Short Stories

Hair Die

Prompt: The box is labelled hair “die” not hair “dye.” Is it a simple misspelling, an odd attempt at a joke, or is it a promise?

“Hey Carlie, take a look at this!” Justin’s voice rose up over the crowded shelves.

It took Carlie a few minutes to weave her way over to him. The second-hand shop was so disorganized that it was certainly a fire hazard but it was just so darn interesting. Some of the things people gave away were so weird. Like…

“Hair die!” Justin crowed.

Carlie snorted. “Hair dye? That’s a stupid thing to donate but it didn’t deserve a ‘hey, come over here’ shout.”

Justin reached out and grabbed her arm before she could spin on her heels and walk away. “Not hair ‘dye’. The box says hair ‘die.’ You know, die as in death.”

“No way!” Carlie pulled the box out of his hand and examined it. “What do you think? A typo? Made in China and lost in translation?”

“Or it’s a death threat. Mwah ha ha!”

Carlie rolled her eyes. “I want to try it. Tonight. As soon as we get back to my house.”

Now Justin rolled his eyes. “You. Are. So. Weird.”

“You know you want to tempt fate too,” she said as she pulled him towards the check-out.

Twenty minutes later Carlie was holed up in her bathroom, shaking the little bottle of noxious smelling chemicals.

“That smells horrible,” Justin couldn’t help but comment from his position on top of the closed toilet. “And it literally looks like blood. I don’t think that’s a good sign.”

Carlie snorted as she separated her long blonde locks into different sections. She’d just bleached the green out of it two months before, making it perfect to take the new color. “You act like this is the first time you’be helped oversee my crazy hair experiments.”

And then she squirted the dye. At first nothing out of the norm happened but then the liquid finally touched her skin and Carlie dropped the bottle. “It burns!”

Justin watched with wide eyes as Carlie tried to rinse her hair off in the sink but the water ran red long after the dye should have washed out.

When Carlie pulled her head up and looked in the mirror she screamed. The dye had ate away at her skin, leaving raw bloody patches in it’s wake. Her vision started to go cloudy.

As she fell she didn’t even notice that Justin’s worried expression had become a frown.

He checked her pulse once her eyes fluttered closed and sighed when he felt it. His plan hadn’t worked. He hadn’t made the mixture strong enough.



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