AN AFTERNOON OFF
Cheryl walked into the mall with a big broad grin on her face. She had taken the afternoon off to go shopping for a new dress for her date that night. Tim, the sexy new guy at work, had finally asked her out to dinner and Cheryl had immediately accepted. She had been waiting for a couple of weeks for him to ask and had begun to think that he didn't find her attractive. He must have known that she was the most unattached young woman in the office. And her mother had taught her never to look eager, so she had to wait for Tim to make the first move. Well, he finally did, and now she couldn't be more excited.
Cheryl was looking for something young and sexy to make the evening memorable for Tim, but not so sexy that she looked easy. That was always a tough choice. She was walking past a small boutique that looked very trendy to her by the display in front window. There were three mannequins wearing various styles and lengths of dresses. The window was at ground level so Cheryl walked right up and got a good look at the fashions. On the right was an orange dress with a full flared skirt, spaghetti straps and scooped neckline. The mannequin stood with its weight on one leg, with a sultry look under its long blonde hair daring the viewer to take that dress off of her. The left mannequin was in a white turtleneck and suede miniskirt. Its curly black hair and innocent face suggested that this was meant to attract teenagers. In the middle was a brown haired mannequin wearing a sleeveless red tank dress with a square neckline that came to mid-thigh. Cheryl began to imagine the type of jewelry she could wear with that. "Let's see, one too naughty, one too nice and one in the middle, just right. Maybe I'll try this place," she said to herself.
The floor of the boutique looked fairly normal, dresses, suits, pants all within easy reach for customers. Cheryl liked to shop so she wandered about the place for a while, aimlessly sampling the wares. She could always use a new suit for work but one look at the prices caused her to save her money for a cheaper place. No, she was here to splurge on one dress for a special night. She would buy sensible clothes another day.
The dresses resided at the front of the store so she retraced her steps. Upon arrival Cheryl noticed that the display window had no back to it and anyone could walk right in. She looked closely at the back of the mannequin in the tank dress. Yes, that's the style for me, she thought, although red was definitely out. A stunning red dress with her red hair would be a little much for a first date. She didn't want to scare Tim away. No, a nice pastel green would be nice, or some shade of blue to go with her eyes.
Cheryl found the style and colors she was looking for as well as a few other dresses to try on in case her idea was a bomb in the mirror. She looked around for a changing room and found one in the corner where the floor met the display window. "Thank goodness this has a real door," she said to herself. Cheryl never did like those changing rooms that had just a saloon door or a curtain. Never enough privacy for her. She entered and immediately closed the door behind her and threw the bolt across. There, alone at last. She hung up the dresses on a wall hook, put down her bag and began to remove her business suit.
The first dress she tried on was the green tank which slid snugly over her hips. Cheryl was starting to worry that her diet was not as successful as she had hoped. But after fastening the zipper the woman in the mirror proved to be stunningly attractive. She turned this way and that, checking for unsightly bulges but finding none, pronounced herself satisfied. "Hmm, not bad. This should help him to remember to ask for a second date." But in the middle of feeling good about herself, suddenly the lights went out and the room was plunged into darkness. "Oh great, just what I need," she complained. Everything had been going too good to be true.
Just then the light returned and Cheryl saw the good-looking woman in the mirror once again. But the light was strange, not as bright, almost gray. And something had come over her, a nice, restful feeling she had never known before. In a moment, all the stresses of her job disappeared and she stood entranced, staring at her reflection and stroking her long red hair, almost as a little girl would. Just then the bolt, which could only be operated from inside, slid open by itself. Cheryl remained unconcerned. The door opened slowly and in walked a young, neatly dressed man with curly hair.
"Good afternoon, Cheryl," he said, "My name is John. I will be your visual merchandiser today." Cheryl reacted dispassionately, as if she had just been introduced to a dentist or a tour guide or a masseuse. "Please walk this way." John led her out onto the showroom floor. The boutique was also bathed in this gray light but something else very odd had happened. Everyone in the store had stopped cold, as if time was standing still. Two women stood near her, frozen in the middle of arguing over the price of a dress. A clerk stood motionless, gazing at the cash register she was operating while a patron waited stone-like for her to resume the transaction. "What a strange thing," Cheryl thought, but she had no desire to run screaming from the place. Something had made her content to simply wait for instructions.
John led her the few steps to the show window where another man was removing one of the mannequins. But he didn't pick it up and take it away. He asked it to turn around and follow him. The "mannequin" responded and followed him to one of the changing rooms. Cheryl viewed their actions in disbelief but continued to stroke her long hair absent-mindedly. John then beckoned her to stand in the spot vacated by the mannequin. Cheryl calmly stepped into position and looked around at the two other display figures that surrounded her.
"No looking around," commanded John gently. "Mannequins can't move." Finally Cheryl's dreamy mind realized what was going on. She was being prepared for display! John spread her legs slightly and then carefully changed her shoes to match the color of the dress. Next he placed his hands on both sides of her head and positioned it so that she looked straight ahead to see the frozen figures in the mall. Her mouth was opened slightly and John then straightened her arms with palms open to the floor, and placed them slightly behind her body. Finally he took what looked like a remote control and, placing it beside her head, manipulated it so that it emitted a low beeping sound. In a moment her muscles and joints were locked rigidly in place, casting her in that posed position.
Strangely, this new experience was not uncomfortable for her. In fact, Cheryl felt even more release from the stresses of her life. John was her protector and she was more than happy to give her life over to him. And she was becoming ever more aroused at his presence. Every time his hands manipulated her, she began sexual palpitations. Right now he was combing and brushing her hair and each stroke was a rush of excitement for her. John fastidiously arranged the bangs above her fixed, staring eyes. Next he removed her eye makeup which was all wrong for the color she was wearing, and painted on eye liner and shadow. As a final touch he brushed ruby red onto her unmoving, silent lips. John stepped back to gaze at his masterpiece. "You are perfect," he said, complementing Cheryl and himself.
John collected his materials, gave a final adjustment to Cheryl's dress, and slowly drew his hand across her breast. Inside, Cheryl exploded in orgasm, while outside she betrayed nothing but stony indifference. Her muscles were locked, her eyes stared. Finally, John dusted her off and removed any lint he found on her dress. Each pick at the material sent her reeling inside. She had never been so aroused. "Have a nice time, Cheryl," he said as he parted. Then he was gone.
The gray light suddenly turned black and just as quickly returned to normal. The statues in the mall turned alive again as time returned to everyday pace. Everything was as it should be, except for Cheryl who was now on display for anybody who happened to walk by. A lot of people did, even some she recognized. "I just hope Tim doesn't show up," she thought. It was actually fairly pleasurable for her, being on display, well dressed and made up. She felt kind of sexy, especially after the arousal John had given her. Sometimes groups of women would stop and look at the display, just as she had done earlier. Once in a while a man would stop and stare. Cheryl couldn't help noticing the bulges. Apparently her opinion of the woman she saw in the mirror was correct!
After a couple of peaceful hours everything went suddenly black again and then returned to the gray she had known before. John appeared once again and greeted her with a quiet "How do you feel, Cheryl?" Cheryl didn't answer of course, but she felt stupendous! And now that he was there her heart started racing again. John caressed her face in his gentle hands and stroked her hair as her inward ecstasy mounted. "Its time to go now, Cheryl," he said. Go? Go where? She didn't know where she had come from, how could she know where to go? All she knew was the beautiful stillness of a mannequin. What else was there?
John raised the remote control device to the side of Cheryl's motionless head and it gave off with low beeps again. She felt her muscles slowly released into her power but kept her position. "You can relax now," said John. Her arousal dissipated and she felt nothing but pleasant relaxation. John turned Cheryl around and headed her back toward the changing room. Along the way she passed another woman in a similar dress being directed to her place. Inside the room, John positioned Cheryl in front of the mirror and, placing his hand on the back of her head, gave her a long, passionate kiss. She responded weakly, but didn't feel anything particularly sexy about it. "Thanks for being a mannequin with us, Cheryl." Cheryl stood entranced at the mirror. The door closed and magically bolted itself and the lights went out.
"What's wrong with this place?" said Cheryl somewhat agitated. As the lights returned, she was looking at herself in the mirror. "All I want to do is buy a dress and they give me a carnival light show!" But since the light remained on, she thought less about it. Her thoughts returned to how she looked in that dress and how much Tim was going to like it, and her. "No need to try on those other dresses, I'll take this one." Glancing at her watch she gasped upon learning that it was four o'clock. "I have to get home and get ready! How long have I been here?" Cheryl gathered up her clothes and bag and walked deliberately out to the checkout counter. "I don't want these, but I'll take the one I'm wearing," she said to the curly haired young man behind the counter. He looked vaguely familiar and she got a good feeling from him but didn't know why. "By the way, what's up with the lights. I got really frightened in there."
"We're very sorry ma'am," the young man said courteously. "Some electrical problems. Please accept that dress as an expression of our sincere apology."
"You're kidding," Cheryl said incredulously. "This dress, for free?"
"Yes, ma'am," he insisted. "It's our token of appreciation for your understanding. Just let me snip the label off." As he reached with a pair of scissors to cut the tag off the neckline, a sudden rush of arousal coursed through her body. "Just one snip," and the tag was off. "We'll replace these dresses. Would you like a bag for your clothes?"
"T-That would be fine," she stammered, still reeling from the hot flashes. Why was she so aroused? He wasn't THAT attractive. The young man placed Cheryl's suit in a bag and handed it to her saying, "Thanks for shopping with us. Please come back soon and have a good evening."
"Thanks," Cheryl replied. "I believe I will." As she walked out of the boutique, Cheryl was filled with a mixture of expectation for Tim, confusion about the dress and quiet relaxation. Stopping in front of the display window she noticed that one of the mannequins had been changed from earlier. As she gazed into its blank, staring eyes Cheryl couldn't help thinking "Yes, I believe I will."