The Mannequin Challenge Game - 1


by Dmuk and Zapped!


(concept framework & ‘pitch’ by Zapped!, embellished with topical & thematic digressions by Dmuk)



March 15, 2018

The blast of frigid air caught them unaware, as if they had stepped into an industrial freezer.  Pulsing bass notes from the club’s dance music quavered so loudly that even outside, the whole front of the building seemed to be vibrating.  Lingering scents of perfume, weed, incense, and alcohol followed the four stunning young women out of the club into the nighttime air.


 “Whoo-eee!” Bobbi Sue blurted out, “The Polar Express is in town... an’ look, my girls are paying attention,” the blustery busty bleach-blonde added, tugging on the top of her short stretchy silvery spandex dress, but her efforts seemed in vain; two hardened nubs stood out in the thin fabric even more prominently than before.  She swayed in place, not willing to give up on her dancing tempo just yet, and tipsy enough to not stay steady. The long-legged Texan was attending school on a beach volleyball scholarship and often seemed as oblivious to her indelicate language as she was to her gorgeous looks and trim athletic figure…


 “Do you have to be so... you?” Mandy fussed.  The petite Asian girl shivered, wrapping her arms around her mostly exposed chest and torso.  The tailored deep purple skintight jumpsuit was slit down to her jeweled navel in front; the wide gap framing firm breasts that appeared magically held perkily in place without visible support. A broad golden belt and matching five-inch platform heels gave her a lofty stature almost equal to her blonde friend and completed a very fetching package.  Her tinted fire-engine-red hairdo with cerulean highlights formed a short pixie-style helmet around her cute round face and large almond-shaped eyes.  Mandy pushed clunky dark-framed eyeglasses up on her nose and frowned at the brassy blonde while lowering her head and glancing furtively up and down the nearly empty street.  “People are looking!


“What do I care?  Those bouncers were way out’a line, show’n us the door.”  Bobbi demurred.


“You didn’t have to go all Krav Magah on that guy, y’know!” said a flagrantly attired yet rebelliously attractive woman wrapped in a figure-defining tight black satin corset. A boned strapless bustier pushed up her cleavage, squeezed her already slim waist, and gave a pleasing flare to her hips.   The rest of her ‘dress’ (if one could call it that) was but a wisp of inky transparent tulle that seemed to float in a cloud around her upper thighs. Pale shapely legs stood encased in midnight black thigh-high hosiery, held in place by several chromed garter clips at each leg.  Trendy, almost kinky, cross-laced high-heeled boots reached up to mid-calf.  For tonight’s club crawl, she wore shadowy eye makeup with dusky crimson lipstick that complimented her lengthy silky waterfall of wine-dark red hair, contrasting with her flawless ivory skin to create an amazingly fashionable variation on the ‘conventional’ monochrome Goth appearance. 


“Dude grabbed my boob, Ally.” Bobbi complained.  “Girl’s gotta have some dignity...”


“Hey, you almost smacked that poor douchebag out of his shoes, Bobbi!” She shot back.  “This isn’t the Lubbock stockyards, y’ know.”


 The amazonian blonde ignored the jibe.  “Now, how far on to the next waterin’ hole?”  She leaned heavily against an iron railing rimming the club venue and looked around, seeing only darkened storefronts and a scattering of parked cars.  Down the block, a rain-hoodied man receded into the darkness, walking a dog.  Sometime while they were inside a light mist had started falling, making the wet streets look shiny with reflection and somewhat treacherous.


“Can you call one of your buddies and get us back in?” Mandy suggested to Ally, wrapping her bare arms around her exposed torso as the chilly air started to give her goose bumps.  “You seem to know everyone there; even the DJ?  Please, Mom,” she keened theatrically, using her nickname for the fractionally older redheaded woman.


“You whippersnappers need to learn to chill the frack out and get some manners!” Ally mocked in a wavering, whiny, grandmotherly tone of voice.  With her usual sexy voice, she continued, “That place was starting to wind down, anyhow.  Even if I could get us back in tonight, that scene isn’t going to change.   Let’s try and find something different...?”


“Yuppers,” agreed Bobbi briefly, tugging again on the hem, then the bodice, then the hem of her stretchy dress that seemed to want to shrink itself into a spandex cummerbund.


“Maybe, I call a rideshare?” their quiet dark-haired companion suggested, pulling a smartphone from her shoulder bag.  Yolanda possessed a dusky Latino complexion with a more Rubensesque figure than the others; to conceal her ample curves she wore a loose-fitting deeply scoop-necked floral top with pleated rayon flare-bottom slacks that made zwishy sounds with every high-heeled step.  She’d spent several hours getting her face made up perfectly and sculpting her ebony locks into an intricate up-do hairstyle that was now coming apart, letting one strand fall into her eyes until she brushed it away irritably.  At least, she thought to herself, I no stumble around like some drunken bimbo.


“Hey, let’s stretch our legs a little; I don’t want to be stuck in the backseat of some cramped hype-brid again,” suggested Ally, not wanting the night to end just yet.  During the workday, her wardrobe consisted largely of boringly sensible pantsuits and below-the-knee skirts.  However, these rare nights out were Alison’s chance to “let her hair down” and have some fun, remembering her wilder student times before she had graduated. Starting down the street, her strides created a cadence of clicks as her spike heels met the slick pavement.


“Whoa, hold up there, Ally!”  Bobbi-Sue called out.  “Not sure we all on the same page with ya...”


“Yeah; some of us have class in the morning...” added Mandy, taking an unfocused glance at her smart watch before resetting her bulky eyewear.  She’d had maybe just a little too much to drink (as had her friends).  Toss in some unknown pills that Ally had offered, and the cumulative aftereffects were starting to kick in.  Doing a double take at the timepiece’s tiny screen she blurted, “Wow; it’s after midnight already?”


“So, I will call the car?”   Yolanda asked, sounding concerned and a little more confused than before.


“Not yet, Yo-yo; nuthin’s bin decided yet!” Bobbi-Sue commanded before letting go of the railing. She took a few wobbly “baby steps” forward and nearly fell off her stiletto heels. Mandy reached out to grab her, but the taller girl wind-milled her arms a few times and then miraculously recovered, transitioning from an awkward diving stance into a graceful bow for her audience. She gave her friend an irritated look and assured, “I’m… peachy-keen, thank you!”


“You are so not-fine, BS,” retorted Mandy, using her friend’s scornful nickname that seemed very apt at this particular moment.  “Just look at yourself!”


Bobbi waved her off, clutching the railing once again, and the Asian reluctantly stepped back from her friend.


“Might not be the best idea to pile into a stuffy car right now anyway,” Ally reminded, “don’t forget what happened last time…”


The group reflected back on one of their previous misadventures and Bobbi’s unfortunate encounter with motion sickness. There was a collective groan…


“You know, it’s not all that bad outside once you get used to it,” Ally continued to press, “I say we walk for a while; it’ll keep us warm and the fresh cool air can sober us up.”


“But, class?” Mandy begged, as she turned towards the darkly clothed redheaded Gothic beauty.


“Mandolyn Wu,” Ally scolded, placing her hands on her hourglass hips in a power stance, “you are currently at the top of your test scores and haven’t missed a lecture in the last three years!”  


Mandy shrugged, a knowing smile flickering on her face. 


“Besides,” Ally continued, “I know for a fact your first period tomorrow is the code lab I’m leading...”


“Hmm, you’re right,” the slim petite girl allowed.  “I guess I could use a walk; it beats being confined to that crowded dorm room...”


“OK, so that’s one thumb-up; how about you, Yolanda?”


“I guess...” The Latina shrugged; she didn’t want to be the one to end their evening out.  …Besides, I can walk all night if Bobbi-Sue is coming along...


“You feeling OK, Bobbi?” Ally called back to the tall tanned blonde as a car drove by, leaving drier tracks on the wet pavement. The headlights illuminated the Texan’s curvaceous silvery figure as she again leaned back against the railing outside the club.  She still looked about ready to pass out.


“Right as rain,” the wavering young woman perked up as she attempted to walk on her own again.  “Y’all don’t worry on me,” she boasted, courageously leaving the sanctuary of the terrace’s railing. 


Moments later, Bobbi looked like a young colt trying to stand on uncooperative legs for the first time. Ally snapped her fingers in Yolanda’s direction and mouthed the words: Get her!  The zaftig Latina quickly grasped one of the wobbly blonde’s arms to give her added support.


Bobbi rested her head against her friend’s shoulder and gazed thoughtfully as they started down the glistening street. “Purty night for a stroll, id’n it...”


Yolanda could feel Bobbi’s warm breath teasing her neck as she spoke. Toss in the crisp apple scent of her blonde hair along with the light crush of a pillowy breast, and it was enough to give her goose bumps. She let go of her friend’s arm and slowly glided her palm across Bobbi’s lower back, her forearm coming to a rest on the firm upper humps of the volleyball player’s ass. The poor thing was so intoxicated; she might not notice (or even mind) an accidental slip of the hand...


I wish....


“Sheesh! You guys are unstoppable!” Mandy objected, but a few seconds later scampered over to join the pair, and Yolanda’s opportunity vanished.


...Oh, well...


In a relaxed orbit, they meandered together down the empty street in an older section of town, past closed shops and restaurants that had left their outside tables and chairs locked together in a bunch to keep them from ‘evaporating’.  There were worn-out boutiques, travel agencies, nail salons, the inevitable upscale coffee shops, jewelry galleries (with mostly empty showcase racks in those windows), a real estate office, and a few empty storefronts.  There was even an aging branch of the renowned Heckmann’s department store midway down the block, with its signature complex window displays and elegantly styled mannequin figures now standing in the dark shadows, looking rather spooky. 


The four friends, egged on occasionally by Ally, who seemed to be setting the pace, didn’t linger here as they usually did.  The cross street was also quiet and still, with a small bakery-café on one catty-corner and a bridal shop bay window on the other that caught Yolanda’s eye.  She hoped to have a beautiful wedding someday and was always imagining herself in one of those gorgeous gowns.


“Lookin’ kinda dead out,” Bobbi-Sue observed, “like mah hometown on a Friday night.”  She pulled down the bottom of her stretchy dress once more; keeping the hemline in legal territory was almost a full-time job.  “Durn thing!”


“Isn’t Friday usually...?” Mandy started to clarify, then realized the blonde’s comment had been sarcastic.


A chilly breeze suddenly blew up the street and Yolanda increased her grip around Bobbi’s sensuous curves. “Oh my; you must be so freeze-ing in tha’ skimpy leetle dress, but I got ya...”


“Hey!  I see some lights down that street,” Mandy pointed, “so maybe there’s something open after all?”  Abruptly eager, she took a few steps past the corner, and then stopped to look back at the remaining three.  “C’mon, let’s check it out?”


Ally chuckled.  “OK, I’m in; but weren’t you the one worrying about tomorrow?”  She stepped along quickly to catch up to the svelte Asian, whose heart-shaped backside swayed appealingly with every stride.


“It’ll be just for a little while; I can’t imagine us getting stuck there.  Let’s get this over with and then we can head back to campus. And I could use a little snack.”


“Always with you it is eating,” Yolanda sighed.  “If I had your figure and energy...”


“Don’t you fret none, Yo-yo, you’re a gorgeous girl too, mm-hmmm,” piped in Bobbi-Sue, hugging her supportive Latina friend tightly as the two walked along as one.


“Gracias!” Yolanda replied, hoping her blush didn’t show too much as she felt warmth flooding through her body and especially down into her nethers.


“What’s keeping you two slowpokes?” Ally called from twenty feet ahead, taking long-legged strides until she caught up to Mandy.  “Now who’s holding up the show?”  She nudged Mandy, snickered, and faux whispered “I think they just want to be alone.”  Mandy replied softly, “Aww, they’d make such a cute little couple too!” The pair giggled at such a deliciously salacious possibility but slowed their pace so their friends could catch up.




The splash of lights soon resolved into the garish neon-lit signage for “Funstravaganza,” a large gaming arcade that occupied a wide glassy storefront that had once been the entrance of a bygone furniture or clothing shop.  Tall display windows flanked both sides of a recessed entryway, creating a small portico off the sidewalk, shielded from the misty rain.  Gaudy posters inside the windows featured scenes from some of the upscale video and newer VR games offered.  One side window held dusty Lego models of the Galactica and a hulking Death Star sphere, suspended on fishing line as if in mid-flight.  Past a forbidding-looking metal grid security gate, the arcade’s interior lighting was subdued so the machines’ displays would stand out for any potential players. Faint tinkly and percussive musical sounds could be heard coming from some of the machines within, but otherwise the place looked rather decrepit, as if time had stopped there decades ago.


However, the left side display window was unexpectedly occupied by two lifelike fashion mannequins posed on circular metal bases, one dressed as the latest Wonder Woman from the hit film, the other in the signature skintight frosty white honeycomb-patterned shipsuit and dark boots of Miranda Lawson’s character from the video game series.  The mannequin on the left was a bit on the skinny side for the normally busty Amazon heroine she was costume-playing, but the Lawson figure possessed a perfect hourglass profile and long silky dark hair falling in waves past its shoulders.  Mandy wondered idly if that was a black wig.  Take that away and she’d almost be a dead ringer for...


“Wow; this arcade has really changed recently!”  Ally exclaimed, eyeing the newer presentation.  “Why would they have these mannequins on display?  I’ve passed by here countless times over the years and they never put this much effort into attracting customers.  First time I ever saw anything human shown in this window, let alone mannequins dressed as cosplayers…  And see how realistic they look; I’m almost expecting one of them to break character and wink at us.”


Mandy took in the stationary scene for a moment before exclaiming, "Whoo... they do look like real people!"


"They wouldn't have real people on display in a window at one ay-em, ya dummy!" Bobbi Sue retorted, swaying in her heels, making a failing attempt at standing unsteadily by herself.


“No, silly – they’re the dummies; I’m Mandy!”


 “For sure, but these ones totally look alive,” gasped Yolanda in amazement as she gawked openly at the mannequins’ stock-still sculpted bodies. Their figure-hugging costumes made her already overstimulated imagination run wild.  Wonder what would it feel like to feel up a super-heroine? she mused.


“Yeah!  This’n reminds me a smidge of some bimbo from mah gymnastics class,” Bobbi Sue added.


“Pot, meet kettle,” Ally said softly so only Yolanda heard as she pointedly glanced at the brassy blonde, before both tittered knowingly.


“This walkabout is shaping up to be some stupid snark hunt; sorry I dragged you down this way,” Mandy apologized, turning towards the street, eyeing the light rain, which had started again.  “Ready to go home?”


“Well, but since we’re already here…” Alison suggested, pointing a manicured nail at the metal security gate, which had only been pulled a quarter of the way down. She quickly ducked under, cautiously peeked around, then jerked back, glancing over her shoulder with a sly grin. “Wanna go in and check it out?” 


“Now, now, hold yer horses,” Bobbi Sue piped up. “Is this place even open? I don’t see anybody inside, y’all…”


“Yeah,” Yolanda added, “We don’ need to get pinched for trezpassin.”


“It’s not trespassing if the door’s kinda open, right?” Ally countered weakly.


“We already got booted out of one establishment tonight; why not go for two?” Bobbi teased. All three women turned in unison and gave her dirty looks, but she just shoo’ed her hands toward the doorway and flashed her drunken smile. “…Quit frettin’ - go ‘head, y’all!”


“Hello...?” Ally called out as she crossed under the threshold bar of the security gate and ventured even further inside. She paused momentarily, waiting for a response that hadn’t come. After a few moments had passed, she waved silently at her friends to follow her lead. “Watch your heads!”


“This is bad,” Yolanda whispered somewhat distractedly as she glanced around nervously at the busy, noisy room with its flashing lights, garish animated displays, and overlapping sound effects.


It was warm inside compared to the misty street and smelled vaguely of electricity, cigarette smoke, and dust.


“Oh wow!” Mandy burst out a little too loudly, “They have Outback Hunter? I didn’t even know it was out yet!”


A loud “SSSSHHH!” immediately followed from the others, except Bobbi, who snickered.


The bouncy Asian issued a “Sorry!” and pushed her glasses up nervously.


As the group rounded a corner, a startling figure suddenly appeared from behind an old game cabinet. There was a collective astonished gasp from the girls, followed by numerous expletives.  Eight feminine eyes focused on a gangly, balding, middle-aged man and the futuristically styled weapon he held within his hand…


Then he looked up and his eyes went wide in surprise too. “Oh, shoot… Didn’t know I had some customers!” As he stepped forward, his four apprehensive visitors began to back away in fear. He observed their reaction quizzically for a moment and then glanced down at his hand, shrugging. “Oh, heck; nothing to worry ‘bout ladies, this is just a soldering gun!  Hafta to do some makeshift repairs on this ol’ Namco here.  The game console he was referring to had letters announcing ‘Galaxian’ arching across the marquee on top.


“We aren’t causing any trouble, sir!” Yolanda quickly assured.  This is REALLY bad... she was thinking.


“Yeah,” Bobbi added. “We were jes’ passin’ by and saw y’all’s door was open; also itz gettin’ kinda chilly out there...” The long-limbed beauty tugged down on the bottom of her dress to further emphasize the point; not that she had any points that weren’t immediately obvious as he looked her over appreciatively from high-heeled toe to mussed blonde head. 


“Oh heck, missy, I forgot all about the time; sorta got all wrapped up in my work, I guess.  Mucho thanks for remindin’ me!”  The man had on a red and white striped shirt, a bowtie, and the wide suspenders of a carnival barker.  Whether it was his disarming nature or the silly-looking attire, the girls weren’t exactly sure, but he seemed rather harmless to them...


Their host set his soldering gun on the top of the antiquated gaming machine, wiped off his hands, before turning to address his mostly unexpected guests:  “Wow, just look at you fine ladies; all done-up to th’ nines and out makin’ the rounds on the town, eh?”


“We were just down the street at a club,” Mandy replied as she gazed around, spotting a Joust console in a corner. “You sure do have a lotta games in here mister; both new and vintage.”


“Well I’m a bit of a tinkerer, you might say; have this knack for foolin’ round with all things electronic; can’t seem to shake it, don’t really want to.” The man then swept his hand around the room and said, “Whatcha see here is the result…”


“That’s awesome,” Mandy approved before she went on to confess, “I can’t even guess how many hours I spent in arcades like this when I was a kid.”


“Well, truth is; places like this one are going away,” acknowledged the owner. “Kids today got PlayStations an Xboxes, those pesky lil’ smartphones… They don’t have any time to go to real arcades anymore...”


The girls all looked at each other, unsure of what to say.


Then the man sighed deeply, clapped his hands, and smiled valiantly; he seemed to draw upon an all but vanished sense of optimism. “But hey; that’s the nature of an evolving business model an’ this big ole rock keeps on rollin’, right? …Just need to learn to readjust to the times…  Make of it what little is left around for guys like me… You nice ladies are welcome to stay; look around and take in the Fun-ganza experience — while it lasts; that’s what it’s here for!”


As the man turned his back on the group, reaching for his soldering gun once more, Yolanda whispered, “Maybe we should go now.”


“We can’t leave yet,” Mandy contested. “That poor old guy just poured his heart out to us. I… I sort of feel sorry for him.”


Bobbi made a sour face. “I can think of lots better things to feel sorry for: those poor critters in the SPCA commercials; homeless folks; the rainforest…”


“Ugh; that’s not even funny.”


“Alright you three, knock it off,” Alison interjected.  “Look; we’ll just walk around and take in the sights and sounds for a bit, and then we’ll slip out the front quietly — no harm, no foul.”


The other three nodded in agreement as they all began strolling casually yet aimlessly along the carpeted aisles.  The group passed row after row of gaudy arcade machines while looking curiously one way and then the other, seemingly enchanted by the colorful marquees and brightly lit display screens.  Some games required shooting guns, steering racing cars, or maneuvering claws to pick up cheap trinkets; simple joysticks controlled many more.  Most of the older game machines seemed relegated to the back, but there were several toward the front that even Mandy didn’t recognize.


Alison meandered over to one side of the arcade where a somewhat newer, rather larger game had been placed against a long wall in front of a green-screen backdrop and a line of five raised circular discs on the floor that formed the playing surface.  A few feet in front of the discs stood a tall, wheeled console in a shallow track ran parallel to the wall, with a vertical fifty-five-inch flat-panel display on the front showing looping footage of fashion models striding along a runway stage, alongside inviting airbrushed artwork of silhouetted female figures. At the top, circled by bright chasing LED lights, a stylized script banner announced: ‘Mannequin Challenge Elite’.  Next to the display was a control panel with large red pushbuttons and a keypad, allowing the choice of game style and number of players.  A chrome service panel was riveted to the lower front, punctured with an oblong token-sized coin slot, a USB socket, and a small keyed access door.


Mandy was the first to exclaim, “Hey, check this out!” She approached the game machine with wide eyes and began to look it over.


“What n’ the heck?” Bobbi questioned from beside her. On the side of the cabinet facing the greenscreen was another full-length panel display framed with vanity bulbs along with circling rows of shallow mirrored conical reflectors that looked like camera flash units. The display screen listed a long set of detailed instructions that she soon lost interest in reading. “I dunno,” the blonde concluded, “looks sorta complicated.”


“Oh, but it’s not!” the barker spoke up behind them, causing the girls to jump. “Simple as peach pie, in fact!”


They all looked back in shock at the reinvigorated owner, who’d thrown on a skimmer hat and arm garters during their wanderings, along with a surprising change in attitude.  Stepping jauntily in front of the console and spinning around to face the onlookers, he began to work them, pacing back and forth and reciting his pitch like a traveling medicine man hawking snake oil...  


“What you four lovely ladies are lookin’ at is the absolute latest in gamin’ technology; jest installed her this past week, in truth!  Aint she a beaut!”  The man gazed over at his pride and joy like a young mother looking at her newborn baby.  He turned back, forming a frame with the index fingers and thumbs of his hands; his make-believe camera slowly panning across his captive audience.  “Now picture you this:  you girls are four jet-setting models, traveling the world in the name of high fashion and a supermodel lifestyle.  You’ve heard all the hype an’ seen all the videos, now your entrancing entourage has stormed into this here little town to see a revolution in gaming tech for yourselves.  Is your arrivin’ here to this humble establishment jest a lark, a quirk of chance or folly?  Maybe so.  Or perhaps you all really showed up to prove yer ability at strikin’ a pose!”


“Um; we’re not supermodels,” Mandy pointed out, “We’re just college


“Jest roll with me for a minute, China Doll,” the barker cut in before continuing, “I see four attractive model-like types standin’ right here in front of me, an it looks like they’re ready to take it to the next level. They have the figures, they have the threads, and they’ve got the looks, but do they have the skills and au-da-ci-ty to conquer the Elite Mannequin Challenge?  Only time will tell, folks!”


“Layin’ it on a little thick, ain’t he?” Bobbi said sotto-voice to Yolanda, who nodded in agreement.


The barker smacked his hands together and urged, “Now, who’s ready to test their luck an’ talent against our newest attraction! …How ‘bout you, Red?”


He pointed directly at Alison, who quickly edged behind Yolanda.


“Looks like she’s a shy one, so howza ‘bout you, Blondie?”  The barker urged, eyes skimming over Bobbi’s trim athletic frame.  “You can’t be any stranger to getting your pictures took?  Each and every one of you appearing on mah doorstep so gorgeous and poised and elegantly... elegant!”


Bobbi had recovered enough of her earlier fire to retort in a homespun drawl, “What’s this new game yore talkin’ on, Slick?  Don’t reckon much on the rest of ‘em, but I shore do hanker for a good challenge.”  She lurched towards the machine, eager but still rather unsteady on her heels.


“Excellent, my dear, come forward; step on up right there!” the barker said enthusiastically. He offered his hand for assistance and guided the Texan up onto the disc-like playing area. He casually slipped an arm around her slender waist as he encouraged, “I knew ya’ had it in ya!”


Bobbi regarded the raised platform beneath her feet with a quizzical tilt to her head. “So, what should I do?”


“You just stand right on this here spot and then watch the display.  When the ghosty outline figure on the screen strikes a pose, you move to match it, then hold perfectly still – stiff, you know: like a mannequin – until it registers with chime and a flash when your picture gets taken.  You’ll get another pose to mimic, then another; each one becoming a little more difficult than the last.  If you succeed with all of them before time runs out, then you’re the champion!” he finished with a flourish, though his cornpone accent seemed to have vanished.


“An’ what happens if’n I don’t?” Bobbi Sue asked as she inspected the machine idly.


“Nothing much, but you will have to stay standing motionless on your disc – as a mannequin, see – until the rest of the players finish their rounds.  You then get points for how well you stayed completely still while the others do their challenges.  If nobody beats the machine, then the player with the highest score is the winner and you can try again.  You can also get a set of photos of your poses to take with you if you’d like on a thumb drive.  Those cost a little extra.”


“I kinda understand, sort of,” Bobbi nodded. “So the losin’ players have to act as mannequins?  Seems odd...”


“Er, yes, exactly so,” the barker granted, “but many find this kind of layered challenge appealing.  Our initial play-testers seemed to like the experience, and we’re in an extended beta introduction period now.  So far, none of the public players have raised any concerns...  


“I don’t think for me...” hedged Yolanda, taking a step back.  None of my pictures have ever been very flattering... she thought.


“Oh, come on!” Ally wheedled, “This might be a blast to try!” 


Mandy remained quiet, recalling the many online videos she’d seen of people making believe they were mannequin figures posed in a scene, staying totally motionless in the middle of taking selfies or doing something outrageous.  Could be interesting... she was thinking, though her expression was fretful.


“So, honey, think you’re ready to give it a spin?” the barker urged, pulling Bobbi in even tighter to his side. The young woman still looked unconvinced, so he decided to sweeten the deal. “I’ll tell you what; I’ll even ‘comp’ ya the first round, on the house!”


The other girls all looked at each other and just shrugged their shoulders.  Yolanda started to turn away.


“I’ll take that as a yes, gorgeous!” the barker decided for Bobbi. “Stay right there, so you can see how it works!” He turned towards the control panel and typed briefly on the touchpad; hiding the buttons with his body, he also keyed in a hidden ‘cheat’ code for the intensity setting.  The girls saw the display monitor change to read:


‘Players: 4 – Difficulty: Catwalk’


‘Player 1: Press GO’

‘Player 2: Get Ready’

‘Player 3: Prepare’

‘Player 4: Observe’


“Ohh, maybe,” Yolanda hesitated.  She didn’t think of herself as any kind of model and worried that the others would laugh at her attempts to pose like one.  “I dunno...”


“I’ll do it if’n you do,” Bobbi Sue nudged the zaftig Latino beauty.  “I kin go first, in fact; that way y’all can see how its ‘spose to be done.”


“Brave words, there, BS!” Mandy prodded.


“OKAY, OK! Y’all get ready to be schooled...” the blonde retorted, tugging down the hem of her tube dress and moving to center herself on the first disc, facing the inside display.  Her shapely image appeared on the outer display, encircled by a ghostly almost 3-D purplish outline that traced her striking silhouette precisely and followed her every movement.  Bobbi raised her hand and waved at the ghost on the screen, which waved right back. “Check it out, y’all!” she chortled, “Is mini-me…”


Mandy responded with, “Aw, how cute!”


Bobbi settled down and announced, “Ahm ready!” followed a few seconds later by “Uh, how do you start this thang?”


“Just press the touch-panel display where it says ‘GO’, ‘teach!” Ally said with a smirk.


“Smart ass!” Bobbi shot back, reaching out to touch the screen; a stopwatch clock appeared, counting down the seconds and tenths from what appeared to be two-and-a-half minutes, along with a pulsing techno soundtrack as the first outline of her target pose: the ghost standing at ramrod-straight attention arms at her side, machine-like, with the title “I, Robot” appearing on the screens.


Bobbi Sue matched that one almost instantly; there was a brief flash, a victory warble, and some seconds were added to the active spooling-down timer.  Then a hands-on hips outline appeared, entitled “Superhero”.  She moved into that stance quickly as well; got rewarded by another flash and trill.  Bobbi-Sue grinned at her friends; there’s nothin’ to this, she thought defiantly as she completed challenge after challenge. Additional posing ‘ghosts’ kept appearing in increasingly rapid succession: stepping forward, arm up; feet akimbo, arms up behind her head; then some side-angle poses that took her a few extra seconds longer to match with the perspective view.  She didn’t recall all the names, but one was called “The Teapot” for some reason, then a “Seven-Year Itch” that had her mimic the iconic Marilyn Monroe standing on a subway-grating pose.  That character, too, had had trouble keeping her skirt down.  Her score continued to rack up as the modeling stances became tougher and simultaneously more scandalous.


“How you doin’?” Ally called out to her friend.


“Nothing...” {pose}  “” {pose} “!”  Bobbi replied more slowly, seemingly a little out of breath.  “Them flashes gettin’ sorta distractin’...”


Then she started to fall behind.  The next rather difficult pose had her standing on one high-heeled foot, with the other leg raised behind her almost to her tush, while miming pointing with one hand and holding the other to her face in feigned surprise.  Her balance was unsteady and she shifted, moving outside the outline, then steadying herself, yet swaying as the final tenths of seconds ran down...


“Damn!” Bobbi managed to blurt just as the time ran out; there was a brilliant flash from the game machine facing her at the same instant the opening chords from Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” sounded, reverberating with a chilling riff that suggested a frozen winter scene.  The display changed to read:


‘Player 1: Holding – Score 3406’

‘Player 2: Press GO’

‘Player 3: Get Ready’

‘Player 4: Observe’


The machine beeped, then slowly on its own wheeled itself sideways to stop in front of the second player position, revealing Bobbi-Sue as an unmoving figure still posed on the first disc.


“So, how was it?” Yolanda asked, glancing from the game display where the freeze-frame image of Bobbi Sue captured her last attempted pose, to look directly at her friend.  Upon the platform Bobbi Sue also stood frozen like a statue, still wobbling slightly, an expression of frustration captured on her motionless features.  “Hey, are you OK...”  the Latina probed.  Pure silence.   Yolanda stepped closer to wave her hand in front of the rigid blonde’s blank stare; but there was no reaction.  “...Blink once for yes?”  Still nothing.  Bobbi Sue had become a very convincing mannequin figure.


Yolanda turned on the barker, who was standing nearby.  “Is it supposed to do that!?” she demanded. 


“Of course, young lady,” he replied.  “The game does offer an assist, of sorts, in the mannequin display phase.  It’s all completely harmless; simply a form of flash hypnosis that’s cleared at the end of the game...”


“Are you sure?” Yolanda continued, examining the ‘mannequin’ and noticing her friend’s deep blue eyes were wide and unblinking.  “Hel-looo; anyone in there?” she asked with trembling anxiety as she boop’ed the static blonde’s nose lightly and getting no response at all.  Yolanda attempted to move Bobbi’s upraised arm and felt solid resistance while a salacious thought sprang to mind:  Chica, you’ll never get a better chance than now!  Quickly she ran her hands over her friend’s stiffened body, lingering briefly on her mounded breasts, then down the curves of her slender waist to caress the firm cheeks of the blonde’s backside.  The intimately close inspection was brief, but thorough.   “Dios mio, Bobbi’s as stiff as a board!” she announced.


Ally snickered but didn’t comment.


“Is the effect always so convincing?”  Mandy probed, stepping closer to the disc and glancing at the suspended co-ed before snapping her fingers inches away from Bobbi Sue’s face.  There was no reaction whatsoever.  “This isn’t like any hypnosis I’ve ever seen before...  it’s more like she’s in a timeless bubble or some kind of stasis?” she mused, falling back on the sci-fi tropes she’d often read about in comics and seen in movies.


“Our game designers wanted to mimic as realistic an appearance as possible...” the barker offered.  “They succeeded; don’t you think?”


“She’s not completely stiff, see?” Mandy added.  “It takes an effort, but I can move her arm slowly and it stays wherever I want,” she concluded, pointing her friend’s finger into her ear.


“Maybe you should be more careful?” Ally cautioned.  “Bobbi looks about ready to fall over as it is...”


“No problem!”  Mandy chuckled, “I can fix that...” Before anyone could object, she crouched down to grasp and carefully lower her friend’s raised leg and foot, so it rested on the platform to give the unmoving figure more stability.  She even tugged the stretchy Lycra skirt down into more legal territory.  Throughout the manipulations, Bobbi didn’t move or blink at all.  “See; she’s like a life-sized doll now or something.”


“This is, is just loco...” Yolanda mumbled, shaking her head nervously as she continued staring at the very convincing Bobbi Sue ‘mannequin’ that could only stare back at her as the seconds ticked on.


“Um, you want to go next?” suggested Ally to Mandy.  “Yo-yo seems a little upset.  You’ve done things like this before, right?”


“Sure.  Why not,” the slim Asian replied confidently with a tight smile, recalling back when she had modeled for nude figure drawing classes to pay the rent.  “Uh, and you’re sure it’s safe?” she shot back at the barker, stepping onto the second disc while stealing a glance at the totally motionless figure of Bobbi Sue to her right. 


“Perfectly!” was his terse reply.


“I’ve got a bad feeling about this...” Mandy quoted with a grin, then did a couple of quick in-place stretches as she shook her shoulders briefly to loosen up before assuming a brave smile and reaching out to press ‘GO’… The lithe ghost image on the screen matched her every gesture.


The pulsing soundtrack started once more as she struck the easy first pose; then advanced through a series of somewhat more random stances, including a yoga-like one labeled “Crescent Moon”; poses which became quickly more intricate and challenging as they had previously.  Mandy seemed more at ease, maybe because she had watched the sequences before, perhaps because of her past experience in modeling.  Her score and time bonuses piled up; she easily matched and held the difficult pose that had stymied Bobbi Sue as well as the next one, “Waving Into A Crowd”; yet the challenge had more in store.  Shortly the game skipped to a series of truly advanced poses that verged on seriously ‘athletic’ positions, including some that exotic dancers may have found a difficult time mimicking.  The Asian beauty too seemed to be moving more slowly on her disc as the precarious poses progressed, surviving the arduous stance entitled “Rockette Kick” with only seconds to spare.


“You got, this, Mandy!” Ally cheered her on.   Yolanda said nothing and watched with a fearful expression.


Then time simply ran out as the Asian beauty was attempting a pinup-like twist at her waist, legs crossed at the ankles, with both hands clasped behind her head.  Once again there was the brilliant overpowering flash and the ‘bum bum, ba da bum bum.. bum’ trill sounded.


“Oh, no!” Yolanda gasped in surprise, raising one hand to her mouth as she saw the consequence.


Mandy too was instantly suspended. Unlike her unfortunate friend on the platform beside her, she’d had the presence of mind to take on a smiling expression before her comely features froze in place, so in her sinuous pose and form-fitting jumpsuit she looked like an accomplished glamour photo model.  The profile of her slender body, from raised arms, following her modest bosom, curved backside, and rump, down her willowy legs to the floor, was flawless. 




Ally stepped up to her mannequinized friend without hesitation, removing her thick, black-rimmed ‘nerd glasses’.  “There; now you fit your sexy pose!” she chuckled, slipping the eyewear into her clutch.  Mandy continued to stare unblinkingly into space; the wings of her long eyelashes steady as those of a waxwork reproduction. 


Yolanda said nothing as she stared at the immobilized figure of the latest instant mannequin, her emotions caught between compassion for her ill-fated friend and a stirring, unrealized desire at seeing her young friend being turned into an object of art within the blink of an eye.  She gazed salaciously over Mandy’s rigid pose, taking in the way the Asian’s slim body caught the light, how the contours of her flawless skin seemed at once soft and solid, much as a critic would appraise a classical statue or painting.  How could I have been so near you all this time, and yet not notice your incredible splendor as well? Her thoughts raced into wanton imagination.


Another beep from the game jogged Yolanda out of her reverie as the machine moved to face the third disc. 


‘Player 1: Holding – Score 3406’

‘Player 2: Holding – Score 15782’

‘Player 3: Press GO’

‘Player 4: Get Ready’


“Your turn,” Ally encouraged after a few seconds of silence.


“I really don’ want to do this!” Yolanda whined, glancing quickly at her unmoving girlfriends.  “Look what happened to them.... they’re now... like living statues?  Do they even know what’s happened to them?”


Ally encouraged her friend, saying, “Hey, you’ll be fine; this will be just like that time at the amusement park, when you were too scared to ride the big roller coaster. Do you remember what happened once we had talked you into getting on? What happened then, Yo-yo?”


“I kept you and Bobbi there till closin’, riding over and again...,” she admitted with a blush.


“You sure did; now step up there and ride this one!” her redheaded friend urged.


Yolanda took a deep breath and shook off the tightness in her hands.


“I can do this,” she said, more to herself than to Ally, as she stepped up onto the third disc.  “I can do this,” she repeated as she pressed GO.  A few seconds later the music started once more and Yolanda’s turn at the challenge sequence began.


She struck the first robot-like pose, and then the easy curving moon one, followed by a third unforeseen but fairly simple stance, “Dob It”, followed by a few more easy poses before “Bridesmaid With A Bouquet” appeared; she achieved that with only a slight hesitation. Then the label “Now, Twerk” appeared on the screen, along with a crouching outline that had its tush pushed out conspicuously. The Latina struggled to match the agile ghost image, dipping down into a squatting position, Arms forward; hands grasping that imaginary pole; back deeply archedYou got this!  She started shaking her rump up and down with all the power she could muster. As the ghost on the screen went increasingly lower, Yolanda did too, almost going down on all fours and twerking dat ass as she went.  However, the combination of her awkward position, coupled with the bulk of her jiggling booty-mass completely threw her off balance.  The ghost then stopped and held the awkward position, leaving Yolanda nearly splayed-out across the posing disc. “Wait! WAIIIIT!!”


“Go on, Yo-yo, Get up, quick!” Ally shouted, “You’re taking way too much time!”


Yolanda struggled to get up from the disc, her weighty breasts bouncing.  By the time she righted herself, the game sounded a rude raspberry, signaling a missed stance, while the ghost outline quickly changed poses. The timer flashed red as fifteen seconds were deducted from her already dwindling remainder.  That time penalty hadn’t happened before to the others.  “Dang, zees is really HARD!” the Latina shouted in frustration as she tried to focus on duplicating the ghost image again.  The poor girl didn’t do so well with the next pose either, failing at the comparatively modest “Bunny Dip” stance. Yolanda’s time expired as she was attempting to match the ghost by stooping slightly while twisting her torso and head to face the touchscreen, with one arm raised with fingers splayed as if balancing an imaginary serving tray.  The last word from her lips was a plaintive “Pinche...” that cut off at the brilliant flash of lights that froze her in position, as the losing trill sounded with icy finality.  Yolanda had rapidly joined her two chic friends as silent display figures.


‘Player 1: Holding – Score 3406’

‘Player 2: Holding – Score 15782’

‘Player 3: Holding – Score 1629’

‘Player 4: Press GO’


“That went pretty well, don’t you think, Duncan?” Ally observed after a few moments, turning from gazing at the frozen tableau trio to face the barker with a sly smile on her face.  “It didn’t take much to steer these dumb bunnies here after getting them high and jazzed on the club circuit; poor Mandy may have even thought that coming here was her own idea...”


“Don’t you want to take your turn? Could be the big winner; lotsa tickets,” he replied, with a hint of optimism.

“You wish!” she sneered.
 “I’ve got bigger plans than winning worthless trinkets in this broken-down arcade.  I’m not going to be stuck forever as an associate professor at this podunk party college.  My retirement nest egg is funding your R & D costs; that stupid kickstarter campaign yielded almost nothing.  I want to see some quicker payoffs!”


“Hey, there, Red; don’t dis my Alma Mater,” Duncan shot back with a frown, taken slightly aback by her impolite outburst.


“So, look at you: some marvelous gifted tech whiz, you say; why aren’t you over in Silicon Valley earning some major cheddar instead of stuck here puttering around in a dusty game arcade?  So your brainchild gizmo works; what now, genius?” Ally taunted.


“These things can take time, Alison; after all there’s only this one location,” the man hedged.  His latest invention had started out for him as a ‘science project’ of sorts on top of his tinkering skills.  A notion inspired by an old wireless video show that he’d figured out how to make possible.  She’d had nothing to do with it; now she thought she was the grand poohbah.  Duncan turned aside and used his master key to open a service panel on the tall challenge console.


Ally paid him no attention.  “We’ve got some new momentum; we’re creating a good distribution channel.  I’m lining up a big retail store chain now.”  She swept her hand back, taking in her erstwhile friends posed motionlessly as the window display figures they would soon become.  “These lovely young marks are going to keep coming and coming.  Giving us a limitless supply of perfectly lifelike mannequins!  So, keep up the advert campaign; maybe add a big banner.  Post some online vidcaps of our own people playing the challenge?  Sure; let’s go for it! Ride the meme!  Soon we’ll get enough placements and revenue to go national and build more machines.  Then overseas!” she babbled on.  “Are you even listening to me?”


“Getting some big plans, boss?” the barker – her partner in the scheme – queried, turning to face her again.


“The world needs more flawless display figures...” she affirmed, “...and we’ll be there to supply them.”


“What about... those three?”  The man prompted, looking at the display discs and the stylish young women posed motionlessly there. 


“Let’s keep to the existing practice for now; put ‘em in our window.  Safe storage, and advertising to boot.  No problem scrounging up a few additional cosplay outfits, I’d assume?”


“One of the geeks at the comic store owes me some favors, so can do.  I can easily see these ladies as being like a Black Widow or Power Girl, maybe a Harley Quinn, and possibly one of the Sailor chicks getup for that Asian cutie; I can never keep those anime names sorted out...” Duncan admitted.


 Ally turned to her former friends and prompted “Any objections, girls?” and was answered by stiff silence and glassy stares.  She chuckled, “I love saying that, even though it’s such a cliché.  You should replace the two in the front window, first off; get them out of sight before someone recognizes them or backtracks their previous movements to here.  Besides, we gotta keep those displays fresh,” the redhead added after a moment’s thought.  “We don't have firm orders for our first two mannequins yet anyway, but I’ll pitch them tomorrow.  You can surely change the displays without my assistance, right?”


“Got it.  Anything else, Boss?” he asked, a slight edge to his voice.  He didn’t like being ordered around.


Ally’s thoughts kept turning back to her immobilized friends; she was having a belated moment of remorse for tricking them into becoming perpetually suspended display figures.  Forget it; this is only business, she decided.  “Not for now; that’s all you can handle I think, but I’ll have to start trawling again at the school...”


Duncan nodded.  “OK; but we’re going to have to let a few patrons take the Challenge in normal mode too, without the long-lasting setting, so the arcade can build up more clientele,” he replied.


“I suppose.  Though I hate to give up on new material, it will generate interest.  But we can’t slow down... these three have real potential.  Bobbi Sue should go to some sporting goods store; she’s got the body for those workout clothes or swimwear. I think buxom Yolanda here is going to get her wish and look lovely wearing a bridal gown, sooner than she’d hoped, but not quite in the way she intended.  Dear sweet Mandolyn Wu is most surely destined to appear in the lingerie department over at Vanessa’s Secret; we got in that requisition just a couple days ago and those two in the window now don’t quite measure up.  I’d expect her spectacular display figure is going to be much in demand there, especially around Valentine’s Day.”


“Sounds like you’ve planned this out to the last detail,” he said, with a trace of sarcasm.  “Thanks for cutting me in.  Glad I could help you out with some small part of it, like only just inventing the device that makes suspended animation possible in the first place!”  He turned back to the gaming console and started fussing with something inside.


“Hey, there; I know you’re the wizard behind that mad scientist gizmo...”


“Not mad; I call it the M.A.D: As in Emm. Ay. Dee.  Stands for Movement Attenuation Device.  It works on an applied principle of...”


“Don’t actually care,” she shot back glibly, looking at the three attractive mannequins once more, not seeing his scowl of anger.  “Whatever silly name you gave it, it works splendidly.  You build the whatchamacallits, and I’ll make sure they’re deployed in every city on the globe.  Then once all those display windows are filled, maybe use the device to blunt the population crunch by stashing a buncha people as mannequins where they won’t need food or take up as much space; I read a nifty SF story about that some time ago.  Hmm, I could even freeze the crews of spaceships for travel between planets, even the stars!  I’ll be famous, rich...”


 “No. I’ll be famous, Alison,” he scoffed.  “You’ll be... decoration.”


She spun back to face him.  Duncan now held a camera-sized box with one of the conical reflectors on the front:  it was the prototype MAD.  He’d showed it to her once, long before she’d come up with the whole ‘Mannequin Challenge’ idea and sold him on the scheme. 


“Hey! What are you thin....” she started to say, lifting her hands, palms out as if to fend off what came next. 


The brilliant flash caught the devious redhead with a word held on her lips, stiffening her curvy body in her tracks, as her thoughts suddenly glazed into slow motion.  Not yet, you impatient geek!  Her still fingers tingled slightly even though she could not shift them.  Duncan had said something about his first breadboarded version having only a limited freeze effect.  Got... to... stay…


Her instantly suspended motion created a very attractive pose that flattered the corseted outfit she wore and gave him some inspirations for the sorts of costume he’d like to put her into.  He stepped up to face her; she didn’t move a millimeter, unblinking eyes gazing blankly into the distance.  “Haven’t you always wondered what it would feel like, Alison, to have your mind and metabolism down-clocked into absolutely total stasis?” he mused.  “To be frozen in place forever as a perfect lifelike sculpture, unable to so much as lift a finger as your consciousness fades into timeless eternal limbo,” he taunted, stroking her smooth cheek.  “Well, now you’re finding out – in person!”


I... don’t... hmm… like this...  Stop….


Another flash swept over her, having no visible effect, but each one dragging her metabolism and mind ever deeper into a time-dilated slowed-down limbo.


“You’re gunta get the full treatment soon, just like them youngsters you tricked into coming here tonight, and the comics fans you emailed flyers to earlier.  In a way, you should be pleased as punch, since you won’t ever again need to worry about the crush of time consuming your magnificent face and body.  You’ll remain suspended, just like you are, perpetually!”


Not... that... kind...of... immortality...?. 


“But right now, Miz Addams, let me close up shop, an’ move you in back so we can get to know each other much better.  That OK with you, Boss?” he chuckled.


For once, Ally had nothing to say.




A couple of minutes later, with a guttural grunt of “Ooof,” Duncan set Ally’s figure down abruptly so he could catch his breath.  Her statue-stiff stance wobbled slightly on the thin carpet before diminishing quickly to motionless unbroken tranquility.  Unlike a true artificial plastic mannequin, she weighed the same as when she was able move around under her own power.


“Whoo!  Babe, you seem to have packed on a few kilos since your undergrad days,” he reproached.  “Hey, now, don’t look at me like that...” 


Alison’s vacant gaze hadn’t wavered in the least since the MAD’s flashes turned her into an instant display figure.  Her arms were still raised in a futile attempt to forestall her frozen fate. 


“Besides,” he continued with a sly grin, “most of that’s in all the right places.”  Glancing over the statuesque redhead, he lingered on her corset-boosted cleavage and waspy waist.  “Not that you’re going to be able to do anything about it now, or anytime soon.”


She continued to stare blankly through him.  A beautifully shaped object d’art, nothing more.  Time, for her, or personal motion, no longer had any meaning.


“That’s enough of a break, kiddo; ready to move on...”


Circling around to grasp his latest Mannequin Challenge ‘contestant’ and former business ‘partner’ from behind, which naturally brought his hands over her solidly rounded breasts, he lifted once more and walked her a few steps further, before setting Ally back down again.


“Don’t need to rush, I guess,” he puffed.  “Got all night; am sure you’re gonna be OK with waiting a little longer, heh?” he mocked before stepping away. 


Ally did not object in the slightest.




He returned shortly with a wobbly two-wheeled hand truck, which had clearly seen many better days.  Carefully, Duncan lifted the dense mannequin onto it, making sure her high-heeled feet rested fully on the wide metal tongue that served as a baseplate.  Grasping her solid figure to steady it, he slowly wheeled Ally into his back office, which also served as his apartment. 


Catching a wheel on the sill, he stopped short and nearly tripped, almost falling on top of Ally as she tipped over and landed, stiff as a board, onto the threadbare sofa that also served as his bed.  Bouncing once, her shapely, perfectly rigid physique came to a rest at an unnatural angle, leaving her glassy eyes staring awkwardly at a corner of the ceiling as locks of cinnamon-hued hair fell across her face.


“Sorry ‘bout that,” he apologized, then chuckled as he realized once again she wouldn’t be feeling offended by his bumbling. Or anything whatsoever, for that matter. Mannequins, after all, didn’t have any say in how they were handled – or mishandled...


Tipping Ally’s figure upright once more, he stepped back momentarily to regard her stunningly enhanced physique.  “Wow; it’s just like Christmas morning all over again!  You’re all wrapped up in satins and bows, making a lovely present for li’l old me to unwrap.  Hmm... where to start?”  Duncan grinned, then answered himself: “Well, with the ribbons, of course.”  All questions had become rhetorical now to Ally.


The back lacing on her corset was done up in a wide bow tied just at the narrow point of her waist; it took only seconds to pull on one end to release the knotted tension in the fitted leather garment.  Her torso didn’t expand hardly at all, another indication of how rock-solid and rigid her mannequinized body had now become. The steampunky eyelet hooks at the front of the lingerie yielded quickly; the halves of the corset parted at the V of her cleavage and fell away, revealing her magnificent breasts in all their firm uplifted glory.  The upper portions of each were lightly freckled where the makeup base hadn’t reached, and her smallish areolae were pale, almost pink.  Sculpted by the constricting corset, her waist remained deliciously narrow, flaring into pleasingly rounded hips to give her a truly hourglass figure.


Reflexively, his hands cupped her boobs, tracing their stiffened contours, his thumbs ticking the firm nipples; anticipating a reaction that didn’t happen.  You dolt, he reflected a moment later, she’s just a mannequin now!


Ally’s wispy fog of a wrap skirt came away next; after a brief wasted exploration to find a fastening, Duncan simply ripped the gauzy fabric away, revealing the skimpy, almost g-string like, lingerie underneath.  This, too, quickly yielded to a pair of handy scissors, joining the growing heap of discarded wardrobe on the floor.  The pale posed figure continued to model a lacy frilled garter belt that held up thigh-high inky-black nylons, a contrast to her pale skin which only emphasized the living statue’s near-nakedness.


“Hmm, a natural redhead; who’da guessed?” Duncan mused upon getting a glimpse of her matching ‘carpet’ of a carefully groomed, copper-hued, landing strip.  He carefully and with some effort shifted her stiffened arms so they formed a Duncan-sized circular gap, then snuggled into her rigid embrace.  “That’s better, doll; now how about a smooch?” 


Ally had no objection, so he pressed on.


It took only moments to massage her open lips into a pursed kiss and lower her smoky eyelids, so she now looked less alarmed and more amorous.  He kissed her long and deeply as his hands caressed her rigid body, feeling the smooth musculature of her trim torso and tracing the firm fullness of her stiffened breasts. 


Instinctively, he moved to touch her intimately, something he’d not done with anyone for too long to remember.  Now she would be here for him when he wanted her, forever beautiful and forever available for what came next. 


To the electronically frozen woman, everything around her had tuned into a surreal blur by her enormously decelerated state of mind.  Lights seemed to flash randomly around her; any sounds were high-pitched chirps if heard at all.  Ally’s glacially passing thoughts had only barely been able to conceive the first sound in her surprised gasp of “Can’t move!” when the frenetic chaos seemed to come to a brief pause while a ghostly transparent blur flitted around her like some ethereal carnal hummingbird, the light touches on her skin barely registering as if they were infinitesimal raindrops.  She spent a timeless time staring at milky orbs that years from now she would recognize as lights on the ceiling of Duncan’s office.




…to be continued…