We have often heard of dolls being possessed and talking or giggling in the middle of the night, with the most famous haunted doll being Chucky from the Child’s Play horror film series. But have you ever heard of mannequins being possessed and moving on its own? Well, you now have – thanks to my friend who works as a visual merchandiser who works in a fashion retail store.
“Do you think the mannequin looks better with this or this?” asked Edison, holding up two necklaces against the mannequin’s chest, one in each hand. Edison was a visual merchandiser in a fashion store in the north of Singapore. He has always dreamed of becoming one ever since he visited a quaint little store, decorated with little trinkets and well-dressed mannequins, during his university graduation trip to Sydney. Now he has finally gotten his wish and he couldn’t be more satisfied with his life.
The boss of the store, Natasha, who was also his good friend, took him in despite his background in Material Engineering and taught him the ropes.
“I think the red one looks better,” Natasha replied, nodding. Edison said nothing more and put the red statement necklace over the mannequin. After all, she is a graduate of a critically acclaimed fashion school in London; she must know what works and what doesn’t.
Edison and Natasha packed up for the day. The old grandfather clock in the corner of the store chimed eight times, indicating the time. Natasha asked: “Oi, you want to go eat or not? Late already leh.” It had only just dawned on Edison that he hadn’t had a thing to eat since his hearty breakfast of kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs this morning. Work was so hectic that he didn’t even had time to take a break, much less have lunch.
“Let’s go. I’m famished!” answered Edison while placing one hand on his stomach. The duo then left for a nearby hawker centre in the area that was well-known for its prawn noodles.
The silence in the store was deafening. This area wasn’t a place that people frequented in the middle of the night since majority of the stores close at 10PM at the latest. The only store that still had its lights on was the convenience store downstairs, nothing more. Soft scratching noises broke the silence soon after and a tall, lanky man in a snapback and a black long-sleeved top could be seen picking at the lock of Natasha’s store. He was quick, successfully unpicking the lock within a couple of minutes – definitely someone who has had plenty experience picking locks.
The shadows casted by the nearby street lamp made the man seem even taller than he actually is. The mannequin a few metres away casted a shadow that loomed over him. As he expertly started rummaging through the cash register, he suddenly felt someone hovering around him. He could suddenly feel goosebumps raising on his arms and it wasn’t a comfortable feeling.
As though frightened by someone or something, the man dashed out of the store, bumping into a couple of metal clothes rack that landed on top of him as he tried to escape the store. The noise that he made caused quite the commotion, drawing the attention of a passerby.
“Hello? Yes, this is her,” said Natasha chirpily on the phone. “Wait, what? A break-in? Are you certain?” Edison looked up from his food. A break-in? Damn.
The two rushed down to the store where a policeman began interviewing them regarding the incident.
“W-we have a CCTV. Right there! Do you want to have a look at the tape?” questioned a very concerned and worried Natasha.
As the duo stared at the screen, watching a suspicious man enter the store, they also saw the mannequin that they dressed earlier walking towards him. The mannequin raised its arm and waved its hand at the man as if to chase the petrified man away who then dashed out of the store at the sight.