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A Hairy Problem

It was just another day, starting no different than any other. I was standing in the shower, filling my palm with shampoo and listening to stand-up comedy on my phone. Completely oblivious to the lurking danger crawling up the drain. I wet my dreads and lathered up, scrubbing the locks with my nails and laughing at the comedians. The water washed over my face as I dipped my head back under the shower, pulling the suds down my body in long, thick lines. Unknowingly, I was providing my impending foe with the perfect coverage for when it ventures into the light. As I turned back to face the spill of water, I felt something brush my toe. In my foolish melancholy, I assumed it was a bubble, and gave it no more thought than that. In fact, the creature had climbed out of the drain and was slowly making it’s way towards me, neatly concealed by the cover of suds. Once my hair was free of shampoo I turned, putting my back to the drain, and wrung the excess water from my locks. Once it was wrapped up in a bun on top of my head, I grabbed my bath pouf and soaked it in soap. At the same time, I felt another tickle, this time around my ankle, vaguely reminiscent of an insect searching for purchase. That thought made me look down instinctively, and my face went from mild curiosity to disgust and horror. Wrapping my ankle in an endless strand, was a solid, tangled coil of curly hair. For some reason, the fact that I have straight hair and the knowledge that this creature did not originate from me freaked me out more than the impossibly long hairs crawling up my calf. Finally my thought process came to a screeching halt and I was able to draw a breath and cry out, bringing my dog to his feet from his place outside the bathroom. I spared him a glance before I bent down, raking my nails across the strands, trying to sever them. The few I was lucky enough to snap came back instantly, and in greater numbers. In my panic, I had one fleeting thought, about Odysseus and the Hydra, before the grasping strands reached my knee. I gathered them at the back of my knee and tried to rip them off, but the ones that broke twined between my fingers and leg, tying them together. When I tried to yank my limbs apart, the hair held like thousands of tiny ropes. My yank toppled me back and I hit the shower floor with a bang, my vision going dark for a moment. For those few seconds, my eyes wide open but seeing nothing, all I can concentrate on is the slowly creeping terror, making it’s way up my body one tendril at a time. Panic found my vocal chords finally, and I started to scream, over and over. The dog, ignoring his training for a good reason for once, nosed open the door and approached the tub. His shadow fell over me, and the strands stopped their journey, freezing on my thighs. From nowhere it had produced more of itself, now binding my legs tightly together, almost woven up to my elbow on my trapped arm. The dog cocked his head to the side, smart enough not to come close and smell my bonds. After a moment they started to move again, growing more curls to wrap around my posterior. The dog got up on the edge of the tub and watched as I used my free hand to rip at the growing pieces before it caught that hand up too. I looked up into his face and tried to impart into his little doggy eyes how important this is. “Leroy, go get your daddy!” He stared at me, and I could see him trying to puzzle it out. I waited until he was wholly focused on me again and said,” Daddy. Go downstairs and bring me-” he turned before I finished and ran out of the room. I tried to get out of the tub, but when I moved the hairs that covered me knee to waist squeezed, some cutting into my more fatty skin, turning the water pink. My razor, across the tub, caught my eye, and I sat up and rolled to my knees. Reaching with my last free appendage, I got the handle just barely with two fingers, almost face-planting into the facet. As soon as I rolled back and onto my side and started cutting at the strands, the dog walked back into the bathroom, looking at me like he’d forgotten what I wanted him to do. “I cant fucking believe this. Leroy.” he looked at me, eyes all big. “Go down-stairs.” I enunciated. “Bring daddy up-stairs. Bring mommy, daddy.” This time, he took off with far more certainty. Concentrating on the task at hand, I sawed the razor sideways along the hairs connecting my hand to my leg. Hairs started popping apart. “Got you now you little fucker!” hairs were slipping down the drain like creepy dark spaghetti. Keeping my fingers carefully clear, as the broken strands waved about, trying to latch onto something. With the razor I was able to free my entrapped hand, and as I started sawing at the web between my thighs, I heard the dog barrel up the stairs. My husband’s footsteps followed, and soon the dog stood whimpering at the door, with my husband coming around the corner in his wake. He stopped at the door and stared at me, lying on my side, one hand in the air to keep from the reaching strands, legs still woven together with wriggling hairs, razor furiously moving back and forth. His face was a mixture of fear and disgust. He rushed to the tub and pulled me up, flicking out his knife and slicing through the remaining strands in one swipe. Some of the loosed hairs tried to weave into the fabric of his pant leg, but together we pulled them out, like stubborn little worms, and rinsed them away. My husband helped me out of the tub and held me while I shook off the shock. After a few days, we had the pipes replaced, the tub, even the faucet for good measure. That shower still gives me the heebie-jeebies, in fact, I seem to have developed a phobia of drains as well. But on the plus-side, my husband has not let a day go by without cleaning his dark, curly hairs out of the tub after his shower.