's 2018 Horror Write-off:

white gold

Submitted by The Distant Suburbs

When I heard there was a new war in the east, I immediately smelled a business opportunity. So I grabbed my trusty scissors and travelled straight to the front lines.

You see, I deal in hair extensions. I sell the stuff on the internet, and I‘ve got a distinguished clientele from all over the world. It started as a side business back when I was still studying medicine, but it soon became the main focus of my life.

My favorite raw material is a type of blond Slavic hair, the purest, most flamboyant variety known as “white gold”. Not that ordinary greyish street blond I have going on, as my mother would always point out. No, the kind you’d find on the scalps of tall, Barbie-like girls I went to high school with. But I digress.

As I suspected, there were lots of harvesting opportunities in the east. I discovered many different ways to get to the good stuff, including tedious negotiations with local authorities and bribing the guards of refugee camps, but personally, I preferred the hands-on approach.

I think my very best sample came from that female volunteer fighter who got most of her lower body blown clean off during a bombardment. When I spotted her crawling through the grass, I immediately knew she was of the perfect phenotype. I was right, of course; pulling off her helmet and hair tie released a flood of shining, silky, luxurious blond. She seemed to be really angry and annoyed by what I was doing, trying to slap my hands away and dragging herself across the ground, as if there was still any hope of her getting away. She also cursed me, I think. I don’t know. I don’t speak the language. But of course I persevered and got what I wanted.

Soon afterwards, some of my “colleagues” came by to harvest her organs. I think that was a good call. She seemed to have a strong heart. Certainly looked healthy to me. Not that I’m really interested in that sort of business. To her credit, she held on longer than one would expect, and what remained of her was flipping off the (indifferent) harvesters with both hands.

Though my strangest encounter by far must have been when I came across that woman in the woods. The nearby village had been shattered by artillery. She was sitting on a tree stump, wearing nothing but a white nightgown, her arms and legs spread as if she was a lifeless doll. About my age.

After briefly waving my hand in front of her face to test her reaction (none), I took out my scissors and got to work. She didn’t offer any resistance. Not directly, at least.

Even though it was already winter, plants started to grow around my feet at incredible speed, piercing through the layer of dead, frozen leaves on the forest floor and wrapping themselves around my legs like vicious green corkscrews. I was so invested in my work that I didn’t even notice the plants at first. When the squeezing and pulling became too painful to ignore, I had a brief moment of panic. If I hadn’t done anything, they eventually would have covered my entire body and suffocated me. However, my boots and scissors were more than enough to keep them in check. They kept fighting back, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough to distract me from my task.

When I was done, I decided to shave her head with an electric razor, for good measure. I usually do that, when I’m working with a live one. I think it looks cleaner. While I was doing that, I noticed a single plant wrapping itself around the woman’s ankle, not aggressive and defiant this time, but as if it was trying to comfort her. Not that she seemed to take any note of this, either.

Her hair wasn’t even of outstanding quality, mind you, certainly nothing compared to that pure, white gold I got from the soldier girl I mentioned earlier, but still, it would fetch a good price.

Not too far away I came across the remains of a little girl with the exact same hair color as the stump lady. Luckily, her scalp was still intact.