The beach was alive with people on a warm summer afternoon as they strolled back and forth on the crowded sands. Women in barely there bikinis ran joyfully up and down the beach while muscle bound men posed and flexed for the giggling women. Hordes of people were lying back on beach towels either working on their tans or cooling down after swimming in the fresh lake. One of the people lying back on a towel was an average looking man with graying hair at the temples who was slowly applying suntan lotion to his upper arms and chest. The only thing that made him stand out from any of the other sunbathers was the fact that the bottle he was pouring the lotion from seemed to be in the form of a nude plastic woman holding her arms over her sex. If a passerby stopped and stared really hard at the bottle for a few seconds, they might have noticed the tiny eyes were slightly moving as were the lips.
Mr. Smith smiled as he finished applying the lotion to his body. "Ahh, I really needed this time off from work after my last contract resolution. The fact that the company allowed me the use of Denise in her current form while I relaxed was a very nice bonus indeed. She was in violation of her contract with a suntan lotion company which led to my intervention and only makes this much better, don't you think so, my dear?" he said softly, looking at the human bottle.
Nearby, three women laid back on beach towels soaking up the rays of a warm summer day. The woman on the far left, a blonde haired beauty named Jacqueline, sat up pulling her white bikini top back over her impressive breasts with one hand while reaching for a bottle of ice tea in a nearby cooler. "Geez, it's a scorcher today! Don't ya think so, girls?" she said with an upper mid-Western accented voice.
The brunette continued to lay on her stomach soaking up the sun. "It's really warm indeed, Jackie. Hey, why doesn't someone go up to the store and buy another bag of ice for the cooler?" Danielle murmured to the women on either side of her.
The third woman, dressed in a big floppy hat with dark sunglasses and sitting in a deck chair, looked at her two friends. "It'll have to be one of you two because I..uh..just don't feel like it right now, ok?" she said before looking back towards the open water. Danielle and Jacqueline glanced at each other a little puzzled before getting up together and walking up the sand dunes towards the nearby store.
"If I told them why, they'd never believe me..." thought Jennifer as she reflected back over the past eighteen months and their effect on her life. It all started when a mysterious man called the Salesman came into her - and her friend's - lives.
After they had each suffered through numerous bizarre transformations, Jennifer had rashly attacked the powerful mystery man and had been been punished by being turned into a living ice sculpture for one full year. She truly thought she would go mad from the numerous times she had almost completely melted awayonly to be refrozen in the nick of time.
When the long year was up, she found herself returned to human form and handed a set of clothes by the enigmatic Mr. Smith. After she dressed, he addressed her once more before sending her on her way. "One final thing before you go, Jennifer. Right now, your rage at your predicament over the last twelve months is understandably great, but I must remind you that you brought this on yourself. Furthermore, I must strongly caution you against talking of your experiences to anyone else for doing so could result in our other department paying you another visit and they can be very nasty when resolving 'problem situations' as I am sure you can imagine. Keep this in mind at all times.."
"Nasty? The fact you turned me into a nude ice centerpiece wasn't mean at all ? Geez..." thought Jennifer to herself as she sipped a beer. The whole experience had impacted on her life a great deal as she, once again human and free, moved away from her ex-husband and friends, changed her name and settled into a whole new way of life. She figured with good luck she would never hear or see anyone of the likes of Mr. Smith ever again. Little did she know.
Just down the beach and completely unaware of Jennifer's presence, Mr. Smith was gazing out at the many people swimming and enjoying themselves in the warm lake water when a shadow fell across his face. He looked to see a red haired woman in her early 30's standing over him wearing a silver and black one piece swimsuit. Dark tinted sunglasses rimmed in gold and wearing a very unusual large sapphire ring, she looked down at the reclining man with an air of familiarity written on her face.
"Did the company finally allow you some vacation time for yourself, Tim, or are you out here closing out yet another sloppily handled contract? I swear if it wasn't for us in Collections cleaning up sales and services 'mistakes', it would be almost be impossible for the company to stay in business," the woman said with an imperious sneer in her voice.
"Hello to you too, Gwen. Tell me, what brings you out here on a warm summer day - besides getting between me and the sun?" the salesman shot back, returning her contempt with much of his own disdain for her.
"Enjoy yourself all you want, Tim. I'm out here on business, unlike some people, although my work does involve you indirectly. You see, I'm here to take care of one of your past clients by the name of Jennifer. Ring a bell?" Gwen said, half taunting her colleague.
The salesman looked up at the woman standing over him, his serene expression fading away. "All business with her was concluded some time ago. I doubt she'd contact the company for our services ever again, so why would your division seek her out?" he said with a puzzled tone.
Gwen bent down and looked Mr. Smith directly in the face. "Actually, we were contracted by another party for a permanent contract arrangement concerning the young woman in question. The fact we were already looking into cleaning up the mess you left from your previous dealings with Jennifer made it that much easier for our work," she said with a note of malice very much evident in her voice.
Before Tim could say anything in response, Gwen straightened up, adjusted the sunglasses on her face and resumed her walk down the beach looking like any other beachgoer on a hot summer day. "Hmmm..it's not a contract that involves me directly but Gwen mentioned me indirectly... I might have to check this situation out personally," muttered Tim to himself before he settled back on his towel and placed a tan brown hat over his face. The hat had the logo LC sewn into it and underit the image of a woman dressed in a red and blue bikini . The strangest thing about the image was if anyone walked by and looked at that image for more than few seconds, they would swear the image changed from one of a normal woman to one of a vinyl and plastic love doll... others might swear it changed into a dull gray marble female statue. Mr. Smith would smile and say it was a new type of hologram his company was trying out. Of course, he left out the true source of the 'hologram'...and the woman who was actually the image in question.
Two days later....
Jennifer sipped on her drink while she lounged in the living room, waiting for her friends to arrive with the surprise they had promised for her. As she waited, she sifted through several magazines all which concerned real estate available for sale on the West Coast. When she picked up one magazine in material with the picture of a Hollywood mansion, a slip of paper fell out and settled on the coffee table. Jennifer glanced at the paper and was more than a little surprised to see what appeared to be her bank account numbers and an approximation of how much money was in each account.
"How the hell did Jackie and Danielle get hold of my private financial information? Why would they care how much money I have? I'll have some pointed questions for those two when they get back here!" Jennifer thought angrily to herself.
After just a couple more minutes, Jennifer heard the sound of a car pulling up outside in the driveway followed shortly afterward by the sound of Jackie and Danielle entering the house along with a third person. When the two entered the living room, they found a very pissed off Jennifer staring at them with a look that didn't hide her anger in the least bit.
"Hi, Jennifer...umm, is there something you're upset about?" Jackie hedged, trying to sound innocent even as her eyes looked around nervously.
Jennifer bounced up in a second with her left hand stuck out clenched in a tight fist around the paper she had just found. "I just discovered out that you two seem to prying into my personal finances without my knowledge. I want some explanations from you two right now, dammit!!" she snapped angrily.
Jackie and Danielle stammered out a few words trying to calm down Jennifer down before they fell silent as the third woman stepped forward. "Ah, Jennifer, so full of rage and contempt. Perhaps if you'll take a look at my business card, it'll answer some of your questions," she said handing her a card with a look of amusement.
When Jennifer glanced at the card she paled, recognizing to her horror the company name written there was the one which employed... the Salesman! "Mr. Smith, is that you..?" she gasped as her anger quickly shifted to fear.
The woman laughed cynically. "Right company, my dear, but wrong person! No, you see, I am with a different division in the company and unlike that idiot Smith I'm not inclined to let people continue on with their little lives after dealing with us. I was actually already planning on paying you a little visit when my firm was contacted by the two young women here. It seems they found out that, with the assistance of a friend of theirs who works at the local bank, you have quite a little fortune stashed away in various accounts. When you told them one night after drinking far too much tequila about your misadventures with Mr. Smith and how he was originally contacted, they hatched upon a scheme to get your money by making you disappear in a way no one would ever find you again," she said with an evil grin.
Jennifer glared at Jackie and Danielle who looked a little red-faced. "You bitches wanted to get rid of me for the money! You're worse than my ex and that says a lot," she hissed at the two schemers.
The woman held up her hand. "Now, now; let's not start with language before we get introduced. My name is Gwen... Gwen D. Evilton and my business is actually going to involve all three of you," she said as on her right hand the ring shaped like a spider began to glow brightly.
The smug look on Jackie and Danielle's faces quickly faded away as they absorbed the last statement and slowly started to edge away from the woman. However, before they could move more than a few feet, they stopped dead in their tracks and did not move another inch though judging by their frantic facial expressions they were trying to desperately.
"Now, now, dear ladies, don't be running off so fast. After all, if it wasn't for you two, it would have taken me a lot longer to track down Jennifer. Hmmm..actually, 'time' is a very good analogy for at least one of you two. Jackie, your's is up!" Gwen said smugly as her ring began to pulse in timing with the glow.
At first, there was no visible change in Jackie save for her standing rigidly upright with her arms at her sides and legs locked together. After thirty seconds or so, Jackie's clothing seemed to be getting bigger but it became apparent instead that she was shrinking in stature. As she grew smaller, her voice returned and Jackie pleaded to Gwen to release her from whatever fate she had planned for her.
"Look, I can you get lots of money... do you like property?.. I can get you houses.. please let me go... don't do this to me! We brought you here to take care of Jennifer..please don't do this!!!" Jackie shrieked with tears rolling down her shrinking face.
However, her cries fell on deaf ears and after another minute or two, her body seemingly disappeared under the pile of clothes that now surrounded her. There continued to be a visible glow under the pile as well as Jackie's muffled pleas before both faded away simultaneously.
Gwen chuckled out loud as she reached down into the pile of clothing and retrieved what appeared to be fairly expensive wristwatch. At first, Jennifer thought it was Jackie's until her tormentor walked over and showed her the true nature of the timepiece.
The watch looked fairly routine with a gold wristband made of interwoven links that were bound to an oversized center. However, in the center of the dial was a miniaturized nude Jackie frozen with a look of sheer pleasure written on her face. Her arms were locked pointing towards different numbers on the dial just like the hands of a clock. Jennifer would have gasped out loud in horror at the sight she took in, but after dealing with a person like Mr. Smith had led her to an almost casual acceptance of such transformations.
"Ah...my very own one-of-a-kind wristwatch. I should mention that it does need to be wound once a week and the winding will trigger the most intense waves of pleasure in my living watch. Too bad she'll never have the time to be able to ever tell anyone about them... Ha! " Gwen said with a mix of satisfaction and dark humor.
The woman dressed in black leather then turned her attention to Danielle, still frozen in place, though judging by her eyes she was aware of what had just happened to Jackie and was terrified of the kind of fate that now awaited her. Gwen walked up to the woman slowly and then began to quickly strip Danielle of her tube top and shorts. She was about to remove the silent brunette's bra and thong panties when she stopped and an evil smile crossed her face.
"You know, I was going to turn you into a sexy little blowup doll or plastic dummy for some fashion window but I just realized as I was drinking my morning coffee that I have the most mundane collection of mugs and glasses at home. I think I'll spice it up a little while taking care of you at the same time." Gwen said, with a voice dripping in malice. Seemingly out of nowhere, the woman produced a fairly large silver mug that resembled an old fashioned beer stein in her left hand.
Gwen walked over to the immobile Danielle as her spider ring began to glow brightly once again. She placed the beer stein on the floor so that it was touching Danielle's left leg before stepping back to see the process unfold. Danielle, like Jackie, quickly began to shrink in size and the lingerie she wore dropped in a heap as she grew smaller in stature. When she had almost disappeared beneath the clothing, her whole body glowed brightly as did the beer stein next to her.
After thirty seconds or so, the glow gradually dissipated and Jennifer could see from where she was seated that only the beer stein remained with no sign of Danielle anywhere. Jennifer knew that another disturbing transformation had occurred which was confirmed by Gwen leisurely picking up the mug off the floor and looking over it with great satisfaction.
The stein, alabaster white in color, now had the bas-relief impression of Danielle's nude body clearly visible on it. Her right hand was partly covering her sex with her left hand partly held up as if she was trying to ward off what had happened to her. Gwen placed the stein on a nearby coffee table and went into the kitchen for a minute or two. She returned with two glasses full of water with one showing a bit of steam rising from it.
"This mug is good for hot and cold beverages and it'll show the most delightful effect when the liquid is poured in!" Gwen chortled as she poured in the hot water. In just a few seconds, the image of Danielle changed from a flesh colored figure to one that was completed coated in gold from top to bottom, forming a striking contrast to the white background.
After admiring the effect, Gwen poured out the hot water and filled the mug with the second glass. Once again, after a few seconds, the image changed on the side of the mug. Danielle now seemed to be embedded in a large block of ice on all sides with her skin color turned a light blue as a result. Gwen nodded in satisfaction as she set down her new beverage container on a nearby coffee table before turning her wicked attention to Jennifer once more.
Jennifer, trying to sound brave while desperately trying to think of a way out of her predicament, looked up at Gwen calmly. "I suppose you'll cart Danielle and Jackie off to company headquarters to be displayed over the next six months or so, right?" she asked.
Gwen threw head back and let out a boisterous laugh. "Oh, my, that is the funniest thing I have heard in a very long time. You obviously have me confused with that idiot Smith and his quaint way of doing things. The part of the company I am part of is a lot different in terms of our handling of 'customers'. In short, all our transformations are of the PERMANENT kind!"
Gwen smirked as a look of intense fear crossed Jennifer's face before she continued. "You see in my division, which is referred to as investigations and resolutions, I & R for short, we clean up all the loose ends that may result from the sales division of Opportunities, Inc. In your case, it seems your inability to remain silent about a past agreement has compromised our preferred low profile in society. I've taken care of Jackie and Danielle and now it's your turn. Let's see...I can use a new decoration for my office desk; a letter opener, perhaps," she said menacingly as her ring started to glow ominously once again.
Jennifer cringed inwardly as she knew that her turn to be changed and that unlike before there would be no changing back. She tensed her muscles in preparation for launching herself at Gwen to try and stop her though she knew from her previous experiences with Mr. Smith that it would do her little good.
Just as Jennifer was about to fling herself at her malevolent tormentor, the glow on Gwen's ring faded to nothing much to the owner's puzzlement. Gwen's forehead creased momentarily before she whirled around with an angry flourish. "Tim Smith, show yourself, you bastard!" she hissed venomously.
Stepping out of the shadows as if he had been there all along was the being Jennifer knew ( and feared) as the Salesman, looking dapper as ever with his ever present snake-headed cane clutched firmly in his right hand.
Mr. Smith smiled as he nodded briefly towards Jennifer in acknowledgment before turning towards Gwen. " Ah, the ambitious Ms. Evilton, I see we've been a very busy woman today... very busy , indeed," he said looking at the beer stein and Gwen's new wristwatch.
Gwen's face twisted in anger. " Stay out of this, Smith! This action doesn't involve your department whatsoever! The company gave me this assignment and I'm finishing it!" she snarled at Tim, who walked very casually over to the two women.
"Tsk, tsk, Gwen, if you finish this assignment like you did in Pompeii or Krakatoa, the company would once again have to use valuable resources to cover your tracks and they wouldn't like that at all. Would they?" Tim said, running his hands along the beer stein and Danielle's painted porcelain body that was part of it.
"Hey, Pompeii wasn't my fault at all. If you and Chantal hadn't decided to get between those two families and their silly fight over whose daughter should be the first to be immortalized in marble, I wouldn't have been called in to clean up your mess," Gwen snapped in disdain.
"That may be true, Gwen, and there wasn't enough evidence at Krakatoa to implicate you in any abuse of resolution guidelines. However, your handling of these three now is in clear violation of the guidelines when it comes to Jennifer here," the Salesman said smoothly as he admired a wal lpainting.
"You can't stop this! I'll appeal to the board of directors directly on this matter. You don't want to take me on here, Tim!" Gwen snapped defiantly.
Tim looked at Gwen with a sly grin. " Why, dear Gwen, I already have spoken with the board and the matter has been resolved already," he said as his cane began to glow ominously.
Jennifer, seeing the glow which she was all too familiar with, tensed herself for the familiar tingle but nothing seemed to be happening. Puzzled, she looked at her tormentor Gwen, standing still in the room and not moving a muscle.
"You see, Gwen, they authorized you to handle Jackie and Danielle in the appropriate way, considering their sinister request to dispose of Jennifer without having just cause. However, the board did not authorize you in any way to subject Jennifer to the same fate as the other two. It is so rare for one of our employees to succumb to greed, however the temptation must have been too great. They asked me to intervene when your intentions became clear as they now clearly have," Tim said smoothly.
Gwen glowered at Tim. " But...but...sigh.... how long?" she said finally, with resignation.
Tim nodded his head. "The board decreed that your suspension will last for eighteen months in all. They'll be sending someone to pick you and the other two up later," he said.
"I'll.. I'll get you next time, Tim... You and that bitch Chantal...I," Gwen said softly before she fell silent as her arms seemed to be moving on their own with her left arm stretching out parallel to her body with the hand turned upward. Her right hand rested firmly on her waist and a fixed smile became visible on her face.
"Mmmm..is this how the other people felt when they were changed?.... feels pretty good... I still will get even with you, Tim..." Gwen thought to herself as she felt the change ripple through her body. The most profound change was still taking place as her body became thinner by the second and the clothes she was wearing dropped to the floor.
After thirty seconds or so, the glow around her and the cane ceased and Tim walked over to see the result of the change. Lying on the floor was a large blue beach towel and imprinted in the middle of the towel fabric was the image of a nude Gwen in the sexy pose she had assumed before the transformation completed. With her long legs slightly crossed and breasts that looked to be quite firm, it would be quite the image for anyone one the beach to see.
Picking up the towel, Tim waved his cane over the towel and Gwen's nude body became clad in a black and silver bikini much like the one she had worn on the beach. "Consider your attire a little gift from the board in appreciation for your work over the years particularly with the Bermuda Triangle myth you worked on," he said with a reassuring voice before folding the towel up and putting it in a nearby closet.
Jennifer had taken advantage of Tim's distraction to sneak towards the door and away from the disaster she had walked into yet again. She had just opened the door when she heard a familiar voice call out.
"Oh, Jennifer, the board did feel you have been talking about your experiences far too much so we do have some business here. I can assure you though it won't be a permanent change like Jackie and Danielle though," Tim's voice called out.
Jennifer turned slowly to see the glowing double snake head cane once again....
She screamed silently. Once...
Six months later...
The postman dropped the mail in the mailbox before heading down the concrete walkway to resume his route. Just before leaving, he encountered the owner of the property, who was busy rearranging his lawn decorations.
"Here's a registered letter you have to sign for, Mr. Smith. By the way, I really like your choice in lawn ornaments and particularly the amazingly lifelike lawn gnomes," the postman said with admiration as he handed the letter to the house owner.
Tim smiled as he signed with a flourish. "They are really nice, aren't they? The nice thing is I've never had any stolen since I've put them out. Thanks and have a great day!" he said happily.
As the postman turned away, Tim put down the final ornament into the lawn securely. Wearing a red and blue outfit with a bright yellow hat, Jennifer had a bright smile painted on her face with her arms firmly clenched by her sides. "I swear once this is done, I'll never ever mention Opportunities, Inc. to anyone again!" she screamed mentally.
Tim smiled as if he could hear her thoughts. "Never say never, Jennifer.... things can change..or be changed ..." he said quietly, before going back into his home leaving the motionless stone ornaments alone..some with their thoughts and wishes, others with their regrets...
To be continued... with Uninvited Guests