ASK MADDIE: AN ADVICE COLUMN FROM AUTHOR MADELEINE SWANN

Do you have a strange question? Email evilpixie.madeleine@gmail.com with the subject line Ask Maddie.

“Dear Maddie, I am attracted to mannequins. Can you help me?”

Nicholaus Patnaude

I’m afraid this is a problem one is unlikely to solve. Have you ever been to a far off desert? That’s probably the best place for you. Better yet, why not purchase a one of a kind head bucket from our store? We have a number of varieties including ‘Happy Faces’ where eyes and mouth are drawn so convincingly no one will know the difference. Maybe you’d always wanted to be a girl? Why not try our Happy Faces lady range that comes with attached polka dot bow – pink of course.

Once in the desert you’ll need to be careful of angering the sand demon, so be sure to keep your surroundings pristine and beautiful. Any corpses – animal or otherwise – will need a coat of glittery paint or handmade decorative gown. In fact, why not go the whole hog and make them a throne? Nothing passes the time like knocking up a stately courtroom out of MDF and balsa wood for rotting corpses to lay their weary flesh, and you’ll always have someone to talk to during the gaping, hollow loneliness of the unforgiving night. Remember, a court will need a King or Queen, and who better to fill that role than you? Imagine the happiness of the locals were they to stumble upon your beautiful new face as you proudly swish your cloak stitched from the rags of the deceased, parading through your adoring congregation sat upon handcrafted seats. “Such fine needlework,” they’ll say, “I wish I could be like that.”

Dear Maddie, I can’t find any dates as I am a mannequin. Can you help me?

Scott Burright

I’ve heard many a terrible thing but this truly beats them all. In fact I have become so sick from your words that I have been swept into a grim dance of hysteria, flailing limbs and hair in a revolting whirl-a-gig of delirium down my local street. The man and woman in the fish and chip shop dropped their spatulas and joined me at once, spinning and twirling and squealing and shrieking. The onlookers struggled not to be swept along but couldn’t help casting aside dog leads and push chairs and magazines and cans of Tenants super strength lager to affix themselves to the terrible vortex.

On and on we swept through the high street, our limbs and heads a seething, writhing mass. Someone managed to hold onto their iphone and played The Safety Dance to heighten the experience while more and more joined until we were a veritable rat king of housewives and shoppers and bankers and homeless and more, always more. News at Ten reporters, thinking they stood a safe distance away, spoke into camera, wary of even glancing our way. Always they were swept into the fever until nobody from the BBC (or whatever the American one is) was left and anarchy reigned. Soon nothing was left; no fighting, no weeping, no terror, only us and The Safety Dance on repeat.

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Find more about Madeline here: madeleineswann.com

Her new book is Rainbows Suck.

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