The morning dew still was visible on the car windshield as Jenny drove down the quiet back road. She stifled a yawn and looked forward to the end of this long drive. She recalled how she was just finishing up her freshman year in college and was looking for a good paying summer job to help pay the fall tuition bills when she spotted an ad looking for summer employees at a small town on the coast.
When she received the application in the mail, she noted that one of the stipulations of working at the town was that all modern conveyances were not allowed inside the town limits during the tourist season. She filled out the usual questions like age, birthdate, relatives (she was an orphan with only a few distant relatives on the west coast so this was relatively easy) and included a photo of herself as requested. Two weeks later, she received an email congratulating her on her new job and giving her directions how to get to the town.
Before she knew it, she was at the parking lot where she
was to leave her car for the summer. As she was parking, she saw several
other women standing around chatting and looking at the view. Jenny got
out, brushed back her blond hair, and pulled her suitcases out of the trunk.
A tall brunette walked over to her.
"Can I give you hand with those?" she asked eagerly..
Jenny nodded. "I shouldn't have packed as much as I did," she replied. "I'm Jenny, by the way," she said sticking out her hand.
"Gina Vasquez. I'm from Tucson. I'm guessing you're a Massachusetts girl," she said with a broad smile.
Jenny nodded. "A-yup," she responded in a parody of a Down East accent. "So how many girls did they hire altogether?"
"I counted six, including you. No guys yet but I'm sure they'll be a few to have fun with," Gina said with a mischievous smile on her face.
Jenny then walked with Gina over to another woman, a tall buxom blonde who Gina introduced as Tammy from Arlington Virginia. Tammy smiled broadly at the pair. "Ready to step back a hundred years or so?" she joked.
"For the money they're paying, I'll endure the sacrifice,"
Jenny said, prophetically.
The girls then turned to see a wagon rattling up the road, pulled by four horses. The driver, a man in his early 20's with a determined look on his face, was accomplished by another man in his 60's with a full grown beard looking just as serious as the driver. The wagon pulled into the center of the parking lot where it stopped and the driver stood up.
"Ladies, my name is Charles O'Malley. The man next to me is my father Bill. We're here to take you and your belongings into town but before we do, there is a few things we have to make clear. First, as explained in your acceptance letters, there are no modern conveniences whatsoever allowed in town. No electricity, TV's, telephones, radios, or anything that has been invented within the last century or so is allowed in the town limits.Your vehicles will be secured in a garage for the summer." he said.
"Second, you will be paid for your summer work at the end of the summer. You will find we pay handsome bonuses if there are good tourist crowds," he went on to say. "All your needs and wants are provided for in town. We have set aside rooms for all of you according to where you'll be working and when we get to town, I'll give you all a tour of the shops and amenities we have. The only area that is off limits is the lighthouse at the edge of town. It's closed this summer for safety reasons so... please don't venture inside." he instructed with a slight pause.
"Now, then, one last thing. Before we head into town, my father and I must ask you to open your suitcases so we can be certain that you don't mistakenly bring anything of a modern touch to town." Charles nodded to Bill who went over to each of the girls in turn, asking her to open up her luggage.
Tammy gritted her teeth. "If this job didn't pay the kind of money they promised, I'd be out of here in an instant." she grumbled.
Jenny nodded sympathetically. "Yeah, they seem really hung up on this backward style of the town. Oh well, might as well check my own stuff before Bill gets his paws all through my lingerie." she said with a small chuckle.
"No!! I need my cell phone! C'mon, please!" Jenny wailed as Bill plucked out a tiny pink wireless phone from her suitcase.
Bill looked at her. "Well, ifn ya don't wanna the work here, you can go back to wherever ya came from. If you do want to work here, give it up," he said firmly. Jenny's shoulders slumped in defeat. "Take it. I'll do without for the summer," she said resignedly. She was already feeling disconnected.
The other girl's luggage revealed nothing more than an electric hair dryer and a pager. Once done, Bill handed the items to Charles who assured the women they could reclaim the items at the end of the summer. He then helped them into the wagon and drove them into town.
A sight greeted the young women that was almost exactly like what had been advertised. A series of clapboard houses lined the main street which looked they were plucked right out of a history book. Several people walked to and fro, going about their daily chores, dressed in clothing that suggested they were living in the 1800's and not the present day. Natural fabrics, hats, and not a zipper in sight. Even their shoes fastened with buttons!
Jenny noticed there were no children running around at all. When she leaned forward to ask Charles about it, he told her that the kids were sent off to summer camps so they could enjoy the companionship of other kids. Jenny, looking a little puzzled, settled back and continued to gaze around. The place was a slice of living history. Didn't anything ever change here? she wondered.
At the very edge of town, she could see a tall whitewashed brick tower which she assumed to be the lighthouse Charles had mentioned. She didn't know why, but a shiver ran down her spine as she looked at it. "Must be cool here today," she muttered to herself.
After the girls had settled in, Charles took them on a tour of the various buildings in the town. The last stop was a very unusual and out of place sight in this quiet backwards town. A large archway led into a majestic garden decorated by at least two dozen life-sized statues of nude woman standing all around the perimeter. The statues varied quite a bit in terms of pose and expression, yet all were extremely well detailed right down to the fingernails and pubic hair.
Gina was amazed. "Who does all this incredible work? It's amazing!" she exclaimed as she stopped to touch the hard stony face of one of the statues.
Charles reddened slightly. "I'm the keeper of the garden. I arrange the sculptures in here and do new ones when I feel... inspired," he said, slightly hesitating.
Jenny walked over to the closest of the statues. A full-figured subject, the statue had its left hand behind its head while the right one was posed covering the exposed area between the legs. Even for the present day the pose was kinda spicy. For a town that seemed hung up on its retro look, these sculptures were erotic, to say the least.
were no other surprises. The three young women found their rooming and settled
into the routine of the place, getting used to dressing in period costumes during
the day and finding things to do, such as talking with the townspeople, to take
the place of television and the net. They had become fast friends, in spite
of their vastly different backgrounds.
The summer passed quickly for the young women in the town. The tourist traffic was fairly heavy, especially on weekends, and they spent lots of money buying antiques and knick-knacks. The three women were relieved when the town posted signs that they would be closing a week early. Jenny was particularly happy as it allowed her to spend more time with Charles, who she was becoming very attracted to. One evening, while strolling in the sculpture garden, she had asked him if he would do a sculpture of her in the nude. He emphatically shook his head negatively and refused to discuss it further.
Jenny was just getting ready to go see Charles that evening when she heard a low hum start up. She went down the stairs and outside on the porch to tell where the noise was coming from. She found Gina and Tammy waiting for her, also curious about the odd thrumming, sounding almost mechanical in a town without modern powered tools.
"What's up with this humming? It seems to be getting louder by the second." Tammy asked her two equally puzzled friends.
Gina and Jenny both shrugged. Jenny looked towards the high tower at the edge of town. "It seems to be coming from the direction of the old lighthouse. I'll go ask Charles what's going on," she said, starting down the street. Tammy and Gina followed.
Before she had gotten more than twenty feet, a light beam came out from the top of the lighthouse centering on Gina, hitting her in mid-step. Almost immediately, her clothes seemed to melt away in layers. The light beige bra and matching panties seemed to disintegrate as did all the jewelery and shoes she was wearing. The light then disappeared as mysteriously as it had started, leaving a motionless and very nude young woman in the middle of the street.
"Help me! Jesus, I can't move!!" Gina screamed . The other two women rushed over and desperately tried to help their friend.
Unfortunately, no matter how much they tried, they couldn't budge the shrieking woman even an inch. Efforts to move her arms and legs also proved just as useless. Suddenly, Jenny noticed that Gina had stopped her hysterical screaming and to her horror the same force that had frozen the rest of her body had now seemingly claimed her ability to talk or even move her eyes. Gina stood with her mouth half-open. a word still on her lips.
"Dear God, please let this be a nightmare! I don't want to spend the rest of my life like this!" Gina mentally screamed to herself.
Just then, the other two sobbing woman saw a man walking rapidly up the street towards them. Jenny recognized that it was Charles. "Charles, come here quick. Something's terrible happened to Gina!"
Charles nodded regretfully as he reached the two "Yes, I know. It is again the time of choosing and it seems the choices are being made now," he said softly.
Jenny looked at the man she had fallen for over the last few months, shocked by his lack of surprise. "Choices? What in the hell are you talking about?" she howled.
Charles looked at her sympathetically. "It's time I told you the complete truth about this town. Several centuries ago, we settled in this area where the natives had spoken of a great power that emanated from the edge of the forest. The natives regularly would lead captured enemies to the site of power where they would be transformed into inanimate objects. In return, the natives were granted immortality as long as they lived in the vicinity of this power. The natives moved away to follow the buffalo, leaving only the legends that were talked about by few. When the settlers heard of this, they initially dismissed it as a myth." Tammy gasped as the pieces fell into place for her.
He continued, "However, when they discovered the stone body of a fisherman's wife near where the power was supposed to be, the settlers realized there must be some truth to the legends after all. The one thing they discovered over time was that the victims must be female and the effect occurs only once every twenty five years. They - we - constructed a lighthouse over the spot to help focus the power and select new sacrifices through newspaper and, recently, computer advertising. We screen out those who might bring unwanted attention to the area and the rest of the strategy is merely to keep them unsuspecting till the time comes for the choosing."
Tears streamed down Jenny's face. "Was that all I ever was to you, a sacrifice?" she wailed.
Charles looked at her. "I am sorry. The only other thing I can tell you in the time you have left is that the petrification isn't forever. As new statues are moved into the garden, others are released by the lighthouse to resume life here without knowledge of what has happened before. Unfortunately, many years will pass before this happens." he said sadly.
Just then, a beam shot out from the lighthouse, centering on Tammy. In seconds, her cutoff jeans and blue top melted away as did her underwear. She screamed for a few seconds before, like Gina, she too went silent and still.
Charles went over to Gina and started to pose her for existence as a statue. He put her left hand on her hip and took her right hand and moved it up so that the fingers just brushed her chin. He then changed her expression from one of fear to a sultry and sexy look.
"Only I can move the sacrifiecs into their final poses before the final phase begins. I'll have to hurry before the choosing is done," he said, moving to Tammy.
He bent Tammy's left hand at the elbow and moved it behind her head and did the same with the right. Charles then changed her expression to a look of extreme pleasure that she would carry for some time.
Turining to the remaining animate girl, he said. "Do not be afraid, Jenny. You've been a good friend and I will pose you respectfully."
Jenny started to edge away and run from this scene of horror. She had gotten about fifty feet from her friends when the beam hit her, paralyzing her on the spot. She could not lift a finger as her clothing dissolved away and she heard footsteps approaching from behind.
Nude, she felt herself being picked up and turned around to face her friends. Her limbs were being moved according to how Charles wanted to pose her. He posed her with her hands on her hips and staring directly ahead. The look of frozen terror was changed to one of pride as he stroked her cheeks almost regretfully. Charles stepped back, as if to admire his work.
Suddenly, Jenny saw something happening to her friends. Their skin was changing and becoming whiter by the second. The effect was starting at their feet and spreading rapidly up their bodies. She could also feel the same thing happening to her own body a cool wave that tingled as it passed. The stone effect engulfed her sex giving her a feeling of great warmth despite her predicament. The arousal caused her nipples to harden and thicken noticeably. Judging by her friends looks, the same urges were affecting their bodies as well.
As the effect swept up to her head, her last thoughts were "I hope I don't have to wait too long as a garden statue." before her ability to think vanished as the petrification finished. The humming sound faded rapidly and the lighthouse became dark once more.
The three new statues were then picked up by the townsfolk and carried into the garden where they were placed on pedestals set aside for them. Charles looked up at Jenny's immortalized marble form and gently ran his hands down her cold statue legs. "I'll wait for you, Jenny, no matter how long." he said softly.
Charles then moved off to wait to greet the latest statues to return to life and to explain how things worked in this little town and garden.