The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
That Other Thing
by Elaine Pascale
Each visit to the beautician found that there was less hair to manage. The baldness ran in her family. That other thing did not.
During Dot’s salad days, her hair had been her crowning glory. Tied in a sable pony tail, it had swung mesmerizingly with each step she took. Unfettered, it had danced on the wind. It had laid on her shoulders as an onyx, hirsute cape, attracting suitors by its shiny exoticness.
Clumps had begun to be left behind in her brush after use. Her shower drain had swirled with clusters of the long, dark strands. She had looked at the wide parts and bare spots on her mother’s and aunts’ heads and cried, knowing what was in store for her.
“It’s not that bad,” Cindy said with each visit to the parlor. Cindy’s hair was naturally thick. Cindy often shot glances to the hairdressers beside her, cueing Dot in to the fact that her hair loss was indeed very, very bad. Dot knew the ladies laughed at her. Worse, they felt sorry for her when she had been the one to inspire so much envy for so many years.
The baldness ran in her family, but that other thing did not. What she called “that other thing” was the one night a month when hair was in abundance. Along with claws and teeth to match.
She kept a calendar to know which night it was safest to avoid people. But Cindy had been less than kind the past few visits. The last one, she had been down right cruel.
Dot prepared herself, knowing that she would soon be covered in long dark hair. It was no longer the inspiration of envy: it was the arousal of a primal fear. She made an appointment for the hairy night, showing up just before the moon rose.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
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