Around the corner

Mannequin in a castle museum somewhere in France © Tanya Clarke 2015

Mannequin in a castle museum somewhere in France © Tanya Clarke 2015

Writing Prompt No. 45

The first time she saw him it was out of the corner of her eye.

He was sat there, silently brooding, full-lipped. She wondered how it would be to kiss him.

The second time she saw him she walked around the edge of the wall and he was there. She hadn’t expected to see him. A pink flush rose through her face. She rubbed her nose with embarrassment.

The third time she saw him he was looking pale, a slight frown squeezing the muscles in his forehead. She wanted to take her hand and smooth the worry away.

After the third time, she never saw him again. The store replaced him with another. One that was less…feminine…whatever that meant. A faceless head, no hair but the pecs and abs of a younger man. She missed the other one. She’d always enjoyed their meetings silent though they were. She wondered where he’d gone. What had happened? She asked the store manager as casually as she could - where did the retired models go? The manager said - They’re melted down. New ones aren’t made from wax anymore.

Vivian learns that the melted wax is used to make new models for museums not for hanging clothes on. Customers thought they were too lifelike, too creepy. People stopped coming into the store. One woman said she saw Mannequin No.5 wink at her. The manager thinks she was trying to get a discount.

Vivian walked away turning this information over in her mind. Melted down. She was confused by the feelings that filled her body. Maybe they would meet again when she least expected it. When time had moved away from them.

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