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Jason’s Plight by Oopsie


Jason had the looks. Sparkling brown eyes, a good smile and a good physique. At the age of 14, Jason Atcher had everything a boy could want. A starter at his high school’s varsity basketball team, girls at his feet and plenty of friends.

His friends were mostly composed of boys a few years older than him. Jocks, the cool kids, the ones who did the dangerous stunts and got away with it, growing more popular in the process.

Jason aspired to be like them, and he wanted their approval.

His parents had died a few years ago, in a home invasion. The community knew and pitied the boy. The jocks knew this. His adoptive mother was a teacher who had little time to care for him, and the boy was always alone. Susceptible and wanting someone to look up to.

"Stealing a beer ain’t too hard. It’s stealing a case of beer that’s hard," Jordan said, as the group of boys lounged around a campfire at the beach.

"I’ve done it before." Peter had a smirk on his face.

"How?" Jason had a look of awe in his eyes. Stealing seemed fun and exciting, from what the boys had said.

"Just walk straight in then walk straight out. Easy peasy." The older boy took a swig of beer in a rather dramatic fashion.

"I bet I can… Steal 3 cases!" Jason replied, a smirk on his face. Walking in and out seemed easy.

The boys laughed.

"Come on, Atcher. Be real."

"I can! I’ll prove it!" Jason confidently ran his fingers through his brown hair, which hung in his eyes, in what he believed to be cool.

—————-
It was game day. Jason was ready. They were playing their rivals. Running his fingers through his hair, the boy confidently strut onto the court as his name was called. Being a starter felt good.

The other team was tough. Taller too. Jason wasn’t scared though. As the ball entered his hands, he faked right, before driving left. But his opponent smacked the ball out of the air as soon as Jason attempted to shoot.

"Jason! Look for your teammates!"

Jason didn’t respond. Running his fingers through his hair, he ran back on defense.

The rest of the game was a disaster. He felt slow, sluggish. Unable to react fast enough. Coach said he had tunnel vision. Couldn’t see his teammates. Jason ignored it.

"Jason. You can’t see your teammates with those girl bangs of yours?" The coach bellowed. Jason’s face turned bright red as his teammates chuckled.

Jason snarled. The game had been rough.

"You can’t see sh*t with your pot belly," the boy replied.

The locker room was silent.

"You’re off the team, Atcher! I never want to see you again!"

"Fine with me! You never appreciated me anyways!"


Half a hour later, Jason stood outside the convenience store, hands tucked in his tracksuit jacket’s pockets. Walk in and out. Easy peasy. Running his fingers through his long fringe, he walked inside, feeling a nervous pit in his chest.

The beer cases were located at the back and the boy picked three up with ease, then began to walk out.

"Hey! You gonna pay for that?"

Oh no. The owner had seen. Jason began to run.

Why… why was there someone standing at the entrance? Jason crashed into the large man who stood in the entrance of the store, arms crossed.

"Jason Atcher. I expected better of you."

As the boy scrambled to his feet, brushing his brown hair out of his eyes, Jason was startled to see Bob Oswald, the police sheriff himself.

The metal of the handcuffs was cold, constantly sliding off his skinny wrists as the sheriff pushed him into the police car. Jason kept his head hung low, refusing to look at him.

Once the doors slammed shut, Jason was sure he was screwed.

"What was that?"

"I… " Jason decided to act tough, like the boys.

"I ain’t saying nothing."

"Then I’ll tell your mother."

Silence filled the air. Right. Bob Oswald was dating his adoptive mother.

"Please don’t."

"Why shouldn’t I tell her?"

Silence.

"You play basketball, right, kid?" The sheriff’s voice was softer now.

"Yes sir."

"How many points did you score in today’s game?"

"Zero."

"Why?"

"Coach said it was because of my hair."

Oswald glanced at his rear view mirror. The boy was indeed in need of a trim.

"What if I take you for a haircut?"

"You’re not my mother."

"I won’t tell your mother about this if you get one."

"Fine."

——

Bob Oswald liked going to the old fashioned barbers. It was a tight knit community and he knew he would always get a good buzz cut at these places. Reminded him of his youth. He could always get a good high and tight with a #1 on top and a #0 on the sides.

He pulled up to Eddie’s. It was owned by a nice old man, former marine. That ought to put some sense into the kid.

The police car pulled up to the barbershop and Bob Oswald stepped out of the car.

"Alright, kid. Don’t do anything dumb and I’ll drop you off a block from your house," Bob said, as the boy stepped out. Jason didn’t say anything.

Jason vaguely recognized the place. It had been at least a few years since he had last came. His dad always took him here and had him buzzed down to a #4.

He didn’t pay attention to the old men chattered, opting to keep his head down as he trudged into the shop. He felt Bob guide him to a red leather chair, so he sat there, waiting.

"What’s this? One of those rats?"

"Caught him trying to steal 3 cases of beer. Hobbling out of the store like the store owner wasn’t there."

Guffaws filled the store.

"You here to discipline him?" The old man, whose chair Jason was seated at, asked.

"Mhm." The sheriff nodded.

"Whatcha looking for? I can shave him bald," the old man said, wrapping the coarse tissue around Jason’s neck.

"You can’t shave me bald!" Jason exclaimed, jumping out of his seat, horrified. Everyone at school would make fun of him!

"Maybe a number two all over. His mother would kill me if I brought him home without a hair on that head of his," Oswald replied.

"I’m not doing this! You can send me to jail!" Jason got up from his seat defiantly.

"Fine. A number one then."

Jason attempted to sprint out of the store. A simple extension of the foot tripped the teenager and he flopped onto his face.

"Christ. This kid’s dumber than a doornail."

Jason found himself back in the leather seat, dragged back by two old men, who were much stronger than him. Leather belts snaked around his arms and tied them to the arm rests.

"A number one, Oswald?"

"No. It’s hair. It’ll grow back. Shave everything off."

Jason glowered.

"You wouldn’t."

The old man nonchalantly ran his fingers through the boy’s fluffy fringe.

"It’s all got to go."

Wahl balding clippers found it’s way into the man’s hand, and the blades met the boy’s forehead, the buzzing sound growing louder and louder.

The vibrating sensation felt unreal. This couldn’t be happening…

The vibration feeling went higher and higher, slowly drawling past his hairline, leaving a strip of pale white skin in its wake of destruction. It was horrifying to look at. The old man’s fingers tightened around his scalp as Jason attempted to look away from the mirror in horror.

"No…." It had accidentally escaped his lips.

Suddenly, his head was jerked downward, forced to stare at the hair that now sat in his lap. His chin slammed into his chest. The lifeless strands of chestnut brown hair stared at his in disappointment.

The vibration sensation reached his nape, before it disappeared. Then, it began to creep up the back of his head. Jason could feel a slight breeze at the back of his head. He could imagine the bald white strip at the back of his head already.

He tried not to cry as he realized how ugly he would look. More tufts of hair fell onto his lap. Jason could feel his body trembling, as tears spilled out of his eyes.

Finally, the sound of buzzing grew fainter and he felt his head jerked upwards. Jason stared at his pale white scalp. He looked disgusting.

"You said it all has to go, right?" The barber asked, still holding the running clippers.

"This looks fine." Bob Oswald looked up from reading the newspaper.

"Alright."

The cape was removed and the paper strip fluttered away.

"Your coach won’t yell at you for your girlie bangs, huh?" Bob Oswald mused. Jason didn’t look at him. He stared at the scatttered tufts of hair on the ground.

The adults chattered in the background as Jason stared at his lifeless locks of hair. They were really gone. There wasn’t a wig he could buy to maybe hide this, right?

The boy’s body was peeled away from the leather chair and he stumbled back to the police car. What was he going to do at school?

The car eventually pulled to a stop and Jason could feel the parking brake being applied.

"Alright, Jason. As I promised. A block away from your house. The police won’t be hearing anything about this. Neither will your mother. Stay away from those bad influences, keep up your grades and I’ll see you in two weeks."

Jason didn’t respond, merely opening the door.

"Oh right." Oswald hopped out of his seat, opening Jason’s door fully, then undid the handcuffs.

"Have a good evening, Jason."

Jason didn’t respond, his hand mindlessly feeling his head. He could feel the occasional stubble. How long would it take to grow back?

School was going to be terrible.



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