THE SECRET STUDIO
by Jaye Stregyr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
copyright (c) 1996, 1997 Jaye Stregyr, all rights reserved worldwide.
This story may be freely transmitted, stored or printed, electronically
or as hard copy, without the author's permission under the following
conditions only: (1) no change may be made to the text of the story;
(2) the story must be left attached to the title, author line, copyright,
and this paragraph.
Although I didn't commit pen to paper (or, more appropriately, cursor to file) until 1996, I've been working on the plot & ideas in this story for quite some time (i.e., years). Between 1996 and now, the story has been re-editted extensively, proofread by friends, scanned for continuity and formatted in various ways: yet the story has changed little. As you go through the story, it will be clear to most readers which well-known celebrity I imagine as "playing the role" of the main female character (note I do not say "villain" or "antagonist", as I really don't see her in such a light -- there are no bad guys nor good guys here. The characters are simply themselves). It would please me to no end to see "The Secret Studio" adapted as a TV screenplay in half-hour format (say, like HBO's "Tales Of The Crypt") with the delightful Ms. Bernhard acting as the lead. Other than that, the resemblance of the people in the story to anyone living or dead is coincidental.
Some may find the erotica presented in this story rather tame: it's not so much a "sex" story as it is a "petriphilic fetish" story (though I'm curious as to what Professor Paglia's opinion might be). On the other hand, others may be more prurient. In any event, it is assumed that the reader is a mature adult, as requested for entry by the manager of this web site.
-- Jaye Stregyr, 10 April 1998.
"C'MON!! Don't wimp out on me, you shithead! Go fer nine! C'mon, asshole!..."
"Hhuaaahhh!" Vinnie grunted heavily as he pumped the bar slowly upward from his prone body. Sweat collected along the striations of his mighty chest and ran into the deep cleavage between his pectorals. Under the effort, they twitched at high frequency as if stimulated by an electric charge. The veins on his arms formed a net of swollen ribbons engorged with blood. Two hundred pounds of iron clinked softly at its apex as he paused. He huffed like a locomotive, his brows knotted in extraordinary concentration.
"O. K! Way t'go!" encouraged Mike, clapping for his buddy. "Now -- down one more time an' let's go fer an even ten. C'mon! You kin do it, Vin'!" The spotter held his giant hands gently alongside the upper arms of his workout partner as the bar descended. His guiding palms pressed lightly with his long thick muscular fingers curling partway around Vinnie's rockhard triceps. "Don't be a fuckin' wuss, paisan!" The athlete on the bench prepared for his tenth press, his cheeks puffing out a staccato rhythm, the iron hovering just over his stiff and reddened nipples. "Punch the sucker up!" shouted Mike, "Do it -- NOW!!"
"AAAARRGH!!" roared Vinnie through quivering lips, his eyes bulging wide. The weights blasted up one last time in triumph, held tight in his rosinned grip.
"... Ten! Aw'right!!" said Mike, clapping his hands in applause.
"Ooof!" exhaled Vinnie in relief as he set the bar in place. He sat up from the bench and ran a hand over his beet-red pecs. "Who-o-o-oa, man, that'sa nice burn! I feel so fuckin' ripped!"
"Y'know, I'm so glad you tol' me about this place, Vin," Mike commented, slapping his friend on his wide shoulder. "This setup's fuckin' fantastic!" The two bodybuilders, both in their late twenties, were reaching the end of a long heavy workout. "So, like, who'dya think set this all up?" asked Mike.
"Don't know, don't care" said the smaller athlete with a grin, twisting to and fro at his waist to examine the image of his flexing form in a wall mirror. Both had disrobed to their shorts in the warm chamber after their jog to the place. Mike's rugged heavyweight physique outsized Vinnie in both height and mass. Yet after years of honing his body to perfection, the smaller bodybuilder was still the slightly more defined of the two. "All I know is few of the guys from Gold's came runnin' up here one day. Dennis found the cave by pure luck, 'way I hear."
"C'mon, yer shittin' me," countered Mike, waving his arm at the room. "Everything here?"
"I kid you not, pal," replied Vinnie. "All this great stuff was all inside, just like y'see it now. We couldn't believe it."
Indeed, the well-equipped weight gym was in a most unlikely location, situated inside a cave several miles up into the southern California hills. The cavern walls and floor threw back the soft but ample lighting from dozens of light panels in the ceiling. With mirrors propped all around the perimeter of the chamber to reflect the light, the low-level illumination was increased considerably. Vinnie continued to use the nearest mirror to examine his well-pumped body.
"Man, it's, like, paradise in here." nodded Mike. "I mean, sure, y'gotta run by foot t'get up here. But everythin' y'ever want's here. An' y'got total privacy." Other than the equipment, only a few low boulders were scattered around the rough 50 by 60 foot cave. Recessed from the outside woods by a bending corridor, the cavern interior was hidden from prying eyes. One other natural doorway existed, but it was a dark exit leading in the opposite direction, further into the hillside.
"Yeah, the privacy's fuckin' great!" Vinnie agreed. "Most we ever get up here is two to four guys at a time. And we make sure only the best of us know about it here." With a wagging finger, he said to Mike, "So don't you go pissin' off y'mouth about this place to just anyone."
"Hey, my lips're sealed," replied Mike, lying down for some more bench presses. "These guys out here in L.A. sure know how t'live. Not like them crowded gyms we had back East. Comin' out here, we pretty much got it made, paisan."
A minute of silence passed as Vinnie kept examining his reflection. Mike finished working on his chest, then joined him at the mirror. Both were a little winded at the end of a most strenuous free-style workout. They'd cycled through every known routine, rotating the exercises while pushing their physiques to the limit of endurance. Legs, arms, abs, shoulders, back: they covered every body part in muscle-pumping discipline. Their torsos sweated and swelled in titanic exertion, each finely honed in endless repetition. The two men were greatly pleased with the results.
The larger man tossed his tremendous arms around Vinnie's shoulders, giving his workout partner a firm and sweaty hug from behind. Vinnie looked at him in the mirror with a pleasing smile, putting a hand on Mike's forearm. With a bigger smile on his face, Mike's other big arm meandered down Vinnie's torso and rested that hand on the front of his partner's shorts. Vinnie smacked it away playfully. "Down, boy," he said quietly.
"Who, me...?" asked Mike innocently. "Or that snake in yer shorts?"
"Time enough for that later," Vinnie replied with amusement. My partner, he thought: the incredible fuck machine.
They held each other for some seconds and then, with a flick of his hand, Mike gestured along the wall towards the entry to the inner passage from the gym. He asked, "So like, wha'dya think's back there?"
Vinnie shrugged his massive shoulders with a sigh. "Don't really know. Some of the other guys said to keep outta there. Supposed to be dangerous or something."
"Aww, what're y'afraid of? You fuckin' chicken-shit?" Mike challenged, tossling Vinnie's short buzz-cut hair with a big hand. "Buck buk-buk byock-buk!" he clucked sarcastically.
"Shit, you asshole..." he replied with a grimace. "It's probably full of rats, pits and mazes. Y'know, a guy can get hurt or lost in a cave if he don't know what he's doing."
"So, any of them guys ever try spalun-... spoolonk-..." Mike gave up on the word in frustration. "... Explorin'?"
"None that I know of. But, umm... come to think of it," Vinnie said looking up at Mike, "no one's seen Dennis in a few days." A serious look crossed his face. "Maybe..."
"Maybe a big boogerman got'im!" his partner laughed, his heavy masculine features lighting up with jest. Mike pursed his wide lips and he bugged his eyes out under his thick brows, going, "OoOoOoOoo!..."
Vinnie laughed along with him. My partner, the joker, he thought. "Yeah, yeah, whatever you say, asshole." He reached for his shirt, wiping the white powder off his hands and sopping up the glistening layer of pungent sweat coating his muscular body. Sniffing lightly, he asked, "Man, is it time for a shower, or what?"
In response, Mike lifted his powerful arms over his shoulders, stretching the lats of his wide V-shaped torso, also drenched in an ocean of sweat. He inhaled long and deep at the space under his pits. "Mmmmm..." he groaned with smile. "Hey, I don' smell that bad, do I?" he asked playfully, grinning through his scruffy shadow of day-old stubble.
"Are you kiddin'?" laughed Vinnie. "There ain't no bugs in this cave 'cause your stench gassed 'em out." But in actuality, neither longtime partner found the smell of other offensive. Together they felt very comfortable surrounded by the familiar testosterone-laden cloud of their joint daily exertion. Each was pleased to breathe deep the heady aroma of their warm masculine power.
Vinnie reached for and pulled his muscle-shirt tightly over his bulging arms and torso, the fabric stretching taut in a most satisfying manner. "I gotta head back. You ready to go?"
"Nah," replied Mike, flexing in the mirror, studying his form with a practiced eye. "I'm gonna stay'n blast my delts s'more today. They ain't feelin' big enuff."
"Heh, you pump them shoulders up any bigger, you're gonna need a whole new fuckin' wardrobe... an' we're short on closet space," Vinnie joked as he moved to leave. "Just remember, Mikey," he added seriously, "take it easy while you're up here alone. Don't go wandering off an' gettin' yerself lost. 'Specially where it's dark, OK?"
Mike waved him off twiddling his big fingers. He called out in a goofy falsetto, "yeah, sweetie, I'll be a good little boy for mommy."
The smaller bodybuilder shook his head and grinned back over his shoulder at his partner, playfully groaning, "ahh... you fuckin' shithead." With a wave, Vinnie trotted out through the front exit.
No one else showed up in the next hour as Mike pumped his shoulders up to humongous proportions. He also added an extra routine for his upper arms and abs. He did a bit of flexing for the mirrors, very satisfied with the day's progress. Ain't no way I'm gonna lose the Olympia contest this year! -- he thought, contemplating his dismal finish in the overall competition previously even though placing in the top of his weight class. With the deep cuts sharply defining his great unsurpassed mass, there was no way the other athletes could touch him this time: no way. With a grunt of satisfaction, he turned to grab his shirt to leave. And, forgotten until now, the inner doorway called to him from the corner of his eye, beckoning. The mysterious hole sat like a dark gash splitting the far wall.
He paused for a minute, rubbing a hand over his dark closely-cropped sweat-laden scalp as he thought about exploring. "Aw, it don't hurt just t'look down it, I s'pose," he muttered to himself, tossing his tank-top against a spot on the wall beneath the nearest mirror. He walked over to the opening and peered around the immediate right turn of the crack. The corridor was wide enough for two men, or even a single big bodybuilder like himself. The light faded at the far end a dozen yards away. There it turned again to the left to plunge further into the mountain.
Loaded with curiosity, Mike padded quietly down to this next turn. "Nuttin' ventured, nuttin' gained," he said. From the very dim light at this turn, the next stretch of passage was in blackness. He edged a bit down this hall a few yards. Remembering Vinnie's warning, he cautiously felt along the floor slowly with his feet and the walls with his big hands and thick forearms, upon which his unwashed sweat glimmering fitfully in the fading light from behind. The floor was surprisingly smooth and the walls, though crudely shaped, did not feel rough at all. The passage bent off to the left. The athlete turned around to see the dim light of the main room reflected off his previous location.
Turning forward again and edging a bit further into the dark, Mike was surprised to see a faint glowing patch ahead. After a few more yards, it appeared to be another turn, with faint light reflected from a source from the right, further on. The bodybuilder looked back to darkness behind. The corridor had turned too far for him to see the previous turn. But the light from ahead, plus the absence of pitfalls or turnoffs in this section, encouraged him to explore onward.
Making the right and then another left, he entered a small chamber with a single light panel in the wall. There were two openings in the wall ahead. He tried the right one first. Several yards later, however, he could feel the walls closing in against his wide shoulders. He turned sideways to explore a bit further, but the passage went back straight into darkness. It narrowed into a dead end. "Crap," he muttered under his breath. Coming back to the little room, Mike went down the lefthand way. The second hallway weaved slightly, becoming almost totally dark in just a few yards. As both height and width started to narrow, Mike figured it was another dead end. But then, in the dim light, he encountered a wooden barrier. He ran his fingers over it to examine it. Like the walls, it was crudely fashioned but smooth in texture. It was clearly a door and, with a bit of probing, he found its handle and tried it. "Yesss!" he exulted softly: it was unlocked. The door opened onto a tall and wide straight-away. The cooler air on the other side caused his bare muscles to give a brief though not unpleasant shiver. Light again glimmered far ahead from its end. Advancing down the hall, he made a left turn, and then another to the right a few feet further. The light brightened.
The hallway entered another small chamber, dimly lit with a single panel of light. However, the brightness leaking from under another wooden door in the far wall was considerably more intense than the light here. The bodybuilder tried this door -- also unlocked -- and stepped through, blinking momentarily in the brightness.
Inside, Mike found a chamber not unlike the weight room in its lighting and complement of wall mirrors. The cavern was somewhat larger, however. At its left end, it bent to the right forming an L-shaped extension. From that direction came the gentle trickling sound of running water. There was no weight equipment here, but something else entirely. Near the walls in front of the mirrors were several low six-inch platforms of what appeared to be smooth white rock, perhaps marble. Several of these six-foot-square slabs were empty. Nearest him, the other platforms he could see held tall blocks of the same white stone, standing nearly seven feet high. Further in the center of the room were a pair of wooden workbenches with a large variety of implements scattered on them: hammers, chisels, files, sanding pads. He wasn't an artist, but Mike figured they were sculptor's tools. He walked over to the nearest stone block and rubbed it with his hand. It was definitely marble, of a very fine quality. But as he came further into the room, he quietly whispered "whoa," surprised by the astounding sight upon two of the platforms previously hidden by the blocks.
Upon each of these platforms stood a magnificent sculpture of a male nude, each posed in a fine bodybuilding stance. The nearer statue was posed with hands against its hips and flexing its upper torso. Mike walked over to examine it. Every feature of its magnificent body was cut from marble with uncanny lifelike detail. The massive arms were rendered as blocky muscles of well-carved stone joined to massive shoulders more than a meter wide. The chest featured a broad pair of smooth curving shields of polished rock. The pecs were separated by a pronounced crevasse and interrupted by small erect nipples surrounded by slightly raised aureoles. Below, interrupted only by the dimple of a well-detailed navel, the abdominals were a washboard of diamond-hard marble, chiseled in stunning angular ridges. These ran down the front of the torso, past a thirty-inch waist, to join a pair of monstrously large thighs at the handsome iliac crest. The tensed quadriceps were locked like muscular white pistons. Mike looked upon the cannonball calves settled atop thick ankles and attractively veined feet. Here he saw that the statue kept its balance by the fusion of the soles of its feet to the marble pediment.
At the juncture of abs and thighs, Mike found a snowy tangle of what appeared to be finely carved pubic hair. Rising stiffly from this nest stood a hefty seven-inch rod. He was fascinated by the appearance of this erect and literally rockhard cock on the statue. Though he knew he was alone in the room, Mike bit his lower lip in trepidation as he glanced about. Then he turned back to the inanimate sculpture with a look of determination on his face. Fuck, he thought, wouldn't bother me if it was a real guy... and this's just a statue! With a smile and a bit of vicarious thrill, he first traced the sculpted head and shaft carefully with the fingertips of his right hand. Despite its veined and hard-edged muscular shape, the texture of the stone phallus felt silken smooth. Then he wrapped his large powerful fingers around the underside of the thick marble cock, laying his thumb along the top of the cylindrical organ. The severe whiteness of the cock shone in stark contrast to the rich ruddy color of his tanned hand. As Mike moved his thumb gently back and forth along the axis of the rod, he marveled at how the coolness of the rocky mass in his hand began to warm slightly under his caressing touch. After a minute or so, he let his hand run absentmindedly around the waist to the back of the statue. There he gripped the hard glutes of a well-muscled butt with his palm. From there his fingers explored downward, running slowly down the length of the muscular legs.
Then Mike looked over at the other sculpture. It stood in an abdominal pose with its arms crossed behind its head and shoulders. This figure had large, well-defined sinewy hands grasping its gigantically thick upper arm muscles in an embrace above and behind its pillar-like neck. The pectoral and serratus muscles were bulging outward under the arms in a dramatic display of width, narrowing to a concave alabaster plate of abdominal muscles, crunched into high relief with its alternating ridges and creases. Here, too, a large thick erection was sculpted to jut outward from the pelvic region of the figure. The legs, just as muscular and well-defined on this statue as the first, appeared to be anchored to its platform in the same way.
Mike turned back to look at the first statue. "Oh, man, this is fuckin' incredible work!" he murmured. He ran his own large sinewy hands over the alabaster body. Some years ago, he spent a summer working at his uncle's quarry back in Vermont, helping manhandle uncut blocks of raw marble out from the ground. Then, he found great fascination in the firm yet silky touch of the sedimentary rock. Now he found himself caught up in that same fascination -- and more. His hands drifted about the surface of the sculpture, where nets of thick twisted ridges densely decorated the arms and shoulders. By chance or design, the rocky texture mimicked the freaky vascularity a real bodybuilder in the same pose would have.
Then Mike looked into the statue's face, fronting a head topped with a lawn of closely cropped white fibers carpeting its scalp. Its features were sharp and angular despite the smoothness of the marble. Its lips were parted in a grin of determination over its clenched teeth. And although the brow was furrowed in concentration, the sculptor had captured it undergoing a subtle change, as if its steadfast intensity was about to give way to surprise. Overall, Mike felt a vague sense of familiarity. But the featureless corneas, clouded and blank, gave an effect of lifeless detachment to its fixed expression. He gently rubbed the opaque eyeballs with his fingertips. It couldn't possibly resemble anyone alive, Mike thought.
He went over to stand beside the second sculpture. The surface of this sculpture was also detailed with lifelike texture, capturing the sinewy nuance of every flexed muscle on its massive brawny physique. Thick venous ridges curled extensively along the abdominals, winding down towards the thighs and genitals. On its very masculine face, its features wore a very realistic expression of intense concentration. Its thick lips were pursed in midbreath, its brows caught in a frown (yet here, too, with that vague touch of startlement). Again, Mike felt he knew this face. Yet again, like the first sculpture, the blank orbs of its eyes failed to convey any human feeling. Any sense of recognition danced just outside his grasp.
Mike probed the rockhard craggy face of the statue with his warm caressing hand. He framed its frozen stony smile with his thick strong fingers, typical of a freaky muscle-pumping gym-dude such as himself. He brought his face close to the whitened jaw held in his big palm. With one bold motion, the bodybuilder closed his eyes and sealed his warm wet mouth awkwardly against the thick hard lips of the stone figure. His tongue flickered for a moment into the cold glazed cavity of solid marble. Mike pulled away from the statue, opening his eyes slowly, a thin tendril of saliva briefly connecting their mouths. He was fascinated by the strange exotic mineral taste of the kiss.
For a moment, the sound of water running in the back of the cavern intruded upon Mike's thoughts. The athlete now listened carefully to the flow. It wasn't running regularly! He realized from the sound, in fact, that someone was back there washing something in and out of the stream. "Hello?" he called out cautiously.
"Hey!" came a low resonant female voice, "Hello yourself! I didn't know I had a visitor." The voice beckoned, "whyn't you come on back here. I'm cleaning up." Mike rounded the corner of the L-shaped room. He saw additional workbenches and a near wall taken up by a cascading stream that ended in a natural waist-high sink. The far wall held a couple of exits to back rooms. But what caught Mike's attention was the woman standing at the basin. She looked up at him and gave a loud unabashed wolf-whistle. "Well, well, hel-LO handsome!" she said with authentic enthusiasm.
Mike took in the sight of her very quickly. The tall thirty-something woman wore a toga-like artist's smock of indeterminate age beneath various mismatched articles of kitsch-y clothing, along with an ample ensemble of bangles, beads and junk jewelry. Yet for what it lacked in contemporary fashion, the attractiveness of her arty outfit was made up for in its colorful and bold patchwork nature. Underneath he could tell she had quite a nice figure -- nothing to get too horny about, though. She put down the handful of files and chisels she had been scrubbing in the water. Putting her wet hands on her hips, she reciprocated Mike's evaluation of her. "Gosh, durn'it!" she exclaimed in an exaggerated tone, "any MORE of you at home?" Her deep expressive voice vamped with sultry desire.
Mike shifted his weight from foot to foot and clenched his fingers nervously at her forwardness. He blushed deeply: though he liked women sometimes, he didn't know how to deal with them too well.
Maybe she wasn't particularly pretty, but her looks were very striking... and strangely familiar. She displayed very large pouty lips made up with thick red lipstick framing a wide mouth. Her heavily mascaraed eyes complemented her very prominent cheeks and strong yet not overbearing nose. And then there was that outrageously thick but wacky-wild hair. Suddenly he remembered where he'd seen her. Pointing a thick finger at her, he said, "hey, ain't you that babe on cable TV who does..."
"... stand-up comedy?" she finished with an impatient sigh. Mike nodded. She explained, "Yes, yes, that's what everyone says first time they meet me. You've obviously got me confused with my twin sister, Sandra. I," she said, narrowing her eyes and spreading her hands against her breasts, "am Euryale." Then she added with her most alluring voice, "By the way, I'm the nice one, all sweetness and light." With a more nasty tone, she added, "my sister's the bitch."
"Wow," said Mike, "th'resemblance's really amazin'!" The woman before him even spoke like the forceful nightclub comedienne. "You two sure're dead-ringers fer each other. But, like, her hair's usually dark red. Why's yer hair all... green?"
"Oh, this?" she huffed, running a wet hand through her verdant locks, unkempt but not unlike her sister's trademark messy coiffures. "Silly boy. Who said twins have to look the same? One of us DYES it, of course," she said playfully.
Mike nodded. Then, with some thought, he asked playfully, "So, umm, which one o'you dyes?"
Euryale gave an earthy laugh and returned a cryptic smile. "Now, THAT would be telling! But for your... informazione..." she added, pronouncing the last word with an outrageous Italian accent and a flip of her hair, "my slutty sister even changed her name when she went 'Hollywood' on me. Thought her own name was too strong, too... ethnic for television. So you tell me: who's the faker?" Then she nodded her head at him, her lips stretching into a sexy appreciative smile. "And speaking of names, what do I call you, handsome?"
"Well, ma'am, my name's Mike, but all the guys, they just call me Mikey."
"Michael. Oooo," she exclaimed, her eyes briefly flashing with allure, "such a nice strong masculine name."
"Well, sometimes I'm Big Mikey if there's annudder Mike around."
Her eyes scrutinized him with obvious appreciation. As they meandered down to the base of his torso, her tongue flicked out to wet her wide ruby lips. "Hmm... BIG Mikey... I'm sure that distinction is quite... appropriate."
Mike looked down himself and blushed again. Changing the subject, he gestured at the room around them. "S-so, umm, what're y'doin' down here all by yer lonesome, Miz Euryale?"
"Please. Just 'Euryale', Michael. No need to be so formal," she told him pleasantly, and then continued. "To answer your question, big boy, I'm an artist!" She pronounced it ar-teest, her hand flourishing up into the air. "I'm a very famous sculptor. Or sculptress if we're going to be politically correct about it. Lemme show you my workshop," she said as she strode on past the bodybuilder towards the front of the room. But she stopped short suddenly, still within arm's reach of Mike. Reaching back with an agile hand, she squeezed his big right pec in her palm without looking back at him. "Grrrr," she growled with tigerish desire in her voice. Looking over her shoulder, she asked, "please tell me, Michael, just how big is that magnificent chest of yours?"
"Hmm... I dunno f'sure... mebbe 55 or 60 inches?"
She turned to face him, narrowing her eyes and with a smile on her lips. "Mmmm... it's a very, very nice chest," she purred as she released her hand, tracing a long and painted nail lightly around his nipple. Mike blushed yet again. She held a finger to the nervous bodybuilder and waggled it. "Listen, my dear Michael. Let us stop this 'acting embarrassed' when you're around me. While you're down here, I want you to think of me as a good friend." She put a hand on the hard warm mass of his shoulder. "A good and very, very close friend," she added in a soft breathy voice as she shook his deltoid with reassurance, drawing him a bit closer. "Do we understand each other?"
"Y-yeah, sure!" Man, was this babe forward! But that's OK, thought Mike, I can handle it.
She walked into the workshop and he followed. "In a way, we're both artists. You work your art in flesh; I work my art in stone. Uninhibited artists should not be embarrassed or restricted when expressing their compositions in the medium of their chosen milieu. Such masterful visionaries are made of sterner stuff than the rabble and hoi polloi of bourgeois culture... are you following my drift?"
"P-perfe'kly," said Mike, though he failed to wrestle even half the meaning out of the context of her fancy words. "Hey, by the way, these statues y'got here? I guess y'made 'em, right?"
She paused in silence and then responded to this overly obvious factoid with a sarcastic nod and a baleful stare. The unspoken Duh! hung on her open lips. "Well, uh, I... I mean," he stammered, to recover his gaff, "they're like... like totally awesome! I ain't ever seen statues wit' so much detail on 'em before."
"I really love the way you say that word ... stah-choos."
Was she making fun of his diction? "Hey," he added with a slight pout. Hulking his pecs out with pride, knitting his heavy brows and exaggerating his accent, he exclaimed in his thickest Brooklyn-ese, "so, like I don' tawk too gud. I'm A'talyan! Iz'zat gonna be a problem wit'choo?"
"Why no, not at all," she cooed as she batted her eyes kittenishly. "In fact, I think the way you talk is very, very charming."
Appeased, Mike beamed a wide grin and squared his broad shoulders. "Hey, yer a pretty cool chick yerself."
"Well," she added with a smile, "despite the last name my sister chooses to use, we're both actually Greek. So I guess we Mediterranean types have to stick together, right? Anyway, Michael," she said, turning back to the sculptures, "an artist like myself needs subjects for her art. So what better way to do that than provide potential male models with an offer they just can't possibly refuse. Like a private gym."
Mike stared and gaped in surprise, swinging an arm towards the outer passage behind him. "You mean... all that neat terrific equipment?!?..."
"Yes. After many years, I am a woman of quite substantial means. I bought and installed it, all of it for you big wonderful hunky guys. I knew that you and your handsome pals came running up here on occasion. It was just a matter of time before one of you discovered it and, now, many of you are making use of it, just as I had planned."
"Well, then... that's pretty dam'nice of you, I haf'ta say."
"Why, you're quite welcome, Michael." Gesturing at the platforms and blocks, she continued, "In any event, I set up my workshop here in anticipation of your -- hopefully frequent -- visits. And indeed, I've had two of you come by already." She now pointed to the two sculptures.
"Which guys came by, Euryale?"
"Well, let me see..." she said thoughtfully, pointing to the statue posed in the abdominal crunch, "first I had a visit by... Craig." Waving at the first statue Mike had examined, she said, "oh yes! And then later Dennis came by."
"Oh, man! That's them all right!" Upon re-examination of these statues, Mike now had no trouble at all identifying the two figures. Only the strangeness about their eyes had messed up his recognition of those two familiar faces. Sure enough, the statue of Craig was a perfect facsimile of the blonde surfer-dude bodybuilder. The sculptress had captured the sternness of his square jaw and angular cheekbones with an uncanny precision. Even the massive bulk of the thighs and chest were totally reminiscent of the man's actual physique. The statue of Dennis was slightly more difficult to fix visually. There wasn't much variation between Craig's blonde hair and the alabaster white on the head of his stone image to confuse recognition. In contrast, Dennis's dark brown scalp in life looked totally unfamiliar when represented in pale stone. Nevertheless, Mike could now make out the handsome trademark grin and powerful jaw, even the faint vein along the forehead that made any image of Dennis-while-flexing instantly recognizable.
Mike turned to Euryale and said, "This's some awesome work! So, like, how many sessions did they have t'pose for you t'get their likeness down right? I mean, not only did'ya get their faces perfect, but all'a th'muscles, too." He turned back to the statue of Dennis and ran his fingers along the carefully sculpted veins of the forearm. "It must'a taken awhile to get it just right, right?"
"Oh, not really," she said lazily. "In fact, I don't have to take any pictures at all. I do it all in a single visit. You might say I have... photographic memory. Or perhaps photographic sight. Mmm... whatever. And I work fast... very, very fast. However you'd describe it, all it took was just one sitting with the boys to find and strike their best poses. Then... I took it from there."
Mike considered the artista's setup and (as he understood it) her approach to sculpting. The bodybuilder poses for her... she gets the total picture fixed in her head, from facial expression to full physique... then she must take hammer and chisel to one of these big blocks of marble... and in the end, she's brought into existence a perfect reproduction of a male body, scrutinized carefully under her talented and faithful eye from just a single session.
"So, Euryale," asked Mike politely, rubbing his square jaw. "I wuz wonderin'... Could you... like, could'ya make a statue outta me? I mean, d'y'think I'd make a good subjec'? With all'a my muscles, like, they wuz carved outta marble?"
She put a hand on his very massive and venous upper arm. Her fingers quivered with excitement. "Michael, my love," she asked, taken aback, "do you really think you NEED to ask me such a thing?" She caressed her hands over his midsection. Still heavily pumped less than an hour after his workout, his torso musculature was impressively textured even while at rest. Throwing her arms around him in a hug, she looked at him and said through quivering lips, "why, I'd be honored to... no, I'd just love to capture every inch of your hard powerful studly body in stone... forever."
Mike was terribly pleased at the prospect of having and seeing his likeness captured in marble. Cracking a grin, he asked, "So, like, wha'do I gotta do for ya?"
She turned away to head back to the recesses of her workshop, calling out, "well, first let me get ready. Meanwhile, you take off your footwear and shorts, and...," pirouetting to point at him even before he could blush, she added, "and don't even THINK about being embarrassed, my dear. I want you to take it ALL off. Just remember," she added in the superior tone of the artist, "you are doing this for the sake of ART!"
He leaned against a tall block of marble to disrobe while Euryale went around the corner. After he pulled off his spandex shorts, Mike calmed himself down by walking to and fro. His cock was stirring a bit both from the excitement of posing as a model and the presence of the two perfect marble sculptures. He passed by the statue of Dennis, running his moist hand over the smooth pectoral muscle, broken only by its ribboned pattern of veins and sinew. It felt good under his touch: the sculpture's powerfully tensed chest muscles represented so faithfully in cold marble. Mike ran his big fingers across each of the hard pebble-like nipples, caressing them gently. He touched his own chest in turn, feeling the contrast in its firm yet warm yielding texture. Looking down past his hand to glance at the base of the statue's torso, Mike failed to suppress a mirthy grin. I guess that's a realistic representation of Dennis -- he thought -- but is that little pud really all he's got? He looked at its not-inconsiderable seven-inch erection with humorous disdain. Mike proudly regarded how his own Roman rod, when fully engorged, surpassed the length of the dinky marble dick by at least a good two inches.
His reverie was broken as he heard her opening and closing drawers on her workbench with a bang, rattling about to collect the tools of her trade. He finished stripping down fully and called out, "Now what?"
"Go stand on one of those empty platforms and practice your posing in a mirror," she called to him from around the corner. "I'll be back in a moment and then we'll pick out the pose that's the best for you."
Mike walked over to an empty platform that lay between an uncut block of marble and the statue of Dennis. He stood on its smooth surface and began to strike a series of poses. Compared to other men, Mike possessed the rare mass and muscularity of a true super-heavyweight. Yet he moved his six-foot-six frame with the same enormous grace and flexibility of all professional bodybuilders. He held each stance for a few seconds before advancing on to the next in a smooth fluid transition. After a few of these, he began to pose faster, with great panache. His brutally handsome smile flashed with great confidence. The cave was warm and sweat cascaded from his exertion, increasing the glow of his still-glistening 260-pound physique. However, he enjoyed the heat flowing through his hard flexed thews in the course of his continuous posing. A dreamy expression filled his face. The throbbing pulse of blood coursing through the veins of his well-pumped muscles had a deep soothing effect.
Meanwhile, a thought had occurred to Mike. "Say, Euryale?" he called out.
"Yes, Michael?" she queried back.
"By the way, I fergot to ask," he said as he kept posing. "Have y'seen Dennis since y'did the statue of him? Some of th'guys said he ain't been 'round fer workouts lately. So mebbe y'seen him more recently?"
Euryale came back into the room with a hammer and chisel in a leather belt slung round her waist. Like old TV star Jack Benny, she held an elbow in one hand and two fingers of the other pressed against her cheek. Mike glanced at her face, a whimsical mixture of indifference and innocence. She began sweetly as she tapped her cheek, "why... I don't believe so, Michael. In fact... I can honestly say that I haven't seen Dennis since... well, since I made a statue of him."
"Aww, that's OK." said Mike through clenched teeth as he turned back to the mirror and went back to his posing. "He don' need a keeper, anyhow."
Euryale looked with swooning excitement upon Mike's sweaty body. She muttered, fluttering her eyes and fanning her cleavage, "Oh my! You ARE the handsome devil, aren't you? Do... do you mind if I touch your body while you pose?" Mike curtly nodded his affirmation with a heavy grunt. At each held pose, she ran her fingers over his tightly flexed physique. The sculptress explored his every vein and striation in a gentle, thorough caress. She circled the bodybuilder, oo-ing and ahh-ing while running her hands up across his expanded chest for one pose, down against the hard pillars of his legs for the next. Then she stood behind him and massaged his broad muscular back and shoulders for yet another.
As Mike continued in his posing, Euryale allowed her touching to become more intense and more sensual. Her hands now moved continuously over the body of her model, with her caresses attempting greater and greater arousal. A knuckle ran through the deep clefts of his abs and circled his navel. A nipple was lightly rubbed and tweaked between thumb and forefinger. Her hand squeezed a tightly flexed limb with gentle firmness. The bodybuilder's respiration rose to match the growing stimulation of her touch along his sweaty skin. And all the while, Mike's long rod began to awaken from its semi-quiescence.
"Gosh, Michael," she marveled with genuine excitement, "Why, you have a body resembling one of those heros or gods of ancient Greece..."
"Gee, thanks!" grunted Mike at the complement. "Y'really think so?"
"Of course, of course!" she agreed, adding in cryptic undertone, "I should know." But she swiftly added, "you know, the bodies of these mythical figures come down to us from ancient times in the form of sculpture, their marbled physiques so perfect and godlike, so hard and mighty in statuesque poses..."
"'At's cool," he muttered, seeming to grow even bigger with pride. "I'm always tryin' t'create th'perfec' bod fer myself." And with that, he increased the intensity and pace of his posing. Mike wiggled and waggled his frame to hit a few more highly ripped free-style positions. He displayed his massive torso and limbs with even greater textured detail than before. His skin grew darker, taking on a ruddy complexion from the heavy flow of blood throughout every inch of his body. The vasculature overlaying his physique stood out in sharp relief. The ridges zigzagged along the tight, striated sinew beneath. The sculptress continued to massage his bulging muscles. She traced her fingertips along the slick warm flesh with its hot pulsing veins. It was like caressing a living anatomy chart.
Despite his concentration and furrowed brows, Mike still grinned fiercely while he posed, his eyes dark but smoldering. He was getting aroused a great deal as the woman ran her hands over his gigantic and stunningly beautiful physique. His cock began to stand erect, but he paid it no mind. If it didn't freak her, then that was fine by him. It was part of the art of posing and all professional bodybuilders and models ignored it as a matter-of-fact. Mike crouched slightly over in this way and that, concentrating as he jiggled around to hit a variety of muscular poses in succession. He inhaled through a wide smile as he slowly raised his elbows on high, clasping his wrists behind his neck with his large hands. Placing one leg before the other, he tensed his thigh and flared his lats. As he exhaled, he crunched the plated muscles of his stomach, bringing fine definition and vascularity to the abs. "How's about an ab pose?" he asked.
Euryale reached up, grasping the line of Mike's jaw gently in one hand and ran the open palm and fingers of the other along the front of the man's magnificent torso. "It's a terribly nice pose," she said to her subject as she petted his chest and stomach. "But I've already got one of those," she added, gesturing towards the statue of Craig. "Plus, it doesn't show off those really humongous arms and shoulders of yours as well as they should." Batting her eyes, she said, "Mmmm... try something else for me."
Mike nodded. Arms, huh? Then he had just the thing. In one fluid motion, the handsome bodybuilder swung both his massive well-pumped arms out to one side, twisted his chiseled torso at the waist, and struck a mighty double biceps side pose. Freaky vascularity popped out along the entire length of his arms in thick branching ribbons, from his powerfully built shoulders to his massive fists with their large tightly-clenched fingers. His chest and shoulders, ruddy and slick with sweat from his posing, crinkled with rich striation. He positioned his legs in a well-balanced stance, his thick diamond-shaped quads and rock-hard calves holding his super-heavyweight bulk steady. His cock stood at attention, its nine thick inches stiffened to full erection.
He held this pose with great concentration and murmured to Euryale, in a low pitched but excited voice, "Howz'bout this si'double biceps? Like it?"
Euryale placed a hand upon the heavy trapezius muscle between Mike's shoulder and neck. She gave the firm muscle a gentle appreciative squeeze. With a big smile full of desire, she told him, "Oh, THIS is quite fine, my pet! Quel magnifique!" And even as she caressed his torso, Mike slowly exhaled with a grunt, to bring harder definition to the abdominals and obliques. Veins curled in thick prominent ridges across his arms and chest. The sculptress gasped in pleasure and ran her hands up along either side of the bodybuilder's thick corded neck. There, she felt his pulse banging heavily within his arteries. Her palms moved to and fro along the hard masculine line of Mike's jaw and neck. She felt the athlete's scratchy beard of day-old stubble, while he held every muscle of his body in the perfectly intense flex. "Oh, your muscles are so large and wonderfully defined. Even before I start, they look and feel so perfectly dense and heavy, just as if they were already cast in stone." Looking him in the eye, she asked, "But are you sure you can hold this position steady while I -- well, I don't know how to describe it, but let's just say -- take all of it in? I don't want you varying from your pose one iota while I... commit it to stone."
Mike swallowed hard and blinked back some sweat, his gaze still locked with hers. But atop the thick pillar of his neck, he gave his handsome head a tiny nod. "Uh-huh... yeah, m'sure I kin hol' this pose," he said haltingly, minimizing all movement. "I kin stay c'mpletely firm fer ya." With great desire in his voice, Mike managed to re-flex the mass of his arms, shoulders and torso into even tighter knots of muscle. The veined tops of his huge biceps peaked out of their roundness, forming sharp angular crowns. He kept his left hand fisted while he opened his right hand, clawing outward aggressively with its thick fingers in an expressive grasp. "Kin y'get it all now? I'm holdin' it... rock solid," he gritted through his teeth without moving his thick grinning lips. He stared intently at the sculptress, her hands still resting upon his awesome physique.
"Oh YES," she said, her big baleful eyes still tightly locked with Mike's, "Yes, indeed!" Without further ado, her hands migrated in slow caresses upon his pecs and delts as she chanted a handful of incoherent syllables. He hadn't a clue as to what she was muttering: it was all Greek to Mike. The bodybuilder gave out a deep rapturous sigh, trailing off in a raspy moan. This further exhalation increased the hard crunchy texture of his torso. He thought: man, I must look damn good! He thought this even as a weird sensation flowed throughout his body. But, being a professional bodybuilder, he didn't let it rattle him one bit. He stuck to the business of his side double biceps pose. It was all for art. And for this nice chick, he thought, with them weirdly intense eyes.
Even though the cave was warm, Mike couldn't shake off the sudden flush of a numbing coldness. For a few moments, he figured it was just the thick layer of sweat drying out on his limbs and torso: he even felt a vague crustiness on his skin as if salt crystals might be forming. But the feeling became more persistent, spreading to every inch of his body surface. It certainly don't hurt any, he thought. In fact... the sensation was a magnificent turn-on! His cock certainly agreed as he popped a boner so large he felt it would fly off. At first, the strange sensation pervaded only his skin. Then, every part of his body became so incredibly heavy and leaden, and yet dense with power, imbued with the potential of a dozen -- no, a hundred! -- bodybuilders. Why, if he didn't know any better, it felt almost... as if HE himself were a statue! But that was silly -- he was just a model for the sculptress.
The strange effect burned with a cold erotic fire, the sensation deeply numbing and terribly stimulating, both at the same time. Like an incoming tide pounding the shore, his mind reeled under both the indirect but powerfully sex-laden feeling that both gripped his massive body everywhere and throbbed under the direct passage of her hands over his hard muscled surface. Ohhh... WOW! -- he thought, grinning in great pleasure -- I wanna stay like this forever! He didn't want the beautiful rapture to ever end, so he tensed his pose even further, trying to keep his handsome body as perfectly still as possible.
And he was rewarded: his every rockhard muscle cooperated in the fullest, locked in place, happily frozen in the single pose. The bodybuilder was amazed how he required no effort at all to maintain his immensely solid and freakishly massive body in this one tightly flexed position, without the slightest shaking or quivering. Over the faint ringing in his ears, he could hear -- no... more like... feel -- a strange soft crackling sound. It was as if he were listening very closely to some kind of stone caught under high torsional stress; or like wet cement undergoing a rapid drying... and setting.
The erotic all-encompassing sensation rose exponentially to a rousing climax... and stayed there! The model hardly cared about the cold wave of numbness creeping up from his stiffly-held hands and feet into the heavy engorged muscles of his unmoving arms and legs. He found he had no desire at all to move from his fixed position. Movement had become irrelevant; sensation and touch was everything! And all this while, as she continued her chanting and caressing, his eyes remained unblinking, wide-open and locked to Euryale's enchanting gaze. He stared at her for what seemed like an eternity. A smile remained caught on his full yet parted lips, his huge grin tinged with surprise at the overwhelming intensity of the erotic ecstasy enfolding the monolith of his body. And, even as his sight grew dim, the only thoughts remaining to him dwelled on how wonderfully joyful and how remarkably easy -- how terribly easy -- it was to maintain that eye contact with her...
One week later...
Alone, Vinnie sat on the bench after the last of the day's weight-lifting routine, stripped to his shorts in the warm cavern air. Though he had finished fifteen minutes ago, he remained deep in thought, staring at the dark inner opening.
He was pretty pissed off, and a bit worried. No, more than just a little bit worried. He was downright miserable with worry. Though they lived separately, the two bodybuilding partners remained tightly bound to their daily gym routine. Mike had not been at their last four workouts. And, despite Mike's happy-go-lucky attitude, he never, EVER missed workouts with Vinnie in all the years they'd been partners. In fact, Mike hadn't been seen working out at all since their last session. Nor at work, or at his apartment. Vinnie had gone around asking other bodybuilders he knew, but no one had seen Mike at all for several days, either at the cave or at Gold's. Or anywhere.
Vinnie had a pretty good idea that his pal had gone off exploring in the caverns. I told the fucker not to do it, thought the athlete to himself. But he realized all too well that Mike was simply that kind of guy who boldly went off to do stupid things without working out all the consequences first. Vinnie was a lot more circumspect and careful. Even now, he debated and questioned the wisdom of following Mike to whatever fate might have claimed him in the nether passage. And claimed the others: besides Mike, two of the native Californian bodybuilders were missing as well for two weeks.
Crap, thought Vinnie. Shit on a stick. But even though he was alone now, and despite the ominous dangers, he had to find out what happened to Mike. They'd been with each other for years, working out in gyms together on their way up, making the circuit of bodybuilding contests together. And more. Mike was more than just a partner at the gym. Mike was his really good fuck-buddy.
And buddies looked out for each other.
With a sigh, the shirtless athlete got up and slowly walked over to the crack-like doorway. After a pause, he plunged in. First a right, then a left, the dark twisting passage made two more turns to a small lit chamber. He eventually found the narrow passage on the left leading to the first wooden barrier, and then the long cool hallway leading to the final turns and the second door. Just like Mike a week before him, Vinnie tried the unlocked door. Suspicious of the unknown, he decided to go in silently. Kicking off his footwear to one side of the door, he cautiously entered the brightly lit workshop barefoot.
After first taking in the blocks of stone and mirrors, the bodybuilder then saw the woman standing in the large room-like cavern with her back towards him. She seemed to be using a soft 'shammy' cloth to polish a large white object on a pedestal before her. Vinnie suddenly realized that it was a statue of an incredibly large man. In fact, two other large statues also stood in the room, posed upon low marble slabs. The door made a slight creak as it swung. Without turning around, the woman knew she had company. She said, "Hello. Come right in and make yourself at home."
The statues momentarily forgotten, Vinnie shut the door behind him and responded to her in an unsure voice. "Hi there. Umm, I'm Vinnie, from the weight room out front? Who're you and what're you doing down here?"
The tall woman hung the cloth from her toolbelt and turned around to face Vinnie. She wasn't a classic beauty, but her wide expressive mouth and striking looks were very intriguing, not to mention her bizzaro green hairdo. A kinky L.A. babe, he thought. "Well, Vincent," she began, "I am Euryale, and..." She stopped talking. Fully taking in the sight of Vinnie, she added with great enthusiasm, "... and -- my, oh, MY! -- I just happen to be looking at the most gorgeously built guy I have ever seen!" Vinnie blushed deeply even though he was already red and flush from his intensive workout. She walked over and stroked a hand with long fingernails over a broad and massive pec, still slick with sweat. "My, my, you look so hot and bothered, love," she said in throaty passion as she guided him into the center of the room. "Come in, relax, and welcome to my studio."
To Vinnie, this last word carried with it all the emphasis of 'lair'.
Vinnie took in the room and its objects. He stared in wide-eyed fascination at the large sculptures standing on their pedestals -- three male nudes carved from white marble. The bulk of their massive Rodinesque forms stood in contrast to the expression of meticulous lifelike detail upon their physiques. He ran a hand over their cold surfaces, feeling the hard and sinewy texture representing taut and tightly flexed muscle. After a minute or so, he turned back to the woman. Squinting at her with unsure recognition, he asked, "Wait a'minnit... Aren't you that funny comic from cable TV?..."
She sighed heavily with exasperation, eyes rolling up. She complained, addressing the ceiling with a frustrated shout, "my dear sister, the bitch goddess of humor... she gets ALL the acclaim while I, the serious, dedicated and accomplished artist, am doomed to total obscurity!" But her attitude took a one-eighty turn as she glanced back to him, tossing off an indifferent expression of 'never-mind' with a half-shrug. "No, Vincent, it's not your fault. Everybody confuses me with 'dearest' Sandra." In a bored voice, looking aside, she added, "I'm always told the resemblance is amazing. Always."
"Sure is," said Vinnie. Sensing her dislike of her sister, though, he quickly changed the subject, remarking, "But these statues of yours... they're really very good representations of the male body. Totally excellent work." The semi-erotic nature of the marble sculpture did not escape him. Vinnie had never seen full erections on statuary before, carved in such a large and lifelike manner: genitals were almost an afterthought on most classical and Renaissance pieces. But this anomaly wasn't displeasing. Not one bit, he thought with amusement.
"Why thank you, Vincent," she purred. Turning back to the stone figures, she touched them gently and continued, "I express my inner vision and desires through sculpture. The male body is such a marvel of shape and form. The culture of the Aegean discovered this centuries ago." She added in a low inaudible voice as an afterthought, "... as I know so well."
"So you're Greek?" Vinnie asked. Greek chicks were supposed to be pretty hot, he mused. He was not totally indifferent to the charms of the other sex. Well, if you were fairly generous in defining 'totally'.
"Yes," she responded warmly to him, as if confirming his unspoken musings on her hot passion rather than her ancestry. Hugging herself, she added, "the blood of sculptors from antiquity runs pure in my veins." Caressing the crunched abdominals on one of the statues, Euryale said, "See how the rough angular surface divides the sensual mass and power of the male object from the feminine space surrounding it... defining it... trapping it." Circling the figure, she faced Vinnie again from the shadow of its massive back. "By the way, YOU haven't done too bad for yourself. Just how wide are those shoulders of yours?"
"Oh, about 36, 37 inches," he said, glancing to either side as he tensed them playfully and smiled for her. The impressive width of his massive bulked-up deltoids were at least half his total height.
"Well, you're quite the studly bodybuilder," she said, walking over to him. "You're a perfect study in sinew and muscle." Euryale went on to explain how the weight equipment was her gift in order to recruit strong and handsome men to be subjects for her sculpting. She described how she would then prepare the figures from marble after just a single session. Pointing to two of the three well-carved figures, she said, "so far, Craig and Dennis have stopped by to model for me." Siding up to the largest of the statues, she added, "And just last week, Michael stopped by to let me capture his likeness."
"Mikey was here?" asked the bodybuilder suspiciously. He now examined the third sculpture, standing in a classic side double biceps pose. Vinnie ran his hand appreciatively along the thick heavily textured arms of the statue. His powerful fingers examined the hard tense sinew carved upon its massive stone forearms, as well as the unreal 29-inch circumference of its glistening white biceps, tightly knotted at their peaks. The fat branching vasculature was so abundant that the muscle surface seemed crystalline and facetted, caught between its multitude of veins and tendons. His hands next explored the hard corrugated front of the abdominal muscles: thick marble cubes carefully stacked, mortared together as if to form a solid brick wall. Below, the massive thighs, calves and feet all showed the same attention to texture in their freaky vascularity and muscular detail.
Upon examining the hands of the statue, Vinnie found even its thick powerful fingers -- one motionless in a clenched angular grasp, the other fisted tight -- were perfect in every respect. Here he noticed the extraordinary detail on this sinewy right hand carved from marble: the lifelike texture of its epidermis amid the venous ridges on the back of the big hand with its powerful knuckles; the faint but unmistakable pattern of both palm and fingerprints along the front; the smooth matte surface of its broad nails, square and closely manicured at the tips of its wide athletic fingers. The hands looked so alive, as if they might twitch at any given moment. But Vinnie touched the thick rigid digits and felt the cool silky smoothness of solid marble overlain by the textured edges of the stone sinew, tendon and muscle.
The head didn't so much sit atop the thick muscled neck -- a column surmounted by the armored collar formed by the trapezius on that hulking alabaster figure of marble. Rather, the face seemed to be carved like a relief sculpture upon the side of the broad pillar, its powerful jawline jutting outward like an overhanging crag. The expression on the mask-like face of the statue appeared both grim and dreamy. Though its strong features were creased with heavy concentration, a sensual joyous grin was captured on its thick rockhard lips. Joy... but something else, too. Perhaps... surprise? He examined its eyes for a further clue, but they were fixed wide open, opaque and sightless, gazing blankly at Vinnie. He rubbed a thumb along the underside of the statue's stiff smile, feeling the strong masculine shape of its perfectly detailed lower lip. His fingers moved gently along the hard angular edge of the well-formed manly jaw. There Vinnie felt the faint sandpapery scrape of unshaven stubble coating the chin and thick corded throat, rendered as a finely-crafted texture in the stone.
Vinnie wasn't fooled -- not even for a second.
After years of shared workouts, both in the gym and elsewhere, he was extremely familiar with the muscular and sinewy details of the body of his daily partner. Despite its pale white complexion and colorless hair, he recognized that handsome sculpted face without hesitation. And besides all the visual clues, there was the one detail that a sculpture couldn't possibly simulate. As Vinnie held his face close to the carved marble surface of the statue, his nose caught -- so faint and almost undetectable under the raw smell of carved rock -- an unmistakable masculine scent that had but one source, even though dried for days: the pungent odor of his workout buddy's sweat.
"Mikey?..." he whispered to its silent marbled face in desperate confusion. This object wasn't just a stone statue of Mikey, he realized: it really was Mike! He turned to glance at the other two figures. Yes, he thought: that one was Dennis, and this other one just had to be Craig. All three of them were chiseled from solid marble in perfect detail. And all of them were missing for many days. Unlike his partner, Vinnie wasn't an idiot. He easily put two and two together.
He whirled on the marble platform to face the sculptress. He clenched his big fists into hard massive knots and contorted his face in anger. He flung an arm out, pointing his forefinger at the woman, and declared, "YOU did this to Mikey! And Dennis and Craig as well!" He hopped over to the Craig-like statue, running his hands along its exposed and highly muscled torso. Looking upon the stony surface, he surmised, "you've trapped them... inside marble sculptures of themselves. And they can't get out!" Hugging the white figure firmly in his arms, his fingers sought a firm and sturdy grasp on the smooth hard surface textured so much like muscle. He looked over his shoulder to face Euryale with determination. "But I'm going to free them." Without further ado, he flexed his muscles and gave a Herculean shove to the statue of Craig. Vinnie intended the release his fellow bodybuilder from the rocky prison encasing him as it toppled to the floor.
Topple it did, but not with the results that he expected. With its feet fused to the pedestal, the marble figure cracked off right at the ankles with a loud snap. The massive weight of the stone body pivoted back onto the edge of the pedestal, its upper body falling to strike the granite floor of the cavern. With a tremendous crash, the statue broke in two at the narrow waist while several substantial chunks of the figure shattered off from its limbs: a hand flew over here; a knee over there. With a shudder, Vinnie looked in horror upon the cross-sectional break of the torso. The interior of the sculpted physique was completely white marble, solid throughout! This was no man encased in a layer of rock, he now realized. Instead, Craig's firm muscular flesh had been petrified into cold inanimate stone, even as he had posed upon the pedestal, becoming one with the marble. And if the bodybuilder hadn't been killed outright by the transformation, then Vinnie's rash impulse had probably put Craig beyond any hope of restoration. In confusion, Vinnie turned slowly towards the woman while glancing back forlornly at the broken statue, its placid face unchanged despite its dreadful ordeal. He mumbled dazedly "it... it's not my fault! I didn't know..." with great remorse.
Euryale stared without emotion at the damaged statue lying beyond Vinnie. In fact, her disinterest was downright eerie. With her hands clasped beneath her chin and elbows akimbo, the sculptress huffed an exaggerated sigh. She said philosophically to no one in particular, "Oh well. Here I create a brilliant masterpiece, a sculpture so fine and handsome... and some bonehead barbarian comes along to ruin it. It's the story of my long, long life." She glanced up at the bodybuilder, still without any anger. "You know, my dear Vincent, I've wandered all the wide world for so many years and yet I never tire of capturing new forms, creating new masterworks. Something like this might even upset me, if my talent didn't come so easy to me." She took a step towards Vinnie. "But fate always provides me with fresh inspiration. So I never become too attached to any one piece." And another step, with a shrug and a shake of her head. "Before long, there's always a new subject available to prepare for my latest work." All the while, her eyes expertly regarded his strong and perfectly proportioned body.
Vinnie tensed his muscles, coiling with both horror and rage at her indifferent and cavalier attitude. "YOU! You're... you're evil!" he shouted with disgust from where he stood, stabbing a finger again in her direction. This time it wasn't a forefinger.
"Evil?!?" the sculptress echoed, raising an eyebrow. "Vincent, my pet, don't be so ridiculous," she continued with slight indignation in her voice. "Or insulting for that matter, you arrogant little prick, you. I am an Artist," she asserted, the 'A' clearly capitalized in her speech, "and my Art is free of your or anyone's standard of morality. Art is to challenge the senses and to create new experience. Anything less than that is not Art. Besides," she added sternly yet with a sly grin, "I gave each of these men precisely and exactly what he wanted. How can my fulfillment of their strongest desires be wrong?"
"How? How could you take advantage these fine guys? Don't you care about what you've done to them? They must've trusted you, you cold-hearted bitch, and you... you tricked them! You fucked them over!" He sputtered with intense anger. "You an' your fuckin' art studio and... an' your fuckin' sister in Hollywood. You can both go to ..."
At that moment, Vinnie suddenly remembered something. Two sisters? Of Greek descent? Too late, Vinnie recalled a story, a heroic myth he'd read for years ago in a college classics course. Of a daring hero against two immortal sisters... Euryale and Sandra? No, not Sandra. Something with an 'S', yes, but more stronger sounding, more ethnic than that... Stheno, that was it! Euryale, Stheno... and their third and mortal sister.
Uh-oh, he thought. Serious mother-fuckin' uh-oh!
With growing shock, Vinnie fully comprehended the nature of the deadly danger standing right before him. He was in deep shit, no doubt about it. He was now sure of Euryale's identity, even though this striking -- even handsome -- woman was not the fearsome and ugly creature oft recalled out of myth and legend. Calmly, Vinnie slowly raised his arms towards her. "Uh, n-n-now l-let's not get... too excited here," he began nervously, gesturing diplomatically with his big hands. "Maybe I was kinda hasty mouthin' off just now, O. K.?" So far, so good. Perhaps he could talk his way out of this, he hoped. Despite how he might feel about them, the babes always had a warm spot for his masculine good looks.
But a small fearful voice rose unbidden in his mind. Babe? it whispered urgently. She may not look a day over forty, but she ain't no 'babe'! He pushed away the sudden terrifying thought of what this millenia-old legend might do... could do to him on a slight whim. The bodybuilder tried not to think about suffering the fate of men long before him: the frightful stiffness and rigidity invading his limbs, locking his muscles in fixed positions, transforming his firm flesh to cold inanimate stone. Smiling, he added tentatively, "m-maybe we can make some sort'a deal... like, I could do somethin' for you? Anything y'want..." He raised his eyebrows in the frail expectation of a positive response, his voice trailing off meekly. "Anything... anything at all?"
She raised a single eyebrow in return. "Of course there is, my big, strong and handsome Vincent," she said with a faint smile playing across her lips. Red luscious lips in such contrast to her verdant hair. Such green serpentine hair. As she raised a hand to play with her medusan coils, her eyes appraised his body warmly and they flashed dangerously with an inner light. He smiled back wanly, the glimmer of hope fading on his lips. "But," she continued, "there's only one thing you can provide that I really want. So... I think I'll take it!" With that said, she waved her arms and chanted a handful of words in Greek.
Vinnie flinched his eyes away, twisting and flexing his muscular body away from her gaze. But it was in vain: her magick had caught him fast. With a bellow of alarm, the frightened athlete fought against the unnatural cold stiffness inundating his limbs and gluing his feet to the marble pedestal. His deep tan faded away and his body took on a grayish white hue, just like the statue of Craig on the floor beyond him. His large well-pumped muscles grew dense and immensely powerful, but not powerful enough to offset the growing rigidity restricting his movement. Despite all his understanding, he still couldn't accept the transformation actually occurring. "What's happenin'... to my fuckin' body?" Vinnie gasped out in disbelief between breaths. "I'm... changing!" But the man knew precisely what was happening: his living flesh was crystallizing into cold inanimate stone.
In a futile effort to lift his anchored feet, the bodybuilder struggled, his legs pistoning in slow-motion. "I'm... I'm stiffenin' up!..." he cried in terror, the register of his voice dropping. With each exertion, every one of his gray-white muscles became preternaturally hard. They remained fully engorged from his frantic effort to escape, becoming coated with thick nets of ropey vascularity. Now with anger, he grunted, "N-N-NO!" His bass voice deepened further as it welled up from the tightening cords of his thick neck. Already he could taste a tangy mineral flavor filling his mouth. "Muscles... like rock!.." he croaked hoarsely, staring back at her in disbelief. "Y-you... c-can't... DO... this-s-s!..."
"Oh, b-but I c-c-can," Euryale responded, mocking his stammer. "And I AM, my dear Vincent!... my dear, dear finely sculpted Vincent..." A fierce smile crept into her expression and she chuckled throatily. Meanwhile, Vinnie's rapidly stiffening physique took on a rock-like state, pumped up with unreal muscularity like some comic-book hero. His rocky thews snapped and popped audibly with stress as he exerted his leaden limbs in opposition to their growing immobility. He stared at his muscles in helpless shock as they swelled up and then hardened in fixed positions, flexed beyond their maximal size. His biceps vitrified into pale globes of marble 26 inches around. His powerful but well-manicured fingers tore at the air in futility as his clenched digits stiffened into stony unmoving rods, crackling as their joints flexed in vain. The surfaces of his forearms, torso and thighs roughened and whitened, all permanently striated with rich sinewy texture.
The petrifaction over-stimulated his sense of touch. The bodybuilder felt every possible erotic sensation pervade his freezing musculature and erogenous zones. His lips and tongue began to tingle, as did the tips of his fingers. His sensitized nipples stood hard and erect upon the curved white expanse of his freakishly expanded pectorals. The hair at his crotch began to stand on end as it whitened and stiffened. The muscles ringing his anus pulled in hard and tight. And, despite his anger and horror, the stimulating transformation affected his venous cock with a vengeance. Its eight thick inches quickened into an erection, yanked to full attention beneath his flimsy spandex briefs.
Now through teeth clenched tightly in a grimace, Vinnie exhaled with a hiss and the hard alabaster blocks of his abdominal muscles contracted inward. The concave hollow of his abs, alternating ribbed plates and sharp crevasses, froze solid into a sharply textured washboard of stone. He looked back directly at the woman. A final grunt of "... c'n-n-n't ... m-m-m'v-v-v..." stuttered through the sealed barrier of his teeth. His voice trailed off into an incoherent growl, then a faint crackling rattle, then silence. A thick angry vein was captured across his forehead. His handsome but agitated features froze into a chiseled mask of fixed angles and hard planes atop the sinewy pillar of his tightly corded neck. At first, his thick masculine lips were drawn back in horror and fury, framed by the square block of his smooth but hard-edged jaw.
Yet, at the very last, the petrifaction had deeply pleasured his muscled body, now stiff and totally inert. A certain involuntary rapture tinged his facial features, as if some bright calming knowledge unknotted his troubled brow. This strange look of desire pervaded his haunted pleading gaze as his face locked upon Euryale. But then the irises and pupils faded out of his eyes. The blank corneas glazed over in a hard lifeless stare lacking all human expression.
In a moment it was all over. The new figure on the pedestal was no longer the buff and studly Vinnie, bodybuilder and living man. In his place stood a magnificently lifelike but inanimate white marble statue of a powerfully-built hunk, carved in a heroic pose like some Greek god. Its gigantically enlarged but frozen muscles struggled in vain against its own immobility. Large and elegantly articulated hands of marble. Thick wrists and chiseled arms of marble. Pillar-like thighs of marble. Broad and deep chest of marble. Massive shoulders and neck of marble. All drained of their rebellious motion; captured in an impotent frenzy. All this was centered on a torso so angular with muscular definition that the smooth marble surface almost appeared jagged, fractured. The soles of the statue's feet were fused to the pedestal, supporting the free-standing sculpture in a sturdy upright stance.
Euryale had watched the process with unblinking intensity. Just like the three men before him, the bodybuilder's firm flesh transformed quickly, crackling with the ancient magick. The blossoming effect of the petrifaction conquered his extremely taut and flexed musculature. In just seconds, with his body utterly immobilized, Vinnie was no more. Now, in his place, stood a fourth marble sculpture, silent and frozen in mid-pose, transfixed upon the stone pediment. The man's figure might have been a tad shorter than the others, she thought, but -- my, oh, my -- hadn't it petrified into such a well-ripped, very muscularly-defined statue? Every proud, straining detail of his six-foot bodybuilding physique with its hulking limbs and broad shoulders was captured perfectly in the cold white marble. The athlete had kept himself free of body hair by the frequent shaving of his torso and limbs. Now transformed into stone, the surface was as silky to her touch as the finest classical sculpture.
"Well, big boy," the sculptress said to herself, matter-of-factly, "looks like we had to make a statue of you in a bit of a hurry, didn't we?" Tracing a finger along the ridge of a thick twisting vein, chiseled in prominent detail across the bulging front of the marble biceps, Euryale added with glee, "But I guess now we both have all the time in the world to enjoy your strong new body -- right, my pet?" She playfully ran a hand across the stony pectorals of the sculpture that had been a man less than a minute ago, rubbing her fingertips against its prominent rockhard nipples, still covered with a thin layer of manly sweat. Her hand drifted down to the restricting spandex of his workout briefs. With one deft motion, her formidable fingernails punctured the thin material and tore it away from his body. His thick veined rod stood proud and erect, the fuzzy balls resting in a nest of snowy lifelike fibers. "Oooo! How very nice!," she exclaimed, "is that a Doric column, or are you just happy to see me?" She moved a palm up along the neck of the statue, feeling along the hard silent ridge of each carotid artery and caressing its clenched adamant jaw. Its tongue remained silent within, its white lips stiff and wide, parted helplessly across the clenched teeth. The sculptress gave a mock harumph. "Don't seem have much to say about it, do you?" The statue remained perfectly unresponsive.
Yet, despite his frozen aspect, Vinnie's mind briefly whirled in a confusion of panic and pleasure. His fear co-manifested with a cold numbness suffusing his marbled limbs and torso, along with an ever-present euphoria. The sensation of power zinged through his super-dense musculature. In both terror and frustration, Vinnie summoned every ounce of will to break out of his pose and escape. He thought in desperation: got to... move my muscles... must... break this spell... and get the hell out of here! But even his thoughts were cast in disarray. Under her warm touch along his cold shoulders and neck, he was distracted by how heavy his tightly flexed and massive delts felt, solidly locked in place. Her fingers burned with erotic pleasure across the curve of his carved pectorals and down the front of his well-pumped torso. She twanged his stony nipples and tickled his navel, the warmth and moisture of her hand delighting his cool surface. He could feel every last terrible sensation -- sensation that was now the totality of his universe!
Vinnie found it impossible to vent his reaction to her erotic foreplay. All his muscles, with their hulking power and mass, sought to quiver in response, but they could not budge at all. Waves of pleasure washed over him as the expert hands of the sculptress passed along his chiseled physique. And though it stood powerfully erect, his petrified tool could provide no relief from this tension. His marble-hard body rebelled against his will, completely frozen in its struggling pose. The feeling of cold numbing density had spread to every point of his stiffened crystalline physique. In trying to flex his muscles, only he could hear the faint crackling stress as his potent sinews of stone fought valiantly against their own overwhelming rigidity -- and lost. Soon, even the sound of this struggle faded. Despite the mighty strength pent-up in his large and capable hands, his powerful fingers remained rigid and rod-like, clawing vainly in the air. He was trapped in stone... no, correction: AS stone!... captured by the ancient and potent magick of the gorgon's imprisoning gaze!
"Yes, Vincent," she explained to the helpless motionless figure, "I sculpt the male form. Only my statues aren't just the image of my subjects. My living sculptures ARE the actual bodies of the men themselves, turned into marble! You've dedicated so much of your time sculpting that gorgeous male body in rockhard muscle." Intermittently, the immortal Euryale continued to kiss the cold lips and nuzzle the hard jaw of the statue as she waxed on poetically. "My magick only serves to improve on your sculpting. Your shape will be preserved as rock forever, your mighty and incomparable muscles petrified into stone. Poised within the inanimate confines of your own body, you shall never age, never grow ugly, never grow weak, never die. Evil? Hah!" she laughed. "Think of it as the greatest of blessings, bestowed upon only the most heroic-looking of men."
Interrupting her kisses, she angrily slapped the marble pectoral of his massive chest, looking aside and adding in a petulant tone, "and considering what that bastard did to my other sister long ago, my poor dearest Medusa, you men should be so very grateful that I even grant you such a wonderful and eternal gift." She then resumed her kisses while running a palm slowly up and down the hard white torso of her new statue. Though transformed from flesh to stone, she knew that for quite a long time Vinnie would still feel every gentle caress of her questing hand. The subject's sense of touch, powerfully magnified to register even the slightest pass anywhere upon the hard sculpted surface, would remain alive to tantalize his dazed soul trapped within.
As she probed Vinnie's rockhard craggy face and textured throat with her warm mouth, Vinnie was utterly helpless to reject her statements -- statements his mind now accepted as all too true. Now he was beyond fear. He thought silently with a passing flash of sarcasm: yeah, this sure is some gift. But was it really all that bad? For his body truly WAS carved out of inanimate marble! Though immobile, his every vein, sinew and muscular detail was captured in stony perfection. I'm no longer a living man... ain't alive anymore, reflected the petrified figure as it came to grips with its inner turmoil. I've... I've become... I AM... a statue! Just like... them other three figures... chiseled outta cold hard marble! A statue that won't ever move! A well-built hunk carved from solid rock! An... inanimate... figure of... stone... which... can't... even... think..... And yet, even as all coherent thought faded away and its mind became as numbed as the rigor gripping its marble physique, the sculpture remained wide awake in its own oblivious fashion. It continued to register, albeit mindlessly, every tactile sensation and erotic pleasure her hands and lips showered on the smooth mineral surface of its cold glazed body. And the statue finally knew nothing but total satisfaction.
Looking at the shattered figure on the floor, she tsk'ed and added sadly, "Pity about poor Craig, though. He certainly didn't last very long, did he?" She turned back to the statue of Vinnie, adding, "but who's fault is that, huh? Anyway, not to worry. I can probably piece him back together. And besides, if not, there's plenty more of you big fine muscle-men to work with. I'm sure your bodybuilder pals will wander on down here, one by one, where their huge bodies of immense tightly-flexed muscle will be petrified into perfect figures of lovely eternal marble... Oooo," she said with exaggeration, looking aside and fanning her breasts conspicuously with one hand, "I'm getting hot flashes just thinking about it!"
She then took off her work belt and began to fiddle and faddle with her hair. Euryale added, "don't you worry about any lost opportunity of not being seen. You'll get plenty of public exposure. As soon as I collect a few more of your friends, I'll have a gallery show in West Hollywood. There, you and Michael and my other pieces will be proudly displayed and your perfected heroic physiques can be appreciated by a discerning public. An adoring public." She narrowed her eyes and twisted a long green lock with her fingers. She added with hot anger, "and then we'll see who is the more talented sister... Oh, yes, we shall, my dear Vincent."
It didn't matter much whether or not he understood this -- her continued rant of sibling rivalry. For he was far beyond understanding or responding. There was only touch, only sensation, in his universe. Like an immured fly, not just coated but permeated with amber, the bodybuilder's mind and body were locked in a fortress of powerfully hard and unyielding stone, from the core of its deepest interior to its highly textured surface. It was a prison with no hope of escape. The insidious magical entrapment was total and irreversible. The eyes were expressionless in contrast to the fierce grimace, a grimace belying the now-greater portion of pleasure overwhelming any remaining anguish. Helplessly fixed to stare straight ahead, the sightless and opaque corneas were a pair of smooth blank orbs. Fine white lashes like jagged fibers lined the eyes, adding to the beauty of its brutally handsome but completely inanimate face. Only its tooth-filled mouth, expressing eerie rapture tinging the helpless anger at the last, provided any emotion upon the visage of this exceedingly well-defined six-foot-tall figure of stone.
This mountain of living muscle was petrified fully into an effigy of solid marble by the wild magick, in perfect muscular likeness of the living man it had been. And, given the sufficient passage of time, the soul trapped in the mass of this new and stiffly-posed sculpture would happily forget it had been ever alive in the first place. At that point, even if the magick existed to restore him, it would not suffice to reverse the change wrought by the monstrous woman. For the sculptures of Craig, Dennis and Mike, it was far too late. Like thousands of handsome yet hapless men down the centuries before... their minds, spirits, ka -- whatever the things that made them more than massive lumps of physical form -- were faded, gone, lost inside their own private stony oblivions. Now their alabaster bodies were merely soulless receptacles of pleasure and sensation. Soon the three would be joined by a fourth in the same limbo of mindless petrifaction. And this, the last and most recent realistic carving of thick lifeless stone, would never transform back into the proud hunky bodybuilder named Vincent. For he -- nay: it -- was captured in marble perfection... forever!
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