Minerva struggled up the stairs with half a mannequin. There aren’t any good ways to carry a human-sized and shaped object. Either you grope the mannequin or the mannequin gropes you. Minerva had resigned herself to the latter configuration. The mannequin’s outstretched hand kept bumping into her chest, which escalated from nuisance to creepy run-in with an inanimate object due to the mannequin being male, based on a real person, and leering. The artist had probably been going for a self-assured smile, but with the half-lidded eyes and emphasized lips made him look pervy.
Minerva readjusted him into a modified bear hug so his hand was safely over her shoulder. She was horrified to realize this nestled the mannequin’s face under her ear. It also meant the unattached arm, the one held on only by the mannequin’s wool sailor uniform was now patting her on the hip as she went up the steps.
“Grope-iest mannequin ever,” she muttered under her breath.
She unlatched the attic access and pushed the two doors as open as far as they’d go. Minerva tucked the sailor mannequin under one arm, which put his nose in her cleavage. She set him on the table and rolled out the portable stairs that provided access to the upper attic. She stepped carefully on the metal stairs, her weight compressed the springs lowering the rubber feet of the stairs and making them stable. She opened the half-height door to the upper attic and grabbed the sailor under the arms, dragging him up after her.
His wool uniform snagged on the steps, and she put him in a steadying headlock as she reached up and behind to feel for the funny knob light switch above the door. For the life of her, she couldn’t find it. She was about to give up when her fingers caught the exposed wire and brought it in contact with the metal sign someone had stored in the space between the exposed studs amid the knob and tube wiring.
Electricity arched and jolted through her body. It wasn’t enough to stop her heart, but more than enough to make her fall. She tumbled down the portable stairs and knocked her head on the metal shelving. The mannequin landed on top of her with his hand between her legs.