|The Transformation Story Archive||Mythical Beings|
Artist To The Wind
Frank introduced us, and then all went down the drain. Not immediately after, but what happened I am glad I made away with my soul. Frank had never known any of that about Jason. Frank was my friend, and would never have subjected me to such catastrophic dangers had he been aware of the peculiar nature of Jason's artwork.
Jason was a handsome man, tall, almond-shaped eyes, with a dimple in his chin. He was not very muscular, but he was not extremely skinny either. His fingers were long and smooth, and they caressed me when I wanted them too. His desires were strong, and I knew it from the moment I met him.
Frank introduced us, his shiny white teeth a contrast to the deep black of his skin. His hair was braided in three sections, but it never passed beneath his shoulders. He wore a plain blue T-shirt and a brand new pair of blue jeans. He had been my childhood friend, and he was telling me about this guy in his Government class.
" He's really cool.", Frank had said the day before, " He's pretty good looking, I think you'll like him. He's this great artist. Man, you wouldn't believe the stuff he draws. I saw him sketch Amy Rostron in five minutes. It was prettier than she was, and he had her sitting on this rock, with the wind blowin' through her hair and everythin'. You'd like him."
" Would he do my portrait?", I had asked, curious.
" Sure he would.", Frank had assured me. He repents even now that he had even taken me to get him to draw my portrait.
Jason was waiting in front of the library for us. He smiled at us both, and asked me to sit down. He wanted to get the portrait done first. " What do you want me to draw?", he asked me kindly.
" Well, a portrait of me of course.", I replied.
" No, he means what would you like to be.", Frank explained to me what Jason did. Jason painted portraits of people, usually mixing them with some creature from mythology. He had done Frank as a Satyr, and I had asked to be done as one as well.
" I don't think that there were any female Satyrs.", Jason replied, as if he wanted to paint one certain portrait, but was always denied that chance.
" How 'bout a Nymph?", Frank suggested sarcastically.
" Frank!", I hit him in the shoulder, and he feel with it, laughing. Jason managed a small chuckle as well.
I finally looked at Jason, and told him that I wanted to be a Centaur, for lack of anything better. It took all of five minutes for the preliminary sketch to be finished. Preliminary sketch however is a relative term from artist to artist. For some it was a mass of colors showing where each object was generally, and of what general shade it would be. Others were rough outlines of the beings in the pictures, with generally very little background sketching. Jason had not drawn either. It was just black and white, but it was not something that I had believed possible in five minutes time. Full use of shading made the picture jump out at me. The was my auburn hair cascaded down about my shoulders flowing with the wind, and my slender hands, one over my left breast, the other out into the wind, looking at something not quite there.
My upper torso was affixed to the body of a palomino horse, with the tail swishing back and forth in the wind. The golden fur was being blown by the wind, heading eastward. On my left gaskin Jason had signed his initials, JTZ, Jason Timothy Zahorchak. No colors were present in this sketch, but still, I could see them almost as if the sketch were real, and that person who looked like me, maybe even was me, was actually real.
Frank took one look at the painting and smirked, " Glad you left one breast showing, makes it look just right!"
Of course Frank was just playing with me, as he always did. That was why we were such good friends. We had grown up together, and had faced the prospect of getting separated by college, but Frank didn't want to get into any college based on reasons of the way he was born. He claimed that Affirmative Action propelled what he called the divine right of blacks, and his older brother had gone to one of those colleges, and had learned only how to hate whites, and was later killed in a riot. Frank saw what had happened to his brother, and decided to go to a private college like I did, and like Jason did.
Frank played like that, always making fun of things, looking at them in a skewed light. It doesn't come as naturally to him anymore. He hasn't made any sexual comments in weeks, and even when he has, it has been forced, and usually not funny.
Jason smiled at Frank's comment, and looked at his sketch. He knew it was good. It was indeed some of the fastest art I had ever seen created, and he had even drawn my breasts as they really do look. He even had placed that mole I have to the left of my belly-button in the sketch. I asked him about it.
Jason blushed enormously as he answered. " I saw it as you approached. Your shirt is too small on you, and your belly-button showed. I'm an artist, I have to notice these things about my subjects."
I looked down to my shirt, and indeed it was short enough for him to see my belly-button. I had thought that it was a little longer, but I assumed that I had been mistaken.
We talked after that. It seemed that the only thing Jason was interested in was art, and mythology. He had a wide range of knowledge on the subject, and used those creatures to draw his subjects. He always signed his paintings JTZ, never his full name. Other that mythology and art, he had no real interests and was just taking those courses to fill up requirements.
I told him then about myself, and I noticed that he was directing the conversation now. Frank was trying to get Jason interested in seeing a movie, but he seemed more interested in me. Jason always diverted away from that, and invited me to see his other artwork. I accepted, but informed his that I wouldn't be able to see it until Saturday as I had other things I had to do. Jason tried to insist that I go earlier, but backed down pretty quick seeing that Frank was getting annoyed.
I told Frank and Jason that I had to go to class, and left them standing there. I passed a couple bushes, and listened to what the two were saying.
" You really shouldn't be so forceful, man!", Frank told him sternly, suspecting that I was out of earshot.
" I tried to be nice, and I did not force myself on her. If I did that, we'd already be at my dorm.", Jason told him, mildly scowling at Frank.
Frank furled his lips for a second, and then came out with, " What's so bad about a movie?"
" They're not real.", Jason replied distantly.
" Like your paintings are?", Frank asked him in a calm tone.
Jason turned towards him, face livid. " My paintings may not be physically real as is, but they certainly show my inner power and talent, and that is real!"
Frank apologized to Jason for being impertinent, and Jason accepted it happily, and they both began to smile at each other again.
I was even more impressed by Jason now, and couldn't wait to behold his other artworks. I headed to class, and sat next to Amy Rostron. It was our math class, Third Semester Calculus, and it wasn't easy. It was also very boring as the professor wrote everything out on the board that he said. If he said, " So if we do this, " he wrote, " So if we do this, ". This gave them time to ignore him, and get away with it.
" I hear Jason Zahorchak sketched you.", I meant it as a statement, questions would come after confirmation.
" Yeah! Did he do you too?", Amy was jubilant this morning, and I was going to find out why a little later.
" Yup. He did me as a Centaur, and you?"
" A Dryad, hugging a tree, with both my bosoms covered, thankfully. He even put in my mole in the middle of my back; he noticed the mole in my back, can you believe it? He also did one of me as a mermaid, sitting on this rock, with the waves crashing all around. Jason just rocks."
" He noticed the one beside my belly-button."
" He is so cool, I wish I could draw like him."
" I'm going to see his other stuff this Saturday."
" Really! I'm going to see it today, maybe he'll have more ready when you go."
I asked her not to tell me about it until I had also gone. Amy agreed to that. The rest of the day proceeded without incident, except for bedtime. Amy roomed with me, and never showed up. A witness has seen her exiting Thomspon Hall, where Jason had his dorm, and a car had driven by, and kidnapped her. It had been the fifth this month, none of them I knew, until now, Amy Rostron, was gone.
Who would have suspected Jason? Nobody, and nobody should have as there was no evidence against him. No evidence except coincidence. All the kidnappings happened in front of Thompson Hall. All of them, happened after the person had visited Jason, by some varying amounts of time. Jason himself had alibis that stood up to coincidence. No, Jason was never even accused of having a hand in the kidnapping of those five people. Of course that is partly because the kidnappings never happened.
I am serious. Those kidnappings never actually occurred at all. I knew this after visiting his dorm. I will never forget what he said to me while I was there. I told Frank about it, and he wanted to come with me. He asked Jason on Friday if he could.
" I never show my work to more than one person at a time.", Jason calmly told him.
" Heck. I've only seen stuff that you've drawn in front of me.", Frank objected. " Can't you show me your earlier works or somethin'?"
" Only do one person at a time. I let you see 'em Sunday, okay?", Jason offered.
Frank considered, and finally, to Jason's relief, said, " Sure, man."
So Frank knew where I was, and that was important, otherwise I wouldn't be here to tell you this. Frank had found out that I had received the five-thousand dollar first prize award for the writer's scholarship I'd entered earlier this year. He had been so happy for me, he had come straight away to tell me, not caring about what Jason said about no two seeing his drawings at once.
I still haven't told you why that is important. It is simple. I would have been supposedly kidnapped had Frank not shown up. Jason was the cause, but the kidnappings never happened. It is peculiar but I'll explain.
I arrived at his dorm, the sun was setting, and the pleasant breeze reminded me that summer was just around the corner. I knocked upon the door, with the number Jason had given me.
" Who is it?", Jason's voice came from within.
" It's me!", I replied.
" Oh, c'mon in!"
I entered, his door was not locked. He was placing the sketch he did of me on a stand. He smiled serenely, and shut the door behind me, locking it.
His whole room was filled with assortments of sketches and paintings, most of them about people I recognized. I saw lying on the top of his bed the one of Amy Rostron, and I was moved to tears. My best friend was gone, and here was the last great tribute to her. I saw the signature down at the bottom, Jason Timothy Zahorchak. I had thought he signed all his paintings JTZ, but apparently not. Confused, I asked him about it. " Why did you sign Amy's picture with your full name?"
" Take a look at the one below.", Jason told me.
I lifted the cover, and peered down at the dark picture that lay below the first. It was a picture outside Thompson Hall, Amy Rostron being kidnapped by a lone car. It was signed Timothy Zahorchak.
" Is this some sort of interpretation?", I asked.
" It's the reality of the kidnapping.", Jason told me, then took out his pencil, and wrote something on the sketch he had of me.
What happened next is difficult to explain. I felt a wrenching sensation, and my jeans were torn to pieces, and fell to the floor. I grew in height, and in the length, plus, I now had seven appendages. Somehow, he had made me into a Centaur. I looked down to my fore hooves. I was shocked to look at them. I felt my horse breast, feeling the contours of the flesh and fur. I tried to look behind me. My golden fur was soft, matted, and beautiful. I had a mellifluous blonde mane running down the center of my back, and I ran my fingers through it for a moment. I then managed to get a good look at my tail, swinging back and forth back there, almost with a mind of its own. My mind was trying its best to catch up with reality, as this certainly didn't seem to be it.
" How do you like it?", Jason brought my attention back to where it should have been. He looked smaller that normal, and he looked up at me, expectantly, almost mockingly.
" Wha'd you do?", I asked him incoherently.
" I simply signed Jason on the sketch I made of you."
I showed my complete lack of comprehension simply by gaping.
" When I sign my first name, whoever I make the sketch of, becomes how I draw them. When I sign my middle name, the scenery becomes extant around them. When I sign my last name, well, that makes the picture become reality, for the person only if I signed Jason, otherwise they are still around even if they are seen kidnapped."
" That's how it happened!", I hit upon it so quickly, that I failed to notice the picture he uncovered. It was of me, getting kidnapped, outside of Finley Hall though.
" I can't let you stay around. You've seen some of my stuff. I might as well show all of it to you. Here's the picture I drew of me.", and Jason showed me this beast, not even a faint resemblance of humanity present in it. A reptilian creature, almost like a dragon, but it had cloven hooves, like that of a demons. It was a depiction of a devil! I was utterly horrified, I took my eyes away from that hideous monstrosity. " I think I'll sign it, to show you the real thing."
Jason was written on the canvas, and a monster appeared before me. Its legs spread wide, with a thick black tail, ending in a sickle. His arms, covered in massive bullish horns, as well as his head, with six of them; three going in each direction. His wings were folded into his body, so as not to break the walls of his dorm, but he almost did take up the full space.
I shrieked in horror, and tried to gallop away, but there was nowhere to go. His massive head swung in front of me when I tried for the door. " There is no leaving. You will be mine."
I grabbed the doorknob, and twisted the lock. Hopefully somebody would come. It was fortunate that Jason did what he did next, otherwise, Frank would be dead. He, after I returned to the other end of the room, erased his signature, and he was back to what I was comfortable with.
" I can't let you stay, but I will show you the rest of my paintings.", and he showed me the one of the man with a tail, his full name signed. He then showed me the Merman, and Mermaid, full name signed. Another had tentacles all over its body, full name signed again. There were many more than five with the full name signed. What those people had gone through I had no idea. The worst though was of a man with large bulges over his body, several of them broken open, exuding a foul pus. That's not the worst about it though. His entire lower half was even more hideous that his upper torso. The legs were a green mass of flesh, with several orifices, some sphincter in configuration, exuding green slime that dripped onto the ground beneath them. Small tentacles, ending in large orbs, that had a diseased look about them. They were eyes, and what they saw, I am glad I can never know.
There was one thing that was common to them all though, and it felt evil, a cold tingle crawled under my skin when I touched the canvas where it was drawn. That wind, flowing through their hair, or tentacles, or whatever. I felt it glide over my body, even though the air in the room was completely still.
As if in expectation of my question, he said, " It is them, the inhabitants of the other side. I give them souls, for ability, artistic ability."
I am ever thankful that Frank chose that moment to knock on the door. He had come to tell me that I had received an A on my English Paper, and didn't care about Jason's one at a time viewing rule. Jason heard the turning of the doorknob, and hastily wrote something down on the portrait he made of me. I saw Frank enter the room, his face lighten a shade upon the sight of me, and then it all disappeared.
The world was gone, instead, I saw a landscape filled with forests, plains, farmlands, and mountains speckled in the distance. A cold air swept past me, it was the wind, like hands feeling my texture. They caressed me, filling my body with an evil iciness.
I looked around, seeing no other living being. I picked one direction, and began to trot towards one spiraling mountain. It, on closer examination revealed itself to be a tower rather than a mountain, a tower made by man, a tower that reached up into the heavens, or it was supposed to. Babel? Maybe, I wasn't sure, nor will I ever be. But when I touched the surface of the clay, my body began to shake, the winds no longer caressing me, but tearing at me.
I saw cracks begin to appear on my form. White light was sucked from those ever increasing tears in my body. It finally formed one single line, ripping itself apart. The landscape too began to separate, ripped in two by some unseen forces. I fell to the ground, looking at my centaur body one last time, before it shattered into a million pieces, as my sight was scattered across the void.
I was alive though. The world was gone for me, but I was alive, crumpled to the floor surely, but alive. The sketch of me was torn in two, and Frank had a sharp fountain pen in his hand, and Jason had a large hole in his back, a hole that gushed no blood. Just blackness inside, nothing else.
Frank smiled weakly at me, and then proceeded to attack Jason with the pen. Jason let the pen slash across his chest, a gash appearing, but no blood coming forth. He hit Frank hard, knocking him over. Jason had an evil smile on his face, the sheer malice contained in his expression was testimony to his evil. Stepping on Frank's throat, I expected to see him dead, but no, Jason took the time to get out another sketch, and sign it.
Frank immediately became something else. I had thought that he was going to sign his own portrait, but no, instead he signed Frank's. Frank's head immediately sprouted two horns, and his ears sharpened. His shoes had fallen off, and black hooves were in his feet's place. The transformation was instantaneous, but still shocking.
Jason doodled a little, and then removed his foot from Frank's neck. I expected Frank to attack Jason, but he did not. His body was captive to some force that he could not break. His clothes were torn asunder, falling from his body. I saw his goat legs, and his face, in anguish, aware of his present form, and his helplessness.
Smiling, he talked, while drawing, " You mess with me, I will first put you through pain, then I'll kill you. You messed with me, let the pain begin.", and Jason slashed across the sketch, and a gash appeared above Frank's goat legs. His intestines spilled out, circling his jet hooves. The blood drenched the mesh of fur , staining it black red. Frank would have screamed, but the force, whatever it was, prevented him from doing so.
Jason put the sketch down, and walked over to his door, closing it. I made my move. My body was still sore, and I found that my muscles screamed in pain every second of it, but I did it. I grabbed the sketch of Frank, and tore it in half.
Frank immediately fell to the ground, his stomach in fine condition, his clothes still on, his shoes had fallen off naturally. Jason turned to see me sit down in the chair where he had placed the sketch, while Frank rose from his supine position. Frank pulled from his pocket a lighter. " I'm glad I haven't quit yet.", he told Jason, and then a roaring conflagration ensued, as the sketches and paintings of Jason Timothy Zahorchak burned.
Jason dashed to save them, but his skin began to ignite, the flesh turning black almost instantly. He crumpled to the floor, his body fell to pieces, but what was inside, I can't bear to remember what Jason had given his heart's blood for. He had become something hideous, a monster beyond my imagination. It looked like some malformed arachnid. It had two forearms, and four vestigial arms, with two legs. They all ended in sharp barbs, each blood red. The body was bloated, with bulbous protrusions in haphazard places across its back. The head sported a full set of canine teeth, but the eyes were a vicious black, a black that seethed with hatred and despise, and a yearning for revenge. Even as the creature burst into flames itself, it tried to save its sketches.
It pulled one from the pile, the one that had been on the bottom, and the last to begin burning. I could see the picture on it, for but a moment, but even a nanosecond would have been enough. The thing that had once been Jason, finally burned to ashes, along with it the rest of the sketches, and scattered across the room by the wind. We left quickly, and returned to our own respective dorms. Prayer was my first act, and I assume it was Frank's as well. For it is not everyday that one sees the face of the devil.
Artist To The Wind copyright 1997 by Charles Matthias.
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