Dummy by Susan Tepper

This blouse I just love hangs in Dibly’s window. Ma laughs when I bring up the fact of its pretty silky material. And how that peach color matches my skin. So come Saturday I go to Dibly’s to get a closer look. The saleslady smiles and takes it off the store dummy. Here, hon, she says to me. Holding it out for me to touch. It looks lumpy in her hands like peach vomit. Seeing that window dummy without its blouse is strange. No thank you, I say. All of a sudden feeling shy. I look again at the naked dummy. Then turning away I run out of the store.

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39 Comments

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39 responses to “Dummy by Susan Tepper

  1. Michie

    I love this! Store dummy– I like that. You’re good

  2. Ah, wishes and dreams turn lumpy in reality. How true, and how cleverly put here, Susan.

  3. Disillusion captured in a single scene. Nice one.

  4. Love that sudden awkwardness! Well crafted, and so concise!

  5. “Lumpy like peach vomit.” You always know how to get a visual across!!! Loved this, as always, Susan!!!!

  6. len kuntz

    this is so potent and so tiny. excellent.

  7. Michelle

    such a great scene, Susan! Loved reading this and all your other stories this year. Can’t thank you enough!

  8. Peach vomit. Yum! and Yuck! all tightly rolled into one. I loved this.

  9. John Riley

    Just great! A tiny initiation story. Nothing stays lovely forever.

  10. Sometimes we build things up so much that the reality of them is awful. I felt sad for your girl, discovering this.

  11. made me smile and then smile again after the second reading. finely tuned, this one. not a dummy.

  12. peach vomit conjures such an image! love those clerks that call you hon all the time. great flow..

  13. Love this, the expectations dashed by the lumpiness, the peach vomit. Susan, I have loved reading your stories here and will miss your weekly dose of perfect words. Peace…

  14. great reflection on the things we desire, and how they are different than expected. “be careful what you wish for, you might receive peach vomit” .. (such a perfect image!)

    • Dorothee, I didn’t intend to send that message, but that is the message. Yes, be careful of…
      Thanks so much, and for your beautiful work these past 52 weeks..

  15. Ha ha – I am taking it at its basest but here is the message: never trust a man-made fabric! A lesson to live by!

    • Hmm… man made you think? She does say silky… but she is a kid and silky is probably polyester. I guess you are right in your life lesson, Matt! Only cotton, wool, silk and linen. (I learned that as an interior decorator). All the rest are CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP…
      That was one of the instuctors yelling out CRAP…

  16. Lou

    Really wonderful, Susan.

  17. Kelly

    the interplay of desire and shame/disgust – a complex pairing and so well handled, so briefly…well done!

  18. As soon as I finished this story, I wept. I wanted this project to last several lifetimes.

  19. Pingback: Week #52 – Threesome | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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