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The Tale of Cecilia and her Hair

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Cecilia was far from dense, but she was vain. She loved everything about herself: her skin, her eyes, her hands, and I could go on. The one thing she admired the most about herself was her hair. It wasn’t extremely special or unique in any way, but in her mind it was the most glorious thing ever seen. Dark auburn, thick and wavy, it hung down to the middle of her waist, clinging to the back of her garments. In the warm months of summer, the humidity caused it to curl into dense ringlets, almost overpowering her petite frame.


One day, Cecilia noticed (while examining her hair, of course) that something awful had happened: she had split ends! It seemed like all the days she spent carefully pinning her tendrils tightly against her scalp had caused this disaster. The white ends showing up in multiples on her delicate strands of hair seemed to mock her, delighting in their torment of poor Cecilia. She couldn’t hide them, for putting her hair up to disguise these little split ends just made the situation worse. The poor thing, she couldn’t do anything about it. Cecilia told her friends about this upsetting situation, and they told her about three different witches that might be able to help Cecilia: Marigold, Rowan, and Gwendolyn. Marigold was a nice and well-respected witch, Rowan was slightly less agreeable and more mediocre than Marigold, and Gwendolyn was an evil and unreliable witch who always claims to have the cure. They stressed that Cecilia needed to stay away from Gwendolyn, for she could not be trusted. Armed with this information, Cecilia started her journey to go see Marigold.


Marigold owned a restaurant that was an easy five miles away from Cecilia’s house. She put on her protective rain gear (it was raining, and she still cared about her hair) and made the trek by foot to her. As determined to find the secret to her spit ends as Delilah was to find the secret to Samson’s strength, she trudged hurriedly through the pouring rain and thick brush, determined to get there in record time. Maybe today wasn’t the best day to wear heals, she thought, looking down at her blistered feet. Bursting through the door, Cecilia found Marigold serving some customers. In tears, Cecilia took off her rain gear and showed Marigold her damaged hair. Marigold clucked her tongue and put her own long, blonde hair in a ponytail so she could think of possible solutions. Seeing Cecilia’s tears, Marigold offered her a tissue while smiling gently, which made thin laugh lines form on her near-ageless face.


After some thoughtful consideration on Marigold’s part, she turned to Cecilia and gave her the news. “I’m sorry, Cecilia,” she said softly, “but I don’t think there’s any product that can magically get rid of these pesky little things. You can only trim the ends, let the dead hair grow out, and put less stress on your hair.” Cecilia was devastated; there must be some quick fix! She couldn’t wait that long to get her damaged hair back to perfection.


Undeterred by Marigold’s answer, Cecilia put her rain gear back on and decided that she should take a quick trip to Rowan’s house, just to get a second opinion. A second opinion never hurts, right? Rowan’s house was perched on top of a large hill about six miles away from Marigold’s restaurant. It only took a couple of hours on foot, and then Cecilia arrived at Rowan’s small hut. Winded from the climb but not discouraged, she barged into Rowan’s house and demanded that she look at Cecilia’s hair. Rowan scolded Cecilia for interrupting her while she was preparing dinner, and made Cecilia wait while the witch finished making her stew. Pulling her own long, graying hair into a ponytail, she carefully examined Cecilia’s hair as she continued to sob about her dilemma. “Oh, shush, Cecilia,” she said as she was examining Cecilia’s hair, “I can’t concentrate with you wailing like that.” Cecilia tried to calm down, her sobs turning into dry heaves before she was able to silence herself. After a few more minutes of inspection, Rowan turned to Cecilia and gruffly said, “Well, there’s nothing I can’t do, sorry. You must let them grow out, and don’t put so much stress on your hair.” Devastated, Cecilia stormed out of the hut, almost forgetting her protective rain gear.


Sitting in her house looking at herself in the mirror, Cecilia couldn’t stand how unattractive she looked with these white spikes erupted around her curly strands. Once the clock struck midnight, she realized what she had to do: she must go and see the evil Gwendolyn. It was worth a shot, right? If she thought that Gwendolyn was up to no good, she could just walk away. It was as simple as that. The wind was starting to pick up, but Cecilia was so desperate that she hurried off to Gwendolyn’s mansion on the other side of town.


After a treacherous journey on ten miles of muddy road, a half-broken bridge, and fighting a very menacing-looking squirrel, Cecilia arrived at the door of Gwendolyn’s mansion. She was too afraid to barge in this time and instead opted to knock on the ominous door. A few moments later, it cracked open and Gwendolyn’s old face appeared. It cracked into a sly smile when she saw Cecilia’s rain-drenched face. After hearing about her dilemma and her experiences with Marigold and Rowan, Gwendolyn offered her services. “I love helping out good people when something unfortunate happens,” she smirked. After examining Cecilia’s now-soaked tendrils, Gwendolyn went into her back room and didn’t appear for a good twenty minutes. Cecilia, who assumed that the old lady had fallen asleep, prepared to leave. She was disappointed, but maybe she could try back later. Suddenly Gwendolyn appeared, dressed in an old, black robe with a dusty potion bottle in her hand, which contained a glowing liquid. Cecilia ran over to Gwendolyn and tried to grab the bottle, but Gwendolyn raised the vial over her head and out of Cecilia’s reach. “I’m always happy to help, dear,” Gwendolyn said, “but I hope that you understand that I will have to charge you fifty dollars due to the cost of potions, my service fee, and not having an appointment.” Cecilia agreed and paid the fifty dollars, not caring about the price. Fifty dollars is worth having her glorious locks back. She was ready to spring out the door and back home to try out this glowing liquid, but Gwendolyn pushed a contract into her hands first. “Just for tax reasons, of course,” Gwendolyn assured her. Gwendolyn then gave Cecilia the directions: smear this liquid over your hair, put on a shower cap and go to sleep, then in the morning you wash it out and your hair will be fixed. Cecilia signed the contract without reading it and sprinted back home. Gwendolyn watched Cecilia from the window as she was running back home, smirking at this lady who was so naïve.


Cecilia ran home and into her bathroom, where she smeared the gold liquid all over her hair, which was now plastered to her scalp. She threw on a shower cap and willed herself to fall asleep as soon as possible. When she woke up, she felt refreshed and rejuvenated. Her head felt light and airy! She dashed into the shower and went to wash her hair, until she froze. Her hair wasn’t there; it was down by the shower drain instead! Running out of the shower and almost slipping on the wet, granite floor, she looked at herself in the mirror. She was bald! This couldn’t be; Gwendolyn said that this would be a quick fix!


She threw a scarf on her hairless head before dashing to Gwendolyn’s mansion and trying to run inside. The door was locked, and a passerby informed Cecilia that Gwendolyn moved to another village earlier that morning. Later that night, while looking at herself in the mirror with tears in her eyes, Cecilia bemoaned the fact that she couldn’t wait for her split ends to grow out. “Why, oh why did I have to get the quick fix?” she cried.





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