Supernatural-The Newspaper Series

Mannequin Inc.

The talent agency’s ad in the newspaper grabbed Sarah’s attention. With no telephone number to call, the recent modeling school graduate picked up her portfolio containing her bio and photos and followed the ad’s directions to a highrise in the downtown core of the bustling city.

The restaurant where she worked provided meals, but its minimum wage and meager tips barely paid for her shared accommodations. She curbed her lifestyle to save the extra pennies from her income to continue investing in portfolios as her tool in trade. Glamorous visions of success kept her dreams alive and fueled her energy to continue pounding the sidewalks of Hollywood in pursuit of fame and fortune.

Upon arrival at the location, Sarah entered a bronzed glass building and took an elevator to the penthouse suite on the thirty-fifth floor.

When the elevator door opened, Sarah took a deep breath to steady her nerves and prepare herself for another disappointment as she had experienced with the past hundred interviews. She hugged her portfolio and stepped out of the elevator. She stared at two large glass doors with the words, ‘MANNEQUIN INC.’ The doors opened to reveal an exquisite suite. A beautiful receptionist with even white teeth beamed a broad welcoming smile at Sarah. Her gaze into Sarah’s eyes sent a chill down the aspiring model’s spine.

“I am June B-One.” She reached out a hand. By contrast to the warmth of her disarming smile, the receptionist’s eyes were cold and fixed.

“I’m Sarah.” Instead of shaking June’s hand, Sarah stuck the portfolio into it. She lowered her eyes to break away from June B-One’s hypnotic stare.

“Thank you, Sarah.” Her monotone voice sounded slightly robotic. “Go right in. Doctor D is expecting you.” She gestured to a gold-plated office door.

Sarah nodded and started walking toward the door when she noticed other young girls sitting on posh white leather sofas around a large beveled glass table. They read modeling magazines from a selection spread across the tabletop. Their delighted smiles and happy chatter boosted Sarah’s spirits and lowered her anxiety.

“Come on in, Sarah!” The door opened upon Sarah’s approach. A short bald man sitting behind a large desk looked over his thick black-framed glasses at Sarah. “I’m Dr. D. Welcome to Mannequin Inc.”

“Thank you.” Sarah stepped into the office, and the door closed behind her. She sat on a pink leather chair across the desk from Dr. D.

“We have a position for you, but we have to send you off to a Caribbean destination for two weeks of sun, fun, and training. “How does that sound?”

“I like it already.” The vision of white sandy beaches and clear blue water erased all apprehension from Sarah’s mind. The suddenness of the revelation left her without words.

“Good.” Dr. D gave her a pleasing nod. “We’ve packed a suitcase for you. We leave tonight.”

“Tonight?” Sarah’s brain could not process the unexpected news. She had dreamed of this moment but was unprepared for the haste into her career launch.

“Yes.” Dr. D shoved a document across the dark mahogany desk. “Here is our contract, and here is our signing bonus.” He slid a check toward Sarah. She glanced at it. One million dollars sent a wave of thrill through her. She had never seen that much money in her life. She was ready for the life ahead.

“Okay, I accept your offer.” She slid the signed contract back to Dr. D. She had no need to inform anyone of her change in status. Restaurants knew that staff appeared and disappeared at random whenever sudden career opportunities knocked on the doors of celebrity hopefuls.

“Good.” Dr. D interrupted her musings. “We have a coach waiting outside to take you and the other nineteen ladies to our private jet at the airport.” Dr. D slipped the contract into a black leather briefcase and stood up to indicate that the meeting was over.

“Thank you, Dr. D.” She stood up.

“You’re welcome, Sarah.” He smiled at her. “Welcome to our family.” He handed Sarah a rose-colored leather purse with a gold Mannequin Inc. logo for her check.

“Glad to be a part of the family.” Sarah smiled her gratitude to her benefactor. She slipped the check into her purse and walked out the door to join the other eager ladies in the lobby.

When the group arrived at their Caribbean destination, they unpacked and relaxed by the pool with cocktails served by the waiting staff. Each girl was escorted away for an hour and returned to join the others. Sarah noticed a behavior modification when they returned. They seemed docile and robotic, like June B-One.

When Sarah was summoned, she preceded a medical attendant into a room with two reclining chairs. Dr. D was fast asleep in one chair. One set of probes hanging above each chair from the ceiling were attached to his temples. A sudden jab into her arm made Sarah collapse. The attendant’s injection paralyzed her. He lifted her to the chair and secured the second set of probes to her temples. Her brain was alert, but her muscles had become useless.

The attendant flipped a switch and left. The probes started to upload data from Sarah’s mind and download it into Dr. D’s brain. Alarm bells rang loudly in her head, and she realized that Dr. D was stealing her intellect to enhance his brainpower and reprogram her to control her thoughts. He was turning his subjects into zombies!

Sarah used every ounce of willpower to force her muscles to respond to her mental instructions. She ripped the probes from her head and switched them with Dr. D’s. She felt like her brain was exploding with the download of information from Dr. D’s mind.

Sarah used her newfound power over Dr. D to take over his empire and control him into good deeds. She returned everyone to normal and changed the organization’s name to ‘MODELS INC.,’ a legitimate modeling agency…

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