Friends in the Mannequin Closet

BOOK: Friends in the Mannequin Closet
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Friends in the Mannequin Closet

Tom Raimbault

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2009 Tom Raimbault
Smashwords Edition, License Notes:
This free short story may be freely copied, distributed, reposted, reprinted and shared, provided it appears in
its entirety
– including author’s notes and web links -- without alteration, and the reader is not charged to access it.
Find this and other free writings of Tom Raimbault at:
http://sites.google.com/site/tomraimbaultwritings/
Free writings also available at the author’s blog:
http://talkaboutafterhours.blogspot.com/
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Contents

Chapter

Friends in the Mannequin Closet

My mind goes back to nearly two decades ago when I worked at a Sears in the display department. The job duties included posting signs throughout the store, setting up decorative displays, and also assisting with mannequin set-ups. This meant that I had access to the mannequin room which was home to over a hundred mannequins used at one time or another. Often I needed to come in early on Sunday mornings when no one else was in the store (except security) and access the mannequin room.

Today's mannequins are much different than the ones I remember growing up in the 70's/80's and encountering at work in the early 90's. In those days, mannequins were life-like and realistic looking. Today they are these abstract human forms that are usually painted silver or don't have a head. But in the days of realistic mannequins, a visit to the mannequin room could be a little creepy. You feel strange being surrounded by a bunch of naked, motionless, bald people in a partially-lit room on a quiet Sunday morning. You begin to feel that perhaps the mannequins are actually alive. And in this state, I would often wonder if there was a lonely fellow out there who ever brought a mannequin-or-two home for company.

Rich was one such lonely guy who worked at the local department store as a mannequin setup associate. There's nothing wrong with a guy who makes friends at work; and with all the attractive ladies conveniently located in the mannequin closet, he'd be stupid not to try!

It's a perfect opportunity for a busy guy who doesn't have time for a social life, dating services, or the bar scene. You simply walk into the closet, find your favorite lady, and sneak her out by throwing her in the trash compactor outside before you leave for the day. Once in the parking lot, you drive up to the trash compactor, and pick up your date for the night.

Rich did this on a Friday afternoon. He quickly browsed the collection of lovely ladies in the mannequin closet and found Beth who was wearing an adorable two-piece bathing suit and just dying to get out for some sun. Once he got home, he laid his date out on a lawn chair by the pool, poured her a glass of wine and set it by the table beside her. He quickly changed into swim trunks and joined her by the pool. How convenient: in a half-hour, he picked his date for the night and was already lying out by the pool with her over a glass of wine!

But as Rich talked to his new girlfriend about politics, world affairs and other exciting things, his girlfriend seemed uninterested. In fact, she didn't say a word -- only gazed into the distance as he desperately tried to find some common ground with her. He had no choice but to return her to the mannequin closet on Saturday morning for an exchange.

Early Saturday morning, hours before the store opened, Rich brought Beth back to the mannequin closet and browsed the collection for someone new. That's when he found Julie: a radiant red-head wearing a sun dress. Just like Beth, he brought her to the trash compactor and pulled his car up to get his date for the day. The plan for today was to bring Julie to the beech on a scenic drive in his convertible.

Although Julie was quiet, she seemed to be enjoying herself. But halfway to the beech, Rich learned that she was bald as her wig blew off from the wind while riding in the convertible. He immediately stopped and turned around to get it. And while applying the wig back on her head, he kindly re-assured Julie that he didn't mind her being bald. But Rich new that he couldn't have a bald girl friend. He decided, however, to at least finish the afternoon with her.

At the beech they lay out and watched the waves. There was something about Julie that was different from Beth. She didn't talk, but continued to provide the appearance of really enjoying herself. Maybe a bald girlfriend wasn't such a bad thing. Rich brought Julie into the water for a swim. But it seemed that the water was peeling her paint off which really disturbed Rich. He had no choice but to bring her back to the mannequin closet on Sunday morning.

Early Sunday morning, hours before the store opened, Rich brought Julie back to the mannequin closet and browsed the collection for a third date. That's when he found Kim: a sophisticated-looking brunette all dressed up for what appeared to be a special dinner. He decided that Kim would be perfect to join him for a Sunday dinner at home.

Kim sat in the living room all Sunday afternoon while Rich slaved in the kitchen to make the perfect meal. She was very much like the other two -- quiet and carefully mannered. But she seemed so sophisticated and high class. Perhaps Kim was the one that Rich had been waiting for.

But when they sat down to eat; Kim wouldn't even touch her plate! Rich felt insulted, packed her up in the trunk and brought her back to the mannequin closet on Monday morning. He was beginning to realize that he was going to have to take it slower when dating these mannequins.

On Monday afternoon, Rich was stunned to find the most beautiful lady he had ever seen posing in the women's department. He certainly couldn't yank her off the floor and take her home for the night because people would wonder what happened to the mannequin that was posing the fall fashion in the women's department. Rich decided this was the perfect opportunity to take it slow and get to know this mannequin before taking her out on a date.

Night after night Rich wrote her poetry and love letters to show off his sensitive side and then would sit by her in the early morning before the store opened to read them to her. He realized she couldn't react because she was out on the floor, but he knew his writings were melting her heart.

And then one day Rich found out that the mannequin scenery was going to change. Finally, he would have the opportunity to take the mannequin home as her job was done for the season. But then he heard the most horrible news from his boss of the destiny of this new found lover. “Rich, this mannequin is becoming outdated. Let's wheel it out to the trash compactor along with these other mannequins."

There was no way for Rich to save his lover! His boss was with him the whole time going over the list of work for the day while helping him unload the mannequins into the trash compactor. Rich placed his lover in last and followed his boss's instructions to press the button to start the crushing machine.

But before he pressed, he made sure no one was looking and turned to lip the words, "I love you". He pressed the button and sadly crushed his mannequin lover who seemed to silently beg for help. It was so cruel: his boss motioned Rich to hurry up, leaving him no chance to be with his lover in her final moments alive

He sits alone on a Monday night in devastated sadness. But he learned a valuable lesson: be sure not to have too many friends in the mannequin closet!

The End!

BOOK: Friends in the Mannequin Closet
5.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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