|The Transformation Story Archive||Mythical Beings|
Maybe this was some elaborate trick. Andy reviewed the directions again. They had led him to a huge, crumbling building in the middle of one of the seedier neighborhoods outside of LA proper. Faded letters over the entrance read 'Marshall's Department Store'. All of the windows had been bricked in years ago, and there was no sign of lights or life on the entire block.
He almost continued past, but a single oddity caught his eye. Though the structure was obviously well-worn, it was free of the colorful graffiti which adorned all of the other buildings along the dark street. Besides, he had come too far not to at least check.
Hoping that his battered Maverick wouldn't tempt thieves or vandals, he parked in front of the storefront and went to the solid double-doors. Surprisingly, there was no deadbolt or special security of any kind in evidence. No doorbell was provided, either, so he knocked. If this was the right place, he was about to meet the greatest talent, and biggest secret, in the motion picture industry - Anosta Hawk.
Until a few weeks ago, he'd never heard of her. That was surprising, for despite being only a few years out of high school, Andy was a walking encyclopedia of information on horror and fantasy makeup effects. It was that expertise that had gotten him an assistant's job with one of the Hollywood effects shops even before he able to drive. Mostly clean-up and gopher work, to be sure, but he'd eventually been granted unlimited access to a number of studio archives and warehouses.
Every free moment was devoted to sorting old files, or carefully examining the dusty contents of boxes stored and forgotten for decades. His constant 'research' had been the subject of jokes and good-natured ribbing until he unearthed a file of old photos showing some famous classic makeup effects, all credited to an 'A. Hawk.'
At first, no one paid any attention to his questions. But after he started to dig deeper, the warnings started. When 'friendly advice' didn't stop him, his access to archives was canceled. Then he was suddenly 'laid off' by a very regretful boss. Worse, no one else in the business would hire him. He'd been blacklisted simply for asking questions about some old photos.
Anger only fueled Andy's curiosity. He'd made copies of some of the materials, and got enough from them to start digging into public records. Backtracking addresses and names finally led him to a dingy theatrical supply shop that looked like it had been around since silent movies were big.
The owner, Jason Richards, Sr., had a firm handshake and cheerful smile that belied his obvious age. Andy figured him to be in his 70s, at least. However, the cheerful smile had vanished when Andy told him the reason for his visit. He stared at the young man for a moment, and then sighed. "I've been expecting you." He'd locked the door and flipped the 'Closed' sign around. "Come on in the back."
After they sat down in the man's cluttered office, the old man swiveled around and opened an ancient wooden filing cabinet. He lifted out a large, tattered folder and placed it carefully on the top of the desk. "Look, boy. I am not doing you any favors by showing you this. If you are willing to drop the whole subject and leave, I think I could even get you your old job back. But if you insist on finding out about 'A. Hawk,' well, I can't be responsible for the outcome. Understood?"
It was hard not to grin at such melodrama, but Andy managed to keep his face straight as he nodded. "Mr. Richards, I gotta find out what this is all about. Whoever this person is, I got fired just for asking about him."
"Not a him. Hawk is a woman."" Richards sighed. "She'd have to be older than me now. I know she did the makeup for 'Frankenstein,' and that was back in the mid-thirties."
Andy blinked, and his mouth fell open. "That's impossible! Everyone knows that..." His voice trailed off, remembering the photos.
Richards gave him an ironic smile. "Everyone is wrong. Almost every major make effect done from the 1920s up to at least the late 1980s was the design of Anosta Hawk. She sold her work to people like Lon Chaney, Ray Harryhousen, and Rick Baker, and let them take all the credit. The few people who know the secret keep their mouths shut. And those who ask questions..." His eyes darkened. "Some of them simply disappear."
The old man flipped open the folder to reveal a stack of old photos like the ones Andy had discovered. Some of the costume designs were unfamiliar, but others were instantly recognizable. Lugosi's Dracula, except the facial features were different. Same for the Frankenstein monster. The makeup was unmistakable, yet the actual faces were slightly different. All bore the name of 'A. Hawk' as designer.
It took almost another hour to go through the collection of pictures. Richards left him alone for most of that time, probably tending to customers. When Richards finally came back to put the folder back, Andy struggled to find words. "What..., I mean, why would anyone not want to be recognized? If all this is true, then she's the greatest single person in the entire history of movies!"
"And telling anyone would destroy a lot of people who are thought to be the greatest talents in the industry." Richards pursed his lips together, and then pulled a folded piece of paper from his pocket. "Now that you know this much, I suppose there's no turning back." He handed the paper to Andy, who opened it to find a set of directions.
"Anosta is still alive." Richards had a grim look as he spoke. "In fact, I just spoke with her about you. She asked me to give you directions to her house, and invite you to visit her. Now."
Andy grinned broadly, confused, but delighted. "She'll really talk to me? Right now?" He had thanked Richards profusely, and practically run back to his car. In his excitement, he didn't notice the tears which welled up in the old man's eyes.
Andy was startled out of his thoughts by the creaking of the door as it swung open. A handsome, well-dressed woman with her hair wrapped up in some kind of turban was standing there. "Andrew?" There was the slightest trace of an accent in her voice, probably European.
He blinked. At most, this woman wasn't more than 50. Certainly not the 80+ that Anosta Hawk would have to be. Still, she knew his name. "Uh, are you Ms. Hawk?"
She smiled and shook her head. "No, I am, well, her partner. Anosta is waiting in the studio. Will you follow me, please?"
Andy stepped inside, smiling to himself. Anosta's 'partner?' After 6 years in Hollywood, he was pretty used to same-sex couples. What he wasn't used to was the decor inside. The crumbling brick walls outside hid an amazing display of indoor gardens and fountains, carefully lit to approximate natural moonlight. Furnishings were sparse, but expensive-looking, and the outer walls were draped in rich tapestries.
They weaved through the indoor paradise towards the back. Leaves rustled in places as they passed, and he caught a few odd sounds. Pets, perhaps? None showed themselves, but he was certain that a fair number of animals or birds were hiding among the bushes and trees.
As they approached the rear, one of the heavy drapes lifted up, and another woman stepped out. Andy's eyes widened. If the first 'partner' was handsome,' this one was an absolute knockout. Certainly no more than 30, she had long, raven-black hair framing what had to be one of the most perfect faces he'd ever seen. She smiled as they got near, and extended her hand to him. "Hello, Andy. I am Anosta Hawk."
Andy shook hands automatically, bewildered at first, and then greatly disappointed. "Uh, I'm very sorry. There must be some sort of mistake. The woman I was looking for is... uh,..." He struggled for the words, only to be interrupted by the black-haired beauty.
"Old?" She laughed and shook her head. "Don't worry, my curious young friend. I promise that you have found the person you seek. Come into my studio." She held the tapestry up and motioned for him to pass through the opening.
Mystified but curious, Andy did as he was told. And found himself in a huge workshop that was a makeup effects heaven. Life-sized statues of werewolves, aliens, and dozens of other strange creatures familiar to millions of movie fans were crowded along the walls. The fabled Cyclops that Harryhousen supposedly made for 'Jason and the Argonauts'. The monster from 'American Werewolf in London." Even the murderous doll from the 'Child's Play' series.
Anosta brushed past him and waved a hand towards a small stage in the center. "The best way for me to show you my methods is to actually demonstrate. I assume you don't mind being the subject?"
"Are you working on anything special right now?" Andy looked around for signs of new work as he stepped up on the platform. Maybe he could catch a glimpse of some new design.
The woman shook her head sadly. "Computers have taken away the need for my skills, at least in makeup effects. I used to have a backlog of orders. Now it is easier and faster to make electronic shadows that don't exist. Nobody appreciates the old ways."
This must be a daughter, or grand-daughter of the original Anosta Hawk. Andy nodded to himself. Of course. A family business, passed down from generation to generation. He watched Hawk pouring liquids from a variety of clay beakers into a large bowl. "So, did your mother actually create the original Frankenstein makeup?"
She gave him a puzzled look. "My mother? Of course not. It was all mine. Though not one of my best. Took days just to find the right model." She muttered something that he didn't quite catch and frowned. "Well, are you going to just stand there? I can't create anything over your clothing."
"Uh, you want me to strip?" Andy flushed, trying to decide what to do. Hawk was either pulling his leg, or was certifiable. Yet he desperately wanted to find out more. Reluctantly, he started to undress.
Anosta nodded in approval and turned back to her mixing. "Do you have anything in mind? Since I'm not working on a project, it doesn't matter what we create."
The awkwardness of standing stark naked in the middle of this strange woman's studio abated a bit at her generosity. "Uh, what can you do? I mean, I don't want to impose."
She laughed. "You have already done that, Andrew. As for what I can do, simply describe anything at all. In fact, I'd like you to challenge me with the hardest creature design you can imagine. And don't worry about materials or time. Whatever you come up with, I'll have a full-body positive mold done in less than an hour."
Andy's mouth fell open. An hour? It took days sometimes just to go through the process of molding a hand! The gauntlet had been thrown, and he decided to honor her request. "OK. The hardest effect I've ever seen is a convincing animal jackleg. Like a dog's hind leg. Most of the werewolf costumes use human legs, or animal legs that look way out of proportion."
The woman sighed. "Another werewolf? I was hoping for something a bit more, well, original."
He shook his head. "Not a werewolf. I was just using that as an example." Looking around the room, he spotted a small statue depicting a boy with the hindquarters of a sheep or goat. What was that called? "How about a satyr? Like that one over there." He pointed, but she did not look away from him.
"Hmmm. That does make an interesting combination of effects. Animal below, and child above. It might be nice to place a matched set of satyrs in the garden." She turned back to her table, oblivious of Andy's stare.
He hadn't considered that she would try making him look younger. The statue was obviously supposed to be a kid no more than 12 or 13, if the human half was any indication. He stepped off the platform and took a closer look. The satyr was shown in a half-turned position, eyes wide in obvious fear. The detail was incredible, and he grinned when he looked down. Anosta had made the figure anatomically correct, hardly a feature for movie or TV effects. Actually, several of the other monsters were also obviously male or female, some with endowments that were rather out of scale with the rest of the body.
"Andy!" Anosta's voice sent him quickly back to the small stage. "There will be time to compare after I am done." She approached with a small wooden bucket. "Please stand still, and do not speak to me while I work. Simply observe. I will answer questions afterwards."
He nodded, feeling nervous, excited, and for some reason, a little scared. Still, he managed not to flinch as she used her hand to spread thick brown paste from the bucket over his skin. She started with his feet, lifting each one to cover the sole. Surprisingly, it did not squish out when he put his weight back on it.
The mixture was warm, and had a faint musky smell to it. Anosta worked up his legs, leaving an even coat which completely covered his skin. He flushed as she reached his genitals, but she treated the region no differently than she had his feet. The process slowed as she worked his waist, forming a smooth edge that curved just under his belly. The line was about where the animal portion would stop, if the satyr statue was any indication. Perhaps the paste was some sort of adhesive base for fake fur?
He was a bit surprised when she carefully coated his ears, and then spotted both sides of his forehead. The statue did have pointed, furry ears, and horns. The adhesive idea must be right. She stepped back and then walked around him making a careful inspection. He felt her touch up his right buttocks, and then she put the bucket aside and peeled off a pair of gloves.
"Very good, Andrew." She picked a small glass from the table and held it out to him. "Drink this." Noting his reluctance, she frowned. "Oh, come now. If you want to see how I work, you must trust me. It may taste odd, but I promise you it isn't poison. Quite the contrary." She offered it to him again.
Andy shivered, both from the cool air and his own nervousness. How had he ever gotten into this? Despite the warnings his mind was screaming, he found himself taking the glass from her hand and swallowing the liquid. It was a little bitter at first, but there was a strange, sweet aftertaste. He handed the glass back to her, and managed a smile.
"Time to get busy." She put the glass down and turned to face him. "Nosomos diedre cha dionysious sou pan lia co vive ninotu." As she spoke the last word, she lifted her left hand and placed it on his head.
The bewilderment that had been building up in Andy's mind suddenly exploded into pain and fear. Fire scorched his legs and thighs, and white-hot pokers bored into his forehead. Yet he couldn't move. Muscles were locked in place even as they pulled and twisted under his skin. He managed to drop his head enough to see the brown coating on his thighs erupt in what looked like curly black hair. And his penis actually enlarged as it turned dark and changed shape, only to be swallowed by the coarse black skin of an animal sheath.
Balance seemed to shift, and he teetered unsteadily for a moment before falling forward. The lock on his muscles released, and he managed to catch himself with his hands. Twisting around to a sitting position, he gaped at the jutting thighs which grew deeper even as he watched. And his calves were thinning and shrinking, shifting position.
He couldn't help being fascinated by the process, despite his own terror. Toes fused and darkened into cloven hooves, while the rest of his feet stretched out to become the lower legs of an animal. There was something almost sensual about the experience, feeling his bones and flesh finding new shapes. The pain began to build, burning through his whole body. As it built to a crescendo, he screamed.
And then it was over. Andy stared dumbly at the furred limbs which were now his legs. There was no more pain. In fact, he felt wonderful. Except for sitting on something hard. He shifted around, and reached under his butt to dislodge the offending rock. His fingers found the furry lump just above his anus. But as he tried to remove it, strange muscles pulled, and the lump suddenly pulled down into the deep crevice of his buttocks.
A tail? No. His tail. Andy felt light-headed, and crouched over to get the blood to his head. Only to find himself staring at the dark flesh of his genitals. The massive organ shared only its maleness with what had previously lived between his legs, and he pulled the heavy sheath back with one hand. The dark shaft inside was slick, and began to press out on its own. Yet even that did not keep his attention, for he was now staring at the hand he was touching himself with.
Not that there was anything bestial about it. Five fingers, pink skin. No trace of fur. Yet it was as changed as his sexual equipment. He looked down at his belly, noticing for the first time that it had become more rounded. The smooth hands reached up and felt an equally smooth face. No light stubble of a beard. As expected, his ears were higher up and pointed, with a light coat of hair. And he could feel the small, rounded horns which had grown fro his forehead just above the outer corner of each eye.
"Fifteen minutes left." Anosta folded her arms and smiled, acting as if nothing unusual had happened at all. "Any questions?"
Andy stared up at her, trying to find his voice. When he did, it was much higher and thinner than he remembered. "Wha.. what did you do?"
She shook her head. "I thought you would at least be paying a little attention. I turned you into a satyr." Despite her annoyed tone, there was a look of amusement in her eyes that he found vaguely frightening.
"But how? I mean, this isn't a costume!" He looked at himself uncertainly. "Is it?" The impossibility of the situation kept making him doubt the evidence. "Is this all some sort of hallucination?"
"So quick to disbelieve?" She turned and pulled open the drape behind her to reveal a full-length mirror. Andy stared at the goat-child reflected back at him. Other than the obvious animal parts, the boy looked exactly like his old school pictures. Anosta moved to stand over him, huge in comparison. She lifted his small frame easily, and his balance seemed to automatically adjust to allow standing on the small hooves.
He looked up at her, terrified and thrilled at the same time. "How? If this is real, how did you do it?"
She laughed and stepped off the platform to sweep the room with a gesture. "This is only the smallest fraction of my work. Go back two thousand years, longer even than that. My artistry has been embraced by cultures you have only read about in dusty books, and by civilizations so long dead that no one knows they ever existed.
"I have had many names. Anhotephe, Isis, Gael, Circe, Lucrecia. And the mortals who have fronted for me kept my secret well. This foolishness of movies and television simply provided a new application of one of my skills." The woman grinned. "As you can imagine, for someone who can create a living satyr, it is not difficult to come up with rather superior 'normal' animals.
"The cursed Humane societies want too much background information now. But for centuries, I provided some of the most famous animals ever known. The original Lassie was a maid I got tired of. Did you ever see an old show called 'Flipper'? He was a handsome young life guard who swam out to rescue me, and got more than he bargained for. As for earlier efforts, you might have heard of a horse named Bucephalus?"
She looked at her watch. "Eight minutes. You find it hard to believe that anyone would forgo the fame my work would bring? Fame brings attention, and that would obviously be detrimental in my case. I was delighted to let Michaelangelo take credit for those 'statues,' especially since I was able to bed David just before we finished up."
Andy swallowed hard, trying to grasp what the woman was telling him. "That's... magic?" She nodded, and then walked over to the worktable as he took a few cautious steps. "Then all of this is real? You've turned me into a satyr? His voice cracked on the last word.
"Ah, here it is!" Anosta turned with something in her hand, and approached him with a smile. "Yes, you are a satyr. Quite a nice one, at that. The process is quite simple, really. I didn't have to use the paste, but it gives me a reference point when I am doing partial transformations. I can change a person into an animal pretty much at will. However, I had to use a kind of youth potion to regress your age. I'd guess you are about 12 years old, and if I changed you back to a human, you'd still be a child." She held out what looked like a bunch of tubes tied together. "Here, take this."
Taking the object automatically, he began to feel fear rise. "What do you mean, if you changed me back? I can't go out like this! I'm a freak!"
She raised one eyebrow. "I promised to show you how I did my work. I never said anything about letting you leave to tell anyone else. No, you and your fellow satyr over there will make a lovely addition to the garden."
Andy's stumbled backwards as he began to realize what she meant. "The statues? They were all people?" She nodded, and looked at her watch as he continued to back away. "You're going to turn me into stone?"
A look of genuine surprise crossed her face. "Oh, no! That is silly. I can only sculpt living flesh. About all that I could do to insure your silence would be to turn you the rest of the way into a goat. But that would waste a perfectly good satyr, now wouldn't it?"
Andy spun around suddenly, and bolted for the exit. If he could get away from this place, maybe there was a chance. Another figure stepped into the studio to block his path, and his hooves slipped on the floor as he tried to stop. Strong arms grabbed him before he could fall, and he heard Anosta's voice behind him.
"I don't believe you have been properly introduced to my partner?" Andy heard the hissing even as his eyes automatically looked up. "Her name is Medus..."
Partners copyright 1996 by Bob Stein.
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