Vanessa looked at herself in the hairdresser’s mirror, watching a pile of foils accumulate on her head.
Earlier that day, she had decided to fix the problem.
Remembering how once upon a time she had inadvertently caused a few people, i.e., her boyfriend and a couple of random losers, some problems by doing a little white-witchcraft, she realized there could still be long-term effects from what she had done.
She had buried all the items for her rituals inside an ugly handbag she never planned to use again and shoved it under a shelf in the walk-in closet. She never thought about it again (except for how her boyfriend dumped her over it) until the weird things started happening.
And then, of course, Tiffany. Tiffany who got the amazing new car, Tiffany who got the new mysterious boyfriend, Tiffany whose skin magically cleared up.
So she had to go in there and take care of this once and for all. Her heart was pounding as she pulled away all the junk she had piled in front of the closet door and opened it.
She crawled on her hands and knees through clothes, shoes, bags, and stuffed animals until she found the purse. What was she thinking when she bought that? Okay, she only used it once, but still—someone might remember seeing her with it.
Focus, Vanessa, focus, she said to herself.
She sat on a pile of mismatched shoes and pulled out the bag. It was time to do what she should have done in the first place and throw it all out. Taking a deep breath, she unzipped the purse, expecting to find garden rocks and cheap incense.
Instead, she found a handful of Tiffany’s unmentionables.
“Arggghhhhhh!” she screamed and threw the bag across the closet.
In any case, there was no time to cry about it. She had a date with her boyfriend Brad to get ready for, so she closed off the closet again and went to the salon to get her highlights refreshed.
Vanessa never took her eyes off her hairdresser’s reflection in the mirror.
“You better make sure my highlights don’t come out orange this time, Brenda!”
“Oh, no, Mees Vanessa, you always so pretty.”
Vanessa picked at her cuticles underneath the cape which was emblazoned with a big red lipstick kiss design. It looked so stupid. She really needed to find a classier place.
Maybe summoning an evil spirit hadn’t been the right thing to do. But people had been mean to her, and didn’t mean people deserve bad things to happen to them?
Brenda led her over to the hooded blow dryers and sat her down.
“You better not leave them in too long like you did the last time!” Vanessa snapped before Brenda pulled the hood down over her head.
Okay, maybe people didn’t deserve what happened. Especially losers she didn’t even know. And maybe it hadn’t been technically white witchcraft. Maybe a little gray. Dark gray.
She gave the side-eye to a woman next to her getting her roots done. Ugh, look how much dye they needed to apply. She was never going to allow her hair to turn white. Why would anyone let it get that bad?
The timer buzzed and Brenda ran across the room to turn off the dryer and take Vanessa to the washing station.
Vanessa shifted her head around against the basin and folded her hands. “Don’t let the water run down my neck like you always do!”
“Of course not, Mees Vanessa.”
She stared at the ceiling as Brenda pulled off the foils and washed her hair. Maybe if she got away from Tiffany all of this would stop happening. Tiffany’s pranks were annoying, but the purse thing went too far.
“Hey Brend,” she said suddenly, “How old were you when you moved out?”
Brenda nodded her head without saying anything and hung up the sprayer. She walked over to her counter and returned with an advertisement for an apartment.
“New life for you, Mees Vanessa.”