My hair had been falling out all autumn. Perhaps it had been the time of the year, the poor diet consisting mainly of toast and marshmallows, or the buckets of hair dye that had caused the little strands to wander off into the distance, making a break from their hairy prison. Hairs would fall out as I brushed them, or dried them, or tried to wash them. They would even fall out while I was asleep, and often I would wake up and find that some of them had tried to kill me. It was the way of things. It was the way it always had been, and always would be. I poisoned my hair with toast; they tried to strangle me in my sleep. I felt we had reached a good understanding.
Then today, I cleaned the bathroom… a particularly unexciting task made more unpleasant today especially, as following a slightly disgruntled tip-off from my father, I had been instructed to ‘look in the shower plug hole’. And thus, I did.
Oh horror of horrible horrors! The plug hole was filled with hair. A tentative tug pulled strings from the murky depths, black and much longer than I had remembered it being. It looked like it had grown, fed by the various shampoo remnants and belly-button fluff. A diet of kings! I fought to stop myself from retching. The shame was almost unbearable but was placed aside momentarily by the dreadful thought of, well… at least it wasn’t pubes.
I pulled it all out with baited breath- more than I could ever have remembered shedding, enough to make fluffy creepy pillows for everyone on my street. Disturbing. I put the hairs in the bin and continued victoriously to clean the shower. The little toothbrush I was using to clean the mould from the tiles seemed also to share the joy in my victory cleaning. The shower would now be clean and hair-free and no longer would I be ashamed and traumatized. It had been a good day.
But then… it began. A distant rumbling sound came from behind me. Perhaps it was a helicopter outside, chasing some teapot-stealing arsonist with a thing for, uh, teapots?… but no! It was coming from inside the bathroom! I turned in terror, toothbrush still in hand, just in time to see it rise from the bin… a hair ball monster! I stood, fixated, barricaded by the shower curtain, enraptured by the hairy being that was now climbing its way out of the bin. I was frozen with fear. As it made its way towards me, I could see its features more clearly now… it was round and fluffy, and a bit damp… it might have been quite cute had it not been for the glowing red eyes and two-inch fangs. I barely had time to splutter, ‘What the fuck?’ before it had attached itself to my face.
Flailing wildly I tried to stab it with the toothbrush, but it had already started pulling at my eyelids. Shrieking slightly, I fell into the shelf of shampoos; suddenly, I was covered in goo and had the hair ball monster trying to eat my eyeballs. I smashed my face into the side of the bath and loosened its grip, but it had already drawn its weapon; the prodigious hairclip. The epic battle was upon us. Toothbrush v. Hairclip: the Ultimate Deathmatch.
The hair ball monster leaped from the side of the bath and onto my chest, stabbing frantically at my heart. Suddenly, I managed to use the toothbrush to block the attacks and began to gain the advantage, ‘Ha ha ha!’ Battling the hair ball monster to the edges of the bath we both pushed with all our might against the other, his hairy form straining against my plastic sword of righteousness; but then, slowly, the hair ball monster lost his balance… throwing his hairclip in the general direction of my face in a last desperate attempt, he slipped… and fell the eternal distance from the edge of the bath, to the bathroom floor… the fake wood tiles were unforgiving to him… my enemy had been defeated.
The battle was won. I lay, panting, in the shell of the bath, my heart brimming with triumph. As I steadily rose to my feet, I started to hear slight noises coming from the plug hole… almost like cries. Woefully tiny cries. Once more, I looked into the plug hole and it was then that I saw three little baby hair ball monsters. Suddenly my heart cracked; what had I done?!
I scooped up the babies from the plug hole and made them a new nest in a shoebox under my bed. I fed them with strengthening shampoo, hoping they would become stronger, and also hoping that terrible supermarket-brand provisions would be to their liking. As they began to snuggle up together after they had eaten, all hairy and strange, I walked back into the bathroom with a heavy heart to finish my cleaning.
I really hate cleaning the bathroom. Shit like this always happens.