Chapter 58:

sceNe 58 - ꜱNeaᴋʏ ꜱNiᴘꜱ

ᴋraCᴋeᴅ ᴍooN / Kracked Moon

Until I started brewing Dragon’s Feed, I was able to avoid getting Cryztal involved in any of my studies. I didn’t want her to know what I was cooking up, especially if something went wrong. It would probably stress her out more than anything. And I was able to start brewing the potion without much trouble: I just had to find some of her loose hairs. This wasn’t too hard since she left her hairbrush in the bathroom, but by the time I prepared enough for the potion, I didn’t have much left for the location charm I was supposed to make.

I knew I could probably wait, since the potion would take a lot of time to brew, but I didn’t like feeling behind. I didn’t want her thinking about what I was doing, so asking for her hair would probably just creep her out. I already tried searching the bathroom floor, but I found a lot more of my own hair instead. Not what I needed at all. Why did I have to be so good at keeping up with cleaning?

Then an opportunity struck! Sort of. While listening to Cryztal’s stream in the background of my reading, she mentioned her bangs getting a little long and needing to trim them! I can do that! I can so do that! I’ll brush out her hair and get some clippings and have everything I need!

What I didn’t expect is for her to actually agree to it so easily, and be so excited about it!

“You’ll really help me? No one else’s cut my hair for me since Mama left me…” She seemed like she might actually be apprehensive about it when she brought up her mom.

“Of course I’ll help you!” I was actually getting really excited about it myself.

Apparently Cryztal had been cutting her own hair for some time now, and that was part of why she kept it as long as she did. It gave her a lot of room for correction. She even explained that once she cut her bangs too short and started wearing hats and headbands for a while just so no one noticed! She felt pretty confident about taking care of her own hair, but she probably understood that it helped to get an outside perspective.

The biggest difficulty was that she couldn’t use mirrors, so she had to check everything with a tablet or even her webcam. I didn’t even think about how hard that would make things for her. I definitely could help make it easier!

While brushing out her hair, I realized I was about to be handling one of her more alien attributes. Despite everything else about Cryztal looking human, her hair had a strange structure to it that was almost feather-like compared to mammal hair. It was subtle enough in her to look like a weird mutation pattern, but supposedly her father’s hair was practically just made out of long feathers. It made me wonder if it looked like a wig.

Cryztal sat on a stool in the kitchen, while showing me the scissors she typically used just for her hair. They weren’t like special or anything, just normal scissors you might find in the hair care aisle at a store, but she was pretty confident about needing to use scissors for only one purpose at a time.

“These are what Mama used, even if she didn’t use them much.” She said about the scissors, with a wistful look.

“She didn’t use them much? But your hair was never very long growing up.” I was surprised.

“Oh! Because she used magic!” Cryztal said, seemingly surprising herself. “She’d cut both our bangs, and say that it was how people normally cut their hair, then use magic to do the rest!”

It sounded like the type of thing you would do to convince a kid that everything will be okay. A magic spell for cutting hair? I guess I’ve never heard of a witch’s hair salon. I had always gone to an HSC hair salon, since a traditional hairdresser had a chance of unwittingly snipping my ears. Except for when I was a kid, but that was because it was free at the community center my parents would go to. I couldn’t even imagine my mom trying to cut my hair. She never really had the time.

I brushed out her hair and tried not to just end up playing with it. To have control over something as precious as her hair felt like a huge responsibility. She claimed it didn’t tangle easily, and she wasn’t lying. No matter how much I brushed there was no place to see her hair knot or kink. I thought I could just pretend to cut off split ends, but it all looked so good.

Once I finally lined her hair up, I could see that some of it was uneven. Was it just like that because she cut it herself, or did hair just do that? I always just kept up with appointments so it's not like I even checked my own hair like that. I was definitely spending too much time thinking about how hair works and not enough about just cutting Cryztal’s hair. I didn’t want to mess it up, but really I was just hoping I was doing it right.

Initially I had tried to set up Cryztal’s tablets so she could see what I was doing, but she actually asked that I just show her after like she was nervous about it. When I finally started cutting, between the long snipping sound from me trying to go slow, I started to hear Cryztal making some kind of noise. At first I was worried that she was scared or uncomfortable, but when I peeked at her face from behind she had her eyes closed and was humming. Was she enjoying this, or did she just really trust me? I tried to pretend I didn’t notice and continued cutting, and trying to catch as many of the little hair ends as possible.

By the time I finished, it didn’t feel like I had done much. I tried to take pictures to make it clear that her hair was more even now, but she barely glanced at them at all.

“You don’t have to show me! I knew you would do a good job!” She said to me with a ridiculously big grin. “It’s exactly what I needed!”

While Cryztal seemed happy enough with what I did, even if it didn’t feel like much, I made sure to pocket as much of the clipping and loose hairs from her brush. It felt weird enough sneaking off with her hair like some obsessed weirdo, but I felt maybe a little guilty intending to use them for magic. But it isn’t like it will hurt her! And the hair would have been trash otherwise! It’s like recycling!

If I were bolder maybe I could have asked if she wanted an even shorter cut. I knew that the hair clippings would be fine for the charm, but it would have been so much cuter if I could braid our hair together and use that! Maybe I can discuss that idea with her next time. I’d tell her she’d look cute with a shorter haircut, but she’d look cute with any haircut.

I still had to wait for the resurrection potion to finish brewing. I doubt Koko would make me test it beyond using the pool strips, but I’ll probably just start keeping it on my person. I know I shouldn’t rush using it, but if it could help me look better, I’m sure Cryztal will understand!

She’ll be so happy to know she can fix me!