Steel Toed

Part I of III

a short story by Dan Standing

 

“It’s very simple…” sighed the wispish being floating before Joan. It’s tone very clearly denoted the creature’s frustration with the human woman, “…you made a selfish wish, and now I get to curse you in two ways.”

“That…but…you lied,” Joan replied, her face still locked with astonishment as she stared at the vaguely hourglass shaped vision, “You said I could have any wish I wanted!”

“Yes, it was a test,” the floating substance said, moving around the room, “And you wished ‘…to be richer than Midas’ which was very selfish. So, the first thing is that anything you do to others with malice will happen to you the day after. On top of that I get to punish you in some wish-related and generally inconvenient way…now, let’s see…”

Joan’s mind was elsewhere, still fathoming everything. How did this start? She’d left work and taken her lunch break early, so as to get to the gym before the afternoon rush. She had started changing, only getting so far as putting on her exorcize shorts and pulling her sports bra on. She removed her shoes and while taking off her knee-high hosiery she had bumped into the locker next to hers. The door bounced open, and the only item inside was a strange box. Out of curiosity Joan opened it.

It was then that the sentient substance appeared before her, causing Joan to fall backwards onto a nearby bench in surprise. It followed this up by telling her to make a wish.

“Now,” it said as it seemed to cease its aerial pacing, “…if I recall Midas was known for having the ability to turn anything he touched to gold. That didn’t turn out too well for him, and I can’t really do anything that will result in you starving to death, so let’s limit your effected area to…your feet.”

“My feet?!” Joan exclaimed, instinctively curling her legs up to her chest. Her bare toes lifted off the stainless steel bar beneath the bench. The distraught brunette looked down at her feet, not knowing what to expect, “Anything they touch will turn to gold?”

“No, no, gold is too convenient for you short term, and would probably do a lot of damage to the world at large if I let you do that unchecked. How about we make this more fun? Your feet will turn any significantly solid substance they touch into whatever the next significantly solid substance is that they touch. Yeah, that sounds good.”

And with that the floating consciousness was gone, box and all.

Joan sat for a second, not sure if what she had just seen had been real or not. On the off chance it had actually happened she tried to decide what substance she’d want her feet to turn things into. Was there anything that wouldn’t make life inconvenient?

She reached forward to see what was in her locker, but her balance was fouled up because of how her legs were curled. She started to fall forward, and instinctively threw her feet down and under her to correct her balance. That meant her toes solidly planted on the connector bar that ran under the otherwise wooden bench.

A small cold shock would have been normal in the situation, but this was a cold snap that flew through Joan’s body. Her skin goose-bumped and her spine shivered as the reaction finally ebbed. Blinking a few times she looked down past the apple-sized breasts compacted within her sports bra and brought her feet out from under the bench. She wiggled her toes a few times – they all seemed to work – and placed the pads of her feet on the tiled floor with trepidation.

She felt a rush of cold move across the skin that was pressed against the tile.

And then it started.

It was like spilled paint spreading out across paper. The tiles were small, inch-sized hexagons, so Joan didn’t see them change at first. What she did see was the white grout turn a dark silver as the substance transmogrified into thin strips of stainless steel. Joan turned her head in all directions as rivers of metal swept between all the tiles, stopping at one end by the entrance way of the locker room where adhesive tiling atop cement began, and at the other end where larger pieces of ceramic where installed at the start of the showers.

Joan lifted her right foot and sure enough the tiles beneath it matched the color of the bar beneath her bench and the former grout. The transformed spot looked like an alien footprint in sand. Joan placed her foot down in a separate spot and felt another sweep of cold. Lifting she found that spot similarly altered.

What should have frightened Joan, and would have frightened anyway listening to her thoughts, was that she wasn’t frightened. If anything, this strange curse was empowering. She’s always been average in all areas; looks, business acumen, popularity, everything about her life was marked as “nothing special.”

This was special. This was a field leveler.

Letting a big grin flash across her face Joan stood, turned, and placed her left foot on the wooden bench, curling her toes as if trying to grip the substance. Steel washed across the glossy finish, pushing through to the wood it was bonded to and transforming the seat in whole. Removing her foot and standing in front of the bench in glee she took one hand and banged on the thin metal, sending a satisfying metallic echo through the locker room as it reacted to Joan’s rapping.

Looking around to see what else she could transform the lithe brunette skipped to the showers, leaving metal footprints in the tile behind her. She poked a glass shower door with her big toe and watched the clear substance cloud into solid metal. She stuck one foot into the shower and turned on the water, giggling as beads of water bounced off her as malformed ball-bearings.

Collecting her thoughts Joan brought her mind back to a center…she shouldn’t get carried away. She had to quickly find perspective on everything, and what this ability really meant. This power wasn’t going to make her thin…she still had plenty of skinny bitches in the dating pool to compete against. Only exorcize was going to do that for her and she went over to her locker and grabbed a sneaker. Not thinking about the involuntary aspect of her curse she was momentarily surprised when the shoe’s weight multiplied in her hands as her toes slid inside. The white material washed with silver and Joan was pulled forward as the metal footwear landed on the tile with a metallic thud.

“Whatever you’re doing over there be careful…the gym can’t make you look any better, but at least try not to make the gym look worse,” a voice growled up from behind Joan. Forgetting about the shoe for a moment the brunette turned and scowled at a fellow gym member named Helena. Although they were both in their late twenties and Joan’s body was not an unattractive shape, it was clear that Helena saw no similarities between them. She was exactly the type of tall, blonde, busty, super skinny bitch that Joan needed the gym to compete with. On the exorcize floor Helena’s hourglass form commanded the attention of every man that walked by. Her acidic tongue made it quite clear to all other women that she would gladly take any man from them. She was disliked by many, Joan amongst them.

Helena had entered with her mind in her own little ego-centric world, oblivious to Joan’s metalizing effects on anything. The irritated brunette wasn’t sure if Helena even knew who she had insulted. It was typical of the blonde bombshell bitch to assume that any insult could apply to any woman, as they were all beneath her. As Helena began to change at her locker, revealing all the perfect parts of her that had clearly been shaped more-so by a plastic surgeon than a gym membership, Joan wondered when someone would put the woman in her place.

Then it struck Joan; she could. Right now.

As the cursed woman slowly approached the blonde, Helena was still in her own world. She had already swapped her skirt for a pair of barely-allowable booty shorts. She had taken off her heals but had not yet put on her gym shoes or socks, and had just removed her work blouse and bra when a few toes brushed the back of her calf.

Helena wanted to turn around and smack whomever had just touched her, but she couldn’t move. Her body was frozen, getting colder and colder and colder. A small mirror was on the inside of her locker, and past her shoulder she could see Joan grinning. At first Helena didn’t understand what had happened until she saw the skin of her face and arm turning from perfectly-tanned flesh to a perfectly-polished silver. And even then she didn’t understand why she was turning into a metal fixture, but the fact was clear that she was.

Joan couldn’t believe it. She watched as this flesh-and-blood irritant hardened into a sexy statue of pure steal. It was so quick that not even a sound had uttered from Helena’s throat before her lungs and larynx hardened. The thought of whether or not the woman was dead never entered Joan’s realm of concern. But despite the lack of vital signs the steel woman’s mind had not yet stopped screaming.

Helena had frozen with her legs slightly spread, one hand hanging casually at her hip with the other still gently holding the blouse and bra en route to the locker’s hook. Her breasts, orange sized orbs that were clearly bought, stood round and proud on her reflective chest. Her nipples were like two thimbles, standing tall and proud in the center of her slightly bumpy areola.

Joan carefully gathered up Helena’s things and returned them to the frozen woman’s locker. She then hooked her fingers around the elastic of the statue’s shorts and panties and pulled them down the hardened legs – the attention was the first thing that had managed to distract the confused mind inside. Only a slight indent across the otherwise smooth skin of her hips betrayed the fact that Helena had been wearing anything when she was caressed by the cursed toes.

Joan paused a moment and admired how Helena’s landing strip was now like curly steel wool. Although she wasn’t a lesbian, and had never considered herself attracted to Helena’s form, something about this body locked in metal was a turn on.

Especially since Joan was responsible for it.

Hooking her arms under Helena’s shoulders – and trying to not to get stabbed in the face by the hardened hair –  the brunette carefully pivoted the statue on the left heel. Helena was incredibly heavy and cracked a few tiles, but Joan managed to barely swing her one side at a time until the statue was in the center of the locker-room. Admiring the placement of her former rival Joan hoped that most women would assume the statue was a beautification project started by the gym. The guilty woman then wondered how long it would take anyone to muse if the missing woman and the statue were related, but Joan shrugged off the mystery. She added the removed shorts and panties to the locker before closing it, and went back to her own belongings.

Realizing that she’d be unable to wear her sneakers under her current condition, and knowing she couldn’t publicly reveal her ability by leaving the locker room barefoot, Joan decided to redress for work. She swapped out her bras and pulled on her light grey blouse, and very carefully pulled up her skirt. She didn’t bother trying to get her stockings on, but did enjoy watching the light material become overtaken by waves of steel as she tapped them on her toes. Tossing them aside with a laugh Joan pulled out her modest closed-toe 3-inch pumps.

They had always been comfortable, with padding in just the right spots, and with a combination of excitement and anxiety Joan swiftly pushed a foot into one. Silver quickly overtook the light pink color, and although the shoe was heavier than anything she’d ever worn – coming in at about three pounds Joan estimated – it wasn’t uncomfortable. She quickly transmogrified its twin and admired her newly minted shoes in one of the large wall mirrors. Joan actually liked the stainless steel look and coolness against her feet, and started towards the locker room exit…and quickly decided the noise and weight was just going to make the metal shoes impossible for long-term use. The complete lack of flexibility meant Joan was less stepping and more stomping.

Returning to the bench and replacing the steel heels in her locker Joan retrieved the transformed knee stockings. The thin metal actually seemed to work pretty well even at that size and the brunette pulled the cold silver “fabric” up over her legs. Looking to the mirror the cursed woman thought it almost made her legs look like they were steel…she kind of liked it. Testing her plan Joan took a few steps and found that any remaining unchanged ceramic tile did not become steel under her step.

Hoping that Helena’s locker hadn’t locked when she closed it – which it hadn’t – Joan retrieved the thinking art-form’s now useless shoes. They had much more of a heel on them than the usually more reserved woman was accustomed to – topping at five inches with a slight platform – but after a few steps Joan adjusted. Blowing a kiss and a “Thanks” to the immobile Helena the brunette strutted out of the locker-room.

She couldn’t wait to get to work.

Tune in next week for Part II!