Waxworks can be creepy places at night, but Rodney enjoyed the solitude. When management arranged a Halloween sleepover for pre-teens, the high-pitched screams and youthful urine nearly made him resign.
Wandering the corridors, Rodney imagined conversations with Queens and killers. One night, following the death of a famous politician, a technician worked late to create a new head for the tableau needed in the morning. Rodney made coffee and sandwiches while absorbing the method and accepting the offer to try for himself.
With the hiatus over, Rodney spent more hours amongst vats and moulds, letting the calming routine distract from the bitter rawness of home, the bleak silences and exponential rages, the hormones and inexplicable intolerance. The skills came naturally to his sensitive strong fingers, kneading the latex with just the right force. How he longed to stay amongst those who did not answer back; how he wished to share his space with the sympathetic and the silent.
Anniversaries are goldmines for waxworks and a King, who’d decapitated his foes and family with unbridled glee reaching 500 was too good an opportunity to miss.
New mannequins, revised models, fresh costumes, all were needed and Rodney’s new found skills were required. Better, he was happy to work the antisocial shifts and management were delighted when he offered to take the redundant figurines of the Royal family in lieu of wages. Rodney took the preferred praise with a shrug. His neighbours, too, were pleased that the rages that disturbed their peace ceased and charmed by the gentle domesticity displayed through the front window.
Everyone agreed. The exhibition was a success, so much so that management felt able to scoff when an increasing number of visitors complained that, really the eyes of some of the waxworks followed them around the room.
This week’s #microcosm prompt is Guard, Exhibition Hall, Horror.