Thursday, August 25, 2011

Adventures in Retail, Part One

As usual, I was incredibly bored at work.  Not that I thought I was getting the most exciting job in the world, I knew the Baubles ‘n Things card and gift shop was not exactly the epicenter of excitement, but I never quite appreciated the monotony until I was in the thick of it.

My mother had pushed me to get this job, just until an internship at a magazine opened up, but then the economy tanked, and the death of all print media was declared.  The only way I was going to get an internship at a newspaper or magazine these days, was if I pried it from some other young girl’s cold dead hand.

So, it was the middle of July, and I was arranging the card stand for Secretary Achievement Day.  It was a day that our parent company had completely fabricated to sell greeting cards.  I know, we’ve all heard the jokes that Valentine’s Day was invented to sell cards, but that’s just not true for Valentine’s Day.  Crack open a history book, and there’s Valentine’s Day, being celebrated for centuries.  Secretary Achievement Day was invented five years ago, and only Baubles ‘n Things, and only those stores from Maine to South Carolina, recognizes it on August 17.

Occasionally, I would look out across the way and see much greener pastures.  While working at Venusian Power Lingerie would not further my career any more than my job at a greeting card store, I liked to think that at least dressing the mannequins would be more fun than trying to arrange aisles upon aisles of greeting cards, or tables of pointless crap that says “you’re the best.”

Our two storefronts faced each other in the mall, so it wasn’t hard to find me sitting at the register, daydreaming about Venusian Power.  Their storefront was much more mysterious than ours, there were just mannequins with lingerie in the window, but a beaded curtain covered the entire entrance.  The entire store was dim, but through the beads I could make out some light sources.  From my vantage point it looked more like a nightclub than a lingerie store.

“Samantha!” my boss jolted me from my staring.  “Sam, we got some of their mail. Can you?” My boss held out his hand with a stack of letters.

“But I’m arranging the...” I started.  I realize now that I have developed an almost subconscious response mechanism which allows me to avoid work as much as possible.

“No, you aren’t,” he smiled.  He didn’t like how many times he had to tell me to do something, but I figured Carl knew that if it wasn’t me, he would have to contend with someone else exactly like me.  “Listen, I know we don’t have the most exciting job here, but it pays the bills.”  He handed me the letters again.  “And today, you get to go on a field trip.”

I smiled and took the letters from him.  I sighed and made my way to the door, squinting at the sunlight that poured in through the malls expansive skylights.  I approached the beaded curtains, parted the beads just enough for me to make it through and poked my head inside.  

Although I had worked at Baubles ‘n Things for months, I had never ventured inside this store.  It wasn’t a chain, like my store was, this was the only one, which is rare for a mall store.  The store definitely did not have the same corporate tone that my store had, and I looked around taking in my surroundings.

The walls were all painted black, with various lingerie pinned to the wall.  Bustiers, panties, bras, and every other kind of intimate attire was pinned to the wall, with signage done with chalkboards, which were very suggestive to say the least.  One of the chalkboards asked “Did he come for all this?” and it was surrounded by all sorts of underwear which just so happened to be entirely made of leather.

The light that would pour in from the front windows were completely blocked, which made the entire store resemble a cave, with circular racks of merchandise scattered in the middle. Each rack was like a little stage, with a headless mannequin on top, showcasing one kind of thong, or a bra and pantie set.  The only light in the entire store was the reflected light that came off of these mannequins, lights above the cashier stand along one wall, a stage in the back, and a small amount of light in the back over each fitting room.

I must have looked like I was a shopper, because a salesgirl came up to me and said “Hi, I’m Ashley, welcome to VPL!”  Ashley was a cute goth girl, jet black hair in a pixie cut with piercings on her nose and eyebrow.  She wore a leather mini skirt, a cute tanktop, and striped stockings.  I must have paused for two long, as I took everything in, and she said “New in town?”

While I stood like an idiot, I suddenly remembered my task and blurted out “Mail, we got it,” like a fool.  “Sorry,” I said collecting my thoughts, “I work at Baubles ‘n Things, we got your mail.”  I laughed at myself not being able to put a sentence together.

“Oh, thanks!” she said taking the stack cheerfully.  “Feel free to look around, if you want.  If you have any questions let me know.”

This store was such a refreshing departure from the beige tedium of Baubles ‘n Things, that I never really wanted to leave.  At the same time, looking at some of the price tags, I knew that my wages wouldn’t pay for anything.  “I like the chalkboards.”  I said, making small talk.  The store was empty except for me and the staff, and the hours between 3 and 5 pm usually made our mall a ghost town.

“Thanks!” she said.  “It’s all original artwork by the store owner, and I did the silver paint job on the back stage.”

I looked to the stage and saw the mannequin standing in a pose.  This figure wasn’t headless, but she was silver head to toe, and wore nothing but a lacy pink and red set called “The Submission” and silver ballet slippers.  I stared for a bit, and marvelled at how realistic the face looked.  I almost fainted when the mannequin’s neck craned down, and her eyes opened to meet my own!

I was shocked to discover this was no mannequin, but a model painted in silver.  “Oh my God,” I exclaimed, “she’s real!”

The mannequin and Ashley laughed at my statement.  Ashley came out from behind the counter again.  “Yup, that’s Dominique, she’s our model.”

“That’s amazing!” I said.  “So she just stands there all day?”

“Well, not in the same position, and not in the same outfit, but yeah.”

“How long does it take?”  I asked Ashley, almost forgetting that I could just simply ask Dominique these questions.  

“About an hour and a half each day,” Ashley responded.  “We’re roommates, so we do it at home.”  I looked at her again, looking especially for the details I thought would be impossible. “That’s impressive,” I said, “there’s not a drop of paint on the outfit at all.”

“Well,” Ashley said with a coy smile, glaring at Dominique who had returned to her stance.  Dominique let out a sigh and explained, “I have to wear multiple outfits, so I’m painted all over, and dried before I put anything on.  We do it in the morning, and all most of the body paint needs is a hair dryer to set it for the day.  The big challenge is keeping my face and hands look uniform to the rest of my body.  Ashley, don’t make me talk again, I have to stay focused.”

“Oh, it’s just about time for you to change outfits anyway,” Ashley said.  “In fact, let’s let, what’s your name?”

“Brooke,” I responded.

“Let’s let Brooke, choose what you’ll wear.”  I looked around the shop and found a thong and corset set which matched together with a leopard trim.  It was a bit more revealing than what Dominique had been wearing before, but part of me was really curious if she was really painted all over.  

“Found something?” Ashley asked.  “Oh that’s a good one, I like it.”  She took the hanger from my hand and we walked to the cashier, so Ashley could remove the tags.  I looked over at the stage and saw that Dominique had already unclasped her bra and was moving to remove it, which she did with one swift motion.  I saw that indeed, her breasts were completely silver, and I saw the outline of her nipples under the paint.  She then hooked her hands around the panties and slid them down.  I was mesmerized by this sight, that I didn’t even notice Ashley hand me the set, which she had just untagged.

“Take this over to her,” Ashley said.   I could see that she saw that I was a little overwhelmed by this silver beauty before me, and she revelled in the fact that this was all new territory for me.  I took the outfit and walked over to Dominique, who was waiting patiently.  She stood with her hands behind her back, probably wondering why I walked so slow, with a big grin on her face.  I saw that everything was evenly painted, including her entire pussy, which was obviously completely bare.  Her pussy lips looked quite inviting, and I had to resist the urge to lick my own lips as I greedily stared at hers.

“Here,” I said, with a dumbfounded look.  I looked at her body up and down, and I knew that both Dominique and Ashley knew that I never wanted this moment to end.  I reluctantly released the hanger from my hand as Dominique took it.

“Thanks,” she smiled.  “Never seen a girl before?”

“Well,” I tried to play it cool.  “You’re um, naked?”  It didn’t come out as cool as I hoped it would.

“So are you, under your clothes!” Dominique came back as she slipped the thong on.  “I’m in theater, so I just think of all this as a costume.  And, we’re all girls here, right?”

I nodded and laughed.  She was so confident as she dressed and she soon had the outfit on.  I was amazed that the paint didn’t smear at all, and commented on it.

“It’s a different paint for the body, it doesn’t smear and peels right off,” she said.  “That’s the fun part.”

“Is it hard to do in the morning?”

“A little, but it’s only twice a week for me, Mondays and Fridays.  The hard part is standing still for so long, and occasionally freaking out the customers.”  She laughed and then suddenly stopped.  She stared ahead with a complete dead expression.  Her dark black eyes melted into her silver skin tone and she was a mannequin once again.

Ashley came over to inspect.  “I gotta make sure she’s good to go,” she walked around her.  “Oh,” Ashley said, “a little ass smudge!”  She slapped Dominique’s butt, and to my amazement, although her curves jiggled, the rest of her stayed like a statue. “This happens when she wears briefs.  The paint doesn’t smear in small ways, but if a crack appears, it starts peeling like a sunburn.”   Ashley went behind the counter and brought back a jar of touch-up paint and a rag.

“Would you like to do the honors?”  Ashley asked handing me a rag.  My heart raced as I took the rag and dipped it into the open jar.  I approached Dominique, and Ashley directed us both.  “Dominique, bend over. Brooke, it’s circular motions, like waxing a car.”

I was in heaven as I applied the paint, and made sure the texture was uniform so that the tone looked as even as possible across her visible backside.  Ashley then brought a hair dryer and set my handiwork in place.  Dominique then regained her original position as a statue.

“So,”  Ashley said. “Do you want to help at my apartment tonight?  It’s tedious to put on, but quite fun to take off.”

I gave a big broad smile, and nodded.   “We leave here at 5:30, you can ride with us home.”  I skipped out of the store exuberant, and returned to my regular boring job as excited as ever.  Secretary Achievement Day decorations could not bring me down, not today at least.
Continued in Part Two:

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