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March 10, 2006
"You look good enough to be a charlatan," Nino yelled from the front door of the theater's workshop to Stuart who stood next to a clothing dummy covered in diamond pattern cloth.
"That's Harlequin as in dummy, not charlatan as in ding-dong. I'm going to be Harlequin for Mardi Gras. You can be Pagliachio if you want," Stuart Winslow answered.
"No thanks, I'll stick with being a lump of metal, my silent act, my solid portrayal of a reticent, silent man. I have a place in the theater and it's not as an actor. My best reviews are as scenery," Nino answered. They hugged and slapped each other on the back.
"Aw, I wanted to see you in white with big polka dots," Stuart sighed. He walked over to a workbench and opened a portfolio.
"Here are my sketches for the production of Prometheus Bound," Stuart spread half of a dozen sketches out on the workbench. It showed an ultra modern stage dominated by a huge metal statue.
"Wow, I never thought I'd see this, an ultra-modern production of the most boring of all Greek plays. Are you going to glue the audience to their seats so they can't fall out when they pass out from boredom?" Nino said without much emotion. Stuart cuffed him on the back of his head.
"Don't let the director hear this but I've carpeted the floor with extra thick padding. The director is playing Prometheus and directing this production. It's for Mumsie. He has a bird wrangler training a whole flock of ravens to fly through the theater for when Zeus strikes down Prometheus. And the chorus is going to be naked," Stuart laughed. Nino giggled.
"Mumsie? Trained Ravens? A naked hairy chorus? What's next a gay, hunchback Prometheus mincing across the stage in ballet tights?" Nino asked. He wanted to say "been there, done that" but he just couldn't be that sarcastic about Stuart's lack of theater knowledge or his bad memory.
"Actually, a hairless male chorus covered with plaster to look like statues and trained pigeons dyed black. That should keep the audience awake and attentive," Stuart replied.
"You better clean any pigeon shit off me or I'll beat your balls black and blue," Nino folded his arms and set them on his thick, barrel chest. He had big shoulders, massive arms and a thick, stout body.
"Oh, I've got a young lad of about seventeen or eighteen from the local acting school who wants to be part of the company. He wants to be an actor but he's lousy. He's great with set design and construction. He'll gladly rub you down twice a day with the finest oil before each performance," Stuart teased.
"Oil, why?" Nino asked.
"Stainless steel can discolor and you'll look better all shiny," Stuart answered. Nino flexed his arms and chest. Ripped and cut muscles strained against his sleeveless T-shirt.
"OK but I predict a short run of two weeks. Now where's the apparatus? There's no sense in standing around making fun of the production. You know what the poet says?" Nino winked. Stuart shrugged.
"Mystery has its own mysteries," Nino slapped Stuart and caused him to stumble sideways. Stuart pointed Nino to the back of the workshop. A clay mold for a heroically sized Prometheus statue stood half-open. Above it was a rather large firebrick retort with a dozen tuyeres winding around it waiting to blast air into the molten iron so it would solidify into steel. Nino studied it.
"Impressive and big, Prometheus will be bigger and taller than I am," Nino said as he examined the mold.
"About twice as large I would say. We need the statue to dominate the stage. The Director is short, about five foot four and he cast the other roles with equally short actors. He doesn't know how our statues are made, he just wants a big one with big features," Stuart laughed. He ducked around the back of the mold and whistled. In less than a minute, a well-built young man bounced up onto the platform with them.
"Sorry to take so long, Mister Stuart. I was mixing the thermite you ordered with chromium, nickel and molybdenum oxides," The young man spoke with a thick Scottish brogue. He stood tall with short-cropped red hair, a fair complexion, broad shoulders, thick chest and narrow waist.
"Angus Ioan Morrison, I want you to meet Giovanni Armando Castellano, Nino for short. He's our model for the statue of Prometheus," Stuart said. Angus stood tall and squared his shoulders. He thrust his hand out to shake Nino's hand and stared deep into Nino's brown eyes. He was youthful, bright and good-looking with sparkling green eyes and a wholesome smile. His skin looked like pink marble next to Nino's perpetual tan.
"Great, I'm almost done with the mixture. I looked up type 316 stainless steel like you said and all of the metals that go into making it. I didn't know there were than many stainless steels. You're going to make one helluva statue, Sir." Angus jumped up and down. He wanted to see how they made the statue.
"Go finish mixing the thermite and load it into the retort. I'll get everything else in order here," Stuart said. Angus bounded away. Stuart and Nino went into a glass-walled room that served as an office.
"He knows?" Nino asked.
"A little, I told him it's like lost wax process but with a human body. He's all excited to help. There's nothing like youthful enthusiasm," Stuart answered. They talked about old times for almost an hour before Stuart took a water bottle filled with a strange silvery-gray liquid from a locked cabinet. He poured a small amount of the liquid into a glass. Nino drank it like a toast and licked his mouth until the silvery-gray liquid was gone.
"That tastes different. All the other potions were thinner and less metallic," Nino said. He felt a familiar fire build inside his body.
"I'm turning you into steel. The potion has to be thicker and stronger than for simple gold or silver. Plain iron wouldn't have looked good. Stainless steel will look better," Stuart explained. Angus banged on the door and burst into the small room like a kid running into a candy store. He was shirtless. Metal dust from the thermite bins covered his bare body giving him a silvery white appearance.
"I finished. All that dust, it's like a desert out there," Angus announced. Before Nino and Stuart could stop him, he picked up the bottle and drank nearly half of the silvery-gray potion. He licked the stuff off his lips and tongue.
"Aw yuck, that stuff tastes like chalk but at least it quenched my thirst," Angus said. Nino grabbed Angus and twisted the bottle from his hand. The three men stared at each other stupidly for a moment. Angus didn't know what he did, Nino was shocked at Angus's eagerness and Stuart was desperately trying to figure out what to do.
"Shit, Angus, why did you do that?" Stuart finally said.
"I was thirsty. Why, wasn't I supposed to drink that? I'll get more. It's one of those new drink things they sell at the fancy market, isn't it," Angus whined like a bad little boy.
"No, damn it, it isn't. Bugger it all, you drank half of it," Stuart yelled at him. They all stood silent for a couple seconds. Nino could feel Angus's body heating up.
"Nino, drink the rest of it. Drink it now, as fast as you can," Stuart growled. Nino drank the rest. Immediately his stomach became fiery hot.
"Angus, you wanted to be part of creating the statue? Well, you are going to be part of the statue. Undress, right now, as fast as you can," Stuart ordered. Nino released his hold on Angus and let his sweat pants drop to the floor. He stepped out of his sandals and stood behind Angus naked. Angus opened his belt and let his pants drop onto his boots. Nino lifted him up from behind so Stuart could yank his boots and coveralls off. Naked with two men pawing at his body, Angus squirmed and tried to stop them from pulling his jockstrap off. Nino grabbed his hands as Stuart yanked off the jockstrap. Nino set the young man down on the ground.
"Angus, just do as I say, we only have a few minutes before you, well, you're in deep shit," Stuart couldn't bring himself to tell the young man what he'd done. Angus stood there. A fire burnt inside both bodies.
"Both of you get into the mold. I'm going to convert you both at once. That's the only way out of this mess," Stuart said. Nino pushed and pulled Angus over to the mold. He back up as tight as he could into the rear half of the mold and pulled Angus's body against his body. Angus struggled as their bodies touched.
"But you're going to fire the thermite and molten metal will fall into the mold. Won't we burn up?" Angus asked. Nino pushed his legs and arms into position. The mold felt cold while Nino's body felt feverish.
"No, that stuff we drank will protect us from burning up. That's what's heating your body. Can't you feel it?" Nino answered him as Stuart closed the mold and strapped it shut. At first, darkness closed in around them and then a red glow from their bodies began to illuminate the mold. Angus felt the energy building in his and Nino's body.
"But we won't look right," Angus could feel Nino's face against his face, their chests and stomachs pressed tight, their legs and arms together. He felt his cock stiffen and grow rock-hard against Nino's stomach while Nino's cock stiffened against his cock and grew hard. The heating moved outwards through their bodies making them both glow red in the dark.
"Our bodies will merge and conform to the shape of the mold and then the molten steel will fill the mold and cover our bodies," Nino explained. He moved his hips rhythmically rubbing his cock against Nino's cock.
"Oh, please, stop, don't, I'm going to splooge all over you," Angus moaned. The fire built in his body and he glowed red. Nino's body felt hot and glowed into the orange.
"There's no way to stop it, Angus, just no way. It's either be molded in metal or die. Our bodies will burn away if metal doesn't replace flesh, blood and bone," Nino gasped. His breath felt hot on Angus's face. Angus realized that the fire in his body was already hot enough to boil water. He took deep breaths and embraced Nino's flesh against his flesh. They felt two hearts beating as one in their bodies. The fire inside them grew from orange red to yellow orange and then to yellow. Their cocks throbbed and pulsed as two sets of testicles began to pump in time to the beating of their hearts.
"It's close. The transform is close. Stuart's going to fire the aluminum oxide just as we reach orgasm," Nino moaned in pleasure. Angus felt the flesh of his body merge into Nino's flesh as the fires of a white-hot, mind-shattering, heart-thumping orgasm gripped his mind. Suddenly white light beyond anything he experienced filled the inside of the mold. The aluminum oxide in the thermite burnt the iron oxide into molten iron. Hot air flowed around their bodies from the tuyeres and molten iron at 1225 degrees Fahrenheit flowed down into the mold. For the first time, Angus felt the molten metal devour his body and replace his flesh with living metal. Nino's new metal body fused with Angus's body as the orgasm filled their minds. The air blast from through the tuyeres heated and churned the molten iron up beyond 3600 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat blended the chromium, molybdenum and nickel into the fine crystalline structure of steel.
Angus became aware of the shape of his new metal body as the temperature dropped and the molted steel solidified. Nino and Angus's mutual orgasm slowly subsided. They felt the steel of their single body strengthen as the temperature dropped below 1000 and then 900 degrees Fahrenheit. It took a long time too cool inside the mold. As they cooled, the metal became harder and stronger. The two men soon realized that they shared one huge metal body - a heroically sized statue of Prometheus. Without thinking about it, Angus spoke.
"I've never shared an orgasm with a man. I could feel your equipment pulsing and throbbing just like my equipment." It took a few seconds for Angus to realize that his lips, or rather their lips, didn't move. Surprised at hearing Angus, Nino talked back to him.
"You never had a friend jerk you off? Or never had a girlfriend wrap her lips around the thickness of your cock and suck on it?" Nino said. He didn't think about how the words formed, just that he said them.
"No, I've been a good boy every since my Father passed away when I was ten. And I felt your cock as if it were mine," Angus said.
"Do you feel this?" Nino remembered the last time he sucked a cock and licked another man's sweaty body. The vivid memories excited him. The thoughts aroused Angus. He liked the feeling of another man's cock against his lips.
"How is this possible? How can I feel your memories?" Angus asked.
"I don't know kid. I've never done this before. I've always been alone when I became a statue. I never had company before," Nino answered. Light burst on them as Stuart and his helpers opened the mold. Nino and Angus looked out onto the world with a single pair of metal eyes. They both could see their shared metal body reflected in a mirror that Stuart set up. The statue stood in defiance of an unseen Zeus high in the heavens above it. The statue had a ripped, cut physique that any Greek god would be proud to own. The steel of their body was dull. They could see the workmen preparing steel-woof buffing pads to shine the steel.
"Look at the cock and balls on that statue," Nino said. Angus stayed speechless at the statue's extra large cock and balls. He really didn't want to stand naked in public and to be hung like a horse and exposed like that embarrassed him.
"Oh crap, never tell anyone that I looked like that. It's that stupid director's fault. He's goofy about his teeny weenie. He thinks no one knows why he's putting on this play. He's about as obvious a nut case as they get." Angus said. His candor surprised Nino and they had a little conversation about that. Apparently, they no longer had secrets from each other. The workmen started to buff their steel body with the metal wool and both men felt it as sexual stimulation. The polishing session lasted several hours with three shifts of workers and by the time it was done, Nino and Angus experienced imaginary orgasms every few minutes. When the workmen left, the statue stood as a mass of gleaming brushed steel. It took Nino and Angus hours to settle their minds.
The next day the workmen wheeled the statue into place on the stage for a rehearsal. The play dragged on for hours under plodding direction and wooden emotion. Instead of the standard Greek chorus of mixed voices, the director had a dozen well-built young men covered with white plaster-like makeup, standing naked and shoulder-to-shoulder in three rows, four bodies wide. They reminded Angus of Greek statuary. The Greek chorus would be onstage when the audience came in and stay until the audience left. Angus wondered how they would be able to stand still for that long. Nino explained Stuart's handiwork.
"First," he said, "the paste is thick so it looks smooth. Second, that makeup gets so hard you can't move for the duration of the play. It actually supports your body. Those men can talk and gesture from the waist up but they can't move their hips or legs. Third, they're wearing jockstraps that form their genitals. If you look close, you'll see how uniform they all appear and hang. Watch when they walk. They don't dangle. It adds to the stage effect and the strap is barely noticeable under that makeup. The director must think that people want to stand and watch a dozen good-looking naked male statues gesturing and reciting boring blank verse for two hours."
"I know those guys," Angus said. "They belong to a gymnastic group in the next county, rings and parallel bars mostly. You can tell by the development in their arms, shoulders and chests." At the end of the rehearsal, Stuart came out and gave each man in the Greek chorus a drink. One-by-one their bodies relaxed and they went off to the dressing room.
The play lasted a week, only ten performances before it closed. The audience booed during two matinees and at another performance, half of the audience walked out.
On the last night, Nino and Angus watched and listened as the twelve men in the Greek chorus came out onto the stage before the play. They all agreed not to wear the white jockstraps. They had shaved their bodies so they could be completely naked then they all took erectile drugs so that their human cocks stiffened and stood hard against their stomachs. It was their way of playing a joke on the director. Nino and Angus watched as Stuart gave the chorus several bottles of celebratory champagne to drink before the performance. Nino suspected that Stuart wouldn't reanimate the men in the chorus after the performance. Angus wasn't sure about that.
It's not that the director was ignorant of his failure. If there had been less than ten people in the audience, he would have cancelled the performance but men in the Greek chorus arranged for several dozen of their friends to buy tickets to watch them perform with raging erections. The director never noticed the audience giggling throughout the entire performance. Still, he cut out several long soliloquies and ended the performance nearly an hour early. His Mumsie collected him just after the performance to console his bruised ego. Stuart hurried the last patron and the ushers out of the theater and locked it before he approached the twelve men in the Greek chorus. They could talk and gesture but not move. Nino and Angus watched from their perch at the back of the stage.
"Gentlemen, it was not a short run because of you. Your performance as the chorus was excellent. Therefore, I have a special treat for you tonight. A toast with great American scotch whiskey aged fifty years. We can drink it now or later when your makeup wears off," Stuart said. The men in the chorus wanted to start drinking right away. Stuart handed each man a highball glass and they all drank at once. Stuart handed the each a bottle of scotch and they all filled their glasses. The men drank and talked as they waited patiently for the familiar release from the plaster makeup.
"Usher, usher," one of the men pointed to the wings. One of the ushers, a young man of about seventeen stood watching in the wings. Stuart picked up another glass and poured the usher a scotch.
"And what do you want, young man?" Stuart said. He handed him the glass and made him drink before he answered. The scotch burnt his throat and made him gasp. The chorus cheered him and goaded him into a second drink.
"I just wanted to see how you got the statues to work. I've watched since opening night and I'm still amazed by the Greeks," the young usher said. His voice was rough from the scotch. Stuart studied him for a moment and then filled his glass with a third scotch. The chorus hooted and hollered at the glass.
"If you're serious, young man, you can go into the dressing room. There you'll find a bucket of white makeup that looks like Plaster of Paris. Disrobe fully and rub it all over your body. Include your head, feet and as much of your back as you can reach. Then come out here covered only with the makeup. Hurry up, go now and don't be long. We'll wait for you. We won't go away," Stuart told him. The men in the chorus laughed at the joke. The young usher went off the stage. Stuart proposed a toast to the young man and the chorus drank again. He replace empty the bottles scotch bottles. They all had a good buzz starting and they didn't notice the cold stone-like hardness creeping through their bodies. They talked and moved less and less with each drink. The young usher surprised them with his rather fast reappearance. He was naked and completely covered in white paste. He had a tall, wiry and well-proportioned body with amazingly large balls and a thick uncut cock. He carried a tub of the paste in one hand and his glass in the other. Stuart told him how to paste the hair on his head into curls.
"He this stuff feels great. Can I get another scotch? I'm getting a taste for that stuff," the young man said. He turned around and showed off his white statue-like body to Stuart.
"You're not shy are you? You want the complete treatment that these guys have?" Stuart asked. A few guys in the chorus hooted. At least half of them weren't trying to talk and the other half could only grunt and woof. They barely moved.
"I got nothing to be shy about. Those guys got muscles but I got a big, thick unit and I'm proud to show it off," the young usher made his cock and balls swing. Stuart took a case from inside his jacket and pulled out a hypodermic. Nino gasped at the hypodermic. The usher made an "O" with his lips and held his arm out. Stuart shot him directly in a vein. It took only seconds before his cock was erect and hard as stone. The chorus made a few happy grunts and woofs. Four of them had quit moving completely. Only their eyes moved.
"That kid's got about five minutes before he turns solid. I know about that stuff. Stuart used the same stuff on my body for my first assignment," Nino said to Angus.
"This will be interesting. What's Stuart going to do with the chorus when they're statues?" Angus asked.
"I don't know. He never did this before. He always revived me and anyone else that he changed as far as I know. What makes you think he's got other plans?" Nino asked. Angus shrugged mentally and Nino got the message. Another trio of men in the chorus stopped moving and dropped their bottles. Only one man in the chorus could speak. He couldn't hold his glass and took to drinking from the bottle.
"Stuart, what's happening? Why are we getting harder?" the man asked as he finished drinking scotch. He dropped the bottle and slowly moved his arm down. The effort showed on his face and body making his muscles pop and snap. His body stiffened and he stood still. They all stood silent. The rest of the chorus was equally as statuesque taking on the appearance of plaster statues. One by one their breathing ceased, their hearts stopped as their bodies and then their minds turned to white limestone.
"Wow, twelve handsome Greek statues. I never saw that before and I've been at every performance," the young usher said. He'd almost finished a full bottle of scotch. Stuart covered a small platform with the plaster.
"Put your feet on this platform and stand still for a moment, young man," Stuart ordered. The young usher obeyed and stepped into the plaster layer. Now his body was completely covered. He stood patiently for a moment before he noticed that the eyes of the men in the Greek chorus were as white as the rest of their bodies. He tried to move but his feet stuck to the platform and his knees and ankles wouldn't bend.
"What? Why can't I move?" he asked.
"Because you wanted to join the chorus and right now, you are becoming exactly what they are, limestone statues. That's what you wanted, isn't it? Surely you didn't think that you could wander the streets naked covered only in white paste?" Stuart said. The petrifaction spread quickly up through the young man's thighs and into his torso. His cock grew even harder and his testicles throbbed as they turned to stone. The drug would still drive him to an orgasm when he completely turned to stone. The young man struggled as his torso changed. The petrifaction crept up into his chest and arms. He felt his lungs grow stiff and his ribs stop moving. He stopped talking as his neck and throat turned to stone. He had a strange look in his eyes as his face and head stiffened and quit moving. Inside his body, his heart ceased beating as his blood turned to stone. He lost his thoughts in the sexual energy of an orgasm as his mind turned to stone. Stuart tapped his body. He was the only flesh and blood person left in the room. He turned his attention to the steel statue of Prometheus and walked up to it.
"Nino and Angus, look, I'm not sure that you can hear me. I hope you can. You need to know a few things. Both of you drank too much of the potion. Nino, I couldn't animate one of you, which is why I had you drink the rest of the potion. You'll eventually reanimate all by yourselves, but you each drank enough of the potion for many, many years, maybe decades, possibly even centuries. I'm afraid to attempt a reanimation. I'm afraid I won't be able to separate you two. You are stuck until the potion wears off. That being said, I've found you a good home with someone who understands. So, I toast you, Nino my good friend and Angus one of the best helpers I've ever had, I toast your new life. May it be long and prosperous," Stuart added. He drank a glass of scotch to them. The news didn't surprise Nino and Angus. They always guessed that they might never return to human form after their less than planned metalization.
"And I feel I should tell you about these dozen young men who formed the magnificent Greek chorus and are now limestone statues," Stuart took a deep breath and let it out before he continued. "I received a commission from a very rich man to populate his new grotto with statues of naked young men. This Greek chorus will let me retire in luxury. They'll have long and happy lives in that grotto and they won't reanimate for about five or six hundred years. I'm going to keep this young man, the usher, just for me."
Within the hour, crews showed up to build crates around each statue and prepare them for shipping. By the next morning, there was no evidence in the theater of any statue and Stuart had disappeared to his own private island.
4584 words more or less
FUTURES YET UNKNOWN
Ten Stories by Dave Fragments
*An Alien serial murderer and a furry detective with fleas.
*Murder on a world with altered humans.
*Disturbing apocalyptic visions *Monstrous dystopian societies.
*A man on trial for betraying the human race to robots.
*Devils, demons and ghosts.
*Survivors of a plague war.
*Cyborgs trying to be human.
*Six friends in a strange sinkhole.
*The truth about a world drowning in rain, without sun, without hope.
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