Unformatted text preview: t the designated
shop window. STEINER—SCHNEIDERMEISTER. The glass wore a thin sheet of mud and grime that had
blown onto it in the passing weeks. On the opposite side, the mannequins stood like witnesses. They were
serious and ludicrously stylish. It was hard to shake the feeling that they were watching everything.
Rudy reached into his pocket.
It was Christmas Eve.
His father was near Vienna.
He didn’t think he’d mind if they trespassed in his beloved shop. The circumstances demanded it. The door opened fluently and they made their way inside. Rudy’s first instinct was to hit the light switch, but
the electricity had already been cut off.
Rudy was dismayed. “I brought the key. And besides, this was your idea.”
In the middle of the exchange, Liesel tripped on a bump in the floor. A mannequin followed her down. It groped
her arm and dismantled in its clothes on top of her. “Get this thing off me!” It was in four pieces. The torso and
head, the legs, and two separate arms. When she was rid of it, Liesel stood and wheezed. “Jesus, Mary.”
Rudy found one of the arms and tapped her on the shoulder with its hand. When she turned in fright, he
extended it in friendship. “Nice to meet you.”
For a few minutes, they moved slowly through the tight pathways of the shop. Rudy started toward the counter.
When he fell over an empty box, he yelped and swore, then found his way back to the entrance. “This is
ridiculous,” he said. “Wait here a minute.” Liesel sat, mannequin arm in hand, till he returned with a lit lantern
from the church.
A ring of light circled his face.
“So where’s this present you’ve been bragging about? It better not be one of these weird mannequins.”
“Bring the light over.”
When he made it to the far left section of the shop, Liesel took the lantern with one hand and swept through the
hanging suits with the other. She pulled one out but quickly replaced it with another. “No, still too big.” After
two more attempts, she held a navy blue suit in fro...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13