Mannequins

When I was little, I was both fascinated and scared of mannequins.

There was a small department store in the city that was like a magical place to me. At the entrance was an array of colourful wind-up toys in various animal forms behind pristine glass cases. My parents would get very annoyed when we try to pass by the toy display. My brother and I would wail and point to the wind-up toys, and our mother would frown and shush us impatiently before finally relenting. Our father would come over, ask us which ones we like, and purchase them. Now, thoroughly distracted (and extremely compliant) with our new toys, we would proceed to the upper levels of the store to check out clothing.

This was where the magic gave way to something more sinister. The mannequins in the clothing section were a source of trepidation for me: they were adult versions of dolls that closed their eyes when you lay them down. They were sleek, white, and slim; their hair whipped and coiffed in the style of the day; their eyes were like translucent marbles of blue, brown and gray staring nonchalantly into space. They looked otherworldly to me--beautiful and scary at the same time.

Those mannequins haunted my dreams -- I had nightmares of their lifeless eyes boring deep into my soul with inexplicable malevolence.

One Christmas, my father took us to see the Holiday on Ice show at the coliseum. I didn't know how he managed it, but we got ringside seats. He had me sit on his lap as he pointed to the lights and the skating figures. My eyes grew wide when the ice skaters came out in their full dazzling and feathery glory doing pirouettes, leaps, and jumps, effortlessly sliding across the ice in figure eights. The majesty of the show unfolding in front of me was too much for me to process. At curtain call, the performers approached the audience in the ringside to shake hands.

A lady in a towering feathered headdress and sparkling jeweled bodice approached my family and stuck out her hand. I stared at her: her skin was as white and smooth as the department store mannequins, and her eyes were like blue marbles ñ- wide and translucent. She was moving her arms, and she was speaking to us. How was that possible? She was a mannequin ñ how was she moving?

Her satin-gloved hand clutched mine, her grip hard and strong. She grinned at me, but her eyes terrified me. I pulled my hand from her unearthly grasp. I turned and buried my face on my father's shoulder.

Years later, it dawned on me that it was my first encounter with a Caucasian person.

50 Shades of Whatever

Perfume

Your scent assailed my nose unexpectedly, swift yet cordial. I could feel my body respond to you -- and you're not even doing anything. You were just standing there, your hands in your pocket, looking at me with a mild curiousity. But your intoxicating scent beckoned to me like a siren call; it made me want to kneel before you and worship you. I had lost control of my body. I found myself approaching you, my senses drinking up your tantalising musk.


Ring

You gave me a sly smile as you watched me approach you like a panther to its prey. You drew a red velvet box from your jacket pocket and presented it to me.

"For you," you said, your voice a purr of unbridled desire.

"What is it?" I asked, taking the box from you.

"Why don't you open it?" you responded.

I flip open the box, and on a creamy cushion of silk lay a thick solid ring of titanium, about 3 inches in diameter.

I bit my lip, my loins were on fire. "Would you like me to wear it?"

"Perhaps," you said ambigously.


Kissing

You leaned closer to me, your breath moistening my quivering lips. I waited for you to touch your lips to mine, but you hovered just inches from my mouth.

"Kiss me," I implored you, feeling an insistent heat climbing through my body.

"Not yet," you murmured, touching my wet lower lip with your thumb.

I closed my lips over your thumb and gently suckled on it. I lock my gaze on you.

You stared back with your steel blue eyes, watching me gently suckle your thumb.


Hot Soup

"I'm getting hungry," I said, giving your thumb one last slurp as you withdrew.

"I have minestrone heating up in a pot," you said, never taking your eyes off me. "Would you like some?"

I nooded, still biting my lip.

You went to the stove and ladled me a cup of the steaming broth. I took the cup from you and noisily drank the soup, my eyes still locked on you.

"This is delicious," I said.

"My mother's recipe," you said, shrugging. "Would you like some more?"

"Please," I said. You ladled some more soup into the cup and handed it to me. I drank it all down, slurping and gulping deliberately. I licked my lips at you as I set the empty cup on the table.


Cat purring

"Come with me," you said, taking my hand and leading me into the bedroom.

Your black cat Lestat was sleeping on your bed. You chuckled softly as you scooped him up.

"What a beautiful cat!" I said.

"A rare Persian," you said, your hand sensously stroking his luxuriant fur. "Would you like to touch him?"

"If the cat doesn't mind," I said.

You gently handed me the purring feline. Lestat curled up in my arms as I cradled him. I could feel his body vibrating loudly, his purr loud and content.


A Storm

I gently laid Lestat down on the floor and joined you on bed. Outside your window, I can hear the thunder crashing and the wind lashing the rain against the glass.

"It will be a long night," you murmured, pulling me close to you.

"I hope so," I smiled, undoing the buttons of your light blue shirt. Your musky scent rose from the warmth of your wondrous fuzzy chest. I bit my lip as my hand entered the fold of your shirt.

I heard your low growl. "Come here!" you commanded.

You brought your lips against mine as lightning flashed brilliantly outside, followed by a deafening rumble of thunder.

The Inner Critic

What the fuck are you doing here?

I'm supposed to talk to you, have a conversation with you.

And who the fuck is dumb enough to ask you to do that?

It's a writing exercise. Frankly, I'm afraid to talk to you, but here we are.

So what the fuck do you want?

You've lived inside my head for so many years. Don't you get tired of putting me down, nagging me and telling me I'm not good enough?

No.

Care to elaborate?

There is nothing much to say. You're my bitch.

I see. Aren't you concerned how I would feel? My mental state? You caused me so much anxiety and pain!

Oh boo hoo, now you're gonna cry and be overdramatic and post your pitiful angsts on Facebook like you always do? You're pathetic.

I'm not! Stop saying that?

Why? Because deep down, you know it's true?

It's not! You're just being mean and really negative.

I don't think you're smart enough to figure out you need me.

And why would I need you?

Bitch, without me, you wouldn't have gotten this far in life without second-guessing your shit.

That's not true. I've survived in spite of you!

I don't care what you believe! You're never going to get rid of me no matter how many dumb shrinks you see to silence me. Hell, I'm the one telling you that you're wasting your money on utterly useless therapy when all you needed was listen to me.

Well, you're not exactly the wise guru that I would hope.

No one gives a shit on what you hope. Now fuck off and leave me alone!

Ergonomic Keyboard

Oh, how I love your fingers on me!

It's really nice to type on you. Expensive as fuck, but boy, your keys are so buttery soft.

And didn't I relieve you of your repetitive strain injury?

Very much so! You're just a tad wide though.

Sorry, I can't help it. I just gotta have my home keys and my keypad.

It would have been great if you didn't. Then I wouldn't have to constantly adjust my typing position, let alone grab my mouse on that far end.

I'm not perfect. But I know you still love me more than that Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard gathering dust on your shelf.

Well, Microsoft makes crappy products.

I know. And I make your typing so much faster and efficient. Especially writing this story.

Dining Room Chair

I know you've been thinking of ways to get rid of me.

I'm not denying it.

You think that I'm so cheaply made that my upholstery was in tatters in just a couple of years after you got me.

You were made in China. What else is there to say?

But I implore you to keep me a while longer. I promise to be sturdy and strong while you sit on me.

I fear I might fall down if I sit on you. And you're ugly as fuck.

But you've been shopping on Amazon for seat covers. That means you still like me!

I wouldn't say that. I wanted to cover you up because you're just so fucking ugly.

You're hurting my feelings.

You're a chair. You're kindling.