31 Days of Art, Day 11: Hair

I started drawing a blank today, wondering if I had it in me to keep going with the challenge. My brain started in with all the classic symptoms of overthinking my way into stagnating and giving up, and I wondered if what I was doing was even any good. Are these worth anything? Is what I’m putting out there going to show anyone that I’m a writer? Or worthy of editing other people’s horror prose? Yeah, that’s the little voice inside that starts up whenever I start making progress. I used to (still sometimes do) listen to that voice a lot.

But today, I told myself to just go with it. Start typing and see what comes out. It doesn’t HAVE to be polished, perfect, Stoker-worthy–it just has to be. And so, here it is. A little horror microfiction to meet today’s challenge. A chance to play with words and see what comes out, and if it’s “good,” then yay, and if it’s just here, then it’s words I didn’t have before, and so also yay. I hope you enjoy, and if you’ve been feeling the same way about making your particular art, then I say: Go for it!

Day 11: Hair

There was blood on the razor, but it was dry. Little flecks dusted off as she moved it back and forth, back and forth, fluttering down to land, brown spots against the white tile and black strands.

The scissors rested on the side of the sink, the once bright red blood faded and congealed, sticky. She’d pulled it out and used them to chop, chop all the long pieces first, sowing and reaping down to the fuzz that she now scraped away with the razor.

She’d waited a long time.

Maybe she could have waited longer.

She’d been good at following the rules. Her closet full of skirts, no pants, hurrying home every day after school. Not talking to anyone, following their script.

And then school became a computer window, and there was no more hiding. She had followed the rule—don’t turn on your video, don’t move, don’t tell. Don’t tell.

Don’t tell.

She still felt their fingers in her hair, even as the sharp metal smoothed away the last bit from around her ears. They had braided it, curled it, let it hang loose, let it grow until it reached the floor, but they had never, ever, ever let her cut it.

And now it slid across the floor, merging with the red flood, the lake that filled from the streams at their neck, their stomach.

Satisfied, she ran a towel over her head and dropped it to the floor. Nothing they saw now would make them love her. Nothing of hers was theirs to love.

She turned off the lights and flipped the lighter. There was another puddle in the middle of the hall, one that caught the flame and sent it on its merry way.

In the front hall, she gestured to her sister, younger than her, sweeter, obedient.

“Let’s go.”

Holding her hand, she led her outside as their lives and rules and “love” burned behind them.

* * *

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