Dale's house, set back from a lonely dirt road just off I-78 out in rural Pennsylvania, was full of plaster and ceramic sculptures of wildlife. He had a workshop studio in his basement with sculpting tools and supplies, and he had long since converted his garage into a gallery and store. People would drive all the way from New York and Philadelphia to buy his works. He wasn't wealthy by any means, but his hobby provided him a modest income.
Unknown to anyone but himself, Dale had a fetish of sorts. He liked to encase small animals within plaster sculptures. Though, he wasn't a monster; he would break the sculpture open after a few hours and release the creature. He would never even consider selling a sculpture that was created by engulfing a living thing.
But fetishes, as some of us know, can be very compelling. After giving it some thought, he ran the following personal ad in a fetish magazine published in New York City:
WANTED: Female with engulfment fetish to be
turned into a living human plaster statue for
a weekend--48 continuous hours. The base
that you will sit on will house a small pail
for you to do your dirty into, which I will
empty daily. And you will be able to drink
and breathe through a rubber tube.
Weeks went by and Dale didn't really expect to get any applicants, so he was surprised to receive the following e-mail in reply to his ad several weeks after it had ended:
> Wow! I've been searching for someone like you for
> some time now! My name is Mindy and I'm a female
> who has always had an engulfment fetish for as
> long as I can remember, but never acted on it until
> I saw your ad. I was diagnosed last year with
> muscular dystrophy. My symptoms are starting
> to get worse. I am very intelligent, my
> mind is sharp, and always will be. I dread
> being bedridden and helpless. So I might as
> well give in to my fetish now.
> I saw your ad and have been giving my desire serious
> thought ever since. Please engulf me in your
> sculpture PERMANENTLY! It is a far preferable
> alternative than the fate I will soon face.
> I beg you!
At first, Dale thought this girl must be some sort of kook--wanting to be engulfed permanently. Or else she is teasing him. He almost clicked on DELETE, but saved her message instead. He returned to it every day for a week to re-read it.
He replied a week later asking her if she was still interested in being engulfed permanently. Her answer came back within an hour:
> I BEG YOU!
So they set a date that he would pick her up from the bus station in Easton just across the NJ/PA border.
So one Wednesday afternoon, Dale drove his old beat-up pickup truck into Easton and returned home with a passenger.
She looked around his heavily wooded back yard and said, "I love it! It's so beautiful here!"
"Thanks! I like the privacy."
"I bet you do! Where's your studio?"
He led her into the house through his store gallery and into his private studio.
"Wow! You did all these? You're very talented."
"Is this where you're going to do it to me?"
"No. I'll have to do you where you'll stay. I'll never be able to carry you upstairs from my studio."
"Show me where I'll be!"
Dale took her upstairs into his living room. He pointed to a corner that contained a large houseplant. "Right there."
"So where's the base?"
"I wanted to make sure you were serious before I built it. It'll be easy enough to build. We'll go on a shopping trip tomorrow at Home Depot.
"You doubted my sincerity?"
"You said you wanted to be engulfed permanently. Wouldn't you be a little bit skeptical if you were me?"
"Yeah, I guess. But I'm totally serious! I'm okay today, but my symptoms are getting worse. There are days my whole body feels numb, and I can't do anything because my hands shake so much."
"Okay. But don't you have friends and family who will wonder where you went?"
"My parents and best friends know of my prognosis. I told them that I want them to remember me the way I am now and that I'm going away and never coming back."
"I see," he said.
"I told my mom and dad to pay my rent until my savings account runs out, then sell all my stuff in a garage sale or give it to charity if I don't come home."
"Oh, so you are allowing the possibility of it being temporary..."
"Well, how could I know for sure that you're for real before I got here?"
"Anyway, I bought my bus tickets with cash, changed buses a few times on the way here, erased all my e-mails, and made sure it would be impossible for anyone to track down where I went."
"Okay, I'll get working on the base tomorrow. For now, I have a spare room with a cot you can sleep on."
The next morning, Mindy came out of her room while Dale was buttering a toasted waffle. "Morning, Dale."
"Morning, Mindy. Sorry about that little cot. I hope you slept well."
"I slept great thinking about being engulfed inside your statue forever. And thanks for, like, not expecting me to sleep with you or anything."
"Sure," he said with a shy grin.
"So, when are we going to get started?"
He took a last bite of his waffle, drank the last sip of his coffee, and took her into his studio and showed her some hand-drawn sketches. "This is how it'll work. You'll sit on this wooden box with a pail under a hole in the top."
"Oh? Like I'm sitting on a permanent toilet?"
He laughed. "Something like that. There'll be a jug in the base that I'll keep filled with water, and another holder for a jar of baby food and one for a can of soup. Five rubber tubes will run from the base and up your back embedded inside the plaster. Three of the tubes, the ones from the water and the food, will go into your mouth. The other two will go into your nose so you can breathe."
"Yeah, so I just have to keep your water jug filled, replace your food each day, and empty your poop pail every day. Any questions or requests?"
"Well, you've thought this out pretty thoroughly, but can you put the food and water in a separate compartment from the waste pail?"
"Yeah, I guess I can do that. Anything else?"
"Can I have another straw for some kind of juice to drink?"
"Okay. What else?"
"I guess that's it. When do we start?"
"I'm ready to go whenever you are."
They drove to Home Depot and bought some plywood sheets, some 1x2s, a large pail, some rubber tubing, plaster mix, and a big bag of cotton rags.
Then they stopped at Shop Rite on the way home. In the soup aisle, he said, "Pick out what kinds of soup you like." She tossed a variety of cans of soup, but he rejected the Double Noodle. "Remember, you have to be able to suck it through a long straw."
"Yeah, I know," she said.
They stopped at the baby food aisle and she picked out a slew of brands and flavors, and she picked out some grape juice and apple juice from the juice aisle.
He said, "When we get back home, maybe you can make a list of the flavors that you like, and what flavors you don't like. Okay?"
"Yeah, sure!" she said.
Then they returned home and he got to work with drill and power saw. She helped him saw and drill and build, and by evening they had what looked like a 2x2 foot wooden box with an oval hole on top, mounted on one end of a 2x4 foot wooden sheet of plywood on the floor.
That evening, she helped him carry the base upstairs from his studio into his living room, displacing his fichus tree.
"So, will I be your statue tonight?"
"Tonight? No. It'll take a few hours to encase you in plaster. And you need to be able to hold the pose while the plaster dries for several more hours. We can do it tomorrow, okay?"
"Okay," she said with disappointment in her voice.
"Oh, and we have one more important detail to work out."
"Once you're engulfed with tubes in your nose and mouth, you won't be able to communicate. We need some mechanism for you to let me know that you want to be broken out. Maybe a button attached to a finger wired to a buzzer..."
"NO!" she screamed.
"No!" she said with some anger in her voice. "This is permanent! I don't want a way out! I don't want you to break me out! Ever! No matter what! I'm serious, Dale!"
"I don't think that's a good idea, Mindy, not to have some way to signal me that you've changed your mind."
"I don't care! I don't want a signal! I want to be trapped forever! If I change my mind after a week or a year, then I'm fucked, but I won't change my mind! That's the way I want it! End of discussion!"
Dale put his hands up, "Okay, Mindy. If that's the way you want it!"
"Anyway, it's late. I'm going to bed. You'll have to endure the cot one more night."
A little later, Dale was in his room in his pajamas pulling his bedding down, ready to get into bed. He heard a noise and turned to see her leaning against the door frame to his room.
"Yes?" he asked.
"Say--you do like girls, don't you?"
"Well, you haven't even tried to get anywhere with me."
"I didn't know if you were interested."
"Really, I'm not, but aren't you?"
.... There is more of this story ...