Claire had no other option. She had never tried this place before. Nervous and anxious, she pushed through the glass door and walked into a clean but extremely tiny little room. This was supposed to be what was called, “The best barber shop”. No other name, nor any pictures or banners. Just a big board and a door. But it was the only available salon. Her usual hairdresser out on holiday could not be expected to return until two more weeks. And there was no other barber shop. She could have waited for a while, but with a foot length mane of long, brown, silky hair hanging at the back of her head, which took 10 of her 27 year old life to grow, waiting and damaging more hair would be the worst thing to do.
As she went in, she was surprised to see a similarly aged woman, about 27. What was even more surprising was that the woman also had hair similar to Claire’s, which was reaching till her feet. It was black and was tied into a thick braid. The woman immediately got up on seeing Claire and introduced herself. She was Suzanne. Claire told her she came just for a trim of about a couple of centimetres of her long hair. Suzanne stroke the hair and admired it, to Claire’s surprise, since Suzanne had similar hair. Claire sat down on the chair, still quite nervous, and was caped. Which was when Suzanne, stroking Claire’s hair, said something that struck terror in Claire’s heart.
“You know, I think you should shave your head. You could donate it and it would be of tremendous help to so many people, don’t you agree?”
Claire was horrified, but thought she was only joking.
“Ha Ha. I don’t think I’d ever shave my head. When I was 17, my drunken dad forcefully shaved me, my mom and my sister’s heads. Ever since, I’ve grown my hair long.”
“I can tell, by touching it. But I hope you do realize I’m the barber here!”
“W…What do you mean by that?”
Suzanne tied Claire’s hair into a thick ponytail. Then she took out scissors from her pocket. Claire knew exactly what she meant by that.
“You can’t just chop off my thick hair like that! I’ve worked years to grow it this far! I won’t let you cut it off! I never will!” Claire shouted in horror.
“I think it’s a little too late for that, isn’t it? It’s time you say goodbye to your hair!”
Claire tried to move and attack Suzanne, but when she tried, she realized her hand were bound to the chair by metal loops and she couldn’t do a thing. Sobbing uncontrollably, she had no other option but to sit back in the chair. Suzanne was laughing. Then, the cutting began. Claire said goodbye to what was once her hair, but in a few minutes would be reduced to a massive ponytail in the hands of an evil Barberette. The scissors were crunching through the smooth hair, and it took 3 minutes to cut it entirely, because of its girth. Claire’s once lustrous was now reduced to just a shoulder length of uneven and jagged hair. Just as she thought it could not get worse, she heard a click. And then the buzz of something she always dreaded. Clippers. Suzanne switched them on.
“No!” Claire cried.
“Of course!” came the retort.
Suzanne started shaving Claire’s head. She started with a stroke right in the middle of her head. Slowly, the rest of her head was shining bald. Then, Suzanne squeezed some chemical into her hand and applied it to Claire’s smooth head, saying it was shaving cream, so she could remove even the smallest of hair strands and stubble. But in reality, it was actually a chemical which stopped hair growth altogether. Claire would now be bald forever. Then Suzanne took out a blade and removed all hair from Claire’s head entirely.
Once a magnificent mane, now reduced to a big ponytail and a few locks on the ground. Claire was terrified by what happened. Then Suzanne kicked her out of the shop, keeping her hair with her. Claire walked as Suzanne walked back into the shop, with her massive braid moving swiftly behind her butt. Claire sat and cried on the road.
That night, Suzanne returned home, with two big loads of hair. One, her own braid, hanging from her head and the second, the huge ponytail she managed to chop off in the morning. She went inside, and immediately cleaned her hair with great care. Then she braided it. What great hair it was. As a braid, it seemed massive. She loved her own braid. I will never ever cut it, she thought. Her mother had extremely long hair too. It was her dying wish that Suzanne should grow her hair as long as possible. And she did grow it long. Exceptionally long.
Then she took Claire’s hair in her hands. She went to her cupboard and took the other sets of hair too. Claire wasn’t her first victim. A couple of weeks ago, Suzanne shaved Marie’s braid, a braid as thick as her own. Then, a month ago, she shaved the head of Anna. Suzanne felt pleased with her collection of long hair. she planned to shave more women’s heads in the coming days.
Feeling happy and contented, she sat down on her couch, playing with Marie’s braid.
It was dark. Suzanne was walking down the isolated road from the barbershop to her house. Quite far from each other. And then, the lights went off.
“Damn! These stupid lamp posts really need to be repaired sometime!”
She tried to get her phone for a light, but the phone was dead.
She walked on, with her braid moving gracefully with the movement of her butt. Then, she heard something that startled her. She turned around, but it wasn’t anything. She pulled her braid in front of her, clutching it for support, nervously. Who could it be, so late into the night? Convinced that she must have imagined something, she threw her braid behind and walked on confidently. But it wasn’t long before she felt something, or someone, tugging and pulling her braid. Shivering, she turned around slowly. It was a masked man. She opened her mouth to scream, but before she could do anything, she was gagged by the man, who immediately held up a sharp knife. The man tied her hands back and pushed her, urging Suzanne to walk where he led her.
But she resisted.
Seeing that this wasn’t working, the man resorted to a painful method. Her braid. He grasped the braid and pulled with a lot of might. She fell to the ground, crying with pain and was dragged deep into the woods. It was torture. She could feel the sharp thorns and rocks poking her ripe and big breasts. Even worse, her hair seemed like it might rip out of her scalp if the man pulled it harder.
After around half an hour of torture, the man stopped near a big tree.
The man stripped Suzanne naked and tied her around the tree, using barbed wire. Then he got a stick and beat her body hard. Extremely hard.
He tied her braid to a branch high on the tree.
Suzanne was weeping with pain. The man soon took out a knife. A big and sharp knife. Then he came near her. He clutched her braid, and with one swift motion of his hands and the knife, he did it.
He sliced through the once beautiful braid of Suzanne’s, chopping it off entirely, much to the horror of Suzanne. She was horrified at what was happening.
Who was the man? Why did he want to chop off her hair, something she cherished her whole life?
But the man wasn’t finished yet. He took clippers and shaved her head bald. Clean bald. She did not have even one strand of black hair on her scalp anymore. Once she had long hair, now she was bald. The man got the stick out once again and resumed beating Suzanne. It was a horrific sight. Her massive breasts were lacerated, almost torn out. She was bleeding. The man took her braid and went away, leaving her for dead.
Which was when she woke up. It was 3:00 AM.
Phew! It was just a dream. She had fallen asleep on her couch. Suzanne immediately took off her clothes and checked her body. She wasn’t bleeding. Her big breasts weren’t cut off. They were intact. Then she remembered her hair.
She went to the mirror and checked her hair.
But where was it? There was no hair left on her head!
She felt her head with her hands. She wanted to touch a thick braid, but what she actually touched , was a cold, clean-shaven head.
She was bald.
She had a shiny head, with not a single strand of hair left. She ran to her cupboard to see if the other ponytails and braids were still there. They weren’t. She had a huge braid at the back of her head the night before and now, she didn’t! A familiar smell struck her. It was from her head. It was the smell of the chemical she applied to the women whose heads she shaved. The chemical to stop hair growth forever! She couldn’t believe it. Was this also a dream? She desperately wanted to know she was dreaming. There was one way to find out.
Naked, she jumped off her window onto the street, 5 floors below.
When she fell, she knew it. Suzanne definitely wasn’t dreaming.
But it was too late.
This is a work of fiction. All the names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents in this book are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Thank you so much for reading!