The Mansion

Four horror-style stories from a haunted-style mansion: "The Portrait," "The Trophy," "The Conservatory," and "The Stables." General.

1 – The Portrait

At the front of the hall hung a portrait painted in oils: a woman in a gown and corset, with dark lips and darker hair. Its eyes didn't follow the viewer so much as pierce through them. Though its mouth curled down into the slightest scowl, the light and shadow across its cheeks made it seem, if you caught it in the corner of your eyes, as though it was smiling.

Paintings lined the hall, but it was the portrait that Jason's flashlight lingered on. He stuffed a fist into the pocket of his puffy jacket and hunched his shoulders to fend off a shiver. Did it count as creepy? It was working on him, but he'd have to convince the rest of his friends if he wanted to win their contest. Setting his flashlight down on a nearby table, he dragged his phone out of his jeans pocket.

While he framed the portrait in his phone's camera, his fingers grew cold. He clenched his hand into a fist, then blew on his knuckles, then patted his cheeks, but they remained cold and oddly pale. Hurry up and get the shot, he told himself.

With a ruby-nailed finger, he tapped the screen, then lowered it to peer at the finished picture. The zipper on the front of his jacket twitched before sliding downward, slowly baring the front of his shirt.

No good. The picture had come out blurry. Jason took a few steps forward. His sleeves thinned out while he rubbed his hands together to warm them up—slender fingers, slim wrists, goose- bumps along his soft skin. He swept a lock of darkening hair behind his ear, out of the way of a red teardrop earring.

The portrait's hands, folded in its lap, now looked large and plain in comparison, and its ears were conspicuously unadorned.

Lifting his phone again, he held it as still as possible. His pursed lips were overtaken by red lipstick. The collar of his shirt stretched lower across his chest and his copper-red hair tickled his slender shoulders. He tipped his head back, held his breath, and snapped another picture. This time, the shot was clearer, but the photo itself seemed wrong. Instead of eerie scornful beauty, there was a confused, almost shocked look in the portrait's eyes.


Hello My Name Is...

A customer at Katie's diner is messing with words, and Katie—or whatever her name is now—has got to stop it. Mature.

Katie kept her name tag pinned above the left breast of her pink button-down blouse. It was part of the outfit she had to wear: the blouse, the matching skirt, and the apron she kept her pen and order pad stuffed into. At the start of every shift, she dug her name tag out of the bowl in the back next to the shift schedule, and pinned it to her chest. It was the one part of the dumb, outdated outfit that she had no problem with.

At least, not until today.

Two other name tags were missing from the bowl when Katie clocked in. The first belonged to Liz, who was making herself busy in the late-afternoon lull by tidying up around the register. Her shift would be over in an hour and change, and Katie knew she was just counting down the minutes, because that's what she did herself when she had the eleven o'clock shift.

The other was Benny's. He was just the busboy, but he was six-foot-something and had once tackled someone who'd tried to leave without paying. Katie had never talked to him much, but she gathered he'd played football while he was in school. She was jealous of him, because he didn't have to wear pink.

As far as Katie could tell, it was a normal, slow day at the diner. She'd gone around to each booth and pulled down the blinds, so the sun wouldn't be glaring in through the windows, and had checked to make sure the table of college-aged guys didn't need anything. They were no one she knew, thankfully.


Free Beach Vacation!

A certain someone gets sent to the Vacation Zone and gets turned into an otter bimbo along the way. Mature.

It was spam—it had ended up in his inbox, but it was obviously spam. In colorful bold letters it said, 'Congratulations, you have won a free Beach Vacation! Redemption begins in...' with a timer next to it, ticking down from ten. Curious, he waited for it to count down to zero. Nothing happened, it just stopped. He wasn't sure what he'd expected, a gif of confetti to pop up?

With a click, he sent the spam email to the trash, then turned and pried himself up from his chair. He rubbed his hand along his face. It felt like he'd been sitting in front of his computer all morning. A quick brush of his tongue wet his dry, tender lips...and then they bulged outward.

His lips pressed against either side of his tongue. It felt as if a sudden rush of fluid had been pumped straight to his mouth, swirling out and filling up the available space, leaving his lips taut and nicely plump. He sucked a gasp through his light pout and clapped his hands over his mouth. The urge to fiddle with them was too strong though; they were just so strange that he couldn't resist prodding at them, tugging them, squeezing them gently between his thumb and forefinger to feel their firmness.

In the middle of squeezing them, they swelled out again. With his fingers on his lips, he could feel the pressure welling up from inside, pushing outward against his fingertips, then firming up like a plush pillow. Gingerly, he felt at the edges of his lips. They were large, not unreasonable, but certainly a bit surprising to find on a guy like him.


Lips

A quick story about lip transformation. As in, getting turned into a giant pair of lips. Sorry about that! Explicit.

It's just a tube of lipstick: deep red, almost purple, with a satin glow and a glossy shine. You don't remember buying it, and you probably would—the tube is flashy and golden. Maybe one of your friends left it there, and in any case, what could the harm be? It's just a tube of lipstick.

You lean toward the mirror and roll it across your lips, starting in the middle of your upper lip and moving in a smooth motion all around and back to where you started. You press your lips together, give them a light pop, and then grab a tissue to tidy up the edges. Wait a second. Were you going out? Do you even wear lipstick? You know you wouldn't just put on some lipstick you found in your bathroom. There must have been some reason, even if you can't remember right now.

At least it makes your lips look great. The warm sheen catches your eye and draws you in toward the center of your lips. You pout them, mime a kiss into the mirror. You're looking right at them when they begin to swell.