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1. At the palace, Princess Alexandra’s room.

“I want waistlength and wavy hair! Can you fix that for me?”

PrincessAlexandra had summoned her chief hairstylist Luciferia, generally called Lucy, for advice.

“Certainly your highness, hairextensions won’t constitute a problem. Your hair is at collarlength. We only need hair matching yours that is long enough.”

“How long?”

“Preferably at least two feet, your highness.”

“And how do we get that?”

“It won’t be difficult to obtain, your highness. If you allow me to do a suggestion I think that your highness should order the principals of the university and the highschools in town to assemble all the female students with light blonde hair. My team will cut off strands of those whose hair is long enough to be considered suitable for donation. We’ll study colour and texture and then your highness should order to appear all those students which we have chosen. I think that they will feel privileged by the idea that their hair could be suitable to be attached to your highness’ crowning glory.”

2. At the university, the auditorium.

All the female students registered as having light blonde hair were gathered in the auditorium. Some of them were excluded as they had dyed their hair and also  those with too short hair. From the girls which hair had a length of at least two feet small strands were cut.

Not everyone tolerated this. Carmen, a senior student political science, asked why the stylists needed to take samples of their hair. The principal, a squat and short woman with greyish hair, cut bluntly to a short bob, answered that she had got orders from the court which couldn’t be ignored.

“For what purpose?” insisted Carmen.

“It is a scientific examanation of colour and texture,” Lucy answered her.

“We should have been asked to contribute to it first,” criticised Carmen the action.

“You are right,” said the principal, “but we had not the time to inform you beforehand. Anyway they ask only a small piece of hair.”

Carmen was not satisfied but she understood that a refusal would make an unfavourable impression.

Afterwards her friend Elvira asked her to give her opinion about the research.

“I’ve no idea,” Carmen answered, “maybe it is connected to DNA investigation but I don’t know for what reason. Anyway we agreed as we were assured that the results would be destroyed after the purpose had been established.”

3. At the palace, the reception hall.

About thirty girls had been chosen to appear at the palace, their ages ranging from 14 to 21 years. The invitation couldn’t be ignored and no one had even considered that. Even Carmen, who had got an invitation too, was curious: what was this all about?

The stylists selected six girls and they were introduced to the princess.

Alexandra pointed out three of them: Carmen, Diana and Laetitia. Of course the colour and texture of theit hair matched that of the princess and they had all three very long, wavy and gorgeous hair.

Lucy addressed them and told them that they had been chosen to fulfil an important task and they should regard this as a great honour. Their hair should serve the purpose to embellish the head of the princess……..

Embarrassed the girls had listened to those words. Diana and Laetitia, who were only 16 and 17 years, were too impressed to say a word but the 21 years old Carmen spoke up.

“I won’t deny that it is a great honour being designated as a purveyor to the  Royal Household, nevertheless Her Royal Highness might take into account our feelings.”

Alexandra was surprised: “What do you mean?” she asked.

She was accustomed to the fact that everyone complied with her requests.

“What I mean to say, your highness, is to say that I love my hair. It has taken me six years to raise it and now you want to take it away from me without even asking. Can’t you see that this is a big sacrifice?”

Alexandra was embarrassed. No one had ever spoken to her like that, except of course her aunt, Princess Honora, who was her legal guardian as long as she was under age. And never had she been thinking about feelings and emotions of other people.

Lucy had followed the discussion with lack of understanding and became impatient. Alexandra noticed. She turned to Lucy.

“I suppose that the hair of two girls will be enough for you to give me what I want?”

“Oh yes, your highness.”

“Well then…….your name is Carmen, isn’t it?”

“Okay Carmen, I won’t need your hair. You are free to leave. I’ll take the hair of the other two girls.”

“I’m sorry, your highness, but I don’t agree. I would despise myself when I should accept your offer. I want to assert their rights as well and what applies to me is in force to them too. Take my hair and let Diana and Laetitia go.”

Alexandra was stupified first, then got angry.

“You don’t accept my proposal? And you offer me your hair? What is all this fuss about?”

She turned to Lucy: ” It’s all your fault!” she shouted. “This stupid idea was yours!”

Suddenly she acted in an impulse: “Take those pins out of your hair.”

Lucy had pinned up her blonde hair as she always did when she accomplished her duties. She took the pins out and an abundance of blonde waves cascaded across her shoulders to her back.

“Why should I bother those girls while your hair perfectly matches mine,” Alexandra said, giving her stylist a mean look. “Your idea has brought me in this awkward position, now you’ll have to pay for it.”

She called Gabriella, one of the other stylists.

“Gabriella, you will be my chief stylist from now on. Lucy has to obey you. Cut off Lucy’s hair!”

Lucy begged Alexandra to spare her hair but to no avail: the princess was relentless. She had forgotten about the presence of the three girls who looked on in awe how Gabriela cut off strand after strand of Lucy’s hair next to the scalp till only uneven tiny wisps remained on her head.

“Phew, that looks ugly,” said Alexandra, “shave her head smooth and clean.”

Poor Lucy who had been crying first, got excited when she felt the razor scrape across her scalp. The crying ended and a faint smile spread over  her face.

“Wow, that feels good,” she said when Gabriela had finished the job and brushed Lucy’s head clean.

Alexandra looked surprised at Lucy, noticing the change in her behaviour. She ordered the girl to collect her own hair while she sat down on the chair which Lucy had just left.

“Now you are going to attach your hair to mine,” she said to Lucy.

Suddenly she became aware of the presence of the three girls.  

“I’m sorry, ladies, you see that everything has been settled, so you are allowed to leave. Thank you for coming.”

Carmen, Diana and Laetitia did a curtsey and left the palace.

4. At the palace, Princess Honora’s room.

Princess Honora, aunt and legal guardian of Alexandra, had commanded her niece to her room.

“You really have gone too far, Alex and you’ll have to pay for it. Humiliating that poor Luciferia in such a way and degrading her too….”

She looked disapprovingly at the long tresses hanging loosely across her nieces face.  

“You look like a slut. Well, we’ll change that.”

Alexandra winced fearing that her aunt would order her to have her hair cut short. But she didn’t.

“In the first place you give Luciferia her position back.”

“But I cannot degrade Gabriela,” opposed Alexandra.

“No, you cannot. They will both have the position of chief hairstylist.”

“I cannot afford that, aunt Honora,” cried Alexandra, “my allowance should be raised then.”

“Nope, on the contrary, it will be diminished by 10%. You’ll have to to cut down your expenses. Less beauty-assets, dresses and shoes. Next you are grounded fot 10 days: no festivities or parties. Besides, you have mi
sbehaved at your latest party. You have been noticed lying in a corner with one of your guests, kissing and cuddling. How could you show such an undignified behaviour, allowing his hand crawling up your leg!”

“No further than my knee, aunt Honora. Nothing happened. I admit that we had been drinking a little too much.”

“Do you think this to be an excuse? Let me tell you, Alexandra, when I hear of events like these again I’ll send you with a faked name to a bootcamp abroad. There they will learn you to behave. You have been spoilt long enough and that has to end.And now about your hair….”

Princess Honora paused and Alexandra was seized with fear.

“From now on I only want to see you with your hair braided as soon as you leave your room. Is that clearly understood?”

Ugh, thought Alexandra, I’ll look like a little girl. But she was relieved as well and she said: “Yes aunt, I’ll wear a plait.”

“Not one, two on either side.”

Worser than worse, but Alexandra didn’t dare to object.

5. At the palace, Princess Honora’s room.

“You are a clever girl, Carmen. You had the guts to stand up to my niece and teach her a lesson. I like that, nobody ever does. How about accepting a position at my court?”

Surprised Carmen had been listening. She had got an invitation to visit the princess and  she had obeyed nervously as she had had no idea what to expect. Instead of a feared rebuke she was praised!  

“I’m very honoured, your royal highness, but I would not like breaking off my studies. In a few months I hope to graduate.”

“Oh, don’t bother about that. Of course you should finish your studies and you’ll have plenty of time to do so. I only want you to be present at the parties of my niece to supervice her. She….sometimes shows a somewhat dissolute  behaviour.”

“I’m sorry, your royal highness, does that mean that you expect me to spy for you?” Carmen asked, clearly with disgust.

“No, my child, not spying. Look, you are one of the very exceptional people that are respected by Alexandra and you could have a positive effect on her. So if she lets her hair down too much you should try to correct her. Well, what do you say?”

“I’ll do my best, your royal highness.”

6. At the palace, Alexandra’s party at the ballroom.

“Let’s play dice!” Alexandra proposed with sparkling eyes. “The game with five dices!”

As Alexandra’s hair was invariably braided all the girls wore plaits too, as far as the length of the hair permitted it. For the boys it offered many opportunities to grab a tail and pull at it.

Someone asked: “What is the the reward for the winner?”

Alexandra snorted with laughter: “He may cut off the tail of one of us girls!”

Carmen reacted: “That is not fair! It will exclude you.”

“Why?”asked Alexandra.

“No one would dare to cut off your plait.”

“Do you think I wouldn’t dare to take the risk?” Alexandra cried recklessly. “Well, Carmen, let’s play together, the two of us. She who wins is allowed to to cut off the plait of the other.”

“I have a better idea: the winner may shave the head of the loser to baldness.”

Everyone gasped. Carmen knew that she was playing dangerously. Alexandra gazed at her, she knew what Carmen was referring to. At least ten seconds both girls looked straight into each others eyes.

Then Alexandra said; “Okay, I accept.”

There was an uproar of excitement among the guests and all jostled each other around the gambling table.  

They gambled with five dices, each five throws in turn and like tennis the best of five system. Alexandra won the toss and did the first throw: 6, 4, 2, 2, 1. Total 23 as a pair counted double.

Carmen produced: 5, 4, 2, 2, 1. Total 18. That made Alexandra take the lead by 1-0.

Second throw. Carmen: 5, 5, 2, 1, 1. Total 26.  Alexandra 6, 4, 4, 4, 2. Three times 4 meant 3 times 12=36! Total 44. Score 2-0 for Alexandra.

The crowd had been watching with close attention and now broke out in a loud noise. but the match wasn’t done yet!

Third throw. Would this bring the decision?

Alexandra first: 5, 4, 2, 2, 1. Total 18.

The tension rose to a boiling point.

Carmen: 6, 6, 4, 3, 1. Total 32 . Score 2-1 for Alexandra.

Fourth throw. Last chance for Carmen to equalizethe score. She threw: 6, 6, 3, 3, 3 ! Total 51.

Alexandra came far behind with: 6, 4, 2, 2, 1. Total19.

Turned chances. The last throw should bring the decision.

Alexandra: 5, 5, 4, 4, 1. Total 37. Not bad at all! But would it be enough?

Everyone present held his or her breath while Carmen prepared herself to do the last throw…………….

6, 4, 3, 3, 3 ! Total 37 ! Equal to Alexandra!

“We must have a winner,” seid Alexandra, “The latest throw should be repeated.”

No one did object. No one had ever met a situation like this.

The tension rose again and could be felt. Now Carmen did the first throw in total silence…..

6, 4, 3, 3, 2. Total 24. That would be too short! The crowd murmured.

Alexandra had a triumphant glitter in her eyes when she threw the dices…

5, 3, 1, 1, 1. Total 17…….

Oh’s and ah’s emerged from the boys and girls looking on.

Alexandra had lost the game…….Both girls looked each other profoundly into the eyes.

“You’ve won.”said Alexandra.

“Yeah.”

Again they gazed at each other. At last Alexandra said: “So I have to lose my hair.”

“Yeah.”

“Well…..go ahead.”

“Not yet,” said Carmen. “I won’t do it without your aunt’s consent.”

“So let’s ask her.”

Alexandra strolled to a telephone. “I want to speak to my aunt,” she told the receptionist.

“Alexandra? Is something wrong?”

“No aunt, but we need your advice.”

“I’ll be over in a minute.”

Carmen told her about the game and the ultimate outcome.

“Well, what is the problem?” asked princess Honora. “Alexandra has lost and has to face the consequences. Here and now.”

A chair was put down in the middle of the big ballroom. Someone placed a little table next to it at the moment that Lucy and Gaby entered. They were carrying a bag and put the contents on the table: brushes, combs, scissors, clippers, razors, shaving cream, lotion and an extension cable.

Alexandra knew that she had no choice. When she had ordered Gaby to shave Lucy’s head she had tried to imagine how she herself would feel and how she would look like. In a way the idea had excited her but at the same time she had been convinced that she would never be sujected to such an extravagancy. And now she had to face it!

She sat down with mixed feelings, nervous and anxious but at the same time excited.

Lucy looked at her with a triumphant smile and put a cape around the narrow shoulders of the seventeen years old girl. Alexandra remembered that Lucy had smiled during the shaving of her head. She looked at her stylist and executioner: “You are going to cut off your own hair. Do you want it back?”

Lucy rubbed her stubbly head: “No, thank you, your highness, I don’t need it any more.”

She took a pair of scissors: “Are you ready, your highness?”

No, it would be sacrilege! This thought  flashed through Carmen’s mind.

“Stop!” she cried, “Your royal highness, we can’t do this. We cannot humiliate your niece, the princess, in this way!”

Surprised everyone looked up. Before princess Honora could react Alexandra piped up: “No Carmen, I don;t want to constitute an exception. Therefore I proposed the game. Just the two of us, one to win and one to lose. Well, I lost and I’ll pay. Besides I deserve it, I robbed Lucy of her hair and it is right that she takes mine now. Not for revenge but out of justice. And then another thing. I want to donate my hair to make a wig for a poor girl that is bald because of illness.”   

“That’s very noble of you, darling,”
said princess Honora, “but when I come to think about this, we could benefit by that more. If we raise a fund and I suggest the name “Princess Alexandra Fund”, I think we could help more children.”

“In that case, your royal highness, I’ll donate my hair too,” said Carmen.

“Let’s not go too fast. Of course I appreciate your offer but let us first install the members of  an executing committee which has to administer the fund. I’ll do that tomorrow and I’ll appoint my niece Alexandra as president and you, Carmen, as vice-president. I’ll take care that the media will be informed and when you show up with a bald head, Alexandra, and your head is shaved on the spot, Carmen, I suppose more girls will line up to follow you.”

“She is an excellent organizer,” whispered one of the guests into the ear of the girl next to him. She shook her head and her long plaited tresses twirled. “Not me.”

“Come on,” he teased her, “you couldn’t lag behind.”

Disapproving she looked at him but remained silent.

He laughed: “Silence gives consent.”

Annoyed the girl said: “Oh, shut up,” and turned her back to him but he held on, grabbed one of her plaits: “All this has to go.”

The girl turned again, angry she told him:”Let go of my hair!”

“Okay,” he said. “Perhaps I’ll see you tomorrow at the installation.”

“Don’t count on it.” Then she giggled: “It’s ridiculous.”

“Oh, you never know. Maybe you change your mind.”

She gave him an enigmatical look but didn’t answer.

Meanwhile Alexandra became restless. She motioned Lucy to start and the stylist combed out her hair and drew a central part. She gathered the hair on the right side of the princesses head and held it up while Gaby did the same on the left side. In their other hands both girls had clippers. Alexandra fidgeted about, the palms of her hands were sweating…..

Lucy was the first to move her clippers along the central part from the hairline to the nape. Then Gaby did the same on the other side and so they worked alternately, exposing the girl’s ears, removing in a few minutes all the long tresses on either side of her head. Blonde stubble was hardly visible on the pale naked scalp. But the job was not yet finished, Lucy and Gaby kept their clippers going, removing any stray hair that might have  escaped, still holding the bulk of the detached tresses in their hands.

The cape was removed and Alexandra rose. Everyone cheered and applauded. Lucy gave her a handmirror. Tears welled up in her eyes and with a sneaky movement of her hand she wiped them away. Alexandra rubbed her bare scalp with one hand.

“It feels like sandpaper,” she said, “I want it smooth. Shave me, please.”

“Yes, your highness, I’ll be pleased to do,” Lucy said with a plain face.

Now Alexandra really was aroused. The scraping of the razor across her skin made her quiver and she moaned for pleasure.  

The next day the installation of the members of the committee occurred in the presence of the press, radio and TV by princess Honora. After Alexandra had accepted her  appointment she explained the aims of the fund. After having been the first to make a donation she announced that the vice-president miss Carmen Rodriguez would donate her hair too and this would happen in the very course of this meeting.

Lucy and Gaby came forward and in full sight of the cameras Carmen’s head was shaved in the same way as  the day before Alexandra’s.

That night the whole event was televised and a telephone number was shown which could be called for information about donation. As was to be expected a number of girls came forward to follow the example.

The popularity of Alexandra suddenly rose considerably. Her image of a spoilt, egoistic girl changed into an altruistic person with a sense of responsibility.

And the boy and girl mentioned above, did they attend the installation? She did but he didn’t. The girl was disappointed for in spite of her declining behaviour he had in a way made a favourable impression on her. Later that night he called her and apologized. Sudden circumstances had made it unable for him to come. He told her that he had seen the TV transmission and asked if she had changed her mind.The girl was glad that he had called.

“I really don’t know yet,” she said. “Perhaps we could talk about it.”

“Okay, when and where shall we meet?”

Well, she didn’t really intend to sacrifice her hair but she wanted to see him again and they made an appointment. And what would happen she couldn’t predict………..

The end.

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