(Author's note: the idea for this story stems from two sources: the Greek story of Pygmalion, who fell in love with his own sculpture, and the Jewish tale of the Golem. From My Fair Lady to Frankenstein, there have been numerous adaptations of these tales. This particular incarnation was the result of a request by Selena Kitt to compose a new version of a fairy tale or myth. It is decidedly not a feel-good romance, but is rather rendered in the vein of classic passion plays and morality tales. I hope you enjoy.)
* * * *
Emet always dreaded the walk home from the train station. Aside from the perpetually chilling dampness and the constantly overcast sky -- why he had been cursed to call this miserable coastal city home, he could not fathom -- it was the human element that bothered him the most. To walk amongst these particular dregs made him lament the circumstance of his birth. The drugs, the poverty, the desperation sapped at him, ironically stealing the very humanity from his soul, bit by bit, like mosquitoes.
The Devil's Block, he often thought acidly. An appropriate name for this place.
Most ignored him, thankfully enough; he was no man of means, a fact revealed starkly by his clothing, so that made him target for neither beggars nor thieves, and even the pushers left him alone. But the women . . . .
He snorted derisively when he saw them. They always came to mock him, to flaunt their bodies and display themselves as the tawdry whores they were. Whether it was the pale of the day or the pitch of the night, they wore only what they needed to preserve whatever it was they considered modesty. They reeked of sweat and cigarettes and whichever cheap perfume they could scavenge after purchasing their narcotic of choice. There was one in particular, whose disgusting status was made even more tragic by the fact that she really could have been a very pretty woman. She was the worst, for her lack of shame was inversely proportionate to her physical charms.
"Well, hey sweetie!" she called, strutting from her usual perch at the corner. She always plied her trade from that same corner, beneath the leering eyes of a stone gargoyle seven stories directly above. Emet found that poetically just, for he saw the stony beast not as a protector of the dilapidated building, but as a watchdog for the Devil who oversaw the wretchedness of the world beneath.
Emet winced at the sound of the prostitute's salacious voice. It was only his personal etiquette that bade him pause and respond. "Dierdre," he rasped to the buxom redhead, both glaring at the woman while admiring the pale ripeness of her nearly-revealed breasts.
She stopped and leaned in, thrusting her cleavage toward the slightly-built man while peering within the large paper sack he carried. "What'cha got? Been to the market?"
He stiffened, wrinkling his nose at the acidic scent wafting from the woman. "If you must know, it is twenty-five pounds of clay I need to finish my latest sculpture."
She straightened, shaking her head and smacking her gum. The iridescent vermilion of her lips glowed in contrast to her pale, smooth face. Emet watched them move as she spoke again, wondering how many men she had serviced with that same mouth.
"You and your sculptures," she remarked. "Like you're some kind of fucking artist or something. What, you think you're gonna get rich some day? Move out of the Devil's Block?"
He sneered. "I don't need to be rich," he snapped. "But, yes, some day I will move out of this Dante-inspired place, and you know what?"
Dierdre planted her hands on her hips. "What."
"I would surely not return here to soil myself with a disgusting whore such as yourself."
For a brief moment, Dierdre looked insulted, but she covered it well, emitting a cackle as pale blue eyes drifted critically up and down Emet's lanky body. "I knew it," she said at last.
She passed a glistening tongue across her upper lip and allowed her eyes to drop momentarily to the sculptor's crotch. "You wanna fuck me."
He recoiled visibly, mouth agape in revulsion. "I would sooner perform cunnilingus on a goat," he declared.
She blinked, face blank. "Huh?"
Emet rolled his eyes. "Leave me alone," he growled, then resumed his march along the sidewalk.
She called after the shuffling man. "Always nice talking to you, Emet Lowe!"
* * * *
His foul mood did not dissipate upon arriving at the building wherein he lived. The aging edifice was unremarkable in that it resembled dozens of other such constructions within the Devil's Block. Made of brick and mortar, at one time it -- like the others along the street -- had been home to well-to-do families before the intrusion of poverty. Once-inspiring gables had sagged, shingles had slipped from the roofs, and the bricks themselves looked tired and haggard from the burden they bore.
Kicking away trash before the short stairwell to his basement abode, Emet stiffened at the shrill sound of his landlady's voice.
"Rent's due in a week, Mr. Lowe. You gonna be on time?"
He forced as amenable a smile as he could muster and looked up to the portly woman. She stood like a beggar queen at the head of the stairs before the door to the house proper. He could nearly smell the woman in her stained and wrinkled house dress. She glared back in expectation, dark little eyes almost concealed by the prolific chubbiness of her face.
"Of course, Mrs. Rudolf," he answered. "Haven't I always been on time?"
"So far," she retorted. "But I keep waiting. I don't much want to clean up that mess you've made down there."
Emet frowned. "What mess?"
"All that stuff you got laying around. It smells funny. And what is it you got under the sheet down there?"
Emet bristled. "You've been in my rooms?"
She stared back. "They're my rooms, Mr. Lowe. I can come and go whenever I want. You're just a tenant."
The slender man resisted the urge to snap back. "I assure you, I am not making a mess, as you may think. And I would like to remind you that I have, for seven months, been a good tenant."
Mrs. Rudolf's face soured as the little man scuffed his was down the steps to his door. "Nothing lasts forever," she muttered under her breath.
* * * *
"The nerve! The audacity! The sheer arrogance of that vile, malodorous woman! And those whores! Why must I be surrounded by the very worst of femininity?" Emet cried once his door was closed behind him and the heavy bag of clay had been deposited upon the only table in the spacious room. He nearly ripped his coat as he jerked his arms free of the sleeves and hurled it toward one of only two chairs. His rooms -- the main one in which he stood was accompanied by a single small bathroom and closet -- were cool and damp, perfect for the plying of his art. He possessed little in the way of furniture; a table, two chairs, a simple bed and a single dresser of drawers. Much of the space framed by cold, sweating bricks was devoted to his art.
Numerous clay sculptures lay along the wall beside the door, rendered as small animals or mythical creatures. They fetched fair enough prices at the various stores which deigned to sell them, enough for Emet to cover the costs of his impoverished life. But they were mere trinkets, carved to appease the children of the upper classes and those society madams who thought it "quaint" to indulge in a poor sculptor's offerings. They possessed little of Emet's spirit and desire . . . unlike the magnum opus which lay beneath the soiled white cloth in the center of the room.
He approached the linen-clad statue with reverence akin to a devoted worshiper entering a house of God, enjoying, for the moment, the sense of anticipation which always nibbled at his heart upon doing so. His hands -- strong and firm from a lifetime of kneading and shaping -- reached for the cloth, drawing it away like the sarong of a lover.
"But not you, my sweet," he whispered in awe, gazing upon the form he had crafted. Eyes which looked upon the world through a harsh veneer now softened, taking in the perfection before him. "You are not like any of those. You are my Aphrodite, my Calypso."
The statue was sublimely nude, seated upon a simple blocks of cheap, discarded cinder. The dampness of the air made her pale skin glisten, accentuating the lines of her arms and legs, the fullness of ripe breasts, the painstakingly detailed curls of sparse hair above the simple slit of her sex. Every bit of her body had been carefully and lovingly detailed, save for the round, featureless face. Emet had saved that for last, allowing his dreams to foment, over time, the vision of his personal goddess.
"The time has finally come, my dear," he announced to the statue. He took up the heavy bag from the table and tore it open, allowing blocks of moist clay to tumble to the floor. "Tonight, you shall finally have your face. Tonight, you shall be complete."
* * * *
The hours were spent in silence save for the wet smack of clay and the belabored breathing of a dutiful sculptor. As the world outside devolved into night, Emet remained with his creation, applying the clay slowly, systematically, as the vision in his head was rendered into immutable reality. First was the neck, extending strongly from its base, the line of a firm tendon leading to the edge of the jaw, then to the ear just above it. Emet took special care in shaping the lips and cheeks, wanting his perfect woman to possess the strength of Helen or Eleanor, but also the demure, innocent sweetness of Andromeda or Pandora.
The nose, first, then the eyes, were particularly challenging. He shaped and reshaped, wetting his hands with water from a bucket. The face in his dreams was hazy and vague, but as he continued, it coalesced slowly as each feature was rendered in clay.
He gave his perfect woman thick, luxurious locks, piled atop her head with a few Medusa-like curls settling upon her rounded cheeks and trailing the length of her neck. He envisioned the statue's hair as being of burnished copper, or perhaps the purest sun-kissed gold. Every curl, every lick, every tendril was maddeningly rendered until Emet was satisfied.
Once he finally stepped back to admire the beauty of his creation, even the Devil's Block, with its offensive music blaring from passing cars, the shouts and insulting cries and degenerate expletives, had grown quiet. The world, as far as Emet Lowe was concerned, had vanished. He was alone with his creation, which suited him just fine.
"Now to name you, my lovely," he said, flushed and tired. Thin lips stretched into a smile as his eyes wandered over the wet, hardening clay. "As if there were any other choice, really. I cannot name you anything but Galatea."
He stared into sightless eyes which glimmered wetly beneath carefully-formed lashes. If only you could come to life, he mused silently, then frowned with an afterthought. His eyes fell to the sculpted woman's left foot. Ah, yes. My signature, he thought, then dropped to his knees before the figure.
Every one of his creations bore a tiny inscription in the clay marking its creator, and this one could not suffer its absence. With a simple chisel and tiny hammer, he chipped into the clay just beneath the left ankle.
He sat up with a wrinkled brow, wondering why he did not simply carve his initials as he always did. But glancing up to the face of his goddess beyond the gentle swell of her belly and the upturned mounds of her exquisite breasts, he realized he could not have given her the same banal epitaph worn by so many meaningless creations. She deserved more.
Fatigue was finally encroaching upon him. With a groan, he rose and stumbled to the bathroom door. Dank, cracked tile and comparable mirror greeted him. The porcelain of the sink and toilet were stained to a shade of candlelight seen in dirty bordellos. Pipes protested behind the walls when he turned on the faucets to wash his hands. Bits of greyish clay swirled in the basin before slipping into the greasy blackness of the drain. A nail brush removed what little remained.
Drying his hands upon a tattered towel, Emet returned to the studio with the anticipation of gazing upon his personal Venus as he fell asleep. There would be no drape for her tonight.
The towel dropped to the floor, falling from shaking hands.
"Wh-where is she?"
His eyes fell to the rough stump upon which the statue had sat. In the pale, blue-white light streaming through his windows from the street lights above, it yet glistened as if from the moisture of a lover. Panic sliced through Emet with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel aiming for his heart.
Did someone steal her? How? I only turned away for a moment!
His gaze shot chaotically around the apartment, spying the still-closed door with its three bolt locks in place, the intact windows beside the door, even the sealed-up flue of what had once been the laundry chute for the old building. The obvious conclusion was that his statue had not been taken, yet . . . where did she go?
The sound of movement from his little kitchenette made Emet freeze.
He turned his head slowly, seeing only her silhouette against the stark light of the windows: Voluptuous body, thick-locked hair dangling past a cherubic face. The erect points of her nipples stood out in stark relief against the background. One leg moved, planting a foot upon the ground, then another. The figure moved slowly.
"Oh my God!" The exclamation burst from Emet's lips before he realized he was speaking.
The figure stopped, then pivoted, facing him. The simple light pouring forth from his bathroom allowed the faintest glimpse of her face. What the sculptor saw was an innocent, wide-eyed expression akin to wonder and confusion. The lush lips of a classically full mouth parted as if to speak, but no sound issued forth.
Emet stumbled back, staring in bewildered awe. The woman before him was clearly the selfsame statue he had just minutes before finished, yet, how could that be? She was a construct of clay, not flesh and blood. There was no heart to beat, no arteries to carry blood, no brain to think. There was no possible way, in heaven or on Earth, for this creation of clay and water to be alive.
Yet it was.
She reached for him hesitantly, as if not knowing what to do. Emet recoiled, but it seemed obvious to him that his creation was not about to attack. As if a newborn child, she was simply curious, unsure, confused. With that realization, Emet understood.
Tentatively, he approached, reaching to touch her hand. He tried not to focus upon the delicious nakedness of the woman before him, although he did notice the inhuman glow of perfectly golden hair upon her plump sex.
"It's okay," he cautioned, gracing her fingertips with his. "You're safe here. You're safe with me."
She seemed to acquiesce gingerly, allowing him to take her hand, touch her arm. Emet was surprised to find her warm to the touch, as any real woman would be. Carefully, he stepped closer, the features of her face becoming more clearer. She had soft, glimmering eyes the color of polished pennies, eyes which drank him in.
He led her to one of the chairs beside the table. "Here. Have a seat. Are you cold?"
She shook her head slowly, even as she settled onto her rump in the rickety chair. Her gaze remained fixed upon his face, as if seeking direction.
"So, you can understand me," he said, letting go of her hand and taking a step back. With new eyes, he appraised her nude body. She is the most beautiful woman in the world, he thought. A stirring within his loins made him feel a bit uncomfortable. He made an effort to quell the rush of desire. "Can you speak?"
She opened her mouth once again, pale pink lips parting with a hint of moisture, revealing a healthy tongue and fine teeth beyond. Her jaw and lips worked as if to make a sound, yet nothing issued forth. She frowned, then looked down as if in shame.
"It's all right, Galatea," Emet said quickly with all the sympathy of a father to a daughter. He took her hands once again. She is like a child, he thought. Or, at least, a child in mind. Newly birthed, feeling the desires of life, but not yet knowing how to follow them.
She looked up at the sound of the name he had given her, brow furrowing slightly.
He smiled. "Yes. Galatea. That is your name. That is who you are."
She sat up straight, clutching the sculptor's hands gently as she seemed to contemplate his words. While she did so, Emet's eyes roamed over the exquisite body he had given his creation. He was grateful for the detail he had applied to her crafting, for there was nothing about Galatea that did not conform to his fantasies. She was voluptuous without being Rubenesque, demure without being childish. The firm shape of her breasts defied gravity, pushing plump pink nipples up toward the ceiling, while the soft yet firm shape of her belly only accentuated the golden-haired treasure beneath.
Her eyes followed his, and fell to what her creator beheld. Still maintaining that expression of demure innocence, Galatea parted her thighs, allowing full access to Emet's questing gaze.
He swallowed thickly, feeling his heart hammering with arousal and anxiety. The plump lips of his creation's sex parted, allowing the glistening, sleek inner folds to play out like the petals of a blossoming rose. The bulbous head of her clitoris swelled and pushed outward, shining like a pearl above a bed of pure, pink silk.
Emet cleared his throat uncomfortably. "Y-you shouldn't do that," he stammered, attempting in vain to tear his gaze from that succulent vision of sexual loveliness.
Galatea's response was to spread her legs even more brazenly. She reclined in the chair, slipping her firm buttocks to the edge. Her labia flared, glistening as if with true womanly arousal.
Emet pulled his hands from hers and forced himself to meet her penny-colored eyes. "You don't know what you're doing--" he began, but caught his words in the back of his throat when she reached to cup the obvious bulge beneath his dirty pants. Her touch was firm yet soft, massaging and exploring. Her sweet round eyes quested within his.
"You . . . you cannot know what you are doing," he said, even as she lowered her gaze and brought up her other hand. Lips pouting and eyes glowing with what seemed to be interest, Galatea worked her fingers to undo Emet's pants, pushing them off his hips. He wore nothing beneath, and his erection jutted out firmly and fully, surrounded at the root by a thick patch of dark, sweat-dampened hair.
She smiled, then, cheeks bulging, and lifted her hands to caress the firmness of Emet's cock. The sculptor shivered, wavering on his feet. It had been years since he had been touched in this way. And never before had he felt the sweet, searing heat and luxurious wetness that now bathed him as Galatea bent and slid her soft, eager mouth around his shaft.
"Oh, God," he panted, light-headed, reflexively pushing forward. He watched in rapture as the full length of his penis disappeared into the accommodating mouth of his impossibly alive statue. He groaned when her nose pressed against his flat abdomen, her chin against his hairy testicles. She suckled him affectionately, pulling and caressing with lips and tongue. Her hands caressed up and down along the outsides of his thighs, then between to find and knead his swollen sacs.
This is not real, he thought even as he pumped into Galatea's mouth. It cannot be. But, by God in Heaven, nothing has ever felt so delicious, so pure . . . surely no whore upon the street above could match my Galatea's skill at giving pleasure.
Such thoughts faded away, destroyed and cast upon the winds of lust as the pleasure continued. Emet grunted and moaned, settling his hands to either side of Galatea's head and entangling his fingers in her hair. He jabbed and pushed, feeding his lover the full length of his staff again and again, and never did she balk, or gag, or protest in any way. She merely continued sucking, pulling, massaging, coaxing out from within him the gift he had rarely shared with a woman throughout his life.