The Mannequin Salesman

Genre: Horror

Plot/Story premise: A mannequin sales man has a store full of real monsters.

Words to use: display, storage, display, hideout, underworld, creep, mask, beware, entry, Halloween, body, model, dominion, design, fake.

On my way to school, i walk by all the closed and shuttered windows of past stores that didn’t survive the economic depression. Well that was what my dad said. Whatever that means. There is one store that seemed open still although it was fake. It was shuttered as most of the others with a beware sign on the front door. We were coming upon Halloween with a slight nip in the air. The display was always the same. It was the usual march of the mannequins. They were mostly the same model, some were standing and a few were sitting. The body of the mannequins were in all different poses within their capabilities as fake people with expressionless faces.

One cold afternoon, I was walking home with my friend and since we were very curious. We didn’t see the need to be home right away. Both of our parents were going to be working late that day. We decided to check out the store one particular store that was on our way. We were fascinated with the mannequins lined up in the window. I remember my mom once telling me, curiosity killed the cat, but what fun is that, to never explore and take a chance.

Our curiosity got the better of us and we ignored the do not enter sign in the window of the building. The front was to locked up so we looked for another way inside. We looked for another way of entry. On the side of the building we found that, even thought the side door was locked up with chains on the inside, we were just small enough to squeeze through the door. The inside was musty and there was sheets covering all the rows and rows of mannequins. The design of the store was a large mess, but an organized mess with purpose. There was piles almost half way toward the ceiling in some place but it created orderly aisle ways. ‘Sliding underneath the sheets would be a good hideout,’ I remember thinking.

Behind the counter sat what looked like a very realistic looking mannequin but this one was wearing a mask of white with eye and mouth holes that made it seem like it was laughing at a great joke. We both jumped when it became alive and spoke to us as we stood looking around, wondering where to explore first, “Hello visitors. What can I do for you both?”

It was quite frightening that I about peed my pants in fear but my friend Sally, who did jump in response to the sound of the voice, did recovered her composure quite quickly. “We were just curious about what all the mannequins looked like. Who are you?” She said boldly. He was an unexpected stranger.  I thought that he was just pretending to be a lifeless mannequin which was a bit suspicious but that didn’t make my friend think twice about talking to him. 

“I am the mannequin salesman, and this is my showroom. You both are quite cheeky coming in unannounced and uninvited. I usually only have very specific guests that come to see my mannequins. Why are you here?” He had continued speaking with his mask which was something else I wondered about, remaining behind a couple step as Sally approached the strange man with a funny mask.

“We are sorry but we we wanted to see inside. Do you have any special mannequins we can look at?” said Sally. I was on edge because there was some excitement in his voice that unnerved me. He seemed a bit of a creep but Sally seemed to trust him. She wasn’t always be the best judge of adults.

“Well… I do have many special ones in storage in the back to keep them safe. Why don’t you follow me into the back.” I didn’t like the undertones of voice. Sally was eager to go but I had felt some trepidation but I followed along toward the back of the store, right behind my friend.

He led us into the back of the store through a door and through a darkened passageway. So dark we could hardly see till we saw a light shining further back which was the end of our journey. When we stepped on the other side of the passageway what we came upon was frightening. It was what a gateway to the underworld looked like. I held onto Sally’s shoulder as we walked behind the stranger. The corridor felt strangely long and eerie. I started to grip her shoulder even tighter, fighting the urge to run back the other way and out of this store of strange mannequins and even stranger people with funny masks. I could tell that all of this didn’t bother Sally and thought that she was so brave. When we finally reached the end, we could see the light around the door shine a bright white which got brighter as the stranger opened. When we entered the back room what we saw was mannequins were indeed special. These ones started to move and coming toward us with their arms outreached. I was riveted the spot and even Sally, with all her bravery was a stationary figure. I don’t think that was just fear that fixed to our spot on the floor. We were both unable to move because it was like we were held down in place by some unnatural force. Our mistake had become very obvious.

“Welcome to my dominion”, the mannequin salesmen said with a smiling face full of malice. “You two will add to my collections quite well.” 

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