Wednesday Writing Prompt (WWP)! is a biweekly writing challenge for you and for me.

Here’s how WWP works: I’ll post a writing prompt on Wednesday morning (that’s today!). Then you can participate by writing a 250 to 500 word scene or story in response to it. I’ll post my story response on Thursday and I’d love it if you share your scene or story (or the link to it!) in the comments of my response post.

Let’s see where this wacky world of writing takes us!

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This week’s prompt was:

“I like your hair.” He looked her up and down. “Can I have a piece?”

He’d been following them for twenty-seven minutes. Amelia had started counting when she saw him walk past them and felt his eyes rove her figure from her chest to her toes and back up to the top of her head. She’d heard him breathing, heavily, as he passed, and heard that breathing stick around.

He wasn’t even being subtle about it. He was so close. Only a few strides behind.

She gripped the heavy fabrics of her skirts in her tightly fisted hands. Sometimes wearing a corset was incredibly obnoxious. This might be a man’s world, but that didn’t mean she had to go around letting them eye her like a prime cut of beef.

Benjamin just kept walking, oblivious, while Amelia glanced back out of the corner of her eye. She turned her head as if she was admiring the shops and streetscapes, using the angle to peer with her peripheral vision at the man following them.

His clothing had seen better days. Much better days. Decades, really. His jacket was tatty and his breeches filthy. Mud splatters rose up his legs from his ratty shoes to his torn knees. Grease spots and a myriad of food stains marred his once grey jacket to a blotchy kaleidoscope of murky shades. His hair and beard were no better. Salt and pepper, thinning locks hung limply from his misshapen head. A scraggly beard decorated his pointed chin and hung to the top button of his unbuttoned yellow shirt.

And his eyes…they were what scared Amelia the most. A filmy grey, they stalked her.

Finally, they reached their destination. A tiny shopfront, tucked between a cobblers and a bakery. Benjamin’s old friend was supposed to have supplies for him. Who knew if he’d actually gotten Ben’s letter. But, they were here to see. They couldn’t continue their search without packs, rations, and, apparently, waxed rope. What the rope was for, Amelia didn’t want to think about yet.

Ben stopped at the door and put a hand on Amelia’s shoulder to stop her from walking past. “Don’t speak unless he speaks to you first,” he instructed her, his eyes serious. “He’s stupidly old fashioned and cruel, and is more likely to steal from us than just kick us out if we offend him.”

“Sounds like a gem,” Amelia said, eyeing Ben with a look that said what she really meant.

As they reached for the door handle, something smelling of dead fish and rotten tomatoes bumped into Amelia’s shoulder. She felt the grease leak through the thick wool of her dress.

Ben was immediately between her and the threat, knife out.

“I like your hair.” The man looked past Ben, over his shoulder, to speak to Amelia. It was as if he didn’t even see Ben and the knife.

He looked her up and down. “Can I have a piece?”

Amelia swallowed. Hard. Her hand, with a mind of its own, reached up to grasp at the threads of her waist-length hair. It had never been cut.

“Go away,” Benjamin said. His voice was cold. Something unkind radiated from him. Amelia wasn’t sure what it was, but knew it was bad, barely contained.

“Just one piece? A small one?” the man asked again. Milky eyes looking straight into Amelia’s own hazel ones.

She shook her head. She willed her lips to move, her voice box to project sound. It didn’t work.

Ben blocked her view of the man, his something bad–was it rage, anger, or fear–streaming off him in tangible waves.

“The lady says no. Back away and leave us be.”

The man finally looked at Ben. Finally saw that he was there. His eyes widened when he realized what he was looking at, that Ben was no normal man.

He took one step back, his eyes now focused on Ben and his knife. He took a second step back…then spun and lumbered away, back the way they had come, in an awkward, wobbling cadence of steps.

Ben turned back to Amelia, his eyes calming but still pinning her in place. She realized she was shaking. It was a strange request. Such a strange request. And her body’s reaction to it… It had been physically repulsive to think about cutting her hair. She didn’t know why.

“We need to hurry. He may come back. And he may not be alone.” Ben used his hand on Amelia’s shoulder to guide her to the door to his friend’s shop.

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Your turn! Post your response to the writing prompt (or your link to it!) in the comments. 

  1. Oooh! I love it. So mysterious! I saw the prompt yesterday and it made me laugh because it was so creepy ☺️ Love the direction you went with it and once again, I want to know what happens! What is Ben? Amelia sounds like she’s more than she seems too.

  2. “I like your hair,” He looked her up and down. “Can I have a piece?”
    The hair on the back of her neck sprang to attention. “Hair doesn’t come in pieces,” she sneered as she whipped past him. Her high heeled shoes snapped on the sidewalk. She shook her head and tried to relax her jaw and neck as she continued on to work. Her bus came on time and she breathed a few deep breaths.
    The next day she spied the guy on the park bench and walked by on the other side of the road. Unfortunately, she had to take this road to her bus stop.
    “I like your hair.”
    She heard his voice in the distance and turned enough to see him addressing another woman, while still snapping her heels on the sidewalk.
    “Can I have a piece?”
    Pervert! She thought. He asks every woman.
    The next day she forgot and nearly stumbled into his arms.
    “I like your hair.” He had risen and looked her up and down again. “Can I…”
    “What did I tell you, freak?” she blurted.
    “Hair doesn’t come in pieces,” he answered.
    “You remember?” she wrinkled her nose, not sure whether to be intrigued, or more scared than ever.
    As she backed away his eye lids swelled away from his eyeballs and his lips curled away from each other.
    The hair on her scalp, neck, arms and thighs stood on end.
    After asking her boss, she went to the police station.
    “Longish hair, baseball cap on backwards, Harley Davidson T’shirt,” she gave them a thorough description of the man. “I told him hair doesn’t come in pieces.” She was proud of that little come back.
    “We’ll see what we can do, miss,” the police officer told her, “But you know, he has to break the law. Asking women for their hair is not an indictable offense.” His voice had a laugh in it.
    She left more angry than ever.
    She plotted a new route to a new bus stop and tried to forget the guy. He’s not after me, she assured herself at night. He asks every woman for her hair.
    A month later the same police officer showed up at her work.
    “For questioning on a complaint you made,” her boss explained with an upturned nose and lip. “It is the responsible thing to do. I know you will be responsible with your work when you are finished.”
    “I haven’t seen him,” she told the officer. “I go a different way.”
    “He’s dead,” he answered. “Hung from a tree in that park. Note on the body.” He handed her a piece of dirty, crumpled paper encased in a plastic sheath.
    Written in pencil, she read, “Tell her, hair comes in strands.”

  3. It is interesting to me that we both wrote about creeps. Also, our woman protagonist found little sympathy from the other men in her world. Sure Ben protected her, but he didn’t really get the revulsion, did he?

  4. “I like your hair.” He looked her up and down. “Can I have a piece?”
    Sasha felt a tug at the back of her hair. Without hesitation, she swung her arm back to hit her would-be work enemy. The only person in her life to make her stomach fill with acid and butterflies at the same time. A conundrum to her logic.

    He jumped back with an evil smile. “Whoa, calm down kitten.”

    Sasha grabs the unused saute pan left sitting on the range, pivots and holds the metal handle with tightly-fisted hands that turned her knuckles white. “Touch me again, and I’ll beat you to death with this. And if you call me kitten again, I’ll kick you in the balls.”

    An easy smile grows on his lips at her daily threat. He pointed to her black skull cap. “Your hair needs to be in a net. That cap isn’t keeping your mane contained.”

    Sasha dropped her arm at her side to clarify. “It’s pinned. I’m fine.”

    “I think you should put it in a net before the boss sees.”

    Rolling her eyes, Sasha turns back to her work while she replaced the saute pan giving her attention back to the large stock pan filled today’s soup of the day that had yet to come to a boil. With a tastings spoon, she dipped it in the cool liquid.

    “Danny wants to see you.”

    “Kay.” She said pulling the spoon to her lips taking a sip and letting the savor seep into her taste buds so she could expertly devise what was missing.

    “Are you going?” His velvety voice stirred her frustration and her soup assessment.

    Sasha dropped the plastic spoon in the trash and washed her hands needing the moments of space and quiet to think. “When this is finished.”

    “Do you think it’s smart to keep him waiting? He’s the owner.” He crossed his arms over his unblemished chef’s coat.

    Back at her station she picked up a large stir spoon, stirred the contents and added a pinch of white pepper and a heavy dose of salt. “I’ll go when I’m finished.”

    Jeremy stepped closer leaning down into her space. “You’re not to follow rules, are you?”

    Suffocated by his intrusion, she steps back, desperately wanting space between them. Thankfully the soup had slowly come to a simmer. “I’m sure there are better things you could be doing right now, Jeremy.” She jutted her chin towards the prep table, a tacit hint.

    “And I’d do them if I wasn’t waiting for you to go see Danny.”

    “I told you-”

    “-Yeah I know, you’ll go when you’re ready, but a real team player would ask me to watch their stuff while they found out what our boss wanted.”

    “I don’t want you touching my stuff.”

    He took a back the space she gained seconds ago, bowed his head so low her body froze in fear and excitement. His eyes bright with mischief. “Which is why it will be infinitely more gratifying when I do.”

  5. Ooo, I am very intrigued here – how is Ben not an ordinary man? Why has Amelia never cut her hair (and why does the idea of cutting it at all repulse her so?)

    Honestly my first thought was something like Gimli in LOTR when I saw this prompt, haha!

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