short stories

‘Hair Dying’ – finalist in the Channillio Short Story Contest 2015

I rubbed my hands together, but the blood wouldn’t come off.

Maybe it was because the girl was so young, and her plasma had more vigor. In my mind’s eye I could still see her brassy highlighted hair tied up in a bun atop her head. She wore boots, skinny jeans, and a baggy t-shirt that hung off her left shoulder. The sixteen-year-old’s outfit reminded me of what I used to wear in high school, only my pants were baggy, and my tank top was skintight. Her boyfriend was in my chair finishing his transition into a full-fledged hipster. His bangs covered most of his face, unless he flipped his head to the side, letting his dark brown, layered hair cascade in the air like a waterfall. It reminded me of a certain pop star that teenagers hated being compared to.

I’d just finished texturizing his thick hair with a razor fraying the edges like a wide-angle lens when his girlfriend started in on me.

She stood up, and moved next to me. She stopped behind the chair her beloved sat in, and leaned to the left. As I looked in the full-length mirror that was flanked by particleboard drawers that made up my station her body appeared to form a question mark. Her hand rested under her hip and her whole face puckered as if I’d given her a lemon to eat, rather than being stupid enough to allow her to give an opinion on the last half hour of labor I’d performed.

“Dunno. Seems messy.” She circled around her boyfriend and tugged on random locks of hair. “I mean my Mom does my hair, for like years, and she’s got really high standards.”

Through gritted teeth I asked, “Which cosmetology school did she attend?”

The girl laughed. “Oh, she didn’t go to school. You don’t need to go to school because it’s super easy to do hair. I mean any idiot can do it.”

My whole body tensed. Usually I’d hold my tongue, but I’d dreamt of this moment for years. “You’re right, it’s super easy to carve shapes out of something that’s constantly moving, like hair. And I’d trust anyone to put caustic chemicals on my scalp. It’s not like people get chemical burns or anything.”

I took my razor and slid it across her throat.

-The rest of the story will be published on this blog later this year.  It can also be found at


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