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Elaine Watkins had lived what seemed a normal life, she was married to a hard working man called John and they had a beautiful 10-year-old daughter Samantha. John was a builder or that is what she thought for the last 10 years, he was off on jobs quite a lot and always had money to burn on the two of them. Elaine was a housewife and normally wore dresses or long flowing gypsy style skirts. Her hair was waist length slightly wavy and blonde. When they first met 11 years ago when she was just 20, her hair was cropped short, and slightly buzzed at the nape. She loved this look but John insisted she grow it long, so she had grown it from crop to bob to shoulder length and it finally grew to waist length five years ago and remained that long ever since. John said it was her best feature and was always putting his hands through it. Samantha’s hair was almost exactly the same as her mothers except maybe a slightly darker blonde in colour.

Elaine had spent all morning making sandwiches and doing Samantha’s hair into a ponytail. She never had much time to do her own and it just hung loosely over her shoulders and down her back.  They drove to the nearby school to drop Samantha off.
“You have your school bag honey?” Elaine asked her daughter.
“Yes mum”. They both got out of the car and Elaine kissed Samantha on the cheek “Have a nice day” it was then she saw a flash. She looked up and saw a man across the street with a camera. He took another photo and walked off. Elaine was confused, she had never seen him before. She thought maybe he was a tourist with his shorts and T-Shirt. Samantha had walked past the school gates so Elaine got back in the car. She noticed the man again in her rear view mirror stepping into the passenger side of a car. The driver was a large guy smoking a cigar. Elaine pushed her hand through her long hair, something she always did when she got nervous, before driving off.

Elaine drove to the hairdressers a few blocks away. She had always had the same guy to trim her hair. He was called Bruno. Elaine walked into the hairdressers and signalled over to Bruno that she had arrived. “Take a seat Elaine” he said whilst sweeping the floor from his last customer, it was a huge mass of dark hair. Elaine took a seat and having noticed the hair said, “That’s a lot of hair”
“Yes, my last customer just went really short, it was long as yours, cut if all off”
“Why?”
“Didn’t say, she wasn’t a regular so I never asked”
“I wish I was brave enough to do that, I kind of got used to my long hair now” she said brushing her fingers through the long strands.
“So it’s just a trim then?” asked Bruno, he was always teasing her that she should cut it all off. She had a small face so having such long hair swamped her delicate features.
“Yes, just a trim” Bruno got a red cape and asked Elaine to hold up her hair whilst he secured the cape into place. She released her hair and it fell almost to the base of the seat. He pumped up the chair a little to make it easier for him to trim the ends. He slowly combed through the wind swept tangles until it shone like gold in the sun. He took just 15 minutes to trim the ends and trim a few of the layers. As he was doing this she heard a “Click” and “Buzz” sound coming from the other side. In the mirror she saw another customer getting buzzed up the back. It brought back memories of when she was younger but took the thought right of her head. John would hate it after all.

She got home about 1 hour later after stopping off to do some shopping. She noticed the car from earlier parked outside her house. The big man was still in the car while the other man was waiting by the porch, now wearing a police uniform. “Can I help?” she asked the man at the door.
“Elaine Watkins?” he asked
“Yes”
“I’m Detective Stone. We are here to ask you a few questions regarding your husband John Watkins”
“What about John?”
“He was involved in a robbery last night and we have reason to believe you have been helping him stash the money”
“What” she said shocked “You’ve got the wrong man, my husband is a builder”
“Is this him” he took out a photo of John. “Yes it is” she replied
“Then we have the right man, a security guard was killed during this robbery, and your husband and his gang are now wanted for murder”.
“I don’t believe this, I don’t know anything about any robberies”
“I have a warrant to check the house”
“Then go ahead, your find nothing”. The big man called Detective Morris came to the door and they both started searching the house. Elaine felt humiliated. The police were obviously wrong. “Do you have a key to the shed?” asked Detective Morris. “There is one on the side, it only has my husbands tools and other building stuff”. Morris took the key “I’ll have a look myself Mrs Watkins” he walked off up to the shed.
Elaine couldn’t believe this was happening her life had been shattered. Just what type of person was John really?
“I have to collect my daughter soon” she told Detective Stone who had finished searching upstairs. “That’s fine, we will soon be finished”. Morris came back into the house and whispers in Stone’s ear then said. “Could you please explain the sacks of money in the shed”?
“What money?” Elaine was escorted to the shed where she saw sacks of bank notes in a chest.
“That was not there before, you have to believe me”
“You have to see it from our point of view Miss Watkins, this does not look good for you – no court will believe you were not aware of your husband’s deeds”. He pulled out a photo they took of her earlier in the day “This photo has been sent around all the police stations around the area, if you try and escape they will look for you but this could be your lucky day” Detective Stone smiled.
“What do you mean?”
“I believe you are innocent, I have handled cases similar to this before but like I said nobody else will, so I suggest you let Detective Morris and I help you”
“Help.How?”
“Help you and your daughter escape the country, take the money and set up home in another country”
“Why?” she asked puzzled
“We just don’t like seeing innocent people going to prison for 10 years” Elaine froze in horror, what would happen to Samantha if she went to prison for 10 years?
“You would let me walk out with all the money?”
“Well, half of the money, we get the other half. We have to protect our own interests you have to understand”
“I’ll collect Samantha and leave immediately” she then had a thought. “What if John returns” she asked, “You said he is still free?”
“He won’t, we’ll make sure of that, the local police will spot you a mile off” Stone checked out the full length of her blonde hair and said “with the photo now doing the rounds, we will need to change your appearance. Collect your daughter and we’ll worry about your appearance. I suggest we meet back here in one hour”
Elaine wanted to ask what they meant by changing her appearance but was too flustered to worry. She apparently had a violent husband and if he knew she had been talking to the police he would probably kill them both, she had to do as these detectives had said. She ran out the house and down the pathway to her car, the wind blowing her long hair around her as she ran and Detective Stone whispered, “Lovely hair, this could be the best one yet”.

After collecting Samantha and updating her on the situation they drove back. Samantha took the news pretty well as she was closer to her mother and trusted what she said. The fact that John was always splashing out the money and was away a lot only supported what the detectives had said and was starting to make sense.

They arrived home and the two Detectives were in the lounge, they had laid out some clothes on the sofa and a chair was facing the mirror. On top of the kitchen table sat a pair of red clippers, a cape, a pair of large scissors, can of shaving form, a pack of BIC razors and some wigs.
“Where did you get all of this?” she asked
“The charity shop up the road, if you’re going to be on the run they will be looking for a m
other and daughter. I suggest we make that a mother and her son called Sam” Samantha looked at her hair in the mirror “I look nothing like a boy – even with my hair tied back”
“You will once we have finished with you. We got some jeans, baseball cap and were gonna buzz that hair all off for you”
“WHAT!” Samantha said in a state of shock “I’m not gonna let you cut my hair off – Your mad!” She pulled it from the ponytail and started to stroke it with her hands.
“Can’t we just tie it up in a bun?” suggested Elaine trying her best to come up with alternative solutions.
“We could, but it could fall down – too risky. Look this is for the best, we could just arrest you here and now if you’d prefer. We would not be able to protect you from your husband”. Elaine looked at the scissors and clippers and bent down to face Samantha and swept some hair away from her face “darling, there is no other way – it’ll grow back”
“So are we doing this or not” said Detective Stone sternly. He was getting impatient. “We are risking our necks for you”.
“Please. go ahead”. Detective Morris directed Samantha to the chair and pulled the cape around her, he pushed her hair out from under the cape, it fell loosely over the cape to the base of the chair. Morris wasted no time and grabbed the clippers. He pulled back her head and placed the clippers to her forehead and without hesitation he ploughed the clippers down her centre part and released strands of butt length locks to the floor. Samantha’s face was one of joy “WOW.that felt incredible!!”
“Here I go again” said Morris ploughing a second path down the middle of her scalp. The stubble was so pale it looked like she was bald, more and more hair hit the floor as Morris placed the clippers over the left and right side of her head. All that remained was the back, Morris placed the clippers on her nape and pushed upwards a few times, the last few strands were then stripped off. Samantha rubbed her head and felt the stubble “that feels so prickly”
“Soon deal with that” smiled Morris and quickly starting applying shaving foam to Samantha’s head. Elaine studied the floor, which was now full of long blonde strands and she had a lump in her throat at the thought that hers would be joining it. She looked at Samantha’s face, it now looked quite small without the massive bulk of hair to hide behind. Her head was now full of white shaving foam and Morris was getting a razor from the pack ready to remove the irritating stubble. “Tell me if it pulls” he said as he took the first few swipes along the top of her head, a grey pinkish scalp appeared underneath but would look fine once the sun had been on it. After a few more swipes Samantha was completely bald on top.
“She sure looks like a boy now” observed Elaine. Detective Stone was fiddling with the wigs “Don’t worry, she can wear one of these to look like a girl again, the smooth scalp will help the wig fit on easier”.
Morris swiped the razor up the back to make it nice and smooth, followed by the sides and around her small ears. He lathered up the skull again to make sure it was as smooth as possible.
“Well mum, what do you think?” Samantha asked her mother. “I think you look great, certainly makes you look different”.
“Which is the whole point” Morris pointed out as if Elaine needed reminding. Morris then removed the cape and a mountain of dark blonde hair fell onto the floor. Samantha touched her bald head for the first time “that feels so smooth.it’s great!!”. Morris added a lotion to give her head more of a shine. He then placed the baseball cap on top of her slick pate and told her to get changed into the little boy’s clothes. As Samantha did this, Elaine took her place nervously in the chair “What style have you chosen for me?”
“Well I was going to cut it short and dye it brown” replied Morris “Unfortunately the charity shop had no dye so I’m going to do the next best thing – shave your head bald and you can wear the brown wig.” Samantha re entered the room wearing her jeans and denim jacket. Elaine studied her bald head peaking through the cap and thought to herself that it doesn’t look that bad “go right ahead then – can I keep a piece of my hair?” “Sure, why not” replied Morris as he switched the clippers on again. Stone was wrapping the cape around Elaine and pulling her hair out from under it. The waist long blonde waves rippled over the cape “I only grew it this long for John anyway – shave it all off!”
“You bet ma’am” It was now Detective Stones turn and he pushed Elaine’s head down so she was facing the floor. The blades chewed away at her hair at her nape as he gradually made his way up her head to the crown with the clippers. As he moved the clippers away, a mass of hair fell onto the cape, he then started another path followed by another until the back of her head was cleared of hair. From the front you would never know she was bald at the back. He moved the clippers an inch over her left ear and she watched at the corner of her eye, the hair fall onto the cape and slither onto the floor on top of Samantha’s darker shade of hair. The right side soon followed before Stone swooped the clippers across the top of her head a few times to remove the hair that was hanging forward over Elaine’s eyes. Elaine felt a cold chill on her head that was unfamiliar, and as she raised he head she felt light-headed going from heavy waist length hair to bald was quite a shock to the system.

Stone took a fresh razor from the pack and squirted shaving form over the stubble and quickly swiped across her head in long strokes. Stone certainly seemed to be more at home with the razor, his own head was shaved bald which would explain it. Stone shaved Elaine’s head three times before he was happy and then felt all over the Elaine’s bald scalp to check for any stubble. Satisfied there was no stubble or cuts he rubbed the lotion over her entire head and bent down to kiss the top of her scalp “Smoother then a babies bottom” he laughed.
Elaine reached up to touch it and he was right, her hand slipped over her head it was so shiny “Wow, that’s bald huh?”
“Couldn’t get it any balder then that” Elaine stepped out of the chair releasing the long strands to the floor and took a closer look in the mirror. It was a good job and the style suited her small face but not with these clothes, she ditched the gypsy skirt in favour of a pair of leggings and a checked shirt.
“Here” Stone throw her the brown curly wig “you’ll need this”
“No thanks.I’m happy with the bald chick look” she again rubbed her head getting use to this great new sensation “What about this mess on the floor” she asked as she picked up a pile of her long hair”
“We shall dispose of it no worries” said Stone. Elaine took a long piece and stuffed it in her coat pocket.
Stone had counted out half the money from the shed and put it in a bag for Elaine “there you go half the money as promised should be a good half a million there, now we have new passports for you and booked a flight for Spain for you and your son Sam”
“I’ll just take some shots of your new look so we can update your passport photo” Morris stepped back and took about a whole roll of film.

30 minutes later, Elaine and Samantha had packed essentials for their new life in Spain and Stone handed them their new passports with their new bald photos added and with Samantha’s name changed to Sam. Elaine took the old photos from the side and placed them in her pocket.
“Thanks for doing this officers”
“That’s fine, we want to nail your husband and his gang but at least we can sleep at night knowing you two are fine. It would be injustice if you were imprisoned. You of course will have to deny our involvement if you are ever court”
“Your secret is safe with us officers”
“I know we can trust you and you got a pretty good haircut out of it all” he looked at his watch “well you better go, your taxi has arrived for the airport” Elaine and Samantha took their bags and left the house, Elaine’s shiny head gleamed in the sun, they entered the taxi “Nice hair style” commented the taxi driver.
“Th
anks” Elaine replied rubbing her head over and over “I like it too, feels great”.

After the taxi had gone, Stone and Morris took down some smoke detectors, which had hidden cameras inside them.
“These haircuts will look great on video, we got at least five angles” said Morris removing the cameras.
“And some great shots on film” replied Stone pointing to the camera “Doing that bank job was worth it, we got loads of money to pay a woman to shave her head bald. Our plan worked like a treat!!!”
“We must do this again soon – we better get these police uniforms back to the fancy dress shop before it closes”
“I know this other dozy gullible housewife a few blocks away she’s got gorgeous red hair”
“What we waiting for, lets do some research on her husband and plan a robbery” They both smiled at each other.

Hours later, John returned from a hard week away on a building site, the house quite and empty. Over on the table was a pile of cut off blonde hair and a note. It reads, “We have left you and are starting a new life away from you, you swine – signed Elaine”. Poor bloke had no idea what he was supposed to have done.he caresses the hacked off remains of hair and sobs.

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