Tiffany’s new man

“Men are my puppets.” Tiffany laughed smugly.

The figurative meaning of that statement was morally objectionable. The literal implications were illustrated by the dead man who had been outfitted with a system of metal joints external to his body. This was less objectionable, more legally actionable. Vanessa Carter was also worried for herself. She found herself silently panicking at the surrealist nightmare that her best friend Tiffany had introduced her to.

“I kid, I actually have used a couple women but I prefer men, the chemistry is better.”

“You mean embalming fluid?”

“No, silly, the chemistry between us. I just find I work better with a man.”

“A dead man.”

“Couldn’t very well put my hand in a live man’s backside. Be whole different type of show.”

Through a manipulation of levers Jim’s mouth opened. “Ha chachacha.”

“Gotta love Sonny Jim’s timing.” Tiffany chomped down on a cigar. “Now let’s hear his rendition of Danny Boy.”

While both moving and telling of Tiffany talents in both singing and ventriloquism it did nothing to answer any of the questions roaming Vanessa’s head. The song ended and Vanessa clapped.

“First question, did you kill Jim?”

“Jesus, is that what you think of me?”

“Well you were kinda the ‘capable’ one in our clique.”

“No, I didn’t kill Jim. Actually Jim gave his body to show business. Didn’t even know you could do that. The outfitter I got the work done said it’s quite common. Go figure.”

“Second question, Is this legal?”

“I’ll have you know that carnal ventriloquism has been around since the Victorian Age.”

Vanessa just stared at Tiffany awaiting the answer.

“No, not here. I had to get Jim in Nevada.”

“Third question, why are you telling me this?”

Tiffany sucked in her breath between her teeth.”See booking takes a bit more time than I thought it would. Seed money has ran dry.”

“How much?”

“Can you part with two thousand?”

“Ugh. Alright.”

Vanessa wrote the check quickly and with much practice printed Tiffany Schlesinger as payee. With glee, Tiffany took the check and hugged her friend.

“Thanks, I swear I’ll pay you back.”

“That’s okay, I know you’re good for it.”

Vanessa didn’t and Tiffany wasn’t, but Vanessa felt generally hopeful of the outcome. Halfway home she also felt the need to take a very long hot shower. There but by the grace of a proxy, she had a touched a dead body.