Lena Holmes, a model, was offered a part in a movie, and she found stardom.
As is common, fame and fortune can make significant changes in a person's personality. So it was with Lena Holmes. She became difficult to work with and bullied everyone with whom she worked. Lena wanted her body from her face to her toes perfect, so she hired a chemist to create shampoo, creams for her face, her neck, her arms, and every other place where skin could be seen.Once a week, Lena went to an upscale beauty salon to have her hair shampooed by Carol, the only person she would allow near her hair. "Miss Holmes, I don't understand it. I poured some of your special shampoo on your hair, but it won't lather. It's as though I just poured water on your hair."
"What," Lena growled, jumped out of the chair, wrapped a towel around her head, rushed to her car, and drove to her chemist "When she arrived at the chemist's lab, she barged in startling Dr. Fine. "Ms. Holmes. Wha…"
"You're a fraud. A charlatan. I paid you a fortune for this shampoo, and it doesn't lather," she screamed pointing the bottle at his face." Lena walked back and forth in front of the chemist, who sat at his desk and watched her as she paced and ranted. If I had a gun, I'd…"
"Ms. Holmes, I don't appreciate your insults or your threats. I should kick you out of here right now, but I won't. I don't know what went wrong with the formula, but I'll find out. Now, leave and don't come back."
"I won't, you crook. I ought to sue you," she growled and stormed out of his lab.
"Miserable bitch. Spoiled brat. I want to be around when age turns her into a prune. I want to see her fall apart. Now, let's look at the shampoo," he said and put a drop on a glass slide and looked at it through his microscope. Hmm. Interesting. One element has degraded. I can fix it," he said, went to his refrigerator and took out a jar, removed the cap, and poured about an ounce into the shampoo. Next, he went to his incubator and took out a small bottle that was filled with green liquid, and went to his work place. He held the small bottle up to the light and smiled. I wish I could be there to see it," he said, took the cap off the bottle of shampoo, and poured the contents of the small bottle into it. Then, he screwed the cap back on the bottle of shampoo, shook it several times, and held the bottle up to the light. "Yeah. I'd love to see this."
The shampoo was delivered the next morning. "Good. Just in time. I have an appointment to have my hair washed." In order to be sure that her hair was receiving the attention she demanded, she went to her exclusive beauty salon. "Ms. Holmes, how nice to see you. Come with me and I'll wash your hair."
"Here's my shampoo, Carol," she said and gave her the bottle.
Lena sat in the shampooing chair and put her head back on the contoured sink. Carol wet her hair, poured some of Lena's shampoo on her head, and massaged her head. "Is this new shampoo? The suds are luxurious, so smooth." Carol rinsed her hair, covered her hair with a towel, and led her to a chair. "How would you like me to style your hair?"
"Just take about a half inch off the bottom"
After Carol finished, she used mirrors to show Lena what she did.
"Looks fine. Thank you Carol," she said, paid her, left the salon, and went home. It was late, so she made herself a sandwich, watched TV for a while, and then went to bed. She was very tired, so she fell right to sleep. During the night, she tossed and turned After tossing and turning for four hours, she suddenly awoke, looked at her hands and sheets and blanket, and saw that they were covered with blood. "Oh, my God. What's happening," she moaned and put her hands to her head. "My head's bleeding," she gasped and fainted. While she was unconscious, microscopic parasites, which Dr. Fine put in her shampoo, crawled through her hair, eating her hair as they went. After her hair was gone, they burrowed into her scalp. By morning, the parasites had burrowed into her scalp, eaten her brain, and moved through her body eating as they went. Medical Examiners, after they performed an autopsy and finally discovered the cause of cause of her death, agreed that there was no way of knowing how she became a host for the parasites.
BIO: Saul Greenblatt
While teaching at a community college, Mr. Greenblatt wrote stories and stage plays, one of which won a Smith College playwriting competition. Since retiring in 2000, he has been writing short stories, novellas, and novels. Some of his short stories have been published on line, and others in print anthologies.