Photo Challenge #91: The Shop


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Anne Worner “Don’t Fall In” CC BY 2.0

Continued from “The Mark

On his way to the terminal, he finally found her. He approached the window of what looked like a new boutique, at least one he’s never seen even with his frequent visits to the airport. The mannequin in the shop window wore a very short black dress and its face was covered with a veil but he recognized the mannequin’s hands anywhere. The countless time he’d held them in his own and how many times he had touched it with his lips. Those were her hands which means he had found her.

Quickly, he took out his phone and dialed the police sergeant he met several nights ago. The moment the line went through, he blurted, “I think I found her.”

“Where?” The police sergeant answered in a bored voice.

“At the airport.”

“All right, don’t go anywhere. We’re coming.” Heart pounding and overwhelmed with emotions, he crossed the busy path to the Starbucks. He sat down and checked his watch. Still have an hour, he thought.

He stared at the mannequin. “Who would do this?” He asked himself, “Who could be so perverted?” Couldn’t anyone tell that it was a real person? Couldn’t anyone tell that it’s a woman who’s been murdered in cold-blood? He became so lost in his thoughts that when his phone vibrated in his hand, he jumped, letting it fly out and land on the floor. “Hello?”

“Where are you? I’m here.” Said the police sergeant.

“I’m coming.” He grabbed the handle of the suitcase, stood up, and exited Starbucks. “And you’re sure that this is her?” The police sergeant asked, glancing at the mannequin with speculation.

“Yes, I know those hands anywhere but if you want to confirm my suspicion, all you have to do is look for the birthmark.”

“All right.” Together, they entered the boutique. The shop was lit brightly with sleek white ceramic floors. Everything, shirts, pants, and even skirts, was neatly folded and placed in either the cubicles along the walls or on staircase-like displays. They approached the check register. “Excuse me but are you the shop owner.”

“Yes,” the woman in a stylish ivory business suit and pony-tail replied with a smile, “how may I help you gentlemen?”

“Excuse me but I’m wondering if I can take a look at that mannequin?” The police sergeant pointed at the window.

The woman frowned. “Is there a problem?”

“No,” the police sergeant lied, “I’d just like to confirm something. It’s for a case I’m working on. I hope you won’t mind. It’s got to do with mannequins in general.”

“No, go ahead.”

“Thank you,” the police sergeant said.

They hurried to the window, both of them stood on either side of the mannequin, and slowly and carefully, the police sergeant lifted the skirt. He gasped. It was fainter than before but he could see it, a mark in the shape of a star on the upper right thigh. It was her, his beloved, dead, and modified by chemicals. “It’s her,” He told the police sergeant who nodded.

Carefully, they took a step back and that’s when they both heard the loud cock. “Don’t you dare move.” The shop owner said pointing a gun at his head.

A response to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge.

7 thoughts on “Photo Challenge #91: The Shop

  1. Yinglan – thanks for sharing in this week’s photo challenge! You certainly are making great use of the images in moving your story forwards … and doing it very well I add 🙂

    The tension as you’re building it is really well done …. leaving myself, and clearly numerous others, quite intrigued!

    Cheers~ Pat

    Liked by 1 person

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