s ideal!” Diana enthused. “Albert Smiles is an odd name for a Somali, though, sweetest. Are you sure he was telling the truth?”
“It’s not his original name, of course, Mummy,” she replied. “He changed it when he came to this country.”
“I think the Smiles family sounds ideal for the guardians of the Lion,” her father commented. “The Masters, then the Masons, and then the Smiles. All Masters really, of course. I don’t think this claret quite matches up to the occasion. I’ll get Soper to bring the vintage port.”
Demetria Lindsay and Christabel Somerton, statues who had once been policewomen, stood seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking and frozen in the soft rain of the next dawn. Christabel thought of her loving parents whose only child she was, and wanted to cry, but could not. Demetria thought of her parents too, their earthy, homely talk and warm embraces, but also of her brilliant sister who would so be missing her. They had done so many things together, but now they were apart. Christabel thought of being able to sing and run. Demetria thought of being able to speak the words that came into her head. Both were helpless and could not even weep.
Fiona now spent much of her time with Albert, and much of the rest with her own conquests, the doctor, the garage-owner and the nurse. Albert was her dutiful follower, whom she rewarded by frequently reviving the policewomen for him to use as he wished. But soon entering the policewomen was nothing to him, compared to entering her. They were truly in love.
“Daddy,” Fiona said at breakfast, “that fat black police thing…”
“What about her?” asked Charles.
“Her titties are just ridiculous, they’re so big, and as for her withers, they’re bigger than a carthorse’s!” Fiona complained. “She’s gross! Have you noticed she looks just like a hippopotamus?”
“No I hadn’t, but now you mention it, I do see the resemblance.”
“She’d be better in the lake – just so her huge bottom and head stuck out. Then she’d be a really good hippopotamus.”
“What a clever idea, darling!” said her mother; and so it was done.
Soon ducks rested in the valley of Demetria’s lower back and on her head, leaving thick deposits of shit, while frogs, newts, crayfish and minnows investigated the nooks and crannies underwater. Christabel could not see what had happened to her friend, but knew she was gone and mourned, but could not cry.
* * *
Far away in Tokyo, two young women talked in whispers in a Starbucks coffee shop and made a fateful decision. The older, Chiya Miyamoto, was a teacher and a lover of things French and English (regretting only that the French and the English did not seem to like one another much). She had been quiet and reserved ever since four girls in her charge (and in the charge of two other adults, but Chiya felt wholly responsible) had disappeared in the grounds of an English country house. She had never been able to rid herself of the feeling that she had failed them, but she did not know what had happened, so could not learn from whatever her mistake had been. She did not even know if the girls were alive or dead.
The younger girl, Ai Sukino, was about to enjoy her nineteenth birthday, but she would not enjoy it much. Her twin sister was one of the four who had disappeared. Ai would have been there if she had not twisted her ankle the previous day in innocent horseplay. She too felt guilty, for if she had not done that stupid thing, she would have been with her beloved twin Akiko and would either have rescued her, or shared her fate. Since her sister’s disappearance, she had, with grim determination, practiced martial arts and survival skills, believing with absolute conviction that one day she would confront her twin’s enemies. Yet she was as slim and insubstantial as a leaf of a fern and as delicately beautiful as a bright butterfly.
The two were going back to England to investigate the disappearance. They had lost faith in the English police, the Japanese diplomatic and consular services and all others who had pretended to help them. They would settle the matter themselves. They were going back to Masters Hall. However, to prevent anyone from trying to stop them, and to avoid any news of their intentions getting out, they told everyone they were going to the English Lake District for a walking holiday. Ai’s parents disapproved as they suspected the teacher of having lesbian designs on their daughter, but she was strong-willed and legally an adult.
* * *
Nearly a month later, Chiya parked the hired car in the same lay-by Albert had used to catch the nurse and the two young women scrambled over the wall into the woods, where they moved quietly and cautiously like jungle fighters till they found an old rhododendron bush on the very edge of the woods, overlooking the lake and lawns. From there, lying flat on their stomachs, they could watch events for hours, binoculars and cameras at the ready.
That day they saw nothing happen. The next day the place was full of tourists, and again they saw nothing of consequence. They slipped out and walked among the tourists, examining the statues with an uneasy feeling that something was wrong about them, something ominous and evil, but walked straight by the group of four sandstone Japanese girls because a party of visiting Chinese VIPs, with their security, was grouped around them.
On the third day their luck changed. There had been a frost and it was still cold: the two young women shivered as they lay still under the big woody bush. Their binoculars misted up and had to be cleared repeatedly. Chiya had thoughtfully brought a flask of good coffee and she was pouring a cup for the younger girl when they heard raised voices.
A small group of people stood out on the lawn, looking down at something on the ground, kicking it and laying hold of it, laughing and cheering. The watching Japanese recognised Charles Mason and his wife. With them was a slim, pretty European girl and a tough-looking African or Arab. Both girls strained to see what they were attacking or playing with. The pretty girl threw a wide-brimmed straw hat on to the ground. Suddenly, the surrounding bodies parted to reveal another body on the ground, a white, big-bottomed female one. Charles Mason knelt down, unzipped his flies and shoved his swollen, stiff cock into the girl’s bottom crack.
As Ai watched in horror, her teacher struggled to remember the British emergency number she thought she had memorised. 333? 666? That must be it – but it did not work. She tried 999.
“Police, fire or ambulance?” asked a calm female voice.
“Police!” said Chiya.
The call that a rape was in progress in the grounds of Masters Hall met with some scepticism at the police station, especially as so many ridiculous stories circulated about the place and the disappearances of Sophie Graham, the two policewomen, the four Japanese schoolgirls and even that Indian doctor and her lover had meant that every suggestible type or nutcase imagined things about it. Nonetheless, two cars were alerted and were soon roaring up the driveway.
They were greeted by an initially puzzled Charles Mason, who politely showed the officers round until they came to the statue of the big-bottomed young girl in the straw boater.
“We were playing some silly games around this statue,” Mason explained. “I’m sure your informants saw that and imagined she was real. Perfectly understandable. Where are they, by the way?”
The two watching Japanese had come out to meet the police, who waved them impatiently to approach and explained what they had seen. Sergeant Culley, though, was not ready to leave the matter there.
“The park is closed today, isn’t it, sir?” he asked Mason.
“Yes, it is.”
“So what were you two ladies doing here?”
“Bird watching,” said Ai quickly. “We have the binoculars.”
“So you do,” Culley acknowledged, “but you were trespassing.”
The younger-looking, slighter Japanese showed signs of anger, but her friend looked down at her feet, looked up again, smiled tentatively and said,
“We are so solly! We did not know…”
“Just don’t do it again!” said the Sergeant; but Mason intervened.
“Oh, but now we understand one another, by all means – be our guests! Carry right on birdwatching! Naturally we understand why you thought you’d seen a crime, and while so many people would say to themselves it wasn’t their business, you quite rightly did your duty. By the way, as you’ve been birdwatching round here, I expect you’ve seen the Rose-rumped Warbler?”
“Oh, yes!” said Chiya quickly.
“You noticed our resident Stone Tits? And the Gross-rumped Blackbird in the lake?”
“Yes, great!” Ai chimed in.
“If no-one here needs us any more, we’ll be off,” the Sergeant broke in. He was a conscientious man who did not like to waste time. Besides, he did not really like the Masons, who were a funny lot at the best of times. He had a pretty good idea what “silly games” they’d been playing with that statue which was, well, quite sexy. As a good Methodist he did not want to know more. No crime. End of story.
The two Japanese withdrew almost as quickly as the police.
Watching their pert little backsides receding, Diana asked her husband,
“What was all that rubbish you were talking about Gross-rumped Stone Tits or something?”
“There are stone tits all over our grounds, darling, and the Gross-rumped Blackbird is our foolish policewoman in the lake. I was testing if they were real birdwatchers. They certainly aren’t. Those two cool young ladies are after something else.”
Diana’s mouth opened a little and her eyes widened.
“The shorter, almost titless one looks extraordinarily like one of the four we gave to the Lion,” she confided. “She could be a sister or something.”
“They all look the same to me,” said Albert.
The two girls were on the point of disappearing back into the woods when Fiona spoke:
“They’re spies! I know it! They’re trying to find out what happened to the four we took! They’re police or relatives or something. We’ve got to deal with them. They must have parked in that lay-by. I’m getting my motorbike, fast!” With that she raced off.
She returned half-an-hour later with the news that the two Japanese were staying at the Royal Huntsman Inn.
“Ideal!” said Charles. “Old Parsons worked here for many years. You were a little girl when he left to take over the pub. But he knows the score and he’ll be happy to do what I say. Obviously we have to deal with them permanently.”
“I can help!” said Albert.
That night, after a light meal and a short walk in the moonlight, Chiya and Ai retired to their room and began to discuss what they were too careful to discuss when others might hear, the strange events in the park. Had the Masons really just been having kinky fun with a statue? Neither girl could really believe it. Had the Masons known they were there and deliberately set up a drama to draw them out? That was a worrying thought. At least, Ai said firmly, things were on the move and the Masons were up to no good. She and Chiya would soon get to the bottom of it. They watched TV for a while but found it boring. Intending to make a very early start the next morning to check out Masters Hall before breakfast, they undressed and settled into their two beds early. Soon they were asleep.
Slowly, softly, a key turned in the lock and the door opened. Soft-shod feet padded in. For a moment everything was quiet again except for the cry of an owl outside. Then the light came on. The two women just had time to wake and shift in their beds before strong hands pushed the wet cloths into their faces, firmly down over their noses and mouths, and they breathed in the deadening vapours.
Albert pulled back the bedclothes and stared down at the motionless body of Ai Sukino – almost motionless, for her tiny, hard, teenage breasts moved up and down under the flimsy nightdress, her nipples peeking at him like shy animals. He pulled the nightdress up and stared at her minute, tangled little bush.
Fiona had also pulled back the bedclothes to examine her prey. The conscientious teacher Chiya Miyamoto lay unconscious on her front, her fuller curves completely revealed, for she was naked.
The triumphant couple gagged and trussed their captives. They dragged in two long cricket bags and placed Chiya and Ai one in each. Then, unhurriedly, they looked through the girls’ luggage and other things, dropping a number of items into the bags. Fiona thoughtfully remade the beds till it was as if the two had never been.
A few minutes later Albert’s van started up with two full cricket bags in the back.
“Don’t turn them to stone right away!” Albert pleaded to his love. She laughed a tinkling laugh.
“Of course not, darling. You’ll have plenty of time with them. Besides, daddy will want to question them to find out if they’re police or just on their own. Stone statues tend to be quite unresponsive.”
So it was two live, flesh-and-blood, breathing Japanese would-be rescuers Fiona and Albert dragged from the van across the gravel of the drive and into Masters Hall itself. Soper the old butler saw them and carefully averted his eyes. He was in the third generation of his family to serve the Masons and he had known since childhood there were certain things it was best not to see.
Teacher Chiya Miyamoto hung by a long, hairy rope from a meat hook in the grand cellar of Masters Hall. The rope tightened round her slim wrists, leaving her slim, leggy naked body to hang almost, but not quite, to the massive flagstones of the floor. Student Ai Sukino also hung from a meat hook by a similar rope, but she was doubled up and trussed so her slim neck was clasped between her calves, she stared up her own vulva, and her pert, teenage bottom was bent taut and dramatically curved. Charles, Diana and Fiona Mason stood watching them, as did Albert Smith.
Charles had produced a neat little horsewhip, but his wife frowned.
“Darling, I really think this is a case for the scourge,” she advised. Charles deferred to her judgement. The scourge consisted of a handle of oiled and polished willow ending in six narrow cords themselves ending in two tight little knots and a kind of slim iron claw with a sharp, hooked end.
Charles Mason dangled it in front of Chiya’s face.
“Really it would make a lot of sense if you just told us who you really are and why you were snooping about on our land,” he told her.
“We not tell you anything, never!” Chiya declared. “Let us go!”
“Oh, dear!” said Charles. He drew back his arm and with a cunning little late twist, sent the claws and knots of the scourge hissing into the teacher’s face. She screamed. Then she stared at him in shock and (it seemed to him) also a little in recognition of something she had been denying, something that had been missing from her life. Red weals formed on her pretty, intelligent, delicate face. He stepped round the back and drew his arm back again; this time he struck across the soft yellowish under cheeks of her rump. She screamed again. He struck again, more in the middle of her bottom.
“Who – are – you?” he demanded.
“Chiya Miyamoto. Ai Sukino.” She replied.
He struck again and the scourge bit hungrily into her plump cheeks.
“We are, we are!” she wailed; then “WAAAAAAAAAA!” as he struck again. “Those are our names!”
“I’m not interested in your names, stupid girl!” Charles barked. “Are you police? Private detectives? Journalists?”
“No, no, no! I am teacher, she is student!”
“Teacher, eh?” said Charles, less angrily. “So why were you spying on us?”
“We not tell you!” sobbed Chiya. “We nevIAAAAAAAAAOW!”
Charles Mason had slipped round the front again and cut the scourge into her neat left breast.
But another voice cut in:
“Reave her arone!” Ai yelled. “Cluel man! Evil man! Ret her go!” Diana tutted.
“I say, darling, this one her is awfully ill-bred, speaking without being spoken to, and so loud!” she complained.
“As always, you’re quite right, darling,” Charles replied. “She needs to be taught a lesson.”
Leaving Chiya, he approached the smaller target. She really had the most delightful thighs, he thought, firm and juicy, and that delicate yellowish tint was a fine enhancement. Yellow sandstone did not quite do it justice, but of course she could be revived. Still, first things first. He stretched his arm back and laid the scourge across the backs of her upper thighs.
She screamed, but she did not know what was coming next. Taking careful aim, he cut right into her neat little pussy lips. Her second scream, he thought, was so much more enjoyable than the first.
“No!” cried Chiya. “Enough! We tell!”
“Well, this is going to be interesting!” said Fiona.
A few minutes later, she and her parents chatted in another room while Albert familiarised himself with the charms of both girls.
“That was so clever of you, mummy, to see that the small one looked enormously like one of the ones we took from that school party!” said Fiona.
“I agree with Albert. They all look the same to me,” said her father.
“That’s not true, darling,” his wife objected. “Even you can see that of the new two, the taller one has bigger tits and her pubes aren’t so curly.”
When Albert let them know he had finished, they trooped back in and released their captives from the ropes. Something in Charles Mason’s calm face and the excitement in the faces of the others told the victims what was about to happen. The two naked young women clutched one another tightly and turned their faces towards Charles.
“Ideal!” he said, and showed them the Lion.
Albert and the three Masons examined the beautiful and dramatic yellow sandstone statue of two naked young Far Eastern women clutching one another tight and staring at something with wide eyes and mouths. One could imagine, thought Charles, that they were comforting one another while anticipating something terrible. On the other hand, one might assume the taller, older-looking one had been surprised in some illicit relationship with the younger, perhaps even a rape. He thought he would place this quite outstanding statue in pride of place at the top of the stairs to the main entrance of the Hall.
Eventually, these two luscious little pieces could be introduced to the other Japs and each twin sister could see precisely what had happened to her twin. That would be amusing. He patted the teacher absent-mindedly on her sandstone rump.
Fiona and Albert lay in one another’s arms in Fiona’s bed, the stone eyes of her sister staring at them. Next week they would be legally man and wife.
“Fie,” said Albert, “I’ve got something to admit.”
“Not raping another nurse, darling? You ARE a naughty boy!”
“No, not like that. My name isn’t really Albert Smiles.”
“Well, of course not! Your real name is Somali.”
“No, even my English name I changed it to isn’t Smiles. Officially I’m Albert Smith.”
“Eeurch!” said Fiona. “We’ll have to do something about that.” When she told her father there was a problem, and explained its nature, he smiled.
“No problem at all, my princess!” he replied. “I’ll pay for him to change his name again. I quite agree you can’t marry someone called Smith, but Smiles will do very well.” So Albert Smiles married Fiona Mason and they lived in Masters Hall.
Winter had passed and spring had come to Dorset. A family conference – Charles, Diana, Fiona and Albert – had discussed their work, the rumours both gamekeeper and handyman Sam Chedzoy and Estate Manager Marcia Capstick had reported from the village and their future strategy. They were agreed that despite the huge advantage they held because no-one could believe in people being turned to stone until it happened to them, the rumours were growing and the police might not always discount them. They agreed not to take any more people in the house or grounds. Instead, since the Lion worked only on their land, they would have to travel to quite distant places, pick up victims there and take them back for petrification.
Before long, Diana suggested both a location and a target.
The outstanding middle-distance runner Julie Barrett had already won two gold medals at the age of nineteen in the European Athletics Championship and was much discussed as an excellent prospect for the next Olympics. The newspapers called her “Our golden girl.” Her intelligent, intense face with the high cheekbones of her Serbian mother and the dark, curly hair of the Irish strand in her father’s family, stared out from many magazines. Her delightful pear-shaped bottom in tight blue Lycra or blue running shorts also stared out from certain magazines, but these were pictures taken without permission at public events, for Julie was a respectable girl.
Diana Mason had bit by bit become as obsessed with Julie as Albert had been with Sophie Graham. She bought newspapers or magazines with pictures and articles about her. She watched TV when the young star was competing. Charles thought it all a little ridiculous, but he did not realise what his wife was planning, even when he found her studying Julie’s blog and taking notes.
“Got her!” Diana announced suddenly, appearing like a messenger of doom or victory as the other three played croquet on the lawn.
“Got who, darling?” Charles asked.
“Julie Juicy Barrett! I’ve got her! Got her!”
“Got her here?”
“Of course not, darling – not yet. But I know precisely where she goes jogging and when! I want her in white marble on the lawn! I want her for the collection!”
“Ah!” said Charles.
An article about Julie had mentioned several places which, taken together, gave a clear picture of her usual jogging route. This was confirmed by a short TV programme Diana had recorded, which showed a pub in the background with its sign visible. There was only one General Roberts pub in Julie’s home county of Herefordshire and its website explained precisely where it was. Julie’s blog carefully said nothing specific about her route or her usual haunts, apart from mentioning Herefordshire and the River Wye, but was very specific about her routine and its timetable.
Four days later Charles, Diana, Fiona and Albert were heading for Herefordshire in Albert’s plain brown van in the half-light before dawn. Charles had studied maps; Fiona had studied Google Earth. They were well prepared.
Just after dawn, Albert pulled the van off the road in front of a farm track. They checked their watches and listened to a skylark singing.
“I want to be driving,” said Fiona. Albert nodded and they changed places. All four were tense and excited, with gleaming eyes.
In a while, Diana spoke.
“She should be here by now.”
“Yes, she…THERE SHE IS!” cried Fiona.
Julie Barrett, the Golden Girl, in white top, white running shoes and blue Lycra shorts came jogging down the lane, her expression intent, her eyes looking straight ahead. There was absolute silence in the van – and absolute stillness except for breasts rising and falling with discreet breathing, and lumps in trousers rising and not falling as the Golden Girl drew nearer. She reached the van and ran straight past, her tight, round buttocks pressing against one another as they worked up and down. Fiona waited…waited…waited…turned the key in the ignition, released the handbrake and pulled the van gently on to the road. The blue Lycra cheeks were getting closer, closer, and the hunters in the van more excited, when a bunch of cyclists appeared heading towards them on the other side of the road.
“Shit!” said Fiona, and slowed down. It seemed that she would have no choice but to overtake Julie and try again later, but just as the cyclists disappeared round a bend she came to a small private road she had forgotten with a sign to a farm. She turned off, waited a moment and then resumed the chase. Julie Barrett had not looked round.
She had still not looked round as the van drew up to her. There was nothing unusual in the occasional vehicle overtaking her. Her arms pumped, her lithe legs worked, her blue buttocks shifted at the same rate as before. At the last second, Fiona swerved and hit her from behind. Albert had been worried his wife would get it wrong, hitting the target at the wrong angle, or not hard enough so she ran off screaming, or too hard so she was no more use; but Fiona got it just right.
Julie’s super fit famous body flew up on to the bonnet and rolled towards the windscreen. Her bottom and bronzed upper thighs hit the windscreen with no great force and a discreet little thud.
Albert, Charles and Diana jumped out. At that point Fiona checked her watch, for she had challenged them to get Julie inside the van within twenty seconds. Eighteen seconds later their victim was in the back. Albert transferred to the back with Charles, as they would need some amusement on the long journey back to Masters Hall. Julie, to their relief, was unharmed except for a bruise or two. Rope and gag kept her quiet. Fiona had studied the route and did not need to check the roadmap.
Flushed with pride and triumph, pleasantly warmed by a late breakfast in a roadside French bistro (after which Diana had replaced Albert in the back and Albert had taken over driving) they carried their prize up the steps to Masters Hall. Under the gaze of painted past Masters and Masons, by arms of the Civil and Eighteenth-century wars, by a still older cavalry lance, spurs and helmet, they unwrapped their catch and removed the gag.
Julie Barrett forced her sticky eyelids apart and stared up at her captors, her shorts and top thoughtfully put back on by them. The two men and the older woman had been busy with her during the journey, but she had endured, accepting she could not stop them while making mental notes about their bodies and voices. She was a level-headed and observant girl.
Something in their attitude had struck her as odd. They’d been almost polite. They hadn’t called her a slut or a whore or hit her unnecessarily. It was almost like this was a job or a business.
A chilling idea hit her. Surely this couldn’t be to do with her mother’s Serb family, some of whom had been involved in dubious activity during the Balkan wars? But these people didn’t sound or look like Croats or Bosnians.
The four people standing round her were saying and doing nothing, so she studied them. There was a tall, middle-aged man, rather distinguished-looking and rather dark, perhaps French or Italian or something. The other man was younger – hard to say how old – and brown-skinned, maybe a dark-skinned Arab or a Caribbean, a tough man with a hard expression but quite short.
There were also two white women, a tall, cold-eyed one who might be the tall man’s wife and a curvy, pretty, sweet-faced young one. If she was going to find a weak point or an ally, the young woman seemed the best bet.
“Ah, Miss Barrett,” said the older man in smooth, educated tones, “so glad you could join us and that our little encounter didn’t harm you. Just a few minor bruises, I understand. Well, you must be wondering why we’ve brought you here.”
“To use as a sex toy until you’re tired of me and kill me,” Julie replied quite levelly, “unless this is something to do with former Yugoslavia and my mother’s people.” The man looked impressed.
“My word, you are a level-headed, cool, courageous young person!” he said. “I’m so glad you’ll be staying with us so we can get to know you better. Diana, darling, your taste is excellent. Would you like to carry on?”
The tall older woman was staring at Julie in a way she didn’t like – but now she smiled.
“It’s nothing to do with the Balkans, I can assure you of that,” she started. “Certainly you will be a sex toy, mostly mine because I chose you – but you can rest assured we won’t kill you. Not quite. We have our own methods. You’ll be joining our collection, I’m pleased to say.” Her calm but triumphant voice and those words “our collection” sent a shiver down Julie’s spine. The older woman continued. “Darling, will you do the honours or will Fie process her?”
The young woman, who must be Fie, demonstratively kissed the older man and said it was his turn.
Charles Mason smiled at Julie.
“I’m afraid you won’t quite be a golden girl, which is a pity. Nonetheless, not many people are immortalised in marble. Have you ever seen anything like this?”
As Julie’s eyes glazed, her face set in rigid horror and her body stiffened, Diana darted forward, groped inside her top and, pushing with all her strength, forced the young athlete’s right breast up till her nipple pointed at her chin. She held it there until the petrification had gone far enough and it would stay in place.
“Terrible business about Julie Barrett,” Charles was saying to a group of tourists a few days later. “I do hope she turns up safe and sound. And the poor young woman disappeared just after we’d had her immortalised in marble! Her statue’s over here. Very lifelike, don’t you think?”
Chiya and Ai still clasped one another as they stood at the top of the steps. PC Chrissie Somerton still stood on the lawn with a desolate expression, her long marble legs flexed as she touched her toes and stuck her neat little bottom out towards the lake where her best friend PC Demetria Lindsay, moved a little nearer the shore to shallower water, arched her back dramatically, sticking her huge black jet rump out of the water and holding her generous, large-nippled tits just above the water level, though water lapped over the small of her back. A few tourists wandered the grounds, but the day had started with heavy rain, it was still quite early, and numbers were modest. A group of schoolboys sniggered as they investigated Chrissie’s feminine body before swaggering off to stare at Demetria and make loud, rude remarks, unaware Demetria could hear them. At one corner of the lake some minor repairs had unearthed a pile of hard, fist-sized stones and broken bricks. The boys began to throw them into the water, trying with no success to hit the ducks, which noisily escaped well out of range. That left the smallest, weediest, most rat-faced of the boys holding a stone but uncertain what to do with it. An idea came to him. He threw it at the sexy black statue in the lake and got a bull’s-eye right on its giant arse. The other boys cheered and he felt big and important. Soon they were all aiming at the statue. They began to knock chips off its massive buttocks and tits. The ringleader, with a powerful and cunning shot, knocked one of the thing’s big long nipples right off so it landed with a plop in the water. The others cheered.
“Oi! Lay off!” The angry man running towards them was quite big and running quite fast.
They dropped their stones and bricks and scattered. Sam Chedzoy gave up the chase and stared at the damage. The Master was not going to be pleased.
Demetria felt only the dullest of aches where she was wounded, but she knew it would be very different when she was revived.
The Masons had debated what to do about Demetria’s lost nipple. Diana offered the view that it was an improvement because it made her more interesting, while Fiona, who not long ago had seemed to have totally gone off her policewoman captive, was full of concern for “poor Black Beauty and her damaged titty.” Charles kept his counsel for a while till finally he commented that there was not much they could do about it, unless they wanted to try substituting a mock replacement of fibreglass or something, or knocking the other one off for better balance.
“But daddy, you’re forgetting, I’ve got that sub-aqua kit you gave me for my sixteenth,” Fiona reminded him. And so it was that, in frogwoman kit, watched closely by an apprehensive but excited Albert, she dived to the bottom of the lake and at the third attempt found Demetria’s missing nipple quite undamaged.
It was then a simple job to superglue it back on, but when they revived her, Demetria did not seem very happy with it, so Charles moved it to halfway up her tit. She seemed even less happy then, and Fiona gave her a session with the scourge for her ingratitude. Demetria wept, and as she was turned back into stone, her tears petrified on her face and her breasts.
Unknown to her, though, help was on its way.
To Be Continued….