Monthly Archives: February 2012

Matter Dynamics: The Heart’s Strings

The warmth of the afternoon sun had been carried into the cavernous room by the almost imperceptible breeze, keeping the air both fresh and comfortable as well as dispelling some of the jarring presence of the complex machinery that filled a large portion of the space. But the relative clemency of the surroundings seemed to have no effect on Mischa Brasi, who simply pulled the edges of her silk dressing gown ever tighter around her body as though she were afraid of catching her death without its protection.

The woman’s trepidation was nothing unusual in the eyes of the small group of scientist and technicians who fussed around the equipment, making the final checks before the process could begin. Every one of them knew full well just what thoughts of fear and trepidation were going through her mind and the reality of her role in what they were about to do. For the most part they tried to keep their eyes on their work and away from her, fearing they might add to her sense of apprehension were she to catch them giving her a sympathetic glance.

None of them felt Mischa’s anxiety more then Noa Blackwell as she steered herself into the room in the wheelchair that she had grown accustomed to using over the past months. After all, she had gone through the experience herself and the reality of matter conversion was nothing to be taken lightly.

In her previous life, Noa might have seen the other woman as nothing more than a shallow clothes horse paid to look pretty and keep her mouth shut. But her own life-changing transformation at the hands of the machine into which Mischa was about to climb had taught her to look deeper into others and find the closest thing to their true character as she was able.

Noa was under no illusions that this professional model was hiding the brains of a genius inside her pretty head, but the conversations between them led her to think that the other woman was very much oppressed by the expectations that her looks placed upon her. In fact, Noa was sure that there was not a single person Mischa thought of as a friend or confidant among the contingent of bodies that had become known to her colleagues as “their people”.

It had been the way in which Mischa’s face lit up for the first time when she realised who Noa was that the less statuesque of the two had decided that she would try her best to befriend and support the other. Many people had come face to face with the petite woman who had allowed herself to be turned into the world’s first living and breathing mermaid as she promoted the public image of Matter Dynamics. But none of the adult she had met reacted in the same way as most of the children; save for Mischa.

The expression of pure and simple enchantment that had spread across Mischa’s textbook perfect features had taken Noa totally off guard at the time. The other woman made no show of embarrassment whatsoever at being ecstatic to be in the presence of a real live mermaid. Noa found that she could not resist lifting the hem of the heavy blanket that she used to cover her tail in circumstances when professionalism trumped the need to flash her scales and treating Mischa to a quick flick of her fins.

From that point on there had been nothing but distain from Noa for the way in which the people who were financing their latest project behaved towards Mischa. The formidable presence of the assertive mermaid had become her own private champion in the course of things.

“Look at those arseholes,” Noa almost ran her wheelchair into the legs of Callum Watson as she paid more attention to the men gingerly unloading a large shipping crate than they did to Mischa. “If they’re not gawping at her body then she might as well not exist as far as they’re concerned.”

“Well,” he deftly stepped out of her path, “telling me is going to do you no good at all as they seem to pay less attention to what I tell them with every word that comes out of my mouth. Maybe if I had a pair of tits instead of a face it’d be a different story?”

“We could replace Mischa’s with your face while we’re at it,” Noa succumbed to his efforts at defusing her anger, “that way they might both be able to make yourselves heard.”

“I think the root of their negligence today,” Callum shook his head, “and don’t think that I condone this attitude one bit, is based on the fact that their boss has impressed upon them the fact that there are thousands of models in the world. But there’s only one of those.”

The contents of the crate were just becoming visible as Noa followed Callum’s gaze across the room. She could have sworn that none of the men whose gloved hands were nervously touching the carved wood beneath antique gold leaf had taken a single breath since starting the job, such was their concentration. Their faces showed frayed nerves and barely suppressed frustration as they tried with all their might to ensure that no harm came to the priceless musical instrument.

Almost as tall as a man, the harp was an imposing thing that seemed to have a personality all of its own. Noa was a scientist and not regularly given to flights of fancy, but still she could not escape the feeling that the elaborate patterns into which the wood of the harp’s frame had been shaped somehow lent it a depth that went beyond its status as an antique. It was as though the thing crouched where it was placed rather than simply standing idle, daring anyone to approach it and try to pluck its strings.

The sight of the singular instrument only served to make Noa more concerned than ever for the fate of Mischa after the process was complete. The rational part of her mind was fully aware of what was supposed to happen once the other woman entered the machine and, she was involved in the minutiae of the planning on every possible level. It was on an emotional level that her concern was building and as such there was no way to rationalise or silence her fears.

When it had been her own turn to undergo the process, Noa recalled, at least she had been able to find some comfort in the fact that she was to be melded with animate matter. There had been something to cling to in that despite the alien nature of the experience, perhaps the fact that there was some distant kinship between the stuff of her body and that of the creature she had become one with.

Mischa would be a different case; she would be broken down to a collection of molecules and then bonded to those of an inert and ostensibly dead object. The science was sound and Callum had demonstrated to her on more than one occasion the fact that their control over the process would ensure that the result was a fully living, breathing form of life. But she could not shake the feeling that elements of the transformation were beyond his ability to understand.

After all, there were still changes that had taken place in her own nature that she had chosen for one reason or another to conceal from her colleagues. The gills beneath her arms and the fact that she had swapped warm blood for cold were only the surface as far as her own new nature was concerned. So far she had been able to keep the midnight swimming, cravings for seafood and other less innocent needs secret, but there was always the possibility of them being discovered.

Noa watched as the men began to move the harp once more, perhaps this time with even greater care, into one of the large metal pods which formed a significant portion of the equipment in the room. She glanced over to the left of the pod where its identical twin stood no more than ten feet away.

Mischa had, by some odd coincidence, moved closer to the pod on the left as she stole a nervous glance at the harp. Noa was struck by the proximity she had unknowingly assumed to the apparatus she would soon be required to enter.

The third and final pod from which the result of the process would emerge stood in front of the first two so that they formed a rough triangle. No one seemed to be paying any attention to that pod apart from the technicians running their final checks.

All too soon she saw that the harp was in place and the checks were complete.

“Okay,” Callum raised his voice to be heard over the various noises filling the room, “that’s everything ready. Assume positions and prepare to power up the systems.”

Noa glanced at Mischa, suddenly realising that she had missed any chance of a final few moments of conversation, kicking herself mentally at the time she had spent complaining instead of sharing positive words with the other woman.

Mischa caught her gaze and managed to smile, trying and failing in one motion to assure her newest friend that she was prepared.

Both of them knew this was the point of no return.

Silently, Mischa dropped the dressing gown to the floor and stepped into the pod.

 

The past year had been a blur for most of the people involved in Matter Dynamics and there had been little time to do anything more than simply trying to keep their heads above water as the fortunes of the company seemed to go from nothing to cutting edge of controversy and public opinion. Noa herself had, if the pun could be allowed, been riding the wave of publicity generated by the images and footage of a real mermaid spreading across the world in mere hours.

In some respects Callum had been right to bet on the power of such an easily recognised and iconic image for their emergence into the eye of the general public, but there had inevitably been critics as well as admirers for what they had done. Some people accused them of playing god, others of meddling with forces they could not understand; accusations that he dismissed as archaic in the case of the former and ignorant in the case of the latter.

They had answered numerous questions and had many parties show interest in their technology, but Callum had been disappointed by the fact that most of the attention they received was focussed on the fantastical possibilities of the process. He had hoped that what he saw as the true potential of their work would have been evident to what he saw as the right audience, but it had simply not worked out as he had hoped.

When their first legitimate enquiry had turned out to be based on Noa’s fantastical new form rather than some sound scientific principle, he had hidden his disappointment and thrown himself into the project as best he could.

This had come in the form of a letter from the secretary of the Austrian National Opera, which seemed at once both impressive and laden with historical authority. Callum had begun reading, half convinced the thing was a hoax, and ended it more confused than he had been when he began. The chances were that he would have forgotten the whole thing if he had not begun to receive a string of emails and phone calls from the same man. During these conversations a bridge between a Scott rooted in the world of particle physics and an Austrian in the world of classical music eventually managed to find a means of communication and from there things began to move apace.

At their first meeting in person, Mr Gupter – which was the name of the Austrian in question- confounded their expectations of a small and neat man in a suit by turning out to be a towering giant in perhaps the most crumpled and abused suit of clothes either of them had seen in years. He filled the room with his person and the air with his personality, expounding on the brilliance of what they had achieved while at the same time admitting with no hint of shame that he did not understand a fragment of it himself.

After he had devoured a number of sandwiches and more than half a dozen cups of coffee all the while calling Noa’s tail a wonder of the modern world, Mr Gupter finally got around to explaining just what it was that his employers were proposing.

“It happened recently,” he began, “that a rather wealthy and in my own opinion rather vulgar citizen of Vienna died without legal heirs, having years before written his own family out of his Will in an act of spite. It seems that apart from acquiring material possessions, the only thing that the man found any pleasure in was the music of Mozart. In his lifetime he hoarded anything and everything that he could lay his hands upon that was either an artefact of or had a relation to the great composer. Perhaps he relished the idea of being the sole owner of such things, but as his death approached he stipulated in his Will that the collection should be passed to us after his demise.”

He paused to indicate that he would like more coffee, the cup seeming tiny in his massive paw.

“In the course of things,” Gupter sipped his refilled drink with a delicacy that boggled the mind, “this man died, as thankfully all vulgar people will and the collection came into our possession. Amongst the items he had amassed, we found many things that we were most delighted to have, but the most intriguing was a fragmentary manuscript for what we believe is a previously undiscovered opera.”

He let the words hang in the air and was rather annoyed when Callum simply stared back at him.

“You uncultured sod,” Noa hissed in his ear. “That’s probably the musical equivalent of an undiscovered Shakespearian sonnet!”

“Oh, Callum tried to mend the damage by looking amazed, “what are the chances of that!”

“Very small, I can assure you,” Gupter was not in the slightest fooled and went on with an expression that registered his noting of Callum as a dullard in matters of culture but at the same time appreciated in a resigned manner his attempt to stay with the story. “Understand this was only a fragment, but with the help of the most gifted talents in the world of the opera we have managed to elaborate on that and come up with what we are sure will serve as at least a fitting tribute to the idea that the great man never had the chance to complete in his own lifetime.”

“A new opera?” Noa tried to keep Callum from making things worse.

“Yes, a new production of what we believe would have been an piece intended to sit alongside ‘The Magic Flute’ in the repertoire and in such circumstances and knowing its plot, we feel we can call it nothing apart from “The Magic Harp” for fear of appearing to think ourselves anything but paying tribute to the great man.”

“And where do we fit in?” Callum’s blunt comment almost made Gupter cringe visibly.

“Dear boy,” he placed the coffee cup down before him, “the instrument in this opera is enchanted, able to play by itself and cause mischief after being carved from a tree possessed by a dryad. I have the perfect harp and the perfect girl to play the part. I was hoping that you could bring the role to life for us?”

 

Mischa was aware of the fact that she had no idea of what was happening to her. No matter how many times the process had been explained in front of her and how simply Noa had tried to put it, there was just no way that her mind could hold onto the concepts involved. She was not frustrated or maddened by the fact that she was only aware of the process taking place around her in the most simple of terms, it was just another one of the things in life that seemed beyond her to grasp.

Though she had no way of knowing it, Mischa’s ability to accept her own limitations and simply get on with life in spite of them was one of the things that prevented her from being truly stupid. There were many people in her world that may have been higher up the scale as far as intelligence was concerned, but a great number made the mistake of assuming that their limitations lay far beyond what they were capable of in reality. Some might have achieved great things by stretching themselves, but more simply overreached themselves as a result.

It may have been small compensation that Mischa had never overreached herself, but it was there all the same.

When she had been asked to play the role of a harp, she had been puzzled on account of the fact that she had never even plucked one and despite her agent’s wishes, she had never tried her hand at acting.

But then they had explained, in the normal condescending manner, that they wanted her to actually be the harp. They wanted to turn her into the instrument and use her as the centrepiece of a fantastical new opera in Austria.

After they explained they meant a country in Europe rather than an island in the Southern Hemisphere, they had introduced her to Noa and told her that the process would be quick and that they could change her back afterwards.

Mischa had weighed the entire thing up as best she was able, concluding that the money seemed right and the people behind the opera seemed legitimate.

But it had been meeting the mermaid that had swayed her to say yes.

How could they do anything wrong if they had made something so pretty?

So she had trusted Noa and stepped into the booth.

 

Mischa had no concept of the process that took place within the booth as her body was reduced to its constituent elements. Her conscious mind was simply aware of itself at one moment and then lost in the shattering of her physical form. Her awareness returned in much the same manner as though it had never been absent.

How odd, she thought, to be deprived of sensation for such a long time and then simply to regain it once more.

As the door to the booth swung open and she felt the warm air of the evening reach her naked body, Mischa was no more aware of the unusual complexity of her thoughts than anyone else in the room.

Instead they stared at the sight of her body as the mist cleared from inside the third booth.

There was no hiding the fact that Mischa and the elaborate harp had been melded together to create an artefact of strange and compelling beauty. The largest part of the harp seemed to have remained unchanged, with its body and neck still resembling the gilded wood of which it had once been composed. But it was the elegant pillar at the front of the instrument which had borne most of the changes. Here the old lines of the harp had been merged with the curves of Mischa’s body. From the top of the pillar to the bottom of the foot, the entire thing followed the outline of the woman’s form. Her head met the front of the neck, disappearing into her hair that had been gathered into a classical Roman style. Her skin was a perfect match for the gold of the frame and her torso was naked to the waist, bearing her breasts with the curve of the pillar and revealing the loss of her arms and the rounded shoulders left in their absence. Below the waist, Mischa’s human form was lost beneath a series of ornate carvings that mirrored the original shape of the pillar, but the form had been altered to simulate the outline of her legs and the curves were a wonder to behold.

None of the men in the room noticed it, but to Noa the sight was the most important detail of all. She could see just as well as anyone else in the room that Mischa had emerged from the process alive and able to function. The golden skin of her chest rose and fell in a regular rhythm and she stood proud and erect before her admiring audience. But above all, when Noa looked at her face, she saw that Mischa was smiling.
To her that was better proof than any that the process had been a success.

 

Noa decided that despite the fact the architect was long dead, she still hated with a passion the man who had designed the opera house. Perhaps he own perspective on the matter was biased, but there was really no excuse she could think of for a person from the eighteenth century to have been able to predict that there might well come a day when a mermaid was required to patronise his building. Even the subtle modifications that had been made to the building in order to allow ease of use to disabled opera goers proved to be insufficient for her own particular needs and she was forced to endure hours of discomfort as they sat through the performance that night.

She was also quite disappointed to discover that she was not a fan of the whole experience either.

Noa had always liked the idea of the opera in vague way, but now that she had been forced to sit through the entirety of one she was nothing but bored by the thing.

It seemed that opera was a foreign language that a person either understood instinctively or was totally bemused by. On top of that she suspected that there was also an unspoken rule that forbade those who did from explaining even the slightest detail to those who did not.

The fact that Callum had been enraptured from the moment the performance began did not help her mood either.

In the end she resolved herself to tuning the worst of it out and concentrated on the spectacle of Mischa on the stage below.

The press attention for their latest creation had been almost totally enthusiastic and images of Mischa had dominated the front pages of newspapers from one end of Europe to the other. There had been no courting the press this time though, the star of the new opera had been kept away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi by her employers. They claimed it was to keep the mystique of the human instrument for the performance itself, but there were rumours to contradict the official story.

Noa was more inclined to believe them than most, having been there and watching as Mischa was eased into the realities of her new physical form over a period of months after the melding had taken place. Right from the start there had been something very different about the demeanour of the woman and Noa was sure that she had an insight into the reason why.

However simple and self-loathing Mischa might have been before she was transformed, that aspect of her personality was long gone. It had been replaced by a serene manner and a look of new found confidence that Noa was sure could only have come from the new influx of genetic material in the other woman’s body.
In her own case, Noa had been well aware of the fact that she was gaining genetic material from a living creature. But Mischa had been merged with dead wood, strings and gold leaf, none of which had been alive at the time. Callum had theorised that some elements of the organic materials may have had an impact on what Mischa became, though he had no cause to take into account the instrument itself in those theories.

Perhaps that was where he had gone wrong.

Although Noa was a scientist to her core, she still wondered if there was some element of the new creature Mischa had become that was down to the harp itself. Could the complex and passionate individuals who had played the harp over the years have left something of their passion and intelligence imprinted upon it? Maybe it was nothing more than Mischa’s own knowledge of the instrument manifesting itself in a personality that differed from her own, some natural trick of the mind to hive off the personality of the woman she had been from the living object she had become.

She hoped that the change in personality would benefit Mischa in the long term no matter what the explanation.

The person she really felt sorry for was the poor girl playing the princess with whom the passionate prince was supposed to be falling in love with, if the plot was to be believed. The look the man had in his eye when he was regarding the magical harp that his character was playing in order to free the princess from her incarceration was far more believable.

Maybe the rumours were true.

Maybe the harp had bagged the prince in reality after all.

 

Mischa remained totally still and silent as she was gently placed onto the trolley and wheeled backstage. It was a skill that had developed after her transformation and was now one that she found incredibly easy to make use of in order to speak only when and to whom she chose. The effect was uncanny and more often than not people seemed to simply accept the fact that she had fallen into some kind of inanimate trance, simply treating her as a delicate object rather than a living creature.

The contrast was that inside her own head there was seldom anything but a whole galaxy of thought, as though she had looked up at the night sky and for the first time noticed the stars. She had slowly come to the realisation that her mind had become sharper and more focussed in the days after her emergence from the matter conversion device and she found that she was very happy with the results.

The simple fact that she casually used and comprehended the terminology of the process was all the proof she needed.

When she had first come to terms with the realities of her new form, she had been shocked at the loss of her arms and the fact that she was in essence rooted to the spot. But once her mind had begun to come alive, it was as though she had remembered a whole new set of limbs forgotten and left to wither in the past.

At first she had been filled with a sense of outrage that she kept to herself when the subject of her being played had come up in conversation. The idea was enough to make her compare her situation to an animal kept for its milk or meat and she bristled at the idea of hands touching her in such a way. But her attitude had changed when she was given a series of films to watch in which harps were played to produce the most haunting and beautiful music.

Mischa found that she somehow understood the language of the music, as though it were as natural to her as speaking to another human being. Soon she recognised the same forms on sheet music and found herself jumping ahead, able to predict the course the music would take. But no matter how many different performances she watched, there always seemed to be something wrong to her ear that no one else could perceive. The sound of no other harp truly sounded good enough.

It came as a shock for her to realise that the source of the sensation was jealousy.

Mischa realised that she had been biased against the sound that the other harps produced because deep down she believed that she was capable of better. On top of that, she became aware that a large element of her jealousy was also rooted in the fact that she resented seeing other harps played when she herself had been sitting idle all this time.

The battle between her outrage at being played like an object and the desire to produce music was settled when she was introduced to the man who, she was told, would be performing with her when the opera reached the stage. Her minders struggled with the definition of her relationship to the man in question, who would in effect be playing her. The term seemed to belittle her too much in their eyes and they danced around the subject like those embarrassed to look a person with a disability in the eye.

His name was Laslo, and he was very different to the men Mischa had known in the past.

She had been shown footage of a striding man with a storm of dark hair that dominated the stage with his presence. Actually meeting the quiet and nervous man in person was a stark contrast to what she had been expecting. They had told her he had been a prodigy, raised on music and song with a talent for both that made him prized in the world of classical music. He was young, not unattractive and seen as one of the greatest of his generation, but for some reason he sat in front of her looking as though he was terrified.

Once they were left alone, Mischa had a realisation almost as surprising as her own jealousy.

She saw for the first time that Laslo was terrified of her.

His eyes were only fixed upon her for a few seconds before they would dart away and a look of terrible guilt would come over his features.

Mischa had never been forced to coax another human being into communicating with her, but she tried as best she could.

“Laslo?” her voice was as quiet as she could make it.

“Yes,” he still refused to look at her.

“Do I scare you that much?”

“What?” he sounded genuinely surprised and turned to look her in the eye for the first time.

“Am I so hideous that you can’t even look at me?”

Mischa had feared that a person so devoted to the world of classical music and the culture it belonged to would be able to see her as nothing short of an abomination; she was becoming convinced that she had been right.

“God,” he shook his head, “good god no.”

“Then…”

“You have to forgive me,” Laslo stood and forced himself to hold her gaze. “I’m not sure how I am supposed to behave in your company.”

“What do you mean?”

“If I was presented with a beautiful woman, I would compliment her. If it was an exquisite instrument I would ask to play it,” his words were forced out in a tumble of nerves. “When I am presented with what seems to be both…I am at a loss as to which is appropriate and which would be improper.”

Mischa was lost for words.

She had absorbed enough of the type of language those in Laslo’s world used to be able to know that he was, in his own way, trying to say that he found her both stunningly beautiful and totally beguiling at the same time. Even before the transformation, she had been used to people treating her as an object and afterwards they had simply continued that habit once more.

No one had stood in awe of her the way this man was.

“You could always start by getting to know me,” she smiled, “and take it from there.”

From there their relationship had grown rapidly, with Laslo easing her through the experience of being played a step at a time. At first the sensation of another person plucking her strings had been strange, but he was gentle and allowed things to progress at a pace she was comfortable with. Soon she came to love the act of producing music and delight in the feeling of what his hands could do when they came into contact with her strings.

He told her all he knew about the history of the harp and filled her head with tales of the instrument and the place it had occupied for thousands of years of human history. In turn she shared all that she felt able to about her own life and the changes that the process had wrought in her while he listened, fascinated to be the first man in history to actually know his instrument and understand her feelings.

The first time he kissed her came almost as an accident, his hand brushing her naked breast as he passed one evening. She gasped at the unexpected sensation and he glanced down to see where his hand had come to rest. For a moment he remained still, feeling the strange combination of warmth and weight through the golden skin before gently pulling his fingers away.

It was as if in that moment they had both been reminded of the fact that Mischa was not simply some clever automaton that moved and spoke thanks to the winding of a key.

He stepped forwards and pressed his lips to her own, holding her head in his hands.

From that moment on they had been as close to lovers as they were able, the playing bringing them together more and more with every day that passed.

On this night, like so many before, Mischa remained as still as a statue until she heard the door of the dressing room open and was sure it was him entering. Only then did she come alive for the precious few hours they enjoyed every night.

It amused her to think how close to a fairy tale their lives had become. She was the woman who had been turned into a magical instrument and cursed to remain an object until the spell was broken and he was the man who had vowed to wait for her to become human again. They counted down the days until her contract was due to expire and they could be together finally as equals.

But until then there was the music and they plucking of the strings into the small hours of the morning.

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Filed under Body Modification, Matter Dynamics, Short Story, Transformation

Matter Dynamics: Noa’s Tail

It was a shock to the system to feel the chill that hung in the air of the main test chamber and despite the comfort it had offered as she made her way through the familiar corridors of the bunker, Noa Blackwell had found that the material of the dressing gown offered no protection from the effects of the coolant that bled heat from the machinery which dominated the room. Not only was she discomforted by the cold, she realised that the sights and sounds that had been her daily norm for what seemed like such a long time had been rendered strange and intimidating by the subtle differences in her role on this day as opposed to any other which had gone before.

There was no confusion in Noa’s mind as to the source of her trepidation, which was obvious. On any normal day she would have spent hours in this room, surrounded by the same complex machinery and feeling the same cold air. The difference was that on such a day she would have been dressed in her lab coat and engaged in the business of running tests on the status of the same machinery.

Today was different because she was standing in a dressing gown, beneath which she was naked.
It was also different on account of the fact that rather than being inside the safety of the control room monitoring the progress of the tests, today she was scheduled to be the subject of the test herself.

“Can you still feel your extremities?” the voice came to her ears clearly, but was relayed through an intercom from the control room.

Noa looked up to the observation panel in the far wall and at the familiar face of the speaker on the intercom. Callum Watson was certainly still wearing his lab coat as he tried to talk his colleague into a more positive mood through three inches of plexi-glass and one and a half feet of reinforced concrete. Knowing full well what they were trying to attempt today and her role in the process, there was no way that the man could have been surprised at her trepidation. But the fact that he was even trying at all was simply one of the many little things that made him who he was.

And it was those little things that made Noa willing to trust him, those same things in the end that made them friends rather than just colleagues.

“My insides have gone numb,” Noa’s Glasgow accent was rendered even more impenetrable by her shivering, “can we get on with this before I die of exposure?”

“Okay,” Callum almost laughed, “I hadn’t noticed on account of the fact you’re already so pale.”

Noa narrowed her eyes in response to the jibe, but in any other circumstances she would have been the first person to admit that she was amongst the palest skin tones known to mankind. She imagined herself so pale as to be almost transparent under heavy illumination and visible only on account of her red hair and freckles. It was a combination of features that she had often lamented over the years, jealous of those who could be caught outside without fear of being turned bright red by the slightest attention of the suns rays.

The truth, as is often the case with such instances of self-loathing, was in the eyes of most people whom she met quite far removed from her own opinion of her appearance. Where she saw pale and short, others were far more likely to see a petite woman with the most delicate tone of skin picked out quite fetchingly with freckles and boasting the most striking head of red hair. Named for her paternal Grandmother, Noa had also inherited a flourish of Japanese genes that manifested itself in her features so as to lend them a hint of the faerie and a sense of mystery.

All in all no one had ever been as harsh to Noa as she was to herself.

“Very funny,” Noa turned her back and walked towards one of the three large metal pods that stood towards the back of the test chamber, “now let’s get started before I come to my senses and back out of this thing entirely.”

There was no reply from the control room, but the hiss of pressure from the pod nearest to her indicated that the releases that held the main hatch closed had been released in by the personnel behind the glass all the same. Once the hatch had opened outwards and then to the side, the interior of the pod was revealed to be bare of all features save for the plain white of the walls and the metal grill that formed the floor.

“Pod number one reading nominal,” Callum’s voice was now devoid of the humour he had shown moments before, “pod number two showing the same across the board as well. I’m now running final checks on both units.”

The hatch on the pod to Noa’s right opened in a perfect imitation of the one she was standing in front of. Inside the features of the pod were identical to the first, save for the fact that in the centre of the floor was laid a large fish that must have been three feet in length at the least.

“Pod number two subject reads as present and correct, anaesthetic still in effect.”

“Pod number one subject wishes she had an anaesthetic right now as well,” Noa tried not to look at the fish in the second pod.

“I’ll take that as a joke,” Callum broke back into his normal tone, “remember the discussions we had around that subject? We need you conscious and aware while we do this. The physical and mental process as experienced by a human subject is vital to proving that this project has applications beyond the mundane.”

“This isn’t the time to be quoting my own words back at me,” Noa spoke in a manner that stopped Callum in his tracks, “just run the final checks on pod three and make it quick.”

“Pod three makes it a trio of clear readings,” Noa glanced at the third pod, which was stood perhaps five feet in front of the other two pods and positioned so that they formed a small triangle. “We’re as ready as we’ll ever be,” Callum fell silent.

“Okay,” Noa allowed the dressing gown to fall to the floor of the test chamber and took a deep breath before she climbed into the first pod. She turned to face the observation window with a look of resigned trepidation on her face. “See you on the other side.”

The last thing she saw before the hatch sealed itself closed was Callum’s face, concerned but confident as he watched on from the control room.

Noa had no more than a moment before the total darkness inside the pod was replaced by the most blinding light she could have imagined swallowed everything within it.

A moment later she felt nothing as her body was shattered into its constituent atoms.

Her physical form was destroyed utterly in less than a second.

In the control room, Callum noted her total disintegration with calm interest.

So far, everything was going as planned.

Noa could still remember the first time she had met Callum Watson and the impression he had made on her. She had been one of the research assistants filled with enthusiasm and anticipation at being chosen to work on, what was at the time, the best funded research project into practical teleportation technology in the world.

For a time the prospects of the work she had been involved in had been nothing but good. The theoretical elements were long behind the project and much progress had been made in the practical thanks to a successful prototype which proved capable of transporting individual molecules no more than a few feet at a time. While the distances involved were not great, the fact that the device functioned reliably again and again was a massive step forwards.

Soon the experiments had moved on to ever larger and more complex compounds and substances with the same success rates. Even the inevitable tests conducted in strict secrecy with live rats met with no problems and confidence was running high within the project.

But the stumbling block came in the form of distance.

No matter what approach they took, any attempt to teleport a subject regardless of its size or complexity, more than those few feet resulted in utter failure.

There was no grand explosion or Hollywood style ironic disaster; the objects simply failed to materialise at the other end and that was that.

Noa had lost count of the hours they had spent trying to theorise just where the hell all the stuff had ended up until finally the high ups had come to the conclusion that there was just no hope of overcoming the problem.

The official explanation had declared that the limits of possibility based on contempory scientific knowledge had been reached and there could be at present no more achieved by the project. That translated into common English meant to say that no one on the project had a clue how to break through the wall they had run into and until a new Einstein came along the prospect of a viable teleportation device was as likely as an effective chocolate kettle.

Noa had been looking to console her professional woes by soothing herself socially and after the end of the project took solace in the friends she had neglected while lost in her work. It had been at one otherwise forgettable party that she had absently been popping berries into her mouth from a bowl in the middle of an otherwise crappy buffet when she realised that she had no idea what she was actually eating.

Holding one of the offending berries up for a closer inspection, she saw it was a vivid red and about the size of a strawberry but at the same time more alike in shape to a raspberry. The taste was an odd combination of sweet and tart that eluded her memory, but seemed so familiar at the same time that she was sure she could recall the name of the thing if only she tried.

“Don’t eat the lot,” Noa looked up to see a young man no more than a few years older than her pointing at the berry in her hand. He was of mixed race and pleasant to look at rather than handsome, his clothes and mannerisms speaking of someone who was less than adept in social situations like this.

“Sorry,” Noa dropped the berry back into the bowl, “did you have your eye on some of these?”

“No,” he shook his head and smiled, “I’m Callum, by the way.”

“Noa,” she smiled back.

“No,” he went back to his previous line of conversation as if they had never left it to introduce themselves to one another, “I mean those are all there are.”

“Okay,” Noa shrugged, unsure as to why Callum was so keen to preserve a fruits presence in the buffet, “I suppose no one wants to have to go out in the rain and get more of them.”

“No,” Callum seemed to be saying that a great deal in the progress of the conversation, “that’s really all there is; I didn’t make any more of them.”

“You mean those are GM?” Noa tried to keep her voice down. “You really should have put a label on them or something. I’m not fussed about the whole GM thing, but some people react to it like you’re serving them human flesh.”

“Well, it’s not really GM in the sense of genetically modified,” Callum seemed unperturbed by the possibility of being lynched by anti GM guests, “more like genetically melded in reality.”

“Melded?” Noa was confused by his use of the term. “You mean these aren’t one berry with the DNA of another spliced in there to produce a new variety?”

“No,” Callum shook his head as if the suggestion was ridiculous, “that’s pretty much last century thinking. These are literally the amalgamation of strawberries and raspberries to produce a new berry that’s a combination of the two.”

“That’s possible?” Noa asked. “How is it even stable on a molecular level?”

“You’re the one who’s been eating the damn things at a rate of knots; you tell me how stable they are!”

Noa almost gagged at the realisation she could have been poisoned by Callum’s homemade hybrid berries.
“Kidding,” he laughed at her distress, “I’m not insane. I put those things through more tests on my own time than most of the stuff sold on the open market has been through and they’re as safe as anyone could make them.”

“But how did you manage it?” Noa steered Callum away from the ears of other guests.

She was far from drunk and knew enough about the state of scientific knowledge to be sure that whatever had created those berries was an area of research that bordered on that which until very recently she had herself been studying.

“A small scale matter conversion device that I’ve been tinkering with in my spare time,” Callum said the words as if that kind of device was as common as a TV set rather than rare and bafflingly complicated.

“I was on the university project myself,” Noa could not keep the tone of resentment out of her voice, “until they pulled the plug.”

“Good collection of brains on that one,” Callum nodded, “but the direction never struck me as the one I would have taken.”

“You’re serious?”

“It’s just my opinion,” Callum raised his hands defensively, thinking that he had insulted her, “you see I’m always amazed that most people think the only possible worthwhile use for matter conversion technology is teleportation.”

“I suppose you’re right,” Noa had to admit that she had fallen into that category, even if she was not about to admit it.

“Some of the major names in the field always reminded me of a man who finds a plank made of pure gold and insists on simply using it to cross puddles and keep his feet dry. I mean, good luck to anyone who can make long-distance teleportation work, but at the same time there are other things it could be used for apart from that.”

He gestured to the berries as if to illustrate his point.

“No one ever won the Nobel Prize for novelty berries,” Noa was intrigued, but not convinced.

“Those are just for nibbles,” Callum seemed put off at her lack of enthusiasm, “it could be so much more.”

“That sounds like the kind of thing that needs serious money behind it,” Noa raised her eyebrows I recognition of the scarcity of funds in the world of scientific research.

“Would you believe me if I told you it already does?”

“No shit?”

“Not the words I would have used,” Callum grinned at her surprise, “but yes, I have a backer and I’m looking for people that I can rely on to be part of the research team. Normally I’d be asking for curriculum vitae, full references and a pretty probing interview. But seeing as how you haven’t needed me to dumb it down once in all the time we’ve been talking, I like you and maybe because I’m drunk…would you like a job?”

Noa had agreed to Callum’s proposal that night mainly because she was sure he was insincere and also on account of the fact that she was out of work and had nothing to loose by doing so. But she was soon proven wrong as in the months that followed she received a constant string of letters, phone calls and visits from him on the subject of the project. It seemed that whoever his backers were, and their identity was something he never revealed, the pieces had suddenly begun to fall into place and things were moving at an unexpected pace.

More often than not, Noa saw Callum in person when he appeared on the doorstep of her flat, totally unannounced while standing in the pouring rain and clutching a bag full of sketches and blueprints that he needed her feedback on.

It was during these long and intimate periods that they became more than colleagues, finding that they were compatible as friends and made easy company for each other. For a while she had wondered if there was the possibility of more between them. But neither of them had broached the subject and Noa simply accepted him as a much-needed friend, not willing to loose him to an ill-advised attempt at seduction.

For his own part, Callum was too wrapped up in his work to think of anything else.

Noa soon learned that he was fascinated with the possibility of utilising matter conversion for any number of practical purposes, but his main area of obsession was the perception of the technology in the minds of the masses.

“Look at the track records for great ideas that have been sunk because they scared the man in the street,” he lectured one night when they were both filled with perhaps too much wine. “You could have the cure for cancer right there in your hand, but if the average human being fails to warm to it you might as well be offering to shoot them in the head for all it’s worth.”

“I’d be more worried about them actually understanding the whole thing at all,” Noa shook her head.

“Ah, now that’s where I’ve been thinking that we need to focus our attentions on something that’ll encapsulate a small part of what this thing can do and serve it up in a way that even a layman can’t fail to understand.”

Noa nodded for him to go on.

“We need to find the worst possible perception of matter conversion technology in the common unconscious and devote ourselves to proving once and for all that it’s wrong in every way possible.”

“You’ve put some thought into this,” she laughed at his enthusiasm, “so tell me what the demon we have to exorcise happens to be?”

“Two words: The Fly!”

“We’re up against just one film in which some fictional scientist gets spliced with an insect?”

“As far as I see it, yes.”

“I don’t know about you, but I think I can take Geena Davis if you tackle Geoff Goldblum.”

“I’m serious!”

“So am I,” Noa smiled, “the woman has to be well into her dotage by now.”

“Stop joking,” Callum’s tone very much in earnest, “we have to prove that the product of our enterprise can be something beautiful rather than something hideous. After that the actual details of all the practical stuff we can achieve with his technology will just fall into place.”

“You really want to create some kind of chimera?”

“You’re still stuck in the mindset of that damn film,” frustration was threatening the edge of his voice, “you know as well as I do that the refinements in the particle management programme allow for far more precise and controlled interaction of the donor molecules and resulting product. There’s no way in hell that we could make something like the creature in that film unless that was exactly what we set out to do from the start.”

“Okay, so sell it to me.”

“We need something that will resonate with the public, something pretty and shiny to get them all excited about the possibilities. In addition we need to prove that it’s viable and safe as well as reversible when the time comes. We can start with small stuff; maybe use the device to create alloys or rare mineral formations from their constituent elements. Then we move on to at first simple and then more and more complex life forms. We could create a mythical menagerie or something stupid like that.”

“We both know where this is going,” Noa gave him a wan smile; “the inevitable end is a human element in the process.”

“I know, but the real issue isn’t the safety of the process; it’s finding someone willing to actually undergo the process in the first place.”

The following months were a blur for Noa as the project relocated to the remote Shetland island of Walsey and began to convert an old bunker left over from the Second World War for its own purposes. The concrete walls were drilled with modern power cables, the old rooms expanded and every inch filled with the bewildering array of machinery and equipment needed to make the entire thing actually work. The staff lived above ground in prefabricated huts, the lights flickering as the machinery below drew vast amounts of power from the electrical grid to run the necessary experiments.

Progress was made in the order that Callum had predicted, building from trials with inert elements at first and moving with cautious optimism to simple and then ever more complex forms of life. Noa reviewed the data and could be nothing but positive about the advances they had made.

But when she questioned Callum about the end they were working towards, he became evasive and brushed her aside as best he could with talk of his workload and contacts amongst their financial backers who were looking into the matter of a suitable candidate.

Matters came to a head when she realised that the lack of news as to a human test subject was no more than a few weeks from stopping them in their tracks.

“You can’t find anyone suitable, can you?” Noa had cornered Callum in the control room and offered him no chance of escape this time.

“Short answer would be no,” he relented to her inquisition, “long answer would be maybe and then but. The best offer I’ve come across was so close to modern day slavery that it scared me to death. Apart from that there seems to be a distinct lack of sane human beings wiling to let us send them through that thing.”

“We simply can’t use an animal,” Noa shook her head; “the thing would become the next Dolly the sheep.”
“No argument there.”

“Then there’s only one other answer,” Noa stared at the three pods through the glass of the observation window.

“No,” Callum shook his head.

“Tell me another way around this?” Noa shook her own head now. “Don’t think I’m in love with the idea, but look at the alternatives. In addition this would show that we’re one hundred percent sure of this thing as well.”

“Or that we’re mad.”

“You said that this thing is safe and the process can be reversed, so we’re just putting our money where our mouths are.”

“If you did this thing,” Callum was coming round to her way of thinking, “it’d provide us with a photogenic specimen for the media at the very least.”

“Flatterer.”

“But what do we go for?”

“Let’s keep it grounded in what people know,” Noa shrugged her shoulders, “show me a little girl that doesn’t like mermaids.”

There were no words to describe the experience and after all, how could mere words ever hope to encapsulate the sensation of at once being aware of every molecule that constituted one’s being at the same time? Her consciousness was so wide as to be galactic, spanning the expanse that had become her state of existence and encompassing nothing that lay beyond its borders. Indeed there was no way to perceive or understand what, if anything, did lie beyond the limits of her own being.

Noa had no sense of herself as an individual and no means by which to understand the disjointed images that flashed through the eye of her mind at random. The terms by which such things had been known in the material world were devoid of meaning in this state of disembodied freedom. Here there was no use for form or categorisation, what use could such things be when reality itself had no definable form or sensation?

The first realisation of an order being brought to the chaos arrived on the periphery of her senses as a string of previously meaningless images and concepts began to align themselves in such a way that they resonated with one another. These in turn drew yet more free-floating motes of thought towards themselves to create longer and ever more complicated structures of signification and meaning. Layer upon layer assembled itself, with each one a new dimension chimed into being within her thoughts as though it had been there forever, simply unheard and awaiting the gift of a voice.

Time itself had no bearing upon the process until it too appeared as part of the growing chorus of concepts and ideas. But with its arrival the passage of time became perceivable and the process seemed to quicken its pace as if in response to the knowledge that it was becoming ever better defined with each moment that could now be recognised as passing .

It was no great wait for the complexity of the pattern emerging to build to the point where the images themselves began to expand in terms of meaning. No more were they simply random snapshots of colour and shape, instead they took on names and a significance all of their own. From there they deepened once more in meaning to become records of individuals distinct from the person of the observer, places that existed somehow outside the limits of their own thoughts and abstract concepts somehow skewed between the two.

Behind all of these images, revelations and chains of meaning there had been growing all the time a baffling concept that was at once bound up in the morass of it all, but at the same time extended far beyond it. In a moment of terrible realisation, the concept became aware of the fact that it was aware of itself, that the thoughts and images were elements of its own self.

In the same way that the layers of meaning had increased in complexity, the consciousness literally snowballed in size and complexity with every moment that seemed to pass. Before long the formless mind had bridged the gap between the stream of its own thoughts and sensations to those that streamed away behind it in the ever lengthening chains. It understood the difference between thought and memory and thus assembled the elements that would constitute a distinct personality for itself.

Faces, vistas, objects, landscapes, colours and sounds all condensed themselves from vast oceans of meaning to smaller and smaller touchstones of memory. They crystallised in nature and pulsed as tiny elements of signification in the now vastly complex structure of identity that encapsulated the conscious mind that grew from them.

I have a name, the thought was born into the centre of the mind perfectly formed.

What is my name?

Noa, that was part of it, but now there is more.

The hatch hissed open and the air being released from the third pod turned into vapour as it met with that in the test chamber. Noise levels fell steadily as the machinery powered down into a state of almost total shutdown and the technicians in the control room checked the readouts the test had produced.

Callum strained to see into the room beyond the observation window, filled with a desperate need to see the contents of the pod and an all too real fear for the safety of his friend and colleague.

Finally the vapour cleared enough to allow him to glimpse the white interior of the pod and he was relieved to see a mass of red hair emerging from the mist.

Noa blinked, the churning mist making her eyes water, and tried to scrub the tears of irritation from her face. She managed as best she could and was about to call out for help when her gaze fell upon the delicate webbing of pearlescent membrane that ran between her digits. She pulled her other hand into sight and saw that both of them possessed the webbing, moving her fingers and feeling the sensation as the new part of her body responded like any other.

By now the vapour had dissipated enough for Noa to glance down at her body, but when she did she found that the familiar form that had entered the pod had been replaced by something entirely new. Where she had been slender before the experiment, she was now somehow supple in form, as if the definition of her body had been redefined so that she resembled a snake or an eel. Her torso was still noticeably human in shape and colouring, but the lines of her body suggested a spine that was infinitely more pliable than that of a normal human being.

Indeed her torso seemed to merge almost perfectly with the silver-scaled tail that had totally replaced her legs. This new limb began in truth perhaps an inch or two below Noa’s navel, but the scales dotted the pale skin of her torso in the same manner the freckles did her face.

No one who saw this tail could have mistaken it for a costume or a clever prosthetic as it was devoid of any hint of human legs. As Noa sat within the pod, it curled underneath her more like the body of a snake than anything else, the wide silver fin to which it tapered at the end flipping and slapping against the floor in response to her unconscious movements.

There was a subtle clue in Noa’s posture and expression as she assessed herself, a hint that there was more to her transformation than simply a physical change. Callum noticed it in the way she made no attempt whatsoever to cover her naked body as he entered the room. The woman he had known would never have been happy to bear her breasts with no hint of shame or pause for apology.

Noa simply tuned to face her friend as he approached, her pale breasts naked in the cold air.

He noticed that the transformation had turned the colour of them to silver in keeping with the tail and the sight fascinated him until he recalled that he had been responsible for the finer points of the resulting physical form.

Callum had succeeded in using the matter converter to merge his colleague’s physical form with that of a sturgeon, but he had not created a monstrous hybrid of fish and woman. Instead he had spent countless hours refining the protocols that had guided the integration of the two matter patterns until this had been the result. Noa had the body of what he considered to be a close to a true mermaid as was possible. She had gills, a horizontal fin and a powerful tail that were all fit for purpose, but at the same time she retained the beauty of her human features.

“Noa?”

Her eyes flicked to meet his own and in that instant he was sure there was something more behind them than simply his friend.

“Callum?” She said his name as if seeing him for the first time after an absence of years.

“How do you feel?”

“I feel,” Noa paused for what seemed like far too long, “fine.”

What else could she have said to him? There was no way that Noa could explain there and then the fact that her own mind had pieced itself back together to find that it was more and less than it had been before the transformation. She was still for the most part the woman that she had been, but now there were new thoughts and feelings that surged under her conscious mind like unseen denizens of the deepest waters.
She looked at the man in front of her, knowing that he was a valued friend. But whispering in her ear was a hunger that urged her to see him for no more than the most base of uses to which she could put him. The human part of her mind wanted to reach out to him, but the darker element of her only wanted to make use of him.

There had been no way to understand what the mental side effects of the process could be, but Noa was sure this was one of them. Had something of the animal nature of the fish with which she had been merged altered the nature of her mind? That would have explained the almost feral way in which her unconscious was responding to the world around her.

But there was no time for that now, there were people to meet and smiling appearances to make.

Too much was riding on the success of marketing her as living proof that the process was safe to start worrying about the feelings she was becoming more aware of with every minute that passed.

She smiled and flipped her tail in a manner that she was sure a mermaid would have done.

There would be time for the recriminations and the appetites later.

For now she was determined to play her part to the full.

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Filed under Body Modification, Matter Dynamics, Short Story, Transformation

Repackaged

The radio was a faint hiss in the background as Mina hunched over the dashboard of the car and tried in vain to keep her hands from freezing by holding them over the heat vent. It was a battle that she was loosing fast no matter how much she rubbed them together.

In the seat to her left, Sadie shook her head and took another long swig from the coffee she had insisted on picking up at the start of their shift. She swallowed and shook her head again.

‘Told you to get the tea,’ she stood the paper cup on the dashboard and glanced over at her partner. ‘Are you going to be able to stave off the hypothermia until morning, or what?’

‘I’m fine,’ Mina managed to keep the edge out of her voice, ‘fine, just fill up on caffeine and be done with it.’
Sadie shook her head for a third time and wondered, not for the first time, how the petite and vulnerable looking little woman sitting by her managed to be such a good police officer.

Mina looked for all the world like just another young girl from the affluent suburbs of England, the darkly pretty daughter of a respectable Asian family who’s mother wanted her to marry a nice boy and settle down in a semi. Instead she had left university and promptly joined the police, leaving her mother to endless worry and that poor hypothetical nice boy to find a less headstrong bride. For all the outward appearances, Mina was a determined and strong-willed character who was rarely beaten by anything.

When she had been partnered with Sadie, it hadn’t taken long for the rest of the officers in the station to start calling them the “Odd Couple”.

In contrast, Sadie was a tall girl with a build that made her imposing in uniform and quite striking out of it. Her dark brown hair was cut in a choppy style and she seldom took the time to wear make-up when off duty, instead she relied upon her natural, and somewhat taken for granted, good looks. After one viewing of the film “Miss Congeniality” in her days training for the force, she had been dubbed “Dirty Harriet”.

Both had admitted over drinks that in the world outside of the force they would probably never have met, let alone gotten on, but their time together had taught them a respect for each other that had grown into a strong friendship. In the long-term it was clear that while Mina was aiming for an influential position in plain clothes, Sadie wanted to stay on the streets for as long as she was able. But until they were separated by their differing aspirations, they devoted themselves to the job at hand and worked well together.

So far tonight had proven to be one of those nights where the job at hand seemed to be nothing more exciting than sitting around behind the wheel of their patrol car and waiting for something, anything, to happen.

Sadie swallowed the last of her coffee and Mina tried to warm her hands and think of a better excuse for not taking a warm drink herself. The truth was that she really didn’t relish the idea of having to leave the car and go out into the cold to relive herself behind one of the trees by the country road. While she was far from worried about who might be lurking in the shadows, it was the biting cold that really put her off. That and the fact that if she mentioned the fact she would find a rumour spreading around the station as soon as they were off duty.

Suddenly the radio crackled into life and Sadie’s hand was there in an instant as the hope of a reprieve from boredom blossomed. It might be nothing on the other end of the radio, but then again it might not. Both women were hoping that it was anything that would get them out of the lay-by and moving against the cold of the December night.

‘Car 831?’ the voice on the other end of the radio filled the car.

‘831 here,’ Sadie replied.

‘Confirm that you are currently in the vicinity of Blackwell Tor?’

‘Confirmed.’

‘Calls have been coming in from locals describing suspicious noises and movement on the side of the Tor, please proceed to the site and investigate?’

‘Ok,’ Sadie looked over to Mina, who turned the key in the ignition, ‘we’re on our way to the scene.’

‘Sounds like a strange one,’ Mina commented as soon as they were on the road.

‘Who cares?’ Sadie stared through the windscreen and out into the gloom of the night. ‘At least we’re moving rather than sitting on our arses back there.’

‘It’s still strange though,’ Mina insisted, ‘who on earth goes up the side of a bloody great big hill like that and starts making a racket on a night like this?’

‘Christ knows,’ Sadie laughed suddenly, ‘might be some kind of mad pagan ritual, you know, loads of hippies and crusties cavorting about in the nude with raging phalluses! Now that would be something to remember!’

‘You have to be kidding; they’d be dead of exposure before we got there. The only kind of stiffies would be six foot long and blue from the cold!’

They wound their way along the deserted country roads and towards the hills that surrounded the looming shape of Blackwell Tor. Soon the roads twisted madly and there was no way to drive on at anything more than a crawl. But despite the dark of the night it was not long before the lights that had alarmed the locals could be seen emanating from the far side of the Tor.

Both women knew that the roads gave out long before the climb up to the Tor began and so they found themselves leaving the car at the end of a narrow dirt track and making their way up into the woods that clung to the hillside.

The torches they had brought from the car proved unnecessary, as the lights were plain to see as they picked a path through the woods in silence. Neither of them pressed ahead or tried to hang back as they climbed the Tor, instead they made their way methodically towards the source of the disturbance.

As they came closer, the noises became more distinct as those of some kind of heavy machinery, the lights resembling industrial lighting through the trees. When they were perhaps no more than a few hundred metres from the source, the noise suddenly seemed to lessen and then be reduced to a low humming like a generator and the lights blinked out, leaving them once more in darkness.

‘Looks like we’ve been spotted,’ Sadie said whilst she waited for her eyes to adjust to the sudden loss of light.

‘God knows how,’ Mina was having the same troubles, ‘I don’t see how we could have been seen or heard through all that. Whatever’s over there is more than some drugged-up crusties.’

‘Should we call for backup?’

Mina thought for a moment and then shook her head, a gesture that Sadie could only now begin to make out in the gloom.

‘No,’ she walked a few steps forward in the direction of the humming, ‘we should see what the bloody hell we’re dealing with here before we do anything like that.’

‘Ok,’ Sadie fingered her torch, ‘let’s see what we can see.’

Sadie was the first to see the building that stood in the clearing ahead, she waved to her partner and strained to get an idea of just what they had stumbled upon. If they had been anywhere near civilisation she would have just described it as a warehouse and moved on.

But the question had to be asked: what was a warehouse doing halfway up the side of Blackwell Tor?
Apart from its location, the building was unremarkable, made of metal and concrete and seeming to be nothing more than a storage space. A large sliding door was open in the side of the building closest to them, emitting a dull glow and the low sound of humming still filled the air. Powerful lights could be seen on the edge of the flat roof, presumably the source of the lights that had vanished so suddenly.

How the building had got there was a mystery to them as there was no road to the clearing and nothing seemed to have disturbed the trees around the clearing for a long time. Yet the building was modern and looked new with no signs of the decay that eventually attacks manmade structures. No tracks could be seen around the warehouse and there was no sign of anyone around, no sound at all apart from the incessant humming.

‘Now I’m starting to get freaked,’ Mina whispered the words as though afraid to stir some reaction from the ominous silence.

‘Only starting?’ Sadie kept scanning left and right in the hope of seeing something that would help to make sense of the warehouse. ‘This is really starting to feel like an episode of the X-Files.’

Together they made their way cautiously out from the cover of the trees and into the clearing before the warehouse. As they covered the short distance to the sliding door, the eerie silence remained save for the humming sound from within. By the door they stopped for one final glance around the clearing before stepping inside.

With the slightest flicker, the lights suspended from the high ceiling above came to life almost as soon as they were inside the warehouse. Dazzled for a moment by the glare, Mina and Sadie covered their eyes and cursed as they were forced to stand exposed until they could see once more. At first they noticed nothing more than the concrete floor of the warehouse under their boots, but soon they were able to glance around and see the wooden crates that were stacked almost to the rafters all around them.

‘Lights must be automatic,’ Mina spoke as she craned her neck to see the towering crates and turned in a circle, ‘tripped them when we walked through the door.’

‘You don’t think that everything’s set up like that, do you?’

‘Could be.’

‘But where did everyone go?’ Sadie gazed down the avenues of crates that stretched away to their left and right, lining the outer walls of the warehouse and filling the cavernous centre. ‘Surely there needs to be someone around here for…whatever’s happening up here?’

‘That’s the real question; what’s really happening up here?’

‘There are no labels on the crates,’ Sadie pointed at the nearest stack, ‘did you notice that? And there’s nothing on the walls outside or in that we’ve seen, and that’s another weird thing. You’d think that there’d be at least a dirty calendar stuck to one of the walls or a newspaper left lying around, but there’s nothing. It’s weird. All the other drug factories that I’ve seen had stuff like that lying around, this is too clinical and clean.’

‘You think it’s a drug factory?’

‘Looks like a perfect place to run one from to me,’ Sadie pointed to the catwalks that could be seen spanning the length of the warehouse above the crates. ‘I think we should get up there and have a look at how big this place is.’ She found a ladder up to the nearest catwalk and the two of them climbed quickly onto the narrow walkway.

From that vantage point they could see that the crates ran around the entire outer wall of the warehouse, stacked almost as high as the catwalk itself. In the centre of the warehouse they had been stacked to the same height, but the rows were only one crate deep, leaving a large space in the middle of the building empty of crates.

In the space was what looked like small metal construction, a smaller building standing inside the larger one? It stood perhaps fifteen feet tall and forty feet long on a side and was made of a dark metal, bristling with tubes, cables and a multitude of other baffling components. There could be no doubt that this was the source of the low humming as the sound was far more clear above the level of the crates. The catwalk crossed directly over the top of the space that the building occupied, but where the crates stood beneath it a ladder lead down to the warehouse floor no more than a few short metres from its metal side.

Neither of the two spoke as they walked across the catwalk and made their way down the ladder towards the new mystery in the warehouse. There was no way on earth for them to tell what this was, but the fact that someone had gone to the trouble of hiding it made up their minds. If there was any place where they could find a clue as to just what was going on, it would be down there.

‘This looks like a door,’ Sadie rapped her torch on a panel in the closest side of the metal building which resembled a smooth bulkhead of some kind. ‘Now the question is, how do we open it?’ She placed a hand on the cold metal where a handle might have been located on a normal door and jumped back in surprise as there was a slight sound like the releasing of air and the panel slid aside to reveal a small chamber inside.
The chamber was no more than five feet square, well lit with walls a clinical white and a floor composed of a metal grid. The walls to the left and right were bare, but straight ahead there was another door, similar in shape to the first, but white and with a window that resembled a porthole at eye-level.

Before Mina could say a word, Sadie was inside and straining to see what was on the other side of the porthole.

‘Careful,’ she reluctantly followed her partner into the little chamber, ‘I have no idea what the hell this thing is and neither do you!’

‘Whatever they’re cooking up in this place,’ Sadie didn’t turn around as she gazed through the window, ‘this has to be where they’re making it. Secure and clean, away from the floor of the warehouse. And why else hide it away in the middle of all these crates?’

‘God alone knows,’ Mina looked warily back over her shoulder as she took another step into the chamber, ‘what on earth is through there anyway?’

‘Looks like a corridor across the length of the building. There are, I think, five more doors on the other side of this one. Must be the labs where they’re making their drugs.’

There was another sound of air being released and Mina span around just in time to see the door slide quickly closed behind them. She pressed her hand to the cold metal in an attempt to stimulate the same response that Sadie had from the other side, but to no effect. She ran her fingers around the edges of the door and pressed her weight against it before turning back to her partner with a look of exasperation on her face.

‘Shit.’

‘Don’t worry,’ Sadie cocked her head towards her radio, ‘this would be the perfect time to call for back-up.’

She clicked her radio and spoke into the mouthpiece. ‘Control?’

There was no response.

She tried again.

There was no response.

‘Looks like we have to find a way out on our own,’ she shrugged her shoulders and placed her palm on the door before her just as she had with the last.

Neither of them was surprised when there was a third release of air and the door slid open to allow them into the corridor.

‘The air smells…somehow, cleaner in here,’ Sadie shook her head.

‘Must be sealed to keep whatever they’re making pure,’ Mina peered into the nearest porthole that was set in the door in line with the one they had just come through. ‘There’s a door at the other side of the room through here, but it hasn’t got a window and there’s nothing in there at all.’

‘Nothing in these either,’ Sadie made a quick trip from on end of the corridor to the other. ‘Odd. I would have thought that this was where they were making the drugs. I was expecting all the usual paraphernalia. There’s just the same door in the far wall. So which one do we try?’

‘Perhaps we should split up,’ Mina suggested, ‘there’s no one here but us; otherwise they’d have noticed us wandering about. The quicker we get them searched, the quicker we can get out of here.’

‘Sure, why not.’

‘I’ll take this one here,’ Mina gestured to the door in front of her.

‘Suppose I’ll have a look through this one then,’ Sadie pointed to the one to Mina’s left and placed her hand against the metal as her partner did the same. The doors slid open and the two of them stepped into the small white chambers beyond.

A second later the doors slid shut again with the same jet of air.

Mina turned to look at the door as it quickly slid shut and swore under her breath in frustration. She thought about hammering on the door and shouting to Sadie, but the chances were that she was on the other side of the door to the next room and could not hear a sound she made. Instead she walked over to the other side of the room, eager to get the door open and move on. But when she pressed her hand to the metal of the far door she was surprised to discover that nothing happened.

There was a click from the corners of the room as a small vent in each opened and a clear liquid that flowed too slowly to be simple water started to gush out across the floor.

Mina cried out in alarm and backed up to the door as the liquid reached the centre of the room and started to rise rapidly. In a matter of moments it had reached to ankle-level and soon after it was lapping around the tops of her boots.

Now she cast aside her earlier reluctance and started to hammer on the door and then the walls of the room as the liquid reached her knees and then to her waist. As she waded through the liquid she was aware of the fact that it was warm and offered more resistance than water would have. Soon it had reached the point where she was forced to start treading water in order to keep her head above the water. And in no time at all she was mere inches from the white ceiling of the room and gasping for breath.

Finally Mina was forced under the surface, as the room was totally flooded. She battled against the panic that threatened to seize her until she lost her grip and was forced to cry out, releasing the air from her lungs. The liquid flooded in and Mina panicked, as her short life seemed to flash before her eyes and her limbs thrashed futilely.

She floated in what she supposed must be the brief few moments before she died, but then noticed that they had stretched on into more than moments and yet there was no end. Her eyes were open and she was floating in the liquid filled chamber, but she seemed to have somehow stopped drowning.

Mina tried to move, to swim through the water, but there was a sudden flash of light in the room, like the glare of a camera’s flash and she was stunned into immobility. She floated, sedated in both body and mind, only vaguely aware of her situation.

As she floated, another light swept through the room, this time a green light that moved over her body again and again until it had covered her from every conceivable angle.

A pair of delicate mechanical arms emerged from concealed tracks in the walls of the room. They moved along the tracks towards Mina, angling themselves on either side of her body and sent thin beams of light shooting towards her.

On their first pass they cut through the material of her jacket, her hat and then the leather of her boots, slicing them all into sections that sank to the bottom of the chamber where a hole opened and sucked them away. The second pass sliced away her trousers and then her shirt, which fell away to the same fate. A third pass removed her socks, bra and knickers’ and one more sliced away rings, her watch and the clips holding her hair up.

Mina floated naked as her thick black hair came free and surrounded her head like a dark halo.

The arms came back for a third sweep around her body, this time coming closer than ever, as close as a razor and serving the same purpose as they not only removed every hair they found below her neck, but also destroyed the root with minute precision so that the hair would never grow again. They removed the hair around her most intimate parts and then cleansed her face of any follicles that did not belong to her eyebrows or eyelashes. The latter they shaped with elegance and left in place above Mina’s eyes.

When the arms returned, or perhaps when new arms emerged, they were holding smooth discs, the colour of unfired clay, which they carried towards her breasts and abdomen. The first and the largest they slipped between her legs where it was attached to her body, laying over the top of her intimate parts and covering them as it bonded with her skin tighter than any adhesive. The second were carried higher to be attached to her breasts, cupping them and covering her nipples, bonding in the same way as the first had when it had made contact with her skin. Mina’s nipples were flattened against her breasts, but even in her semi-conscious state she could feel the stimulation as their sensitivity spread across the small discs now bound to her chest.

Next came a length of the same material with a band at either end, one larger and more complex than the other. The simpler band was wrapped around Mina’s knees, pulling them together tightly so that she could no longer move them apart. The length of the material was laid between her calves and quickly bonded them together while the complex end was slipped over her feet. It stiffened as soon as it was in place and pushed her feet together and downwards as though Mina was stood on the very tips of her toes.

Mina’s bound legs swayed as she floated, and still the arms moved through the liquid.

Now the arms returned with what looked like strangely shaped metallic moulds, four of them, which closed around different parts of Mina’s body so tightly as to leave no gap whatsoever. One enclosed the length of her bound legs from toe to waist; another wrapped around her chest and covered her breasts while the final two covered her hands like over-sized mittens. There was a rush as the liquid was expelled from within them and then a feeling of intense warmth and pressure that drifted in and out of Mina’s clouded mind.
The moulds could have been in place for hours or mere minutes, such was the state of the woman held within them. But eventually she was released from their grip and again left to float freely in the water.

Changed as she was.

Mina’s legs still swayed as she floated, but now they were concealed beneath an elegant silver tail, which covered her from waist to toe and ended in a long tailfin of aqua blue. Webbing of the same colour linked her fingers, making her hands move up and down in the liquid. A pair of shells, too small and perfectly fitted to be real, covered her breasts and completed the image of the mermaid that slowly turned in the liquid.

All the time she was left to float alone in the liquid, wrapped in a tail that was bonded to her skin wearing only her meagre shells (which were as sensitive as her buried nipples had ever been), a subliminal contact was made with Mina’s mind. It slipped into the wide open parts of her mind that the process had laid bare and filled them with images of the sea and dreams of sitting on a lonely rock, singing for the love and fulfilment that she sought from the sailors who passed her in the night. It pushed aside memories of her past and replaced them with the concerns that she must feel as a mermaid even as she was gently drawn down an opening in the floor of the chamber and away.

Mina stretched and spread her arms out as she woke form an unusually deep sleep then flexed the tips of her tailfin to chase away the last of her weariness. She sat up on the cushions that filled the inside of her giant clamshell, tucked her tail beneath her, perched her ornate hand-mirror on the edge and started to smooth her hair with the matching brush.

She was determined to make her hair do exactly what she required of it this time. When she lifted the lid of the shell and was seen by the one who would save her from a mermaid’s lonely life in the sea, everything had to be perfect. If it was, then he would be hers forever, trapped by her enchanted gaze and the well-timed flicker of her tail.

Mina was too wrapped up in herself to notice the fact that her clamshell was one of hundreds of others that filled one corner of the silent warehouse. They varied in shape, size and colour, but all looked large enough to contain a human form curled into a foetal position. All of them when examined closely showed that man rather than nature made them.

A noise in the nearest corner of the warehouse was enough to make Mina forget the combing of her hair and crane to see what was disturbing her pursuit of mermaid perfection.

This corner was filled with large wooden boxes, all exquisitely made and painted in bright colours. As with the clamshells, all were large enough to hide a human being. All of the boxes sported crank handles on one side. All of them were firmly shut.

Apart from one.

From one box there had burst Sadie, her legs bound into one limb and hidden beneath a stocking that was lined on the inside with a wire, which wrapped around her to give the impression of a spring rather than legs. She wore a red ballerina’s tutu above the stocking and her skin was as pale as porcelain, the fingers of her hands moulded together, all to give her the look of a doll. Her face had been painted to resemble one, with red lips and cheeks and her hair replaced with red wool and gathered into bunches.

She swayed forwards and backwards like the Jack-in-the-box she was sure she was, trying to regain her balance. Eventually her eyes fell on Mina and she smiled in the slightly dizzy way that the subliminal words had told her was just like a silly little thing on the end of a spring. She waved a pale hand at her friend; unable to separate the fingers as she did so, but sure that she had always been limited in that way.

Mina giggled to herself as she watched her friend sway on her spring and thought of the surprise she would give her new owner when she popped up out of that box in front of him for the first time. Sadie was a perfect Jack-in-the-box. No wait, Jill-in-the-box, that was better, prettier and it suited her far more. She was almost as good at being a Jill-in-the-box as Mina was at being a mermaid.

But then why should they not be, she thought, that was all they had ever been and all they had ever wanted to be.

They were both so looking forward to the day when they would be off into the world.

They had been cleaned, dressed and repackaged and now they were ready to be on their way.

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Filed under Body Modification, Short Story, Transformation

Jemima in the Box

The fittings and pipes in the bathroom were aging brass and covered in green verdigris, but the water flowed fast and hot over Jemima, filling the air with steam and losing the walls in a mist of moist heat. She would have liked to spend more time beneath the cascade and soak up the warmth after the chill of the late autumn evening outside, but there were things to be done and a schedule to be kept to. So she made a quick but diligent job of lathering herself with soap and shampooing her corn blond hair, but took more time and care when it came to running a razor over her body, making sure that there was no stray hair left that could be removed.

Satisfied with the feel of her legs as she ran a hand from the top of her thigh down to her ankle, Jemima turned off the water and stepped out of the shower. Arching a leg over the side of the bathtub, her petite frame almost made the act of exiting the high-sided bath onto the wooden boards of the floor like swinging over a fence. Once out she walked barefoot and naked across the bathroom, her subtle curves moving with her motion and wrapped herself in a towelling dressing gown that had been hung from the back of the door.

She moved quickly to the bedroom of the cottage and sat on the bed within reach of the small travelling bag that had been partially unpacked on the floor beside it. The hairdryer made short work of the wet hair, which when dry was pinned up severely and concealed beneath a flesh-tone swimming cap. The effect was that Jemima seemed suddenly bald and she stopped for a second to laugh at her own reflection in the mirror.

Satisfied with her work, Jemima slipped out of the dressing gown and started to unpack a collection of items from her bag. Each was placed on the bed and examined before the first was opened to reveal another almost flesh-toned garment.

This one resembled another that Jemima had worn in the past, but with a few important alterations. Opened out the garment might have been mistaken for a zentai body-stocking, and in some ways it was just that, but Jemima had specified some unusual requirements when she commissioned it.

Jemima inspected the body-stocking for a moment before sitting on the edge of the bed and slipping her feet into the lower half. As soon as her legs followed her feet into the lycra of the garment, one of the first oddities became apparent. Below the waist the stocking was more like a tube into which both of her legs were fitted tightly together, limiting her movement while showing off the shape of her hips and thighs at the same time. Starting at the bottom of the stocking, where Jemima’s feet were pinned together, a raised hem had been sewn into the lycra so that it spiralled around her legs several times as it made its way up to her waist.

She pulled the stocking over her arms, her hands filling out the mitten-like gloves at the ends, pulled the hood up over her head and zipped the thing closed in one smooth motion. Next she smoothed the stocking wherever she found a wrinkle in the fabric and then inspected the effect.

In the past she had worn a body-stocking intended to mimic the look of a plastic sex doll, but the lycra of this outfit had been made in a very different way. Subtle manipulation of the lycra had given the illusion that the person wearing it was made of a very fine, very pale fabric. The seams were made to look like neat and discreet stitching, as though the skin of the wearer had been sewn together from pieces of cream coloured material.

This time the body-stocking was intended to make Jemima look like a real doll.

But the need for her legs to be hobbled in such a fashion was still a mystery to anyone other than Jemima herself.

Next she unpacked a red dress that in public would have been almost indecent and slipped it over her head. It was strapless and barely covered her below the waist, but the cut of the garment was so simple that it had obviously been designed to fit the image of an imaginary doll that professed innocence in one breath and then took a provocative pose in just that kind of dress with the next.

Moving as best she could with her legs pinned together, Jemima made her way around the edge of the bed to the table where her makeup had been deposited and started to prepare her face. When she had dressed as a sex doll she had exaggerated everything in order to give the impression of being synthetic, but tonight she was aiming for a more subtle effect.

She applied a powder to her face chosen to match the cream of the body-stocking, an even covering that blurred the edges of the hood and blended her exposed skin into the effect of the lycra. Jemima applied circles of red to her cheeks and then to her lips before adding large fake lashes and mascara to her eyes. The final touch for her face was a pair of contact lenses that gave the illusion that the pupils of her blue eyes were subtly larger than normal and gave her the innocent, glassy stare of a doll.

Her last item was a shocking red wig that she skilfully slipped onto her head and smoothed down, arranging the bunches into which it was gathered on either side of her head. Rather than an imitation of human hair, the wig was instead made up of lengths of wool in imitation of the locks of a rag doll.

Jemima took a second to glance at herself in the mirror, cocking her head to one side and making her expression as blank as she was able.

All in all she thought she made a pretty convincing doll.

She glanced at the clock on the bedside table and then grabbed her mobile from beside it, pressing the key that would send a pre-prepared message to a certain man’s own phone. He was sitting in the local pub, down in the village by the lake at that very moment waiting for the message to arrive. It was his cue to stop his efforts to sample every ale that the establishment had on tap in one night and make his way back to the rented cottage via the winding country lanes. They had timed the walk together the previous day and if things went to plan he should walk in through the door a few minutes after Jemima was ready for him.

The hardest part would be making it downstairs with her legs pinned together, but then Jemima had some considerable experience of getting about in restricted positions and wasted no time in rising to her feet from the bed and then dropping to the floor where she dragged herself forward like a bizarre snake towards the door.

The landing was tiny and she soon reached the top of the stairs where she adjusted into a sitting position, swung her legs forward and literally bum-shuffled down each step until she reached the bottom.

From there it was only a matter of a few feet to the small sitting room that was dominated by an ornate wooden box.

Perhaps three feet by three in all its dimensions, the box was painted a bright red that matched Jemima’s dress and decorated with swirling patterns in gold on every side. The lid was hinged and a large crank handle emerged from the right hand side as she stood facing it.

This was the first time Jemima had seen the box complete and painted and she had to admit that her approaching company had some talents that he had kept well hidden from her; the box was a beautiful piece of work, something that he had invested with a great deal of time and attention to detail.

She was determined to do it justice with her performance.

Jemima hopped the last few feet to the box and bent down to open the lid. At the same time she made some practice bows and kneels, testing the strength of her body and the balance that she had been working on. What she was planning would require all the control that the months of belly-dancing lessons had taught her and more perhaps.

Once the lid was open she saw that the inside had been lined with soft, silky padding as if something precious were to be kept inside.

She made a mental note to complement him on his attention to detail at some point in the future.

Jemima put a hand on either side of the box, braced her arms and then lifted her legs inside. When her feet were firmly on the bottom of the box she turned around until they found the small arch of wood that was intended to hold them in place. Thankfully she noted that he had taken the time to make sure this was well padded too.

Preparing herself mentally, Jemima smoothed out her dress and took a series of deep breaths.

It was obvious to even the most unobservant of souls now why she had her legs pinned together by the body-stocking, why the hem line twisted round her legs like a spring and why she was standing with her feet secured in an ornate box.

Jemima had transformed herself into a human Jack-in-the-box.

Or to be more accurate: a Jill-in-the-box.

She took one last preparatory breath and folded herself up and down into the box, pulling the lid closed as she went into a tight crouch to fit into its confines.

It seemed that she had opened up parts of his mind that had never seen the light of day after the first time she had dressed as a sex doll for him, bringing to life one of his most guilty sexual fantasies. Since then he had shared more of his innermost thoughts and feelings with her than ever, more often than not catching her totally by surprise with the volume, complexity and sheer weirdness of the wonderful ideas he came up with for the bedroom (or anywhere else for that matter).

In a way it seemed obvious that exploring a man’s sexual desires was a way to understand him, but Jemima was sure that there was more to it than simple fulfilment of physical desire. The creative element that their sex life had taken on had touched them both on a very deep level, brought them far closer than they had ever been in the past.

This was the next step, she thought, the first time they had actually sat down and worked on their fantasies together.

It was collaboration and if all went well it would be the first of many for them.

The odd thing was that the idea had come from a film that they both hated with a passion, begun around the festive season when TV became the usual mire of repeated shows and sentimental tales that were aired every year. After the channel had been changed with much venom on that awful film with the flying car, they both found themselves thinking about the scenes in which the characters disguised themselves as toys in order to escape the attention of the nefarious villain and things had simply built from there.
Even inside the box, Jemima managed to hear the sound of the door.

Standing in the doorway, he found it far harder than he had expected to keep himself from simply lifting the lid of the box right there and then. But instead he tried to keep his curiosity in check and reached for the handle on the side of the box as he had been told to.

He was overcome with curiosity because despite the fact they had both worked on this little project together, Jemima had been strict in keeping the elements of her costume a complete secret from him. He was vaguely aware of the restrictions and sure she would not be wearing something that involved skirts and petticoats, but apart from that he was in the dark.

He had allowed himself a small mental fantasy in which Jemima had chosen the headdress of a typical jester, complete with bells and nothing else and he filed that one away for later use.

Turning the handle he was surprised to hear the sound of a simple, mechanical tune begin to play from nowhere. It was just the kind of sound one would expect from the cranking of a Jack-in-the-box, somehow cued to start playing on the stereo as soon as the handle was turned.

Clever girl, he thought.

Once the handle had been turned perhaps three times, there was a slight creak as the lid of the box began to open.

He stepped back to give her space and she began her performance.

Jemima emerged from the confines of the box and unfolded herself as she stood, not slowly but at the same time not overly fast either. She made sure that her legs unfolded together and in almost perfect unison so that her lower body seemed to be one limb, unfolding on a spring. She kept her head tucked into her chest as she rose and spread out her arms, only raising it as she was fully erect and standing in the box before him.

Once on her feet, she swayed back, then forward and side to side, using the strength of her thighs and stomach to give the impression that the momentum of her spring was all the time causing the movement.

When the motion slowed, Jemima finally looked him in the eye, making sure that her woollen bunches twitched as she seemed to take in the sight of him for the first time. She gave him an innocent smile, leaned forward with her arms out to either side and then beckoned him forward with one mitten hand.

He stepped forwards and took it gently in his own and felt his heartbeat quicken as she reached up and stroked the side of his face with the other hand, then pulled him in for a lingering kiss on her red-painted lips.

While they kissed, Jemima slipped open the front of his trousers, undid his belt and then felt him come to her aid and complete the task as he pulled away and removed the rest of his clothes while she explored his body with both mitten hands.

All the time she maintained an expression of impish innocence that barely disguised her true intentions and desires.

Now devoid of his clothes, he slipped around behind her and actually stepped into the box in order to be as close as possible. She pressed herself backwards into him and giggled, then bent at the knees and eased her buttocks forward just enough to allow him to slip beneath the short hem of the dress and make fleeting contact with the only other part of her body after her face that was not covered by her costume.

It was a matter of mere seconds before he entered her now that he had found the spot where he stocking had been left open for that very purpose and he pulled her slowly back as though every second was precious.

As he felt the warm latex of the stocking over her buttocks make contact with his own naked skin, he looked up for the first time and saw their reflection in the mirror on the opposite wall. It had been put there to add the illusion of depth to the room, but now it was clear that Jemima had placed the box so that it would allow them to watch themselves.

He was almost stunned for a moment as he took in the sight of Jemima before him. Her face with the pale skin and dolls eyes above red-painted cheeks, the curves of her body made to look like the limbs of a plaything and her curving legs emerging from an ornate box beneath her.

Jemima reached up with a mitten hand and pulled his head close enough to hear her as she whispered.

“We toys don’t come popping out of our boxes for just anybody; we need to be played with.”

With that he started to move again inside her as she moved in sympathy as well.

Unlike the explosion that had been unleashed when she dressed as a love doll, this was both more prolonged and more intense as he seemed to make the effort to savour every second. But when it came his climax was every bit as powerful and moving as that first time had been.

He fell backwards into one of the armchairs and Jemima unhooked her feet from the box and allowed herself to fall across him, making sure that she collapsed in a manner that suggested her spring had finally given out and she was as floppy as a rag doll.

It seemed appropriate to her as that was exactly how she felt at that moment in time.

Thinking outside the box is all well and good, she thought, but sometimes being inside it can be fun.

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Filed under Erotic, Jemima, Roleplay, Short Story

Where to start?

Well, I’ve been posting stuff on various internet sites for a number of years now and never really thought about a central point online where I could concentrate and post all of my stuff before. In the past there has always been the problem that I write on a number of differing subjects at any one time and a story that suits one site may be way out of the comfort zone of another. My page over at Deviantart solved some of those issues by allowing me to post those different titles in the same place, but the idea of being able to reach a wider audience still appealed to me. Hopefully this blog will allow me to do just that and provide a one stop location where I can post and share work as I complete it.

I plan to start things off here by reposting the stories that I have completed over the past few years. These may not be new and some people may (I hope) have read them in the past, but I feel that having them here allows me to refer back to them more eaisly and therefore introduce new stories in a more seemless manner.

Now all I need is for someone to actually want to read this thing.

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Filed under Ramblings...