Mannekin by Arielle Tipa


Jointed. Disjointed. In warm undress, ghost-white and beloved, she could feel the heat from the smoking area for perverted uncles. She could hear the men, talking of their mothers – midwives, mistresses, milliners, maids. The women, of their fathers – presidents, postmen, paupers, priests. Felt every stillborn catcall, every jointed, disjointed hiss:

“Your soul is good to me”, said the shrink to the peddler.

“I once converted an Easy Bake oven into a crematorium for Shrinky Dinks”, said the paranoiac to the pimp.

“This room has too many windows, and not enough pictures of birds to surrogate for wings”, said the beggaring harlot asking God for the stars.

In slinky, purple taffeta did uncertain curtains descend on her. Even the highborn chief paid his respects in armfuls of casino claw machines, dusk perfume, and half-savage sacrificial dolls, who genuflect from miniature feeding chairs – bonnets, ribbons, and all. Cowherd bayonets on knotted hands. All-seeing eyes of dried capers, fastened tight and forever.

He offered her all of this and a hand, saying “I am not a doctor”.

She smiled, the Voo Doo child she was – unafraid of the wolves who swaddled side-glances of fancy in their teeth.


Arielle Tipa is a writer and editor who lives near a haunted lake in New York. Her work has been featured in (b)OINKAlien Mouth, and thread, among others. She currently runs Occulum, a journal of weird and speculative peculiarities.