IN THIS FICTIONAL TALE, A MAN WHO ENCOUNTERS A GYPSY’S CURSE LEARNS THAT HAIR LOSS IS ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE.
The full moon would be rising any minute. If there was any truth to that gypsy’s curse, Louis would find out soon enough.
Louis still didn’t know what he had done to earn the gypsy’s wrath. He hadn’t even noticed her until he had turned around and seen her fierce eyes burning at him and heard strange words flowing forth from her full, ruby lips. Suddenly, his legs had given way and he had sunk to the ground in a faint. When he awakened, those same pitch-black eyes were staring down at him.
“When the moon rises full and proud and bare,” she said slowly, “it will be done.” Then with a wicked laugh, she strode away.
After he recovered, Louis had pretended that the episode didn’t bother him, but now that the night of the full moon was here, he was nervous. He knew he wouldn’t turn into a werewolf, because there wasn’t such a thing – was there?
“Well, I’m about to find out,” he thought as looked out the window at the moon rising over a tree. He stretched out his hands, waiting to see if they would become all hairy and twisted. He was horrified to see that there really was a big clump of hair on his right hand.
A big clump of blond hair. From the top of his head.
And it wasn’t alone. As Louis shook the hair clump off his hand, he saw dozens of similar patches on the floor, littering the front of his shirt, resting on his shoulders.
His hand flew up to the top of his head. Rather than the forest of follicles, he was used to, his hand came to rest on nothing but skin.
A quick glance in the hallway mirror confirmed it: Louis was bald.
“No!” Louis gasped. “Not a werewolf – a bare-wolf!”
This was bad, very bad. Louis had never been especially secure in his looks, but he had always felt comforted by the fact that at least he had his hair. True, it hadn’t really given him much in the way of confidence; his “batting average” with women was not very impressive. But it was something, some asset.
And now it was gone.
He looked in the mirror again. Not a single hair left on his scalp. Totally smooth. Nothing to disguise the shape of his head.
Which Louis was surprised to find was a pretty good shape. His hair had always had a mind of its own, and no matter how he’d tried to shape it, it had never come out looking the way he’d wanted it to. So he had never before seen how nicely rounded the top of his head was, or noticed that it curved slightly around his ears in a way that was … pretty intriguing.
In some ways, he thought, he looked like a totally different person. A very thirsty person. He could use a drink, but he couldn’t go out like this.
“Why the hell not?” Louis said out loud. He could barely recognize his new look, and it’s not as if anyone at the local bar had ever taken notice of him before. The bartender never remembered his favorite beer, despite going in there at least twice a week.
Before he knew it, he was out the door and on his way.
It was the usual mob scene, which generally made Louis feel discouraged. He always just blended in, but tonight as he paused in the doorway, he was aware that a number of eyes glanced his way and that most of them followed him as he made his way to the bar. He pretended he didn’t notice the looks he was receiving until he had almost reached the bar, when he abruptly turned, looked at a very striking woman who had been watching him and offered her a quick but winning smile before turning away and stepping up to the bar.
Was that really me? Louis thought, amazed at how calm he felt. After getting his beer, he sipped it, wondering if he really had the nerve to do what he was thinking about. “Hairy-head Louis might not,” he finally decided, “but that’s not who I am.”
So he sauntered back to the striking woman. “Is it OK if I sit down?” he asked, and soon the two were engaged in some surprisingly easy conversation. After a few minutes, Ella – for that was her name – fixed her gaze at the top of his head and said, “Is it okay if I touch it?”
Louis leaned across the table and offered his pate up to her.
The next morning, Louis was glad that Ella hadn’t stayed the night, for when he awakened and reached his hand up to stroke his scalp, he found his fingers entwined in his old thicket of hair.
Louis supposed that he should be relieved. It had been fun to be someone else, but this is who he really is. Of course, he supposed he would have another bald night that night and for the next few nights. Every time there was a full moon, he’d find himself back in the clutches of his strange, bizarre bare-wolf self.
He could hardly wait!
Epilogue: Louis is no longer a bare-wolf, hairy by day and gleaming by night. He keeps his head shaved so that his head is proudly displayed 24/7. He and Ella have been together for quite some time now, and, yes, they’ve set a date.
And a certain gypsy woman was the first person Louis put on the invitation list.