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[hair: a short story]
[cres leaves work]
“Cres speaking. How may I help you?” The young secretary sat at her desk with the phone caught between her ear and her shoulder, chewing a piece of bright gum. As Cres listened to the customer, she typed, long pink manicured nails clicking as they made contact. As Cres hung up the phone, she kicked off her hot pink stilettos and sighed. Working for a dating site was much more work than she’d bargained for; you would expect it to be all play and no work, Cres thought.
Just as she stood to fetch herself another piece of gum, the door to her office cracked open. “Miss Cressiadina Eliadon?” a man at the door questioned.
“Cres.” the man tried the name awkwardly. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to come with me.”
“Why.” It was not a question, but a statement.
“Call me Miss Eliadon. What right do you have to force me from my workplace? You are not my boss. Or my mother....” Cres added as an afterthought.
“Miss Eliadon, I will have to take you by force if--”
“Fine. I’ll come. What’s the issue?”
“Just come with me, Miss Eliadon, and it will be fine.”
Haiti jerked awake to yelling and muffled screaming. Her shocking bright-orange hair was fanned out on the floor around her, and caught under Haiti as she rolled sideways, shaking the girl nearest to her. “Maliaka. Up.”
Maliaka was a curious girl, with white-blonde hair and courage like that of a mouse’s. She wore a silky green dress that just barely reached her knees. Every other girl in the holding wore the same.
“What, Haiti? I was sleeping.”
“I know you were, but--”
“Haiti? Is that you?” moaned the weary voice of Raven, whose hair matched her name, jet-black.
“Go back to sleep!” whisper shouted another girl, a brunette.
“This is important. I think they’re bringing in another.” Haiti whispered back.
“What? They’ve got the whole set already. Who’d they steal away now? A girl with pink hair?” Raven joked.
“Raven! This isn’t a laughing matter. It’s obviously pretty serious, because, as Raven said... they have all of us already. There are only four witches... four hair colours... we’re the only ones alive!” The brunette (named Chalique) murmured.
“Well said, Chali.” Haiti responded after a silence.
Then they waited. Soon, voices echoed in the corridor, and the door opened, letting in a sliver of light. The girls held their breath. Lo and behold, a tall girl, hands bound behind her, was shoved into the room. The door promptly closed.
The room was quiet but for the sound of the new girl’s sniffling. Then:
“Another? That’s not possible,” Raven choked out.
“Raven,” Haiti gasped, “Look at her head.”
Raven was too astonished to even boast. “It’s... pink hair?”
Then the new girl spoke. “Oh yeah, make fun of the mutation.”
“You mean you didn’t dye it?” Maliaka said in hushed tones.
“It’s natural. Don’t you stare, it’s rude.”
The girls stared at the newcomer.
“You’re a witch too?”
“Yeah... natural hair, part of the set....”
“I am no witch. My name is Cres.”
“Well, you’re part of the gang now.”