I walked into the office to find, behind the receptionist’s desk, a floating wig. That’s all. Just a wig, with a pair of glasses floating along with it.
“Can I help you?” asked a feminine voice, from the vicinity of the wig.
“Uh, I guess so,” I started, staring at the wig. “But where are you?”
“Right in front of you, sir,” the voice responded, with a chuckle. Before I could say anything else, though, the wig and glasses rose into the air and hovered over the desk, making it clear there was no one wearing them.
“H-how are you doing that?” I asked, slowly backing away from the wig, which had cleared the desk and was moving towards me.
“Doing what, sir?” the voice said, in a joking tone.
“Making the wig float like that?”
“I’m not making the wig float, sir,” the voice said, “I am the wig.” It punctuated the comment by nodding the wig and glasses in tandem with the word “am.”
By this point my back was against the door; I couldn’t back up any further. Wouldn’t have mattered if I could, though, because at the point the office door locked itself behind me.
“Hello?” I called over my shoulder. “Is someone out there?!”
“No one’s out there, sir,” the voice in front of me said. “I did that.”
“If I can float without a head under me, locking a door shouldn’t be a problem, now should it?” the voice asked. I didn’t have an answer for that, though it did seem to make a strange kind of sense. “Now what can I help you with?”
“Uh, I came in here to see Steve,” I said. “He didn’t tell me he had haunted clothing in his office. Where is he, anyway?”
“We’re not haunted, thank you, just alive,” the voice huffed, “and Steve didn’t know about us when he moved into this office. As for where he is, well, just follow me.” At that the wig turned around and began floating towards a door closer to the desk.
I stayed put. I didn’t know what was going on here, and I wasn’t about to jump into it without a bit more info. Among other things, what did the voice mean by “we”? I turned and tried to dart out quickly but the doorknob fell apart in my hands before I could get the door open.
“Why are you trying to run out?” the wig asked teasingly. “I thought you wanted to see Steve?”
“I do, but–” Just then a door opened, and I heard female voices coming from that direction. I braced myself for the expected screams, but instead I was the one who (at least momentarily) wanted to scream.
The voices were coming from more animated clothing. Three complete outfits, plus assorted individual items, not all of them talking, entered the room. There were other voices coming from behind the door as it closed. Most of the items that had entered turmed to me as one of them spoke.
“Must be a friend of Steve’s,” the sultry voice said, coming from a shapely black sheer mesh top and tight jeans, with strappy sandals underneath. “You just wandered in, or do we need to teach you a lesson too?”
Before I could speak, a familiar voice spoke up. “No, he’s OK! He wasn’t part of Steve’s mess, he’s actually a friend of Sandra’s. They used to work together. Some of you guys don’t know him because Sandy never wore you to work.”
Sandra?! The voice actually sounded like Sandra, a friend of mine who had recently moved out of the area to start a new job. She had always been complaining about her nightmare boss, without ever really going into detail about the problem. I had suspected, though, that it was some kind of harrassment.
The second voice had come from an outfit I recognized as one of Sandra’s: a powder-blue v-neck sweater and denim knee-length skirt, both filled out to Sandra’s former voluptuous figure, with opaque white tights under the skirt. Sandy had lost some weight since I’d last seen her in this outfit. “Hi, Bryan,” the outfit said, waving an empty sleeve.
“Uh, hello…?” I replied, not sure how to address an animated outfit of clothing, even if it did seem to have the persona of someone I knew. “Nice to, uh, see you again.” Then, I blurted out, “Could someone please tell me what’s going on?!”
A chorus of feminine voices laughed at me. As the laughter died down, the blue outfit spoke. “I take it you and Steve are friends? Or was this just a business visit?”
“Not friends, exactly,” I said, “but we do know some of the same people.” Obviously. This was supposed to be a business visit, but, um…
“Well, he was the boss Sandra used to complain about all the time. He apparently had her confused with Charmin, or a genie’s lamp, because he was always squeezing and rubbing on her. It never went farther than that, but still, she was afraid that no one would believe her and that she’d lose her job if she complained too much, so she kept a low profile until she could find a new job. We took it upon ourselves to arrange for her to be interviewed at a much better company. She had no idea that her own clothes arranged this, or for that matter that we can move around and talk. As far as she knows, we were stolen from her apartment. We were replaced by newer and fancier stuff, though, so I’m sure she didn’t mind too much that we were missing.”
“Oooooo-kay,” I said, trying to take that all in. “But why did you leave her? And why are you here with Steve?”
“He needed to be taught a lesson,” the mesh top and jeans said. “Since he likes to squeeze and rub so much, we decided to turn things around, and let him see how it feels. After all, we were being harrassed, too!” I gathered that particular outfit was one of the instigators, even if it hadn’t actually been subjected to Steve’s treatment.
“And now that you know all this,” the wig said, “do you want to see what’s up with your, um, kind-of friend?”