Pledge Night Submission
As the moon rose on the Silver Springs History Museum, the night crew ushered all of the guests out of the building for the evening. A skeleton crew of security and janitorial staff put the museum back into order after the long day. It had been a busy day for the museum, with plenty of visitors, including several tour groups from St. Francis University, Silver Springs’ local college. What the museum’s custodial crew did not know was that not all of the tour groups had actually left the museum that day. A tour group of pledges from the Alpha Sigma Phi Rho sorority had managed to slip past, out of sight and disappear into the museum. At around eleven, long after most of the crew had departed for the day, an inconspicuous storage closet door slowly opened in the Egyptian wing. A young, brunette girl slowly stuck her head out to examine the room.
“See anyone?” a nervous voice called behind her, but Paige quickly shushed it. She carefully examined the room, determined not to get caught. Paige knew the trouble they could get into for being in the museum after hours, but she had been careful and was confident the plan would work. They had picked a night when the security would be just one older guard, stationed in the security room. Based on what she saw on the tour today, she figured he was already passed out in his chair, either asleep or drunk. Still, no plan is perfect, so she wanted to make sure there hadn’t been any last-minute duty roster changes before they made their move.
“Come onnnnnnnnn... I’m dyyyyyying in here!” whined a different voice from the closet. Just as Paige turned to quiet her down, the pledge pushed her way out of the closet. Daphne made her way into the room straightening her bleach blond hair and smoothing her clothes, as if trying to air out invisible wrinkles and wipe away any dust from the closet. “Ugh, finally! We’ve been in there for forever! And, no offense ladies, someone in there badly needs some mints. Or a bath. Autumn, I’m looking in your direction.”
“Hey... that’s mean...” spoke a quiet, little voice from a quiet, little woman. Autumn stuck her head out from the closet, still hiding behind Paige. Autumn was the shortest of the group and her long, flowing brown hair, while quite charming, did indicate that it may have been a while since she had seen a shower. Just as Autumn looked as though she might respond to the jab in more detail, another girl pushed past and into the room.
“Whatever. Cry me a river, hippie.” The brusque response was not whole unexpected from Lisa Ito, a young lady with a reputation for being blunt and forceful with her peers. Her disdain for the others and this situation was palpable as she stormed out of the closet and sat on a bench in the center of the exhibit. She took out her cellphone and quickly tried to type out a text. “Ugh, no signal in here. Great. Looks like I’ll just be bored until morning.” She shoved her phone back into her pocket as a response came from the last inhabitant of the closet.
“How can you say that? Look at all this wonderful history!” Jennifer exited the closet slowly, as she stopped to gape and take in her surroundings. Jennifer was an ancient history major and had been a high-achieving scholar all of her life – no doubt about it, if she had to be stuck overnight somewhere for a pledge ritual, this was certainly her place to be. “I can’t wait to get going! Where are we going to spend the night?” Jennifer quickly ran to a map of the museum hanging on the wall. “In Ancient Rome? Or here in Egypt? Or maybe you’d like to visit ‘Treasures of the Orient,’ Lisa?”
“What kind of racist bullshit is that, nerd? Just because I’m Asian I got to go to the ‘Orient’ exhibit?” Lisa angrily asked while making air quotes.
Jennifer turned back around shocked and embarrassed. Social skills were not her forte and she knew she had stuck her foot in her mouth hard. “Oh my gosh! No, no, of course not! I just meant that, you know, it just sounded... interesting, that’s all... I would never try to say... that... Um...” Jennifer was verbally flailing and she knew it. Lisa stared daggers at her, while Daphne quietly laughed at Jennifer’s expense. Daphne produced her own cell phone from her oversized, designer purse. She spoke into the camera.
“What’s up, people of Daphne nation? It’s me! Your one and only Daphne! And I’m here in a spooooooooky museum! Oooooooo!” She made ghostly hand gestures at the camera lens before turning to back to her face. “As you know, I’ve got to spend the WHOLE night here by myself...” Lisa loudly coughed off camera. “... if I want to get into St. Francis’s hottest sorority Alpha Sigma Phi Rho. Well, I say hottest, but they’re not the hottest yet, ‘cause your gal Daphne isn’t in it yet! Hashtag college life!”
“Give it a rest, will you!” Paige whisper-yelled from over by the door, where she had moved to scan up and down the halls. “The whole idea of sneaking around someplace is that you are QUIET about it. Will you all keep it down?” She again turned her attention to the hall to make sure no one was coming.
“And are you seriously live-streaming yourself committing a felony? You really are dumber than you look.” Lisa grumbled while rolling her eyes.
“Ha! Shows what you know. I’m not livestreaming because I can’t get a signal either!” Daphne responded with a much more triumphant tone than she probably should have used. “I’m just going upload this to insta when we get out of here.”
“We’re not really committing a felony... are we?” Jennifer quietly moved to Paige’s side, joining her in her vigil. She attempted to sound in control, but an edge of alarm snuck into her voice. “I mean, we’re not going to get expelled are we? If I get kicked out of school, my parents will just freak...”
Paige sighed deeply. This wasn’t she signed up for. She wasn’t even sure why she wanted to be in the sorority anyway. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Paige’s college career revolved around softball – it’s what paid for her to be at school, it’s what occupied most of her time and the workouts occupied what was left. She thought pledging might give her a chance to meet some girls outside of the team and make some friends. But now, having met her pledge class, she wasn’t sure it was worth it. She looked down at Jennifer, who was still nervously babbling away. Paige had taught herself from a young age to control her emotions to be a better player – she had a low tolerance for people who let their feelings get away from them. Like Jennifer, who seemed to have difficulty knowing when to just stop talking. Or like Autumn, who was still standing in the closet doorway, refusing to come into the light. Still, there was something adorable about them that Jennifer just couldn’t stay mad at. They were like puppies. Puppies who wet the carpet, but still. Before Paige could respond reassuringly, she heard Lisa loudly call to Autumn.
“Hey, granola! Are you joining us or what? We don’t have all day!” Lisa’s latest attack lured Autumn out of her hiding spot in the closet. Autumn’s tiny stature and lack of development meant that she was often mistaken for a high school freshman rather than a college one. She was lean and willowy, with long brown hair that flowed down to the middle of her back. As she emerged into the room, Autumn nervously glanced around.
“Don’t... don’t call me that...I don’t like it.” Autumn quietly spoke in what she hoped sounded like a confident tone. She was wrong. Lisa and Dapne both burst out laughing at the sight and sound of the mousy Environmental Science student trying to sound brave. Daphne calmed herself down but tried to explain herself to Autumn.
“Well babe, if you don’t want to be called granola, then maybe you should consider some... nicer stuff? I mean, Woodstock called and it wants its look back.” She gave Autumn a pitying look. “Just sayin’.” Before Autumn could respond – most likely by crying – Jennifer and Paige reentered the room, with Paige looking around annoyed.
“Look, what part of ‘secret’ and ‘quiet’ is confusing to you all, huh? While you two are having a great time verbally abusing some kid,” Autumn blushed as Paige continued. “I’m trying to make sure we don’t get caught. Newsflash or hashtag or whatever the hell makes sense to you, but we’re NOT supposed to BE here!” Paige glared at the other girls with the expression her coach might give her team after a massive screwup in practice – a look that says ‘shape up or get out.’ Lisa and Daphne got the message, even if Lisa rolled her eyes in response. “OK, so here’s the deal. The pledge rules say we’ve got to stay here overnight until the museum reopens in the morning, but they didn’t say anything about having to stay together. I figure, it makes more sense for us to split up and each camp in a different part of the museum. That way, if security does come around, the rest of us have a chance to hide without getting us all jammed up.”
“Fine by me – see you later, losers.” Lisa rose to leave before Jennifer pipped up.
“Uh, it might make sense, um, to first figure out where we would, uh, want to spend our night first. That way we don’t overlap or bump into each other.” Jennifer quickly pointed to the museum map on the wall of the exhibit. “I can take a Roman Holiday, if you’d like” She turned to the rest, smiling at her own joke. The others didn’t register it as a joke. Daphne mouthed ‘loser’ at her. “Well then... uh, Autumn, right? Why don’t you take the uh... Hall of Myths and Monsters?” Autumn’s eyes grew as large as dinner plates as she backed away from the group.
“No, no, no, no... I can’t... I can’t spend a night in creepy museum surrounded by... monsters... I mean...” she glanced around quickly “What if all these old things... have ghosts?” Three of the other girls groaned loudly as Jennifer again realized she had stepped on another conversational landmine. Paige spoke up, eager to get the ball rolling.
‘You know what? Fine, don’t worry about it. I’ll take the hall of monsters or whatever.” She moved next to Jennifer to stare at the map. “Why don’t you take... ‘The Natural World?’ Looks like animals and plants and shit.” Autumn smiled and quickly nodded her assent. “Jennifer, you said you’ve got Rome, right?” A nod. “So that just leaves you two. Where do you want?” Daphne marched to the map, scanning it carefully.
“My fans demand the blingiest and shiniest room in the whole place, so I’ll be heading... here! The ‘Gems of the World!’ I wonder if I can even slip on some a few samples without anyone noticing?” Paige started to say something but the urge to move the issue along overtook her and she ignored her vain companion. Instead, she turned to Lisa. “Well? It’s just you.”
Lisa dismissively waved her hand. “Whatever. I’ll just take wherever’s closest to the front door.”
Jennifer turned to examine the map. When she saw the answer, she swallowed hard. “Uh... that’s the, uh... Well, it’s...”
Paige turned back to Lisa. “It’s the Orient exhibit, that OK with you?”
Lisa loudly groaned. “Oh, for the love of... Fine! Whatever! I’ll take stupid the ching, chong land or whatever BS white guy version of Asia this place has.” She rose to her feet, picking up a small bag that contained some overnight supplies. “Screw this! And screw all of you! Any of you get caught, I do NOT know you!” With that, Lisa flipped the bird to the others and stomped out of the room.
“Well, as much fun as this has been, I’m going to head out.” Paige hoisted a duffel bag onto her shoulder. “I’m off to the hall of crap we made up or whatever.” She headed for the door, but stopped to look back the rest of the girls. Jennifer looked to her, as if she were expecting an inspiring speech, while Autumn still looked like she might pass out from fright. Dapne, on the other hand, was shooting more selfies by a sarcophagus. “Look, you guys are going to be fine. Bored out of your mind maybe, but that’s it. It’s a stupid college prank. Everything will be fine in the morning.” She walked out the door and off to her resting place for the night. As she left, she called over her shoulder. “Get some sleep!”
With their numbers dwindling, Autumn hastily turned to Jennifer. “Will you come with me? I’m still really freaked out. I mean, who knows what sort of... things are here?” Jennifer paused to consider Autumn’s offer. Jennifer didn’t exactly relish the idea of spending her night alone, but Paige’s plan was sound and made perfect sense. Besides, Autumn would be fine on her own – like Paige said, what could possibly happen?
“I don’t think we’re supposed to. But, how about I walk you to your wing? I think The Natural World is right on the way to Roman Holiday.” Jennifer squeezed Autumn’s hand and tried to give her a reassuring smile. Autumn relaxed slightly and nodded her head. The two girls grabbed their bags and headed out the exit to the exhibit, leaving Daphne by herself as she continued to monologue into her phone.
“OK, Daphne nation! It’s still me, your gal, now here in the Silver Springs museum of... old stuff, I guess. I don’t really know. Whateves. We’re off now to the hottest spot in the whole place – Gems of the World! I’m going to find the hottest necklaces and jewels and just drape myself in gold.” She cast the camera a seductive look. “I always like the way gold feels against bare skin. Yeah? You want to see more?” She switched back to her usual peppy self. “Then like, share and subscribe!” Turning the camera off, Paige laughed to herself. That ought to keep those horndog boys happy and clicking the night away. Now, if only she could get a signal...
Daphne wandered about the Egyptian exhibit thrusting her phone in various directions – towards the celling, towards any blinking lights that might have been Wi-Fi, anything that might have gotten some reception for her precious phone. In her haste to get bars, Daphne wasn’t watching where she was going, causing her to bump into one of the exhibits. The podium she bumped had a small canopic jar placed on top and, when jostled, the jar tumbled to the ground. The sound of the pottery hitting the floor caused Daphne to jolt back to reality.
“Shit! Did anyone see that?” She quickly looked about the room to see if anyone heard or saw the incident. Satisfied that no one was coming to investigate or yell at her, Daphne quickly knelt down by the wreckage. The jar seemed to have tipped over and cracked its lid. While the damage did not appear to be catastrophic, it was still noticeable enough that Daphne knew she didn’t want to stick around to take the blame. Daphne quickly shoved the jar back onto its stand, muttering to herself. “Meh, a little glue will fix that, no problem. Now, let’s get going. I can’t wait to see all those shiny jewels...” She grabbed her designer bag and quietly made her way out of the exhibit.
Affixed to the podium where the jar sat was a plaque that read “Shrine to Petbe.” In smaller print, the sign explained that scholars had found the jar in central Egypt, near Akhmin, where it was believed to be an offering to the Egyptian God known as Petbe. Petbe was, among other things, the God of revenge and a powerful force in the Egyptian world. When unleashed upon the unworthy, the unaware or the sinful, he would devour their souls and torture their mortal forms.
The scholars who wrote the plaque clearly had a flair for the dramatic and a very poor understanding of ancient hieroglyphics. The jar was not a shrine to Petbe, but rather a container to hold him. Petbe had become such a powerful, dangerous spirit that the Pharaoh has tasked his priests with devising a way to hold the treacherous being so that he would not harm anyone else. This jar was responsible for keeping him in check for well over three thousand years, only to be defeated by the clumsiness of a college freshman. Despite Daphne’s best intentions, a little bit of glue would not seal in Pitbe.
Heh heh heh... it’s been a long time... a very long time indeed...
Had anyone been left behind in the Egyptian exhibit, they might have noticed what looked like green smoke leaking from the broken jar lid. They might have also heard a disturbingly low pitched laugh fill the room. Suddenly, a green flame erupted from the jar as the laugh grew louder and louder.
Such fools these mortals be... thinking they could keep me trapped forever... I shall have to thank the one who set me loose... but first... perhaps a chance to play...
The flame died down and disappeared as the sound of laughter faded away.
Petbe was reborn and on the hunt again.
Paige quietly entered the so-called “Hall of Myths and Monsters” quietly. The security lighting bathed the statues and exhibitions in shadows. She adjusted her ponytail underneath her baseball cap. The tall athlete then lugged her duffel bag on her shoulder as she strolled through the doorway. Paige had brought with her some supplies like she would have taken into the woods. Nothing extravagant, nothing fancy. Paige was a young lady who preferred the practical to the polished. She wasn’t enamored with this whole pledge challenge, but if she was going to do it, she was going to do it right.
Looking around at the displays, she scoffed under her breath. “Can’t believe Autumn was scared of this crap...” Paige walked past statues of a leprechaun and a banshee, gawking at their low budget design. Walking past a minotaur, Paige mimed rolling up the sleeves on her tank top, before shadow boxing the half-man, half bull. After chuckling to herself, she continued to wander before stopping under a large, hanging display of a gryphon. “Just a bunch of stupid stuffed animals and kids’ stories.”
Heh, heh, heh...
An unseen voice chuckled in the dark, loud enough to catch Paige’s attention. She whipped her head around, looking for the source. Thinking security was on to her, she ducked behind a column.
“Shit. That’s all I need... They must have heard that bimbo talking on her phone in the other room...” She muttered as her eyes scanned the darkness, desperately searching for the source of the noise. Just as she had mentally concluded that it was just her imagination, the voice returned – louder.
Not afraid, are you...
“... the hell?” Paige muttered under her breath as she again scanned the room, but again, found only stuffed figures, wax monuments and stone statues. She hissed into the darkness. “Lisa? Is that you? Not funny, bitch!” The voice again spoke, causing shivers up and down Paige’s spine and goosebumps to appear up and down her bare arms.
Now, now, young lady... For someone who sounded so brave... why do you seem so scared of the dark...
The voice seemed to be coming from all around her and inside of her head all at once. Paige backed away from her hiding pillar, definitely sensing something was very, very wrong. As her eyes darted around the room for the source of the torment, Paige tried to muster up what she hoped sounded like bravado in her voice as she spat back.
“OK, who the hell are you and what do you want? I’m not here to play games!” Paige dropped her duffel bag of supplies as she groped her way through the darkened room. She felt along the wall until her fingers touched what seemed to be a fire extinguisher. She quickly brandished it like her trusty softball bat, ready to swing away at her tormentor.
Not ready to play games? ... Then why did you come to a room with... what did you call us? Kids stories?
Paige’s eyes grew wider as the voice prattled on. Obviously, whoever this was had been watching her for a while now. The thought of some pervert starring at her in the darkness pissed her off to no end. Her panic and fear quickly began to curdle into a white hot hatred. Suddenly, the voice let out a cackling laugh.
Look at you! Afraid of her own shadow... What do you plan to do anyway, Paige...?
That did it, Paige decided. No one laughs at her or calls her afraid and gets away with all of their teeth. Scanning the room again, she thought she saw what looked like a pair of eyes watching her from the opposite corner. Blinded by rage, Paige moved away from the wall and towards what she assumed to be her tormentor.
“Laugh this off, asshole!” She raised her weapon and swung it hard at the shadowy figure’s head. The figure tumbled to the ground with a loud thud. Unfortunately, as Paige kneeled down to inspect her quarry, she didn’t find a living, breathing pervert, she found an immobile statue of a vampire. Paige let out a growl of frustration amplified by the growing laughter of the voice.
Oh, ho, ho... so sensitive, dear Paige...
Paige quickly rose to her feet and tried to decide which direction the voice was coming from. Going off half-cocked, she ran to an exhibit on her left, taking a chunk out of a cyclops’s head with another swing of her weapon. The voice now came from her right hand side.
So close... you nearly had me there... aha ha ha ha...
Paige’s anger reached a boiling point. She would not be... laughed at... by whoever this jerk was. Some sicko who gets off watching girls without them knowing... she was going to make him pay. “Come on out here! You want a piece of me? Want to do more than watch? Let’s go, freak!” She dashed to her right, shoulder rushing a display sign, tumbling it to the ground. Suddenly feeling cocky, Paige decided to turn the tables a bit. Maybe if she got into HIS head, she could get him to make a mistake. “You’re pathetic! A sick joke! Laughing from the shadows... probably wouldn’t know what to do with a woman if you tried!” Silence greeted Paige and she felt herself smirk. She reminded herself what her coaches always said – don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Be in command. Be in control. She was going to be in control of this situation.
Her confidence began to ebb away as the familiar voice came back... quietly at first, but growing louder and louder. It was still laughing, but there was an unmistakable edge to the snickering. The voice seemed much less amused then it did before.
Oh Paige... such talk from such a little girl... there’s no need for name calling... if you wanted me... all you had to do was ask...
Suddenly, from across the room, Paige noticed a pair of eyes shoot open. They filled the room with a green light that flickered like a flame. Paige took off towards the intruder, but slowed to a stop when she saw who the eyes belong to. The green, flaming eyes sat in the head of the minotaur statue she had passed on her way in. Dumbfounded, Paige let the fire extinguisher fall from her hand, where it landed with a metallic clang.
“What the...” She stared at the statue, like a child witnessing her first magic show. “What the hell is going on here?” Paige slowly reached her hand out to touch the statue and verify that it was, in fact, just a statue. As she moved closer though, the minotaur quickly swiveled its head in her direction. Paige screamed louder than she ever thought possible as the mythical monster gave out a loud snort. Paige could see the breath coming from its nose as it barred its teeth at her. She stumbled backwards, tripping over the discarded extinguisher. As she landed on her butt, the voice returned louder than ever.
AHAHAHAHA... What’s the matter now?... I thought you wanted me to show myself!... But am I here..?
Suddenly, just as quickly as they appeared, the minotaur’s eyes went dark.
Or am I over here?
Paige gasped as she saw a statue of a zombie light up with the same fiery green eyes. It groaned and turned toward her, before falling still again.
Or maybe I’m above you!
The hanging gryphon model came to life with a screech, as it quickly descended towards Paige’s prostrate form. With another scream, she rolled out of the way of the monster, but not before a talon ripped at the strap of her tank top. It tore the garment and scratched her skin as well, drawing a sliver of blood.
Shaking, Paige slowly rose to her feet. She no longer felt any confidence what so ever. Her body was wracked with shivers. She clutched her shoulder where the creature had attacked her. Her hat had fallen off in the melee and her hair had fallen out, wild and untamed. Her eyes darted around the room. Her mind reeled with the reality of the situation. This was insane; she was in some sort of ghost story. But that was impossible and she knew it. She had to get out of there. Quickly. She began to move away, as fast as she could, towards where the entrance to the exhibit had been. As she approached the wall though, she made a horrifying discovery: there was no opening. The wall was solid, sealed shut – as if there had never been any opening ever.
Leaving so soon, Paige? I was just getting started!
Paige pounded on the wall in desperation, hoping that the madness of the moment had blinded her to something – some opening, some switch, another door – anything she could use to emerge from what had become a nightmare.
Oh look! It’s your old friend! But I don’t think he’s happy to see you...
Paige quickly turned to see what looked like a cyclops lumbering towards her. She noticed that it seemed to have a chunk of its head missing – the same chunk she had taken out of the statue earlier. Backing away in terror, Paige tripped over her own two feet, again landing on the floor with a thud. She recovered much faster this time, turning to crawl away as fast as possible. The cyclops grabbed for her leg, grasping it in his meaty, bear-like paw. Paige yelled in terror and kicked hard with her other foot. It was a direct hit, knocking the cyclops loose, but he took with it a prize – he had torn her sweatpants clear off as she crawled to safety.
Hiding behind a support pillar in the room, Paige took several ragged breaths as she attempted to assess the situation. She was half-naked, being attacked by statues of monsters, while being taunted by a ghost, trapped in a museum. As she felt the panic rise in her chest, she once again thought of her teammates, of her coaches. She was going to take control of this situation. Paige stumbled to her feet and looked out from the behind the pillar. Summoning whatever dwindling courage she had left, Paige called into the darkness.
“I’m not afraid of you! You’re not real! None of this is real!”
A hand clamped down on her shoulder. Paige’s blood ran cold as she slowly turned to find its source. She looked up into the face of another display; this time a monster with the body of a serpent, a face of a woman, hair made of snakes and the unmistakable green, fiery eyes.
Seems very real to me, Paige...
At first, Paige thought the cold feeling she felt was just more terror and the pins and needles she felt were delayed trauma. The feeling never went away. Instead, Paige tried to summon the will to run... to move... even to close her eyes... but nothing happened. Paige starred into the flames and she could feel part of her essence burning away as she did so. Out of the corners of her eyes, she noticed that her exposed skin was starting to look lighter and paler than she had ever been before. Her beautiful tan was disappearing by the second, replaced by a chalky whiteness. The feeling in her exposed legs started to drift away, as she could no longer feel the air blowing around her. She noticed her hands stiffening – she tried to flex a finger, but her body flatly refused to respond.
The gorgon released her grip on Paige – there was no need anymore. Instead, the creature relished the transformation occurring before its eyes. Paige’s hair looked as if it had been caught in a windstorm, billowing out behind her, and yet it hung lifelessly in midair. The dark brown strains started to bleach out until they became gray and finally white. As white as the rest of her. Paige’s eyes still boggled in their sockets, as she dealt with the horror going on in her head. The gorgon slid over the Paige and used a clawed hand to finish the job the Gryphon had started. Slicing away at the remains of the tank top, she revealed Paige’s undergarments to the world. The gorgon licked her lips as her rough, scaly hands groped Paige’s chest. Somewhere, inside the marble form that had once been a college softball star, the feelings were registering. The statue’s eyes rolled back in its head as the waves of pleasure overtook it. As the gorgon continued to rub, the omnipresent voice of Petbe played inside of Paige’s dwindling mind.
Consider this a final present for you... something to remember and enjoy... Now, take one last good look, Paige...
Paige’s eyes swiveled of their own accord, looking back at the monster’s twisted visage. Locking eyes with the Gorgon, Paige felt a terrible pull from deep within her body. The creature’s green eyes seemed to grow in intensity, as if it were starring deep within her body, sucking in her very essence. It was a delirious feeling, one that hovered between delicious pleasure and insidious terror. Paige’s brain was overloaded with sensation. It felt as if the monster were somehow... draining her... but she also registered it as if a lover were dancing all over her most sensitive parts with a thousand talented tongues. Sucking and licking and... it was almost too much for her to comprehend. Paige could feel the pleasure growing, but she fought against it with all of her remaining strength. Somehow, she knew that once the release came, it would all be over... she didn’t know how she knew, but she knew...
“I can do this,” she thought to herself. “Control yourself... can’t give him the pleasure...”
The pleasure, you say...? The pleasure IS all mine, Paige...
With a deep, unforgiving bellow of a laugh, Petbe seemingly commanded the gorgon to redouble her efforts. The fire in the monster’s eyes grew and its foul lips curled into a sneer, as its hands began to work overtime. While Paige could feel the draining pressure increase, she also felt the gorgon’s hand work its way down to her crotch. With one hand grasping Paige’s chest and the other rubbing the very sensitive stone that had once been her vagina, the gorgon leaned forward, allowing a forked tongue to gently tickle Paige’s ear as well. The sensations were now overwhelming.
“C’mon... Paige... fight it... stay in... control...”
You were never in control... I have always been... and always will be...
Paige suddenly felt the invasive force of Petbe itself directly in her brain, triggering every single pleasure sense at once. Unprepared for this final assault, Paige’s brain could no longer handle it. She surrendered. Her mind and soul faded away as the pleasure overtook her. Her eyes rolled back into her head until they looked as pale and blank as the rest of her face.
The gorgon slowed to a stop, allowing it to look at its finished handiwork. Paige’s face remained forever frozen in a look of shock and terror. Her long lovely hair had long since abandoned its ponytail and now remained frozen in the air, as if she had been caught in a blast of wind. Her body, having been divested of its clothes was now on stage for all of the world to see. Her well-defined muscles, honed from years of practices and games, would be remarked on by all who saw her. Her shapely rear and uncovered chest would inspire many a young man who visited the museum for the first time. Her legs were forever locked in a position that made it seem as if she might run away, given the chance. Yes, the gorgon concluded as the green light went out of her eyes, this was very fine work.
Very fine, indeed... now to see where the rest of my visitors have gone off to...
Jennifer nervously glanced around as she made her way to her designated wing of the museum. As a history major, she had agreed to take the laughably named “Roman Holiday” section for a number of reasons. It was well lit, quiet, and close enough to a back exit that she could run back to the dorms if the girls got busted.
She hated the idea of breaking rules, so the prospect of hiding out in the museum after hours did not appeal to Jennifer in the slightest. No matter how much the idea of sneaking around offended her moral fiber, she desperately wanted to be in Alpha Sigma Phi Rho. Jennifer didn’t have much of a life outside of books and her studies; the prospect of being accepted into a circle of friends was too good to pass up. She told herself that all she had to do was spend one night here and her path to social success was guaranteed. Still, as she looked around the quiet exhibit hall, the fear of getting caught was prickling at the back of her neck.
“Uh... hello?” She quietly called into the darkness, not expecting an answer. Satisfied that she was alone, she took several tentative steps into the exhibit hall, her bag of overnight supplies on her shoulder.
Jennifer looked at the exhibits as she passed through the room. She marveled at the displays – mostly because the museum staff seemed to have gotten large facts completely wrong. Even the most basic history student could have called out the museum’s mixing of Greek and Roman history, not to mention the mixing of the mythological with the historical. Jennifer made a mental note to offer her services to the museum director once this night was over. Someone clearly needed help.
Jennifer came upon a large display that featured a tableau of Roman art and artifacts, designed to look like the Emperor’s palace. Working her way through the area, she gazed upon pottery and busts that purported to be from Ancient Rome. Jennifer doubted that the museum could afford actual Roman antiquities, but for approximations, they weren’t bad. In the center of the display were four pillars, three of which contained the most beautiful statues Jennifer had ever seen.
She couldn’t help but gawk at the sight of the statues. Her conscious mind knew that full body Roman statues like this must have been impossibly rare, let alone in such wonderful condition, but that thought died on the vine in her mind. All Jennifer could feel was a profound amazement at the splendor of the figures. They were tall, slender, and unmistakably gorgeous. The one on the farthest right displayed an ample bosom, as she sat pouring a jug. On the far left, a young maiden arched her back, as if sunning herself or presenting her beauty to the Gods. In the center, next to an empty pedestal stood a towering figure, so stunning that Jennifer assumed it had to have been a statue of Venus herself.
The cocktail of emotions brewing inside Jennifer was a powerful one indeed. She felt a surprising sense of lust, a stirring her loins she hadn’t expected. Jennifer’s sexuality was just another aspect of her social life that she had boxed away as unimportant and unnecessary. Just as she never had been able to strike up many friends, the idea of talking up a lover – never mind a female lover! – was an impossibly terrifying prospect. In fact, if Jennifer was to be honest with herself, she would probably admit that part of her whole interest in the sorority and tonight’s adventure was to get closer to her pledge mates. She imagined a scared Autumn begging to share a sleeping bag... or brassy Paige quietly admitting her attraction to her... the thoughts gave Jennifer a shiver and caused her panties to dampen a tiny amount.
But then the other half of the emotional mix came to the forefront – shame. Jennifer knew that those dreams were just that: dreams. Pipe dreams, at that. Even if she somehow gained the courage to speak her heart, she feared the rejection that would follow. Jennifer knew what she was, what everyone always called her behind her back. Plain. Frumpy. A nerd. She was shorter than most of the girls and slightly heavier than average. While a case could be made for being curvier than most, schoolyard taunts when she was younger caused Jennifer to retreat behind baggy clothes and formless outfits. Even tonight, with no one around, she chose a shapeless nightgown to cover herself. Her stringy hair was the color of dirty dishwater, not the stunning honey blond of Daphne or the jet black of Lisa or even the flowing locks of the statue in front of her. Staring at these divine forms in front of her and imagining her future sorority sisters, Jennifer berated herself for wanting what she would never and could never have.
Come now, Jennifer... It’s all right...
The quiet voice came to Jennifer in such a breathy whisper, she thought she had imagined it. She thought it was just her conscience telling her to snap out of it. But... since when was her conscience so... feminine? Or kind? Or... sexy?
Jennifer... dear Jennifer... it’s ok to look...
Jennifer let out a gasp as she witnessed the statue in front of her open its eyes. Or, rather, where the eyes would be. Venus’s face lit up with a green glow, cast by a set of emerald flames in the eye sockets of the statue. Dumbfounded, all Jennifer could do was whisper.
“... who... who are you? ... what are you?”
Come now, child... I think you know what I am...
“You’re... beautiful...” Jennifer found herself saying out loud – or did she just think it? She wasn’t sure. It didn’t matter. She could swear that the goddess statue actually curved her lips into a smile. But that... that was impossible, right?
You think I am beautiful?
Jennifer found herself nodding. “I think you’re perfect.”
Well... I think you are the most beautiful mortal I have laid eyes on...
Jennifer felt herself blushing. Inside of her head, there was a voice – her voice, the voice honed from years of studies, of sacrificing hours in the stacks, of pursuing knowledge above else – that voice told her this was insane. It told her that statues can’t speak, that something was very, very wrong. But that voice was getting drowned out by another voice. A silky, divine voice that spoke to the very essence of her being. Jennifer liked this voice very much. It felt like warm honey being poured directly into her ears. She was so enraptured with this voice that praise from it caused Jennifer to feel such an intense burst of embarrassment, she felt a tear trickle down her cheek.
Why does this praise bother you, my child?
“Because you’re... you’re so stunning... you’re gorgeous. You are the most beautiful person I have ever seen in my life. And I’m... well, just look at me...” Jennifer thought to herself. Yet, somehow the voice heard.
Oh, my dear... I see such beauty in you... as much as you try to hide it...
Hide it? Jennifer slowly cocked her head to the side. What... what did she mean? Jennifer looked down at herself, at her long nightshirt that hung over her frame. She supposed that it wasn’t the most flattering outfit, but... who was she trying to impress? It’s not like anyone wanted to see her... curves.
Curves. She never thought of them like that, but she did have them. Jennifer looked at the statue of the young maiden sunning herself. She gazed at the statue’s chest, feeling a twinge of lust as she ogled her breasts.
Yours are just as magnificent my dear...
Yes, yes they were, Jennifer thought. My tits are...
Jennifer shook her head violently. She never would have thought of that word, let alone said it aloud. This was getting absurd. And yet... she couldn’t quite shake the feeling...
Jennifer’s hands slowly rose to rub her chest as she turned to the statue pouring water. As she gawked at that maiden’s truly magnificent ass, she found one hand making its way to her own backside as well.
My ass is just as nice, thought Jennifer.
And your tits as well, my dear... why don’t you let others see it as well...?
Yes, that made sense, thought Jennifer. Why shouldn’t I let others see it as well? While part of her rational mind screamed at the top of its lungs, Jennifer slowly, almost robotically, reached for the bottom of her night shirt. Despite the absurdity of it all, Jennifer found herself pulling her nightgown over her head, undressing herself in the middle of the museum. She presented herself to the statue.
Now see...? Your body matches your beautiful soul, Jennifer...
Had Jennifer been in possession of her full facilities, she might have questioned how the statue seemed to know her name or how it seemed to be speaking to her without talking or how any of this scenario should have sent her running for the fire exit. Instead, she stood gazing into the flames of Venus’s eyes, feeling the presence go over every inch of her skin.
It felt as if a warm glow was traveling all over her exposed body. It travelled down her neck, feeling as if a million pairs of lips were kissing it. The sensation passed over chest and bra, generating a tingle as if someone’s tongue was playing with her nipples. The feeling traveled further down her body, creating an almost unbearable amount of pleasure. As it reached her now soaked panties, Jennifer’s conscious mind was overwhelmed by the newfound sense of hedonistic bliss. Experiencing the first orgasm of her life, Jennifer nearly collapsed on the floor of the exhibit – but something, some force, kept her upright.
Did you enjoy that, my dear?
“... yes, God, yes... so much.” Even in her head, Jennifer’s responses came out breathy and ragged.
Do you want more pleasure?
“... absolutely...” Her thoughts were coming faster than ever, as if she wasn’t even fully forming them before expressing them.
What will you give me?
“Anything. Everything.” Jennifer stared into the eyes of the statue with an intensity she had never felt before in her young life.
Then step forward and receive your bliss.
Without thinking, Jennifer stepped toward the display in the center of the exhibit. Somehow, she knew what to do. Jennifer looked in Venus’s eyes, gently took the statue’s face in her hands and kissed the statue on the lips.
Almost immediately, Jennifer could feel something was wrong.
This wasn’t how she imagined a kiss should feel. Her partner’s lips felt warm and yielding, but there was a tremendous pull, as if the statue was somehow sucking on her lips. No... not her lips... but it was definitely pulling on her. It was pulling something inside of her. And it was pulling it out of her.
Broken from her reverie, Jennifer’s eyes focused in a panic. Her cognizant mind slammed back into place as the reality of the situation quickly became apparent. Jennifer stared ahead at Venus, whose eyes seemed to be glowing brighter as the flames grew larger. All sense of pleasure in Jennifer’s mind had been replaced by terror, as she desperately tried to extricate herself from the statue’s embrace. Try as she might though, she found herself unable to let go of the statues face or even to break off the kiss. As panic overtook her, Jennifer heard the voice again, much less kind this time around.
What’s the matter, Jennifer...? Having second thoughts?
The flames grew hotter and brighter in Venus’s eyes. Jennifer’s scream was muffled by a pair of stone lips.
You said you’d give anything and everything... I’m just collecting your offer...
The pull intensified. Jennifer could feel herself getting weaker, lighter. The urge to fight, to yell, to run away... all of it slowly faded from her mind, replaced with a bliss. It felt to Jennifer as if she was drowning in pudding. So soft, so giving... if it wasn’t so terrifying... it might almost be enjoyable...
There, there now... no need to resist... it won’t help you anyway...
And with that, it was done. Jennifer felt herself release the statue’s face and lips and instead stand facing it on the museum floor. Jennifer’s mind was still there, but it had no control at all. She mentally shouted at herself, willing herself to move, cursing herself for being so stupid, but nothing worked. The voice finally returned, but now it had shifted from a sultry, feminine voice to a much more sinister male one.
No need to shout, Jennifer... I’m still here... and I always will be... hehehehehe...
Jennifer’s internal screaming was suddenly cut short by an unknown force. Now, she couldn’t even control her own mind, it would seem.
Let’s get you ready... for your big debut...
Jennifer could feel her hands slowly come up on her body as they discarded her underwear, leaving her completely naked. Her large chest, now exposed to the air, rapidly moved up and down, as Jennifer’s breath hyperventilated. Jennifer could only stare straight ahead at the empty pedestal next to Venus. And although she knew she could do nothing about it, her studious mind predicted what was about to happen.
That’s right... I want you to be by our side... for all of eternity...
She found her legs moving of their own accord, as she marched to the pedestal. She delicately sat down on the edge, demurely crossing her legs. She placed one hand on her knee, while she placed the other hand on her breast. She found her lips curling into a coquettish smile, casting a come-hither glance to the room at large. As she struck this final pose, the changes began.
The force came as a wave out of the pedestal, covering her backside first. Her soft, ample flesh was hardening into the same marble as the platform on which she sat. It overtook her legs and toes quickly, then reversed course and travelled up her midsection. Unlike before, this feeling wasn’t warmth, but cold. Freezing cold. Jennifer was rapidly losing touch with her body parts as it felt like each was being shut down. As the changes overtook her chest, her breasts froze as her breathing also stopped. The wave crested over her face, cutting off the light of the room as Jennifer was plunged into darkness.
And yet... Jennifer could feel that not everything had hardened. For some unknown reason... it felt as if the area between her legs was... still flesh? Her legs were crossed at the ankles, leaving very little room there, but... she could feel a breeze... she could feel warmth... In fact... it felt almost as if... the tongues had returned... The sensation continued... Jennifer could feel herself climaxing in her head... but relief never came... Always to the edge... but never over...
Jennifer struggled to understand... it didn’t make sense... none of this did... then the voice returned...
Consider that my little gift to you... why, who knows? Maybe one of your friends might come by and... experiment for themselves...
Jennifer’s mind, a prisoner in its stone body, began to scream. In lust, in frustration, in madness. She screamed.
While poor Jennifer was experiencing her torment in Rome, Lisa was lounging out a bench in the Orient. Just as she had predicted, the exhibit was a mishmash of Asian history, without a particular care being paid to the correct time period or even geographic location. She saw Japanese armor, a replica of a Vietnamese pagoda, mockups of the terracotta warriors and in the center of the room, a giant green dragon. Lisa assumed a statue that large probably wasn’t actually jade and, given the budget of Silver Springs, was painted stone at best. The room was lit by “torches” that seemed to be red tissue paper, a fan and a lightbulb. Classy work, all around.
Still, as corny as it was it was, the exhibit was not without its perks. The plush benches made for a suitable bed for the evening. The distance to the front door meant that she could be one of the first out in the morning. And, as much as she hated to admit it, she did think that some of the decorations reminded her of her grandmother’s house.
Lisa had never been much for traditions or family. Her parents were first generation immigrants from Japan and so they had tried to impress upon Lisa and her sisters the importance of remembering her culture, of working hard, and of being a model citizen. Lisa had rejected all of it. She started wearing her trademark black vinyl jacket in middle school and adopted an attitude her teachers euphemistically called “challenging.” The more her parents pushed her to straighten up and make something of herself, the harder Lisa pushed back. Lisa yelled at them that they just wanted a geisha – a cute little girl who would just do whatever she was told. She was attending St. Francis’ University partly out of spite – she refused to go to a “respectable” school to major in medicine or the law, so she ended up here studying music and “alternative medicines”, as she liked to say.
Ever since she arrived on campus, Lisa had built up her reputation as “the cool girl” with her jaded attitude and salty language. Even tonight, off on her own, she refused to do what everyone else was doing. Rather than lounging in sleepwear or sweat clothes like the other girls, Lisa looked like she was ready to ride a motorcycle or attend a concert. Her prized jacket lay atop a tight white tube top, accentuating and attempting to enhance her chest. Lisa’s favorite jeans were also skin tight, designed to drive the boys wild, so she could tell them off for staring at her. As she leaned her head against her overnight bag, substituting as a pillow, Lisa figured she had this whole pledge challenge in the bag.
Unbeknownst to Lisa, the entrance to the exhibit seemed to have vanished, as the wall smoothed itself over, offering no exit or entrance. Not that Lisa cared. She was closing her eyes, expecting to catch a little bit of rest, when a voice seemed to fill the hall.
Heh, heh, heh... hello there, little Lisa...
Lisa didn’t even open her eyes. “Fuck you, assholes!” She shot her middle finger up as she swore at the unknown speaker. “Think you can scare me with some bullshit ghost voice? Get the fuck out of here before I beat your ass!” But rather than retreat at the sound of her threat, the voice grew louder and, it seemed, closer.
Oh my!... Such a big threat from such a little girl...
Little girl? Who the fuck did these bitches think they were, calling her a little girl. Lisa made a mental note to kick all of their asses later, but she was feeling far too tired to do anything about it now. Instead, she fired off both middle fingers and ignored the voice. Until it returned, sounding as if it was right next to her ear.
That’s right... too cool for this, aren’t we...? Then what do you say... we warm you up...?
The proximity of the voice, in addition to what sounded like a creepy threat, cause Lisa to open her eyes. Looking around the room, she didn’t see anyone joining her in the exhibit. She did, however, notice that the lights in the exhibit seemed to have changed color. From a collection of red and orange tissue paper, two of the torches on the wall now seemed to blowing green colored flames. Lisa moved closer, curious. She figured the exhibit was too low tech for color changing lights. Besides, what did green flames have to do with Asia anyway?
As Lisa approached the flames, she realized that something else was unusual. She was starting to sweat. At first, she didn’t pay it much attention, but as she felt the droplets bead up on her forehead, there was no doubt about it – the room was getting uncomfortable. One of those idiots must have messed with the thermostat. Whatever. Lisa shrugged off her jacket and tied it around her waist as she approached the torch on the wall. As she got closer to it, the temperature in the room suddenly made more sense. The torches weren’t fake. Those green flames were... real?
Just as Lisa reached out to touch the source of the light, two more torches suddenly switched color. And then two more. And then another. Two by two, the formerly fake torches had all turned into very real green flaming objects. Lisa wasn’t amused.
“Okay, very funny, you morons! Well done! Cool trick! Now turn the damn heat down already, it’s like a sauna in here!” Lisa yelled as she wiped her brow. The heat was starting to get to her. She could swear that the statues heads were following her as she made her way to the middle of the room. She leaned against the dragon statue as she struggled to catch her breath. She didn’t want to give whoever was watching the satisfaction of seeing her get upset, but she was really starting have issues with the intensity of the room. As Lisa looked around the room, it even looked like statues and exhibits were sweating too... no, not sweating, melting. But that didn’t make any sense, how could stone melt? Was everything here wax?
As Lisa tried to force her heat-addled mind to makes sense of her situation, she heard the familiar laughter again. Now, however, it seemed to be emanating from the statue of the dragon itself. Lisa slowly slid her way along the statue to its front, just in time to see the statue’s eyes roar to life with the same green flames of the torch.
“Oh man... did I take something that’s causing this? This is so seriously fucked up.” Lisa even chuckled at the thought of the room melting and the dragon statue coming to life. She stopped laughing when the voice returned, coming directly from the mouth of the monster.
Ha ha ha... Still forever the ice queen... This should warm you right up, my dear!
With that, the statue bellowed out an incredible green flame. Lisa screamed and flinched, expecting to be burned alive by whatever the hell was going on. When the flames subsided though, Lisa felt fine. She looked all around her, expecting to see scorch marks or rubble or flames or anything, but instead, she saw nothing. That was when she felt the trickle. Somehow, defying all logic, her clothes were... melting? Just like the statues and the other exhibits, Lisa watched as her jeans seemed to turn to liquid and dribble off her legs. Her jacket likewise became a black puddle, sliding off of her waist, joined by a splash of white that had once been her top and her panties. Lisa now stood stark naked in front of a large green, glowing statue. This was enough to finally cause her to break her composure.
Lisa let out a terrified scream and ran to where she had originally entered the exhibit, beside a now half-melted diorama of Mount Fuji. As her exposed form was being bathed in the flickering green light of the room, she pounded on the wall. “WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE? GET ME OUT OF HERE NOW!” Shaking with terror, Lisa checked the rest of the room, watching as multi-colored puddles formed at the bases of what used to be exhibits. She turned her attention to the middle of the room, just in time to watch the dragon turn its head and look directly at her.
Poor Lisa... Now you look cold, shivering there... Maybe I can help...
The statue’s continued laughter was drowned out as the jade dragon suddenly began to melt itself. The flames in its eyes grew larger and larger as the statue fell apart like an ice sculpture in July. The flames died out as the statue finished its transformation, becoming a green puddle on the floor. Lisa continued to gaze at the mess, unsure of what she was seeing or if she could even trust her senses at this point. As if to test this, she thought she saw the puddle begin to move. Yes, she was sure of it. This was more than simply water flowing downhill, this was a deliberate movement. And it was coming her way.
Lisa bolted away from the wall and the oncoming ooze puddle. She had no idea what was going on, but she was pretty damn sure that she didn’t want anything to do with that green slick. She ran parallel to it, hoping to outrun it to some sort of safety. Maybe an air vent? Isn’t that how action heroes get out of these things? As she ran, she didn’t pay close attention to where she was running – just on keeping her eyes on the former dragon. However, in doing this, she splashed through the remains of a former warrior statue.
Stepping in the grey puddle, Lisa felt herself stumble a bit. She looked down at her foot, as it felt like she had stepped in tar. Sure enough, when she lifted her foot, grey tendrils seem to come along with it, fondling her foot. She felt her soles being tickled, almost kissed by invisible lips. She wrenched herself free and took a glance down at the floor. Her fears were correct: the green dragon wasn’t the only puddle with a mind of its own. There seemed to multiple blobs of multiple colors, all converging in her direction. Thinking quickly, Lisa jumped onto a bench, hoping that if she just stayed off the floor, she could avoid whatever fate these creeping splotches had in mind.
Come here, Lisa... You must be getting so tired...
The voice wasn’t wrong. Between the panic and the intense heat, Lisa was running on fumes. While her plan did seem to be effective at raising her above the fray, it also seemed like it stranded her with nowhere to go. Lisa desperately searched the room for options, then took the chance to make a leap onto another bench. She hoped to jump from rock to rock this way until she could get back to her bag – maybe she had something, anything that might help. Playing “The Floor is Lava” for her life wasn’t much of a plan, but she didn’t have any better ones at the moment.
Lisa landed hard on the third bench, her skin slick with sweat. She desperately stopped to catch her breath. By now the room’s temperature had become unbearable and all of the exhibits had liquified. The mess on the floor was quickly becoming the entire floor. As Lisa gasped for air, her arm draped over the side of the bench, without regard for what flowed beneath it. A red strand of goo that had once been a miniature horse statue leapt onto her arm, grabbing it tightly. Lisa shrieked and pulled at it with all her might. Her hand felt like it was being licked by the aggressive tongue of a horny high schooler. She desperately tried to fling her hand around in an effort to dislodge the goop, but to little avail. Even worse, it seemed to be traveling further up her arm, causing shivers the whole way. As the amoeba-like creature made its way to her chest, it began to play with her nipple, alternately sucking and tickling as it paused to fondle her. The sensation caused Lisa to lose her head for a second, letting out a shuddering gasp before she remembered just what the hell was going on. She quickly grabbed at the lascivious creation and pulled with all of her might, dislodging it with a slurp. She heaved it back into the room as far as possible. The laughing voice returned, seemingly filling the room.
Ha ha ha ha... Oh poor Lisa... cool and composed until the very end... I just wanted to give a preview of what’s to come...
What’s to come? What did that mean? Lisa steeled herself. She wasn’t about to roll over and just take whatever bullshit this room had to dish out. She was sure she had something in her bag... maybe her lighter? Maybe she could set off the fire sprinklers? She didn’t know if it would work, but it was better than waiting around to see if this stuff could climb.
Lisa steadied herself and slowly stood on the bench. There was just one more bench in between her and her goal. She could do it. Gathering her nerve, she leapt into the air, crashing down onto her next stop. She had to grab the edge to keep from sliding off into the void below, but she made it. Just one more leap. She looked down at the gap between the two benches. In between lay the green ooze puddle that had once been the dragon at the center of the room. Now, it was just a hideous green bubbling cauldron of evil. Lisa took a deep breath, swung her arms and launched herself into the air.
Ah ah ah... can’t let you get away so easily...
Halfway though her jump, a green column of slime launched itself at Lisa. It seemed to form a hand, grabbing her by the ankle and yanking her back to earth. With a splash and a scream, Lisa found herself standing in the middle of the jade ooze. She was stuck. She tried to lean over and grab either bench, but she was too far away. She lifted her feet, but both were unable to dislodge the gooey mess that they were attached to. As Lisa struggled to force her legs to move, the voice rejoined her, but instead of filling the room, it felt as if it was playing directly in her brain.
I told you, my dear... I just wanted to warm you up... And I think you’ll enjoy this next part...
Defying gravity, the green gel suddenly seemed to flow upwards and over Lisa’s legs. As it did, the sensations flowed with it. Lisa was overcome with what felt like gentle, loving massages over every muscle and nerve though out her lower body. She expected the ooze to feel boiling hot, but instead it felt like soothing balm. Her aching body was feeling sweet relief. It felt as if the gel was making its way into every pore of her skin. Which is, of course, exactly what was happening.
Lisa was blissfully unaware of this fact at the moment though, as the liquid streamed further upwards, coating even more of her body. As it worked its way into her moist nether regions, Lisa was overcome with an orgasmic feeling ten times more intense than any of her partners had ever been able to give to her. This was complimented by the green flow covering her chest, kneading and rubbing her breasts. Lisa, forgetting all of the danger she was in, quickly joined in. Plunging one hand into her awaiting pussy while her other hand stroked her nipples, Lisa moaned with pleasure, as the substance finally kissed her neck and massaged her scalp. If Lisa felt terror, she didn’t show it, as a blissful smile crept across her face. It was this smile that would be frozen in place as the former dragon statue completely covered the young coed. Lisa felt waves of pleasure building up inside of her, but she also felt a different kind of fire as well. It was as if something was burning away... deep inside of her... Lisa’s furtive rubbing stopped suddenly as every muscle locked up, denying her any more release.
Now, time to finish you up...
Petbe caused the green torches in the room to suddenly grow even more intense than before, casting a blinding flash throughout the room. The heat generated by this flash caused the multicolored miasma on the floor to evaporate completely. It also caused the jade green statue in the center of the room to permanently harden. Lisa Ito, a young woman who never showed much emotion, would spend the rest of her days as a lusty green statue, frozen in the throes of debauched pleasure.
Enjoy an eternity on the edge, my jade princess...
Autumn hated this. Hated every bit of this. She sat on the floor, in the corner of “The Natural World” huddled into a ball as she tried get control of her fear.
This was a stupid idea, she thought to herself. Every part of it. She didn’t want to be in a sorority anyway, but her parents insisted. They told her that it wasn’t healthy to be by herself so much, to wander in the woods for hours on end, or to focus more on her potted plants than her social life. Autumn insisted that she just liked nature better than people – people suck and have sucked all of her life. She explained that she had no interest in “meeting new people” but her parents threatened to pull her out of school unless she made some sort of attempt at socializing. While they insisted it was for her own good, as Autumn sat crying, illegally in a museum after hours, she didn’t really grasp how this was for her own good at all.
All the other girls here seemed to prove her “people suck” theory. Paige was too bossy, Daphne seemed shallow and Lisa never stopped insulting her. At least Jennifer seemed nice, Autumn thought. Until she ditched her. Autumn even went back looking for her in the Roman exhibit, but she couldn’t find her anywhere. She thought she saw her, but it turned out to just be a statue. It gave Autumn the creeps, how much it looked like Jennifer. She even touched it a little and could swear it sounded like someone moaned, but of course, that made no sense. The whole thing was just weird enough to cause Autumn to leave the exhibit, confused and deflated.
So, it seemed like she was on her own in a creepy, dark museum. Autumn stifled a sniffle and took in her surroundings. At least if she had to spend the night alone, this was a nice place to do it. She hated the stuffed animals – poor creatures – but the exhibit featured a beautiful greenhouse taking up half of the room. Inside was a circular path, winding around a lush, green display full of botanical treasures. It was locked up tight, but at least Autumn could look in and see all of the gorgeous plants on display. So many beautiful flowers, budding trees...
Autumn had taken her name seriously. Ever since she was a child, she had been obsessed with nature. Her parents had joked that she was like Snow White, with her forest critter friends. Unfortunately, Autumn thought, she would never be mistaken for a princess physically. Autumn was the shortest of the pledges and the least developed. Her figure had led high school boys to comment about how Autumn belonged in the woods – she was flat as a board, after all. Her long hair was her pride and joy – the dark brown of a healthy bark – even if she didn’t care much for regular maintenance of it. She preferred to keep it as natural as possible. That applied to her wardrobe as well – Autumn wore her favorite ankle-length flowing skirt and a large, billowing shirt. As Daphne pointed out, it might not have been very modern, but Autumn told herself she didn’t care. It didn’t matter that girls like made fun of her. It didn’t matter that the boys never looked her way. She insisted to herself that the jokes everyone made behind her back didn’t bother her. Deep down, Autumn knew that was a lie.
Just as the thought of the cruel taunts was about to make her cry again, Autumn smelled the most unusual odor. It was sweet... flowery... the only word for it was intoxicating. But where was it coming from? Autumn looked around and couldn’t find an obvious source. Out in the exhibit, there was nothing living – just taxidermied animals and insect displays behind glass. No, the smell was definitely floral, so it had to be coming from somewhere else. That’s when Autumn noticed that the greenhouse door seemed to be left ajar. That couldn’t be right, surely they would have locked it up for the night, right? But, then again, Autumn could tell that obviously security around the museum seemed to be lacking in precision.
Autumn slowly rose to her feet and inched her way to the greenhouse door. Sure enough, it was open. She knew that she shouldn’t go in... but she HAD to find the source of this delicious smell. Besides, in for a penny, in for a pound, she thought. It’s not as if getting caught in the greenhouse would be any worse than being caught in the museum period.
A blast of humidity hit autumn in the face as she entered the greenhouse. A breeze blew her hair and caused her skirt to dance on the wind. She opened her eyes to absorb the world she found herself in. It was heavenly. Everywhere she looked, she could see rare flowers and unique trees. She had no idea how the museum could possibly have found all of these specimens. And so gorgeously arranged! Autumn decided she could spend weeks or months here, just being surrounded by all of this... and yet, she was determined to find the source of this odor. It was a plant, she was sure of it, but not one she was familiar with. No matter. With all of these unique plants, it just meant that a new and exciting discovery was hers to be had.
Autumn made her way down the greenhouse path, following her nose amongst the myriad of natural exhibits. The smell was definitely getting stronger and the stronger it got, the more maddening it became. It was as if it was stuck in her brain, like a song she just can’t get rid of. She had to find the source, she just had to. And then, Autumn suddenly stopped on the path. There it was – Autumn had found it. She was sure of it.
In a grassy clearing, just off of the path, Autumn saw the most beautiful flowing plant in a grassy clearing. Dark green blossoms with yellow pistils inside – the color made Autumn think of an emerald or jade. The plant was neighbored on both sides by similarly lush green trees that seemed to be growing fruit on their trunks. She could see what looked like closed blooms in their branches – the little plant must be a sapling of these magnificent trees. Their bark was differing shades of brown with unusual swirling patterns at Autumn’s eye level. There seemed to be a ribbon of moss or vines wrapping around their trunks as well. What an unusual breed, Autumn thought. It didn’t matter though – northing mattered but the smell.
Autumn noted a sign along the edge of the trail and read it aloud. “Petbes Dryadus. Huh, says it’s found along the banks of the Nile river.” Autumn had never heard of a plant like that. She also found it odd that a plant from a desert environment would be doing so well in a greenhouse environment like this. The thought made Autumn confused, but she was having a hard time concentrating. The closer she got to the plant, the stronger the smell was. The more she smelled the aroma of the plant, the... happier she felt?
It didn’t make a lot of sense to her, but she definitely felt it. The smell made its way into Autumn’s nose and felt like it went straight to her brain, wrapping it in a warm, loving blanket. Gone were her fears about the museum, gone were her negative body images, gone went Lisa’s insults... all Autumn felt was a numbing happiness.
Autumn... come here Autumn... don’t be shy, dear...
A voice played in Autumn’s head, but she didn’t respond. It barely registered in what little thought process Autumn had left. All she knew is that she wanted more happiness. She wanted to wash away the pain and fear she felt. Wipe out those high school boys laughing at her. Get rid of her parent’s meddling. All she wanted was the plant. Now and forever.
Autumn found herself stepping over the chain boundary that marked the edge of the greenhouse path. Slowly, she walked through the plants, making her way into the clearing where the beloved plant sat. She inhaled deeply and the sensations filled every inch of her body. A fire burned in her and her nerves tingled all over. Autumn had never had romantic encounters before, but she could tell what true passion felt like. The pollen filled her nose and enflamed her soul, burning her from the inside out. She felt her eyes shut and her hands begin to wander all over her body. Autumn had never touched herself... like that... before, but she found her right hand making its way into the waistband of her dress, while her left slowly made circles over her blouse.
That’s right, Autumn... breath it in... more... more...
Suddenly, more blossoms began to open in the trees that surrounded Autumn. The buds popped open and pollen began to fall like rain onto Autumn, coating her from head to toe. Everywhere it landed, it felt amazing. Like a cool, gentle rain, washing away her troubles. But while it cooled her outside, it enflamed her insides. Her hands continued to make their journey throughout her nubile, virginal flesh. The feelings and sensations were new, but her hands moved on their own like they were old pros, eliciting feelings that Autumn had never imagined before. She found herself tearing at her clothes, ripping them from her body in an increasingly fevered pitch. Her fingers felt possessed as they tweaked, rubbed, flicked and probed her body.
Let it surround you... let the fire in, child...
Autumn’s eyes shot open suddenly. More. She had to have more. She quickly dropped to her knees and stuck her face in the tiny plant, snorting like a cocaine fiend on a bender. Pollen continued to shower down on her, but it wasn’t enough, she need more. More! The fire in her burned brighter, but it was still not enough. There had to be more! She gripped the plant’s stem and thrust her face into the blossom, inhaling every molecule of pollen she could. The pressure in her chest continued as a flame burned out of control, deep within her body – it felt as if her soul itself was on fire.
Take it Autumn... Take it all in...
Autumn couldn’t stand it any longer. She leapt to her feet, ripping the plant out of the ground. Thrusting her face skyward, she buried her face in multiple blossoms as the yellow pollen rained down on her. It coated her face, her hair, her body... every inch of her was bathed in the precious pollen. Abruptly, the pressure inside of her crested and broke, giving her sweet, sweet release. Autumn closed her eyes and basked in the afterglow. She had never felt better in her entire life.
She was relaxed.
She was happy.
She was... sinking?
Autumn opened her eyes, confused. She looked down at her feet and noticed that they seemed to be sinking into the mud where the plant had been located. It must have been super saturated soil for the plant to grow as well as it did, but it was starting to feel like quicksand. Autumn tried to pull her feet out of the ground, but the slurping mud was holding steady. But it didn’t matter. None of it mattered. The pollen was still coming down. That was all that mattered.
Feels good, doesn’t it Autumn...?
Autumn had no idea why her brain sounded like that – so deep, so serious. It didn’t matter. It was right. It felt sooooooo good.
Why don’t you just... stay a while then...
A dreamy smile spread across Autumn’s face. Of course she should stay. Why would she ever want to go back? Out there, there were jerks and grades and parents and problems... in here, there was only happiness... there was only the pollen...
Autumn could feel the cool mud flow over her feet and ankles as she continued to sink into the soft, brown dirt. Autumn thought for sure that pollen must be getting in her eyes... it looked like her legs were starting to turn brown like the dirt. Autumn laughed – that was such a silly thought.
But it wasn’t really. Her legs were getting darker. And rougher. While Autumn had stopped sinking into the ground, the mud had not stopped moving. It was now flowing up her legs, coating them in a dark substance. In her haze, Autumn thought it looked familiar, but her addled brain couldn’t quite place it. It wasn’t until her eyes focused on the trees that she recognized it – it kinda looked like their bark, didn’t it?
While her legs started to darken, her long hair seemed to be discoloring as well. From out of the corner of her eye, Autumn could swear it was becoming green. A dark green, much like the vines on the tree. It was so weird how the light in the greenhouse did that. The wind blew her emerald green hair, wrapping it tightly around her trunk of a body.
The pollen continued to flow onto Autumn, bathing her in its glory. As the brown wave flowed up from below, Autumn felt herself stretching her arms up, over her head. It felt so nice to stretch – she was feeling so stiff all of a sudden. She unfurled her fingers and let them dance in the breeze. It felt nice. It felt like her fingers themselves were stretching. Getting longer. Absorbing even more pollen, even more sunlight. Gosh, sunlight... that sounded so good right now... just spending all day in the sun...
Autumn felt an unfamiliar feeling in her chest. It almost felt like a weight was there... like her breasts were growing. They almost looked like the size of apples now. And they looked so pretty, such a deep red against her brown skin.
Had her skin always been brown? Autumn thought so, but didn’t remember it being this dry or rough. It didn’t matter though. Nothing mattered. She felt so good.
Autumn let out a sigh of pleasure as a smile came to her lips. It was then that her features began to fade away as the bark spread to her head and face. Her eyes closed for the final time. Her nose recessed, creating a knothole in the tree. If you studied the patterns in the bark, you could still make out Autumn’s contented smile.
Her elongated fingers began to quickly spread and branch out. Leaves began to appear. New blossoms as well. Those blossoms would continue to produce pollen. The sweet, sweet pollen. Autumn was happy
Enjoy my garden, dear Autumn... at least until winter time...
“... and that, Daphne fans, is why I’m ALL about silk, over cotton sleepwear.” Daphne was talking into her phone’s camera again as she ambled through the Gems of the World exhibit, seemingly without a care in the world. This time, she was regaling her audience about her preferred attire for the evening. She wore what looked very much like a pink, silk, button-up men’s shirt, with a pair of matching shorts.
“I think we can all agree that silk feels sooooooo much better on my skin. And I think it looks so much better too; wouldn’t you say, boys?” She undid the top button on her top, exposing a tantalizing bit of cleavage. The outfit was quite expensive, but she hadn’t paid for it – one of her many male fans had purchased it for her off of a wish list. Paige may have looked like a bimbo out of a men’s magazine, but she knew exactly what she was doing, what she wanted, and how to get it. “That’s all for now, Daphne fans! I’m going to take the time to check out all the hottest jewelry before I crash for the night. Next time we speak, your gal is going to be an official sorority girl! Woo!” She gave the camera a wink and a kissy face. “Until next time – peace, love, and fashion! Daphne out!”
Daphne clicked the record button to stop her video. Letting out a calming breath, Daphne smiled to herself. She was very careful about where to draw the line. She had to balance quite a bit in her online persona. She wanted to be sexy, but not slutty; hot, but approachable; inspired, but not haughty; glamorous, but down-to-earth... ugh, the online influencer world was cutthroat and exhausting. Daphne had designs on being one of the biggest around though. She had been crafting her online persona since freshmen year of high school. She had been blessed as an early bloomer and she had milked that for all it was worth. Daphne wasn’t stupid – she really did know what she was talking about – but she also knew the value of a good personal image. A little duck face here, a little cleavage there... Sure, some of her fans could be kinda pervy, but those pervs helped pay for St. Francis, so who was she to judge?
Still, Daphne thought as she flopped on a bench, it was draining. Even on a night like tonight, she had to always be “on”. While the other girls could just lounge around in whatever, sleeping like a rock, Daphne had to have her full makeup on, showing off “the girls” with her finest underwear and most expensive sleepwear and she had to spend her night in the most boring exhibit – rocks. Expensive rocks, for sure, but it didn’t exactly make it an exciting evening. But she knew that some videos and pics of her modeling near rings, necklaces and jewelry might give some of her fans ideas. Subliminal marketing or something, that’s what they had called it in her econ class. Who knows? Maybe someone would get some ideas for her after all was said and done.
Daphne was contemplating this possibility when she heard an older, male voice call out.
“Hello? Hey, who goes there?”
Daphne’s head swiveled toward the door, a look of panic spreading across her face. Security! Dammit, Daphne thought. That Paige girl said there wasn’t going to be anyone here tonight! What was she going to do if she got caught? A livestream of the Silver Springs lockup? A stupid scandal would derail everything! No brand wants to be associated with some girl who gets arrested in some dumb museum!
Daphne’s mind raced. She had to get out of this. There had to be a way.
She fell back on what she always did – her body and her charm.
Waving to the elderly guard, Daphne called out. “Oh my gosh! There you are! Thank you sooooooo much!” She minced over to his side, batting her eyelashes at him. “I got, like, stuck in here! I was in the... you know... little girl’s room...” She blushed at the confused guard. “And when I came out, everybody was gone! I looked around, but I couldn’t find anyone! And all the doors were locked! I thought I was just going to have to spend the night in here, locked up all by my lonesome self...” Daphne gave the best ‘Bambi eyes’ she could. Glancing at the security guard’s name tag, she quickly added. “It’s such a good thing you came along... uh, Jack... or I would have been just trapped in here!”
The guard looked at her, deeply confused.
“You came to the museum... in your pajamas?”
Daphne looked down at her slightly undone shirt, trying desperately to come up with a reasonable explanation. “Uh, well... no, it’s just that... uh, I just happened to bring a change of clothes with me... and I got my old clothes dirty, so I figured... I should change, but... I guess I grabbed the wrong outfit?” It was a terrible excuse and Daphne knew it. She looked at the guard’s face, willing him to let her go free. At the moment, he seemed to be looking her over, studying her, for some reason. Just as Daphne was debating if she could outrun the man and get back to the dorm before he called the actual police, a smile broke out across his face.
“Wait a minute... I know you!”
He does? Daphne screwed her face into a look of confusion.
“Sure, sure... you’re that Daphne girl my granddaughter keeps talking about! Lord, when she tol’ me that you were going to St. Francis, she just about blew out ma eardrums with her screaming. She’s just... she is just a huge fan, really.” Jack took off his spectacles and wiped them with a handkerchief from his pocket. He chuckled to himself as Daphne released a huge sigh of relief.
“Wow... that’s... just... that is just so wonderful to hear. Thank you so much, sir. You can tell her from me how nice it was to meet you and how grateful I am that you were able to help me out of here.” Daphne’s relaxed tone suddenly shifted when Jack gave her a puzzled expression. “I mean, you are going to help me out of here, right?”
“Well now, missy, seems to me that you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time, ain’t ya?” He chuckled to himself. “I mean, it don’t look like you’re supposed to be here a t’all. I figure I needs to call this one in...” Jack reached down to the walkie-talkie on his belt, presumably to call for some sort of backup.
Daphne could feel herself starting to sweat. Time to call out the big guns. She subtly moved to open another button on her shirt. Hell, maybe she could give the geezer a heart attack and escape that way...
“Please sir, there has to be another way. It’s all just a simple misunderstanding. I mean, after all...” She shot him the best sweet and innocent look she could. “... you wouldn’t want to get your granddaughter’s favorite streamer in trouble now, would you?”
Jack’s hand pulled back from the walkie-talkie slightly as he seemed to ponder this scenario.
“Well now, I dunno... Rules are rules for a reason...” He scratched the back of his neck and looked Daphne up and down. “But maybe we can some to some sorta arrangement?”
Daphne’s eyes grew wide. Oh my God, she thought. He couldn’t be THAT big of a pervert, could he? Daphne contemplated bashing Jack in the head with his own flashlight when the elderly guard suddenly snapped his fingers.
“I got it! How’s about you give me an autograph for Isis, my granddaughter? And, and, maybe one of those... whatchamacallit... selfies?”
Daphne again let out a breath she didn’t even know she was holding in. Relieved she wasn’t going to have to go to unthinkable places, Daphne gave the ancient guard a condescending smile.
“Why, of course! I’d be super happy to help out any fan of Daphne nation! But especially one with a grandpa as cool as you!” She gave him a wink that had the same effect as a little blue pill to the old man. Daphne went back to her designer purse and found a pen and a piece of paper. She gave a flowing autograph as she narrated. ‘To Isis... stay fashiontastic! Love, Daphne!” She gave the paper a big, lipstick coated smooch while Jack fumbled for his own phone.
“Well, that’s great. Just great. Thank you so much, miss Daphne, ma’am.” He folded the autograph and placed it in his uniform breast pocket. Producing the phone, he waived it to Daphne. “Now, how’s about we get a picture done, so I can get back to my rounds for the night?” He flashed her a disarming grin as Daphne smoothed her outfit out. She gave her long blond hair a few strokes with her hair brush, re-buttoned up her outfit (mustn’t look skanky for a little kid!) and put on her best public smile.
“OK! Where would you like me to stand?” The two of them took in the exhibit hall for the first time. The room was a relatively sterile one, without much in the way of decoration. This was clearly an “important” room without the trappings that might attract a younger audience. It was dotted with display cases full of gemstones, necklaces and rings from around the world. Some big, some small, but all of them flashy and expensive. Glancing around at his options, Jack pointed to a display featuring a giant necklace, framed and hanging on the wall.
“How’s about you stand right next to that there thing? You can point to it like a, whatchamacallit, spokesmodel or umthin’.” Daphne dutifully walked next to the display and struck a pose. Arching a heel, she put on her best Vanna White smile as she gestured toward the hanging piece of art.
“Don’t forget to send me a copy of these, so I can post them too!”
”Oh now, I wouldn’t worry too much about that...” Jack chuckled for some reason as he held the camera up. Daphne thought it was odd – it wasn’t a particularly funny comment – but she didn’t have much time to think about it before the camera gave off a large flash of light.
That was some camera phone; Daphne had never seen a flash quite like it. It lit up the whole room and blinded her temporarily. Gave her quite a headache too. She shook her head to clear the cobwebs, which was harder than it should have been. Suddenly, the guard called out again.
“That was great! How about we get another one? This time, from the other side. You can do the same pose, if you’d like.” Daphne resumed her smile. She reminded herself that this guy was keeping her out of jail, so why not let him do what he wants for a little bit? She changed position and struck her pose again.
Again, the camera went off and again, Daphne felt herself getting a headache. Was it really necessary for it to be that bright? It’ll just wash her out and make her look terrible. He really needed to tone it down.
“Uh, excuse me, Jack? Is there anyway you could...” Daphne started to ask questions, but Jack quickly cut her off.
“Now, for this next one, how about you give one of your classic Daphne winky faces? Just a big ol’ smile for the camera!” Daphne blinked a few times, trying to adjust her eyes and get rid of the lingering after effects of the light. Sure, why not? It was her trademark after all. Pursing her lips and giving the camera a flirty wink, Daphne turned to Jack once more.
This was getting worse. Daphne’s head was pounding now and it was getting harder and harder to focus. She was having a hard time even keeping her head up, that’s how bad it felt. Help or no help, she needed a break.
“That’s great sir, but I really need to sit down for a second...” Daphne started to slowly move away from the hanging picture and towards a bench in the middle of the room.
“Oh, don’t worry about it, Daphne! Just a few more, like you said, and we’ll be all done!” Jack began to fidget with the phone, showing a remarkable amount a tech savvy for an older man.
A few more? Did I agree to that? That seems like a lot, thought Daphne. Or she thought she thought that. It was getting harder and harder to hold onto thoughts in her head, like trying to scoop sand with a butterfly net. The thoughts were there, but... they seemed to just keep slipping out of reach. Jack called to her again.
“How’s about you come over here and lean on this display? You’ll look great next to these jewels!” Jack motioned to a long display case full of emerald rings, found from throughout the world. Daphne slowly rose to her feet and shuffled her way to the exhibit. She really needed to sleep after this.
“OK, for this one, how about you undo your top buttons a little? It’ll make you look more relaxed.” Jack offered this idea like it was the most natural request in the world. Daphne recoiled internally. What kind of granddaughter did he have anyway? Or was he going to be keeping these pics for himself? Ewwwwwwww, thought Daphne. And yet, she found her fingers moving to unfasten the top two buttons, as per his request. Inside, her red satin bra became visible amongst her generous cleavage. She leaned over the glass, thinking ‘if he wants a show, I’ll give him a show...’
Wait, why would she want to give him a show?
Before she could finish that thought, the flashbulb on the camera went off yet again, scrambling Daphne’s thought process. She froze for a moment as she tried to regain her train of thought. She was unsuccessful.
“ Oh, I know! How’s about we take one of the necklaces out of this display and you can WEAR it!” Jack moved towards a glass case and smashed it with his flashlight.
Wait, what? Why would a guard do that? And how could an old man break the glass so easily? Was it really that cheap of a material?
As Daphne struggled to understand what was happening, Jack quickly came to her and presented the gold-and-jewel encrusted necklace. It had once belonged to Marie Antoinette, according to what was left of the display, and was beyond gorgeous. Daphne found all of her previous concerns melting away as she stared at the beautiful gift Jack offered her. Reaching behind her neck, the guard fastened it around her. Daphne felt like a beautiful princess, but Jack took a step back, scowling.
“Hmmm... it doesn’t look quite right. Something about your shirt doesn’t quite match it, I think.” Daphne frowned, disappointed. Didn’t look right? That’s terrible. She wanted to look beautiful for Jack. After all, he was being so nice to her, taking her picture for her. There had to be a way to make the necklace look better.
“What if... what if I took off my shirt...?” Daphne shyly offered. The thought of going topless bothered her – only the skanky streamers did that! – but Jack was so nice, so inviting... His gentle touch and his kind, deep voice made her feel so welcome, so warm inside.
Jack’s smile slowly erupted from the wrinkles in his face. “You know what? That just might do it. Let’s give it a try, my dear.” Daphne slowly unbuttoned the last of her shirt and let it slump off of her shoulders, pooling at her feet. Standing in her red satin bra and her pink sleep shorts, she modeled the Marie Antoinette necklace like a centerfold from a classic Playboy.
Again, the camera erupted, but Daphne barely registered it. She was so very tired. Every thought in her head felt like it was trudging through mud. Her eyelids were so heavy, even blinking felt like an arduous task. Jack called out again, his deep voice echoing in her head.
“Wonderful! But, let’s just go all the way, right? How’s about you just let it all hang out, dear little Daphne?” Jack’s smile and deep green eyes seemed to take on a sharper bent as the impromptu photoshoot had worn on. Daphne knew this was a terrible idea and yet...
“OK...” She muttered in a breathy whisper. For some reason, it was harder and harder to raise her voice, to speak even. Her hands seemed to move automatically, as they unclasped her bra, freeing her generous chest to the welcoming gaze of the room. The cold air caused her nipples to point out, soldiers at attention. Her thumbs slowly hooked into her waistband, as she dropped her shorts and panties to the floor as well. Daphne struck a pose in the middle of the room, naked except for the stunning necklace draped around her. She smiled a happy, vacant smile as a sneering Jack took another picture.
Jack lowered his camera, his formerly charming chuckle turning into a growling, sinister laugh. His piercing green eyes stared into Daphne’s increasingly vacant blue eyes. “Almost done my dear... and then you’ll be the object of admiration you’ve always wanted to be... isn’t that right?”
Daphne found herself nodding. Slowly. But then again, everything was slow now. The world was slow to her. Why did Jack sound so different now? Were his eyes always green? Why was she naked again? She wanted to cry out, to tell Jack she was done, to hit him or run away, but... that was so much effort and she was so very tired. Jack spoke again, but now his voice seemed to be coming from directly inside Daphne’s head.
Just one more, Daphne... One more...
One more... Daphne could do one more. Jack took her by the hand and guided her to the centerpiece of the exhibit – a large diamond labeled as “The Heart of Sekhmet”. It was time for Daphne’s final pose.
Jack placed one of Daphne’s hands on the gem and then molded her pose to his liking. Placing the other hand behind her neck, he had Daphne arch her back slightly, presenting her uncovered chest on display. He curled her lips into a flirty smile, while closing her left eye in a knowing wink. Jack bent Daphne’s leg, so that one knee was pointed and leaning on the display case. Daphne would be a perfectly posed model, propped next to the enormous gem. As he played with her form, Jack’s deep cackle whispered in her head.
You know... I do believe I owe you my freedom, dear Daphne...
“Who...?” Daphne’s befuddled brain struggled to allow a response. She knew that Jack shouldn’t be touching her... molding her like this... but it felt so nice... and she was so exhausted...
So... as a thank you... I’m giving you what you truly wanted... to be on display for everyone to see...
“No... please...” It took every ounce of her dwindling strength to respond, but it only came out as a desperate, gasping cry. Jack looked once more into her eyes, the green flames blazing in his own.
Now, now... it’s far too late to turn back now... just relax, my dear... and embrace your public...
He took a few steps back to admire his handiwork, smiling a sinister smile as he soaked in the scene. If Daphne had looked like a vintage centerfold before, now she truly fit the part of a glamorous pinup. Her face locked into a wink and a smile, her beautiful body on display... Daphne tried to move, to fight, to scream... but her mind was just so relaxed and... so very tired...
With the final flash, the transformation began. Daphne could feel a tugging, draining sensation coming from her arm. It was as if someone had flushed a toilet and all of her essence was flowing down and out her fingers which still gripped the mighty gem. The Heart of Sekhmet flashed green as smoke swirled in side of it, growing more intense with every passing second. Daphne’s consciousness faded into oblivion as she felt the sweet relief of rest coming. Her last conscious thought: I wonder how many views this would get...
As her soul pooled inside of the diamond, her shell of a body began to change as well. Starting at her hand, it was drained of color, just as it drained of her spirit. Her fingers and arms became clear, cold, glass-like... matching that of the diamond itself. The flow of transformation passed from her arm, into her chest. From her chest down to her legs. From her legs, it flowed back up to her head and face. Before ten minutes had passed, the young woman known online as DaphneFashion4Eva had ceased to be more than a life size statue of glass. However, she was beautiful. That would never change.
The next morning, the staff found Jack, the actual guard, fast asleep in the security office. He reported no troubles at all during the night, even if he had no explanation for the five random bags they found scattered throughout the museum.
Petbe’s influence would ensure that the world would forget about the pledge class of Alpha Sigma Phi Rho – indeed, it was as if they had never existed. The Silver Springs history museum found itself to be an unexpected hotspot among the college locals, however. The St. Francis Students seemed to be drawn to some of the newer refurbishments.
The Hall of Myths and Monsters was reinvigorated with their new Medusa display – everyone commented on just how real the expression of terror on the victim’s face looked. She was posed staring into the room, with a look of shock and horror, with the Medusa perched just over her shoulder. The smile on the Medusa’s face mirrored that of a hunter had bagged “the big one”. Visitors would always comment on how emotional the scene felt to them.
Roman Holiday’s centerpiece statues became the focus of both art history and anatomy students, hoping to study how the sculptor created such lifelike models – and what the discolored patch between the one statue’s legs signified in the artist’s design. (In later years, it would ironically become a popular fraternity dare to goad a student to rub the statue’s “enhanced” parts...)
Treasures of the Orient faced condemnation in the local newspaper for its addition. The editors were aghast that the museum had traded its massive jade dragon for a, frankly, obscene statue that resembled a young woman pleasuring herself. Truth be told, no one on staff remembered authorizing the statue trade, but they assured the public that it wasn’t indecent – merely an artistic choice.
In The Natural World, botanists were impressed with the museum’s efforts at crossbreeding. They seemed to have developed a new breed of tree with the most unusual blossoms and fruit. Although the tree only seemed to produce two fruits at a time, the red apples tasted like none anyone had ever had before – they tasted vaguely of dairy?
Gems of the World saw the largest increase in traffic as everyone game to gape at the “mystical” Heart of Sekhmet. Inside the gem seemed to swirl a green, smoky fog. Visitors to museum would always comment on the beautiful and unusual effect – how was it possibly achieved? Only Petbe knew the truth - that inside of the Heart of Sekhmet flowed the mind and soul of a former internet heartthrob. As Daphne’s cold, vacant eyes gazed over the crowd, she could still hear his voice...
At least I left you... a place where you can always admire yourself...
Having satiated himself for the time being, Petbe’s spirit left the museum.
There was a whole new world out there.
He intended to see every bit of it.