You’ll find him over this country, grinning at you from countless gift shop windows in cheap metal or plastic replicas and on postcards. Some parents avert their children’s eyes, while the more liberal-minded ones giggle with them at his exaggerated manhood. His appearance, whether greeted with shock, amusement or arousal, has become iconic. But I wasn’t interested in tourist junk, if one will pardon the expression, or in saucy postcards. That was why my quest had brought me here to the museum, to view the original.
There he stood, secure in his glass case: the seventy-centimetre tall bronze figure of a naked faun, standing with one hoof raised and his arms poised as if dancing. The expression on his bearded face was the reason he was commonly known as the Laughing Faun, although it might just as easily have been a look of ecstasy. Hardly surprising, given his impressive erection, which curved upward in a graceful arc to its thick glans, its tip several centimetres higher than his navel.
Some scholars have argued that the Faun is a fertility god, others that fauns in general were just supposed to be horny bastards. Alternatively, it's been argued that it’s an exaggerated view of a natural condition in which the penis is never fully flaccid - rare in humans, but common enough in many species of animal. In other words, it doesn’t actually have anything to do with sex, and it’s only the prurience of our hypersexualized modern society that’s given rise to this idea.
I’m sure that interpretation is lost on the majority of museum visitors, many of whom would soon be tending to their own arousals after seeing the Faun up close. I have to confess that I was not entirely immune to his, shall we say, charms, but my real interest in the Faun was of a more personal nature.
I was going to steal him.
He would not be the first. I had amassed a private collection of more than twenty precious statuettes and objets d’art from various collections around the world. None of those places, however, were as closely guarded as this one. With its round-the-clock surveillance and sophisticated alarm systems, it was claimed that this museum was impregnable. I took that as a personal challenge.
From the moment I first saw the Faun, I felt an insatiable urge to own him. No matter how difficult the challenge, no matter what the cost, I was determined to possess him for myself alone.
In order to put my plan into operation, I first had to steal another item. Not from an art collection, but from a certain laboratory. Through an obscure source of illicit information, I had heard that this laboratory was testing a device that would be instrumental to my plan.
Thus, I applied for work as an assistant at the laboratory - under an alias, naturally, and with brilliantly-forged identity papers. It was not long before my work brought me into contact with the scientist who had built the device. He was naturally reluctant to discuss such a sensitive project in detail, but I learned enough from him to know that my information was correct. The machine was a matter transmitter, capable of dematerialising an object and reassembling it in a new location.
It was not capable of transporting organic materials, so there was no possibility of transporting people or livestock, but objects made of glass, metal or plastic could be safely transported at a range of up to 500 metres. The transported objects were very faintly radioactive, but no more so than, say, a newly-mined piece of coal.
I was concerned that such a device might be too big to transport and require too much power to be practical for my needs, but these fears were soon allayed. It turned out to weigh less than 15 kilos, and was small enough to fit into a large suitcase. As for the power supply, that was highly classified - I suspected that it was some form of portable fusion generator - but it was completely self-contained within the device.
I could not discover from its inventor how the machine’s controls worked, but on those brief occasions when I was close enough to read the markings on its dials I studied them closely and carefully memorised them. I was sure I had enough information to figure out its exact modus operandi given a little trial and error. There only remained the matter of smuggling it out of the lab.
In many ways, that was the easiest part. The lab’s security systems were sophisticated enough, it’s true, but not nearly as sophisticated as some of the art galleries whose defences I had previously breached. By the time the alarm was raised I was just a hunched figure in a trenchcoat, shuffling through the streets of the nearby city with a heavy suitcase.
Likewise, smuggling the device through Customs was no harder for me than smuggling works of art, and soon I arrived with the device in the Faun’s hometown and booked a cheap apartment near the museum.
Within my modest accommodation I began carrying out tests on the device using pieces of cutlery. Following a few failures, once I had managed to clear the stench of burnt plastic out of the room, I finally succeeded in transporting spoons and forks from one side of the room to the other. I inspected them closely, but as far as I could tell all of the rematerialised objects were perfectly solid and intact.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Now all I had to do was extend the range, and the Faun would soon be in my grasp.
I had specifically chosen this apartment because it had a balcony that overlooked the wing of the museum in which the Faun was located. Through a good pair of binoculars it was just possible to make out the Faun itself, though its image was slightly obscured by the museum’s window pane and the bulletproof glass that protected it.
No matter... no pun intended. Glass and stone were no obstacles to the dematerialising beam. I settled down for a nap, setting the alarm for 2:30 AM.
After waking at 2:30 I moved the bedside table out onto the balcony and placed the machine on it. With all the precision I could muster, I adjusted its range and bearing until the dematerialiser was precisely focused on the Faun, then set the rematerialiser to a position one centimetre above the centre of the bed.
I took a deep breath. This was it. Soon the Faun would be in my possession, and we would both be well out of the country before the hue and cry was fully roused.
Moving to the machine, I double-checked its settings - nothing must be left to chance - and then turned it on. It would take a few minutes for the power to build up, and then the deed would be done. The Faun would be mine, and mine alone.
I stepped aside from the machine, watching the gauges inching toward full power... and that was when it happened.
The building began to shake. It was an earth tremor! They were not uncommon in this part of the world, but they were the one thing that I had not accounted for. Concerned that the machine would be shaken out of alignment, I stepped forward, just as a stronger tremor knocked me off my feet...
The machine activated, and I fell - straight into the path of the beam.
I felt as if my body was being torn apart, atom by atom... and it was.
My last thought was, At least it’s a novel way to die.
An eternity later, I regained consciousness. I didn’t know why I wasn’t dead. I couldn’t tell where I was or what was happening.
I seemed to be standing upright with one leg raised, but there was something odd about my legs. It felt as if they didn’t bend in the way they were supposed to. I tried to move, but nothing happened. For some reason I was feeling really horny... in fact, it felt as if I was coming. Coming long and hard, longer and harder than I’d ever done. The pleasure was making it hard to think straight, to figure out what was happening to me.
I seemed to be standing in a darkened room with a window at the far side. Through the window I could see an apartment block in the distance, with what looked like flames coming from an upper balcony...
Oh, God, this was impossible. There was no way it could possibly be happening. It was some kind of dying hallucination. It had to be.
I tried to move again and couldn’t. I was standing in a glass cabinet. My legs were bent backward, like a goat’s. My arms were raised in a dancing pose. I had a huge erection, and my arousal was a fully-fledged climax. My face was frozen in a rictus of pleasure.
I was the Faun! Oh, my God, I was the statue!
It was impossible but it was happening. Somehow, by some means incomprehensible to science, my consciousness had come to inhabit the body of an inanimate piece of metal. I was seeing and hearing and feeling exactly what the statue would be seeing and hearing and feeling if he was alive.
And if he was alive, the Faun’s sexual sensations would be far more intense than a human’s. What he was feeling was the most powerful and sensuous orgasm I had ever experienced, an incredible climax that went on and on and on. I wanted to writhe and howl with pleasure, but I couldn’t. How could I? I was now an inanimate piece of metal.
At least that settled the question of whether the Faun’s erection was meant to be erotic, though I could hardly tell anyone else.
Oh, dear God. Time didn’t exist for a statue. The sculptor depicted the Faun in an endless moment of ecstasy. The statue that I had become could never grow old or die. He could never stop coming.
And he never did...
Be careful what you wish, they say. My greatest wish was to possess the bronze Faun, and I succeeded, more thoroughly than I could ever have imagined. My soul has taken possession of the Faun’s body and can never leave it.
For years now the Faun has continued to stand in his display case while visitors admire his physique, never imagining that a human soul could be locked in his immobile body - the ultimate locked-in state - endlessly coming and coming and coming.
The sensation never changes, never diminishes for the slightest instant. I can never ignore it. I can never get bored with it. I can barely concentrate on anything else. It’s so intense as to be almost unbearable, but there is nothing I can do except bear it... hour after hour, week after week, decade after decade... and for however many millennia this ancient bronze body will survive. Though I don’t know how long my mind can survive.
You’ll find him over this country, grinning at you from countless gift shop windows in cheap metal or plastic replicas and on postcards. Some parents avert their children’s eyes, while the more liberal-minded ones giggle with them at his exaggerated manhood...