All Under Control!

Still Life

a story by EHY

(ehy_1 at ya hoo dot com)

[Editor's Note: This is an experiment, of sorts. The story so far is only the beginning; others can create what comes next.
Originally posted to the Medusa Realm messageboard. Ed.]

Still Life

    A Place for a Casual Encounter

     - Women's Entrance

     (Men please use the parking lot and entrance on other side.)

The three girls got out of the beat-up old '06 Nissan. Or rather, two of them did. The front passenger door stayed closed.

"Come on, Abby," teased the driver, a well-built dark-haired beauty. "You agreed to come; you can't back out now."

The blonde who'd just gotten out of the back seat was more understanding. "It'll be fun, trust me." She opened Abby's door.

"I know, I know," Abby sighed. "I'm just nervous, that's all." To all appearances, Abby and Kim could have been sisters, with their dark curls and blue eyes, but Kim was clearly the older and more beautiful of the two. Abby's youth was only emphasized by the pitiful look she wore on her face. Still, with her friends' cajoling, she took a deep breath and climbed out of the car, and together the three friends entered the building.

After passing through the double set of solid wooden doors, Kim, Elizabeth, and Abby found themselves in a small hallway. Tasteful paintings and photographs adorned the walls, of men and women embracing, kissing, and generally enjoying one another's bodies. To the left and right were a few white-painted, numbered doors, some open, some closed. A computer screen in front of them displayed a message that Abby read carefully:

Welcome to the Still Life. For your privacy and that of others, please select an unoccupied room. If the three of you feel comfortable with one another, you may share a room if you like; or you may separate. One of our assistants, Danielle or Stacey, will be with you shortly. Do not worry if you have not yet decided what you wish to do tonight; Danielle or Stacey can answer any questions you may have in private.

"I don't know Stacey," said Elizabeth, "but Danielle worked with me the last time I was here. I liked her a lot."

"I think I've had Stacey once, a while back," Kim added. "She's not my favorite, but they're all pretty good."

"Come on, let's grab a room. We stick together?" Elizabeth started walking toward an open door, number 5.

"I think if we let Abby here go off on her own she'll leave us," Kim teased.

"I would not!" After a moment's thought, she added, "At least, I don't think I would. But I want to stay with you guys as long as I can anyway." Kim, behind her, pulled the door closed behind them.

They were in a small rectangular room. Opposite the white door where they had entered, was another closed door, this one painted blue. The two longer walls were entirely mirrored.

"Oh, god, I look horrible," Abby cried upon seeing her reflection.

"You're gorgeous," said Elizabeth.

"Don't worry about how you look," said Kim. "They'll help you do your hair and makeup, and pick something perfect to wear if you want. They're good at it. They could make Mrs. Coburn look like Cindy Crawford in here."

"Just make sure you don't stand too close to supermodel Kim," Elizabeth teased.

"Oh, I don't know," Kim countered, "I was thinking maybe we could get ourselves done up the same way, same clothes and everything, and do a twins act. What do you think, Abby?"

"I think I'd rather be myself, thanks, not a pale copy of you," the younger girl declared.

At that moment, there was a knock on the blue door. Elizabeth opened it, and a plump woman a few years older than even Kim entered.

"Good evening," she announced, "Welcome to Still Life. I'm Danielle, and I'm here to make sure you enjoy your experience here." She looked at each of the three girls in turn, and concentrated on Kim and Elizabeth. "I think I've seen you two before, haven't I?"

Elizabeth smiled. "You worked with me the last time I modeled here. I'm Elizabeth. And Kim models here all the time. This is our friend Abby. She's scared stiff already."

Danielle turned to the younger girl with an expression of sincere concern. "Really, dear? You needn't be. We won't make you do anything you don't agree to do. And I'm not allowed to let anybody force you to agree to anything, even your friends here."

"No, really," Abby said, "it's okay. I wanted to come. I'm just nervous. I've never... well, I've never done anything like this before."

"Well, that's quite all right. Everyone here had a first time once, and most of them were just as scared as you are. Just go ahead and ask anything you want to know. Don't worry about sounding dumb, either, because there's no way to know if you don't ask. Now, I know you two don't need the introductory spiel. What about you, Abby? Have they told you everything you need to know about the Still Life, or would you rather hear it from me?"

Abby licked her lips tentatively. "I think I'd better hear it from you," she admitted.

"Well, basically what we do here at Still Life is to cater to the desires of men and women to show off their bodies, and to appreciate the beauty of another's body, without all the complications that normally go along with that. Each guest - that's you - chooses whether she wants to be what we call a model, or a patron. We've found typically most women prefer to be models, while most men prefer to be patrons, but there are plenty of people of each sex for each group. We use a special device that completely immobilizes the body, to paralyze our models, and we put them on display as sort of a "living sculpture" in one of our display areas. Those guests who choose to be patrons can freely wander through our display areas and admire the models.

"We have two types of display areas, both constantly supervised, and each model decides which one she'd like to be displayed in. The viewing-only areas are completely hands-off. The patrons are permitted to walk among you, but each display is roped off and patrons aren't allowed to approach or touch any model. We're very strict about that - we'll warn a patron who even sticks his hand across the line once, and the second time we kick him out. In the closer-experience areas, the patrons are permitted to approach and touch any models they like, but not to manipulate them or handle them roughly in any way. I usually recommend to first-time guests that they choose the viewing-only area, unless you're very comfortable with the idea of being touched by strangers, but most models who come back do try one of the closer-experience galleries later on.

"Finally, if a patron finds himself particularly attracted to one of our models, he can ask that she be brought to a private room where he can more closely appreciate her.

"Everything that happens here is completely consensual. If you choose to be a model, we'll fit you up with a special monitoring device that can pick up on certain signals you can send even when you're frozen. Before we bring a model and a patron together in private, we ask the model if she's willing to spend time with that particular patron. If for any reason she doesn't like him, we won't bring them together. It's a little bit like a good singles club, except that in our environment, there's no pressure on either one of you to behave any particular way, or to come up with interesting conversation, since the model isn't able to do anything at all, even respond to anything the patron does."

Abby interrupted with a question. "What usually happens when a patron takes a model to a private room?"

"It all depends, really. Sometimes very little. The patron almost always uses the opportunity to touch the model, which is usually quite enjoyable for both people. There's often undressing involved. There can be sex involved, although there often isn't, and before you're frozen we'll ask if you're willing to be made love to while you're immobile, and if you're not, any patron who takes you will be told that."

"Say yes to that one," said Kim, smiling dreamily. "There's nothing like having a man make love to you while you're helpless." Elizabeth nodded her agreement, but Danielle looked sternly at both of them.

"Now, now, no pressure. Abby, you tell us before you go under - if you decide to be a model - you tell us exactly what you are and aren't willing to have done to you while you're frozen, and don't let these two bully you into agreeing to anything you don't want. We really want you to enjoy your experience."

"What if somebody tries to do something I didn't want them to do?" Abby asked.

"You can call for help at any time, through the monitoring device. There's somebody watching that every second. If you call for help, there will be and someone in the room to assist you in seconds. Usually it's someone a lot bigger and meaner than I am. But honestly, in the six years we've been operating, we've only had two cases of a patron trying abuse a model in a way the model wasn't willing to be abused, and in both cases the offender was stopped before doing anything serious. One of those models has been back regularly since."

"Do you watch what happens in the private rooms?" Abby wondered.

"No, they really are private," said Danielle. "The only time we'll intrude is if you call for help.

"Now, Elizabeth and Kim here," she continues, "have both chosen to be models in the past. What we do for models is, we help you to look exactly the way you want to look. We've got a wide selection of clothes you can wear for the night, and I'm both a fashion consultant and a makeup artist, and a bit of a visual merchandiser too. I'll help you pick out clothes and makeup, and we can do your hair if you like. Most of our patrons prefer to see female models wearing a little bit of clothing, no more than a bathing suit or undergarments, but if you prefer something else that's entirely up to you. It's a great way to show off - and don't let these two put you down, Abby; you've got plenty to show off. Then I'll help you to pick a pose that'll have the effect you want, and get you out on display under the immobilizer.

"If you're not interested in modeling, of course, my job is a lot easier. Patrons basically just get pointed toward the right wing of the display area - men or women, whichever you prefer. Then if you see someone you want to spend some private time with, just ask an attendant, and they'll arrange everything if the model is agreeable.

"Any more questions? From any of you?"

Danielle looked around expectantly. Abby still looked nervous, but she had no more questions to ask. The older girls waited long enough to be sure, then Elizabeth spoke up. "I want to model again," she said. "But this time I want to be wearing a little more than I did last time."

"I think we can arrange that," Danielle agreed. "Kim?"

"I've got a great pose in mind to try," Kim grinned.

"And Abby?"

"I'll model," she said.

"Great!" Danielle announced. "Since you two have modeled before, you get to go first," she informed the older girls. "That should help get Abby's confidence up - and keep you from pestering her while we're getting her set up. Now, I'll need each of you to fill out these consent forms. Elizabeth, why don't you explain it to Abby while Kim and I go find something nice for her to wear? Kim can probably fill out a form in her sleep by now. And no pestering her - anything she says she doesn't want, she doesn't want!"

Kim and Danielle went out through the blue door, while Abby and Elizabeth looked over the forms they had to fill out. "It's pretty straightforward, actually," Elizabeth said. "This says you want to model. Here you pick whether you want to be in a viewing-only gallery or a closer-experience area - and frankly I wouldn't pick the closer-experience area. I want to be able to decide who gets to touch me. Down here you just check anything you don't mind a patron doing while you're frozen. If there's anything else you object to, write it in down here - although I haven't yet come up with anything plausible that isn't already listed." Abby was already blushing at some of the things listed. Did some people actually enjoy that? She didn't make very many checks. One of them caught her by surprise in a different way.

"They can let you move while you're a model for them?" she asked.

"Oh, I guess so," Elizabeth said. "I've never checked that. When I want to talk to a guy I don't know yet, I go to a bar. I come here when I just want to enjoy being ogled." Now it was her turn to blush. "God, I can't imagine having to talk to him after that..." Abby decided not to check it. Best to be safe.

By the time she was done, Danielle had returned. "Finished? Great. Kim's in the shower. Elizabeth, let's find some clothing for you, and Abby, there's a shower free you can use...

Who wants to write what happens Next??

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