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Eliza had to have it. The wig was perfect. But everything comes with a price…

By Aaron MorrisonPublished 10 months ago 24 min read

Eliza had to have it. As soon as she saw it, she knew it was the one. Pristine. Silken. Glistening like fine, soft strands of obsidian. It looked more beautiful than any piece of jewelry Eliza had ever seen— and this adornment, at least to her, was more valuable. It wasn’t that Eliza was a particularly vain person. At first, in fact, she had been mostly uncomfortable with the idea of purchasing a wig.

She had dealt with grave’s disease and hyperthyroidism her whole life, managing it, and never using it as an excuse for anything in her life. Eliza had always kept her condition to herself, when possible. She didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for her, or treating her like some kind of invalid. In recent months, however, she had developed alopecia areata which had begun aggressively attacking her hair follicles, and it became difficult to hide such an obvious, and outward, effect.

Eliza’s best friend suggested the wig.

“Eliza. Girl. It wouldn’t hurt just to look,” Bethany said. “I mean, you’re going to be beautiful any way you decide to go. Bald. Headwraps. Hats. Wigs. I just think you should explore all your options.”

So now Eliza was looking to purchase the most beautiful thing, wig or otherwise, she had ever seen.

Eliza had not intended to go shopping for a wig today. She had simply gone out to peruse various second hand shops and curio stores. There was barely any intent of necessarily purchasing anything at all. Sometimes something interesting would catch her eye and, if she could get a good deal, she would buy whatever trinket or clothing item that would cause some gleeful conversation and admiration from her and her friends.

In an almost dreamlike state, Eliza approached the register with her find. Eliza had a brief and quiet thought of confusion as to her current actions and state of mind. But whatever personal reflection was brewing was quickly squelched by the overwhelming need to purchase the wig.

“That’ll be one hundred dollars.”

“Oh. Yeah. Right.” Eliza realized, in her eagerness, she hadn’t even checked the price. She pulled her credit card out of her purse and handed it to the woman behind the counter. 100 isn’t bad, she thought. Especially for a human hair wig. Eliza wasn’t sure why she had made that assumption. “Do you know anything about this wig?”

“I’m sure I don’t, darlin’,” the plump old woman replied as she swiped Eliza’s card. She handed the card back to Eliza, and turned the point-of-sale device around so Eliza could sign the screen. The digital device seemed out of place, given the nature of the store. “Items come and go here. Some have stories, some do not. It’s hard to keep track sometimes.” She smiled as she handed a bag containing the box holding the carefully placed wig.

Eliza hadn’t even noticed the woman deftly remove the wig from the mannequin head and package it up. There had been a brief moment she swore her signature on the screen had turned red, but she chalked it up to a trick of the light.

“Thank you!” Eliza raised her hand in a brief wave as she turned to leave.

“Of course, darlin’. Enjoy!”

Once she was home, Eliza prepared to try on the wig. With the excitement of a child on Christmas morning, Eliza could not wait to put the wig on. She placed a wig liner, made a few adjustments, then placed the wig, hair forward, on her head. She flipped her head back, sending the obsidian strands flowing down her back.

It was perfect.

Eliza, with no experience, somehow had the wig fitted and placed perfectly on her first attempt. And it looked…

Oh my god, Eliza thought, I look good!

Eliza had never been one to primp in front of the mirror, but she couldn’t help but admire her reflection. Her default state of self consciousness quickly regained control, and Eliza felt a little silly. She hesitated, however, when she went to remove the wig. Eliza did not want to take it off, but, after a brief moment of struggle, she managed to remove it.

Eliza then realized she didn’t have a mannequin head to properly store the wig, and was moderately annoyed with herself for not just asking to purchase the one it was on in the vintage store.

Eliza verified her uncertain recall that there was a costume shop not that far from her apartment. After calling to make sure they had one for sale, Eliza put on a ball cap and set out for the shop. She decided to walk because it wasn’t that far and that was her personal favorite mode of transportation. She found her thoughts returning to the wig. Eliza wasn’t sure how she felt about these minor, but borderline obsessive, thoughts about her new purchase, but she dismissed them as just being excited and nervous about a new endeavour.

Once she returned home, she carefully placed the wig on the mannequin head and smoothed out the hair. Even on the plastic blank face, it looked gorgeous. Eliza managed to pull herself away from doting on the wig to fix herself dinner, which she enjoyed with a glass of wine and her favorite show.

“So, I did it.” Eliza had called Bethany to tell her about the day’s big purchase. “I got a wig.”

“You did? Must have been amazing. I know you and your picky ways.” Bethany laughed.

“Shut up.” Eliza laughed as well. “But yeah. It’s like, I dunno. Perfect.”

“You’ll have to wear it Friday night then.”

“Maybe.” There was some hesitation in Eliza’s voice.

“Eliza Constance,” Bethany scolded, “don’t you dare try and weasel out of going. We always go to Trouvere’s, and this Friday is no exception.”

“Alright, alright!” Eliza laughed. “I’ll be there.”

“You better!”

“Bye!” Eliza feigned annoyance.

“See you!”

Eliza’s sleep that night was intermittent. She woke up several times throughout the night, with the vaguest hints of possible dreams. The only image Eliza could recall was something about a field. She was sure there was more, but it was dancing just beyond her memory, as dreams are wont to do. Eliza rolled over and snuck in whatever last few moments of sleep she could while the wigged mannequin head watched silently from the top of her vanity.


“Damn, Eliza! You look hot!” Bethany was always one to gas up her friends, but there was an extra dash of sincere surprise in her voice when she saw Eliza.

“Stop it!” Eliza responded with her standard self conscious, nervous laugh. Eliza wasn’t wearing anything different than she normally wore when they went to Trouvere’s, but even she, though she wouldn’t have admitted it, felt more attractive than usual. Eliza was pretty, kept in shape, but never dressed with the intent of looking provocative or sexy. Cute, yes, but nothing beyond that. But she definitely felt sexier tonight. The only difference tonight was the wig. Eliza thought it might have just been a confidence boost from the perfection of the obsidian locks that cascaded over her neck and shoulders, but, regardless of the reason, she definitely felt more attractive.

“So what’s the over/under on free drink offers tonight? I’m gonna put it at,” Bethany looked Eliza up and down, “three and a half.”

While drink offers weren’t uncommon, Bethany’s prediction seemed unusually high. They always got offers, though Bethany always got more than Eliza. Bethany was the hot friend, while Eliza was the “cute and sweet” friend. Plus, Eliza tended to turn down any drink offers, albeit with a polite “no, thank you,” while Bethany tended to accept.

“It would be rude to refuse a gift,” Bethany always said jokingly.

“You know, they usually aren’t offering out of the goodness of their hearts, right?” Eliza would respond.

“Well, they shouldn’t offer then. It’s not a gift if you expect something in return.”

“I’m sure they all understand that concept.” Laughing sarcasm.

“Then they better learn.”

Trouvere’s was a jazz and blues club— the local hotspot for anyone that didn’t really enjoy the dance club scene, or didn’t want to go to the major bar chains. The quality of the music and the drinks were always high, and the atmosphere tended to be a lot more chill than other places. Though avoiding the hookup culture was virtually impossible, Trouvere’s was better than most in being left alone when you turned someone down.

Eliza immediately felt eyes on her. She was definitely being checked out, by both men and women alike. Eliza somehow felt both uncomfortable and excited by the attention. She wasn’t sure if it was always like this, or if she was just more aware of it tonight. Either way, she was here to enjoy her night with friends, and that’s what she was going to do.

Eliza and Bethany met up with their small group of friends. They occupied a few of the small round tables that peppered the club. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house— these just happened to be far enough back to enjoy the music, but still manage some level of conversation. Eliza and Bethany, drinks in hand, greeted their friends with the usual smiles, hellos, and hugs before sitting down. Their small group of now eight was an even mix of guys and gals, including Darren. Eliza had met Darren a few times before, as he was a friend of a friend of Bethany’s. Eliza found him attractive, and found his quiet, though quick witted, ways intriguing. He seemed genuinely kind and shy, and their friends always had good things to say about him. Eliza and Darren greeted each other with smiles, a wave, and a “hey!”

Bethany, who had been encouraging Eliza to go after Darren, gave Eliza a little nudge and a wink, who responded with wide eyes as she mouthed “stop!” to her friend.

The drink offers started pretty quickly. Three men and one woman fulfilled the “over” on Bethany’s prediction.

“Buy me a drink?”

“What?” Eliza laughed, half confused looking up at Darren, who had joined her at the bar.

“I just figured I’d mix it up.” His own self consciousness started to show. “I, mmm, stupid dad joke. Sorry.”

“No no no!” Eliza put her hand on his arm. “It was funny! I was just in my own world.”

Darren smiled, a bit more at ease.

“Do you know this band?” Eliza gestured toward the stage.

“Yeah, actually. I mean, I’m about to sound like ‘that guy,’ but I saw them a few years back. The Light Hands. Really good psychedelic blues rock band out of Tennessee. Knowing a bunch of overly specific musical genres is kinda my thing.” Darren coated the last statement in joking feigned pride.

Eliza laughed. “Well, good, because I know nothing about music. Well, other than if I like it or not.”

They finally got their drinks and returned to the tables. Bethany, in full “wingman” mode, had moved seats so Eliza and Darren sat next to each other when they got back. They continued chatting, with Darren occasionally getting distracted by a song the band would play, which Eliza found endearing. They did manage to exchange numbers before a hug goodbye at the end of the night.

“So?” Bethany dragged out the questioning word. “Spill it.”

“What?” Eliza laughed.

Bethany shrugged and gestured in a “seriously?” exasperated manner.

Eliza failed to suppress her smile. “We are going to go to that Tuesday Night Food Truck Rally thing this week.”

“Yes! Look at you, all confident and shit!”

“It’s just a date.”


“You are terrible!”


Once home, Eliza took off the wig, though she was reluctant to do so. She still felt it strange she was having such an attachment to a wig, of all things. Eliza figured the current fondness was exacerbated by the confidence it had seemed to give her. Regardless, she set the wig on the mannequin head, brushed out the locks, though it did not seem to need it, and then undressed and took a shower. Soon enough, she was in bed, relaxed from the shower, and sleepy from the late night and alcohol. Sleep came. And so did dreams.

A field. The same field as before. Bare feet on the grass. She could feel the moisture on the dark green and gray blades. A forest encompassed the outer reaches of the field. Their imposing, and mostly leafless, arms reaching toward the foreboding dark and cloudy dusk sky. A figure stood in the distance.

Eliza awoke. Her sharp intake of air and pounding heart startled her. She evened her breathing and settled herself down. Eliza was uncertain why the dream had frightened her so. The moon had perfectly placed itself in the sky to send light through the bedroom window, casting a silvery blue spotlight on the mannequin head. The light seemed to slowly cascade down the fibers of obsidian hair, like some etheriel waterfall. Eliza stared back into the blank eye divots of the mannequin head. Finally breaking her gaze, Eliza turned over to try to find sleep again. She could feel that it would now be elusive. Accepting defeat for that moment, Eliza decided to get out of bed, make herself a cup of tea, and finish the night on the couch with a show. Sleep eventually returned to her, their apparent quarrel over, and they spent the rest of the mercifully dreamless night together on the couch.


Tuesday Night Food Truck Rally was a success. Eliza found conversation with Darren easy and enjoyable. Even the silent moments were pleasant. The food was good too. The company was better. Though whatever local musician performed wasn’t good at all. It was a fun and refreshing evening for both of them, despite the soundtrack of bad Tom Petty, Beatles, and Jeff Buckley covers. The night ended with a hug and kiss goodnight, and the promise to see each other again soon. Which they did.

They decided to go to the local farmer’s market that weekend. The second date was as successful as the first, and soon time together became a regular occurrence. A day didn’t pass without some form of conversation. They went to potluck and game night at Bethany’s. Day trips out of town to distilleries. They went to coffee shops to just talk or be together while they read. They did dinner and movie nights at Eliza’s. And there was, of course, Fridays at Trouvere’s.

One particular evening, things moved past the usual cuddling during movie night, and Eliza and Darren made their way to her bedroom. Darren laughed at himself as he fumbled with removing Eliza’s clothes. Between giddy laughs and reassuring kisses they soon undressed each other, despite their trembling hands.

They lay on the bed, and Eliza smiled and ran her fingers through Darren’s hair as he explored her body. She felt him hesitate.

“Why’d you stop?” She looked down at him.

“It’s just, uh,” Darren breathed heavily, “I’m not used to having an audience.” He nodded toward the wigged mannequin head.

“Don’t be silly.” Eliza chuckled.

“Hang on.” Darren got out of the bed and took a few strides over to the vanity. “No offense,” he said to the blank face and very gently picked up the mannequin head and turned in around.

Eliza jokingly rolled her eyes and shook her head at Darren as he hurried back to her.

Soon, the laughing and love making resumed while the wigged head watched their reflections in the vanity mirror.

A few months after their first date, Eliza and Darren made their relationship official. They spent more and more time together, and Elliza wore the wig more and more often.

It bothered Darren some that Eliza seemed to constantly wear the wig now, and he did try to broach the subject with Eliza. She had responded harshly, snapping at Darren to not tell her “what to fucking do.”

“Whoa, whoa!” Darren put his hands up. “I didn't mean it like that. Look, I love you, Eliza. You don’t always have to hide what you are going through from me.” He gestured to his own head. “I dunno. I’m probably saying this super shittily. Obviously.”

Eliza, having returned to normal, was almost in tears, ashamed for having gone at Darren so harshly. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately.” Eliza had been uncharacteristically short tempered with pretty much everyone the past few weeks. She hadn’t been able to quite peg what was wrong. She was happier than ever, but also angrier. She was unequivocally, and unexplainably, healthier than ever, but also, at times, felt sicker than she had ever been.

“Hey, hey.” Darren put his arms around Eliza, who embraced him back. “Whatever’s going on, we’ll get through it.”

They swayed gently back. Eliza looked up at Darren. “I don’t deserve you.”

“Now that’s bullshit.” Darren smirked.

They both smiled and laughed. They let out a mutual sigh as Eliza returned to resting her head against Darren’s chest. She couldn’t see the concern on Darren’s face as they stood swaying in the embrace.


Another Friday, another night at Trouvere’s. A new band played. The Latin and Island infused jazz blues swirled through the air. The male and female shared lead vocals, danced, and parried deftly, adding even more brightness and sensuality to the music.

Eliza had gone up to the bar. Looking back, she saw Bethany talking to Darren. He was leaning forward, hand on the back of Bethany’s chair, eyes slightly squinted, gently nodding as he listened intently to whatever Bethany was saying.

Bitch. Eliza was shocked at the viciousness of the jealousy in her thought. She closed her eyes and shook her head briefly as if to toss the thoughts away. Eyes open again, she saw Bethany talking and laughing with the rest of their friends. Darren was walking to the restroom.

Eliza turned her attention back to the bar, resuming her wait for one of the two bartenders.

“Buy you a drink?”

Eliza looked at the man who had made the offer.

“I’m here with someone,” Eliza responded. “Besides, even if I wasn’t, do you think I’m going to owe you something because you bought me a drink?”

“Nope. Just like to buy beautiful women drinks.” He then proceeded to order two gin and tonics. The man picked up one of the glasses, clinked it against the remaining one, before raising his briefly to Eliza and walking off.

Eliza stared down at the drink on the bar momentarily before a familiar voice broke her daze.

“Free drink?” Darren had returned from the restroom, and witnessed the tail end of the exchange as he had walked up.

“Something like that.”

Darren pointed at the drink and shrugged a “why not?” when one of the bartenders approached for his order. Once completed, Darren switched out the drinks, giving Eliza the fresh one and taking the other. He sipped it, grimacing slightly at the taste of tonic water and juniper.

They drank in relative silence. Eliza eventually slipped her arm through Darren’s, and laid her head against his shoulder as a slow, but heavy, blues song played.

“I need to talk to you, bitch.” The slurred, angry words of an obviously drunk woman shattered the moment.

“Excuse me?” Eliza turned, shocked and confused.

“I wanna know why you were talking to my man.”

Darren had started to move forward, but Eliza put her hand against his chest to stop him.

“Listen here. ‘Your man’ approached me, so why don’t you go yell at him about why he’s buying drinks for other women, or why he can’t keep his dick in his pants. Go bother someone else, you ignorant drunk.” Eliza felt like she was observing from within, listening to someone else speak through her.

The woman stammered in anger, and stepped forward, intending to swing on Eliza.

“Os perdere.” Eliza spoke, her voice simultaneously sounding like her own but also not.

As the woman made her first step, her ankle gave way as soon as it touched the floor. A snapping sound pierced through the music, followed by a nightmarish scream.

The woman was now on the floor, her tibia broken and piercing through her flesh.

Eliza, back to herself, was in horrified shock at what she was witnessing.

Darren was in shock as well, though it was mixed with a kind of awe at Eliza defending herself, though her words might have gone too far.

The rest of the night was a blur. Eliza answered questions from the police as emergency services tended to the woman. All witnesses, including the security footage, confirmed the other woman had been the aggressor, and Eliza had not touched the woman in any way. The woman was heavily intoxicated, and the most simple explanation was that she had simply stepped wrong, lost her balance in the most unlucky way, resulting in the fracture.

Eliza nodded, barely taking in what the policewoman was telling her. Eliza was silent as Darren drove her home.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay?”

“I just. I just need to be alone. Okay?”

“Okay.” Darren nodded in reluctant understanding. “Call me, obviously, if you need anything.”

“I will.”

“I’ll, uh, I’ll call you in the morning.”

Eliza nodded.

“Love you.”

“Love you,” Eliza mumbled as she slowly and robotically shut the door.

Darren lingered outside the door for a moment, uncertain of what to do. Frustrated at his inability to help, he turned away and went home.

A field. Bare feet on the grass. She could feel the moisture on the dark green and gray blades. A forest encompassed the outer reaches of the field, their imposing and mostly leafless arms reaching toward the foreboding dark and cloudy dusk sky. A figure stood in the distance.

A woman. Naked, save a thin black robe that hung loosely and open over her shoulders. The decapitated head of a large goat covered her own, masking her face. Crimson ran down her neck and breasts. Long, obsidian black hair cascaded from under the goat head, and over the figure’s shoulders.

Eliza continued to walk toward her, compelled to approach.

Eliza, now only a few feet from the woman, watched as she removed the goat head, revealing her beautiful, wicked, blood-soaked face. The woman discarded the goat head, stepping forward, letting the robe fall to the ground as she did. Her hand reached around the back of Eliza’s head, pulling her forward, kissing her. Eliza tasted the iron of the blood on the woman’s lips and tongue. Eliza tried to pull away, but she felt her skin had become fused to the woman’s. She struggled in panic, but Eliza was pulled further into the woman, who had Eliza in full embrace. The two merged like some reverse mitosis, leaving the woman alone in the field, standing naked and smiling.

Eliza woke up hyperventilating. She looked around her room in a panic, her eyes finally resting on a moonlit, bare mannequin head. Eliza’s hands went instinctively up to her own head and discovered the wig still on. Eliza figured, in the shock of the events of the night, she had forgotten to take it off before bed.

After turning on the bedroom light, Eliza sat down in front of the vanity to properly remove the wig. Bringing her hands up to the sides of her head, her fingertips ran through her hair instead of catching the edge of the wig to lift it off. Confused, Eliza tried again. The same results. She stood, the chair falling backwards, and leaned toward the vanity mirrors. Looking. Searching. There was no seam. No lip to lift. Only folicels and her own skin.

Afraid, and unsure, Eliza rushed to her bathroom. She grabbed a pair of scissors and began cutting away at the hair.

Snip. Snip. Snip! Snipsnipsnip!

Eliza attacked the fine strands furiously. She’d worry about making it look nice later. She just wanted to cut it back as far as she dared. Eliza didn’t know how else to rid herself of it, and, in the moment, this was all she had. The deed complete, she set the scissors down, turned on the faucet, and leaned down to splash water on her face.

The water felt good on her skin, and brought about the briefest moment of relief. She felt light, silken strands caressing her neck and shoulders. Shaking, Eliza looked up at the mirror and discovered her head still covered fully in long, perfect hair. The clippings that should have been on the floor were gone. Eliza collapsed in a corner of her bathroom and sobbed until she fell asleep.


Eliza stood outside the second hand shop, or rather, what used to be the second hand shop where she purchased the wig. She had ignored Darren’s and Bethany’s calls, as well as Darren’s “Good morning, babe. How are you feeling?” and Bethany’s “Checking in on you” texts.

Eliza had set out in the morning and was now in front of an empty storefront, with little evidence that anything had ever occupied the space. Eliza tried the front door, and looked inside, hand cupped around her eye and pressed against the glass as if searching would somehow bring the store to life, or prove she was mistaken in her observation that the store was closed and empty.

Her frustration gave way to resignation, which then gave way to an eerie peace. There were things she wanted, no, needed, to get, and she had all day to do it.


It was Sunday evening when Eliza finally returned Darren’s phone calls.

“Hey! Babe! Been trying to reach you all weekend! Are you okay?” Darren was relieved to finally hear from her.

“I’m fine, my love. Why wouldn’t I be?”

“I mean, it’s been a, uh, unusual weekend.”

“Let’s go out tonight.”

“Uh, yeah, sure! Where do you want to go?”


“Really?” Darren couldn’t mask his surprise.

“Pick me up in an hour.”

“Yeah, right, sure.” Darren paused. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“See you soon.” Eliza hung up.

An hour later, Eliza greeted Darren with a deep kiss outside her apartment building. Her lips had a faint taste of herbs and honey, and Eliza was leading Darren to his car before he could fully process the thought.

Once at Trouvere’s, they made their way directly to the bar. There were a few sideways glances from patrons, and a mildly surprised look from the bartender that had been there Friday night. Darren responded to a puzzled look the bartender gave him with an “I’m not sure either” shrug.

Eliza ordered two bourbons, neat, handed one to Darren, clinked her glass against his, and had her drink downed by the time Darren had finished his second sip. Eliza nodded her head in perfect time to the music and waited for Darren to finish his drink. As Darren neared his last sip, drinking a little faster than he normally would have, Eliza ordered two more. It seemed to Darren that the energy of Trouvere’s was dulling, and only Eliza was in focus. The second drink done, Eliza’s lips were on Darren’s again. While the couple hadn’t shied away from public displays of affection, this was much more than their usual hand holding or a light kiss on the top of the head. Eliza’s fingertips lightly caressed the back of Darren’s head, her honeyed lips and tongue intertwined with his.

“Let’s get out of here.”

Darren, while still confused at Eliza’s current brazenness, was, in no uncertain terms, aroused. After leaving enough cash on the bar to pay for the drinks and a generous tip, Darren, led by the hand, followed Eliza out of Trouvere’s.

It had begun to rain on their way back to Eliza’s apartment, and their clothes were soaked, dripping water onto the floor of her living room. Darren had just enough time to take in the extraordinary amount of dried herbs and flowers hanging about the apartment. Before he could make a comment on Eliza’s new choice of decor, her mouth was on his again, and her hands began to deftly remove his clothing.

Eliza had turned them around and began guiding them into the bedroom, still kissing and undressing. Now in the bedroom, Eliza pushed Darren’s naked form onto the bed and finished removing her own clothes. The candlelight danced over Eliza’s wet, naked body, and cascaded down her black hair.

The candles had been lit hours ago. The melting wax continued to drip down, building the warm stalagmites at the base of the candles. The slowly flowing wax seemed to move in time with the drops of water that trickled down Eliza’s body.

Eliza was on top of Darren, having put him inside her. She brought Darren’s hands to her breasts. Her sexual aggressiveness was both disconcerting and tantalizing. The sounds of their pleasure mixed with the sound of the rain as it battered against the window. She moved Darren’s hands down to her hips, as her hands slid up his stomach to his chest. Eliza’s fingernails dug down into Darren’s chest, piercing the skin.

“Damn! Shit!” Darren flinched and grimaced. He started to push himself up, but Eliza’s left hand was now around his throat, pushing him back down.

Eliza’s movements became more intense and forceful, as did her cries of ecstasy. She was leaning forward now, left hand on Darren’s throat, and her right hand next to the pillow. The sexual energy rose to its peak, and, in the throws of mutual climax, Eliza brought the knife, which she had hidden under the pillow, across Darren’s throat.

Darren’s eyes were wide as he gasped his final gurgling breaths, blood spurting from the wound.

Eliza leaned back, back arched, and ran her now blood covered hand down her lips, neck, and breasts. The energy of sex, blood, and sacrifice filling her like a drug, as euphoric a feeling as the orgasm that had immediately preceded it.

Her body relaxed. She sighed in satisfaction and steadied herself with hands on Darren’s lifeless chest.

Eliza opened her eyes and recoiled in horror. Her shaking hands covering her mouth, stifling a scream she was too shocked to release. She fell off the bed, crawling back toward it, sobbing. One hand covered her mouth as the other touched Darren’s face, as if it would dispel the nightmare. That’s what this had to be.

She retreated to the bathroom, attempting to wash the blood from her body. Her hands shook. She sobbed and retched. Not knowing what else to do in her dazed condition, she put on some clothes and headed to Bethany’s place.

Bethany, after looking through the peephole to see who was banging so loudly at her door, let Eliza inside. The rain had washed away most of the remaining blood from Eliza’s face and hands, but some remained. Her eyes sunken, skin pale, Eliza collapsed to her knees only a few steps inside Bethany’s home.

“Eliza! What’s wrong? Tell me.” Bethany spoke kindly as she knelt next to Eliza, hand on her shoulder, the other rubbing her back, desperately trying to comfort her friend and to find out what was going on.

“Darren… I… I think I hurt him.” Eliza started sobbing again.

“Eliza. Please. Talk to me. Where’s Darren? What happened to him?”

“Why do you care? Are you fucking him?” Eliza’s voice angry and jealous and not quite her own.

“What the fuck, Eliza.”

“I’m.. I’m sorry…” Eliza broke down again. “I don’t know what’s going on, Beth. What’s wrong with me?”

Bethany helped her friend up, and guided her to the couch. “Eliza… Look at me... Breathe, okay? In… Out… In… Out…” Eliza calmed enough for Bethany to feel comfortable stepping away for a moment to grab some towels, dry clothes, and her cellphone. “I’ll be right back, okay? We are gonna figure this out, okay?”

Eliza nodded in response.

“Okay. Be right back.”

Bethany went to her bedroom, grabbed a pair of pajama pants and a top, a few towels from the closet, and put her phone in the pocket of her own pajama pants. “Okay. Let’s get you dry, and…” Bethany’s words trailed off as she saw Eliza standing in the kitchen with the large knife drawn from the knife block.

“Eliza? Sweetie? What are you doing?” Bethany’s concern mingled with fear.

“I… I have to stop this.”

“Eliza, please… put that down. We can talk about whatever is…”

“No! It won’t help!” Eliza’s shout was desperate. Too many thoughts. Too many images. She could feel and hear the hair moving and growing on her head. She rushed toward Bethany.

Bethany, instinctively shifting to her right, was knocked further out of the way as Eliza sprinted past her. Bethany heard the bathroom door slam shut and the click of the lock.

“Eliza! Eliza!” Bethany shouted and pounded her fist against the bathroom door. She slammed her shoulder into the door, which hurt her shoulder more than it made the door budge. Bethany kept banging on the door as she called 911.

The EMTs arrived first. One of them was able to kick in the bathroom door on the second attempt. They found Eliza curled up on the floor, the bloody knife laying near her. The EMTs, while they began to treat Eliza, found it strange that, despite the blood and gore of her now severed and exposed scalp, and the pain she had to have been in, had a look of relief on her blood and tear stained face.


“That’ll be one hundred dollars,” said the plump older woman from behind the counter.

“Gimme one sec…” said the young woman as she searched for her debit card in her purse. “...and here you go!” She smiled as she handed over her card.

The mannequin head on the counter watched silently, the long obsidian locks flowing like a waterfall of midnight.


About the Creator

Aaron Morrison

Writer. Artist. I write horror primarily, but dabble in other genres here and there.

Influenced by Poe, Hawthorne, Ligotti, John Carpenter, and others.

Everyone has a story to tell.

Author of Miscellany Farrago

instagram: @theaaronmorrison

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