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Wendy Laing

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Books by Wendy Laing
Ponytails
By Wendy Laing
Posted: Wednesday, September 27, 2000
Last edited: Tuesday, February 08, 2005
This short story is rated "PG13" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Wendy Laing
· Washed Up!
· The Ticket
· The Lowlander
· Reunion
· Barbie Doll
· Hettie, the Hearse
· Fireflies
           >> View all 12
            View this Story
Ponytails are cute, but to the handsome stranger they are objects of desire and death!
 ‘Ponytails’
Shiny ginger strands reflected the golden iridescent glow in the late afternoon sun. Her locks cascaded over her shoulders framing the angelic face. Pale blue eyes peered out across the platform, staring at nothing in particular.
The tall thin man with dark swarthy features manoeuvred his way through the silent commuters waiting for the northbound country train.
‘I must get close!’
‘Excuse me! Thank you!’
The train shunted into the platform from the yards.
‘Good, I’m nearly there … Ah! Now my dear, Yes! Exquisite!’
He’d first spotted the ginger hair five minutes earlier, when standing on the opposite platform. At last, he stood next to her.
Breathing in, he could actually smell the aroma of the shampoo used that morning. At least he imagined that he could!
‘I’ll follow you. Yes my beauty, I need to find out where you live.’
He managed to find a seat behind her. A conductor came through checking tickets.
‘Hello Sarah! The end of the line for you eh? Going home for the weekend? Give my regards to your mum!’
‘She died last month Dan. That’s why I’ve not been on the train for a while.’
‘I’m sorry lass. I have been away myself. It’s my first day back. My shift ends at the end of this run. I’m really sorry … I liked your mum. If you need anything, just let Lil or me know. Here’s our phone number … just in case. Do you want a lift home?’
‘No thanks. I need the walk!’
‘Take care now.’
The tall thin man had listened intently to this conversation. He now knew which destination to ask for.
‘Tickets please.’
‘I – I – I’m sorry, but I didn’t have time to buy one before I got on. Can I buy one now?’
‘Of course. Where are you going?’
‘Newbury.’
As the conductor weaved his way down through the carriages, he settled back into his seat and smiled.
‘What a beautiful colour my dear. I’ve never seen such a healthy glow before. Yes you’re perfect! Just perfect!’
He gasped as she sat up, opened her backpack and searched the contents. She finally produced a brush. Around her fingers was stretched a red elastic band. The brush then moved the ginger strands, separating them, then letting each thread float down onto her shoulders as a silent, ginger waterfall. He didn’t move. Only his dark brown – black eyes stared as she gathered the strands together into the red band. It was the most wonderful ginger coloured ponytail he’d ever seen.
‘Beautiful! Just what I’ve been looking for!’
He was now stimulated, full of desire, obsessed. He wanted to touch the ponytail. No, there were too many people, too many eyes watching. Now he was watching the ponytail swing from side to side across her pail shoulders. His hand reached into his shoulder bag. Fingers caressed the pair of scissors inside.
Snippety Snip! went the wheels.
‘Yes … Oh yes … Just perfect for my collection! Be patient. It will be yours soon!’
They alighted at Newbury, three hours later. The ginger ponytail still seemed to glow in the evening shadows. It seemed to beckon seductively at him to follow. He became another long dark shadow in the night. She walked alone across the Railway Bridge. He followed silently as she walked along the dark tree-lined street. She paused once and looked back along the path. He’d dissolved behind a large tree, unseen.
‘Keep a safe distance. Softly, silently, step by stealthy step. That’s it. Ah! So that’s where you live my dear! You’ll soon be mine … all mine!’
She walked quickly inside. Lights flashed on, then curtains were drawn.
‘Take your time now. Wait until the time’s right!’
He was a patient man. He’d done this before. It was simply a matter of choosing the ponytail, then making sure the owner was single and alone. He sat, crossed legged in the bushes along the side of her little house. The house was isolated. Trees and bushes hid it from the road. He shifted his position every now and then to relieve cramping muscles. All the while, his fingers caressed the scissors in his bag.
The last light went out. He guessed that it was the bedroom light. Now he only had to wait until she was in a deep sleep. Forty minutes later the tall thin human shadow crept through the back door. The old-fashioned lock had been so easy to pick. The added bonus was that the ponytail’s owner didn’t have a dog! It was perfect.
‘This must be her room. I can hear her gentle breathing! Oh yes, yes, you’re beautiful! Oh good you are still tied as a ponytail … my beautiful ponytail … so like the ginger colour of my cat …but sleeker, softer …Now one quick snip and you’re all mine…’
The startled pale blue eyes blinked at him as the scissors snipped. The small mouth opened, but no sound came out. His hand was already over the soft lips.
‘Don’t worry my dear, I’ve got what I came for. It’s all mine now … all mine… Aarrrgh!’
‘You stupid bitch! Why are you women the same! Bite me will you? You’ll not bite me any more! Not by the time I’ve finished!’
His hands moved around her neck. Fingers tightened across her throat. There was a last gurgling choke, then silence. He lovingly placed the ginger ponytail into the shoulder bag.
‘You won’t torment me! My mother tormented me. She had a long blond ponytail…Not any more…’
The scissors performed their second task in neat precise cutting stabs. He wiped the bloodstained blades clean across the now red-stained blankets, then placed them into the bag next to the ginger ponytail. The backdoor clicked shut as the tall shadowy figure slipped away, back to the station.
The headlines of the papers next day were graphic:
Ponytail Killer strikes again!
He’d read and devoured every word! Now he was sitting back, admiring the long black ponytail at the front of the carriage.
Snippety Snip! went the wheels.
‘Oh yes! Exquisite! Yes my beauty. Superb!’
His hand moved into the bag to stroke the ginger ponytail. With heart beat pounding, breath short, rapid, head giddy with desire, his fingers then caressed the hidden pair of scissors.
Snippety Snip! Snippety Snip!

Wendy Laing © 2000
 

Web Site: Wendy Laing  

Reader Reviews for "Ponytails"


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Reviewed by Debbie Lacy
I truly enjoyed your story. What good writer you are Wendy, with practice I hope to become a great one too! Blessings to you!
Reviewed by John Hall
Wow. Powerful and scary.

The killers methods and motivation seem quite realistic. Disturbing yet vital to the story is his self-talk to the ponytails he plans to collect.

Don has some great insights. In a longer story or perhaps a graphic novel, a scene in the trophy room displaying the ponytails would be powerful.
I am surprised that (as Don says) that the killer appears to have no scars from his attacks.
Reviewed by Don Turnblade (Reader)
I can only hope my daughter had a better sense of self defense to to only bite a stranger in her bedroom.

Points that worked for me:
A) Men can be stupidly obsessive
B) Murders can become professional in their ways.
C) Some famous serial murder's have weird issues with their mothers.
D) The maners that men use to make women feel safe could have a darker use.

Tacticle points that strike me as needing help
A) I found the murder barely sensible. Is this just a femanine fear piece, a statistical profile of feminist rheteric?
B) Is the murderer obsessed with pony tails and kills on the side?
C) Or, Is the murder a killer with a hobby interest in pony tails?
D) This murder seems waistful, choking the poor lady to unconciousness was sufficient to meet his aim. It is dark, the
unfortunate girl could not identify him.
E) Where is his tropy room? Hunters hang taxidermy copies of killed animals, why is this guy not hanging pony tails on the wall or something?
F) This fellow obvously does not get on with girl's well, what is his substitute, his self contradiction?
G) No one learns excellence without mistakes during the learning curve, this guy does not seem to have a single scar from being bit, hit or shot at by women who like their pony tails. Except perhaps, Mom.


Reviewed by m j hollingshead
enjoyed the read
Reviewed by Sherry Gibson
The story was interesing. A few grammatical mistakes here and there. I felt I wanted more emotions from the characters.
Reviewed by TOMSDATTAR
good one
Reviewed by John
i love them!

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