Where do mannequins come from
When I was little, I used to believe that showcase mannequins were people who had been transformed. I don’t really know where it came from, I imagined that sellers lurked customers in the backroom before turning them into wooden figures. I felt even worse at the idea that some mannequins were children like me. My only fear was to end up like them, unable to speak or run away.
I remember once, I must’ve been about 10, it was the sales and my mother took me shopping. We would part ways to look at the clothes. I felt really bad because of all the mannequins. In one of the shops were was even a bust on the counter. I was trying not to look at it when a lady spoke to me. She said I was a little quiet and asked if everything was allright. I answered a timid yes. When I looked at her, I felt like I had butterflies in the stomach. It was a pretty young lady with black hair, I remember she was wearing a cardigan with a rabbit shaped brooch. She had her name pinned below it, I think it was Cathy. Then I shyly asked where their mannequins came from. Cathy gave me a closer look to one out of the showcase and told me it was her uncle who made them. She said they were made of painted wooden and could be taken apart, and that they were like giant dolls. Despite my little story, I had the envy to trust her, and it made me feel better. My mother came back to me and I showed her the dresses I had picked. There was one that I really liked, but she told me they didn’t have my size. Cathy then told us they could special order it and give us a call before the end of the week. I was super glad, and so was my mother. She always wanted to make me happy. At this moment, a man called Cathy from the backroom. He had a deep voice and it frightened me. Cathy said « I’m coming uncle Butch » and gave me a sweet before I left. I unwrapped it as we walked out of the store and my mother went to toss the paper in a trash. I let my eyes wander to the mannequins in the showcase. A man came to move one at the same moment. I don’t remember so much what he looked like, only that he had long hair and started smiling when our eyes met. He scared me so bad. Chilhood really is an impressionable age.
I spent the rest of the week picking up every single phone call, each time imagining it was for my dress. Then I eventually heard the voice of the man who had called out to Cathy in the shop. I handed over the phone to my mother and she told me we were gonna go get my dress. We went back to the shop, and then I saw a model in the showcase that looked strangely like Cathy. I pointed it to my mother, but she told me she was bad with faces. In the shop, I was able to find out that the seller who gave us the call was the same who smiled at me when we left the same time. I was frozen in terror. I remember my eyes following him when he left to the backroom. While waiting, I started looking around the shop to see if I could spot Cathy. I had already persuaded myself that her uncle turned her into a mannequin and put her in the showcase. I was relieved to see a lady come over and hand me my dress. The seller walked behind her and smiled at me. But it wasn’t quite the kind of smile that makes children feel at ease. Before we left, the lady gave me a sweet. My mother went to toss away the paper. And when she opened the trash, I saw the cardigan with a rabbit brooch Cathy was wearing. It was the same, there was no doubt. I was so scared. I never wanted to go back into that shop again, I was so afraid of mannequins my mother took me to psychiatrist at some point. I never dared say anything, I was too scared not to be taken seriously, just like my mother when told me she wasn’t good with faces. I sincerely believed Cathy had been transformed into a mannequin by her uncle and that he got rid of the evidence by throwing away her cardigan in the trash. Then I ended up forgetting about all this and stop being afraid of showcase mannequins. When I think of it now, I wonder how I made up such stories. I guess that’s something kids do.
But, recently I was on my way home from high school and I saw a model in a showcase that looked strikingly like the one in the shop when I was little, the one I thought was Cathy. It was a kinky lingerie shop, they had removed her arms and put on fake rabbit ears and a surgeon mask, but it I recognized her from the facial features. Those made such an impression on me back then. I assume mannequins have brands just like the rest, hence some shops might have mixed bundles. But this one stood out. To think of it, I never saw any that looked ike the ones in the shop where Cathy worked. I turned my eyes away from the showcase so I wouldn’t look like I ogled when I bumped into someone. I was about to apologize when he spoke in a deep voice, telling me he was sorry and didn’t see me there. I looked up and recognized uncle Butch. I studdered something inintelligble. He adressed me the same smile he did in the past. Now I can put a word on it, it was chilling. I left in a hurry without looking back. I haven’t seen him ever since. And since I’m paranoid, I changed to the other sidewalk. But I always see that mannequin from the corner of my eye. I really wish I knew where it came from.