Disturbing Visions

by Heather St. Claire

(Produced by & concept from Magnus69)

 I am not crazy. I am not crazy. I am not crazy!!!

 I’m writing these words, I suspect, as much to convince myself, as I am to convince anyone who might be reading them someday. The things that have been happening around me these past few weeks have been so bizarre....well, I’d think anyone who came to me with this story wasn’t wrapped tightly enough.

But I swear to God that every word is true!

 Up until now, I’ve never kept a diary, I guess because I never felt the need for one, and to be honest, never really had the discipline to do it. But now, I want to have a record of all this...especially if something happens to me, too.

 God, I’m scared. I have to admit it, I’m more scared that I ever have been in my entire life.

 It’s so hard to think that just a few weeks ago, my life would have passed for normal....let me begin my turning back the clock just a couple of months.

 My name is Brenda Peterson. I’m 26 years old. I live in Portland, Oregon, where I was born and have spent all my life. I graduated from James Madison High School, and since then have attended Mt. Hood Community College and Western Business College. For the past two years, I’ve been working as a legal secretary at one of the city’s big law firms.

 I’m five feet, seven inches tall, I have straight, shoulder length dark brown hair that's upswept at the ends. I like to think that my face is one of my nicer features; I have large brown eyes with thick lashes, a small, upturned nose, “peaches and cream” sort of completion, and have been told that I have a sweet smile.

 My breasts are okay, and I’m not too unhappy about my legs. My butt is bigger than I’d like, and I’m usually fighting to take off about 10 pounds. I would like to be 36-24-36, but most of the time hover closer to 36-26-37.

 I’m trying to quit smoking, have been ever since my grandpa died of emphysema. But every time I do, it seems like I start putting on weight, or I have a big fight with Brad, or hit a stressful period at work....and it’s back to the cigs again.

 Ah, Brad. I met him six years ago at Mt. Hood, and we’ve been an item off and on ever since. Honey, if you ever read this, please know how much you’ve meant to me, and that I hope you can forgive me for all the times we argued. (Not that a lot of them weren’t your fault.)

 Anyway, there you are -- my relationship, my job, my weight, my smoking -- typical worries of a woman my age. I actually thought I had a stressful life then! God, I’m glad I got that prescription from my therapist for Prozac....I think it’s helping me cope to a degree.... but it’s only dealing with the symptoms -- namely, my feelings of terror -- and not what’s causing them.

 Okay, I know I’m rambling. Let me get to the point. This all started nine weeks ago, on a Thursday. One of the other girls in the secretarial pool, Michelle Tabor, and I had been friends for a few months. We took a long lunch and went shopping together  Just a typical day with two office girls out on the town, spending money that we didn’t have.

 I had picked out a new beige silk blouse, a matching dark brown suede skirt; a blue and white floral print dress; and a couple of new pairs of textured hose. I’m not sure just what Michelle had, but her bag looked pretty full. We had each agreed to try on one last outfit before getting back to work, even though we knew we would be late. The lawyers were fairly indulgent with us...especially if things weren’t too busy....and especially if you were young and pretty.

 I didn’t like the way the last dress I tried on looked.....as usual, it made my hips seem too damn wide! I had just taken it off, and was standing there in my three-inch heels, dark hose and satiny white slip, when I became aware of something...or rather the lack of something. Namely, the absence of noise. All of a sudden, the hum of city life had just stopped. No cars, no conversations, no machinery. The silence was abrupt. And eerie.

 The quiet was broken by Michelle’s voice crying, “Brenda! For God’s sake, help me!”

 Although we had been sharing the same dressing room, I hadn’t been looking at her, being absorbed in my own troubles. Now, I turned, and found her frozen in place. “Brenda! I can’t move!”

 I tried to take a step, but couldn’t. Now I was frozen, too.

 “What the hell is happening?” she cried.

 I wished that I could tell her that I had no idea, but I couldn’t say a word. Just then, the door to the dressing room swung open. Two men, all dressed in white, came walking in. “Hey!” Michelle yelled. “Who the hell are you and what do you think you’re doing in here?”

 The taller one looked at the shorter one, said, “Think she’ll do?”

 The shorter one didn’t speak, just nodded in the affirmative.

 There was something exceptionally creepy about the pair; they ignored Michelle’s words completely, moving with a smooth and swift precision, almost as if they were automatons; yet they looked human. The one stripped off Michelle’s lacy red bra and panty set, while the other fitted her with a strange-looking dildo that seemed to seal up her vaginal opening.

 I stared at her with what I’m sure was a look of fear and concern on my face.

 “Oh God! I can’t move my feet...it’s like I’m frozen to this spot! Oh God...now I’m losing feeling in my legs!”

 One of the men in white stepped to the rear of the room, the other walked out carrying Michelle's clothing--to where? Michelle and I both looked at her legs in fascination and horror; something did seem to be happening to them; it was as if they were hardening into plastic.

 By now she was almost hysterical. “Brenda? What’s happening to me?”

 I wanted to shake my head, but I was helpless.

 I had noticed she had been leaning slightly forward, as if getting ready to reach for help; but now, she abruptly straightened to a standing position. At this point, the man who had left returned.

 “It’s passed through my pelvis....now it’s reached my lower back. Oh, my God!” All this time, the two strange men stood watching; but it was impossible to tell what they might be thinking; their expressions were almost blank. Other than the four of us, the world still seemed to be stopped.

 Suddenly, I realized I could talk again, though I still couldn’t move. “Michelle? Oh, Michelle!”

 “What is it?” she asked between sobs.

 “I don’t know how the hell it’s happening...but...  you’re turning into a mannequin!”

 Now I found I could move, and I ran over and looked at her pussy. “I don’t know how the hell this is happening, but your vagina looks like it’s sealed over.” It was true; there were no lips, no trace of public hair; just a sexless groin area.  I gently touched the smooth plasticized spot, and was surprised to see Michelle shudder with delight. “You felt that?”

 “Oh, God yes, I felt that....that’s about all I’m feeling now.....my tits are gone to plastic.....and look...my arms are stiffening up......”

 It was true; both her arms had suddenly frozen in a mannequin-like pose; every freckle and hair on them was gone, replaced by smooth plastic. Pivot points appeared around her upper right leg , hips, shoulders and wrists.

 “Help me Brenda!” She wailed. “Help me, before it’s too late.”

 I didn’t know what to say. My mouth opened, but no words would come out. I stepped out of the booth, hoping to find help; and saw everyone around us was still frozen. But they weren’t turning into mannequins; it was more as if they had been caught by a flashbulb. I looked at the clock on the wall; it read 1:17, and wasn’t moving. Somehow, I knew that it wasn’t because of a lack of electricity; it was as if time had frozen for everyone but those of us in that dressing room.

 Seeing no one who could help, I returned to the booth, but as I feared, I was too late.

 There, where my friend Michelle had been, stood a mannequin. A mannequin with her build and features, hair that looked like her hair (though it was acrylic fiber); but a mannequin. The men in white gave a quick nod to each other, picked her up and carried her out of the room.

 Not knowing what else to do, I pulled on my own clothes as quickly as possible, leaving my prospective purchases behind, hurried out of the store and started to run the four-block route back to the office. Time still seemed to be frozen. There, standing on the sidewalk, were two well-to-do looking women in smart business suits; they were in front of a window where two naked female mannequins stood. There was a door leading out onto the sidewalk, and two pairs of conversion workers seemed to be exchanging quiet conversation. Then one pair began to strip the women of their expensive suits.

 Before too long, one of the men in white was in the window, putting the suits that belonged to the women on the sidewalk on these mannequins! Halfway through the process of changing, the team in the window pulled somthing from the two mannequins, brought those objects onto the sidewalk, and inserted them into the two freshly naked women, leaving them sexless.  I couldn't believe it! In minutes they changed from flesh to plastic, the sun glinted off their bare bodies. I particularly noticed the areas where their pubic hair used to be as they were carried to their new, permanent life indoors. They were both tall, beautiful, elegant; apparently fitting all the qualifactions to become a display piece.

  ....... I just stood there in horror till the world started  moving again. At some point when I wasn't looking, the mannequins in the window had disappeared.  I watched in surprise as two happy looking women came out of the store's side door, chatting excitedly. Their outfits sure looked like the ones that had been on the women I had just seen converted; were they connected somehow? This was getting stranger all the time! I had to get somewhere safe; I immediately headed for work. As I ran in, the receptionist, Velma Rogers, looked at me. “What’s the matter with you, girlfriend? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”

 “It’s Michelle...you won’t believe what’s happened to her!”

 She raised an eyebrow and asked, “Michelle who?”

 “You know who I mean! Michelle Tabor! She works in the secretarial pool, just like me! The three of us have had lunch together a dozen times!”

 “Girl, what you been smokin’? No one named Michelle works here....never has since I’ve been around.”

 I couldn’t decide what to do next, so I ran into the office, looking for Michelle’s desk. The desk was there, all right, but there was a girl sitting there whose desk sign identified her as Laurie Peters. And while Michelle’s desktop had always been a mess, overflowing with files and loose papers, it was now neat as a pin.

 I looked at her and asked, “Where’s Michelle? What did you do with her things?”

 “Michelle?” she asked, puzzled, “What are you talking about, Brenda?”

 “I’m talking about the woman who’s worked at this desk for the past two years...and how do you know my name?”

 She shook her head, seeming genuinely puzzled. “I’ve had this desk for the past two years...and we’ve worked together the whole time. Don’t you remember me, Brenda? You and I and Velma have had lunch a dozen times!”

 By now, I was starting to doubt my sanity. Just then, I saw Mr. Vanderlip, one of the senior partners. He could see I was upset. “Are you okay, Brenda?” he asked. I realized that I must be a sight; wild hair, makeup not touched up, clothes hurriedly thrown on; everyone knew I took pride in my appearance, and spent a lot of time on it.

 “No, Mr. Vanderlip, I’m not...I’m not feeling well at all.”

 He smiled paternalistically. “Well, why don’t you take the rest of the day off, dear. Things aren’t too busy here.”

 I thanked him and left. What to do next? I decided to head back to the store and hope that I’d find my friend there, alive and well, and learn that I had somehow been the victim of an elaborate practical joke. By the time I passed through the big glass front doors of the store again, I think I had almost convinced myself that was the case. We’d have a good laugh about it; maybe even try on another outfit....and then....

 Before too long, I was checking out the dressing rooms where we had been. But there was no sign of Michelle.

 I wandered back out onto the floor, utterly bewildered, not knowing what to do next, when I saw her. Posed stiffly on a low display platform.

 She was wearing the same dress she had been trying on earlier, and she was still a mannequin. “Oh God, Michelle! I wasn’t hallucinating!” She was now standing on a glass base, and was held up by a metal support pole.

 I found a salesclerk within a matter of moments, but she was busy talking with a tall, beautiful woman who had a rather dazed expression on her face. The salesgirl seemed to be saying something like, "Don't worry, they say it always takes some time to readjust." When they saw me coming, the older, dazed looking woman dashed away quickly. The salesgirl turned to me and I asked, “Miss? Can you help with we something?” I led her over to where Michelle stood in her new mannequin form. “Can you tell me something about this mannequin? Where it came from? How long it’s been here?”

 The girl couldn’t have been more than 19; she looked at me, a 26-year-old, like I was from another age. “Why do you want to know?”

 I thought about what might sound like a rational explanation. “I know this sounds funny...but she looks just like my best friend from school.....I lost touch with her....I thought maybe she’s doing modeling for people who make mannequins, or something.”

 She shrugged. “Well, I’ve been working here off and on for about three years, and it’s been here the whole time.  Look; see how that one's gotten kind of shiny? New mannequins aren’t really shiny; they only get that way after having been polished a  lot. Hmmm....we get all the mannequins from a central warehouse...and that’s about all I can tell you...sorry I can’t be of more help.”

 I thanked her for trying, and walked off to begin to sort out what had happened in my mind. God, it hurt to hear her call Michelle “it’!. Michelle wasn’t an it, a piece of plastic, a thing; she was a real live woman. Or at least she had been.

 I found my way to my car, and drove home. I think I ran up the stairs to my apartment, slammed the door and triple-locked it. I spent the rest of the day clutching my cat tightly and crying. I don’t know what I thought I was protecting myself from; anyone powerful enough to stop time could easily get through a locked door; but somehow, it made me feel better.

 After a troubled sleep, I awoke the next day hoping once more that I would discover it to all be a nightmare. That I’d get to the office and find Michelle back at her old desk.....but no, Laurie was still there. She greeted me cheerfully, “Feeling better today, Brenda?”

 I managed the best smile I could and said, “Yeah...thanks. I don’t know what came over me yesterday! Can we just forget about it?”

 Laurie Peters shrugged and said, “Sure!”

 The whole day passed uneventfully. I couldn’t wait for the work day to end; Brad and I were getting together after work for dinner and a movie; even though I couldn’t bring myself to tell him about the strange events of the day before, I knew I would somehow feel safer, comforted, if he was nearby. I didn’t eat too much of my dinner, and had trouble concentrating on the movie, but Brad didn’t seem to notice.

 He wanted to sleep over that night, but I told him it was that time of the month...which wasn’t a lie! But that wasn’t the real reason I didn’t feel like sleeping with him. I was too preoccupied by what had happened to Michelle.

 The next morning, I got up early, had coffee and toast, and headed to the fitness center where I was a member. I thought maybe a good workout could help clear my head. Veronica, the tall, well-built brunette who had signed me up for my membership the year before was behind the counter. She was always the fashion plate, even when working; today she had on a black spandex unitard with multicolored diagonal stripes, and matching purple leg warmers and headband. Of course, her makeup was perfect. She looked more ready for a fashion shoot than a workout.

 “Hi Ronnie,” I said when I walked in. “What’s new?”

 She seemed to be bored; maybe the fact that she was filing her nails had something to do with it. “Oh, the management’s adding a new line of fancy exercise wear. They figure we all want to look drop-dead gorgeous while we work out.”

 “Well, you sure seem to like that,” I said with a giggle.

 She scowled, and with mock seriousness said, “Now look girl, we’ve got to give the women some kind of a goal to work towards....as well as doing something to keep the men coming back, right?”

 I laughed, and said, “Yeah, I guess you’re right. When does the new gear arrive?”

 "We’re supposed to get a shipment and some display stuff in this morning.”

 “Oh,” I said, not sounding too interested at the time. The significance would only dawn on me later. After changing into my own unitard, a one-piece shimmery silver spandex number (yeah, I’m as bad as Ronnie), and touching up my makeup, I headed out onto the gym floor. Yes, I really was there to get a workout...but no sense not looking good at the same time! As I looked around the place, I could see several women about my age who seemed to have the same thought in mind. I was sure that the new line of exercise wear would go over quite well.

 I spent about an hour on the Stairmaster and a rowing machine, and felt like I had left a lot of my tensions behind. I did notice some activity near the front of the gym, as several workers were wheeling in hand trucks full of boxes. I didn’t even put two and two together when they began carrying in a series of mannequins.

 Other than a good romp in bed, I can’t think of many things I like better than a good shower after a hard workout. The feeling of hot water and soap against my skin.....a nice, soft washcloth....it can be arousing and cleansing all at once.

 Anyway, I had just taken a couple of steps out of my shower stall when I froze up, and saw all the women around me stopped in mid-stride. Oh, God! Not again! I wanted to cry. There must have been close to a dozen women in the locker room around me; soon, as I expected, the men in the white coats arrived.

 But I was quickly surprised to see another pair of men follow the first; then another pair, only this time it was a man and a woman; then two women. And they had brought several of the just-delivered mannequins into the locker room with them; but why?

 They were all the same, though, in that they targeted their victims with a swift, mechanical precision. Apparently a couple of the women had been spared the process; perhaps they were too old or unattractive.  There were a few quick, whispered exchanges between the workers; a few affirmative or negative nods, and some pointing, and that was about it. I watched as each woman was fitted with the magic dildo, pulled from one of the mannequins that had just been brought in. They seemed to jerk just slightly; then the changes began. From the fusing of their toes, to the slow, steady conversion from flesh and blood to plastic.

 Then I realized why the mannequins had been brought into the locker room; once the women were stripped, their outfits were placed on the mannequins!

 I tried to take in the surreal scene that was surrounding me; I was looking straight at one attractive blonde, who was wearing a striped leotard and shiny suntan pantyhose. With nothing left to the imagination, I knew she would make a stunning mannequin, and sure enough, they moved in on her.

 First, of course, they stripped her and put her sexy, clingy outfit on one of the mannequins. At the exact moment the dildo apparently fused to her insides; she had been unmoving up to this point; but now her head and shoulders rolled back, her eyes closed, and a soft moan of pleasure escaped her lips. She even was able to reach down and stroke herself in the smooth area of her groin for a few moments before her arms froze. Well, at least it didn’t seem to be torture for her. But I sure wouldn’t choose to change places with her at that moment.

 As for the workers...well, at least they seemed to be enjoying what they were doing. The two handling the blonde seemed to be genuinely interested in her reaction; perhaps they hadn’t seen it before? My suspicion seemed to be confirmed when one said to the other, “Everyone’s affected differently, eh?”  One of them was even whistling a little tune to himself...I finally recognized it as “Whistle While You Work.”

 When all the women’s transformations were complete, the crew in white looked at each other in satisfaction, then carried them out of the locker room. Then I suddenly understood why they had put the clothes of the transformed women on the mannequins; they were going through the process of change now, only in reverse! This must be where the "replacement people" came from; Laurie Peters must have been a former mannequin who took over  Michelle's place in the world! Their skin had changed from plastic to flesh; however, they were still frozen, as I was and a couple of other women who hadn't been changed.

We all "came to" at once; everyone else seemed to be totally unaware that anything strange had happened.

 I hurriedly threw on my clothes and rushed back out into the club.

 As what I had just wintessed in the locker room began to sink in, I felt a new wave of terror grip me....whatever, whoever this was, they were clearly into a mass conversion operation. At the department store, I had only seen Michelle transformed, then the two women on the sidewalk; but who knows how many others had been subjected to the process out of my sight while time had stopped?

 When I got to the front, where the new clothing display was complete, I found what I expected, and what I feared. The first three mannequins, I only recognized as other club customers from the locker room; but the fourth was clearly Veronica. “Oh no,” I said as I placed my hand on her newly-plasticized face. “Oh Ronnie, I’m so damn sorry....I don’t know if this is my fault....I don’t know if you can hear me....but I’m just so sorry.”

 Who was doing this --how-- and why? Even though I wasn't sure exactly what was going on,  I knew that when I got to the front counter, I would find a different girl there. No one would have any memory of a woman named Veronica ever working at this club....no one would have a memory that she ever existed.

 Sure enough, as I headed out, there was a bubbly blonde named Betty standing in Ronnie’s place. She was as friendly as Ronnie had been stand-offish.

“Have a good workout, Brenda? I sure hope you did! How are things with you and Brad? I know he’s handsome but gosh, he doesn’t appreciate you the way he should! Hey, you really ought to take a look at the new line of exercise wear we just got in....”

 I put up my hand in a “stop” gesture. “Some other time, Betty? I’m kind of tired.”

 “Okay, Brenda. See you next time,” she said it so cheerily I wanted to throw up.



 I drove home, marched into the living room, tossed my gym bag in a corner, poured myself a stiff drink,  lit a cigarette and began pacing around the room. What the hell was going on? How were these women being turned into mannequins? I angrily flicked my ashes into the fireplace from time to time. I was mad...but mostly, I was frightened. Why was I the only one who seemed to be aware of it? It scared the hell out of me, I can tell you.

 I tried to figure out what to do next. Tell my mother? God, no....she’d tell me I was working too hard, ask me if I was back on drugs (I did indulge pretty heavily for a couple of years at Madison High, I hate to admit). Tell Brad? No, Brad wouldn’t believe me, either.

 On Mondays, I left work mid-afternoon, and had my weekly appointment with Sheila, my therapist. I’d tell Sheila.....she’s a professional; she wouldn’t just lock me up and throw away the key; she’d figure out what was happening, and how to stop it.

 I was pretty quiet at work that morning; mostly kept my attention focused on the work in front of me. Our firm had a big case coming up, involving a tobacco lawsuit, and I had to type transcripts of lots of smoker’s depositions. Jesus, I felt stupid, working on that for a couple of hours and then going off....for a cigarette break! I wanted to quit more than ever, but right now, the damn things were about all that were keeping me sane.

 Soon, it was time to leave the office and walk the two blocks to where Sheila’s office was located. She was one of the better therapists in Portland, and I couldn’t have afforded her under normal circumstances; but she was a friend of a friend, and had been willing to give me a break on price.

 I walked into her office, just a couple of minutes late (I really had been trying to learn to be more punctual), and looked around at the plush settings. Deep-pile carpets, oak paneling, leather furniture polished to a high gloss....even if I couldn’t pay her going rate, it looked like enough of the city’s elite could. The receptionist was about the only thing that seemed out of place in these somewhat rarefied surroundings; she was about 22, bleached blonde, wearing knee-high black suede boots, a leopard-print miniskirt, and a red satin blouse.

 “Yo, Babes,” she said, cracking her gum. “Like, you were almost late.” I always meant to ask Sheila if this girl was a sister or a cousin of hers, or something, but never got around to it. Just before I could come up with a snappy comeback, the door to Sheilia’s office swung open; she looked at me expectantly.

 “Hi Sheila,” I said, looking a little sheepish. “Sorry I’m late; things have been....kind of weird lately.”

 “Hey, Brenda,” she said, immediately looking concerned. “What’s troubling you?”

 As I sat down in the plush leather chair, I took in Sheila’s beauty. She was tall, about 5’10”, slim, with a heart-shaped face with delicate features and a slim, but well-proportioned body, and a mane of beautiful red hair. I didn’t know for sure, but thought she must be in her mid-to late 30s. She looked like she could have been Nicole Kidman’s slightly older sister.

 “I don’t know where to begin.”

 “The beginning is usually a good place.”

 I took a deep breath, said “Alright,” and launched into my story. About 10 minutes later, when I had finished describing the transformations of Michelle, the women on the street, the women in the locker room, and Veronica, I paused, and glanced over at Sheila. I could see a look on her face I would best describe as bewildered.

 “Sheila? Please tell me I’m not a nut case....I swear to God, I’ve seen these things happen. It’s not some kind of weird side effect from the Prozac, is it?”

 She shook her head. “No, Prozac can have side effects, but hallucinations aren’t one of them.”

 “So you’re saying I’m hallucinating?”

 “I’m not saying anything. I’m just asking you to look at the facts. Is it logical for women to be turned into mannequins?”

 “No of course, not but--”

 Suddenly, I couldn’t talk! And I could see that Sheila, who had been standing, looking out her office window at the streets of downtown Portland, was also frozen. Oh God, I thought! Not Sheila! I listened for the silence... I know that doesn’t make sense, but that’s the best way I can describe it....sure enough, the whole world had ground to a halt again.

 The office door swung open. In came two of the men in white, carrying a pair of mannequins. They quickly stripped off Sheila’s clothes. Her expensive silk blouse and linen suit were carefully placed on one of the mannequins.  The first thing they did to Sheilia was to insert the dildo. I could see the look of fear in her face. I wanted to say to her, “Still think I’m hallucinating?” but fortunately, I couldn’t speak; I realized the words would come out sounding like a taunt, even if I didn’t mean them to be.

 The older-looking of the two men looked at the frozen Sheila with an expression of satisfaction. “A classy one,” he said. “Yeah,” his companion agreed. “Definitely belongs in a more sophisticated setting.” With that, they left the dildo to do its work, and turned their attention to the receptionist, who had been a fully-blown gum bubble in front of her mouth when time stopped. I laughed to myself to think about that ditz being transformed; at least, I thought, she’d be going to a job that didn’t tax her intellect!

 But my feeling of mirth was short-lived; my focus turned back to Sheila, my counselor and friend, who was now being turned into an inanimate object. As with Michelle, the women on the street, and the victims at the club, the change seemed to travel from toe to head; I knew time was stopped somehow, but it didn’t seem to take very long at all before Sheila’s entire body was plastic. Her glassy eyes now stared blankly ahead. Her hair was red acrylic fiber. The strange men picked her up and carried her out of the room.

 When they took Sheila away, they left the door to the outer office. I could see they were still processing the receptionist. Her tacky outfit had been draped on the other mannequin. Gee, I thought, I never would get to learn her name! “For this one?” the younger one asked. “A grunge boutique; where else?” he replied matter-of-factly. What the hell was going on? Were the mannequins taking over the world? I don't think I've ever known such a cold, empty feeling. Soon Sheila, the receptionist and the workers had all left.

 The new receptionist was a plain Jane type...pretty mousy looking. She looked pretty odd in her predecessor's grunge outfit. The new therapist was a bit shorter their Sheila,  had a mass of very dark hair, and looked very intelligent and intense. They froze in position for a moment, then time started up again. Sheila's replacement -- who I suddenly knew was named Dr. Kosopalous -- looked at me and said, "Brenda, I asked you a question. Is it logical for women to be turned into mannequins? Of course it isn't! We have to figure out the source of this delusion, and then..."

 I made up a hasty excuse about suddenly feeling ill and needing to get home. I made my apologies and fled as quickly as I could. I knew I would never return to that office, now occupied by two strangers. The rest of the world, of course, would think they had been there all along. And I knew if I looked long enough, I’d find Sheila on display somewhere...probably someplace like Nordstrom’s....as those two guys had observed, Sheila had that upscale look about her.

 For the first time, I wondered where I would be put on display after I changed, and who would be replacing me.

 That was where this was headed, wasn’t it? Eventually my turn as a mannequin would come? Or was I doomed, for some reason, to keep witnessing other women suffering this strange fate?

 Now, my sense of desperation led me to a pretty foolish act. Utterly bewildered, I found myself in Pioneer Square in the heart of Portland’s downtown. I turned to a well-known statue of a bronze man, leaning forward,  holding an umbrella. I wondered for a moment if he used to be human, too.

 When I turned, I found myself looking up at Meier and Frank, the department store where Michelle had been transformed. I don’t know what it was...probably the shock of seeing it happen one more time....that caused me to hatch the mad scheme I carried out next. Don’t ask me if I was thinking logically; I wasn’t; I was acting on mad impulse.

 I knew that Michelle was on the first floor. I entered the store, headed to the third floor, found an out-of-the way fire alarm, and pulled it. As I expected, pandemonium was the result. I hurried down the stairs to the first floor, ran to the spot where Michelle stood, pulled her off her support rod, and carried her out of the store!

 I ran to the other side of Pioneer Square, where the Tri-Met light rail happened to be waiting (How fortunate! I hadn’t really planned my escape). You can imagine the strange looks I got from the people as I climbed aboard, carrying a life-sized mannequin. I tried to avoid their stares.....finally, I muttered something about it being for a community theater play I was going to be appearing in.

 One dried-up looking old woman started right at me and asked, “What’s the play called, dear?”

 Holding onto Michelle with one hand, and the strap with the other, I mumbled. “I’m sure you haven’t heard of it.....It’s an original comedy called ‘Mannequin Madness.’” There were some more odd looks as people continued to get on and off the train, but eventually, we reached the station nearest my apartment. I carried Michelle down the stairs, and the two blocks to the complex where I lived.

 I dragged her in the front door, locked it behind me, flopped down on the couch and began to cry.

 By the time I got the worst of the cry out, and could talk again, I looked up at Michelle, standing so alone and still in my apartment. “Oh God, Michelle, what’s happened to you? What’s happening to the world?” I stood up, walked over, grabbed her tightly by the shoulders, and looked straight into her face. “Can you hear me? Are you still alive in there? I wish I knew? God, I wish I knew!” There was no sign of a response in her frozen expression.

 I poured myself a drink and lit a cigarette. God, I wasn’t making much progress on my smoking, but since this had started happening, I had lost almost all of my appetite....and had dropped seven pounds!

 “Maybe there’s some way I can change you back,” I said. “Yeah, and maybe I’m going to fly to the moon.”

But I stubbed out the butt, set aside my drink, and set about looking for a way to do that. First, I stripped Michelle of the outfit she had been wearing on the floor of the store.

 Looking at her nude form, I had the chance to realize what a lovely mannequin she made. Michelle was a couple of inches taller than me and had an absolutely perfect figure. Curves in all the right places, nothing too small or too big. If these crews in white were looking for great candidates, they hadn’t gone wrong with her.

 I dropped to my knees to closely examine Michelle’s plastic pussy. Since the dildo seemed to be the key to the transformation, I guess I thought if I could remove it, she might change back. But as closely as I looked and probed, I couldn’t find a seam; it was a solid, smooth expanse of plastic. As I was touching her there, I thought back to her transformation, and those I had witnessed on the sidewalk and in the locker room; it seemed to be an erotically charged moment for them. If Michelle was still conscious in there somehow, was I bringing her joy? Or was it torture? God, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do!

 For a moment, I thought about putting Michelle in my bedroom, but the thought of her staring at me as I slept just seemed too creepy. Put her in the closet? No, that seemed mean. I was sure she didn’t want to spend the day just staring at the walls.  Finally, I just left her standing there in the living room. But I had nightmares that night anyway.

 In some of them, everyone in the world was transformed into a mannequin except me...I was the last human left. In others, I was transformed, yet somehow I could still move and talk; but I couldn’t convince anyone that I was really a living person!

 I really was beginning to wonder if I was losing my grip on reality that night. But then, fate being the cruel trickster that it apparently is, things returned to normal for almost a week. But of course, I was wrong to be lulled into any kind of false sense of security.

 It was a Friday; the whole office routine got thrown into an uproar when we found out the judge wouldn’t grant our request for another continuance; our tobacco lawsuit would go to trial in a week. “Everybody on the tobacco case works this weekend,” Mr. Vanderlip announced to an impromptu staff meeting.

 I called Brad as soon as I could to break our date for that night, but otherwise, was actually kind of relieved by this turn of events. I thought a weekend immersed in work might take my mind further away from the bizarre world of stopped time and mannequin transformations.

 It was a little after six when most of the crew left the office for the night. At that point, two of the senior partners joined several of us secretaries in the conference room. I had snuck out for a smoke break before the conference began, so of course had to put up with a lot of pointed ribbing (“Jesus, Brenda, doesn’t typing up these transcripts make you want to quit?”). I sighed, and asked when we could get to work.

 Laurie Peters, who had replaced Michelle, said, “As soon as dinner gets here. I ordered Chinese. Sound good?” I told her yes, but suddenly had an uneasy feeling. I looked around the room. The other secretaries were Melanie Chan and Lois Hunt; the lawyers were the lead ones working on the case, Cheryl Brightwood and Jack Ford. I couldn’t help but wonder how they would all look at mannequins. I thought almost everyone in the room might be a candidate; hell, by this point I was wondering why I hadn’t been changed (was my butt too big?) I was curious about Laurie; would a mannequin’s replacement meet the same fate herself? Or were the replacements immune?

 My questions were to be answered soon enough when four people clad head-to-toe in white, walked into the room. Two women, and two men. Sure enough, they had an assortment of mannequins with then; one of them was also carrying a bag full of Chinese take-out! For the first time, I saw one of them smile and say, “dinnertime!” And of course, time froze at that instant.

 In addition to possessing a sense of humor, this foursome seemed more talkative than the others I had encountered. One of the men even acknowledged me, looking straight into my frozen face and saying with a grin, “Don’t worry, Brenda. It’s not your time.” One of the women muttered under her breath “Not yet, anyway.” But this was just the beginning of the surprises.

 For some reason, I had assumed they always targeted women, and only women. You see a lot more female mannequins, I think, but I don’t know why it never occurred to me they would do this to guys. But sure enough, they soon had Jack stripped out of his pin-striped suit, which ended up on the male mannequin they had brought along. The two women were smiling as they inserted what I suppose was the male equivalent of the dildo, a large butt-plug.

 Jack seemed to jerk a bit when the thing slipped up his ass, and I swear I saw just a trace of a smile form on his lips. Before long, Jack was on his way to becoming a life-sized Ken doll. The women, not surprisingly, were focusing their attention on him. Hell, I was curious to see what happened to him! As the change moved up his legs, toward his groin area, one of the women grabbed his dick with one hand, lifted it slightly, and with the fingers of her other hand shoved his balls up inside of him. I think the slight smile became a little bigger!

 By the time Jack’s groin area had been transformed, his manhood per se was gone; instead, there was just a nice, suggestive bulge on his public bone. But if Michelle’s experience had been any indication, I figured he would be incredibly sensitive down there....In fact, I found myself wishing I could walk over there right at that moment and cop a feel! As I watched Jack being carried out, I hoped he’d be happy....he had a fine, buff bod, and would like great showing off tuxedos or something.

  After that came Lois, who seemed to have been born plastic. Jeez, I know I’m a bit shallow and self-obsessed a lot of the time; but I’m nothing compared to that transplanted Valley Girl.  I had always thought of her as a pretty one-dimensional person. So perhaps it was fitting justice what they ended up doing to her. First, her office suit was quickly stripped off and placed on one of the mannequins that had been brought in.

 Before inserting the dildo, they carefully tipped Lois backward, so she was laying on the floor when they placed the thing inside of her. While the others I had seen had shoved them in rather matter-of-factly, this crew seemed to be savoring the job a lot more.

 The guy doing it to Lois almost seemed to be trying to get her aroused! He took the dildo, slipped it in just a little ways; pulled it out; then stuck it back in; then did this half a dozen more times, faster and harder, before he was finally satisfied with the “fit.”. I was momentarily puzzled as to why Lois was horizontal, though, until I realized that her transformation was different from any I had ever seen before; she seemed to rapidly lose any depth, while retaining her overall height and shape. It was pretty creepy, really. Sort of like turning into a cardboard cutout; but that wasn’t what she was now; I realized  that she would end up becoming one of those flat forms they sometimes use to display swimwear!

 I had figured that Cheryl was safe; she swam, jogged and watched her diet, so still had a great figure and great legs, but was in her late 40s, and just didn’t have the young look that I figured they would demand for a mannequin. Perhaps the same thing was running through the minds of the conversion team; two of them stood there with what I thought were pensive looks, just studying her for a couple of minutes.

 Finally one looked at the other and said, “Pantyhose form?”

 The other nodded and said, “Yeah....and a good bra form, too, don’t you think?”

 The first one thought for a second, looked at her from a slightly different angle, nodded and said, “Sure.”

 I thought I knew what they were talking about, but was afraid to believe that I was right. Sure enough, once her blouse and skirt had been put on one of the mannequins, in went the dildo, and Cheryl’s features soon froze and became plasticized. This time, though, as soon as the transformation was complete, they removed her arms and head; and then took her apart at the waist.

 They really did it! At least all the other victims I had witnessed up ‘til now had been left in one piece...but poor Cheryl, she wouldn’t even be given that final bit of dignity....her legs would end up showing off the latest from Durasheer pantyhose; her torso, no doubt, would display next year’s version of the Wonderbra.

 Hey! A voice said from one corner of my brain....You once picked up one of those pantyhose forms to get a closer look at a shade....the thing was hollow, not solid. Silly! A voice from another corner of the brain replied....they don’t usually make mannequins out of real people, do they? So the usual rules obviously don’t apply!

 Then they turned to Melanie; I found myself sizing her up in the same way I imagined the crew was; a great chest; narrow waist, and a nice teardrop shaped butt. But her legs were a little on the stocky side (too much field hockey and skating as a girl, I think); and her face was a little on the homely side.

 The same guy who had converted Lois now took Melanie out of the chair she had been sitting in, stripped her of her dress, put it on one of the mannequins, and placed her sitting on the edge of the table. He took the same pleasure in teasing her pussy with the dildo before sealing it up forever. When she started to change, I thought for a moment that she was going to become another flat display piece; but something altogether different was happening here; her arms and legs just seemed to be pulling up inside of her, and her head just seemed to be sucked down into her neck.

 Within a couple of minutes, all that was left of poor Melanie was a limbless, headless torso; one of those you sometimes see displaying a bra and panty set or a one-piece swimsuit. God, I felt bad for Cheryl, but worse for Melanie; at least all of Cheryl’s parts still existed, so she might be put back together sometime; but Melanie’s were just....gone.

 Before too long, Laurie and I were the only ones left in the room who were still flesh and blood...except of course for the conversion crew. I think I would have started to sweat....if I could have, while still frozen. But at some deeper level, I knew that my time was coming...and somehow, I realized I had already made my peace with it. But this wasn't the moment; I noticed they only had one dildo left. But apparently it didn't have my name on it; instead, they began stripping Laurie. So, the replacement people could also become mannequins!

 The change didn't seem as radical with Laurie, somehow. She always seemed to have an odd glow about her, and a slightly vacant look; and her skin was already abnormally free of freckles and other blemishes. About the only thing that seemed changed was the texture of her skin -- from soft to hard.

 Meanwhile, the reverse process was happening to all of the mannequins who were now in the clothing of their counterparts.  Soon, all evidence of the former lawyers, secretaries and the conversion crew was gone. The stop-time effect ended, and we could all move again. One of the new women smiled brightly, looked at the sacks of food and said, "Oh great! Dinner's here."  When she offered me some, I declined as poltiely as I could.

 A couple of hours later, I found myself watching in horror and fascination as this new group left.... it was as if they had been part of this office for years, not less than a day. Soon, I was alone in the conference room. As I turned off the lights and closed the door, I thought, well, at least this all has a beneficial side effect. I’ve been too stressed to eat much for weeks... I’m finally taking off those last few pounds. Must be about 12 or 13 by now.

 But God, what a way to do it!

 When I got home, I reached into the back of my closet, found a little black dress I had brought on sale months before...it was a size smaller than usual for me. Following through on my impulse, I took off the dress I had been wearing and put this one on. It fit beautifully!

 I modeled it for Michelle, who still stood frozen in the corner of my living room, “Not bad, huh? Maybe this’ll make Brad take notice!” Ah, Brad, I had hardly had time to think about him, which was just as well; I was getting exceedingly tired of our up and down, on-again, off-again relationship. Maybe it was time to think about a change....

 I managed to put thoughts of Brad, and thoughts of mannequins, out of my mind that night. I focused for a week on preparing for the lawsuit. That pretty much kept me busy from morning ‘til night. All was fine, for a week.

 Then the following Friday night, I got home early, walked in the front door, and gratefully kicked off my heels. I said hello to Michelle, a habit I had developed since bringing her home, and said, “At least I bet it doesn’t hurt for you to spend your days in heels!”

 I poured myself a drink, sat down, peeled off my pantyhose, tossed them aside, and lit a cigarette. (No, the lawsuit still hadn’t scared me off of them!). I still had almost zero appetite, but thought I should eat something....so I stood up, walked into the kitchen, got a rice bowl out of the freezer, and stuck it in the oven. They were the last steps I would ever take under my own power.

 I punched in the “5:00” on the microwave, heard the hum start, watched 4:59, 4:58, counting down...and then it stopped at 4:57.It wasn’t moving, and  I couldn’t move!

 The next thing I heard was the silence...and then the triple locks of my front door opening.

 Sure enough, it was a man and a woman; both from crews I had seen before. And they had a mannequin with them. Now I knew that it was my time; I think I would have cried, because I didn't understand why it had to be this way. But then again, maybe I wouldn't have broken down. I think I actually felt more relief than fear; I wasn't really looking forward to being turned to plastic, but at least the terrible wait was over. The woman actually seemed kind of sympathetic. “Hi Brenda,” she said. “You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Well, please try not to be too scared...it’s really not that bad a life.” She was gently stroking my cheek as her male partner undressed me. Soon, they had my outfit on the mannequin.

 The woman took the dildo from the mannequin who would be taking over my life, and gently slid it into my open slit. It was an amazing sensation; I was thoroughly lubricated, and the thing seemed as if it was designed to fill me up exactly; it was like my own moisture served as a kind of super glue to bond it to my insides forever.

 The change seemed to move pretty quickly; hard to describe it, except I knew that my insides were rapidly becoming solid, and I was becoming lighter at the same time. My arms had been hanging limply at my sides when I froze; now, without any conscious thought on my part, they suddenly sprang to a more mannequin-like pose; I knew they would remain that way forever.

 I wondered if my replacement would have the rice bowl as her first dinner, or treat herself to something more elaborate.

 “We got her at just the right moment,” the man said. “Yes,” the woman agreed. “Those last 15 pounds really made the difference between a good figure and a great one.” Strangely enough, I felt a real flush of pride at that moment!

 I don’t know how much time passed before the world started moving again. It was different this time, because I was no longer a part of that world. I was in a new, unmoving world. It must have been several hours at least, for both Michelle and I were loaded into a van under cover of darkness. That night, Michelle was returned to the spot at Meier and Frank from which I had stolen her; I ended up next to her. At least we were still together.

 It must have been the early hours of the morning when I was placed on display for the first time; the whole store had an errie, deserted feeling.

 They lifted me onto a glass base for the first time; and I suddenly felt a support pole slip into an opening in my buttock that I hadn’t realized was there. Next, the woman came at me with a cloth; the man had a small polish wheel, with a soft covering. What the heck was this all about? Then I remembered what that salesgirl had told me...that new mannequins aren’t shiny; that they only achieve that look after lots of polishing.

 I think it took them a couple of hours to get the “look” they wanted on my new plastic skin. Let me say, I think it was during those hours that most of my remaining resistance to becoming a mannequin faded away. It was an incredibly erotic experience; every square inch of my body was extremely sensitive; and when the wheel or cloth passed over my crotch or breasts, well.... I thought I would lose consciousness inside my plastic shell more than once, I can tell you!

 It must be getting later in the morning.... the staff should be showing up before too long.... here they are! Wait a minute... here's someone coming toward me.... it's Sandy, one of the visual merchandising staff here. Hold it! How she heck did I know that? She seems to be looking at me....she's telling me something! What?

 "Hi Brenda," she says. "Welcome back. How have you been?"

 What was she talking about? Had I been here before? For a moment, it seemed to matter very much that I figure out what she was talking about. But soon, that feeling passed. I didn't understand what she meant, and I knew that I never would, but it didn't really matter.  I was in this great store, wearing these beautiful clothes, being taken care of by all these nice employees, seeing all of these interesting customers.

 I had a purpose in life..... and no worries at all anymore.

 I was happy at last.


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