"Time to get back to work!" Angie declared as she pushed away her lunch tray littered with empty fast food wrappers. She flipped some of her long chestnut curls as she waited for her two friends sitting at the table to join her exit of the mall food court.
The redhead dressed in black, Jan, still nibbling her way through a vegetarian pita, nodded. "Yeah, can't afford to lose a job in this economy. Even if it sucks."
The young woman in short black emo hairstyle, Cam, grunted, "Don't talk to me about sucky. At least you have a ok job. I'd rather work in a bookstore instead of a donut shop. I go home every day smelling like I've been deep fried."
Jan smirked as the trio walked out of the court and through the mall's cavernous corridors sadly unde-rpopulated with shoppers. "It's not that great the bookstore. Their idea of fine literature is a Judith Kranz novel."
"Hey Cam," Angie interjected. "Don't I have a respectable job?"
Cam snorted, "I'd rather be deep fried than, like, working at the Lacy's Department Store make up counter. You're collaborating in the perpetuation of the objectification of women which has enslaved the sex for centuries."
Jan rolled her eyes. "You had to get her started.
Angie smiled, "I want to make sure she gets plenty of mileage out of her gender studies degree."
"She doesn't need any help with that. She can't go 15 minutes without bringing sexism into a discussion."
"Like you can't go 15 minutes without going on about the Ayn Ryand." Anne shot back.
"Hey, Ryand's Objectivist Philosophy is just what we need to combat the assault on the heroic individual in the modern era."
"The assault on the individual is just a subset of the continued enslavement of women..."
"Ok, break it you two." Angie laughed. "You can turn the dogma off. We've got a couple months before we go back to college. Hey, check out that! A new store opened. It looks popular too." She pointed to a group gathered at a store window across the mall, the most number of shoppers they had seen in one place all summer break. A sign over the store entrance declared "Luscious Lingerie"
The three detoured to get a look though Cam protested, "We shouldn't be supporting this. Stores like this sell links in the chains of bondage forged by the patriarchy!"
"Oh hush!" Angie hissed as the got close enough to see what the crowd was so interested in. The group was staring at a store mannequin displaying a velvet burgundy-colored corset. It was obviously feminine and on the curvy/busty side of voluptuous. Her short hair was a flaming pink and her nails and lips had been painted to match. She was posed with her head slightly turned to profile. One hand fell beside her hip, the other was raised as if it was gesturing to some unseen person or object.
The closer Angie, Jan and Cam looked the more they realized why the mannequin was attracting so much attention. The level of detail in its features was too exact. Its surface appeared too soft. Its color was too real. Its eyes, though blank and unblinking, sparkled like no paint ever could.
Angie gasped what the others were all thinking, "Oh my god, she's real! She's alive."
The other people in the crowd shared her awe.
"I've been looking at her 10 minutes and I haven't seen her even blink." Said one.
"I can't even see her breathe."
"She can't be real"
"May she is like a holo ... thing."
"Hologram you idiot and you watch too much science fiction."
The three young women lingered in the crowd, waiting for some betraying movement to prove the figure's humanity but they received none. Time ticked away but the trio found it hard to pull there eyes away.
"Come on girls." Angie said finally, "We're already way late for work."
Cam nodded as they left the crowd. "Fuckin' slut. She is setting back the cause of her gender back decades, maybe even a century."
"Hmph!" Jan protested. "She is entitled to do what she wants with her body."
"Even if it negatively impacts her whole sex!?" Cam shot back.
"It's an individual's choice to make! She is not a slave to the masses." Jan retorted.
"She is a slave to the patriarchy!" Cam said at a near yell.
"I think she was kind of hot." Angie said in a low voice.
Jan and Kim's jaws dropped in mid argument.
"Eeewww!" They said in unison.
Angie shrugged off the reaction.
"You saw the attention she was getting from guys ... and girls."
"You can get those looks too if you wore less, a lot less." Jan scoffed.
"And you danced around a pole!" Cam added.
Angie blushed and twisted a curly lock around her finger. "It's got to be, like, the most incredible turn-on being frozen and just drinking in all that desire and envy. You could feel the connection between her and the people staring at her. It was electric."
"You're are so naïve" Jan replied.
Cam snorted. "You've been sniffing too much perfume at the sales counter."
"Last time I confide in you two!" Angie laughed. "Here's my work, see you later."
"Ask for a transfer to the store window." Cam teased.
Angie gave her a quick middle finger and went back to work.
That afternoon Cam and Jan met at the bus stop.
"Bus will be here soon and no sign of Angie." Jan noted.
Cam shrugged. "Must be working late."
"You don't think she's mad us for making fun of her, do you?"
"Naw, she can take a joke."
When Cam and Jan met at the food court for lunch the next day, all they could talk about was Angie's sudden disappearance.
"Her mom said she, like, decided to go back to school? Like last night?" Cam said in disbelief.
"Yup." Jan said before stuffing her mouth with some Chinese noodles.
"Just like that?"
"Yeah. I said it was strange but her mom didn't think so."
"That's pretty strange in itself. Her mother is, like, the Apache of helicopter moms."
"Even stranger, she doesn't pick up her cell."
"So she IS pissed at us for teasing her."
"Really pissed. We're even cause I'm pissed she would just take off like that."
"You're pissed because you won't be able to borrow any money from her."
"No, I am pissed because I was using her to get to her brother. He is like totally hot."
"Slut!" Jan joked.
"Guilty as charged." Cam said looking at her cell phone for the time. "Time to get back to work."
The two passed the lingerie store again, and, again there was a crowd in front of the store window.
"Assholes." Cam grumbled.
"I did some online research on the store last night." Jan said.
Kim gave a skeptical scowl.
"As a business model." Jan sighed, "It has an interesting story. It was started by a famous French model turned lingerie designer back in the seventies, Marie Luscious.
"What was she? The Martha Stewart of underwear?" Kim joked.
"Not really, the store mostly did high end stuff in big cities like New York Paris and LA. You could only shop at the store by invitation. Luscious left the company in the mid 80s after she was diagnosed with some real bad cancer. She was, like, obsessed with beating death and the tabloids said she was hangin' out with weirdo mystical types, shamans and yogis, that sort of thing."
"Did she croak?"
"No one knows. Since she left, the company went downhill. The store was about to go bankrupt, but they got an infusion of cash from somewhere. They've opened up stores in malls everywhere and are doing real well. The living mannequin thing has gotten them lots of free press."
"Typical. Using women in bondage to sell the chains of slavery. They are selling us the rope for us to hang ourselves with."
"Don't over analyze everything They are just giving people what they want. Hey, they got a new model in the lingerie store window."
Cam shrugged but she could tell Jan wanted to take a look.
"Come on, you fetishista, lets see what they're serving up next inp their debasement display."
The two detoured over to the store expecting to just glide past but, at the window, one glance at the model made them stop dead in their tracks.
She was a long-limbed young beauty, a near paragon of the goddess Diana. Her slim body was near perfectly sculpted by athleticism but not so much that it looked masculine or bony. The definition of muscles in her arms, legs and taut belly accented her curves, making them all the more delicious. The notches of her hourglass figure made a narrow waist between firm shoulders and a pleasant flare out to the hips.
Her pose had her standing with her hands on her hips, giving playful look from beneath bangs of bright powder blue hair that fell to just above her similarly painted eyebrows in front and well down her back behind her. She modeled a bra with a black flowery pattern that pressed her breasts together to make a dark inviting line of cleavage. A panty, with the same pattern as the bra, barely covered about all it was intended to cover. Straps from her slow slung garter belt connected to to the dark stockings that decorated her long legs. Her feet were arched in glossy black shoes with heels of several inches.
Like her predecessor she stood impossibly still in the store window, a mannequin in pose if not in fact.
Of coarse, it was not only the breathtaking beauty of the model that captivated Jan and Cam's attention, nor her eerily remarkable ability to remain completely still. What interested them most about the model was Angie.
.... There is more of this story ...