Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 96,313,980 Issue: 190 | 13th day of Hunting, Y7
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The Beauty Shop of Horrors: Part Four


by blubblub317

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"So I was thinking that I could add some curls in my hair, but not drastic ones. More of a subtle kind."

     Sloth, or his name at the moment, Madame Sloopeh, crept towards Hannah the Usul who continued to ramble on in the leather client chair.

     "Yeah, I can do that," he grunted. "And control your mind as well."

     "What was that?" Hannah shot a glance towards Sloth.

     "I said I can add some wonderful texture in your hair as well!" exclaimed Sloth, back in his exaggerated and womanly tone.

     Hannah flashed him a smile. "Great!" she said. "You know, I was a bit apprehensive about this at first, but I think I'm starting to like all this beauty stuff. I always have thought I could improve a bit on my look."

     "Oh honey, I think you're gorgeous already!" Sloth commented sweetly. "Of course though, like you said, you could always use a bit of touch-up, and that's what I'm here for! Now I'll start you off with a bit of a cleaning in your hair."

     "Oh, sounds good," commented Hannah. "I haven't washed my hair in ages. From all of those adventures in the Pirate Caves."

     Sloth secretly gagged behind the Usul's back, and picked at some strands of hair hesitantly. "Hehe, dear, it doesn't really show. Now, I'm going to give you some of this fabulous shampoo that my dear friend, Renaldo, created many years ago."

     "Wow, himself? That must have quite a challenge. Can I smell it?"

     Sloth froze. "Uh, we really must be getting to work, Hannah, my dear," he quickly explained, covering her in a black client apron. "But trust me, it smells marvelous."

     Hannah shifted positions uncomfortably. "Well, I know I may sound stupid saying this, but I really don't like having shampoo in my hair without smelling it first. It's just one of those pet peeves I have. I hope you understand."

     "Actually, I really don't, m'dear," snapped Sloth, growing annoyed. "It's really not necessary to smell it. I assure you, the smell is heavenly."

     Hannah suddenly stole the shampoo bottle from Sloth's hand, making the villain scream out in panic. "No, no!" he cried, attempting to take it away from the ignorant Usul. "You don't know how powerful that substance is!"

     "Relax, Madame Sloopeh," said Hannah, opening up the bottle cap. She took a quick sniff, and instantly retched in disgust. "Ewww! That smells horrid!"

     Sloth took a hold of the shampoo bottle and snatched it back, holding it tightly in his arms so that the despicable Usul couldn't read the label. "Well, m'dear, if you had just been patient, you would have seen that it smells magnificent instantly when it's put on wet hair. But now you've ruined EVERYTHING!"

     The villain suddenly broke into tears, his face holding a tone of melodrama. "Oh gosh, the first time a client's doubted me is my hero! How can this be possible?! AAAAH!"

     Hannah sat still in her chair, frightened by Madame Sloopeh's odd behavior. "I-I'm sorry," she stammered. "I really d-didn't m-mean to offend you!"

     Sloth continued to eject tears from his puffed up eyes. Hannah had no clue how to help this poor lady. So, the only thing she could do was to just leave the shop. "Once again, I'm sorry Madame Sloopeh, but I have to go now." And then, the Usul dashed off.

     Once Hannah exited the store, Sloth immediately halted his act. "Darn, darn, darn," he growled to himself, his eyes forming into a chilling glare. "She somehow managed to escape from my wretches. And she was so perfect! Urgh!"

     Sloth ripped off his wig irritably, and threw the battle of shampoo on the wall. "ARGH!"

     **************

     "Woah, that was scary," Hannah whispered worriedly to herself as she raced down the pathway of the shop. "Madame Sloopeh has some serious issues. Poor thing."

     The Usul rushed her way back to the crowded area where the Eyrie cabdriver had dropped her off. She peered at her watch, realizing that the Eyrie wasn't to arrive for another twenty minutes. "Great, waiting," she grumbled. "My least favorite thing in this world."

     As her watch ticked by and the sun rose up high into the sky and then steadily began falling, Hannah yawned and gazed around her surroundings. There were so many pets all around her, from different shapes and sizes to species and color. It was almost like a whirlpool of colorful blobs.

     At last, Hannah looked up and noticed a small speck of red flying down towards the Main Central. Soon, it appeared to her that the form was one of a red Eyrie, flying furiously.

     "Yay, he's here!" Hannah yawned, stretching out limbs as they were sore from sitting down on the uncomfortable bench.

     "Welcome!" the Eyrie proclaimed, bowing down. "You may take your seat in the carriage."

     "Thanks," was all Hannah said as she jumped inside the carriage. Soon, the pair were off to return to Krawk Island.

     **************

     "So, like, he just went off without even telling me, and I cried the whole night cause I was like soooo sad!"

     Sloth sighed and moaned as a Uni, who went by the names Bubbles, continued to ramble on about her crush and how she had been devastated when he had moved.

     "Terribly sad," the villain groaned. "Now, it's time to shampoo your head. Not to be rude, but it looks filthy to me."

     "Ahhh!" screeched the Uni, turning to the mirror to see if her fur was that bad. "Oh, you're right, Madame Sloopeh, it is! Shampoo it immediately!"

     A wide grin stretched out on Sloth's features. He ran to another table, grabbed the shampoo bottle from which it was lying on, and brought it back to the eager Uni. "It holds a heavenly aroma," said Sloth soothingly as he squeezed a small portion in his hands and rubbed them together. "The sensation will be…" suddenly, he took a hold of the Uni's head tightly, "electrifying!"

     He then slowly began rubbing it in with a small amount of force just so that the Uni couldn't escape from his grasp. "How does it feel?" he whispered, lathering it all across the top of her head.

     "It..it…" the Uni's eyes began drooping, almost as if the power from her body were being drained, "feels….ama.." Her mouth shut before she could complete her monotonous sentence.

     "Ah, the plan has succeeded," whispered Sloth, swiveling the chair towards him to see if the Uni had been properly brainwashed. He inspected her eyes at a close range. Signs of non-movement and spasms from her forehead revealed that the plan had been achieved.

     "Excellent! Now hand me your wallet!" Sloth spat at the poor Uni.

     Bubbles stood up from her chair and walked to the client area where her leather purse was lying still on the couch. She picked it up, and took out a small pink wallet with flower designs sewn into it. She made her way back to her master, and dropped the large amount of coins in his hands.

     Sloth's eyes flashed with glee as he eyed the shiny coins and let them fall in his woolen sack. This would be his collecting bag for his Neopoints.

     "Now get out of here!" Sloth commanded, thrusting his finger towards the exit. "And never speak of this occurring to anyone! Understood?!"

     "Yes master," droned the Uni as she pushed open the glass door and stepped out.

     "One down, dozens more to go," Sloth laughed maniacally, seating himself down in his chair as he began counting his precious Neopoints.

     **************

     "Thank you," said Hannah as she pounced off the carriage. The Eyrie nodded, and abruptly flew away, as he was on a tight schedule.

     Hannah trudged her way through the sands of Krawk Island, feeling depressed as the depression and sadness lingered over her from the fight she had had with Tina.

     "I'll sort everything out tomorrow," she grumbled, always looking down at her feet.

     The saddened Usul walked all the way back to her home, which was located fifteen minutes away from the beach. Loud cheers and screams emitted from half a block away, as a soccer tournament was being held by the Krawk Island Neoschool.

     Hannah hadn't been inside her Neohome for ages, so stepping inside for the first time in the past year felt wonderful and gratifying to her. This was home to her. Her feet ached from all the walking that she had done, and the Usul felt like instantly flopping down in her plush and comfy bed. And this is what she did. As soon as she slipped her small black shoes off, Hannah dashed to her room, and flew on her bed. But the experience didn't feel as great as it should have, for she began crying with her face stuffed in her pillow.

     She fell asleep, weeping.

**************

     The sun's beams danced lazily on Hannah's face as she awoke the next morning on top of her covers. She looked around, questions of where she was flooding her mind. The realization quickly came that she was at home, no longer in the exciting Pirate Caves. The Usul pushed herself up from her bed, and gazed out the window where many activities were already being held on the beaches. She emitted a small miserable smile, and slid out of her bed, making sure to put on her warm and fuzzy slippers as well.

     "Ah, a time like this always calls for some hot cocoa and the latest issue of the Neopian Times." Hannah stalked through the hallways of her small home and swung the front door open, bending down to reach for the newest edition of the Neopian Times that lay still on the doormat. Today's headline was very particular to Hannah as she read it out loud:

     BRAINWASHED PETS ROAMING THE STREETS: AN EXCLUSIVE INSIDE FIRST LOOK

     "Brainwashed?" she muttered, surprised. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!"

     Hannah closed her door shut, and then made her way to the kitchen. She began to read the mysterious article while taking out a pot and pouring some water into it.

     The mysterious and shocking events that have been occurring today in Neopia Central certainly has come like a pile of bricks in this so-called peaceful world. Pets that appear strangely zombie-like and brainwashed are currently roaming through our streets that we presumed were safe. But from what we can see, our streets aren't safe any longer. These pets have been reported as being aggressive, non-listeners, and almost dead-looking. The Defenders of Neopia are advising for all pets to stay away from any other pets that hold these noticeable traits and to contact them immediately with any information that they may have. The squad only has one valuable clue so far: all of these pets were last seen entering a Beauty Shop. Whatever the case is, we all hope this can hopefully stop soon. Reporting from the Neopian Bazaar, this is Christina Lipcki.

     Hannah pondered for a moment as she ended reading the article. This all seemed very strange and peculiar. Dead-looking pets were being seen around the streets of Neopia Central? Last seen in a beauty shop?

     "I was at a beauty shop yesterday," muttered Hannah, confused as she took a sip of her tea that she had made while reading. "Nothing seemed strange there. Except for Madame Sloopeh. And that shampoo." The Usul suddenly froze.

     "The shampoo!"

To Be Continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Beauty Shop of Horrors: Part One
» The Beauty Shop of Horrors: Part Two
» The Beauty Shop of Horrors: Part Three



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