© Copyright 2019 - PoseMe - Used by permission
Storycodes: Solo-F; M+/f; truck; hide; costume; handcart; chess-piece; object; transform; F2mannequin; stuck; transport; strip; dress; display; cons/reluct; X
Phoebe was living someone else's dream, she was sure of it. It just wasn't hers. She had always wanted to be a lawyer, stepping into that courtroom and showing the big boys how it was done. However, community college was all she could afford, so her lawyer days would be relegated to a paralegal/administrative assistant in a local law firm. Now, don't get me wrong, she would tell her friends, I enjoy my job. I can handle clients' papers, talk with them, ask them questions, etc. I can get to know them just as if I were the lead person on their case. Not ideal, but it works.
What doesn't work, is Alex... one of my bosses. His 3 failed marriages should tell you something about him. Without going into too much detail, let's just say his favorite person is himself and his eyes and hands are drawn to women... especially attractive ones. Fortunately, I had been off his list... there were always others to stalk. However, I have been trying to change my image, hoping for a date in the near future. I have always been a little overweight, so I have trying to take off those extra pounds. To my delight, the gym and diet have worked in all areas, except one. My hips, waist, arms, legs, stomach, neck... everything looking pretty thin. Of course the one thing that really didn't get any smaller, my chest.
So, enter Alex, again asking me for the same paper I just photocopied for him. I'm sure he threw the last two away, so he can get me into his office for a few extra seconds. No harm, yet... but I don't want him becoming too interested in me.
"So, Phoebe," he starts, his voice oozing with charm, or so he thinks, "Friday night looks like a beautiful night for a walk in the park and a romantic dinner by the lake..."
I'm already trying to think of what to say. How can I turn my boss down without turning him down? How can I keep my job without adding another notch in his belt? Of course, I just realize he has stopped talking and looking at me... expectantly.
"I appreciate the offer," I find myself saying, "but I have other plans that night." He seems skeptical, but the phone rings and I duck out with a smile as he says, "What." to the other person on the line.
Dodging that one, Alex was pretty easy to put off the rest of the week. He would make small checks to my plans, but I always kept to my "lie." Friday night rolls around, and spending the night at home seemed like a good idea, but of course, there is never the right ice cream when you need it. Heading out the door, I make the short 2 block walk to the gas station. As I get to the parking lot, I notice Alex and his car gassing up. Oh, crap... if he sees me, I'm done. Making a quick left, I head towards the community center. There are lots of cars there tonight, so I should get lost in the crowd. Stealing a look over my shoulder, I notice him looking my way.
He doesn't say anything, but I'm pretty sure he thinks he knows me. Keeping my pace, I head around the back of the community center. Unfortunately, the back is blocked off (they are adding a new shopping center behind it... can't wait for that to open). Seeing a moving van and some hand trucks next to the back double doors, I turn around to come back out front. Unfortunately, Alex is heading my way. He is walking rather determined, so I need a plan fast. Looking in the van, I see multiple mannequins in there, dressed like medieval times.
Taking a quick glance inside, she sees a giant chess board on the main floor with life-sized pieces on the board. Hmm, there may be hope for me yet. Jumping in the truck, she strips down to her underwear and grabs one of the extra costumes. Not sure which color they needed, she puts on the white one. It could be the queen's outfit or maybe the other female piece (is there one?). Pulling it over her head, she more than fills out the top. Not taking time to tie it, she pulls on the sandals that match, pushes her hair back with the crown, and pulls on the elbow length gloves.
Stealing a quick glance outside, the coast is clear, so she hops down onto the ground. She can hear two men coming closer from inside. My weight will give me away, so she stands on the hand truck and strikes a pose: one hand on her hip with the other raised as if she was holding something.
"So anyway, the pass was incomplete and the game over. Can you believe it?" The two workers were quite distracted by their conversation. Something about money lost and the season over and... well, the rest did not matter, for at that moment, Alex rounded the corner. She could not tell his mood, as she stayed in character, but she hoped this paid off.
Without warning, the world tilted back as one of the men began to move her. Alex's expensive shoes came closer. "Hey, did you see a woman come back here?" The one, who had just jumped in the back of the truck says, "Yep, see them all the time" pointing to the truck. His friend laughs and begins moving Phoebe inside. Alex, not really wanting to talk to them anyway, walks in front of the one pushing her and goes inside. Phoebe can feel the warmth of the building as she is rolled in. The ceiling has rafters that look 100 years old. It has that old gym smell.
Hoping she can maintain this pose, she tries to remain as still as possible. He spins around and stops. She hears, "Okay, the queen goes on her color, so put here there. No there, on the white space." Phoebe feels herself moving forward, then back, then left, then right. It is almost comical... oh, but don't smile. Feeling a slight push, she sees the world return to normal. Looking ahead, she can see the other team, dressed in black... all mannequins, some male and some female. She feels another push and the worker removes the hand truck. She almost jumps out of her skin when a gloved hand touches her ankle and starts working its way up her leg. It almost reaches her butt when she hears, "I can't find the hole." The other worker bringing in another mannequin replies, "I'll bet you never used that line before."
Frowning at the remark, the one replies, "No really... it's missing." The other comes over and lifts her dress from behind. Looking quickly he says, "They probably just covered it up when they last lacquered them." He drops her dress and turns around saying, "We can use the other type of pole in the truck for her." The other worker, not really wanting to put much thought in it, stands up and walks back to the truck.
For now, she is "alone." She can hear the sounds of the room of people, mostly men by the sounds, talking, shuffling their feet, scraping plastic forks over plastic plates... a party. The smell of food almost makes her mouth water, but she quickly loses that as Alex comes into her field of view. He is looking around for her. Oh please don't see me... please. Being in a hurry, he cuts across the chess board. The black team is nearly ready as is the white. He pays it no mind, I mean, the woman he is looking for is not a mannequin.
She almost breathes a sigh of relief, which may have been her last comfortable one. For at that moment, she feels two hands at her back. "Looks like the corset came undone." Feeling the tug of the strings, she is almost pulled off balance. The man behind her is working to retie her corset. She hears, "You know the corset has an interesting history."
"Oh, no, Peter, not with the history lesson again. Let's just play some chess."
Peter still working says," Well, it is an interesting story." Mumbling to himself, he goes back to work. Phoebe feels like she grew two inches, as the corset forms her back, sides, and front into a board of shiny white. She had been breathing shallow already, now she will be struggling just to get a breathe. The man keeps working, finished, then rubs his hand over her stomach. After feeling the tight, slick material, he turns to leave. "Ah, perfect."
The workers have finished the rest of the teams, and returns to Phoebe. She can hear a clanking and a thud as they lift her dress again. Without warning, she hears the sound of a motor. She then feels a U-shaped vinyl piece come up between her legs, covering her private areas. Trying to remain still, she finds herself lifted off the ground and slowly rotated to her left. She can now see the entire room pass in front of her. The room is like a gym, with a wall of folding tables of food and chess boards. Two chairs at each one, with the bleachers pushed in on one side.
She can see above the heads of the other pieces, watching the nearly filled room rotate beneath her. As she finishes her complete circuit, she feels herself being lowered down and as her feet touch the "floor" she hears a metal click. "Okay, she is locked in."
"Good, good...alright let's get started."
Oh no, she thinks, I wonder how long a chess game takes to play?
* * *
The first game is ready to start. She sees several older men lining up on each side. With not much fanfare, she hears some crazy foreign language. "Knight to pawn…Bishop to rook…queen to…" Oh wait, she thinks, I'm the queen. And with that, two hands grab her waist and roll her to another spot. She finds her new home facing a male mannequin in a black armor. He is definitely made of plastic, she thinks. Trying to look plastic is not easy for her, but the crown slightly shadows her face to conceal her eyes. Oh, she moans to herself, but my arms and legs are hurting.
The first game takes forever, she thought. They stopped and pondered and walked around the board before finally saying some sort of code. She was wheeled around several times, facing numerous mannequins, but fortunately, never facing the audience. Finally, she hears "checkmate" and the small group claps and cheers. Must be the end, she guesses, since they are resetting the board. Again, two hands at her waist (hopefully, he will only put his hands where he should), but this time a voice in her ear, "My lady, as beautiful as you look, you are starting to shake." Phoebe's heart sinks, she has been caught. She suspected this, and never really planned on being out here this long anyway. She starts to gladly lower her arm when he says quickly, "No, no, keep the pose. I'm here to help." As he puts her back to the start, she feels a cold necklace placed around her neck. Again the whisper, "Don't worry, this will make your night go much easier. I promise." And with that, she feels the necklace warming up. Now what did he mean by all that? Phoebe is now confused, but unwilling to break her pose. Alex could be anywhere. However, she has another problem.
A tingling starts in her feet. It is weird… like when you fall asleep on your arm or something. She wants to shift her weight, but she cannot. Not because she does not want to, but because she cannot. She finds her legs and feet immobile. The tingling sensation continues up her legs, she feels them shaking from fear, but then they stop, and then she feels the relief. She no longer has to hold herself up. She starts to smile more with that, until it reaches higher. That sensation is not as pleasant and definitely doing something it shouldn't. But too late now, the sensation is now to her stomach, and again the relief from the corset. She cannot help smile with that, but again, her chest is next, and again not pleasant. It is like they are being over stimulated. Reminds me of my high school boyfriend, she recalls, he just didn't know when to stop.
The smile is all but gone now. Her chest is now driving her mad as it feels to have been run through a vacuum cleaner… twice. She regains her composure long enough to paste on the smile as the "tingling" reaches her face. Like being in a cold wind storm, her face tingles all over and "freezes." It might have been her imagination, but she can almost hear a crinkling sound now. Without warning, the tingling stops and there she is. Striking her regal pose, just like a queen, shiny in plastic and satin, displayed for all to see. Ah, Phoebe can now enjoy the comfort of her pose. No pain, no tingling, just stiffness.
The whisper has one more comment, "I'm back to joining the meeting. I'll turn it off when it is over. Why? You might ask…simple, it is mannequins like you that make coming to these things worthwhile." If Phoebe could have smiled bigger, she would have.
Phoebe's mind is a blur. The games go by quicker, as she allows herself to be pushed and pulled all over the board. One of the later games, she is "taken" or "took" (hard to understand their code) and pushed to the side of board. This was the worst part of the night. She felt like a toy being discarded, pushed aside for someone else. I can't believe I'm thinking this, she pouts. I'm not a real piece, I'm just pretending, yet I feel sad not being used or played with. Fortunately for her, that game was nearly over, so she was grabbed by the waist and pulled back to the board.
Time began having no meaning. I mean, who cares when you aren't going anywhere. It must have been near midnight, because one of the old guys said something tomorrow being almost today. The final two players made a quick go at it, and Phoebe, much to her satisfaction, "checked" the King. Now, she really wasn't "checking" the King, or was she? I mean, he does have chiseled features, and a strong chin, and darker skin tone, and… wait a minute. She tries to shake her head (not the first time tonight). He is not real… I am. He is a mannequin… I'm not. Well, not for much longer, I hope, she thinks as she "crosses her fingers." That thought has not come to her yet, so she tries not to think about it.
The Whisper returned shortly. "Okay," he starts, "This is how it works. I will turn it off and remove the necklace. It will take time for the effects to wear off. From my experiments, it is about one-to-one. One hour with the necklace, then one hour without the necklace… mannequin." Phoebe processes that, so if I had this thing on for 5 hours (maybe), then it will be another 5 hours before it wears off. "Now," the Whisper continued, "Results may vary based on the person, but don't worry, it will happen." She can feel the necklace being removed. It sounded like it was rubbing against hard plastic. "I have left my business card on the table, no way of getting it on you safely. Call me… our next Chess Club Challenge is in the fall. You were the highlight of tonight." She feels her hair being stroked gently then he is gone.
As the meeting winds down, men and women alike check her out. They knock on her chest, making the sound of plastic being hit. It was one of the younger guys that made the pun about Phoebe being a "chest piece." She would have rolled her eyes if they could. They check out her arms, they touch her butt… you know, the usual things people do with mannequins, right? Phoebe is so ready to be done with this. Alex is surely gone, and she wants out of here.
The lights begin to dim as they are shut off. Within seconds, she is in the dark. I wonder if I can sleep with my eyes open.
* * *
As the Sun began to lighten the room, Phoebe became more aware of her surroundings. She did not actually sleep, but time sped by quickly, almost if she were going into hibernation. As she looks at the other chess pieces, they seem apathetic to their plight, while she's anxious to get going. With her left arm still raised, she begins to "will" it into motion. Since the tingling started from my feet up, I will try starting at the top and work my way down, she determines.
With little effort, she can feel her hand begin to move. At first, just the fingers, then the entire hand begins moving around. Keeping the momentum, she tries to bend her elbow. Not much happens, but then a feeling of relief washes over her. I've tried not to think about it, she admits, but I was getting a little scared that it may not wear off.
Taking a break, she begins working out her plan. Once she is free, she will remove the gown and accessories and place them on the bleachers. She will hunt down a tarp or janitor's coveralls. My apartment is just across the street, and with it being an early Saturday morning, I should be able to make it inside without much trouble. Of course, she will be without her clothes she wore last night, but they can be replaced. It's a good thing I left my purse and such back home, she sighs to herself, it would take forever to replace all that. Oh, don't forget the business card… I like being a queen.
Working on moving, she finds her left arm mobile but still stiff. She can now bend at the elbow and rotate it down to her side. No hurry, as no one should be coming anytime soon, she continues "pumping" her arm. As she plays with this new motion, she hears a clanking at the door. Oh, no, she fears, who could that be?
Two guys with the same type shirts on stumble into the room. They look like they just rolled out of bed. In actuality, that is exactly what happened. They forgot about the time change (which technically doesn't start until tonight), so the tall thin one with reflective glasses, set his clocks ahead after glancing at the alarm when he awoke this morning. He quickly called his shorter, chubbier friend with the rather large ears. Despite the whining, they both got down to the community center early… way too early, for Phoebe's liking.
Tall-glasses walks slowly across the floor and looks at all the mannequins. Putting his hands on his hips, he states, "There sure are a bunch of them. This will take forever." Short-ears replies, "Then we better get started." Looking at the manifest on their clipboard, Tall-glasses reads, "It looks like 3 of them go to the Surf's Up, while another 3 go to the Macy's." Short-ears says, "I'll take the Surf's Up." His tall friend shakes his finger as he walks over to Phoebe, "Now, is it because of her?" Pointing right at Phoebe's face. Phoebe would have blushed if she could, but only her arm could move. Incidentally, she never put it back up. She has both her arms bent and on her waist. Neither of these two were here last night, so they shouldn't notice…I hope.
Short-ears walks over to Phoebe and looks her up an down. She is rather short at 5'4", but on the pedestal, she stands taller, especially with the stand and corset. "Now, she is definitely worth some of my time, although, she may be a little tall for me." He steps up to her, his head coming right to her plastic chest. "Nope," he reports, "perfect." They both get a laugh out of that and finally get to work. Tall-glasses walks past her, and as he does, she can see herself in the reflection of his shades for the first time before becoming a mannequin. She looks the same, except for being immobile and quite shiny. Her green eyes are still green, her hair still dark brown, and her, well that is odd, she notices. The small mole under my right eye is gone. I wonder if that is part of the science behind the necklace. She doesn't get to think much more of it, as she feels a rather playful whack on her butt. Her stands wheels around as she rolls along the floor, slowly bumping into one of the pawns for black. At the mercy of physics, she continues her random trip, stopping at the table.
How dare he touch me, she demands. The queen is not to be handled by peasants. She almost giggles to herself, if she wasn't in such a state, Oh, but there is the business card next to me. But that thought fades with another, what is that sensation? She feels a throbbing of sorts, not like the tingling from last night, where he hit her. The sensation, although not unpleasant, has a strange familiarity to it.
Okay, focus, she thinks. New problems need new solutions. How do I get out of here? Short-ears and Tall-glasses have stripped two mannequins already and are moving them out. Once they have left the room, she starts trying to move more body parts. Her left and right arms now stiffly move about and her head can rotate. Digging deep, just like her softball coach would have said, she begins to will herself to move more. I have got to make a break for it, even if they are left wondering what happened.
Maybe next time, she thinks, as the two come back in. Moving slowly, they strip two more mannequins, both female, and head back to the truck. Talking the entire time, they probably would not notice her movements. She has her arms and waist bent as she attempts to unlock herself from the stand. Since she was missing a hole, they wrapped her around a pole that supports her butt. Moving too slow for her liking, she pushes the dress around trying to get at the stand. Her movements are still too stiff to be normal. Wrapped up in her predicament, she doesn't realize the moving duo return to the gym. Short-ears cuts a sharp left, "headed to the john." Tall-glasses nods and heads to his final mannequin, still wearing the shades and unaware of the new pose of the queen.
With his back to her, he moves to strip his last mannequin. Glancing over his shoulder, he catches something unusual out of his eye. Turning around, he can only smile. The queen has one hand up her dress, like she might be feeling herself, with the other up in her hair. Phoebe, by this time, realizes she is too stuck to get free but unable to return to her regular pose. Intrigued, Tall-glasses can't believe his rather straight-laced friend would have done this. "Well, well," he begins as he walks over to her, "it appears you need some help."
No I don't.
"Oh yes, definitely, and I am just the man to help you", he states coolly.
Keep away from me and keep your hands to yourself.
Stuck between giving up her cover and preventing an encounter that cannot end well, Phoebe stands still… paralyzed by indecision. Tall-glasses doesn't wait a moment. His hand works its way under her dress and up to her arm. With a quick pull, her arm rotates back and his moves where hers was. "Oh, I see," he determines, "Trying to get out. I can help." With a motion that Phoebe could not duplicate in her state, he unlocks her, but now something else holds her in place. He begins to rub her, all the while she is screaming in her mind, Stop, you pervert. Get your hands off the queen. Not that I am a real queen, you see... Her thoughts are interrupted as that throbbing returns. She can feel it stronger now, welling from where he touches her throughout her body. She can feel the pleasure moving around her. But why, she asks, I don't know him, I don't like him, yet his touch is…
* * *
She never finishes that thought, as she climaxes, she feels two things at once: unbelievable pleasure and then complete stiffness. All movement she once had is now gone, but even worse, all awareness, too. This brief moment of bliss has cost her humanity. She stands there like any other mannequin, and like all the others, she awaits to be moved and posed anyway anyone would like. One can guess what she is thinking: nothing.
Without Phoebe to drive our story, let's fast forward a little. You can fill in the gaps as the two workers get her stripped, fondled, and onto the truck. Tall-glasses makes a few remarks about Short-ears loosening up, but neither figures out the truth of the matter. Like the other two, the duo deposit Phoebe at Surf's Up in the back room. Like any other mannequin, when the moving guys leave, she stands in her pose, waiting. Her pose now less dignified, with hand on chest and another on butt. Now would be a perfect time to escape.
It would be hard to count the time, but we know that Deshara comes in around 9. She is a college-age female that works part time at Surf's Up. Her job provides a discount on sunglasses, in exchange for her short services in dressing and undressing mannequins. She comes in every Saturday morning to undo or redo the shop windows. Today would be more exciting, as she resets the front window after Free (yes, that is his name) let some nerdy chess club borrow 3 mannequins for the night. Ipod clipped to her stretched shirt and ear buds under her tight braids, she grabs her work order.
Hmm, she reads to the pumping of her favorite group, three ladies, two in swimsuits and the other in a wetsuit. Looking the three of them up and down, she grabs the sizes she needs. Most mannequins are about the same, so she knows where to start.
By this time, Phoebe regains consciousness, "…intoxicating" finishing her thought from hours ago. She quickly takes in her surroundings and panics. She sees a stock room of surfboards, swimsuits, wetsuits, tropical clothing, tables covered in junk or other clothes. Where am I? What was that? What happened? If her heart could beat, it would be pounding. Having that thought, only made matters worst. I'm still a mannequin, and I have no idea where I am. Help.
* * *
Okay, she thinks, new problems need new solutions, let's take in what we know. I was being prepped for a trip to Surf's Up. Tall-glasses got fresh, and I lost consciousness. I seem to be in one piece awaiting with the other two former chess pieces.
Desharra dances back into the room. Her ipod booming and her hips swaying. She moves up next to one of the other mannequins: a blonde with the signature features and pose of a mannequin (or so Phoebe would say). Desharra lifts her up, slings the thong bikini onto one leg. Switching arms she lassos the other leg, while dropping the mannequin, holding the thongs, and voila: half dressed. Phoebe admits that was pretty amazing. The top slips on quickly and before Phoebe can blink (oh, wait…still can't do that), Desharra is out the door.
Phoebe, unsure of how long she will be alone, no offense curly top ("talking" to the other mannequin), she begins trying to move her arms again. This time, it all starts happening faster. Her arms rotate as does her head, but her elbows again are slow to respond. Her head can pivot a little, but her time is up. Desharra dances back in with a wetsuit in hand. This must be the kind for warm weather, Phoebe surmises, as it is sleeveless with shorts for bottoms. It is a deep blue, with a pink stripe up the side that gets thinner moving up from the shorts. It has a zipper front with a snapping belt, all seemingly one piece. Wasting no time, Desharra steps up to Phoebe. Oh, great, my turn.
Desharra attempts the same maneuver, but notices quickly that this mannequin is heavier. "Well, Desharra girl," she says as she regrips, "let's not break anything." Phoebe agreeing with her, finds herself tilted to the right and then back to the left. She can "feel" the wetsuit coming up and when it reaches its final spot, Phoebe notices it again. Whatever that throbbing is, she wonders, must have something to do with turning me on. She can feel the wetsuit hugging her tightly, forming to her form. Calm yourself, she states to herself, you know what happened last time.
Desharra rotates Phoebe's arms back, and stretches the suit onto her. Phoebe feels nothing strange as it comes over her arms. Desharra steps back in front of her, giving Phoebe a perfect look at her face. I'm sorry, Phoebe "says", you are pretty short, too. Desharra mouthing the words to some song, reaches behind her. Desharra's chest bumps into Phoebe's. The good news, Phoebe has no interest in women… the bad news, I guess no one informed the necklace. Phoebe feels like she is losing herself with the throbbing that washed over her. Without thinking, she wraps her arms around Desharra, or at least she attempts to. Desharra has already moved on and does not notice the slight change in the mannequin's arms. But, she has run into a problem.
The zipper will not go all the way up. Desharra looks over the zipper to see if something is stuck in it. Phoebe, trying to calm herself, thinks of work or cleaning the floors or anything else to move past this. But, she knows she is in trouble. She sees Desharra moving her hand inside the wetsuit onto her breast with the other hand on the zipper. This will end poorly for me, my arms have already begun to stiffen, but I'm not sure if it would be worth the rush for just that brief moment of bliss. Unfortunately, she never gets it. Desharra's phone rings (set to vibrate in her back pocket), so she steps back to answer it.
Phoebe, for the second time in this event, feels dejected. Like being "taken" on the chess board, she has been "dumped" for the phone. She'd pout if she could, but her face is still locked. "Yeah, I'll be done soon, just hit a little snag." Nodding her head, she heads back to Phoebe. With little fanfare, she picks her up at the waist, not noticing how light this mannequin is now compared to just a few seconds ago. Phoebe watches the room rise and fall as she is moved into the next room.
She can see the surfboards along the wall, and racks and racks of clothes and surfing accessories. The room is "overpacked" with goods. I have never been in this store, Phoebe recalls, but I did see their coupon and ad on the billboard downtown. It is located in one of those walking strip malls. You park on the outside, and walk through the stores that face each other on either side. There are many "side streets" that allow a lovely stroll outside while shopping for the latest fashions. I've been to this one before, especially Lots O' Shoes.
Phoebe finds herself in the front window. Free has a corner store, so plenty of space for mannequins and accessories. Phoebe, still seeing the world from the side, watches herself being propped against the wall. She desperately would like to tilt her head to straighten the world out, but Desharra climbs into the "window" and makes some adjustments. Phoebe, afraid to try moving since she cannot see where her handler is, waits patiently. She hears the phone vibrate again, and Desharra answers it rather put out, "Look, this is my job… I'll be done soon… not my fault she has a big chest… no, you can't come feel it." And with that, she hangs up.
Phoebe feels herself moving again. She can now see out the window into the bricked walkways between stores. Desharra stops in front of her again and says, "You are lucky to be plastic, because boys, and I mean BOYS, are nothing but trouble." She tries again to zip the wetsuit up, but it just won't move. And though her "boy" may be trouble, she doesn't take the time to fix it. She bends down out of Phoebe's vision. Phoebe feels a cold anklet of sorts wrap around her leg. Desharra reappears, looks her up and down, and steps away. Phoebe can hear her retreating footsteps.
Okay, she thinks, this could be my moment. No one at the stores yet, and Desharra in the back. And with that, Phoebe moves her arms and head with little trouble. She quickly checks towards the back of the store and out the window. Coast still clear. She rotates at her waist and can feel her legs attempting to move. Alright, she "breathes", I'm coming out of it.
She hears footsteps again, and returns to her pose. Desharra walks to the other window with the other mannequin. She quickly poses her, clamps on the stand, and hops down. Phoebe, out of the corner of her eye, watches her head to the back and return, checking off her list. Without a wave or acknowledgement, she opens the front door, produces a set of keys from somewhere, and locks up. Phoebe never sees her again, so she must have gone the other way.
Now or never, Phoebe determines. She bends herself in half and unlocks the stand, nothing but a simple pinch. She checks herself, and while she is not quite normal, she can move. She looks out the window and freezes. An elderly couple are walking by, wearing the wind suits from decades ago. They are moving pretty quick for their age, but the man slows down as he looks right at Phoebe. Uh, oh, she wonders, did he see me move? As he slows to stop, the granny (not missing a beat) whacks him with her umbrella. He quickly turns and catches up, with one last glance at Phoebe.
"Thanks, grandma," she says, but this time, she said it. "Oops," she voices in an empty room. Without control, she giggles, stretching herself out and heaving a big sigh of relief. Hopping down, she moves to the back of the store. She can't help but stop in front of a mirror. The wetsuit hugging her every curve, the zipper well below where it needs to be, and her chest, not nearly covered enough, what an adventure this has been. She winks at herself, noticing the small mole under her right eye returning, and states, "I'm human again--ah, to be human again." Giggling for the second time, she ducks back into the storage area.
Stripping and leaving the wetsuit (a price tag that made her fold it carefully), she finds some old clothes that seem to be unused. The flowery sun dress is a light blue, with white flowers on it. It might be a tad small for her, but right now, she has to move. No underwear sold here, so hopefully it is not a windy day, she thinks. Digging through a box for flipflops, she finds just what she needs. Nothing they won't miss, except for the mannequin. Hopefully Desharra won't get in too much trouble. But she has no time or desire to think on this: she is free and ready to go!
The back door has a simple panic bar, which locks once she leaves. She finds herself checking for her keys or purse before letting the door shut. "Come on girl," she says to herself, "You brought nothing but yourself. In fact," she adds, "You didn't even bring yourself here." Smiling as the only person who would get the joke, she starts the 2-3 mile walk home. At least it is a pretty day, nothing to keep me from heading straight home. She stops in the sunlight as she looks at a chess board on display in a toy store window, saying with a smile, "Except for a quick stop at the community center, I need to pick up a business card that was left for me."