No Beauty Allowed – Shavrbald
The cold of the prison floor felt like ice to Stephanie’s bare feet.
Being hurried down the dark corridor of Harper’s Women’s Prison to solitary confinement, Stephanie was only dressed in a light blue skirt, a blue striped shirt with a button-up collar, and no shoes to speak of. She hadn’t had time to put them on when the warden ordered her to be confined in solitary for a week.
“What did I do to deserve this?” Stephanie asked herself.
She knew the answer, however. A year before Stephanie was with Craig Booker. Booker was a bum to everyone else, but not Stephanie. Her mother warned her about Craig, but Stephanie would not listen. Booker was a rebel, and that appealed to Stephanie.
Stephanie was a beautiful, young, pretty girl of 19. She had beautiful blue eyes; soft, gorgeous completion; well-toned body; a face that any modeling agency would die for; shapely legs with perfect feet; big round ears and, of course, a head full of golden, wavy, curly, shoulder-length blonde hair. While it was hard to pick out which of Stephanie’s features were her best (she had so many) most agreed her hair was the thing that drew the eyes of many men. Including one Craig Booker.
To make a long story short, Craig, a high school drop-out, no-job loser, managed to hook it up with Stephanie, who fell for his “charm”. Despite warnings from her mother, friends and neighbors about what a troublemaker Craig was, Stephanie went out with him anyway. “They don’t know him like I do,” she would say to herself.
Well, since Craig seemed to be allergic to working, he made money other ways… including drug running. One night, to make a quick buck, Craig stuffed a few pounds of cocaine in Stephanie’s car, with the intention of dropping it off at a disclosed location, of course all without Stephanie’s knowledge (she didn’t know anything about his drug deals). Well, what Craig didn’t know was that the guy he bought the stuff from was still a little ticked about some missing money that Craig had apparently “permanently borrowed”. Well, the guy narked, Stephanie’s car was tailed, and pulled over. The drug dogs found the coke, arrested Craig and Stephanie for trafficking.
This was very bad timing for them, because just a couple of weeks before the judge’s son OD’d on coke and died. Drug traffickers were not well thought of in the town of Coleman. Well, Craig made a deal (unbeknownst to Stephanie) that SHE was in fact the dealer and would testify against her for a little immunity. And the DA bought it! It was a tragic case of misjustice, but this world isn’t fair sometimes and that’s the way it goes.
So, Stephanie, a beautiful, lovely, young girl, went to Harper’s prison for a 5-year sentence, while Craig served community service for 6 months.
Despite horror stories of other prisoners being rough, Stephanie found that they were pretty much ok. It was some of the guards she had worries about. Especially Blanche Mack.
Blanche was everything Stephanie was not. Big, huge ugly face with a few warts on her bulging nose, squinty eyes, yellow teeth, bad breath, terrible body odor, a possible mustache, hairy arms, and a body like a linebacker. And she hated Stephanie the moment she saw her.
Blondes like Stephanie had burned Blanche too many times in school. Much like Rudolph in the fabled Christmas story, Blanche wasn’t allowed to play “reindeer games”, so to speak, while in school. Now whenever she saw someone like Stephanie, she thought about all the times these girls would cat call her, make fun of her, every day, every word. And of course, the men literally made Blanche the butt of their jokes, especially on a few bathroom walls.
While Stephanie was of course nowhere near like the snotty brats that had given Blanche such a hard time in her youth (Stephanie was sensitive and good-hearted), that did not make a difference to Blanche. Her thoughts of revenge had polluted her mind to the point they were ALL evil… and their beauty must be destroyed.
And now Stephanie had broken the rules and was being sent to solitary for a week. She had been caught with extra food from the mess hall. This was forbidden and the third time it had happened. The warden said she had been too nice. One week in solitary. Bread and water only.
Blanche was ordered to take Stephanie to solitary. It couldn’t have brought her more joy.
“Get moving, tramp!” Blanche yelled at Stephanie.
Stephanie complied meekly, and was led down the corridor to solitary, with Blanche on one side, and her assistant, Maggie (who pretty much followed Blanche and did whatever she said).
About halfway down the corridor, Blanche said, “Bring her in the closet room.”
Stephanie was led into a dark, dingy room, covered in dust and cobwebs. In the middle of the room was a chair similar to an old barber’s chair, facing an old dusty mirror. “What is this place…?” she asked herself
Maggie led Stephanie to the chair, and before Stephanie could think, she was thrown into the chair and Maggie pulled her arms behind the back of the chair roughly. Stephanie felt something cold being placed around her wrists, and heard two clicks.
“Handcuffs,” she thought. “O my God! What is she doing to me?”
Stephanie tried to look behind her, to see what Blanche was doing. She could see her in the dusty mirror, digging for something out of a chest drawer in the back of the room. While that was going on, Maggie took a strap connected to the foot pedestal connected to the chair, and strapped down Stephanie’s bare feet. In the mirror, Stephanie could see the bottoms of the soles of her feet, which were splayed in a v-formation. There was s slight film of dirt on her soles, which highlighted her toes. She began to feel something cold on her big toe of her right foot. It was water dripping on it from an air duct from above. She flinched her feet at the touch of the cold water, however, she was unable to move her feet out of the way because she was strapped in. Drip… drip… drip….
“O my God!” her mind said. “This is insane!”
Stephanie’s heart began racing and she began to try to see what was happening behind her. She turned her head to the right, then to the left, all the while her beautiful blonde hair swung like soft curtains. In the dark room, Stephanie’s hair glowed like a diamond in the darkness. With her hair shining like a lamp in the dingy room, Stephanie was beauty at its best, surrounded by ugliness. Blanche, Maggie (who as equally as ugly as Blanche) the dark room, being strapped to this chair like an animal, waiting for… what?
Then Blanche stood on her right side and began to speak.
“A little bitch like you should never get on my bad side!” Blanche said. ” You think you are better than me! When I am through with you, no one, I mean NO ONE is gonna want you or desire you!”
Stephanie was in too much shock to answer.
“Ever since you came here, you have disrupted the flow of things. I am gonna teach you a lesson how to remain in order! Lemme see her ears!”
Maggie then began to smooth Stephanie’s gorgeous blonde hair behind her left ear, exposing it in the darkness. Then she did the same with the right ear. Her ears were beautiful when surrounded by her lovely, angelic blonde hair. She loved her hair and her ears. She thought she was more beautiful when she exposed them.
In the dimly lit room, Stephanie looked in the dusty mirror at herself. A beautiful young girl, with a perfect body, lovely hair, shapely feet, and her big round ears exposed, arms behind her back and legs strapped down. And the constant dripping of the cold water on her big toe. Drip… drip… drip….
Stephanie then heard a tearing sound on her left side, where Maggie was. She looked and in Maggie’s hand was a piece of duct tape. Then she heard the sound of a pop! Then a crack! And then a constant humming sound next to her right exposed ear. She jumped at the sound of it.
She looked to her right, and saw that Blanche had something black and silver in her hands. Stephanie realized with instant horror that Blanche was holding a pair of electric hair clippers. With no guard!
In one instant, Stephanie realized what was about to happen to her. “O my GOD!” her mind screamed. ” She is gonna shave all of my hair off! NO!”
Stephanie thought about the times she had cared for her hair, loved it, and caressed it. She thought about how she loved to have men run their fingers through it, softly, putting her to sleep. The times she had washed it, pinned it up, and kept it clean. Now it was about to be all taken away from her.
The thought of this caused Stephanie to scream like someone had taken a red-hot poker and burned her soul with it. It was an animalistic scream.
Instantly, Maggie slapped her and taped Stephanie’s mouth shut, reducing her scream to a stuffed muffle. No one would hear Stephanie’s scream for her beauty.
Blanche brought the clippers up to the middle of Stephanie’s forehead. Stephanie looked in the mirror. She unfortunately would have a good view of her shearing.
Blanche held the clippers still for a second, savoring the power she had over Stephanie’s beauty that she was about to destroy. Then without mercy, Blanche pushed the clippers up the middle of Stephanie’s forehead, severing thousands of strands of Stephanie’s beautiful hair. The severed hair then cascaded down in front of Stephanie’s eyes.
Her eyes bulged in horror at the sight of seeing strands of her beautiful hair slither down onto her lap. Again, Blanche made a pass with clippers over Stephanie’s head. In its wake, the clippers left a white path on Stephanie’s head. Her beauty was being stolen from her without mercy.
Through wide blue eyes, Stephanie watched in the mirror as her hair was shaved off. Only when a tuft of blond hair would fall into her eyes, which caused them to flutter, would she shut them.
Blanche shaved, and shaved, and shaved. All the while Stephanie felt the cold dripping water on her toes. And every time Blanche made a pass with the clippers, Stephanie would get a whiff of her corroded body odor. Of course Stephanie had no choice but to smell it, because her mouth was taped shut.
This was the worst thing that had ever happened to Stephanie. It would take years, if ever, for her to recover.
A pile of golden hair began piling up on the floor. Blanche would make a pass with the clippers, a tuft of blonde hair would become separated from Stephanie’s head, cling on for a few seconds, then fall to the floor like a yellow avalanche. The entire time, the only sound on the room was the constant buzzing of the clippers, which changed tone when coming in contact with Stephanie’s head.
Blanche brought the clippers to Stephanie’s right exposed ear. She pushed the clippers back, taking away the hair that surrounded Stephanie’s ear. Stephanie felt the weight disappear from her ears. No longer would she have beautiful blonde hair to smooth behind her ears. Her ears would be exposed all the time now, like a freak.
Stephanie’s heart, filled with anguish and grief, broke into a thousand pieces and fell deep within her chest. It was a heartbreaking experience for her to be strapped down and forcibly shaved. Her eyes, now filled with tears, watched as Blanche continued to take the clippers and transform her from a pretty young girl into an ugly bald-headed freak.
She watched as Blanche shaved the hair away from her left ear, leaving it exposed forever as well. As the clippers came in contact with her hair, it slithered, and then collapsed, falling first onto her shoulder, then sliding to the floor, forever gone….
Finally, all of Stephanie’s hair was shaved off. Then Blanche went even further and shaved off Stephanie’s’ eyebrows. “Oh my God! She is taking ALL of my hair away! I am gonna be a hairless freak!”
If there was anything left in Stephanie at that point, it left. Stephanie completely gave in to her fate and relaxed every muscle in her body. Her bare feet splayed a few inches further, a sign of defeat.
Blanche then lathered up Stephanie’s head and scraped away the last of her stubble. Stephanie was now completely bald!
“It’ll grow back…” Stephanie said, trying to comfort herself. Then she heard Blanche say something that struck coldness within her…
“Gimme that liquid electrolysis Mag, We’re gonna make her bald…FOREVER!”
“Bald forever? No! They can’t do this to me! I have rights!” Stephanie screamed to herself.
But Blanche did do it. As she poured the stinky oil on Stephanie’s bald head, Stephanie watched in horror as she felt the hair roots die on her head. Never again would she have golden hair. It was all gone. Shaved off. Never to return. No man would ever look at her again and feel attraction. Her femininity, her beauty, her power, her sexual identity, her spirit, was all shaved off.
It wasn’t fair, but neither is life.
Maggie ripped the duct tape from Stephanie’s mouth, making a ripping sound as she did. Stephanie’s mouth gaped open in shock at the image that stared back at her in the mirror. A freak with a round bald head and big round ears and no eyebrows! No one would be able to tell if she was male or female. She was ugly and she knew it.
Stephanie was unstrapped from the chair and led down the corridor, to solitary confinement. On the wall, Stephanie saw the shadow of her head: No hair. The shadow might have been that of an old man’s, not a 19-year-old girl’s.
Blanche opened up the door to the solitary cell. It was a small dark place. No windows.
“No please,” Stephanie thought. “Don’t put me in there…”
Blanche mercilessly pushed Stephanie from behind into the cell and slammed the door shut, locking it with huge bolts that echoed in Stephanie’s forever exposed ears.
In the darkness, Stephanie reached up to the top of her head and ran her fingers back. Nothing but skin.
“My beautiful hair…” she sobbed. “All gone…”
She felt the coldness blast the back of her heads. She began to cry.
Later, Stephanie tried to sleep, but every time she dozed off the sound of the clippers replayed in her mind, waking her.
She would be bald forever. The thought of never again having beautiful hair struck Stephanie’s heart hard. She would never be the same….