#2: The Art Show
"I canít believe I let you talk me into this."
Shannon Michaels just shook her head, as she used her hands to try and warm her arms under the thin robe. "Just open the door, will you?" she said. "Iím freezing my butt off out here."
Her best friend, Terri Hill, cut her eyes at her. "Well," she smiled, "perhaps you should have considered the temperature when you decided on what to wear this evening."
Shannon frowned at her. "The door, please."
Grinning, Terri turned back to the door and, pointing her finger at the lock, recited some arcane incantations. Reaching to the knob, she turned it and pushed the door open. "Ta-Dah," she announced, stepping back to let Shannon past.
Once inside, Shannon looked for the light switch. Finding it, she flipped it on, filling the room with light. Looking around, she took in a slow breath. She had known that the art show was going on, but the sight of so many statues, of all sizes, shapes and materials, was still something to see. She started to walk around, taking it all in.
Terri followed. "Now, let me see if I understand what weíre doing here," she said. "You finally get a week off from that job you hate so much, and this is how you want to spend it. Standing naked in a public gallery for everyone to see."
"Thatís right," Shannon nodded without taking her eyes off the artworks around her.
"And why was that again?"
Shannon stopped, and turned to her friend. "Terri," she sighed, "Iíve already explained that."
"I know," her friend nodded. "I just want to be sure Iíve got it, is all."
Shannon shook her head again. "Okay," she told her, "listen up. Because you wonít be able to talk to me for a week." She paused to get her thoughts together. "Now, donít get me wrong. Iíve really been enjoying the gift you gave me. Being able to turn myself into a statue is the greatest thing thatís ever happened to me. And Iíve been doing it almost every night since my birthday. But something was missing."
Terri nodded, remember how she had used her witch powers to give Shannon the ability to make herself, as well as others, into statues with a touch. She also remembered how her friend hadnít wasted any time in using that ability on her, leaving her a glass statue for the better part of a week.
"All the other times Iíve been a statue," Shannon continued, "itís been in the privacy of my apartment. Whatís the fun of being a statue, if no one sees me? Thatís why I came to you for help."
Now it was Terriís turn to shake her head. "I donít understand you sometimes, Shannon," she said. "You are about the shyest person I know when it comes to showing off your body. Hell, you wonít even wear a bikini because it shows too much flesh. And now, here you want to show every inch of yourself in the most public way possible. What gives?"
"Donít you see, Terri," Shannon smiled. "It wonít be me. Itíll be a statue." She raised her hand to take in the gallery around them. "Just like all these other statues. For them, nudity is a thing of art. Of beauty. And I will be just like them. Understand?"
"I guess," her friend sighed.
"Good," Shannon grinned, suddenly perky. "Now, are you sure youíre magic can do what I want it to?"
"No problem," Terri assured her. "Once Iíve cast the spell, anyone who sees you will believe that youíve been in the exhibit since it opened. Hell, even the people who run this place wonít realize that youíve taken the place of one of their statues."
"Alright," Shannon nodded, looking around. "Letís get this over with, then." She checked the area, trying to decide where she wanted to spend the next week. "There, I think." She pointed to a life-size bronze statue of a roman gladiator. The two friends approached the display. "Okay, Terri. Do your thing."
Terri raised her hands and again spoke the necessary magic words. Shannon watched in amazement as the six foot tall statue began to shrink. In less than a minute, it had become a twelve inch figurine. She reached down and picked it up. "Thatís incredible, Terri," she commented, turning the statue over in her hands. "Iíll have to let you do this to me sometime. Let you put me on a shelf somewhere."
"Hey!" Terri told her. "One fantasy at a time. Okay?"
Shannon grinned at her. "Sure," she said. "Whatever you say." She handed her friend the bronze and took off the robe, revealing her naked body beneath. She climbed up onto the pedestal that moments before had supported the other statue. Turning back to face her friend, she held out her right hand. "Let me touch the statue," she told her. Terri held out the gladiator and Shannon placed her hand on its head. With a thought, she felt the now familiar tingle as she absorbed the statueís bronze properties into her body.
Suddenly, Terri asked, "Have you thought about how youíre going to pose yourself?"
Shannon smiled. "Of course," she answered. "I thought something like this would be good." She assumed the pose she had in mind. She brought her legs together and turned her upper body a little to the left. She took her right arm and drew it across her chest to rest on her left shoulder. With her left hand, she covered her crotch. Finally, she lowered her chin onto her shoulder just above her hand. "What do you think?" she asked.
"Itís a little tame, ainít it?"
She looked up at Terri. "Tame?" she repeated.
"Well, yeah," her friend nodded. "I mean, here you are, getting ready to reveal yourself to the world, and you pick a pose like that."
"Iíll have you know that this is a very classical pose," Shannon explained.
"If you say so."
Shannon shook her head. "So, what did you have in mind? Well, little Miss Art Critic?"
"I donít know, Shannon," Terri admitted. "Itís just that for your Ďcoming-out partyí, I thought youíd go with something a littleÖ" She struggled for the word. "I donít know. Racier, I guess."
"Racier?" Shannon repeated. "You mean something like this." She bent down and got on her knees, resting her butt on her heels. She spread her legs apart and, reaching down, pushed two fingers into her exposed sex. Arching her back, she raised her free arm up and bent it back behind her head, which she rested against the elbow.
"Now, youíre talking," Terri exclaimed. "Now, thatís a pose that says ĎLook at meí."
Shannon looked up at her. "Youíre kidding, right? You really think I should sit here and finger myself all week? Well, forget it. ĎCause itís not going to happen."
"Why not?" Terri asked. "What happened to nudity is a thing of beauty?"
"Nudity is one thing," Shannon told her. "Erotica is something else entirely."
Terri let out a sigh. "Okay, fine," she said, with a shake of her head. "But could you do me one favor?"
"Could you, at least, let me see how you would have looked that way?" Terri asked her. "After all, you couldnít do this at all if it werenít for me."
Shannon sighed. "Okay," she gave in. "But just for a second. Then, I want to get into my pose. Agreed?"
"Agreed," Terri nodded.
Shannon returned to the provocative pose. When she was ready, she said, "Freeze." She felt the usual thrill, as her body became solid bronze. Well? she thought to Terri, using their psychic link to communicate.
"Just a sec," Terri told her. She moved around the pedestal, taking in the full effect of Shannonís pose. After a full circuit, she stopped in front of her friend and reached out to touch the statueís nose with a finger. "Perfect," she grinned, stepping back.
Good, Shannon thought. Now, if you donít mindÖ Shannon went quiet for a few seconds. Then, she shouted out in Terriís head. Hey!
"Is there a problem?" Terri asked, a wicked smile coming to her lips.
Youíre damned right thereís a problem! she heard Shannon say. I canít change back!
"I know," Terri told her.
Shannon was quiet again. What do you mean you know? she asked after a moment.
"I know you canít change back," Terri explained. "When I touched you, I took away your ability to restore yourself."
You did what? Shannon screamed.
"I tookÖ" Terri started to say.
I heard you the first time! Why did you do that?
"Simple," Terri said, moving closer so her friend could she her clearly. "I wanted you to know what it feels like to be stuck as a statue you donít want to be. You know, like when you left me standing at my counter with my dress pulled down around my waist."
Shannon was quiet. She knew that Terri had been angry at her little joke. Still, this was a little much. You canít mean that youíre going to trap me as a statue forever. I mean, I did change you back. Didnít I?
"Sure you did," Terri admitted. "Four days later." She paused to let her words sink in. "But donít worry about being stuck forever. I just removed your ability to free yourself. The time limit is still working. After a week, youíll be back to your old self. Good as new. Thatís what you had in mind, anyway. Right? A week in the gallery."
Yeah. But not like this.
"Well, maybe youíll remember this the next time you decide to use your touch on me," Terri told her. "And donít worry. Iíll be here in a week with your clothes. Just like we planned." She opened the shopping bag they had brought with them, and stuck in the shrunken statue and Shannonís discarded robe. "Iíll see you then. In the meantime, enjoy your fantasy."
Terri! Please! Shannon begged. But the girl continued on without a backward glance, leaving her friend on her pedestal. Well, shit! Shannon thought to herself. I guess itís true. Payback is a witch.