I glanced around the lab one last time to make sure that everything was prepared. She would be here soon; my future career as well as funding for what might have been one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs in the modern era were at stake. Everything had to be perfect.
As I stopped to check my own appearance in a small mirror, I heard the door behind me open. When I turned around I saw my young, beautiful, and exceedingly demanding benefactor gliding gracefully across the polished terrazzo floor. Her high heels clicked with each long-legged step as she swaggered closer, stopping and crossing her arms with annoyance just as we came face to face. The sweet lilac fragrance that she wore permeated the air.
"Good morning, Sheila."
"Hello, Ron." She said with an expression that was soured with contempt.
"I'm glad you could make it down here today. I've been really anxious to show you what I've developed."
"Ron, I'm a busy woman and not nearly as patient or indulgent as my grandmother was when it comes to you. You'd better not have drug me all the way down here for another one of your nerdy seventh-grade science fair gimmicks."
"No, Sheila, I believe the project I've been working on this time will even impress you."
"It had better. Like I told you on the phone, I'm getting tired of your lack of production. Where is it?"
"Well, I wanna keep my discovery a secret until it's time, but I think you'll be very surprised." I said with a smile.
She only stood there, stone faced, swinging her leather purse back and forth on her arm out of boredom. It was amazing to me how money and power had corrupted the beautiful young woman with whom I had spent most of my childhood sharing toys and playing games. Her grandmother, my foster mother, had taken her in after her parents' untimely deaths and the two of us had grown up together basically as brother and sister.
The kindly old woman, as wealthy as she actually was, never flaunted her assets and lived meagerly; spreading her wealth generously to charities, foster homes and for the past ten years, to my fledging science endeavors.
Unfortunately, my loving foster mother had passed a little over a year ago, and through legal loopholes that still confused me, Sheila had manipulated the last will and testament completely in her own favor. I guess our deceased guardian's kind, generous habits had only rubbed off on one of us and her death had seemed to change my relationship with Sheila for good. Now she was an heiress and her attitude was vastly different.
My "sweet" baby foster-sister had matured into an independent, ruthless, scheming business woman who held the issue of money over my head constantly.
"Oh, let me guess," Sheila smirked sarcastically. "You learned how to make a miniature volcano by mixing vinegar and baking soda, or something?"
"Very funny, Sis, very funny." Her demeaning attitude was getting under my skin, but I didn't let it show. I knew that soon her humiliating lack of confidence in me would change forever.
"I'm not your sister," she corrected, pouting.
I nodded. "Well, regardless, we've known each other for a long time. We don't need to be hostile for the rest of our lives. Come on, take your coat off and stay awhile."
"Okay," She agreed with a sigh. "But I don't have all day, get on with it."
She pulled her arms free of the designer jacket, revealing the silky pink blouse that bulged pleasingly from the divine gifts that nature had afforded her. As she smoothed out her long corn silk-blonde hair, I let my eyes wander downward to the short gray skirt that fit her flared hips snugly and her shapely, stockinged legs perched upon four-inch heels. As ugly as she might have been on the inside at times, it was offset by the absolute beauty displayed in her outward appearance. I guess it's true what they say about beauty only being skin deep, but I couldn't help being aroused by this attractive young woman.
Although we had grown up like siblings, she was right. We really weren't brother and sister. There was no blood relation after all, and so for a moment my mind drifted back to our teenage years. Many naughty daydreams of Sheila had played inside my young, lustful mind late at night in those days, and on one particular occasion the dream became real as both of us had explored and expanded our sexual knowledge together. That awkward, groping tryst hadn't gone all the way, but I had never forgotten that afternoon. I wondered if she had.
I motioned toward a chair and she reluctantly accepted the offer. She sat, crossed her long sleek legs and drummed her manicured fingers on the granite counter-top impatiently.
"Coffee?" I didn't wait for an answer as I poured a Styrofoam cup full of the steaming liquid from a beaker that was suspended above a nearby Bunsen burner, and I placed it in front of her.
"Thanks. Charming mad-scientist setup you have there, Ron. If you happened to swipe some sugar packets and creamer from the 7-11, I take two and one."
"How's the modeling business?" I asked; ignoring her criticism. "I saw your latest layout in the magazine last month. You looked great!"
"Well, of course, thanks," she replied, trying to fake a blush. "I don't mean to brag, but it's going quite well, except for those expenditures I'm dumping into this idiotic lab of yours. I'm warning you, Ron, if you don't show me something worthwhile today; that's it. I'm cutting your money off."
"How do you think Mom would feel about that?"
She took a sip of the coffee and looked away. It was obvious that her conscience was struggling against her greed, but I should have known which one would prevail.
"Grandmother's not here anymore, and even if she was, I think she'd probably agree that it's unwise to throw good money after bad. It makes me sick every time I think about the huge checks that I have to sign each month for you, and for that stupid foster home. If it wasn't in the will..."
My God, had Sheila become that callous? Even her reference to the woman who'd raised us had morphed from an affectionate "Nanny" to a cold "Grandmother". "Well after today," I stated proudly. "I don't think you'll feel that way anymore. You're not only going to be surprised, you're going to want to be more closely involved with me and with my work. Maybe even becoming part of it..."
"Well, we'll see about that," she commented flatly as her chirping P.D.A., summoned her attention. Her long eyelashes fluttered as she studied the readout, comparing it to the time on her diamond encrusted wrist watch, then returning the device to her purse. Gulping down the last bit of her coffee, she looked me over with a steely eye. "Okay, Ronnie, enough chit chat. Let's see what you called me down her for. I've got a can’t-miss appointment in an hour."
"Right this way." I stood from my stool and gestured her towards the back of the large room.
Sheila stood as well, but appeared a bit woozy. The drug that I had laced her coffee with was beginning to do its job. She slowly regained her balance and followed me with carefully placed steps.
"No;" She shook her head. "Just stood up too quickly, I guess."
As my lovely guest and I made our way past the lab benches, through the crowded aisles of metal shelves, stacked with test tubes, microscopes and any number of arrayed scientific gadgets, we finally reached the back of the large warehouse-styled building.
"Well, here it is!" I said excitedly as I prepared to pull back a white curtain covering one of the work areas. "The greatest scientific discovery of our time!"
I whisked back the curtain with one fluid motion; Shelia only stood there for a moment with an open, gaping mouth. I could see the bewilderment in her eyes quickly turn to anger as she gazed up at the motionless, naked, female figure posed rigidly on a small elevated platform. The amorous likeness stared past us without emotion and into nothingness.
"This?!" Sheila blurted and pointed toward the figure with a manicured nail. "This is what all my money's been buying?! A mannequin, for pete's sake?!"
"Hey, Einstein. Hellooo...?" She put her hands on her hips. Lemme let you in on something. Mannequins have already been invented. Or is this...?" She looked back suspiciously at the figure, then to me. "Ewww, like some sort of sexual fetish or something?" She backed away with a disgusted, almost frightened grimace.
"Sheila, this is no ordinary mannequin. See how real she looks?"
"I don't care how real she looks, you pervert. I was always leery of funding your hoky little science projects, but I'm sure as hell not going to fund your... ah, ah… Hmmph!" She shut her eyes slowly for a moment in an extended blink. "I can't think straight. What the hell is going on...? She took another clumsy step forward, and this time she actually had to catch herself by placing a hand on a nearby shelf.
"Maybe you'd better sit down for a minute."
"No!" She shook her head, and squinted. It now took both of her hands to steady herself against the wobbling steel racks. "I'm getting out of..."
Sheila’s eyes rolled back in her head, and I caught her shapely body just as she was about to collapse onto the floor. Picking her up in my arms like a hero rescuing his damsel in distress, I carried her limp body to a nearby examining table and carefully laid her down. Her formerly bright green eyes were now reduced to mere slits and her breathing had become shallow. Her mouth was slack from the drug-induced stupor and I used a handkerchief to dab the drool that had slowly begun to seep from the corner of her full, glossy, lips.
"See, Rachel," I looked up at and commented to the pretty, unmoving figure on the platform. "I told you I'd find someone else. Whadaya think?"
The posed figure only stared glassily through me.
"Don't look at me like that. Sheila didn't mean anything by that comment. You'll get used to her, hon; believe me..."
Almost two hours had passed. I guessed Sheila had missed her super-special appointment, because she was still lying unconscious upon the steel examining table, but now she was completely naked and attached to it by Kevlar straps that encircled her wrists and ankles. An additional strap held her shapely hips in place and another one tightly secured her torso just below her bountiful breasts.
I snapped the ammonia inhalant and swiped it quickly under her nose.
"Emmph..." She twisted her head from side to side.
A second pass and then she opened her eyes. Squinting, she eventually focused and saw me standing above her. "Ron?" She tried to sit up and instantaneously realized her predicament and state of undress. "Ron!" She screamed this time, "What in the hell are you doing?! What's going on?! Lemme up from here, you sonofabitch!! Oh my God, where are my clothes?!" She seethed.
"Shhhh..." I held a finger to my lips. "It's okay, Shelia. This is all part of the demonstration. You're going to be the key participant in a major scientific experiment. Isn't that exciting?"
Her breath was quickening and becoming more labored now as she struggled uselessly against the restraining straps. "If you don't let me go..."
"Not yet. If you'll be quiet and listen, I'll explain."
She didn't completely relax, but she did discontinue her futile struggle. Her supple body remained tense and poised to make a break for it, should she find the opportunity, but I knew the restraints were more than secure.
"This mannequin," I gestured toward the rigid brunette figure stationed nearby, "as you so rudely referred to her, is Rachel. She was once, and technically still is, a living girl."
As I expected, Sheila looked at me like I was completely crazy.
"Rachel, you see, was a former assistant of mine. Very intelligent young woman, or so I thought. She helped me through the infancy of the project, experimenting with monkeys and dogs and so forth, but one day I learned that she unwisely planned on sharing my breakthrough with an unscrupulous young fellow with whom I'd been competing; and she'd been fucking. I won't lie and say that it didn't piss me off royally! I was ready to test it on a human subject anyway, and well... after her betrayal, I guess Rachel sort of became my volunteer. Now the secret's safe. Her lips, as they say, are sealed."
"Maybe so, but unlike you, I've still got a heart. After all this happened, I suppose that's been, yeah, four months ago, I started to feel a bit sorry for the poor girl standing there all stiff and alone; and I decided that she needed some company. That's where you come in."
"Company?" Sheila tried to gesture toward the lifelike statue that Rachel had been transformed into. "Look at her, Ron. That, object, is not a living girl. It can’t be. You need help! You're sick."
"On the contrary, Sheila. You're the one who needs the help. Over the years, you've become colder and have fewer emotions than that still figure that used to be Rachel. You're already like a mannequin. Pretty, but numb and unfeeling; such a shame."
She continued to watch me warily as I paced back and forth in front of the table and fiddled with a few instruments on a nearby stand. Every now and then she would glance at Rachel.
"I wish it hadn't come to this, Sheila," I went on, "but since you’ve refused to acknowledge me as any part of the family, swindled me out all of my inheritance and now are threatening to shut me down on almost a daily basis, I couldn't think of a better way to get what's rightfully mine and see that Mom's true wishes are carried out than making you… disappear. What have I got to loose? With you out of the picture, everything reverts to me."
Sheila swallowed hard. The horrible reality of the situation seemed to be sinking in, and her spiteful tone had vanished as she tried to sweet-talk me. "Ron, please... I'm your baby sister. Please don't kill me! I'm...sorry."
"I have no intentions of killing you, dear Sheila. Sis." I thought it was convenient how she acknowledged our familial relationship and apologized for her wicked past actions when she felt it could work in her favor. "I just couldn't think of a more appropriate person than you to become a companion for Rachel. Whatever else you’ve become, you are a very beautiful young woman. I'll get what's coming to me, and well, you'll get what's coming to you. Plus, I finally get to prove my scientific abilities to you once and for all. Two birds with one stone, you might say."
“What nonsense are you talking about?” she sobbed. "What are you planning to do to me?!"
I looked over her lovely, toned body with an appreciative eye. I could feel the arousal swelling within me and straining against my zipper as I studied her fair unblemished skin and the way her erect nipples jutted upward in the coolness of the room. I wanted to reach out and touch her so badly, but I restrained myself. I had to keep a cool head.
"Look at it this way, Sheila." I went on. "You're a fashion model, right? You're always putting yourself out on display as it is, on a pedestal as it were. In your new life, you'll still be modeling fashions, but you'll be displaying them a bit differently — as a window dummy."
"As a what?!" She looked at me with a puzzled, disbelieving expression, then back to Rachel's frozen form. I could tell that she was suddenly studying the enstilled body more closely. "She really does look quite real, Ron, but this is..."
"She is real, Sheila!" I snapped. "Do you see any joints or lines where her body's been molded, where her arms can come off? How many store mannequins have you ever seen that have nipples that size? Remnants of acne; the mole on her left thigh? Think about that!"
I walked closer to Rachel, grabbed her by a stiffened arm, and spun her beautiful immobile form on the rotating dais. She wobbled a bit just before I let go. "Ever seen a mannequin with a Celtic tattoo on her ass?" Shelia's eyes widened as she gazed at the tiny tribal symbol suspended indefinitely in smooth, shiny plastic.
I spun Rachel another one hundred eighty degrees and gently brushed her hardened, yet anatomically correct pubic region. "How 'bout stubble?" I could almost hear Sheila's heart begin to pound. "You'll find out soon enough."
I reached over to the smaller table once again and picked up an antique glass I.V. bottle and hung it from a high pole adjacent to Sheila's head. The bottle contained a glowing, viscous greenish liquid that almost seemed to gel inside the clear container. She tried to twist her head and watch what I was doing as I attached the appropriate tubing, and connected a long ten gauge needle to the opposite end.
"Ron?" She asked in a shaky tone. "What is that? That stuff?"
"It's what I've been wanting to show you, Sis. This is my greatest scientific breakthrough; ever! By accident, I hate to admit, I developed this mysterious resin-like polymer. When applied appropriately, it has the extraordinary ability to alter the molecular structure of living organic tissue; essentially transmuting it into a solid. Solid plastic, to put it into laymen's terms."
She began to squirm nervously beneath the straps as I once again stepped into her line of sight and twisted a latex tourniquet around her slim upper arm.
"You're not going to...?" She tried to pull back as I felt for a full vein in her forearm, and readied the needle. "You can't inject me with that, that... stuff!! Please!"
"Be still now," I cautioned as she tried in vain to flinch away from the needle and my touch.
"No! Stop! I won't...!"
"Get used to it, Sheila. In a few minutes you'll be still forever."
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" She cried as I swiftly plunged the needle deep into her soft, tanned skin until it found its mark. She panted in horror. "Ph-pl-please..."
A small seep of maroon blood appeared as I skillfully taped off the injection site, cleaned the area and opened the valve in the tubing. I watched with a remorseful joy as the bright green liquid bubbled, then began to drip slowly downward through the tubing. Sheila watched it too. With wide, tearful eyes she saw the syrupy thick solution make its leisurely way down to the needle and subsequently flow into her shapely, naked body. She remained silent with fear at this point and began to quiver beneath the straps, preparing herself for the worst. It only took another glance at Rachel to remind her of her impending fate.
"Why, Ron?" She finally sobbed.
I had already answered the rhetorical question and was growing tired of her dramatics. "You have about twenty minutes left, Sheila, before it takes effect. Probably even less time to communicate, I’d say, so choose your words carefully. Since you were... sort of... my sister, I'll give you a luxury that I didn't afford poor Rachel there and ask you where and how would you'd like to be posed; displayed. Lingerie, swimsuit, high fashion? You name it. You’ll be stunning as a mannequin! Maybe showcased in one of your own boutiques? That would be fitting, I think," I said with a sly smile.
"Fuck you! You little turd!" She cried out.
"Well, in that case, there's a dirty book store downtown that would probably love to have a nude mannequin on display. Yep, I think that's where I'll send you."
"You can't do this to me! They'll catch you."
"Who? The police?" I smiled. "How many people did you actually tell that you were coming to visit your nerdy, estranged foster brother this morning? How many of your snooty friends even know I exist?"
She only looked at me, glaring, her bluff called.
"Just what I thought. Why would anybody suspect me? And if a gorgeous plastic mannequin that amazingly resembles the missing celebrity Sheila White happens to turn up somewhere... well," I cocked an eyebrow and shrugged. "What's so weird about that? Nobody would believe that it actually was you...Very Twilight Zone-ish, huh, Sis?"
She didn't seem to find the humor in my joke.
"Please, Rob." She glanced at the tubing filled with thick green fluid that was now coursing into her veins. "I'll do anything. Give you as much money as you want."
"You had your chance for that, Sheila."
"Come on, Rob," she cooed, forcing a seductive smile. "I ah, remember a time when you thought I was ah, pretty hot. How 'bout now? We're not really related, and well, our relationship could change for the better, if you know what I mean."
I looked at my watch. "In a little over fifteen minutes, I'll be able to have you anytime I want you. You won’t be able to move a finger to stop me."
She thumped her head back onto the table, seemingly in defeat. But she wasn't done yet. "If you were to spare me, I could provide you with some other, even more beautiful... test subjects. There's plenty of pretty girls clerking at my shops; some of the other models I work with maybe...?"
I cut her off. "It's just like you, to offer to sacrifice some other unfortunate woman just to save your own skin. But don't worry. Your pretty skin is going to be preserved for many, many years to come. Now you'll never have to worry about working out again, getting a wrinkle, or even putting on all that makeup that you feel necessary to apply for your photo shoots. Starting from today, you'll always be perfect. Just like you are now."
I noticed that her body had stopped struggling. Her arms and legs no longer strained against the straps and her breathing was becoming less and less evident. Her eyes however, remained wide open; staring directly at the fluorescent lighting above, then occasionally focusing upon me or the quickly draining bottle. She only blinked on rare occasion; that seemed to take a lot of effort.
I was also amazed at my own cool reaction to Sheila's metamorphosis. It was completely different than when I'd transformed Rachel. When I processed her, I was scared to death! She of course had been the first human experiment, and I recalled the nervous, heart pounding anxiety that I'd suffered. After all, I liked Rachel. She was nowhere near the bitch that Sheila had become; although I was anxious to apply my theory to a human subject, it had been a last minute snap decision simply to keep Rachel quiet. But when she was finished and standing on her pedestal, I was quite pleased. The project had, thankfully, been successful, as I knew it would be again, but this time was totally different; there was no remorse involved. I was enjoying my nemesis’ predicament way too much!
Her speech was beginning to slur, quicker than I'd suspected. I looked up to see that the bottle was nearly half empty. "Yes, Sheila dear?"
"I... c,can't...feel...my... legs... anymore. I'm...so...c,c,cold."
"It won't be much longer now, sweetheart. The solution is designed to act quickly. Right now it's morphing your extremities and within a few minutes it will progress to your internal organs."
"Am... I... going... to... die?" Her congealing tears even seemed to drip slower from the corners of her beautiful eyes. She seemed resigned to her fate.
"No! That's the beauty of this project! It's what I've been trying to tell you all along, but you weren’t listening. The solution, injected undiluted, would indeed render your entire body a solid slab of plastic. You'd be killed." I stopped, pausing to examine the I.V. tubing and the bottle once again. "But... I've developed a second agent that allows a subject who's been polymerized to maintain full brain functions. Sight, hearing, smell, touch... all of the basic sensory functions, although dulled somewhat, remain intact. Once your body solidifies, you'll appear as only a stock-still object to those around you, but inside you'll still be very much alive. Although all movement will be impossible and your body will be in a perfect state of suspended animation, your mind will not be!"
The thought didn't seem to comfort or impress my latest ‘test subject’ in the least. I noticed now that her eyes were no longer following me as I moved across the room, nor did she even appear to be breathing any longer. "Sheila?"
At first there was no response. But finally I heard a squeaky whimper from her slightly parted lips. "R-o-n... I'm...s-o-r-r-y. Ph...p-l-e-a-s-e...d-o-n't...l-e-a-v-e...m-e...l-i-k-e... h-e-r..." I knew she was referring to the beautifully preserved mannequin who stood nearby in silence and I looked on as my process claimed another victim just as it had Rachel.
My voice softened a bit as I traced the curve of her lovely cheek with my fingers. "Okay, Shelia. You have my word; I won't. I don't intend to leave Rachel stuck forever either, but I haven't developed a reversal formula as of yet... I need more funding. I was afraid that if you cut me off, I'd never be able to free Rachel or continue to apply the polymer safely. That's why I needed to get you out of the way for a while. Just think of it as an extended vacation from... life."
"O-h... G-o-d, n-n-o...!" She inhaled sharply. It was obvious that Sheila was trying desperately to tell me something more, but her nearly paralyzed tongue and lips wouldn't cooperate. "Ph-p-l-e-a-s-e... h-a-v-e... t-o...s-t-o-p... m-my... l-a-w-y-e-r... t-t-h-e... b-b-a-n-k... b-e-f-o-r-e... i-t-'-s... t-t-o-o... l-a-t-e...!"
"Too late? It's already too late for you, Shelia? Your lawyers can't help you now. Even I couldn't stop the procedure at this point, if I wanted to. But if you behave, like you have a choice," I chuckled at my own words. "I'll release you in due time."
"No!! Y,y-o-u... d,d-o-n’... u-n-d-e-r-s-t-..."
Her voice trailed off and I realized that I had heard from Sheila for the last time. At least until I perfected a way of reversing the reaction that my polymer had on organic tissue, but with the soon to be uninhibited flow of cash from Mom's estate, I'd have lots of time to work out the kinks.
Unexpectedly, Shelia's beautiful body suddenly began to tremble all over! Rachel's reaction to the solution was nothing like this. Sheila looked like she was having a seizure of some sort. I reached out and touched her trembling arm and could literally feel the hardening wave as it claimed the very muscles and tissue beneath my fingers and locked them in place indefinitely. I moved my hand to her right thigh and felt the same reaction. Her expression twisted slightly into a more horrific display than I'd seen while transforming Rachel and for a moment it worried me. Had something gone wrong?
Then slowly, the shaking subsided; affecting only her left side. She continued to quiver for a moment, and then settled into the deep, undeniable, permanent stillness that gripped the rest of her curvaceous figure.
I looked at my watch again and back to the I.V. bottle. Twenty-two minutes had elapsed and the bottle was dry. I would only have minutes to pose my beauty before she hardened up completely into the prone position she held on the table. That wouldn’t do, at all.
I stared down into the motionless green eyes that had now taken on the glossy, vacant appearance of hollow glass that gazed into infinity. I waved a hand whimsically just to see if I'd get a reaction, but I knew that wouldn't happen. Her mouth remained opened in the pronunciation of her final words, though I knew the unpleasant grimace on her face would also never do for display purposes, so I quickly removed the straps and the I.V. line, and reached under Shelia's stiffening shoulders to lift her beautiful body into a standing position.
When I did so, I heard a slight gurgling sound as the last bit of breath and moisture escaped her stiffened lungs and frame. Amazingly, I was able to balance her upright almost perfectly in those high-heels she wore. She was already nearly as hard as stone, and I went about my work of adjusting her lovely features into a more suitable and less unpleasant expression. One she would display for a very long time to come.
"Smile, Sheila." I exclaimed to the silent, hardening figure that had suddenly become my blank artist's canvas. I knew she could still see and hear me, and I wondered what she must be thinking at the moment. I also couldn't help but wonder what it was that she was trying so hard to tell me, but I didn't have time to worry about that now. I had to get to work!
Gently I began to mold her mouth into a half smile and had to use a bit of force to sculpt her slender arms into a more presentable position. Her skin, although still creamy and smooth, had become unnaturally cold and hard, quickly taking on the texture of lifeless plastic.
After my final positioning of her arms and deliciously curvy legs, I stood back to admire my handiwork. Shelia stood stock still, staring straight ahead with a sly smile on her lips and those gorgeous, but now glassy green eyes glared straight through me and into nothingness. To the average person she would appear as just another very lifelike mannequin, but to me she still looked scared, pissed, and unsure of the future. In my mind at least, I just couldn't seem to erase that expression from her beautiful face.
By nightfall, Sheila was standing on a matching pedestal next to the hapless Rachel. With her right arm akimbo to her waist, and the left lifted high with opened palm, Sheila looked as if she were welcoming would-be customers to explore her vast inventory of high-end fashion designs. I had redressed her in the same outfit that she had on when she greeted me in that morning, which had proven to be one of the most erotic experiences of my life. It hadn’t been an easy task, considering that her figure had now solidified completely and as I’d pointed out to her, had no joints. I'd even had to cut and re-stitch some of the seams of her tailored blouse, but now she looked perfect!
I also knew exactly where I would put her on display. Yes, she would become the new "centerpiece" of her own home-base store at the City mall. It would only be fitting.
Spinning the two individual dais so that each of my frozen beauties faced each other, I stepped between them.
"Ladies," I began. "Since the two of you have now been properly introduced, I'm going to let you spend some time together and get to know each other. But don't get too attached," I cautioned Rachel's stationary and still naked form. "Sheila will be leaving in the morning to begin her new life as a spokes-mannequin. But don't worry, I'll find you another friend. She was just too beautiful to be hidden away here at the lab."
Although I knew they both could hear me, there was of course no reply from either of the two amorous statues that stared at, yet through, each other simultaneously. I wondered if they were feeling sorry for each other, or contemplating their hatred of me... Probably a little of both. Not that it would do either of them any good.
"Goodnight ladies," I remarked, turning off the overhead lighting and heading for my small office on the opposite end of the building.
On my through the lab I passed the counter where Sheila and I had sat and chatted earlier in the day. The only remaining evidence of our conversation was an empty coffee cup and her leather purse from which a buzz periodically resonated. Riffling through the bag's contents, I noticed the many missed calls on her cell phone and the mounting unanswered messages on her P.D.A. Both of which, I abruptly silenced.
In addition to the electronic devices, there were keys, a designer wallet, make-up... all the other normal contents of a lady's purse along with an envelope embossed with the letterhead from a law firm in the city. Removing the envelope and holding it closer the light, I was somewhat shocked to see that it had been addressed to me!
I quickly broke the seal, pulled the sheaf of folded documents free and began to read. It only took a few seconds for me to realize what Sheila had been trying to tell me. She was trying to warn me, a little too late.
Soon I found myself standing in front of her frozen beauty once again. This time I raised the papers high into frozen her line of sight and released them to flutter onto the floor at her feet. "So," I began to shout, "you didn't even have enough faith in me to come observe my work before you filed the injunction to cut off the money, did you? Well I hope you're happy!"
Only silence answered, but in my imagination I could hear her frightened pleas from within. Sheila had sealed her own ironic fate, and she knew it. Without her signature there was no way of releasing the funding needed to complete my further research into a reversal drug, and it didn't look like she'd be doing much writing anytime soon.
The conceited, greedy and sometimes ugly personality of Sheila White was now literally trapped, possibly forever, inside the solidified plastic shell that her gorgeous body had become. But thankfully, that part of her remained as beautiful as it had always been. On the outside, she would never age; never change. From now on, she could be dressed, displayed, touched or ogled by anyone's to their heart's content. On the inside, her conscious mind would probably go slowly insane.
In a way I felt sorry for her, because I had never intended for the things to end up this way, but deep down I guess that she deserved it.
As I walked away and shut off the lights once more, I mused to myself.
After all, beauty is only skin deep.
To be continued...?