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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Clothes (11/02/12)

TITLE: Midnight Meeting
By Myrna Noyes


As clocks struck the midnight hour in the darkened department store, a curious stirring sound could be heard all through the main floor. Whispers, footfalls, muted laughter. A light flicked on in the large employee lounge, which began filling up with an assortment of differently-dressed figures.

One handsome young man, nattily attired in an expensive suit and highly-polished shoes, stood near the doorway as if to make sure everyone noticed him. Soon he was joined by a gorgeous redhead in a royal blue sequined strapless gown. Her makeup was flawless; her jewelry, accessories, and heels perfectly coordinated.

She batted her big green eyes at him and cooed, "Hey, Brad. What's up with you?"

"Hi there, Honey! I'm doing great. How'd it go today in your department?"

"My feet are killing me from standing around in these stilettos, but otherwise I'm okay.

Another attractive woman sauntered into the room wearing a silky turquoise robe over a long, matching nightgown. She seated herself on the couch beside a man apparently outfitted for hunting or fishing and gave him a friendly little punch on the arm.

"So, Tom, have you snagged any whoppers or bagged any game?" She winked, and he chuckled.

"Not a chance! I wish I could've caught a shoplifter I saw in Sporting Goods this afternoon, though. He had on a big bulky jacket, which he was stealthily stuffing with various smaller items. It was all I could do to restrain myself from poking him with the fishing rod I was holding. One of the clerks was on his lunch, so no one happened to observe him."

"What a shame! No wonder management keeps upping prices. Just yesterday Tina, who is stationed across from the jewelry counter, said she saw some guy lift a diamond and ruby bracelet. He'd had the saleswoman lay out three or four pieces for him, and when she turned her head to answer another customer's question, he grabbed one and slithered off snake-like."

Tom shook his head back and forth with a disapproving "Tsk, tsk."

Four chattering children followed, two looking ready for a party and the others dressed for play. One boy was pulling a red wagon full of toys and games, and a distinguished gentleman in a fine tweed coat and cap motioned them over to a round table in a corner.

"Here, you kids! C'mon over and play with your things where you won't disturb the grown-ups." They readily complied and were soon engaged in a round of Pictionary Junior.

Throughout the night people wandered in, finding places at the long break table or in one of the overstuffed chairs. A few glanced up when a shy slender lady clothed only in a lacy bra and panties entered and slipped in behind a potted plant.

"Oh, Gloria, you poor thing," murmured a woman in a dark-gray linen business suit next to her. "Wait here while I run to Bedding and grab you a display blanket. Although you have a lovely figure, I know you feel awkward being so skimpily clad. Also, it's downright chilly in here after-hours."

Gloria nodded in gratitude, as her friend Ruthie whisked away on her caring mission.

When she was cozily wrapped in a pretty pink fleece, Gloria stepped out from the plant's protection and sat down beside Ruthie. "I really appreciate this." She rubbed her hand over the soft covering. "I wish I could keep this with me all the time. It's so humiliating when adolescent boys come over and start making "google eyes" at me while pointing and laughing. I liked it much better when I worked in Outerwear."

Ruthie patted her hand comfortingly. "I know what you mean. I did a stint in Bathing Suits last summer, and I could have slapped a couple young fellows who stood grinning and staring for the longest time."

The woman in the turquoise lingerie walked over and joined them. "I was so annoyed this morning when a boy and girl of maybe eight and ten, started messing with me while their totally-oblivious mother browsed the racks. They ran around grabbing scarves, purses, hats, and such and draped them at random all over me. I looked like a complete clown when they were done! Fortunately, that nice assistant manager, Mr. Falk, realized what they were doing and came to my rescue."

Conversations flowed, but as morning broke, the group reluctantly disbanded. The light in the lounge was extinguished, and all the mannequins positioned themselves for another day on duty.

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This article has been read 615 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/08/12
I think this is such a creative story. I really enjoyed it and found myself smiling throughout. I did guess fairly early on that they were mannequins but it didn't lessen the desire to want to keep reading. I think you covered the topic in a fresh way and you left me with a smile. Great job.
Allison Egley 11/09/12
Oh, this is great. So creative. I did figure out fairly early on they were mannequins. It actually reminds me of a show I used to watch as a kid, "Today's Special" which was about store mannequins who came to life.
lynn gipson 11/10/12
Oh, this is lovely! I got quite a ways before I realize they were mannequins! What great fantasy! You have an amazing gift wiht imagination!


God Bless
Colin Swann11/10/12
I too had gone a long way before I realised they were mannequins--I think the underwear model started to open my eyes!
A good entertaining story!

Colin (Gold Member)
Lillian Rhoades 11/10/12
Clever, unique, creative, and a perfect ending!

Bea Edwards 11/13/12
I really enjoyed your imaginative piece and the word pictures you so flawlessly drew.
Well done.
Noel Mitaxa 11/14/12
They communicate very well for a bunch of dummies! Loved the characterisation, and the pictures you've woven here. Very creative.
Loren T. Lowery11/15/12
So creative and so deserving of this win. Congratulations, Myrna!
Danielle King 11/15/12
Congratulations on your win Myrna. I really enjoyed this creative story.
Laura Hawbaker11/15/12
This made me laugh out loud! Well written and creative. Congrats!!!
Margaret Kearley 11/15/12
This is brilliant Myrna, I love the huge variety of all these characters and can just picture them. A really inventive and clever take on the topic and such fun to read. Many congratulations.
Ellen Carr 11/16/12
I love your story. I was completely taken in and surprised by the ending. Maybe I should have seen it coming. Well done. This is creative and humorous. And - oh yes, congratulations on your 3rd place in EC.
Beth LaBuff 11/16/12
I totally enjoyed the meeting of the manikins. Your creativity tops the charts. Congrats on your EC.