On Assignment - 1

by Dmuk

- Interlude -

She had spent most of that morning between the orgasms contemplating her manicure, and how conspicuous the chipped nail polish on her pointing index finger looked in the bright light of the day.  Questioning how she could have been so careless, she did not notice the gossamer spiderweb until the sun peeked from behind a building and bathed the display window in brilliance.  The single strand swooped from the corner of the frame to the curled pinky finger on her left hand, a catenary of silk that the industrious arachnid was attempting to extend and triangulate back to the vertical aluminum channel once more.  Although there was little breeze, enough existed to float the spider riding the strand like a bungee jumper onward toward its goal.  Alas, there was a lull in the wind, and the strand fell to the floor.  Undaunted, the spider began climbing back up the silk thread to attempt the crossing yet again. Distracted from the waves of pleasure coursing over her, she watched raptly, knowing that completing the web would take most of the afternoon and into the night.  This was of no concern to her, for there was all the time in the world for such things.  There would be other days, filled with luxurious everlasting bliss, to occupy her consciousness.  It was as close to heaven as she might have imagined.  Outwardly patient and unruffled, some might have said impassive, she reflected upon the endless future within her motionless body.  Deep in the recesses of her memory, almost masked entirely by the torrent of endorphins flooding her mind, she recalled an image once seen on the telly.

- Interlude -

"Mimsy Carruthers here, reporting on a trend in the fast-paced market for boutique drugs that's sweeping the country and has parents and educators alike up in arms over the implications." The trim, 30-ish, newswoman sat at a paper-strewn glass-topped desk in front of a digital-green screen that her monitor showed containing a graphic reading 'A Nation of ZOMBIES?'.  The woman gazed into the TV camera, looking very pretty and very concerned at the same time. It was a calculated expression she had been working on perfecting. "More on this disturbing development after these short messages…"

"We're Out - ninety seconds back!" The floor supervisor announced as the red light went out.  The reporter let the look of seriousness fade from her beautiful features and slipped a pair of wire-framed glasses on so she could read the copy better.  Scanning the 'graphs quickly, she reviewed her story and chuckled. This might do it, she thought, win me that big P!  A makeup girl rushed up, unbidden, and started to touch up the woman's lip gloss and smooth her already impeccably coiffed hair.  Glancing down the woman' low-cut blouse, the makeup artist wondered briefly if she should dust those boobs so they wouldn't look so much like two tan grapefruits in the overhead studio lighting.  Secretly, she was a little jealous of what a salary far greater than her own could afford.  Finishing up with a little blusher on the woman's cheekbones, she made a cattly little remark about 'having a great cream to take away those crows-feet' that earned her a venomous look from Mimsy just as the floor guy proclaimed.  "Up in thirty, everyone clear set!"  As the time wound down, he counted out the remaining seconds with hand gestures, then pointed at the reporter just as the red light blinked on again.

"We're back," Mimsy intoned, serious look on her face once more. "What has gotten everyone concerned is the spreading use of a new designer drug, apparently highly addictive, which has the effect of rendering the user incapable of normal activities.  In fact they become motionless and rigid, a condition that has given rise to the street name of the concoction:  Mannequin."

The graphic switched to a still picture from a dance club of several teens and twenty-somethings, some looking rather stiff in a grouping, while others watched them.  The title became a bright red overlaid 'Mannequin Peril'.  Damn!  I left my glasses on… she fumed while looking concerned.

Mimsy continued.  "First surfacing early this year in the eastern ivy league colleges, use of the drug has skyrocketed nationwide in the past few months, reaching almost epidemic proportions.  Officials are worried that it will turn into a campus fad and rise in popularity even more. School attendance at both the secondary and college levels has already been affected; there have also been several traffic and personal accidents attributable to mannequin use, though to date there have been no fatalities."

"While induced catatonia is the obvious primary effect, users report a variety of emotional and physical changes as well."  Looking off-camera, she cued the tape insert, recorded a few days earlier.  No matter how many times she'd seen this segment before during editing, the images were enough to stir interesting memories.

Handheld, the footage had been shot in a singles club.  Loud, pulsing rock music thumped in the background.  Facing the lens were four young people, including a thin, pretty, red-haired girl in a short sequined dress who stared directly at the camera and did not move at all; her hands were posed out in front of her like, well, like a mannequin's.  On location the recorded Mimsy smiled at the camera, twisting slightly to flash her cleavage, and asked one of the boys who was not ogling her figure "What is it anyway, about this drug Mannequin that makes you risk taking it?  Seems as if you could simply stand by the side of the room on your own and have the same kind of experience."  She poked the microphone at him and raised an eyebrow; he took the cue at last.

"Well, uh, ya see.  It kind of puts you outta there, know what I mean?  You can stay absolutely still and just… watch… whatever's going down.  No cares, man.  Uh, ma'am."  He paused, and the reporter nodded at him to go on. "Like, uh, Leslie here," he indicated the stiffly posed girl.  "Normally, she'd be havin guys hanging all over her; chatting her up, askin' for her numbers.  She's got no time to herself, to just be real, Ya Know?  So, she takes a shot and stiffs up.  Now she can be cool and watch the scene for a while, an folks can check her out too.  She's OK with hanging out in the Vogue. If anyone wants to leave a number, they can just stick it in her bag…"

"And that's it?"  Mimsy prodded.

"Yeah; mostly.  I mean, there are all these funky things that happen to time when you take it, kinda like really fine weed, and you end up feeling really good afterward."  The young man blushed enough for it to show on camera.  "Really good, if you know what I mean!"

"Thank you, Mister…?"

"Tom; er, ah… Toby.  Yeah. Toby Greer…"  He flashed a weak grin at the lens.

Mimsy turned to face the rigidly frozen redhead and the dark-haired girl standing next to her, fidgeting nervously.  "This is your friend, Leslie, that's right?"  Mimsy began, receiving a quick nod from the nervous brunette.  "How long has she been standing immobilized like this?"

"Since about fifteen minutes ago.  Stiffed herself up right before you arrived; funny about that.  You know, mannequin takes hold almost immediately.  We all helped move her over to the Vogue Pit — the display area here — about the time you were setting up."

"Then, how long will the effects last?"  The camera was close-up on the motionless girl's empty stare.

"Depends on how much you take.  Some people pop pills, Lessie drops powder; says it gives her more control.  If it's like usual, she'll be back normal in about another half-hour or so."

"I see.  And, what — if I may ask — is she feeling right now?  She's certainly not able to react to things around her."  Mimsy took the opportunity to wave her hand in front of the girl's eyes; there was no change in those unblinking orbs.

"Mostly, you're completely stiff, so since you can't move, but you feel what's happening around you.  The breezes in the air; the sensation of your clothes on your body.  Even the vibrations from the music. Whenever anyone touches you.  Sometimes when I'm immobile, my senses become really acute and then I sort of get turned on by it."

"So, you've used it, yourself?"

"Sure.  There's nothing bad about mannequin; I've read the reports on the net.  Talked to a lot of my friends, too. That's why it's so cool.  No side effects. It's fun. Look; I'll show you!"  As she finished speaking, the brunette thumbed a small purple capsule into her mouth and took a quick sip of her drink.  Moving over toward Leslie, she grasped the other girl's waist and posed herself quickly before stiffening into place.  Within seconds she, too, was a frozen statue.

Mimsy didn't quite know how to react, so she used 'standard closing one'; turn to the camera, smile nicely, show your chest, and say nothing.  Cut.

Live Mimsy in the studio turned back to the camera to pick up the narrative.  By now, her glasses were gone.  "As you can see, the young people we interviewed seemed quite taken by this new designer drug, a allomorph of N-2-4-9-lysergic-diethanalate according to the chemical analyses.  Up until a few years ago, it would have been impossible to synthesize before the introduction of artificial enzymes and computer-monitored processes.  However, today this compound has become cheaply and readily available; some might say even plentiful despite there being no FDA approval for its use by humans. This status has caused concern among the government officials we have talked to…"

Cut to an inset on the greenscreen of a white-haired, expensively-suited man who spoke a great many words while managing to say only that he was greatly concerned about the risk to the young people of this great land.  At least he didn't say 'taxpayers' Mimsy thought, that's what he's really worried about; losing votes if too many of his constituents are stiffed up on election day…

The camera focused back on Mimsy, who was shuffling the papers on the desk, then looked up.  "As part of an effort to gain additional insight into what is yet an uncontrolled substance, I agreed to take part myself in an experiment to better understand the effects of this mysterious drug, mannequin. We'll have the results of that investigation when we return…"  Smile; look concerned, hold it…

"Clear.  One-twenty back!"

Relaxing, taking a slight stretch, Mimsy did not see her producer, Matthue Longfellow, approach until he sat on the edge of the desk and it creaked slightly.  "Hiya, Mim," he began, but there was an undertone to his jocular approach.  "Going great tonite, I see."  He put his hand to his earpiece for a moment.  "Just got a ratings spike on the end of your teaser.  Seems like lots of people want to see how you look as a still life."  He could understand that; one of those folks was himself.  Even thought he had already seen what was on the tape, it aroused him for some reason to think about her, immobilized.  That face, and that body! he daydreamed.  But first, the bad news…

Mimsy brightened at hearing the demographics feedback; she had hoped this investigative piece could be a career boost.  "Then you'll put me on as the weekend news anchor?  You said you were thinking about it…"

Matt stood up.  "Yes.  I have been thinking about it."  Get it out, already.  "The head office has decided to take a, say, different direction for that position.  We're bringing in some fresh talent, an — outstanding — young lady from our San Diego affiliate..."  Yes, outstanding she surely is, in more ways than one…

Her face at first sagged visibly, then she recovered as Mimsy realized how obvious that reaction must look to the boss.  "So, I'll continue doing my investigative reports in the meantime?"

"Not exactly, Mim.  Except for this one, the numbers haven't been that good on these things.  We'd like to see how you do in-house, covering the meteorological beat, so to speak…"

She understood his ploy immediately. Her eyes seemed to shoot fire.  "Let me get this straight — you want me to be your fucking WEATHER GIRL?  I can't believe this…"

"Just think it over later, after you've had some time to let it settle.  We really like you here at the station and would hate to see you go somewhere else."  Matt looked embarrassed saying the last. She does have the figure for it, he thought appreciatively as he backed away.  And those legs!

"Thirty seconds back!"  The floor director interrupted.

Mimsy composed herself, looked at her notes once more, and steeled herself while all the while wanting to break down in tears.  The countdown ended and the finger once more pointed at her.

Brave smile.  "As part of our in-depth investigation into the popularity and use of the drug called mannequin, I volunteered to experience this substance firsthand as a subject in order to objectively judge its effects.  With the cooperation of a performance artist at the college, I chose to take a small quantity yesterday under controlled conditions."  She looked off at the monitor again, as her memories drifted back to that unusual, but most pleasurable, event.

Roll tape.  The scene showed Mimsy arriving at a building on campus, and her meeting with a middle-aged man with salt-and-pepper hair who opened the door with a wide smile as the camera looked over her shoulder. "Professor Stuart Waltham has been something of a champion for the use of this drug; he has amassed considerable experience in its effects as well as its potential hazards..." 

The camera followed the two of them as they walked into his studio-office, which was on the second floor.  It was busy and cluttered, with books, drawings, and easels scattered everywhere. The first thing noticeable is that they were not alone.  Around the room were several extremely lifelike 'artworks' which it soon became obvious were students who had been 'mannequin'-ized. 

There was a young blonde girl, clad in only a gold bra-and-panty set, half-laying, half-sitting on the shelflike heating unit below the large bay window, posed in a contemplative stance that displayed her curvaceous figure and shapely drawn-up legs nicely.  Her eyes looked down, gazing towards her feet.  She looked peaceful in that static position; Mimsy wondered what the people passing by outside thought of her cheesecake display.  Another frozen girl sat on a chair next to the desk, half turned as if speaking with whoever had been sitting there when she ceased all movement.  This one was also dressed provocatively, with a fuscia-leopard-print half-top that left her midriff bare and black short-shorts which emphasized her long smooth tanned legs.

The footage showed Mimsy and Waltham examining these frozen girls and a couple of the others closely.  The professor then illustrated how pliable the artificial statues were by lifting the arms of the sitting girl and placing them in different positions. Mimsy's voice-over continued. "These subjects are on long-term assignment, as the professor put it, and have not been disturbed for several weeks.  The girl in the window, in fact, is in the middle of 'performing' her class project by becoming her own sculpture." 

The scene cut for a moment, then resumed at a different place in the studio.  A rear view of the sitting 'mannequin' could be seen in the background.  Mimsy and the man stood next to a low pedestal that rose at most six inches off the floor.  She had dressed more casually than normal for when she was on camera; this day she had chosen a light sleeveless summer frock with a v-cut bodice and a short skirt.  Suntan-colored pantyhose flattered her legs, as did the slightly higher than usual heels that she wore.  Mimsy knew how to draw attention to herself when necessary.

"Professor Waltham explained to me what kind of dosage was needed for a short suspension time, and has assured me that I would feel no ill effects.  As well as being an evangelist for the drug, he is also a frequent user himself.  My first experience was chosen to last at most an hour, so he measured out the correct amount of the mannequin, and mixed it into a drink for me."  Close up of Mimsy taking a long sip of what looked like champagne from a fluted glass, then a longer shot of her stepping up onto the platform with a giggle, and proposing a toast.  Whether by plan or chance, the drug rapidly took effect; she froze into her position within a few seconds, glass still upraised.  "I soon found out how quickly mannequin works when combined with a little alcohol.  At this point I was very surprised, unable to move a muscle, and slightly disoriented.  I recall wondering if I'd fall over, but my balance was OK. Probably because of the professor being there, at no time was I frightened or under any discomfort…"

The tape then showed Waltham coming up to Mimsy, taking the glass from her hand, and then posing her arms more downward in front of her torso.  Wherever he left her arms, they stayed.  Bending her at the waist slightly, he changed her position while the cameraman circled her motionless figure.  "On the contrary, I was almost euphoric..." 

What the camera did not show was how his hand slipped down to caress her pubic mound, which sent an almost electric tingle throughout her body.  Totally unexpected, it brought her back in time to her very first orgasm; how very alive she felt.  For a moment, she had even seen stars! Recalling the erotic sensation his touch had created and the way it seemed to linger within her rigid figure for an incredibly long time, she knew that 'euphoric' was a pale euphemism for her intense sexual experience.  Oh, Yes, pose me some more!  was her only lucid thought at the time. 

The view switched to a long shot of her posed there in place as everyday academic life continued around her.  Professor Waltham sorted through his papers, people came and went.  She remained a mannequin figure.  Mimsy's recorded voice-over continued. "Once the novelty of being frozen stiff had worn off the rest of my suspension was somewhat boring."  Fucking liar!  she rebutted herself, recalling the near orgasm she had experienced when a student opened the door and the gust of air riffled her loose skirt against her silky legs.  OOOoohhhh!  Now I know why 'goldie' is stretched out there in front of the window..  Oh, Yeah.. MMmmm.

There was a nice inset shot of superimposed clock hands showing the minutes passing, then a close-up of Mimsy's face as she woke up; first with a blink of her eyes, then an involuntary smile, followed by a luxuriant yawn.  "As I mentioned, there were no lingering after effects." Mimsy's voice in the studio supplied, while she mused Other than wanting to do it again, that is!   Noticing that her free hand had strayed under the studio desk, she realized she was stroking herself absent-mindedly.  I hope nobody sees that…

The inset ended and, slightly flushed, she turned to face the camera for the final summing up.

"With use of this unproven drug on the rise, there are the inevitable social implications and tie-ins.  For instance, this reporter has learned that one of the boutiques at the mall now uses only mannequin-ized people in their displays instead of plastic mannequins. Their sales have since increased almost one hundred percent.  Night clubs and some theaters are setting aside special sections where people can pose themselves, and the inevitable webcam sites have sprung up."

Quick montage on the greenscreen of several pages, including one titled 'Professor Potter's Pulchritudinous Plastic People.'  "There are also reports of students and young adults dosing themselves through boring lectures or on long airplane flights.  While this appears on the surface to be harmless fun, there is also an emerging dark side to use of this substance. There have been incidents of muggings and sexual misconduct where criminals took advantage of the victims' helpless frozen state. Some adverse side effects have also been noted in habitual users, including gradual loss of short-term concentration and weight loss.  The results of rumored government testing, some of it classified, have not been disclosed to this reporter although an unconfirmed claim exists that the military is using Mannequin, or a variant, to 'stockpile' soldiers for rapid deployment.  As with any new technology, the full implications of this drug are not yet fully understood.  Any persons considering its use are encouraged to proceed with all due caution. This is Mimsy Carruthers, reporting for the eleven o'clock news."  At least for now I am…


- Interlude -

She was aware, abstractly, that time had slipped a beat. The spiderweb was suddenly complete, as if in the blink of an eye, impossible as that seemed.  A gossamer net, appearing as spun gold in the warm light of late afternoon, it had already trapped its first victim.  Toward one edge of the circular web, a fly or some other insect struggled with the sticky strands, causing the whole contrivance to jiggle imperceptibly where it anchored to her motionless finger.  She sensed the vibration as an erotic tickle, as if someone was lightly brushing her nipples with a downy feather. The growing arousal may have been what had brought her thoughts back from their wanderings; as the time passed the sensations continued to amplify instead of to fade. She knew that another unstoppable climax would take her ultimately; the sexual energy accumulating within her as if she had become some kind of erotic storage battery.  The ticking feeling seemed to delightfully shift from her breasts to deep within her sex, where the ghostly make-believe feather stimulated her in ways she could not have imagined. Wondering at once where the spider had gone off to and wishing it would return quickly, she savored the blissful sensations that echoed endlessly within her motionless body.

- Interlude -

"The Professor sent me..." Mimsy said to the intercom questioner, feeling like a client at some 30's speakeasy, giving the secret passphrase to a hidden doorman.  This is all part of the story, she told herself, but some part of her conscience knew that was a weak lie.  There was another reason for this visit, too, a deeper longing that she wasn't ready to admit to.

The 'clack' of a electric latch startled her from a pleasant daydream along with a scratchy voice issuing from a rusty intercom.  "OK; come on up.  Third floor, knock three times on the door."  The speaker was also a woman, an older one, with a rasp in her voice from heavy smoking.  As she ascended the flights of stairs, Mimsy could almost picture the woman in her imagination: White-haired, petite, plump, grandmotherly.  Not someone you would ever peg as a drug dealer.  Reaching the top floor, the reporter felt a little out of breath and paused for a moment to settle down and compose herself.  It's all part of my story, she reminded herself. Then why do I feel so much like a kid poaching apples?  Knock.  Knock.  Knock.

At least four sets of latches had to be released before the ancient metal-clad sliding door moved aside, revealing a brightly-lit loft apartment / studio and the vivacious person who had answered the call.  So much for my instincts, Mimsy sighed.  The woman was middle aged, and did have a cigarette in one hand, but there the stereotype stopped. She was tall, lean, fit for her age and her carrot-colored hair was drawn back in a ponytail. Clad in  brightly colored workout clothes, she could have appeared on TV herself in some exercise video.  Maybe she has; looks familiar…

"You must be that girl from the news that Stu told me about; come on in.  It's cold out there!"  Motioning Mimsy in, she slid the heavy door closed once more and threw a couple of the locks.  Inside, it was a lot warmer than usual for such a large space.  "You here to see the collection or to make a purchase?"  She spoke in a friendly tone, but with an undercurrent of urgency, as if there was something else more important that needed to be done as she guided the reporter towards a countertop almost filled with brown plastic bottles.  Pill bottles, they looked like.

"Uh, both, I think," Mimsy replied, "however when Professor Waltham referred me to you, he didn't say anything about your collection.  That's better; get her talking, she was thinking.

"That's probably because he doesn't approve of my little enterprise. He's still up in that ivory academic tower of his.  Of all people, he should know that art can take many forms! Especially as — personal —  an art form such  as this…"

"Indeed.  And you're?…"  Mimsy encouraged, without really knowing what the woman was talking about, but having a suspicion that made her heart leap.

"Merely exploring the full effects of a new technology in the context of a classic presentation, as the professor might say." She pointed to a scattering of lilac-colored tablets on the countertop.  "You visited Waltham, so you know what this stuff can do; probably even experienced it yourself…"  Mimsy nodded, too eagerly, and the woman continued "…but you've only scratched the thinnest outer layer of a phenomenon that's going to change the world."

"What do you mean?"

The woman picked up one of the pills and handed it to Mimsy.  "When you swallow that, what will happen?" 

Mimsy held the purple ovoid, looking at it gleaming in the light.  "It will cause me to become cataleptic, frozen in place, for a period of time; at the same point it enhances my senses of touch and hearing."  And sexual desire, too?  She mused.  It certainly felt that way for me…

"Wrong! Or, at least, that's only the physical effects, which have barely been explored.  Kids are stiffing themselves at parties and raves, big whoop.  That's just mostly larking about; they don't understand either. When people realize they can stop time and halt aging with the aid of the drug, you'll have more drop-outs then anyone could have imagined.  A fountain of youth?  Sort of! However, that's not my point either. Think about it more existentially and consider; you are now able to become a work of art, not just imitate one.  That's what I'm striving for.  Behold!"

Around the corner from the counter, the loft opened up from the cozy wood-paneled apartment rooms into a large open space.  The walls remained original weathered brick and the floor was well-worn parquet planking.  Scattered around the floor were many rectangular pedestals and blocks of mottled shades of gray, looking like hewn granite.  Brilliant track lighting shone down from above, highlighting the occupants of the gallery.  A series of motionless figures stood, lay, perched, and balanced on the display platforms, posed as classical Greek statues or in meticulous figure-study stances.  Both sexes were represented, though the majority of the sculptures were female.  There was the occasional pair grouping as well, and larger clusters of figures formed set-piece scenes along the far wall, near the high windows.  Most of the frozen models were displayed nude, although a few had also been draped strategically with swaths of light colored fabric for effect or modesty.  Very few wore modern dress, the majority of that was lingerie.

"Oh, My!" Mimsy gasped, her journalistic detachment broken.  "They're absolutely incredible."

"Thank you.  This is what I meant about a proper use for this Mannequin drug.  I've recreated the 'Tableaux Vivant' for the modern age.   Living pictures, the beauty of the human form in repose."

"Can I look more closely?" 

The woman nodded and pointed the way with her hand.  "Mind the 'bot-cams; they can't see you, but you don't want to trip over 'em, either."  Several small motorized three-wheeled carts, each with a eyeball-shaped camera mounted on an articulated boom, roved slowly around the room like bored patrons.  Every now and then one would pause in front of one of the displays for a minute, pan the camera lens around the motionless tableaux,  then move onward.

Approaching one of the groupings, Mimsy saw two women that were younger than she; possibly more students.  They gazed blankly into each other's eyes while their still hands were caught in mid-exploration. One woman's hand was on the other's breast while the second one's hand, in turn, was frozen while stroking the first woman's upper inner thigh. Both seemed very aroused by their static encounter. Clearly this display had not been patterned after any classical pose, but created spontaneously by the artists as they stiffened into position.  Nevertheless, it was one of the more popular of the dioramas, judging from the number of 'cams clustered around the two.  Looking closely, Mimsy could see a light — almost unnoticeable — coating of dust covering the exposed shoulders of the unmoving models.  They must have been here for some time…

"How long…?"  Mimsy ventured.

"All different.  Some, like these two, have been here almost a month. My lovely Persephone over there just joined us yesterday."  The woman pointed out a willowy dark-haired girl draped in a linen sheet, holding an earthenware vase on her arm. That figure bent her head down modestly and her eyes were closed.  "As you probably know, the effects of the drug can be stretched out by taking a larger than normal dose.  Each pill by itself is good for a little less than an hour, but take them together and they get a lot more potent.  Only four of them and you'll be frozen solid for almost a day."

"And these two took how many?"

"The equivalent of maybe twelve, but for these longer displays, I use a measured amount of liquid Mannequin and they either drink it or have it injected.  Takes effect more quickly too."

Mimsy remembered her experience at the Professor's studio.  How her own skin had become so sensitive, that the slightest touch brought so much pleasure.  Looking at the two entwined young women, posed rigidly for weeks, she knew a little of what they must be feeling, how the slightest movement of air became a lasting caress.  Bending close to the nearer of the pair, Mimsy took a deep breath and blew the dust away into a sparking cloud that settled slowly to the floor.  A little bit of joy for you both, she thought.  Glancing at the older woman, they shared a knowing smile.

Taking her time, Mimsy strolled through the gallery and its complement of living artwork.  By far the most interesting were the large groupings of up to a dozen people frozen while enacting a scene from classical mythology or theater.  Here was Queen Cleopatra on her throne, surrounded by suitors, sycophants, and slaves.  There a gathering of Muses were paused in mid-caper, every curve and detail of their inspiringly naked bodies held ever so still. The three graces supported each other in statuesque chastity while Diana the Huntress arched her bow at an invisible target. Mimsy wanted to reach out and touch them, but knew the gallery's creator would not approve.

All the while a growing desire was making itself apparent by a slight flush on her tan skin and a warm moistness between her legs.  She looked at each of the stiff figures and imagined herself in their place, held absolutely rock solid motionless, on long term display for the whole world-wide-net (presumably) to see.

"Y-yes, I think I'd like to make that purchase now…"

"Very well." The woman named a price that was high, but not outrageous, and accepted Mimsy's cash in exchange for one bottle of little purple pills.  They agreed to meet again, and the woman flattered Mimsy by saying that she could join her gallery at any time in the future, which produced such a look of longing in the reporter that the woman knew she had a new steady client.

They parted at the door; Mimsy to make her way homeward, the woman — after securing the full set of locks and alarms — to strip off her skintight garments, step onto an unoccupied platform, and take a quick sip from a paper cone-cup filled with a quantity of purplish fluid.  She barely had time to wad up and toss the cup away and get into her chosen pose before the welcome tingle locked her body in position.  Already she could see a 'bot-cam moving towards her display and she felt very happy, although the pleasurable glow had not yet begun.  Like that guy on TV who once sold razors, she wasn't just a dealer; she was her own best customer too.


Mimsy swirled the wine around in her glass, savoring the rich aroma of the Zin she had picked to unwind with.  The view from her high-rise apartment was spectacular, taking in most of the southern downtown and riverfront, but she hadn't hardly given a glance to the city lights far below.  Her attention instead was focused on a small brown bottle resting on her glass topped coffee table.  Why did I buy this stuff? She scolded herself, I mean it's not like I don't have a good life or anything. I'm not a kid anymore; don't need to experiment around like back in school. Yet her feelings gave her the answer without being asked, in the form of a greedy stirring in her sexual nexus that the memories of her first experience had triggered.  At the same time, her rational self kept repeating, I don't need to do this! I've got nothing to prove…  Mimsy took another sip, then opened the bottle of Mannequin, stripping the plastic-sealed protector away and shaking a number of the little purple tablets out into her hand. They looked so innocent, a bunch of candy beans, yet she knew they held latent power as well as promise. Swallow those, and you'll be in blissful oblivion for the better part of a week, or maybe even longer, she mused, remembering once more the feelings she had had while rigidly posed that one afternoon in the professor's studio.  Is that such a awful thing to wish for, really?  Logic and desire waged a silent battle as Mimsy drained her glass, then turned and walked towards her bedroom.  The lavender tablets remained on the table, untouched.  For now.


The next day at the studio proved to be truly a poisonous one for Mimsy, as she encountered not only her new 'associate' but also her revised, demeaning, work duties.  As if mocking her, the weather had turned blustery during the night and was currently spitting rain from roiling slate-gray clouds.  She had been awakened earlier than expected by the doorman, too, with a message that there was a package waiting for her at the desk; why they couldn't have told her that last night she had no idea.  Nursing a nagging migraine of a hangover, she pulled on a sweatshirt and jeans to fetch the parcel; her building wasn't fancy enough to deliver.  Old widow Grobner was in the elevator, along with her 'darlings' in tow; the yapping of the multiple miniature schnauzers only made Mimsy's headache worse during the seemingly endless ride down.  The parcel turned out to be from the station, an oblong box with a curt note from the wardrobe lady that 'personal accessorizing' was discouraged.  It turned out to be her new uniform for her on-camera position; something Mimsy had never asked for, nor needed, before.  Up until now, she had chosen her own clothes and thought she'd done a pretty good job of it; selecting crisp business skirts and the occasional pantsuit that flattered her figure.

Now she felt like some kind of cocktail waitress as she squeezed into the tight-fitting tunic with the channel logo prominent on her left breast.  Along with the dark pantyhose and wide-heeled pumps that had also been in the box, this outfit — costume! — had been clearly intended to emphasize her body, which Mimsy took as a direct affront to her intellect and professionalism.

Waiting downstairs for a cab (she normally strolled the few blocks to the studio) and trying to ignore the leers and wolf-whistles from the sidewalk, she told herself that this too would pass and the worst of this humiliation was over.  In that regard, she was wrong.

Matt, her producer, had given her the same smirk when he spied her short-skirted getup as all the other men had, then took Mimsy by the elbow and guided her along while she fumed  Does he think wearing a skimpy outfit means I've lost my brains, too? They reached the anchor desk, where a young blonde-headed lass in an expensive Prada suit was sitting, puffing nervously on a long cigarette and gazing into the TelePrompTer.  Mimsy could see the girl's lips move as she read through the scrolling copy.

"Mimsy, I'd like to introduce you to Tanjy Aseago, from our west coast affiliate.  Tanjy, Mimsy Carruthers"  Matt was almost drooling over the new babe, and for good reason.  She was tall, and tan, and lithely muscled like a pro volleyball player.  Her oval face brightened into a dazzling wide smile that made her violet-blue eyes sparkle.

"THE Mimsy Carruthers?" She giggled, with so much ardent enthusiasm that at first Mimsy had thought she was making fun of her. "I'm a huge HUGE fan of yours, especially those deep thinky spots you do."

"Why, thank you, Miss Aseago," Mimsy said, blushing a little.  Thinky spots?

"Oh, call me Tanjy — that's pronounced tan-gee, like, you know.  I've watched you on TV since I was in high school and it's so great to be actually meeting you and working at the same place with you.  Ooh, this is SO cool!"  She actually hopped up and down a little bit.

Since high school, eh; that was maybe like last year, you know? Mimsy thought venomously as she gave Tanjy her best plastic smile, reserved for people she couldn't stand to be around.  "I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to talk," she replied, while thinking Get me away from this idiot!

Matt picked up on the building tension and gingerly guided Mimsy away before the reporter exploded in his new anchor's face.  A scene like that would be devastating for Tanjy (who he already thought of as 'tang-ee') on her first day.  The girl seemed to have enough of the jitters on her own without having her idol attacking her.  "Just cool down, Mim.  She's just a kid who's getting her first big break.  Do the weather, put in your time, and keep your temper in check. Sometimes you have to be the adult…"

"Right.  Fat lot of good that's done me so far.  Wouldn't want to muss up Miss Double-D there.  Tell me, did she have to sleep with you to get this job, or was that simply an added extra?"

He reddened, looking for a few seconds like he was going to lose it, then took a deep breath. "Shouldn't you be getting briefed by Bob?  Your first spot is up in less than an hour; I know how you like to be prepared."

"All right." Mimsy grumbled. "But we're not through talking about this!" she said to his backside.  The lights had come up on the anchor desk and the red light was on; taping a promo.  The floor manager signaled Tanjy, who was looking levelly in to the camera.

"Hi!" she breathed, smiling invitingly into the lens, "I'm Tan-gee Aseago — join me and the revamped WSFR news team at five, six, and ten.  I'll be… waiting… for you…." Her lustful expression had nothing to do with presenting the news.

"Cut!"  That was great, Tang-EE; can you give us another one with a little more energy to it?"

"Sure!  This is SO much fun…"  Tanjy bubbled, sneaking a quick puff from her smoke, then turning back to the camera and starting over.  "Hii, there. This is…Tan-gee Aseago…"

Mimsy could not bear to watch any more of this pandering, so she sought out the station's resident weather expert.  As usual, Bob Jenkins was stuck at his desk, face glued to the tube, scrutinizing a weather display that looked for all the world to her like a giant fingerprint.  Catching a glimpse of movement out of the corner of his eye, he glanced at her, then did a slow double-take that started at her trim feet and ended somewhere south of her neck.

"Well, hello Miss Carruthers!" he beamed, turning to face her, which brought his eyeline right about even with her crotch. "This is certainly a new look for you.  I must say it's very.. very… flattering?"

"Not my doing, Bob.  Don't ask."  She pulled up a swivel chair and quickly sat down, deciding at the last moment to not cross her legs since that would have caused her skirt to ride up even more.  Her only hope for getting any of his attention was to squeeze her knees together and fold her hands in her lap.  After a moment, she grabbed one of the printout charts and placed it over her nylon-sheathed thighs.  "Matt wants me doing some of the inset weather reports, and during commute time.  Can you help me out with this stuff?  You've always done it…"

"Yes, I know."  He shifted uneasily in his chair. "These changes in the program personnel don't sit very well with me, you know."

"Tell me about it.  Look at what they're making me wear!"  On second thought, don’t…"Hey, you'll always be the weatherman here; think of me as being your - ah - assistant.  OK?"

He nodded slowly, not quite buying it.

"So, what's all this mean?" Mimsy continued. "I've seen these charts before, but they don't make any sense…"

Bob was back on his turf.  "That's because you're looking at the whole thing, without any of the detail.  Now, these little flag-like things mark wind speed, and direction, and these numbers give the barometric pressure across the whole country.  They're usually around 29.6762 millibars, depending on whether there is a high or low pressure area around.  Draw lines through all the number of the same value and you get what's called an isobar.  Those are these wavy lines on the map. Simple, eh?"

"I guess…"

"Good; cause now it starts to get complicated!"  Bob launched into what must have been a fifteen minute lecture, and all Mimsy could do was pick out a phrase every now and then to remember to look up later on.  'adiabatic lapse rate', blah-blah, 'isophotal sounding buoys', yada, yada, yada, 'transcontinental upper-atmosphere velocity vectors'….

"Wait a second!" She blurted finally.  Bob quieted down and looked at her.  "This is all highly - fascinating - material, and I'm really glad you took the time to tell me it all.  But, Bob, what the hell does this have to do with what you say on the air??  During the forecast?"

"Oh, that." He seemed to crumple.  "I just read the AWS copy off their regional site, and point out the high pressure areas - they're red - and the low pressure ones - they're blue.  Along with the temperatures, that's about all I ever have time for…"

"Great."  Mimsy took a deep breath of her own and counted to ten. "Thanks, Bob."  She stood abruptly and smiled back at him.  He means well, he really does.  "I'll go look up the latest data on their site right now then, OK?"

"Sure thing.  Remember, their URL is www.aws.gov…."

"Got it, Bob!" She replied over her shoulder as she walked away.  He silently watched her cutely wagging ass until she rounded the corner of the aisle, then turned back to studying his charts.

The floor director was looking a little haggard over half an hour later when Mimsy returned with the current information.  She watched from the shadows as he tiredly declared "WSFR new team promo, take, uh, forty-seven.  Go, Tang-EE!" Pointing his finger, he gave her the cue once more.

"Hello, viewers," she whispered in her best bedroom voice, leaning so far forward she almost was falling out of her dress, "My name is Tan-gee, and I'll bet you'd like to meet me at five, six and ten for the latest in news and…  stuff… "

"Cut!"  He looked like he was about to have a nervous breakdown;  Matt, who was also watching when Mimsy walked up, was turning sort of green.  "Let's all take ten!" the director said, and the crew's sigh of relief was audible.  They dispersed so quickly that this 'ten' might stretch out quite a while longer than that. With some artful procrastination, they might put off resuming taping long enough to claim lunch time.

Tanjy also looked a bit shaken, her painted veneer showing some tarnish.  Stubbing out her cigarette, she immediately drew out and lit up another.  Out of her purse, she pulled a tin of breath mints, and chomped down a couple of them between puffs.

"Rough first day?"  Mimsy tried hard, and it came out sounding not too sarcastic.

"For sure!"  Tangy smiled back, tiredly.

"Want to get some coffee?" Mimsy offered, wondering all along why she should be friendly to this job-wrecker.

"Okay, where is it?"  Tangy stood up, and Mimsy stopped feeling self conscious about her own outfit.  The girl's dress was cut so tight that you could almost see the crack in her ass and it was every bit as short - or shorter - than her own.  Of course, this California amazon was at least four inches taller, and all of that seemed to be in her shapely legs.  Walking together to the break room, Mimsy was aware of the legions of male and some female eyes on them.  Or, more specifically, Tanjy.  I can't be feeling jealous…

It was crystal-clear what demographic the station was shooting for this time:  Teenagers and dirty old men of all ages.  Plus the occasional lesbian or bi who happened to tune in.

Over a cup of machine coffee (Tanjy was already on her second) Mimsy explained that everyone got the jitters and it sometimes helped to ignore the cameras and make believe you were simply talking to the people right in front of you.  Tanjy listened raptly as her heroine spoke to her.

"Above all, kid," I don't believe that I called her kid! "Put yourself at ease, and just have fun with being on camera.  Although a shot of whisky every now and then doesn't hurt…"


"Sure.  I keep a bottle in my lower-left desk drawer for these occasions.  Help yourself."  Shit, should I ask her if she's old enough to drink?

"Thanks!  You're such a good person, Mimsy…"

"Don't mention it."

The each went their separate ways; Mimsy to rehearse her weather spot, and Tanjy to go back to taping what should have been a one-take quickie.  It wasn't until hours later, right before the five, that Mimsy felt really ready to do her minutes in front of the chart.  The first few spots were very short and she had little more to do than have time to smile and read the current temperatures.  Now for the evening commute, she had to go into more detail, actually say something valuable for a change. Her segment wasn't until the middle of the show, however, so she hung around to watch the train wreck that was going to be Tansy's first stint at anchor.  Except for one thing.

The floor director was sweatily nervous as he announced, "Fifteen seconds live.  VTR rolling; theme music up.  And we're on in five, four, three…" he counted out the last two silently then pointed to the girl waiting for the cue…

"This is Tanjy Aseago, joining you with the news at five.  Today marked the seventh day of the renewed Mid-East peace initiative, as representatives from both Israel and the Palestinians met for over eleven hours in the historic city of Jerusalem.  Reports differ, but one thing is clear…" she continued perfectly, in an even cadence, enunciating all the proper syllables.

Mimsy almost fainted, this was so unexpected a turnaround from the shaky bimbo who couldn't even get a promo in the can a few hours ago.  That must be some coffee she had…  Sneaking a look at Matt, she saw he was grinning from ear to ear.  Yeah; you know you dodged a bullet!  Tanjy resumed her bravura performance up to the break, then broke into a wide smile when the set was clear for commercial.  Mimsy took the time to step up to the desk and congratulate her.

"Good set.  You're really 'on' tonight."  There, that wasn't so hard…

"Thanks a bunch.  It was what you said that made the difference.  That, and a sip of your hooch." Tanjy said conspiratorially.  "I really know I can do this stuff, now.  It's easy, like you said. Maybe someday I could even work on an investigation like you do..?"

"You never know.  Possibly.   Hey; I have to get ready for my segment.   We'll talk, later."

"Later.  And, thanks again!"  Tanjy turned back to the director and took his cue, moving effortlessly into the next segment, which would then transition to a 'look at the weather'…

Mimsy was ready, she knew her lines, but when the light came on her mind suddenly went blank.  Smiling at the camera, she bought some time by strolling in front of the greenscreen while trying to focus on the monitor in the wings that showed the composite scene.  Damn!  I just walked into a tornado.  The background cut over to the familiar national chart with it's prominent frontal lines along with red H's and blue L's.  "And so you can see, there is a region of high pressure air stalled over the great lakes, bringing nice sunny skies to the region.  Off to the west, a low is moving in, which means changing conditions on those beaches.  Now, for a look at the local forecast…"  The chart flashed up and she read it, waving her hand in front of the screen like a seasoned game-show hostess.  Things flowed a lot better after that and when they finally went to commercial, Mimsy breathed a sigh of relief.  I did it, though it was harder than I'd imagined…

Her producer waited for her offstage, then beckoned Mimsy over with a curl of his finger.  "You looked a little shaky out there.  Everything OK?"

"Yeah.  First time for everything.  I'll get better at it."

"Uh huh.  Maybe you should take some pointers from Tanjy.   Did you see her coverage on the intro tonight?" What the fuck are you talking about?  Mimsy thought with a sudden flare of anger.  It was me that taught her how to relax! Outwardly, she said nothing, so Matt continued. "What a pro!  In fact, if she keeps up like this and keeps the ratings her first show is tallying, I'm considering giving her a whole news program to herself.  Sort of a try-out thing.  She could talk about current events, and things like that.  Local segments, too. We'd have to make the set less formal; more like a living room or…"

Mimsy finally letting her anger get the best of her, continued "…a bedroom?  Yes, that's the way to go.  More in her element… Call it Tanjy's Playhouse!   You and she could un-cover all kinds of things, bucko!"  Before she said anything else, her composure broke and she started to sob.  Damn!  That's my dream job I wanted, and he's talking about offering it to her?  I brought this on myself…  Turning without saying another word, she hurried toward her office, while it still was her office.

"Come back here!"  Matt called.  "You have the six to do…"

"Roll the damn tape from five I'm outta here!" She shot back between sobs.

God, do I need a drink!  Mimsy's thoughts raged as she collapsed into her expensive springy office chair, not paying any attention to how her skirt rode up.  Yanking open the drawer, she pulled out… an empty fifth. Wait a minute that was half full this afternoon, when I showed it to...  Tanjy!   Why that little minx; no wonder she's smooth as silk now.  It's a miracle she can even see the teleprompter.  There was no way she could go back and tell Matt about this now; he would simply believe she'd made it all up in a jealous tizzy.  I'm screwed this time, Mimsy correctly concluded.  There was nothing left to do but leave, which she did.


Only after the first sip of burning cool liquor reached the pit of her stomach did Mimsy realize she was home, and that she had no memory of the trip back from the studio, or whether she and Matt had exchanged any more words.  What I've said already is more than enough…

Walking to the window, she wondered what was going to happen next.  What she had done was grounds for being fired; in a TV news room, one does not jump ship in mid-show.  Matt knew she was upset, and what kind of temper she had.  In fact, that was one of the things that had driven them apart weeks ago.  Now their ex-relationship was a festering thing that neither one of them would talk about directly.  Underneath, emotions continued to run fast and hot like an underground lava flow peeking out here and there as an orange glow or a manifesting into a burning tree or bush.  Not to mention the occasional unexpected explosion…

The third glass of single-malt did the trick, bringing a warm dizziness to her racing thoughts.  Maybe what he needs is to see less of me for a while, she pondered, pacing.  Feeling suddenly constrained by her tightly-fitted tunic, she tugged at the snaking boundary of the offset zipper and was pleasantly surprised at how easily it fell away, leaving her much cooler in her lacy bra, panties, and sheer hose.  She had kept her high heels on; they made her legs appear so sleek. Mimsy pranced around her living room, letting the sensations wash over her as the air swirled around her unclothed body.  She knew she must be coming across as shamelessly provocative, strutting around half-naked. There was no one who could see her this far up without a serious telescope, and hell those that had one should get a reward occasionally.  She took a few steps toward the floor-to-ceiling window, letting the liquor settle comfortably into her psyche, doing a little pivot turn in front of her invisible audience, running her hands through her hair and letting it fall gracefully to a bounce at her shoulders. Then her eyes fell upon the top of the coffee table, and the little purple pills scattered there.  Yesterday I passed up oblivion for responsibility, and see where that got me. Exactly nowhere. Now, taking some time away is positively exactly what I should do!  Put me in a corner and dust me off after a year or two, why don'cha? Find someone else to be your weather bimbo…

She grabbed a handful of the mannequin pills; she had no idea how many.  Ten, maybe fifteen.  From somewhere deep in her subconscious a voice screamed NO! Not so much.  With an effort, Mimsy counted out five, and put the rest back on the table.  Later…

Taking them with scotch was not a good idea, she remembered the professor telling her, so she circled back to the kitchen, slightly unsteadily, and found a bottle of spring water.  Returning to the picture window, she faced herself out toward the city view.  Don't want to get bored, do we? Hesitating only slightly, Mimsy popped the drugs into her mouth and swallowed them down with a slug of water.  Now I've done it; how long were those supposed to last?  It was too late to go back and look at the data sheet.  She posed her arms artfully in front of her body, and waited.

Yet time was passing and nothing seemed to be happening. 

It would be just my luck for that quack dealer to palm off a bunch of stinking  placebos on me, she thought, and decided to go back to confront the woman right now.  But at that same moment, her right foot seemed to become somehow stuck to the floor.  That's odd, she wondered, looking down.  Everything seems normal…  She could see the pointed toe of her shiny pumps pressing into the light-colored carpet, and there wasn't any kind of gum or anything unusual that could be sticky showing around the edges.  Yet, her foot wouldn't budge. Come to think of it, there is a strange kind of tingle that I haven't felt before… The tingle seemed to be rapidly spreading over her back and arms.  Oh, my gosh!   She realized at last what that feeling was, but not why it would be different than last time back in the professor's studio.  Straighten yourself up - now! 

But it was too late.  Her primary muscles had already locked in position and she could not move an inch.  She was stuck bent over at the waist, frozen, like the sexiest drinking duck anyone had ever seen.  Her shoulder-length hair hung down on either side of her head, cutting off her view of the entry door and the kitchen as well.  Damn!  Damn!   Triple-damn!  She cursed herself for being so stupid.  I knew something like this was going to happen, and still I got distracted.  And now I'm just still…

The crown of her head looked out at the magnificent vista of the city, while her unchanging sightline gazed down the sculptured length of her rigid dark-nyloned legs to her immobile feet. She had an excellent, yet unchanging, view of the muscles and the tendons in her stock-still body, not to mention an equally monotonous expanse of not-so-spotless carpet.  What did I say about not being bored? Sheesh!  Mimsy asked herself ruefully, trying to remember exactly how many pills she had taken and how long she was probably going to be standing here like some idiot statue staring at her toes. 

Then the heating unit clicked 'on' and a stream of temperature-controlled air streamed out of the floor register and around her stiffened figure as she stood there posed awkwardly in front of the picture window.  OH!  Oh myyy goodness…That feels wonderful!  How could I have ever forgotten these sensations?  Suddenly she was not worried any longer as the glow of the liquor was replaced by a far more sensual feeling that slowly permeated her entire body, tailing off only slightly when the air was not blowing.  A girl can get used to this…

"Mrrrowww??"  The plaintive feline cry came somewhere from behind, her; back towards the bedroom where her pet normally passed the day napping.

Oh, Mr.Pusscakes, how could I have forgotten to feed you?  Mimsy thought as she stared uselessly at the rug.  It's just that there were so many things going on.  The second meow was closer and the third just to one side, then in her static field of vision she saw her white angora cat walk up and cautiously smell the toe of her pump.  Sorry, I can't do anything for you right now, kitty, I'm kind of frozen, she thought, hoping the cat could read her mind.  Some kind of mental connection was made, it seemed, because the cat looked up at that instant to see Mimsy's blank gaze looking down at him.  But she was not responding to his clear pleas for attention.  Whys and wherefores had little to do with feline logic.  Pusscakes was hungry and was being ignored.  Perhaps a reminder would help, a little rubbing against her nyloned legs.

OOOHhhhh  Ahhhh  Ahhhhhhh   Ah…….Eeeyahhhhh!    Mimsy climaxed without a movement or sound; the cat liked rubbing against such a smooth slippery surface and had no reason to stop just yet. Back and forth he circled, adding little mews to make sure she would notice, to no obvious reaction.  Her silent earth-shattering gasps of passionate exultation at each of her multiple orgasms did not create even an audible whisper, a tiny peep for the cat's keen hearing to pick up.  With one last 'Mrawww' along with a disdainful glance up at her unblinking eyes, the cat circled twice and lay down at her feet. There had been a brief impulse to stretch and rake her unmoving legs, but the feline had been trained well not to claw the furniture inside.  At the moment, that's where Mimsy stood in the admittedly narrow cat hierarchy of Those Who Feed Me; Those Who Pet Me; Those Who Are To Be Avoided, and That Which Is Furniture. 

Mimsy herself had long since passed out from the intense continuous pleasure, or the mixture of the booze and the mannequin drug, and wouldn't have been able to object anyway as an object.

Consciousness returned slowly, along with disorientation and confusion.  The morning sun had broken through the cloud layer and was streaming into her picture window, throwing golden shafts of warmth across the room.  Perhaps it was the stirring of the cat, moving into a more favored location, that woke her.  At first, Mimsy thought she was still asleep; caught in one of those powerless dreams where one cannot move at all.  Then, she realized she had ensnared herself in a real life situation where she couldn't move at all. A dream would have been easier.  Shit!  I'm still immobilized, and it's morning already. How many of those damn pills did I take?  Racking her fuzzy thoughts for the answer left her with more haze.  Somewhere between four and a dozen, I think.  That means… crap… days or weeks!

Just at the edge of her fall of obscuring hair was the table and a scattering of the pills that continued on to the floor.  Mimsy could almost see well enough to count them, but there was no telling if those were all of them.  I'm going to just have to wait this one out, she concluded.

I wonder where Mister Pusscakes is?  I could really use an encore leg massage right about now.  She found the thought of being rubbed by her pussy, rather than the other way around, very amusing in a wry sort of way. Though the cat did not reappear, the warming air in the room triggered the climate control once more and she felt a cooling breeze sweep up her exposed legs like the gentle caress of a long-missed admirer.  Ahh, forget about the coffee that's the way to wake up each morning

The phone rang until the answering machine picked up. "Hi, I can't come to the phone right now..." because I'm a statue, her thoughts supplied. After the beep, what sounded like Matt's voice said something briefly, then hung up. A couple of hours later, the same cycle repeated.

For the entire day, she was a human sundial, watching the shadows of the light cast by the window frames and her motionless legs shift from west, to due north, now tending towards the east as the day passed.  Basking in the heavenly glow of continuous arousal, she passed the time between air-conditioner cycles by examining herself closely as she stood there as a living mannequin.  When I put this getup on, I had no idea that I'd be modeling it indefinitely!  She could see how her already decent cleavage was enhanced by the cut of the bodice and the push-up bra that had been part of the ensemble, how the arch of the panty line was tailored to showcase her long legs, how nicely tapered her thighs were, no hint of flab, the way her calves flowed into her slim ankles. Got to renew that gym membership, she thought while reflecting how her figure could look even better with a bit more definition to the muscles.  When I was dancing they said I had amazing legs - now look at me… There was time for her to be overly critical, too, being held in place to stare at herself for hours on end gave her plenty of opportunity.

Evening arrived, slowly, as Mimsy carefully followed how the subtle repeating knitted pattern of hundreds of fine denier threads in the pantyhose web covering her legs wavered back and forth, stretching taut to pass over her kneecaps and making a lighter circle there; how there was just the hint of a start of a run where the hose pinched into the toes of her left shoe.  There remained a slight smear of likely dried mud on the shiny patent leather after she had stepped in that too-deep puddle on the way back from the TV station.  That was quite a scene I caused there, she recalled finally.  Her attention drifted to the weave of her carpet and the faint lingering exclamation point of some long-forgotten spill that she hadn't cleaned up very well.  She wondered abstractly why her feet did not hurt more; she had been standing there in high-heels for the better part of a day and had no pain at all; she decided to accept that small mystery, along with not knowing where her cat had gotten off to. It was easy to let her thoughts float along while her body remained at rigid attention, the stiffness was something she could not control any more than she could change the shape of a mountain.  She felt everlasting:  Eternal.  There was time to think for as long as she wanted about so many different things in between the cycles of the air conditioning system that periodically brought her mind to such lovely sensual quintessence.  After a while, she let her thoughts drift aimlessly free; reaching a kind of meditation state although in a way her mentor would never have thought possible.  The events of the past day were becoming the farthest thing from her consciousness.  She had reached the point of simply being able to be, without thought.

There was a soft knock on the door, accompanied by a muffled voice.  Mimsy's attention slowly focused back on the unexpected sounds.  Part of her tranquil thoughts retreated into frustration at being disturbed.  She had all the time in the world; what was this intrusion?  Then her conscious mind awakened.  That isn't Pusscakes somebody's outside!  Oh, no...  They can't see me like this.  What if it's a robber?

Another sound, fainter this time.  Rustling, metallic.  A key in the lock.  Shit.  Don't come in here whoever you are! she screamed without uttering a word, remaining frozen in place as before.

Footsteps on the tile entryway, the sound of the door closing.  Barely audible tramping of feet on thick pile carpet.  Silence.

A voice:  "Mimsy?  Is everything OK?"

 Whew; it's just Matt… Realization set in a nanosecond later.  Matt!  Oh, NO, not you!! How did he get in here?  Holy golden shitstorm, I never got my key back… 

She heard what sounded like chuckling at the same time the wingtip-clad feet of her producer and ex-boyfriend walked into the patch of carpet right in front of her motionless form, then slowly stepped around her in a circle, returning to face the top of her head.  Then Matt bent down so he could look up into her wide-eyed blank expression with a smile on his own chiseled face. He passed his hand in front of her unblinking pupils, then snapped his fingers a couple of times to confirm that she remained stiff as a board. Yeah - I'm a statue, Einstein, so what…

"My, my, my!  You — a poser. Who'd a-thought?"  His voice appeared slurred; he'd been drinking, quite a bit from the sound of the influence.

You're enjoying this way too much.  Go away and let me be a mannequin in peace…

"Heh-heh. Had no clue you were so deep into this kind of.. kinky.. stuff, Mim, even when you did that up-close segment on the drug.  Never figured you for one of the flip-out, stone-up generation.  Guess I was wrong.  Too bad, in a way."

No, you dolt, I didn't plan this…  her irritated thoughts were not heard, before she contradicted herself after remembering the visit to the dealer and her living sculpture gallery. Or did I?

Matt was walking around her again by the changing location of his voice.  "Because you should probably know that I'm into this sort of thing in a big way.  Big. Way.  Surprised?  Think back; who gave you the assignment? Me, that's who. Heh heh. Who do you thing suggested we play at tying each other up?  Right again. But you never showed even an inkling of interest at this level of obsession, before." He stopped in front of her once more.  "God, you look SO good, Mim!"  His breath smelled of expensive liquor and tobacco.

I'm not 'into it', can't you understand that?  I just wanted to try this stuff, a little…NOOooo! Suddenly, she felt his arms grasping her shoulders, which thrilled her more physically than it had any right to.  Don't… Stop!  Take your damn hands off me.  Ummmm… No, this is wrong, don't… Slowly, he tipped her stiffened, solid, torso into a vertical position as the room streamed past her static field of vision, then she settled back into place, bobbing up and down slightly as her rigid body wobbled a little on the springy carpet. 

"Ishn't that better?" he commented, stepping back for a moment. 

At last she could see outside her window!  Dusk was falling, the sky already fading into that dark indigo hue that just precedes full darkness.  Below, the streetlights and shoplights had come on, forming a galaxy of stars below her feet to rival the glimmering of the celestial luminaries above.  Wow - I never stopped to just look at this view before - how incredibly beautiful it is…  I could watch this scene all day, or forever?  Suddenly a dark shadow occluded her view as Matt returned from who knew where.  Hey, get out of the way!  No, hey, don't do that.  Oh… Ooohh… Ahh…  She became diverted from the vista by his stimulating touch as Matt repositioned her arms carefully so they helped to keep her rigid figure balanced upright.  It was so strange not being able to move a muscle. Oooh, don't stop, she purred silently as he altered her stance.

"Ya'know that you make a shpendid mannequin, Mim?  Jus the right mixture of s'phisticatin an pure sexiness?"  He then grasped her firm waist and turned her slightly to one side, changing her pose yet again after stepping back to look at her for a short time.  "Almost there…  I love it when you don't make thosh trademark embarashing remarks; being immo... imm.. ah, froze... for you is kinda a big improvem't, in a way!" Matt stepped close again and began fumbling with her hair, trying to get one lock to fall across her eye.  "I could really get used to this, doll," he said with an eager smile.

This is starting to sound kind of sinister, buddy.  I'm not so sure you should be doing this to…

"Posing some of the girls at a rave last week was fun, but I never guessed I'd be becoming your window dresser so soon!  Gotta say, you are lookin good, there, girl." 

Not that I have any say in the matter.  Just you wait; you are gonna be so busted…  Oh,  Ohhhh

He seemed to be finally satisfied with her stance after the long meticulous period of adjustments. Now his hands strayed back to her rigid curving shape, taking on a new intensity as he caressed her firm breasts and played his fingers lightly over the contoured muscles of her abdomen and lower to slide warmly on her pantyhose-slippery mound where he felt a steamy moistness grow.

The cumulative eroticism of his escalating touches was building within her motionless body.  Oh, no, go on… pose me some more! Mimsy cried, though she knew on some level, probably a lot of levels, this was immoral and deeply wrong.  Don't Stop!  Not now; not… yet…

He belatedly sensed something too, vastly out of synch with her emotions as usual, and backed away just as she wanted him to draw closer. A deeper flush crept over his cheeks. "I, uh, came here to see if you were OK," he volunteered finally.  "And, uh, I'm glad that you are.  Oh yeah. Also, Tanjy pulled me aside after the five — told me what a help you were to her when she started yesterday and wanted me to thank you, and she will personally show her gratitude later." 

Wonderful, I'm moved to tears, the frozen mannequin thought sarcastically, poised at the edge of a climax that looked like it would never come. 

Matt backed away, still facing her. "When you're hopping around again, and feeling better, hmm, come back by the studio and carry on. We'll keep this just between us.  Everyone there thinks you've just come down with the flu bug; it's the least I could do to cover for ya…" 

Thanks, Matt, really. Thanks!

He was at her door when he thought of something and walked back to her. "…oh, and if you ever want to try something really wild, look up this address," he scribbled a few lines on a scrap of paper, then placed the note between her thumb and index finger and squeezed them together so she held the paper stiffly even when he let go.  "Tell them 'Leonardo' sent you."  Reaching close, he kissed her lightly on her lovely still lips before withdrawing. 

As the last single grain of sand could trigger a landslide, this last small intimacy released the flood of emotion that had been building. Ah, Ah, Unnnnhunnnnnnhhhh, aaiieee,  ohhhhaaahahahowow Ohlordythafeelsincreddddiiiiibllllleeeee..   OOOOooooooo Yes!  Wordless elation overwhelmed her rational thoughts for an orgasmic spasm that seemed to go on forever in her overstimulated and artificially altered state of mind   Struggling against the cascade of emotion, a single thought surfaced at last in Mimsy's thoughts   Why Leave…? 

But he was already gone, as the click of the closing door confirmed.  Mimsy was once again alone with herself, still held paralyzed by the Mannequin drug for who knew how many more hours.  Ahhh, at least he left me the view, she thought, basking in the post-orgasmic endorphin bliss.  Time passed; it was hours later she noticed her own reflection could be seen in the glass door and realized how fancy and attractive her new stance looked.  He may be a cad, but Matt sure has a good eye for display!  Her thoughts turned to the slip of paper that she was gripping; so close at hand yet so totally unavailable for as long as she remained a motionless statue.  She analyzed his quick comments over and over again. What did he mean by wild?


It was done in an instant, and nobody noticed a thing; the powder had dissolved almost fully without so much as a stir.  Mimsy stifled a smirk as she retreated to the edge of the set while the director counted down to airtime.  The red light came on, Tanjy smiled at the camera, then took a sip of her coffee.  "Good evening, everyone.  In today's top sto..ry….." Suddenly her sexy voice slowed and stopped, leaving Tanjy staring blankly at the lens and the millions of viewers on the other side of the technology.  She did not move or blink, remaining posed in the same attitude.  The seconds stretched on.  'Dead Air!' somebody should have shouted and switched in a banner or commercial spot.  But everyone on the set and in the studio was equally as frozen as Tanjy was.  The floor director, the camera operators, the techs in the control booth, even Matt with a greedy satyr's grin on his face and his own cup of steaming hot coffee held close.  But mostly it was Tanjy, still at her anchor desk, that focused the attention of what had happened. All were stiff as statues.  So easy!  she thought, and wondered why she had ever doubted it would work.

It was time, before the network killed their feed.  Though she had practiced it in her mind, or because of it, Mimsy's leisurely walk onto the frozen set was nonchalant, almost careless, yet there was time to flash a little leg at her fans as she crossed behind the stock-still anchorwoman and rolled her chair backward.  Tanjy stayed very stiff, sitting bolt-upright with her rigid fake smile painted on her motionless features.  Mimsy turned the chair that showed the immobilized newsreaders' profile and gaping mouth, then gave the chair a little push and it rolled off-camera-left; she had time to pluck the first page of tonight's copy from Tanjy's rigid fingers before her rival vanished into the wings.  Sitting on the edge of the anchor desk, crossing her legs for sexy effect, Mimsy casually turned to the red-lit camera and began.  "Pardon the brief interruption; Newscaster Barbie had to take a little break. She had camera-shock, we think. This is Mimsy Carruthers taking over.  Today's top stories:  The historic cannery square is history as fire claims the century-old complex. Latest economic news is mixed, with the Fed taking a surprising action after the close of markets.  NASA takes another big step, this time in their budget, and is a major-league croquet strike really in the offing?  We'll be right back with those and more, plus Doctor Bob with the weather, after these important messages."

As suddenly as they had stopped the director and technicians popped back to life, calling the break and rolling the commercial tape on schedule.  Only Tanjy and Matt stayed motionless, yet nobody seemed to notice that the two statues were there; they all simply ignored them like they had become part of the scenery. The director rushed up to Mimsy, gushing how great it was that she was there to save the day and how he hadn't realized she had such anchor potential until now.  A disembodied voice came over the PA 'That's a big ten-four from up here, too, little lady' as the Texas drawl of the producer added his vote.  Things were going exactly as she'd planned, at last!  'Lighting,' came a voice from the overhead.  'You look really great sitting on the desk, babe, but we gotta warm it up a little for you.  Shield your eyes….'  Mimsy looked up anyway reflexively as a strong yellow-gelled light streamed directly into her face.  She started to raise her arm to shade her eyes when she unexpectedly started to feel stiff.  Before she could say anything, her body locked into place, as rigid as the others had been, yet nobody noticed.  Still the brilliant golden light flooded over the set and into her glassy eyes.   Her skin was turning hard and shiny as she watched; faint lines appeared at her wrists that became joints. She was now a mannequin.  Even now, no one had noticed.  They were all wrapped up in the production, getting ready to air. Noooo, this wasn't supposed to happen…  Not now; everything was so… perfect… perfect…


The news set dissolved before her eyes, morphing magically into the spaceframe and glass of her apartment window; the spotlight turning into the morning sun, just peeking out from behind another tall building.  Everything changed in an instant.  The only constant was Mimsy herself, remaining in the rigid pose that she'd been adjusted into the previous evening.  Stiff as a board.

Fooey — I must have been dreaming.   Oh, well.  So, another day as a statue begins!

Some time had passed, enough for the sun to be partially masked by the windowframe, when Mimsy noticed her nose was starting to itch.  At first it was a slight discomfort, but quickly grew into a major annoyance, mostly because she could not lift a finger to do anything about it.  The tickle intensified as the long minutes passed.  Just as she was starting to appreciate the subtleties of Chinese Water Torture as an art form, Mimsy blinked.  Whoo-ee!  It's starting to wear off, at last, she thought, trying to will her hand over to rub her nose.  No go; her limbs were still frozen, though they had started to tingle (and her feet to hurt).  Come on, faster now you can do it…

"Ahhhh … Choo-ooo--ooo!"  Her sneeze almost rattled the window panes.  That had cleared up the itch, but it was several minutes more before she could slowly start to move her arms.  But her core body stayed rigid even longer, even when her legs relaxed and she slumped to the floor like a limp rag doll.  Hey, I have to remember how to stand up on my own, too!  Her new horizontal position brought her face-to-feline-face with Mr Pusscakes, who was nonchalantly washing himself.  Oddly, the cat seemed to be pausing for a long time.  A very long time.  Oh crap, he's frozen too!  So that's where he went… Only then did Mimsy notice the purple pills laying in the carpet and the one closest to him that had part of the coating licked off from it.  Enough to have a long-term effect.  Cat got your tongue?  Hee hee… Pusscakes looked like one of those stuffed toys sitting there.

Minutes later, she was able to sit up, then stand, although remaining slightly dizzy and a bit hung-over.  It was only seven-ish in the morning, so there was still enough time to clean up, get her face on, and go into work.  She wasn't so sure what she was going to say to Matt, however.  Before the cleaning people found out, or made a fuss, she picked up the remaining purple pills.  For some reason, she could only account for eighteen of them.  I hope Pusscakes didn't eat the rest; he'll be stuck there for years if the dosage chart is right!


This is just getting started, but I wanted to finally post it rather than write the entire tale first. The story began as a response to Magnus' challenge for longer works; 20K or more in length. Never knew if he meant bytes or words so I chose the latter and am up to 14,000 or so. Since this is growing to epic (or at least novella) size and there is a lot more ahead, I'd like to get some feedback from the readers.

To Be Continued...

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