Penny T. Hoze put her hand on the inside door latch, hesitated, and then pulled it back and shook her head.
"I’m sorry, Nina. I just can’t do it."
"Look, Penny, I know your last modeling gig was a little, uhh, strange . . ."
As Penny turned to face her friend, Nina Tavares wished she hadn’t been so flippant. "Okay, ‘strange’ doesn’t quite cover it, even if just half the stuff you told me is true."
"All ‘the stuff’ I told you is true, and you’re right – ‘strange’ doesn’t cover it," Penny said in a huffy tone.
"The point I’m trying to make, Penny," Nina continued, "is that modeling
is something you’re good at. Something you can make real good money at
doing – even more money than we made on that pantyhose layout."
"And may I remind you that it was those pantyhose pictures that almost got me turned into a permanent model." Even though it had been several weeks, thoughts of what had happened – and nearly happened – in the basement studio of sculptor Franz Jakobs still made Penny shudder.
"Okay. But this time you’re not going in alone. You got me along. And we can watch each other’s back. Right?"
Penny looked at their destination. "I guess it looks pretty harmless." She thought for a few more seconds, and then pulled on the door latch, and quickly got out of the passenger side of Nina’s sedan. "Let’s get it over with!"
Nina took one quick look at her short brown hair in the rear view mirror, then joined her modeling friend. "Full speed ahead!" The two headed toward the front door of Helga’s Hosiery Hut.
While both young women were attractive, their looks and styles contrasted. Nina Tavares was a former dancer, and stood several inches taller than Penny. Her blonde friend kidded Nina that every inch of her height advantage could be found in her legs. Nina was one of those women who seemed to be legs from her toes right up to her head. Penny was certainly shorter than Nina, but not unusually short. With her shoulder length blonde hair, infectious laugh, and well-toned/well-proportioned body, Penny could best be described as "cheerleaderish" – if there was such a word
And so the two models approached the front door of the boutique, each hoping to see their strengths utilized in this brief photo session: Nina her long, lovely legs (with just a hint of sexual magnetism); and Penny her charm and beautiful physique, attractive at any angle, and in any pose.
"Check out this sign," Nina pointed to the side of the entrance as they stopped at the door. "’Helga’s Hosiery Hut: Home of the World’s Most Beautiful Legs!’," she read, as Penny tried the doorknob.
"It’s locked," she started to say, but then there was the sound of the door unlatching, followed by the front door swinging open toward the inside of the store. It sort of reminded Nina of TV shows when people were entering a haunted house, and she almost made the accompanying ‘woooo’ sound. But remembering that her friend had recently had a real life horror house experience, she thought better of it.
The two girls stepped inside, and were greeted by an older woman standing behind the sales counter at the very back of the store, holding what looked like a TV remote control in her hand.
"Welcome, ladies, you must be here for the hosiery modeling!" the old woman shouted. "I lost track of the time. Do come in, and step to the back. And to avoid any after hours interruptions, I’ll lock the door behind you."
Penny and Nina did as they were told, but were surprised to see the woman simply point the remote at the door and punch in a couple of numbers. The door locked behind them.
The old woman laughed at the two models’ surprised expressions. "I’m sorry. You must think you’ve entered the Twilight Zone. I have a fascination for trinkets and gadgets, and I’ve been able to wire just about everything in the store to work with this remote. So when I want to lock or unlock the door, I just punch in 6 – 4 – 2, hit ‘enter,’ and ‘voila’!"
"That’s very impressive, Ms. . . .?" Nina offered, as she and Penny reached the back counter.
The old lady answered ". . . Hoffmeier. Helga Hoffmeier. And actually, it’s not that impressive when you realize that’s it ‘Doctor’ and not ‘Ms." Hoffmeier." Helga Hoffmeier stepped out from behind the counter, and offered her hand to Penny. "You must be Ms. Hoze, and that makes you Ms. Tavares. Am I right?"
"Yes," Penny answered. "And no ‘Doctors’ before either name."
The three laughed, and the older woman continued. "I didn’t mean to imply superiority. It’s just that I used to be in mechanical and electrical engineering. I’ve done a lot of work with miniature transistors, conductors, computer chips – and so I’ve used that knowledge in my store, installing labor saving devices throughout – all controlled with this tiny remote."
"Well, that explains the remote," Penny started, "but how does all that lead to . . ." she waved her hand around the store, ". . . all this."
And by ‘all this’, Penny was referring to the largest display of hose and hosiery products she’d ever seen. Virtually every counter, rack, and bin in the store was filled with packages of hosiery of every shape and shade. Most of the counters and bins displayed their wares with attractive leg mannequins. On several of the walls, life-size photos in sexy black and white showed beautiful women wearing stockings and pantyhose in various stages of dress (and undress). And finally, like small raised stages, specially lit display areas containing waist to toe mannequins modeling expensive stockings and tights were featured on each side of the store. It wasn’t so much a hosiery ‘hut’ as a small hosiery city.
The owner waited a few moments before beginning her answer. "Well, in some ways, of course, the world of fashion and the world of science are completely different. And I came to a point in my life when I wanted that difference. And yet, the two worlds do interact. Just as my old world involved the manipulation of microchips and microtransistors, the world of hosiery involves microfibers. And so, I was able to bring some of the knowledge from my old world into my new world. It was a move I had often thought about," she said, somewhat dreamily, and then her tone began to darken, "and then, when my husband left me, I saw the opportunity to make old dreams, and new dreams, come true." There was a moment of silence, as Penny and Nina witnessed a sudden and dark change in Helga Hoffmeier’s countenance. But the moment passed, and the expression softened once more. "And so, I built this business, and look for opportunities to grow and try new things."
"And that’s why," Helga began to circle the girls, and appraise their looks and features, "I have asked the two of you here today, after seeing you both in your successful pantyhose layout."
"Well," the store owner rubbed her hands together, "the sooner we get started the sooner we’ll get finished. Since I don’t sell jeans," her pitch rose as she humorously referred to the girls’ casual attire, "I need to pick out some pantyhose for you to model."
"Let’s begin with you, Ms. Tavares," the older woman walked over to a long range of bins containing several packages of pantyhose in various sizes and shades. Nina looked above the bin at the long shelf containing waist to toe mannequins, posed upside down, modeling the hose in this area. It seemed to have a very silky, very sheer, very expensive look to it, so the former dancer was pleased about the selection.
"This is my ‘On the Town’ brand of pantyhose. As you can tell by the displays, it is a very sheer, special occasion style of hosiery. I think those long legs of yours will model these very nicely." Ms. Hoffmeier leafed through several packages. "I think you’ll take a size B in this style, due to your height. And let’s go with a darker shade – say, ‘Smoky Grey.’"
Nina looked for that shade on display, but saw only White, Tan, Navy, and Black on the mannequins. The shade must be new, for Ms. Hoffmeier had cleared a space to display it between the Black and White mannequins.
"Now for you, Ms. Hoze. I want to try a few different looks with you after I finish with Ms. Tavares, so let’s get you started with something simpler." Helga returned to a display on the sales counter, and handed Penny a package from it. "This is my ‘Custom Support’ style in ‘Nude.’"
The package had a picture of rather plain looking, old fashioned style pantyhose, with a dark hued panty portion, and reinforced toe and heel.
"They’re sort of . . . well, unexciting, don’t you think?" Nina asked, much to Penny’s chagrin.
"Nina! I don’t care. They’re perfectly fine, Ms. Hoffmeier. In fact, the plainer the better, as far as I’m concerned." Penny hoped Nina hadn’t blown it for her. This actually was turning out to be a simple straightforward modeling job, and Penny had been foolish to have worried. She wanted and needed this paycheck, and she was afraid Nina’s nitpicking could cost her that.
Fortunately, Helga Hoffmeier didn’t appear to be insulted. In fact, she was apologetic to Penny. "Oh, I’m sorry my dear, I didn’t mean to imply that you deserved less. These are just something to wear until I make up my mind which direction your modeling for me should take."
"It’s no problem, really. These are just fine."
"I’m glad you feel that way. Even women who want a less fashionable pair of hosiery deserve to see it modeled by someone beautiful."
Helga escorted her two models to the back of the store, and pointed out her dressing rooms. "Please excuse me for being so, uhh, indiscreet, but I believe the pantyhose models better with nothing on underneath. I think the French cut of yours, Ms. Tavares, and the control panel of the tan hose will provide a measure of, shall we say, camouflage?" They all laughed, and Nina and Penny stepped into the dressing area.
As they dressed, Nina couldn’t help but remind Penny of her assurance that this was a good - and safe - modeling job.
"I know, I know! I’m embarrassed that I was so worried and scared, and that I - uh oh, I just remembered something." Penny paused.
"What?" Nina asked.
Penny was going to explain about a certain phone call she had made, but was afraid Nina might be upset when she told her. "Oh, nothing - just my nervousness. Never mind."
The models quickly changed into their pantyhose. Nina kept on her black bra since it closely matched the shade of her stockings. Penny wore a light brown knit top to go with her tan pantyhose.
"Boy, I wish these weren’t so expensive. I’d like to wear a pair ‘on the town’ with Henry the stuntman.
"But isn’t Henry the stuntman the one who likes to tear your clothes off," Penny reminded.
"Oh, yeah. Forget that - let’s make it Derek the real estate agent."
"At those prices, it better be Derek the highly successful real estate agent," they both laughed. "You know, your criticism aside, these support pantyhose are very comfortable," Penny continued. "It was kind of strange, really, putting them on. While I pulled them on they seemed way too big. But once I pulled them over my waist and let go, it’s like they formfit to my shape."
"You know, Penny, this could be big. If these brands catch on, with our pictures on the package - we’re talking a life changing experience, here!" Nina enthused.
"Let’s just take it one check at a time, Nina, okay?"
"Okay - but between your plain, comfortable, and inexpensive style, and my expensive, erotic, and sexually magnetic look - how can we go wrong?" Penny punched a laughing Nina playfully on the arm, and the two stepped back into the showroom.
Helga Hoffmeier was extremely pleased with the look of her two models, and her selection for their modeling. Penny graciously accepted the old woman’s compliments, while her friend tried her own sales pitch. "These pantyhose even feel great walking," she lifted a foot to point out the small dark panel just beneath the toes. "Is that because of this area?"
"Yes," Helga answered. "That is a special microfiber design of my own."
"Well it’s great," continued Nina. "You know, packaging is important, but nothing sells hosiery like seeing it on an actual pair of great legs."
Penny smiled and inwardly groaned. Her bold friend was trying to wrangle some complimentary pantyhose.
"My feelings exactly, Ms. Tavares. And I believe those legs of yours will sell a lot of pantyhose," the old woman beamed. Nina just grinned at Penny, as if to say, "We’re going home with some freebies, babe."
"I’ll start with you, Ms. Tavares. I’ve prepared a lit area over here, and we’ll try a few poses. I’m a bit of an amateur photographer, so I thought I’d reduce the overhead by taking the pictures myself." Neither girl said anything, although both knew that being your own business photographer was like being your own lawyer. Helga seemed to realize that she was ignoring her other model, so she spoke to Penny. "Please wait here, Ms. Hoze, and I’ll take care of you in a moment. By the way, that control panel in your hosiery is a special microfiber design, as well." Penny figured she threw that in so it wouldn’t seem like Nina was getting all the good stuff.
"It feels great, ma’am. Loose - and yet it stays up just fine," Penny complimented her design.
"My intention, exactly. Now, let’s get a couple of shots, Ms. Tavares."
Penny watched as Nina went through a short series of standard hosiery poses while Helga snapped shots with her small 35mm camera. Penny was beginning to doubt Nina’s optimism. Great product or not, having snapshots made in a makeshift studio by an amateur photographer was not the ticket to modeling immortality. Maybe at least one of Nina’s goals would be met - maybe they’d get some free pantyhose.
"I know you’re getting tired of posing, Ms. Tavares - but just one more pose ought to do it. Would you do - now, what it is called - a ‘bicycling’ pose, I believe?"
"Oh, sure, I know what you mean." Nina lay on her back, placed her hands under her bottom, and lifted her legs, toes pointing upward. Still limber from her dancing background, she began to effortlessly bend her knees and pump her legs.
"That’s very impressive, Ms. Tavares. But could you be a little less ‘aerobic,’ and a little more ‘erotic,’ if you know what I mean?" asked Ms. Hoffmeier.
"Right. Sorry. Got carried away." Nina’s nylon sheathed legs moved much slower now, occasionally even rubbing one foot slowly up the other leg as she cycled.
"Excellent. Much better. Just a few moments more." While the store owner still pressed the shutter button occasionally, Penny noticed that the old woman was glancing at the ceiling while Nina moved sensually. At first, Penny thought she was just checking the lighting. But then the pretty blonde noticed that Helga Hoffmeier was once more holding her remote control device in her hand. And in between a couple of camera clicks, Helga pushed some of the remote’s buttons.
Expecting the remote to alter the lighting, Penny was surprised to see a pair of cables move over Nina’s outstretched legs. The cables had two rectangular ‘pads’ attached. And as the old woman pushed the remote, the cables and pads descended toward Nina’s stockinged feet.
"What the heck are those thi . . . .?" Penny started, and then cried out at what happened next.
When the pads were very close to Nina’s feet, the model turned her head from the camera and spotted the cables. As soon as she did, Helga Hoffmeier quickly punched the appropriate buttons on her remote, and the pads shot down and attached themselves to the bottom on Nina’s feet, like a -
"Just like a magnet, my dear. A ‘nylon magnet,’ if you will," the old lady chuckled, as Nina and Penny screamed, and the cables lifted Nina completely off the floor, hanging upside down.
"What do you mean - a ‘nylon magnet’?" asked Penny, transfixed by the sight of her friend suspended helplessly in the air.
"Actually, that is a misnomer. The magnetic field is really in the microfibers of the special pads in the foot portion of the pantyhose your lovely friend is wearing. Impressive, isn’t it?"
Penny was starting to get spooked by all this, the start of some very bad memories were beginning to play on the movie screen of her mind. But she laughed a ‘graveyard whistle’ laugh, and pressed on. "Uhh . . . yes, impressive, and funny, too - sort of. But I think you’ve proved your point, Ms. Hoffmeier. So why don’t you just let her down, nice and easy."
"Oh, I intend to, Ms. Hoze. But not over here." The old woman pointed the remote and directed the cables to swing Nina’s torso away from the modeling area and toward the hosiery racks. Specifically, toward the one where the brand of pantyhose Nina was wearing was stocked, and displayed by upside down, waist to feet mannequins.
Only, Nina’s shade, ‘Smoky Grey,’ wasn’t being displayed by any of the mannequins at the moment. This thought chilled Penny to the bone, and as Nina’s body approached the counter, Helga Hoffmeier was positioning her in the empty space between the mannequins displaying the black and white ‘On the Town’ pantyhose. That’s when Penny knew for sure.
"No! Stop! I won’t let you . . ." Penny yelled, and started toward the old woman. But Helga turned to face her, an evil grin on her wrinkled face.
"YOU won’t let ME?" She laughed, and pointed the remote at Penny’s midsection. The tingling sensation Penny felt made her stop. Something was beginning to happen.
Penny felt the panty portion of her hosiery expand. But instead of falling down, the expanded waistband was moving up Penny’s body! Too late, Penny remembered that Helga had said there were special microfibers in her pantyhose, as well. The panicking blonde tried to stop the expanding fabric with her hands, but its growth was too rapid, and soon engulfed Penny’s hands and arms. It then lightly brushed Penny’s breasts through her knit top, and then rose above Penny’s head, continuing to expand until it was hooked by another ominous cable suspended from the ceiling. As Penny tried unsuccessfully to rend the nylon from inside, the cable lifted Penny off the floor and a few feet toward the ceiling. Another push of Helga’s remote caused the cable and hook to begin spinning the top of the oversized pantyhose panel around and around, with Penny spinning as well. Finally, the nylon was twisted like the top of an opened bag of sliced bread. And before the package could begin to spin the reverse direction, another cable attached a firm clamp on the twisted end.
Penny swung her free legs back and forth, to no avail. And her screams for help were muffled by the nylon cocoon that engulfed her upper half. Incredibly, Penny Hoze was trapped in her own pantyhose.
"That is simply a temporary measure, Ms. Hoze, while I finish with Ms. Tavares." Helga now returned her attention to Nina, herself suspended head first only a few feet above the empty space in the counter top display area. "As you said earlier, Ms. Tavares, nothing sells pantyhose like seeing it on a great pair of legs."
Nina’s screaming had been shocked into silence by Penny’s nylon entrapment. But now, as she looked down at the countertop, what she saw happening initiated her cries once more.
A few more buttons pressed on Helga Hoffmeier’s remote was effecting a change in the counter. The solid white veneer of the surface was disappearing, seeming to melt into a liquefied, white, gooey substance. The change started slowly, but spread until virtually the entire area between the black and white pantyhose display was liquefied. Nina was crying out for Helga to let her go, but the old woman was focused on the task at hand. She allowed a few moments for the liquifecation of the countertop to spread downward into the counter itself. And when she was satisfied that the process was complete, she pointed the remote at the cable holding Nina Tavares, and pushed the button that caused the cable to begin lowering the lovely young woman into the counter top.
The former dancer still had a few screams, as well as kicks and knee bending struggles left in her, but it was not enough. She stopped screaming and closed her mouth just as her short brown hair and forehead entered the white goo. But Nina’s screams were replaced by those of her friend, Penny, as she watched the horrible spectacle through the gauze-like tint of her nylon prison.
"Stop it! Stop it!" Penny cried. "You’re drowning her!"
"It only appears so," Helga calmly stated, as Nina’s face was completely submerged, and the white goo began to coat Nina’s disappearing shoulders, and the black straps of her fashion brassiere. "Let me assure you, Ms. Hoze. Your friend is not drowning. Instead, she is being transformed into something more eternal than breath and flesh and blood."
Penny continued to scream at her mad captor, but the old woman ignored her as she concentrated on Nina’s descent. The young woman’s attractive breasts were now submerged, and the target point was nearly reached. Seconds after Nina’s head had disappeared into the thick white liquid, the severe kicking and thrashing of her legs had begun to diminish. With her breast submerged, there was only small movement in Nina’s lower half. In another few seconds, the model’s upper half was totally in the liquefied cabinet, and when the ‘goo line’ reached the top of Nina’s fashionable pantyhose, Helga pushed the remote, stopping the descent of the cable.
Even through the nylon, Penny could see that a change was coming over Nina’s buttocks and legs. They were becoming paler and stiffer. There was still a small degree of life left in the limbs, and Helga Hoffmeier had climbed onto a small stool, and was carefully moving Nina’s nyloned legs, positioning them - posing them - into a sexy and alluring posture. One that would entice shoppers to try that style for themselves. One that would increase sales of Helga’s special product. A posture - a pose - that would last forever.
Finally, after pointing the nearly inflexible toes upward, and bending the right knee just slightly, Helga stepped down from the stool, stood back, and admired her handiwork. Nina Tavares, the beautiful leg model, would now always be beautiful, and always be a leg model. The legs were solid now - a mixture of wax, plaster, and a touch of white marble that worked its transformation from the inside out.
"Beautiful," Helga said. "Perfection. Don’t you think so, Ms. Hoze?"
Penny wiped tears from her eyes. "Go to hell, you bitch!" She cried, angrily. "If you think you’re going to do that to me, you’re sadly mistaken."
The old woman walked over to the ‘swinging’ model. "Oh no, Ms. Hoze. I have no intention of doing that to you. No, those displays are for young ladies like your friend - tall, lanky, long legged. Ms. Tavares was somewhat attractive, but her best feature is now on display for everyone to see. Your best feature, Ms. Hoze, is much more inclusive. The world deserves to see as much as you as possible. And not stiff and rigid like your friend - but lucid, flowing, expressive."
Penny didn’t know what Helga Hoffmeier had in mind. She just knew the old woman was crazy, and that eventually she would wind up just like Nina.
Helga turned to see the look of anger and incredulity on Penny’s face. "You don’t believe me, do you? You think all I can do is make mannequins? Watch this!"
The old woman quickly turned, and pointed her powerful remote toward the small stage display on the west side of the store. At first, special lighting came on highlighting the upright, waist to leg mannequins displaying more of Ms. Hoffmeier’s hosiery. Then music sounded - upbeat, but with some sexy sax thrown in. And then, Helga Hoffmeier pushed a long series of numbers on the remote, and entered.
And Penny, at first not believing her eyes, grabbed hold of her nylon enclosure and pushed her face to see more clearly. Because the rigid, plastic/wax leg mannequins, completely vacant from the waist up, began to move. Began to walk back and forth on the short stage. Even stood on tiptoe, and rubbed the back of one leg with the other.
"These are just legs, my dear. Legs changed from inanimate to animate at my choosing. But soon, I will control an entire body, from head to toe." The old woman looked off dreamily for a few seconds, and then slowly turned around to look directly in Penny’s eyes. "Your body, Ms. Hoze!"
Read "Helga Hoffmeier's Hosiery Hut, Pt. 2"
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