The Magician's Assistant
Story and Artwork by Panic

Houdini has nothing on me.

Meet my lovely assistant Ginger. Easy on the eyes, isn't she? Well, that's one of the tricks of the trade. Beautiful women distract the audience from discovering the secrets behind the feats of illusion I perform. Ginger was certainly capable of distracting the audience with her attractive appearance, but she was completely inept regarding stage direction. I would find her bumping into me many times throughout a performance, which would throw off the subtle timing of my craft. I needed to find a role suitable to her limited skills.

Before my latest performance, I spoke with Ginger and told her I was going to throw in a new trick for the last act that I developed just for her. I further explained that I needed her to pose in her best showgirl pose when prompted, so I could pull off a trick that would astound the audience. This evening's show was an "adults only" show featuring my beautiful assistants in topless outfits. She giggled with excitement at the idea of displaying herself to the vast audience outside. I knew she couldn't resist this much attention, so I told her very few details about the actual trick itself.

The crowd was eating out of my hands throughout most of the show. At one point, Ginger bumped into me while I was trying to accomplish my famous slight-of-hand routine, but I brushed it off with a smile. I knew what was planned for the finale!

Finally, it was time for the last act. I took center stage with Ginger and gave her a sly wink. "Remember, strike a sexy pose when I tell you to, okay?" I whispered.

She nodded gently and took her position on the spot that was prepared for her. She stood attentively, awaiting my signal.

I addressed the audience. "For my final illusion this evening, I would like to direct your attention to my lovely assistant, Ginger." The crowd paused a moment to look at her ravishing body while she struck various poses. I proceeded to walk around her topless form while preparing myself for the task at hand. "The female body...lovely in all it's spender. Mankind throughout time has sought to capture the mystery, the allure, and the beauty that is woman. Sculptors from all over the world have devoted their lives to illuminating the radiance of the female form. And tonight, you will witness a mystery so compelling, so realistic, you won't believe your eyes!" While the crowd cheered its approval, I signaled to Ginger to strike her million dollar pose. She instantly flowed into a striking pose, holding her magic wand above her head with both hands, while thrusting her creamy breasts outward. "Behold," I shouted, "The Curse of the Gorgons!"

I quietly read the mystical spell while I focused on Ginger's ultimate pose, "Stzkli...Menzza...Klnary...Fay. Stzkli... Menzza... Klnary... Fay." I continued to recite the spell, like a mantra, until I could feel the energy level reach its peak. A grinding, crackling sound began to emanate from Ginger's body. There wasn't a quiver of motion from Ginger's beautiful body now. She almost looked like a flawless store mannequin, completely motionless. The crowd howled in shock as they began to see Ginger's feet, ankles and calves turn stony gray. As it traveled up her knees and thighs, the crowd increased its ravenous approval. I turned to face my petrifying assistant, and was rewarded with a glimmer in her eyes that spoke volumes. She could hear the crowd roaring their approval of her! Despite her newfound admiration, I could see fear and surprise behind those eyes. If her body wasn't completely rooted in place, I have no doubt she would have tried to flee the stage out of fear, but it was too late for that now. She would remain in that pose, her pose, until the end of time. The crowd reached a climax as Ginger's breasts hardened into stony globes of marble. Then, it consumed her shoulders, neck, face and arms, leaving her an instant monument of solid stone. Her eyes revealed no glimmer of life as they did just moments before, just blank orbs of marble. As the crowd began to die down, I took my bows, then picked up my newly minted Ginger-statue and began carrying her stiff, unmoving form off stage. Her right shoe clunked to the stage as it slid off her lifeless stone foot. The shoe no longer fit on her rigid right foot due to her tip-toe stance. She was also much heavier now than she had been just moments earlier, but with a bit of effort I was able to help Ginger exit the stage. The crowd continued to roar as the curtain descended.

Ginger was a hit after all. It's almost too bad she won't be giving any repeat performances.

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