Freddie always wore the same black dress and necklace of diamond-like stones. She never told anyone why she wore them, but sure enough; day in and day out, Freddie’s wardrobe was predictable.
She would do-up her blue-tinged gray hair with hairspray and mousse until, like a beehive extension of her skull, it nearly stood on end. She blotted her parchment face in layers of beige foundation and spotted her knotted cheeks in rosy blush. Her thin, dry, cracked lips would be caked in thick, oily, red lipstick, her eyes framed by thick, heavy, leaded eyelashes, and she’d layer her eyelids with an imposing, royal purple that caused her to look down on everyone she came across. Then, once her face was complete, she would douse herself in an eau de fleur; I’m not sure where they found the fleur but it was basically baby powder. Through the whole process she wore her simple black dress and sparkling diamond-like necklace; she never told anyone why she wore them.
Sunday, she had an appointment at Floyd’s. Floyd seated her in the large, leather-lined, reclining chair and draped the black cloth across Freddie Mayfield’s chest and legs. He combed out her hair and rinsed it in the sink. Floyd used an oversized, white towel to dry her, and then he used his custom, left-handed scissors to snip at her long, frizzy hair. Before long, Freddie had fallen asleep in that large, chrome and black, reclining chair.
Floyd, being a kind and thoughtful man, did not want to wake to the slumbering woman. He did his best to avoid shaking her or bumping her or twisting her or bending her. Then Floyd reached an impasse in his work; a large clump of Freddie’s hair had snaked its way through the clasp of the necklace of her sparkling diamond-like stones. Without a thought, no consideration or inkling to do otherwise, Floyd undid the clasp and laid the stones beside them; taking care not to tangle or damage them in any way.
Unbeknownst to Floyd, he had conspired against Fredelina Mayfield.
Floyd turned to find a pile of ashes in his chrome and black, reclining chair. His black fabric smock had fallen and lay limply, unoccupied, on the floor.
The room was silent as Floyd stared into the recently arrived ashes. Quickly, the stillness was broken as the forced-air cooling system clicked on and the pile was dispersed across Floyd’s salon.
As he watched Freddie settle upon his empty seats and cling to his windows and land upon his displays, he heard the sound of glass breaking beside him. Floyd turned to see the last of the diamond-like stones bursting into a plume of shiny dust.
Finally, Floyd’s scissors clinked and clanked as they landed on the floor.
It wasn’t Floyd’s fault. After all, Fredelina Mayfield never told anyone why she wore her stones.