This month I am Donatello’s bronze “David”, sculpted in his native Florence, Italy, sometime between 1430 and 1450 - lacking any documentation, scholars have literally spent centuries arguing over the date. A somewhat obvious, even clichéd choice of subject, but of course I have no choice in the matter. I stand in a casual, relaxed pose, my left arm akimbo, left hand holding the stone which felled Goliath, my right arm, resting upon the sword which cut off his head. The sword hilt sits beside my pert buttocks. Goliath’s head, smiling sweetly, lies at my feet, its beard tickling my toes which protrude from my open-fronted boots, the feathers on its winged helmet caressing my right leg. Apart from the boots and the wide-brimmed hat which shades my own (“my own...?”) smiling face, I am of course naked. My casual, effete attitude and smile are more suggestive of someone who has just made love than of the assassin of a giant, a subject for romantic rather than heroic poetry.
Business is slow today. It is a warm summer day and people are out at the park, boating on the lake, making love in the pleasure gardens, or indulging in a thousand and one other outdoor activities rather than visiting hologalleries. I envy their freedom. I would love to step down from my pedestal and join them in the warm sunshine, but of course that is impossible. Thanks to Sharman, I am a statue now, and a statue can never move, never speak, never betray the slightest sign of life....
Only twelve visitors arrive today, and most of them simply stroll around the gallery in a desultory fashion, as if they only came in for want of something better to do, spending only a few moments to look each exhibit up and down before moving on to the next. Most of them don’t even bother with the audio guides, let alone the brief holobio that accompanies each exhibit. (Without the holobios, of course, I would not even know the names of the statues I am forced to embody.) Two teenage boys walk around me giggling pruriently. One of them says, “I wouldn’t mind giving it to him.”
In your dreams, I think. Anyway, you’re too late. After a few minutes they walk off, laughing like naughty schoolgirls. Only two or three visitors seem to show any real interest in art apreciation, walking around me and studying me carefully from head to foot. I overhear one of them asking for a copy of my holoprogram at the souvenir desk.
At the end of the day, Sharman closes the gallery and shuts down the holoprojectors, then pushes a set of steps over to my pedestal and points a small control device at me. I begin to breathe. My heart starts beating again. My bodily functions are no longer frozen. My skin loses its bronze appearance, becoming supple and flexible once more. Muscles stretch and contract beneath my skin. The effect, although disconcerting, is not really painful. Within a few minutes my face and body are restored to their original appearance. Then, obeying its program, my body descends the steps and walks to the back stairs and up to Sharman’s living quarters. Although my body is mobile once more I have no control over it. I can do nothing unless Sharman wills it. He controls my very existence. He is my god.
Sharman makes me sit at his table - I am still naked, my prop boots and hat discarded - and eat the bland but nutritious food he sets before me. Then he takes me to his bathroom and makes me urinate and defecate and wash my hands. At least he doesn’t watch. Then he gives me a bath. I realise that he could have programmed my body to bathe itself, but doing so gives him a feeling of control over me, as if he needed it. The touch of his hands upon my body is sensuous, but he will not allow me - or himself - to become aroused by it.
Not until he has towelled me dry, walked me to the bedroom, and made me lie down and become a motionless, inanimate figure once more, to be used solely for his pleasure... until tomorrow morning, when he will return me to my pedestal.
This routine continues for several days, but then Sharman surprises me. After closing the gallery Sharman reanimates my heart and lungs and restores my skin to normal, just as he has every day. My skin is now soft and pliant once more, no longer solid bronze, although I remain as motionless as ever. But then instead of restoring me to my normal appearance he leaves me in the shape of the statue.
For a moment I wonder what he’s up to, but then all becomes clear. Stripping naked (the shutters are closed, and of course the security camera recordings will be doctored to erase this scene, just as they are to remove any evidence that the “statues” are anything but holograms) Sharman climbs the steps, slips his arms around me and slowly, tenderly, begins to stroke my chest and stomach while his body is pressed against my back and buttocks.
I find these sudden and unexpected caresses astonishingly erotic, and I am instantly aroused. This feels a little strange since I still possess the statue’s tiny, hairless genitals, and I can only manage a three-inch erection. But I still have all my original nerve endings, and I am so powerfully aroused that my penis might as well have been transformed back into metal. And a little later, when Sharman closes his fingers around the solidity of my erection, it feels to me like his hand is eight inches wide.
An hour later, when my orgasm finally arrives, I am firmly (no pun intended) convinced that size really doesn’t matter.
And then, after a brief pause, Sharman moves the steps around to the front of the pedestal and, standing on a lower step, begins to stimulate me orally. My genitals are so small that he can fit his mouth around my testicles and penis with no difficulty, and delicately stimulate them with his lips, teeth and tongue.
For me it feels like being mouthed by a giant. Goliath has triumphed over David, and I, David, can do nothing but continue to smile beatifically while Sharman/Goliath does things to me that make me want to howl with pleasure, all night long...all night long...all...night...long......!
As the new month dawns, Sharman introduces me to my new pose. My body steps onto the pedestal, then, obeying its new program, crouches upon its right knee leaning forward. My left foot is raised slightly upon its toes, making my left upper leg horizontal. My hands reach past my left knee on either side and take hold of the prop butterfly with upraised wings that sits near the edge of the pedestal, and my head turns to look down at it. My muscles freeze. The pose is complete. I feel a stirring upon my head and realise that my hair is being reshaped into a stylised wig. Then Sharman climbs a ladder beside my pedestal and (after fondling my chest and buttocks a little) glues a pair of light plastic wings to my shoulders. The wings have been produced using a commercial 3-d sculpture program, their design taken from the original statue. They could have been simulated by holograms, but Sharman feels that physical props give a more realistic effect.
Once the wings are in place, Sharman activates the nanomachines that will solidify my body and its accompanying props. My heartbeat and breathing stop. My flesh hardens and takes on the appearance of cream-coloured marble. I have never understood how I am able to remain fully conscious in this state. No doubt nanomachines are responsible for that too. Finally Sharman activates the holoprojector that makes my body appear to shimmer and flicker slightly, so that visitors will believe I am nothing more than a hologram. I appreciate the irony; a hologram to disguise me as a hologram. Naturally Sharman could put a real hologram on display instead, but of course this is what he wants. He wants me to be his living statue, a secret known only to himself and me; his own priceless, treasured, work of art.
Sharman has not told me the name of the statue I have now become - he never does. But after a couple of days a visitor activates the holobio unit beside my pedestal, and I learn that I am “Cupid and the Butterfly” by the eighteenth-century French sculptor Antoine-Denis Chaudet. The original statue, completed after the sculptor’s death from his plaster models, is now in the Louvre, Paris.
One night Sharman informs me that he will be visiting some friends. Leaving my program on automatic he departs, leaving my body to perform its ablutions by itself before lying down alone upon his bed. For some reason I have been programmed to place a clean washcloth beside me. For a while I lay motionless, but I know that my body will not be allowed to remain dormant all night. Sure enough, some minutes later my penis becomes erect and my hands move to attend to its demands. I cannot stop them, even if I wanted to. And I’m not certain that I do want to....
It’s a strange sensation. My own hands masturbate me, yet they are not under my control. It almost feels as if my hands are raping me. In a sense I am being raped by Sharman, who programmed their movements. Has Sharman done this to me in order to demonstrate that he still controls me even when he is not present, or because my body has a physiological need for sexual arousal, or even because he thinks I will like it? I don’t know. But my hands continue to manipulate my erection, slowly but surely bringing me to a fever pitch of sexual excitement.
I cannot turn to look at the clock, but seems like an hour before my body finally erupts in ecstasy. I have seldom experienced such an intense orgasm, even from Sharman. I would howl and moan if I could, but only a soft sigh escapes my lips. As my penis is overcome by ejaculatory pulses, the purpose of the washcloth becomes clear. As my right hand continues to slide up and down, my left whips the cloth into position to catch my seminal discharge.
At last it is over. My right hand falls to my side while the left continues to hold the sticky cloth in place. Now, I think, I will be allowed to sleep.
But instead, after a few minutes my body walks into the bathroom, places the soiled cloth into the laundry basket, urinates, washes its hands and drinks a glass of water. Then before returning to the bedroom it opens the linen closet and, to my astonishment, takes out another clean washcloth. It is going to be a long night.
This month I am “A Lucky Find at Pompeii”, produced in bronze in 1864 by a little-known French sculptor named Hippolyte (or Hypolite) Alexandre Julien Moulin. The original, according to the holobio, is in Paris’ Musee d’Orsay, a converted train station on the opposite side of the Seine from the Louvre.
I stand upon the toes of my right foot while kicking the left in the air. I am frozen in the act of dancing for joy at having uncovered a small priapic statuette which I hold upraised in my right hand. My left holds the handle of my spade which leans against the back of my neck. Just why an excavator of Roman relics should go about his work naked is never explained. Perhaps some kind of sympathetic magic has turned the finder of bronze statues into an example of the thing he sought. But then perhaps I am only projecting my own situation onto the subject. Maybe the sculptor, like so many other artists, just happened to like naked youths.
Two young men who visit the gallery on a rainy afternoon point at me, and giggle like schoolgirls. One whispers in the other’s ear, and they giggle again and kiss each other before departing. If my appearance has inspired them to some new sexual fantasy, well and good.
Each night without fail Sharman tells me the latest world news, perhaps in order to remind me that there is still a world outside this small building. The content of the news never changes much. An air crash here, an earthquake there, a civil war elsewhere; a politician caught with his hand in the till or in somebody’s underpants; a new financial crisis. Sometimes I think I’m better off out of it.
The nanomachines in my body can fortify any part of it against injury, one side effect of which is that Sharman can perform any kind of sexual act upon me, however rough, without causing any lasting damage. If he wanted to he could whip me within an inch of my life, without actually coming within a yard of my life. Fortunately he is seldom quite so violent. Usually he is content to take me from behind. The nanomachines have altered the sensations from my anus so that the deeper he penetrates me the more intense my ecstasy becomes. It’s almost like having a vagina. My skin is also sensitized to his every touch. And his endurance is phenomenal. Perhaps his stamina is also fortified by nanomachines. Some nights I get very little sleep, and during the day while I’m a statue the nanomachines force me to remain wide awake.
If I had known what Sharman was going to do to me I would have run screaming from his house that night. Yet now that he has me, I keep asking myself: is this existence really so terrible compared to what I had before?
The disturbing thing is that I can never be sure.
Another month, another pose. With a stocking cap on my head and nothing on my body, I kneel upon the pedestal, smile and raise a shell to my (shell-like) ear. Sharman watches, aroused but patient. For a moment I can hear the sea, but then the nanomachines work their magic - or curse - and I am frozen solid. The sea stops. The shell is full of silence.
Once he is satsfied that my body is quite rigid, Sharman runs a hand gently down my back, and then returns to his office.
Now that summer is over, Sharman is hoping more people will be drawn to indoor exhibitions like this one. On the other hand I can’t help wondering if the cooler weather and shorter hours of daylight might not discourage people from venturing out from their holovids and home shopping terminals in the first place.
Not that I am in a position to voice my opinion, of course. I’m just in a position...!
In due course the holobio informs me that I am “Neapolitan Fisherboy with Shell” by the nineteenth-century French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. Listening to the absence of the sea, I find myself remembering....
I couldn’t believe I was doing it. But then, I was desperate. After fifteen years of loyal service I had been made redundant by new technology. I couldn’t repay my debts, my wife left me and in the end even my home was repossessed. At the age of 33 I had been thrown on the scrap-heap. And it wouldn’t be long at that rate before I was on the literal scrap-heap, foraging for food with the other beggars.
And that was how I found myself that night - was it really five years ago now? - breaking into a house. I had chosen a fairly rich neighbourhood, but not the richest as the houses there would be sure to have human, or at least android, guards. With any luck this district would have standard automated security systems, and in fifteen years at my old job I had learned a thing or two about such things. Not that I had ever contemplated using my knowledge in such a fashion back then, but now I was desperate. I watched the owner depart and waited half an hour to make sure he wouldn’t return suddenly. That ought to be enough. As I broke the seal on the window I prayed that I had disabled the alarm successfully before climbing through. My plan, such as it was, was to break in, grab as much cash or small jewelry as I could and make a quick getaway. But as I was rifling through a bedroom drawer I suddenly felt something prick my finger.
For a moment I wondered if it was a syringe. Maybe the occupant was on drugs. Needle syringes were still easier to obtain than air injectors. But then when I tried to stand up, I found that my body wasn’t obeying my commands. Instead, I walked - or rather, my legs walked me - downstairs to the front hall, and stopped when I was facing the front door.
I was terrified. I couldn’t imagine what was happening to me. I wanted to scream, to run, to shit myself... but I couldn’t. I could only stand paralysed before the door, waiting for the occupant to return. Which, two hours later, he did.
He seemed pleased rather than surprised to see me there.
“Well, well,” he said, “I see that my new security system works. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sharman. I don’t know your name, and I don’t suppose you were foolish enough to carry any identification with you, so I suppose I’ll never know. Not that it matters really. The important thing is, now I know the nanomachines work on humans and not just hamsters, and I can carry out the next stage of my experiment.”
He was mad. I knew it then, and I’m doubly convinced of it now.
He was also quite brilliant, of course. The nanomachines he had developed were far in advance of anything that had been achieved before.
“I expect you’re wondering what I’m going to do with you. Well, one of the first things I’m going to do is find out if the rest of your body looks - and feels - as pretty as your face. And then I’m going to give you a new job. Well, a new position, to be precise. You see, I own a holosculpture gallery in town. Now the thing about holosculptures is, they don’t move. And the thing about you is that, now that my nanos have done their work on you, you can’t move either. You, my friend, are going to become my star attraction. My living statue. Not that anyone will ever know you’re alive, of course, because I won’t tell anyone, and you can’t. Now I just have to fetch the nanocontroller, so don’t go away.”
As if I could.
A minute later Sharman returned with what looked like a standard holovid remote. He pressed a couple of buttons and I found myself walking upstairs once more. Sharman followed close behind. “Tomorrow I will instal you in the gallery wearing your first statue disguise,” he said. “But tonight...” as my body began to undress itself he did the same, whispering in my ear: “tonight we will make passionate love.”
Once I was naked and face down on the bed he began to thrust himself into me, again and again, deeper and deeper, harder and harder.
Though I fought the paralysis with all my might, it was hopeless. I couldn’t cry for help. I couldn’t protest. I couldn’t resist. I couldn’t escape. I couldn’t move....
I couldn’t move! I couldn’t move! I...COULDN’T...MOVE!!!
And Sharman kept on thrusting and thrusting and thrusting and thrusting and thrusting...
It was violation. Degradation. Rape.
And yet it was also the most sensuous, thrilling and intense experience of my entire life. In some way that I didn’t fully understand, the very fact that I could not move or resist, try as I might, was making the experience all the more powerful and exciting.
And my climax, when it finally came, was sustained, earth-shattering, and yet somehow profoundly, exquisitely, sensuous and beautiful. If I were not mute as well as paralysed I would have screamed and screamed myself hoarse with ecstasy.
I suppose I have the nanomachines to thank for that too.
And over the course of that first night Sharman brought me to three or four more climaxes - I lost count - each seemingly more intense and thrilling than the last.
After my third or fourth orgasm my mind was reeling.
I wanted to escape. I didn’t want to escape. I couldn’t take any more. I had to have more.
I didn’t know what I wanted.
What I got was exactly what Sharman had promised. A new career...as a work of art by day, and as Sharman’s sex doll by night.
As winter approaches Sharman transforms me into the “Flying Mercury” by the famous Italian Renaissance sculptor Giovanni de Bologna, or Giambologna. Another fairly obvious choice, given the fact that hundreds of replicas adorn parks and gardens worldwide, but Sharman is still hoping to attract more visitors to the gallery. Once more I stand tiptoe, this time upon my left leg, upon a bronze gust of air exhaled by a cherubic head. With wings upon my heels and helmet, I am poised to take flight. My right leg is raised as if preparing to run though the sky. My right arm is upraised, my right hand held in a vaguely obscene-looking gesture with one finger raised and the others curled. My left hand, down by my waist, holds upright a caduceus, the winged staff entwined by a pair of serpents that has come to symbolise the healing profession.
And it was from the healing profession that Sharman drew his inspiration for using nanomachines to turn a man into a statue. My thoughts have come full circle.
At the end of the day when Sharman takes me upstairs he confesses that visitor numbers are still disappointing.
I find this news a little disturbing. I don’t know what Sharman would do with me if he were ever forced to close the gallery. In spite of everything, and somewhat to my surprise, I have come to enjoy being beautiful, naked and on display as a living yet perfectly inanimate object.
After a few moments, he seems to be struck by a thought. “Maybe representational sculpture is out of fashion. Maybe people would prefer something more...abstract. It would mean giving the nanos a radical reprogramming, but....”
He laughs out loud and slaps me on the buttocks.
“Next month, my friend, you’re going to experience something you’ve never felt before. I’m going to make you into a Henry Moore sculpture!”
I wonder if he’s joking....
NEW FOR 2006: The story continues!
From yr95lminor on 28 January 2002:
From Selena on 16 March 2004
If you have enjoyed this story, why not read The Sculptor’s Model?