One Stormy Night
One Stormy Night – Ynot
Suzy was suddenly awakened by the thumping on her bedroom door. “Wake up, wake up Suzy. You’re going to be late for school again!” yelled her stepfather in his usual gruff voice. “I’m off to work. I should be home for tea around 6, and it better bloody well be ready. And clean up this house too. It’s always a God damn mess around here,” he shouted over his shoulder as he stomped down the stairs and out of the house.
Suzy got up slowly. She wished her mother had let her go and stay with her father while she had gone away on this convention. Three weeks with just her and her stepfather was going to be more than she could cope with. When her Mom was about he treated her not too bad, but when they were alone things were different. He was always calling her names and shouting instructions or orders at her. Suzy had tried to tell her mother about it, but because Rex was careful not to treat her bad when she was around, her mother just shrugged it off as Suzy’s overactive imagination.
Suzy glanced at the bedside clock in her sparsely decorated room. Shit, she thought, she was going to be late. Skipping breakfast, she hurriedly got herself ready and headed off to school. She was almost there when she remembered that she was supposed to put on a load of washing. Too late to go back now, I’ll have to do it after school, she reprimanded herself. It wasn’t one of the best days she’d ever had at school either. To make matters worse, she ended up being held after school, so it was nearly 4.30 by the time she got home.
She glanced at the clock on the wall of the kitchen as she dumped her school things on the counter. Where had the day gone? Quickly she ran to put on the washing. Coming back into the room she surveyed the state of it. It was still a mess from the poker game her stepfather and his drunken friends had had the night before. Quickly she set about tidying the house. By the time she was done, the washing was too. She went and collected it from the washer and took it outside to hang it on the line. She had all but finished when, as she stretched to hang out the last few items she lost her footing. The evening thunderstorms over the last couple of weeks meant that the grass under the clothes line was more like a swamp. She landed flat on her butt in the mud, before slipping and rolling down the slight slope that was the backyard. By the time she regained her footing she was a mess.
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Cursing silently to herself she hurried back to the house. After tossing her soiled clothes into the washer she hurried through the house to the bathroom. If she ran a quick bath, she could clean herself up, and just have time to get the dinner ready. Besides, she told herself, it was Thursday night, and Rex always stopped off for a few beers on the way home.
As her teenage body sank into the hot soothing bath, Suzy let out a sigh of relief. The aching in her body relaxed as she reclined amongst the foaming bubbles. “Oh that feels so good,” she thought aloud. Her dark waist length hair floated around her submerged body like chocolate sauce on an ice cream sundae. She glanced at it with pride, it was easily her best feature. She noted that it wasn’t as shiny as she liked and instantly decided to wash it, reaching automatically for her expensive beauty shampoo.
She poured a good size dollop of shampoo in to the palm of her hand, before reaching up and running her hand over her head. Quickly she replaced the shampoo bottle and with both hands gathered her long healthy hair into a bundle. She sighed as her fingers began to gentle massage her delicate scalp. A deep sigh escaped her as she relaxed even further, her ten fingers silently eased her troubles away. Suzy could feel the lather building, big, soft, fluffy. Quickly she dunked her head under the warm soothing water. She revelled in the sense of isolation as the water muffled the sounds above, her hair floating on the surface. She lay there for as long as she could, until her lungs felt like they’d burst, before sitting up and gasping for breath. Again she applied some shampoo. This time the lather built quicker, thicker as her fingertips worked their magic once more. “Hmmmm,” she sighed. She wished she could just stay here for ever. Suzy continued to work the shampoo through her long hair, marvelling at the feeling, the texture, the sensations. Again she retreated below the water to rinse.
Next she took her special conditioner and proceeded to comb it through, easing it past the inevitable tangles, careful not to pull too hard, careful to avoid damaging the delicate hair shafts. She smiled with an inner pride as she thought about how the girls at school were jealous of her long flowing hair with its lack of split ends. The teeth of the comb tingled as they passed through her tresses, providing her with its own form of invigorating scalp massage. “Oh that feels so nice,” Suzy thought aloud. “I could just do this for hours.”
Suddenly she sat bolt upright in the bath. The reference to time had jolted her back to a sense of reality. What was the time? She leapt from the bath and ran dripping to her room. 5:52, announced the little clock in her room. How can it be 5:52? Suzy thought. Had she been in the bath that long? She looked out the window, it was getting dark, the clouds were building for that inevitable evening storm once more. She glanced at the clock again. 5:53, it read. Quickly she towelled her hair dry, brushing it quickly, before selecting a fresh pair of jeans and a clean white t-shirt. She threw them on as she hurried down stairs. What to cook for tea? She was still trying to decide when she heard Rex’s truck pull up outside.
“You’re home early,” Suzy said, trying sound calm as Rex walked in the kitchen.
The sullen look on his face told Suzy that she was in trouble. “Where’s my dinner?” he demanded.
“I’m just about to make something special for you,” replied Suzy. “What would you like?”
“Jesus H Christ, you mean you haven’t even started dinner ready? What the hell have you been doing all afternoon girl?”
Suzy started to try an explain the problems of her day, when she was abruptly interrupted. “I see you found time mess with your hair, and make yourself pretty,” he hissed. “Jesus, if you spent just half the amount of time you spend on your hair doing some work around here, maybe a man would get some dinner and this place might not look like a dump all the time!”
The words stung Suzy. Suddenly the pressures of her day multiplied her hatred for her stepfather and before she even had really thought it she burst out, “Fuck you!” Even as the words left her mouth she regretted them.
“What did you say?” growled Rex, his face darkening with rage.
“No… no… I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry,” pleaded Suzy
“You ungrateful little bitch,” yelled Rex in his booming baritone voice, “That’s the thanks I get for taking you and your mother in off the street. Shit, kids today ain’t got no respect. Well we can change that can’t we Suzy?” As he had been ranting, he’d been searching for something in the kitchen drawer. Suddenly as he had spoken her name his hand appeared from below the bench top clutching a large pair of kitchen shears.
Suzy reacted, instantly she lunged for the door and threw it wide open. She screamed as, with prefect timing, a bolt of lightning split the night sky. She stumbled out across the porch, temporarily blinded by the white hot light that had burned her eyes. She heard the thunder rolling through the heavy dark clouds as the heavens opened wide. The pelting rain soaked her almost instantly as she half ran, half stumbled towards the gate.
Suddenly her head was viciously yanked backwards as Rex’s large meaty paw grabbed at her long flowing hair. Suzy screamed at the pain as she landed prone on her back on the concrete path. With the wind knocked from her she was unable to move, unable to resist as she felt her body being dragged by her hair to a sitting position. The pain in her scalp was almost unbearable as he tugged at her hair. Another flash of lightning silhouetted the large hungry shears as they opened and swooped down at her scalp. The clap of thunder drowned out the sounds of the blades as they meet each other, but Suzy knew by the sudden release of tension on her scalp that the long locks had been severed. Again she felt a section of her scalp being stretched tight until that quick release signalled another lock had gone.
She seemed powerless to react, as time after time parts of her head would explode with pain as her hair was clenched and pulled tighter than she thought possible. She found herself almost begging for the pain to stop, knowing that when it did, yet another section of her once glorious hair was gone. The heavy rain pelted down, the unrelenting rain lashing at her, stinging her arms and chest, soaking her to the bone and threatening to shred her flimsy cotton T-shirt. The driving rain and the thunder helped drown out the sound of the cutting shears, but even so Suzy could sense their evil symphony as the heavy sharp blades reaped their harvest of hair, her hair, her long lovely hair!
Roughly Rex picked her off the ground and threw her over his shoulder. He stomped back inside and up to her room, depositing her unresisting body in the chair. Quickly he removed his belt and fastened it around Suzy’s midriff, securing her to the chair. Retrieving a couple of her long silk hair ribbons from beside the mirror on her dresser, he quickly bound her arms behind her. Now he picked her up, chair and all, and placed her in front of the mirror.
“There we go, pretty little Suzy,” he laughed mockingly as he left the room.
Suzy looked up at the mirror. Staring back was a girl about her age, her hair hacked and chopped wildly, some of the long tresses clinging forlornly to her wet, almost transparent top in an odd zebra-like pattern. She screamed when her brain finally accepted it was her own reflection. Her beautiful chocolate brown hair was ruined. Even as she struggled to come to terms with what had happened, her brain raced ahead into damage control. She turned her head back and forth. The back unfortunately was too short for a bob, even a short one. She’d hopefully get away with a pixie though. She shuddered at the thought of her hair so short but realised she didn’t have much option.
So preoccupied was she with her thoughts that she hadn’t heard her stepfather rummaging through some boxes in the attic. Abruptly his massive frame filled the doorway once more. In his hands was an object with an electrical flex running from one end. As he moved over to plug the lead in Suzy final saw the electric clippers clearly.
Instinctively she opened her mouth to scream, but the horror in her mind rendered her speechless. He turned to face her. “Let me introduce you to my little friends,” he snarled, as he blew the dust off them.
“No… please no… I promise I’ll be good,” Suzy begged. “Please, anything but… b… but THAT!” she stammered, her eyes staring wildly at the clippers clenched in his hand.
“Too late now, pretty little Suzy,” he mocked her, “this is a lesson you never going to forget you little bitch.” With that, he flicked the switch on the clippers. They sort of groaned into life and rather than a soft hum, the room was filled with a high-pitched whine of a machine protesting its years of neglect. She struggled as her ears were assaulted by the horrible sound. She thrashed about wildly in an ineffective attempt at escape. Her stepfather moved closer, and closer, waving the clippers back and forth to torment his victim further.
Each time the clippers approached, Suzy would flex and twist her neck the other way, doing her best to avoid what she knew was unavoidable. She shuddered as the clippers were placed at the centre of her forehead, her neck flexing back as far as the muscles in her neck would allow.
Rex bent forward so his mouth was level with her ear as he hissed in a menacing whisper, “Like it or not Suzy this is going to happen… one way or the other!” She felt his rough calloused hand grab the back of her head. “You can’t believe how long I’ve waited for this very day,” he snarled. “Say goodbye to your lovely hair Suzy!”
Slowly he pushed her resisting head forward, forward towards the waiting buzzing, whining clippers. She fought with all her remaining strength but she was no match for his powerful arms. The clippers abruptly changed from a high-pitched whine to an evil clatter as they encountered Suzy’s hair. As the first tufts of hair wafted down past her eyes she went limp, any form of defiance gone from her wearisome body. Her head slumped as it was pushed forward and down, the clippers racing across her head.
Her head flopped around almost lifeless as he ran the clippers across her head several more times. As much as she tried not to look in the mirror, Suzy found her wide staring eyes would do nothing but scrutinise every reflection as the remaining hair was rapidly removed from her lifeless head. It seemed to Suzy that she was looking down on someone else as her head was tossed first to the left, then to the right so the clippers could climb up and over her ears. Her head flopped forward, burying her chin in her chest as the clippers raped the remaining hair from her slowly appearing, long-hidden nape.
Without warning the clippers fell silent. Suzy sat there as she felt the bonds that bound her being released. Slowly she raised her head and stared at her stepfather, her hatred deepening as she did so. At least now her mother would know the truth. Almost as if reading her mind, he answered, “Your mother will just be devastated. To think that you went out and got drunk and let those girls from school talk you into shaving your head!” he sneered. She wouldn’t believe that, Suzy thought to herself, she couldn’t. As the very thoughts passed through her brain, Suzy knew her mother would. In the last month four girls had done exactly that as a sign of rebellion against their parents.
“Now tidy your room like a good little girl, and then you can cook me some dinner,” he stated very matter-of-factly as he left the room.
Suzy stared for a long time at the reflection of herself in the mirror. Gone was her pride and glory, her long flowing mane that everyone commented on. Instead the girl sitting in front of the mirror had a sickly white scalp with just a dark chocolate shadow of hair. Slowly she reached up to brush her hand across the dark stain of stubble. As she did so the floodgates opened and tears streamed down her face. To add to the sinister atmosphere it started raining outside again. Suddenly she heard thunder again, then again. The thunder continued, somehow strangely repetitive and unnatural. In the distance she could hear someone angrily calling her name.
Slowly her eyes opened to the light of day being filtered through her long, dark, healthy tresses. Man, she thought, what a horrible nightmare.
Suzy was suddenly awakened by the thumping on her bedroom door. “Wake up, wake up Suzy. You’re going to be late for school again!” yelled her stepfather in his usual gruff voice. “I’m off to work. I should be home for tea around 6, and it better bloody well be ready. And clean up this house too. It’s a God damn mess,” he shouted over his shoulder as he stomped down the stairs and out of the house!
The End (maybe)