A young girl clad in a frilly, pink dress skips down a dark alleyway. An immaculately sculpted ponytail hangs stiff from the back of her head, as if it was frozen in time – she wouldn’t have it fixed any differently. Ever since her daddy plastered her cute face on the bottle of every Avispray hair product, her personal stylist’s only order was to keep her looking fresh and beautiful, no matter the time. She even had to learn to sleep at a different angle to keep from crushing that trademarked pigtail.
Tonight, she was on her way to the annual Solstice Gala, a party she had to attend every year in accordance to her daddy’s terms; in exchange for anything she ever wants until the day she turns 18, she had to attend all of the company parties. She is the face of Avispray, after all.
The only problem was that she isn’t allowed to ride in any motorized vehicle. The static could ruin her hair, her daddy says. So, instead of being whisked to the Berga Event Center in a black limousine like her family was, she got an armed escort and they had to head to the party by foot.
“How many miles away is the gala?” she asks her escort, who is almost as young as she is.
“It won’t take us long, Lisa,” he says, digging his hands into the pockets of his black slacks. His fingers grazed the outline of a blade.
Lisa groans and stomps her pink wedge to the cobbled walkway. “This isn’t fair!” she yells. “I wish I never agreed to this; not even my diamond-encrusted stuffed unicorn is worth this torture! I’m freezing!”
“Here, have my jacket. I don’t need it anyway. And, my name’s Luc,” he mutters, throwing his black coat over Lisa’s bubblegum shawl. “Why are you going to this party, anyway? And why can’t you go in the car?”
“What, so you’re saying you don’t know?” Lisa smacks on a mouthful of grape gum, her teeth and tongue dyed purple.
Puzzled, Luc replies: “Don’t know what?” All he knew what that he was filling in for his brother, Max, who was busy making out with his girlfriend at home. Luc had only walked in to ask him to help him cut out a page of paper snowflakes when he tricked him into taking his shift. He told Luc that the rich people would be too focused on their own stupid problems to know they were leaving their daughter in the hands of an eight-year-old. And he was right.
“It’s my hair, duh.” She motions toward her shiny, blonde hair. “Sometimes I wish I didn’t have this hair, if it meant I could live a normal life. You wouldn’t know.”
Luc couldn’t see what the big deal was; to him, hair was hair – what people should pay attention to is a person’s personality. At least, that’s what he was always told. “Oh,” was all he could muster.
Lisa pulls her lips back with a wide, rehearsed smile and walks ahead. Her bright purple teeth nearly illuminate the alley. “Yeah. If it weren’t for my beautiful locks, daddy’s company would have never taken off. When it comes down to it, I’m the one making all the money. This stupid hair –”
A long, thick clump of yellow hair falls to the ground, and Luc stands beaming. “Look! Now you can live a normal life! How about I take you on a detour and show you this really good candy shop my brother showed me?”
Luc didn’t know a little girl could make such a loud sound. Her scream brought him to his knees.
“WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE?” she wails, her hands desperately searching for the lock of missing hair, hoping it was all just a joke.
Luc stammers, “Woh…well, you were just telling me how t-t-t-terrible you felt because of your hair. I thought I could make it better for you.”
“Gimme those scissors!” Lisa snatches at Luc’s pockets. “You really wanna make everything better? I know of just the way,” she says, hissing through a menacing smirk.
Luc suddenly wishes he had stayed home; at least the paper snowflakes don’t throw a fit if he cuts off a little more than he planned.