So I go on vacation for a couple of weeks and my favourite bath-soap store closes its doors on me and is replaced by... I don't even know. The sign says Dream Weaver so maybe it's a bedding store. Although the stuff in the windows doesn't look like bedding, it's just a bunch of vials filled with colourful liquids. I guess I won't figure out what this place is unless I go inside.
Woah, I don't remember this shop being quite so big. Did the new owners open up the back rooms to make the store bigger? Then again, I don't think my store would get to this size if we did that, and we're only three units over. And if they had done that, there would be nowhere for an employee to hide from a customer, and this place is a desert...
"Can I help you, miss?"
"Aaah!" What the heck? Where did he come from?
"Oh! I'm sorry, I must have startled you, I've been told I need to be a bit noisier when I enter a room to avoid these situations."
"No, it's all right. I'm easy to startle to begin with and being lost in thought doesn't help that." There's no door there, just a wall behind a counter. Unless he was sleeping behind that before I came in, how did he get there? "Maybe you can answer my question though: do you know what happened to the hand-made soap store that was open here just a couple of weeks ago? I'm friends with the owner and she never said anything about going out of business."
"Soap store? Is that where I've ended up? I suppose that doesn't really matter though. Don't worry, your friend's store is still open and I'm sure it's doing brisk business. I've simply borrowed her storefront for a while, and only for a select few people; congratulations on being one of them."
"Ooookaay... Look, I enjoy a joke as much as the next girl but I'm seriously worried about my friend, if you don't know what happened just say that." What exactly is this guy on? 'Borrowing' a storefront and only having certain people see it? I guess it would be amazing if that could actually happen, but it has to be impossible.
"I'm not joking though. Tell you what: why don't you go outside my store, then turn around and see for yourself that your friend's store is still there. Then when you've reassured yourself that she's doing fine, you can find me again by simply leaving her store and turning around again."
"You know you sound nuts, right?"
"Sounding nuts and being nuts are two different things. Now go! See what I'm talking about for yourself."
"Fine, I'll play along. But you know that when I turn around and your store is still here I'm just going to leave."
"I'm not going to stop you if you decide to do that, but you'll be missing out on a life-changing experience if you do."
What a weird guy. I'm almost tempted to not even bother turning around, why give him the satisfaction of seeing me following his orders?.. Wait I smell soap. What? There it is... Suddz. And I can see Vivian inside helping customers. This is surreal, how can two stores be in the same place? Does Vivian know there's a strange man stealing her storefront? I guess I could go ask her, but the place is as busy as ever and I don't want to cause a scene by sounding like a mad-woman. I guess I should find out what this Dream Weaver store is all about now; he'll be the only one who can tell me. What did he say to do? Just turn around... And it's back. In I go, I guess.
"Yeah. You've got me curious Mister Disappearing-Shop-Man. What is this place?"
"Please, call me Quill. This place is my shop, I sell various magical items and potions that I've created, all with the aim of helping people live out their fantasies. And for you to be standing here right now means that my sensor-spells decided you have a deep-seated fantasy that I can help you with, Miss Saki Ono."
"Magic? You sell magic? I'm sorry, but even after seeing your shop vanish and reappear that's still a little hard to swallow." Live out a fantasy? He can't mean that. Even if he does, can he really do it? And would I want it to happen?
"Well then allow me to give you another small demonstration; you'll need to be the target of my spell though. I get the feeling that unless it happens to you directly, you won't be wholly convinced. I can assure you that I won't bring you any harm."
He wants to use magic. On me. Can this really be real? Am I having some sort of weird dream? Maybe something fell on my head and I'm just in a coma, and this is my brain's way of telling me something is wrong? I guess I should answer him... "Fine. Something small, that you can undo if I don't like it. Just enough to prove you are what you say you are."
His eyes are glowing!
"Saki, your hair is going to grow until it reaches your butt."
"What? That's it? That's your spell? Just telling me my hair is going to grow?"
"Were you expecting some big incantation? It's a simple spell that needs only to be a simple command. You look great like that, by the way."
"What are you talking abo... Oh. I guess that spell worked. Do you have a mirror I could look at? I want you to change my hair back since my head feels way too heavy, but I've always wondered what I'd look like with longer hair." He wasn't lying. Maybe he can help me.
"Over near the back there are a few mirrors. Stay away from the gold-framed ones though; they can have some strange effects on people who are under enchantments. They should all be covered, but I find it best to always give a warning. By the way: your hair is going to change back to normal when you're done looking in the mirror."
"If that was another spell then thanks." Wow! I do look good. Maybe I'll ask him to throw hair growth in with my fantasy spell. Not that it would really matter, now that I think about it.
"So Saki, I've proven my power to you, and I know you have some kind of fantasy that I can help you with, but my sensor-spells can only tell me so much. I don't know precisely what it is you would want me to do. Care to enlighten me?"
Should I tell him? It seems so silly to say it out loud, and I'm not even sure if I really want it to happen. All the best stories make it out to be enjoyable, but those are just stories, this is real. But if I don't tell him, I'm going to spend the rest of my life regretting it. I just know it. So... here goes nothing.
"I want to be a mannequin."
"A mannequin? That's your fantasy?"
"Yes. I mean... no. I mean... maybe?" Come on! Why can't I make up my mind?
"You seem undecided; maybe that's why my sensors picked you out. Believe it or not but there are already many ways out there for a girl like you to go get yourself turned into a mannequin. You only need to go looking for it and someone in the know will be happy to oblige you. Full truth: some of the mannequins in this very mall are former living women like yourself. Of course, most of those methods are more – ah – permanent than you seem to be looking for, at least at this time. I can offer you a variety of different ways to be transformed, as well as different lengths, and if you wish I can even get you into any window of any store here wearing any outfit you'd like."
"Really?" That doesn't sound so bad. If his services aren't too expensive maybe I can get him to put me on display in one of the evening dresses at my store for a week, just as a trial run.
"Of course, your fantasy isn't as uncommon as you might think, so it's one that I'm well prepared for. Do you have anything in mind right now? I can have you standing stiffly in a display window anywhere in the world by the end of the night if you wish."
"Well... I do have something in mind, but I just took a vacation from work, I don't know if it would be a good idea to say I need another week off." Dammit... why couldn't I have found this place during my time off?
"Just leave that to me, tell me where you work and I can ensure you won't have any problems."
This is getting to be too good to be true. Why do I have a feeling that when he tells me the price of all this I'm going to have to go deep into debt to go through with it? I guess that would be a way to ensure he eventually gets a newly minted mannequin to sell that was formerly a woman avoiding debt. Gah! I need to stop worrying; he seems reasonable enough, maybe he'll have some sort of instalment option.
"Well... I work at the store I'd like to be displayed in; we have a small collection of designer evening gowns, and there's a particular one I know I'll never be able to afford. It's a midnight black strapless, backless gown with a semi transparent bust, and a form-fitting cut. I've tried it on in secret before and it looks great on me. If you could get me into the front window of my store wearing that dress for a week I think it would be a good test of whether or not I want to be a mannequin for a longer period of time."
"You want to be displayed in your own store? That makes things easier for me then, I can probably work some magic and even have you paid as if you were working."
"That would be awesome! But speaking of money.... how much will this cost me? I'm not exactly rolling in it working at a retail job." And here it comes, the whopping number that's going to put me massively in debt and seal my fate in plastic forever.
"And I'm not exactly wanting for money, considering I have unlimited control over the very fabric of the universe. I do have a few operating costs, however, including buying potion ingredients and the like, so how does fifty sound for the week?"
Did I just hear him right?
"You're looking at me like I'm about to say 'and add your immortal soul to the deal'. I'm not some devious devil trying to trick you; I'm just a mage who wants to enhance other people's enjoyment of their lives. So is fifty dollars too rich for your blood?"
"No! No. Fifty bucks is good, I actually have that on me right now... Here. So how does this work? Do you just tell me that I'm going to become a mannequin, and then I do?" I think that I might be a bit disappointed if that's all there is to it...
"No, growing hair is simple; causing a flesh-and-blood woman to become a hollow piece of plastic is far more complex. For your first transformation though, lets stick to a classic: The display stand transformation. This stand here should be a match to the ones they use in your shop correct?"
"Yeah, so what do I do exactly?" I've read enough stories that I think I know what he's going to say.
"Well, you're going to have to strip down completely and then stand over on the base in the pose you want to hold for the week. Make sure you are in contact with the pole; it doesn't have to go inside you, though that is an option. Once you're in the pose you want, tap your right foot three times: the pole will then trigger the transformation. It may make some small adjustments to your pose, things like arching your plastic feet to fit high-heels, and raising your breasts as if you were wearing a bra, but beyond that the pose of choice is yours. If you want some privacy there's a room in the back with mirrors on each wall, you can try out poses, then watch yourself transform in there."
"I think I'll take you up on that. Thank you!" I can't believe this is really going to happen. I wonder what the change is going to feel like?
"You're very welcome. I'm going to close the shop while you're in there, and go arrange for your window to be prepared. Don't take too long picking a pose, I'd like to get you out of here and on display shortly after I get back."
"All right. I have one in mind already so I shouldn't take long." I wonder why the rush? Maybe the spells needed to get me in there are on a time limit. Oh well, I do know what I want to do, a nice simple pose that you'd see on an average mannequin. Lets see... the pole is coming out of the middle of the base and he said that it needs to be in contact with me. Oh! The height can be adjusted. Hmm... I'm going to be wearing a tight-fitting dress, and the pose I have in mind wouldn't allow for that much room behind me without the pole showing through... I guess there's nothing for it but to center myself over the stand. I'll get mostly into pose before raising it, though; I don't want to get too distracted. Now... Left leg straight, right leg slightly behind, with the foot at a right angle to the left and give a slight bend in the knee. Lean my torso just a little to the right to create a smooth curve and have my right arm hanging down with a slight bend in the elbow and my left arm hanging and following the curve of my body. Now I just turn my head to the left a bit and stare off into the distance. Ok... I look pretty good; three taps of my right foot and... OH! Wow... that feels strange, but it's definitely pleasant. I can't move anymore, and I can see my body starting to change. The spot where the stand inserted itself is already just a round hole for it to go into, with the area around it being as smooth as any other mannequin's. Looks like it's spreading out to make my hips and butt into plastic first. This is surreal; I'm watching myself turn into an object! Not only that but I did this to myself willingly and even paid to make it happen. It feels good though. My plastic parts are all tingly, it's not quite orgasmic, but it is pleasurable. The transformation’s reached my feet, and there they go, arching themselves just like a normal mannequin’s. I'm ready for high-heels now, and they won't hurt to wear! There are some perks to being plastic. Well, my lower half is done, now it's spreading up. There goes my stomach; I wonder how the magic deals with all my internal organs? Are they becoming plastic too? Or are they just vanishing as the transformation spreads? Oh, I want to watch this; my breasts are about to change. Just as I thought, they didn't raise much! I'm allowed to feel proud of that fact, right? Well this is interesting; apparently I'm to be a mannequin without nipples. Not even little bumps, my breasts are just round plastic orbs now. Given that I'll be wearing a semi-transparent fabric over that area maybe this is intentional since mannequins don't wear bras? Oh well; that area seems to be even more tingly than the rest of me, besides where the stand is inserted, so I don't really mind. My head is about to change! Guess my arms were finished while I was focusing on my lack of nipples. Up and up it comes, there's my lips, just glossy plastic now. My nose is done, with my nostrils just being indents in the plastic. My gorgeous blue eyes are glass now. That's a nice touch, I don't like the painted-on look as much. I guess all that's left is for my hair to become a wig. After it grows down to the small of my back, apparently. I guess he must have known I'd want this. Well, I'm officially just a Sakiquinn now. Hey.. Wait a minute, it looks like there's something written on my butt. It's hard to focus on it in the reflection of the mirrors, but... it says Saki. And under that there is a bar-code. Should I be worried? Or is this just an extra touch on Quill's part? Oooh... that tingly feeling is getting stronger... though it's circling in bands around my body... ah! I see. My separation points. Now I can be dismantled. Is that a good thing?
"I'm back Saki. You ready for display?"
You know it's impossible for me to answer yes to that so why bother asking? Just come in here and tell your creation how she looks.
"Wow, you look great. A nice classic pose, and I can't help but notice where you placed yourself in regards to the stand. As an added bonus for girls who go that route, the stand is set to vibrate whenever the mall is closed. You don't need to sleep now so I figure you'll need some form of entertainment."
You twisted, brilliant man. I hadn't thought about needing to sleep or not, so I guess this will help me pass the time. Now tell me about that bar code! I'm worried. And what happens if the week runs out and some part of me isn't on me?
"Alright, lets get you over to the shop for display, the manager seemed really attached to that dress so I couldn't persuade her to let me bring it over here so I could dress you myself. I guess I'll have to bring you through the mall as-is. Don't worry; it's only a short trip. I'd dismantle you but those lines are just pivot points to help with dressing; you can't be taken apart."
Well that's one thing off my mind.
"You also may have noticed a bar-code on your butt. Don't think on that one too hard, it's just to help you blend in with the other mannequins."
And there's the other. Is he reading my mind?
"I need some way of communicating with my subjects don't I? Don't worry, though, I can only do this when you're in a transformed state, not when you're a normal human being. So are you ready to begin your week on display, my Sakiquinn?"
Less talking, more walking, Quill. I can't get there on my own!
Continued in Part 2 - Observations