[Parts 1-9 of this story were originally posted on the message boards of Medusa Realm, Hall of Statuary, and Mannequin Lovers. They now have been brought together in combined pages as a series. The most recent previous parts 36 thru 40 are accessible via this link.
The story continues here with Part 41. Ed.]
Author’s Note: Once again, this is an ongoing story inspired by the work of Thorne Smith's "Night Life of the Gods"...
--The New Statues Quo--
“See the little notch in the setting?” Julie pointed out the engraved hash mark below the twistable rim that held the green stone in place. There were several more evenly spaced marks on the band below on the base. “The ring is in null setting now, try and click it to the next spot.”
Petra carefully turned the band so that the lines matched up. “Now what?” she asked.
“Try it out!” Julie answered as she held her arms out to the side, invitingly.
Petra’s face burst into a huge smile. “You don’t need to ask me twice!” She aimed the green ring and fired its stoney beam directly at Julie!
A distinct crinkling sound was heard as Julie’s tee-shirt and jeans turned to solid marble. Even her hair barrette, socks and open toed shoes were affected and also became stone!
“Whoa!” Julie was surprised at the feel of wearing instantly marbleized clothing. She was held quite motionless within her solidified clothing, and she
teetered slightly as she found herself unable and unwilling to move too much inside her marble coat of armor. Her breasts heaved against the cold,
restricting contour of her petrified shirt as she took deep, excited breaths. She tried to lower her arms, but the short yet feminine cut of her shirtsleeves restricted her from doing so. She looked like a spokesmodel showing off a new refrigerator on either side of her body.
“Aw, you changed the ring back to the way it was before!” Petra had a definite sound of disappointment in her voice. She pouted and put her hands on her hips dejectedly.
“Look again, closer, silly…” Julie motioned with her upturned fingers for Petra to come forward.
Petra looked at Julie’s marble outfit. It clung to her body, showing off all her aunt's curves, and even the hint of underwear that showed had become stoned as well but Julie’s body was most definitely flesh and blood. “Hey, you’re not solid stone underneath this outfit!” Petra realized as she poked at some bare midriff that poked out of Julie’s hip-huggers. “What did you do to the ring?”
“It has different settings now,” Julie explained. “Setting one is null, essentially an ‘off’ position for safety. Setting two, the first mark you turned it to, petrifies only inorganic matter. Nothing living is affected by the petrifaction effect. Setting three on the other hand affects only living matter, leaving
clothing unaffected… except in my case that wouldn’t apply since my clothes are already stone,” Julie could see Petra’s devious nature beginning to surface by the twinkle in her cousin's eye and knew she had to talk fast. “Setting four is much the same as the way the ring operated before, affecting anything in the beam and instantly marbleizing it.”
“And these other marks?” Petra’s eyebrow raised in curiosity at the higher settings.
“Nothing for now, I just figured I should plan ahead if inspiration ever strikes me again,” Julie had tried to remain virtually motionless inside her
form-fitting marble sheath, but cracks were beginning to show in the folds of her encasing shell. “Oh my, I think my marble clothing is becoming quite
fragile, would you…”
Petra turned the dial up one click and beamed Julie’s body in the green ray. Julie’s skin paled and whitened as she turned to marble. “Turn you to stone, no problem!” Petra finished Julie’s sentence. She admired the sculpturesque statue for a few moments. The detail in the folds of Julie’s pants was quite amazing. The denim had transmuted into an interesting texture. Petra explored the various contours of Julie and then as she got ready to de-petrify Julie, she realized there were some changes to the red ring as well!
“Hmm,” Petra examined the red ring. It too had been mounted on a similar dial as the green ring. There were the same number of engraved settings on the ring and Petra used some logic to deduce 'Hmm. This first setting must be null, like the green ring…' She aimed the ring at the immobilized Julie and nothing happened, confirming her suspicion. 'So the second must only restore inorganic matter.' She tested her theory by bathing the marbleized woman in red light and saw that her clothing was restored to softened cloth but the her body remained stone! Small rips in the cloth marked where the marble shell-like outfit had fractured, revealing themselves as shredded cuts in Julie’s restored shirt and pants. A nice, thigh-baring seam had split open and showed off some nicely marbled skin. Petra raised the statue’s now flexible shirt, cupped Julie’s breasts and found they were still hard as rock. Pebble-like nipples protruded like a fine-sculptor’s chisel work “I think I could get to like these new settings!” she exclaimed in glee.
“So this next setting must restore flesh…” Petra adjusted the restoration ring to the next highest setting and bathed the statue once more in the red beam. Julie came back to life, startled her shirt had been raised up over her breasts.
“Petra!” Julie pulled her shirt down, embarrassed at her casual exposure to any onlookers. “Oh, dear… it looks like my outfit has seen better days,” she looked down remorsefully at her torn clothing.
“I dunno, it looks pretty mod,” Petra opined. “I think these settings have a lot of potential! I like your idea!” she gave a double thumbs-up sign.
“I thought you might like them. That’s why I arranged a little vacation for us during Spring Break!” Julie was very pleased with cousin Petra’s satisfied review.
“It’s Spring Break already?” Petra was surprised.
“Long story. I’ll fill you in on the details, but suffice it to say this year you’re going to be spending some time in summer school..." Julie led a mostly unfazed Petra upstairs to pack.
“You know I can’t believe you made me miss midterms!” Petra wailed, though she was smiling as the spoke. The younger girl was wearing dark glasses and her ponytail whipped in the hot desert air. “I had big plans for this summer!” She pointed at the green ring on Julie’s hand.
Julie slapped Petra’s fingers away and, having heard this complaint numerous times already during this long drive, gave a barely registered comment of “Uh huh.”
“Really! I’m shocked that you, of all people, would deprive me of my well deserved education. Why I studied…” Petra was deep in the making of an excellent sob story.
“You studied anatomy with Toby and the rest of your frozen friends? I saw the pictures in your little album,” Julie finally revealed.
“You did?” Petra clutched her oversized bag full of photo albums and pulled up her legs. She looked like a little kid sentenced to spend time in the corner. “Well those were my friends and I…”
Julie interrupted, “And what about those other pictures of those statues on display near our pool? They don’t look like any of your friends, that I know of; I also seem to recall seeing a bill in the mail for 'services rendered' from a certain performing arts company,” Julie was smacking down every aspect of Petra’s defense with the ease of a masterful prosecuting attorney.
“Well, I, ah, I can explain that too…” Petra hemmed and hawed as she backtracked, wondering how much her aunt really knew.
“Petra, I know the ring is fun to use. But it is very addictive. And to have a power like this, or any power in general… it’s just unwise to abuse it the way you did,” admonished Julie. “Did you know that some of your friends called while you yourself were... indisposed…”
“Don’t you mean placed on display?” Petra smiled.
“Yes. Well anyway, they were wondering if you were around. It seems as if some of them experienced a mysterious loss in time over last weekend. They said it became Sunday when it was supposed to be Saturday? They were wondering if you too had experienced the same weird phenomena,” Julie glanced at the squirming Petra.
“And you told them, what exactly?” Petra said meekly.
“I should have told them you had all been abducted by a UFO,” Julie sighed. “Instead I told them you weren’t in any condition to answer any questions. As far as they know you were out sick indisposed so to speak… The fact you were standing stiff in the library as a sculpture is just our little secret, though between you and me I think the upstairs maid suspects too.”
“And so I missed midterms…” Petra crossed her hands behind her head as she slunk down in the car seat. The hot air blew across her bare arms. She was wearing slit shorts and a tanktop tee but was still overheated from the long journey.
“Well, its your own fault for putting me through hell! Do you know how much work I had to get through to be ready to present that report on Tuesday? Do you?” Julie was starting to get as heated as the scenery.
“Julie…” Petra began.
“I spent hours up late at night going over the numbers and facts… I barely had time to sleep… Do you know how many spelling mistakes ended up in my report? You know how much I hate putting together something without planning it out…” Julie was starting to rant.
“Ah Julie…” Petra tried to interrupt.
“And on top of all that I had to figure out an excuse for my absence the past week because you were so irresponsible to…” Julie wasn’t even listening to Petra.
“Ahm, Julie, you really…” Petra had raised her voice considerably.
“What? What is so important?” Julie snapped at her, really annoyed at Petra’s annoying interruptions.
“I think that cop wants you to pull over,” Petra motioned with her thumb to look behind.
Julie finally heard the siren and looked in her rearview mirror to see a blaze of flashing lights. A motorcycle policeman had been tailing them for the past few hundred feet. “Was I speeding? Ohmigosh! Now look at what you made me do!” she gasped, panicked.
“ME? I’m not the one driving!” Petra pleaded ignorance as Julie quickly pulled over to the side of the road. The lack of traffic and rubberneckers didn’t seem to calm Julie down at all.
The motorcycle cop pulled over to the stopped convertible and slowly walked over to the driver’s side of the vehicle. Julie fumbled with her purse as she looked for her license. The cop leaned over to get a look at her cleavage and Julie turned him to stone instantly. Full setting too, he looked like a fully sculpted statue dressed up in helmet and full highway patrol regalia. His cycle was similarly marbled seconds later.
Petra’s jaw dropped. “You were saying something about abusing the ring?” Petra looked askew at Julie.
“Shut up! This is all your fault!” Julie pulled away leaving the whitened motorcycle and cop sculpture as another desert monument.
“Um, you are going to change him back, aren’t you?” Petra sounded concerned.
“Yes I will, but I’m tired of all this traveling and I have got to get out of these sticky clothes!” Julie pushed the pedal to the metal. Petra slowly exhaled as she peeked at the new highway art receding in the side mirror.
Dusk was falling and beckoning ahead of them was the gaudy sign: “Welcome to Las Vegas”
Petra and Julie walked through the hotel lobby. The night-lights of the Vegas strip beckoned in the darkening sky outside. As they passed the windows overlooking the quiet hotel pool, Petra giggled like a giddy prom date. “Oh boy! I can’t wait to petrify some showgirls… or at least a few of the cocktail waitresses.”
The two young women, freshly showered and dressed in crisp white dresses, arrived at the entrance to the hotel casino. “Sorry to disappoint you, but look at the sign,” Julie pointed. “21 or under restricted,” she read aloud.
“That’s not fair! I’m nineteen going on twenty! Besides, I have an id…” Petra pleaded, as she began digging through her purse.
“I don’t want to see or know anything about it if you do have a fake id,” Julie waved off Petra.
“But Julie! There’s nothing fun for me to do here if I can’t go in and gamble!” Petra protested in vain though Julie had already made up her mind. “I
can’t even get into the good clubs without…” Petra suddenly had an idea as she grabbed Julie by the arm and led her away from the casino.
“Petra, what are you...?” Julie was spun around. Her heels clattered against the tile as she tried to catch her balance as she was almost dragged by the determined young girl.
Petra pushed the doors leading to the pool open. The desert air had cooled considerably since the afternoon and the large pool area was appropriately deserted as Petra opened the waist-high gate and entered the darkened, softly lit guest area. Like most anything in Vegas, extravagance was the norm, even here. Tall palm trees surrounded the curvy pool. A makeshift mountain of boulders and rocks formed an upper pool from which water cascaded down to create a waterfall for the benefit of bathers below. Empty pool chairs and tables with closed umbrellas were scattered around the illuminated pool. Petra took a quick look around, and satisfied there was no one else present, began to undress.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Julie crossed her arms skeptically as Petra stripped down to her undies. “It’s a little late for a swim, isn’t it?”
“Not a swim, silly…” Petra slipped out of her bra and panties and began to climb the pseudo mountain in the nude. “Performance art!” She posed on the edge of rocks forming the upper pool, at the left of the mouth of waterfall. Julie instantly understood as she shook her head silently in both admiration and disdain at Petra’s addictive ingenuity.
Petra sat with one leg bent and the other stretched out. She leaned back with one arm on the rocks for support and put the other arm straight out on her raised knee. She squirmed a little to get comfortable in her pose. At the last instant she undid her ponytail, letting her blonde hair cascade over her shoulders before resuming her pose. Her nipples started to stiffen as she anticipated the moment when she would become an immobile sculpture.
Julie had collected Petra’s clothing and gone around to walk up the steps to the upper pool. She made her way gingerly across the uneven rocks to meet the naked girl. “Are you sure you won’t fall and get smashed up? I don’t think this is a good idea…” Julie asked as she nervously looked around to see if anyone was watching.
“I’m solid!” Petra wiggled to show she was firmly in place amongst the rocks. “Hurry up before anyone sees!” She tossed her head back like a sunbather.
Julie looked around, saw no one, and quickly petrified the naked girl. Petra’s skin blanched as the stony transformation crept around her skin, bleaching it of all color until she was a pristine marble monument. “I guess I’ll see you later,” Julie said as she left the statued sunbather awaiting the blazing sunrise.
What will the Petrifying Pranksters think of Next....?