A necklace

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The late afternoon sun beamed through store front windows of the antique store illuminating a
fine cloud of dust. Shannon gently placed a wooden figurine back on the top shelf. A few steps
towards the end of isle she stumbled. The metal shelving shook as she stopped herself from
falling. Staring down as she recovered she saw the offending shoe-lace. Next to it lay a simple
silver necklace with a small green pendant.

Shannon examined the necklace as she tied her laces. “How much for this?” she looked up towards
a bored girl behind a register.

“Whatever the tag says.” the girl looked back at her phone.

An antique mirror reflected the necklace back at Shannon. “Mom wont mind if I try it on.” Shannon
convinced herself as she fastened the necklace under her shaven nape. The green gem rested gently below
her collarbone. Shannon admired her reflection. Then green gem set off her hazel eyes. Raven hair just
touching her chin contrasted her pale skin. “$5” she offered with unusual confidence.

“Sounds about right.” the girl behind the counter looked up slightly.

Happy with her luck, Shannon paid with the last $5, and went home.

 

***

 

The front door latched behind Shannon.

“Have you managed to get mom a gift, yet?” asked Mary snidely from the living room.

A few moments passed. “In fact I did.”, Shannon came around the corner. “What do you think?”

Mary moved her light blonde hair behind her right ear as she looked up from her homework.
“Looks like you’re wearing another person’s gift.” She looked back down at her homework, her
heavy hair dislodged from behind her ear, partially obscuring her view. The length played
against the side of the coffee table.

“Admit it, you’re amazed how good it looks on me.” Shannon made mocking beauty poses.

Equations continued neatly across Mary’s notebook. “It does look exceedingly good on you.”
she agreed without a hint of irony.

Shannon’s eyebrows contorted in confusion. Mary never gave her compliments.

Clanging came from the kitchen.

“Dad!” she walked back out of the living room, and crossed the foyer into the kitchen. “Is
it OK if Lizzy comes over for the night to study?”

“It’s Mother’s day tomorrow.” her father emptied tomato sauce into a pot.

“I know, I know.” Shannon pointed to her necklace. “See I got her a gift.”

“That’s very pretty, honey.” he filled a larger pot with water from the sink.

“Let her come over!” Shannon hastily covered her demand “To study!”

“You girls are behind in school.” he admitted. Tell you what, keep it down for Mary, and Lizzy
can come over.” he lifted the pot of water onto a burner.

“Thank you daddy! It will be like we’re not even here.” Shannon ran upstairs to text Lizzy.

 

***

 

Lizzy finished studying the green pendant letting it rest below Shannon’s collarbone.
“It’s so oddly beautiful for something so simple.”

Shannon lowered her chin. “I’m thinking of keeping it.”

A math textbook landed on the queen-sized bed. “Everyone already knows you have it.”

“I know.” she played with the gem. “It’s a good luck charm, though.”

Notebooks, and pencils joined the textbook. “How so?” Lizzy began to be intrigued.

Shannon recounted how she got it for $5, her sister’s compliment, and how easy it was
to have Lizzy over. “You do know we’re not studying right?”

“Need to make it look good.” Lizzy took out her phone. “How far have you tried to go with
it?”

“It’s not magic. Just good luck.” Shannon knew trying to reason with Lizzy about these
things never worked. Lizzy had been obsessed with everything paranormal since 2nd grade.

Lizzy typed away on her phone. “We should test it!”

Shannon braced herself for a long night of Lizzy’s insanity. “Fine…” she sighed.

“Says here it could be editing reality.” Lizzy stared at Shannon. “Try to conjure something.
Just say it’s there.”

Eyes rolled back in Shannon’s head. “There’s a million dollars on my floor.”

Lizzy waited patiently. Giving up hope after two minutes and no money. “Hmm, everything happened
when you talked to people.” Lizzy considered ideas while she searched further on her phone.
“Your sister!”

“Sorry?” Shannon tried to follow the train of thought.

“Tell her to come here. Then, if she doesn’t blow you off, tell her she’d like to hang out
with us”. Lizzy’s knee shook with anticipation.

Shannon sighed, and walked to Mary’s room.

Leaning on Mary’s door frame Shannon tried her best to be convincing, “Come join Lizzy, and me.”

“Mhmm” Mary said seemingly not paying attention. She was busy double checking her homework.

Shannon walked back to her room to inform Lizzy. “No go.” Shannon shrugged at the obviousness.

Lizzy began formulating her next idea. “How about…”

“Hey, what are you two up to?” Mary stood in the doorway, her wavy thigh-length blonde hair
not yet braided for the night was draped in front of her.

Eyes wide Lizzy nudged Shannon, and whispered “Tell her to do something she’d never do.”

“Umm… our homework. You should help us.” Shannon waited for the inevitable scolding.

“What do you need help with?” Mary smiled.

“Chapter 25, questions 1-50?” Shannon pressed her luck.

Mary sat on the bed, opened a notebook, and began working.

Lizzy grabbed Shannon by the arm. The two locked themselves in the bathroom.

 

***

 

“I told you! Do you know the things we can do?” squealed Lizzy.

Shannon tried to stay in reality “She’s just doing this to hold it over my head after I
graduate.”

“What would she have to do to make you believe its real? Lizzy pressed.

Thoughts churned in Shannon’s head. “The only way I would believe this thing is if Mary
let us cut that hair of hers.”

Lizzy’s eyes popped. “That’s a hell of a test.”

“We stop after this doesn’t work?” bargained Shannon

“It will work.” Lizzy unlocked the bathroom door “It has to work” she thought.

 

***

 

Mary sat cross legged. Blonde hair pooled at her sides. Her pencil scratched on a notebook.

“You’re getting a makeover!” Shannon decreed without pretense.

“You have makeup?” Mary looked around bemused.

“Not that kind of makeover. We’re going to do your hair.” Shannon waited for Mary to bolt.

Instead, Mary nervously walked over Shannon’s desk, sat, and dropped her hair behind the chair. “Please just braid it.”

Lizzy nudged Shannon, and whispered “Tell her she wants us to cut it however we want.

Shannon was beginning to believe Lizzy was right about this necklace. “You’re going to let us
give you a nice haircut.”

“Not to short now.” Mary asked pleasantly.

“You’ll enjoy whatever we decide. I promise.” Shannon began to have second thoughts. As much
as her sister pissed her off, this might be a bit too far.

Lizzy approached the chair, hairbrush in hand. “Needs to be de-tangled first.” The brush passed
through the mass of hair with ease. Lizzy kept brushing expecting at least a small tug. There was nothing.

“Would have loved it to touch my ankles.” Mary caught a glimpse of her hair in Shannon’s body
length mirror. “But, I’ll love whatever you decide.”

“Do it!” Lizzy urged

“What if we get caught?” Shannon hesitated.

Lizzy pointed at Shannon’s neck. “You don’t have to worry what other people think anymore.”

“I guess you’re right.” Shannon moved behind her sister. She lifted a lock of hair above Mary’s head.
Her heart pumped. *SHNICK* the scissors closed next to Mary’s scalp.

“Oh shit…” Lizzy stood in shock.

Shannon could hardly believe what she held in her hand. “I’ve wanted to do this for so long.”
She stroked the lock of hair. “Like really wanted to.”

“Me too. Oh my god, me to” Lizzy took the scissors from Shannon’s hands. She lifted a section of Mary’s
hair not hesitating to close the scissors. A shower of hair fell in Mary’s lap as Lizzy slowly released it
above her head.

Shannon, and Lizzy took turns. *SCHNICK*. A chunk of hair fell. The scissors changed hands. *Shnick*. They giggled as the dark wooden floor flooded with golden waves. Mary giggled with them.

“Hey Mary, do some yourself.” Shannon passed the scissors to her sister. Who dutifully sheared
a chunk, then passed the scissors back.

Lizzy disappeared, and came back with a white garbage bag. It began to fill with 10 years of
Mary’s effort.

*Shnick* “How do hair stylists do it? This shit is so thick.”

Blonde hair fell over Lizzy’s head “I don’t think they usually cut so much.” Lizzy giggled harder as she
tried to spit it out.

Shannon sent another two masses of hair on top of Lizzy. “How are we going to make her look presentable?”

“I think I look amazing” Mary said.

Shannon finished sending the last bit of blonde tresses onto her friends back. She laughed.

Lizzy answered Shannon “We don’t have to. You see, she did this to herself. She just finally
had it with long hair, or something. She wakes up tomorrow, and goes to the barbershop to finish
the job.”

Mary got up to check herself in the mirror.

“And we get to watch?” Shannon bent over to clean her chair.

Lizzy gathered stands that had slid under the bed. “Definitely. After that we try out your
necklace some more.”

9 responses to “A necklace

  1. What a pleasant breath of fresh air! A totally original story, and very nicely written!

    I loved the concept of the magical necklace, and Shannon & Lizzy trying to figure out what its powers were, and how it worked. Congrats on writing a beautiful, captivating story to awaken the imagination in all of us. I am looking forward to your next story. In the meantime, please feel free to say “Hi” sometime.

    Sincerely,
    Jenna

    1. Thank you, that’s very kind.

      After years of lurking on hair story sites, I figured I’d give it a shot. Turned out to be quite a bit harder than I thought.
      The second part of this story has already been rewritten more than a few times. Hopefully the current version works out.
      I have new found respect for people who write these stories.

      I’d like to say hi, but there doesn’t seem to be a DM button.

  2. This was a great story. My favorite part was Mary’s true personality poking through briefly even against the strength of the spell “Not too short now”, “Would have loved it to touch my ankles” – I’m hoping that the effects wear off over time and we see the real Mary emerge again, horrified.

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