A Haunting + Cherry Caramel Hair

Hey, Ya’ll!

Welcome back to PEP! I did something I’ve never done before this week. Well, I’ve sort of done it before. A few years ago, I used a box from Walmart to do some copper highlights in my hair. They lasted for over a year, dulling to an extent by the end, and by the time I trimmed the last of them out, I was tired of them. This last week, however, I had my hair professionally done. It’s still my natural chocolate brown.

Original Chocolate Brown
Natural Dark Chocolate Brown

Now, it’s been trimmed a little, just to even it up and get rid of the dead split ends.

I’ve also had professional red and caramel highlights added in. I call it the caramel and cherry hair. I love it! As do several of my friends on Facebook and some followers on Instagram.

Caramel and Cherry hair

Sunlit colored hair

fanned caramel and cherry hair

caramel and cherry hair from right

curled caramel and cherry hair from right

I may do a bolder red at my next appointment. (Edit: Updating this a year later: I did, in fact, do a bolder red and it’s much brighter) The curls on the last picture were temporary, just to see how the color would look with curls. I have to admit, I was impressed. The curls actually lasted several hours, slowly falling out into waves. Usually when my hair is curled, it only last a couple of hours before falling completely flat. My hair is very thick but the strands are very fine. 

Here’s the link to last week’s Wednesday’s Weird Tales of the Unknown:

Just a Family Portrait

and here’s this week’s Sunday Fabricated Stories:

He’s Real??

Now we’ll move onto this week’s Monday Short Tale.

Fifteen years ago, a young girl went missing. Turning over every stone, looking behind every tree, ransacking every house of a listed predator resulted in nothing. It was as if the young girl disappeared into thin air. Even now, some wonder if she had indeed even existed. I know for a fact she did.

How? Because not only was I around 15 years ago but I was that young girl’s older sister. Not by much, only 11 months. I don’t remember too many details as I was only 5. I remember mostly the concern and worry on my mother’s face, the dark shadows that grew under my father’s eyes as one day turned into two and those grew into several weeks with no answers.

All these years, I thought that would be the end of it. I believed we would never have any answers to what happened to my little sister.

But a week ago, I made a discovery that changed everything.

I was home from college, my parents were at work, and I needed some paper for my printer for a paper I had to write over the holiday break. I rustled around in my father’s office, looking for some paper, when I came across what looked like an old journal.

I didn’t think anything of it, tossing it aside. One thing I wasn’t was a snoop. Until I turned, paper in my hand, and discovered the journal had fallen open. I crouched to pick it up, figuring I should probably return it to the drawer.

‘We did it. It was the hardest thing we’ve ever done. But we had to hide the truth.’

I paused, paper clutched in my hand as those words jumped out from the page.

My brown eyes quickly scan the rest of the page, stomach dropping as I realized just what the truth they hid was.

I returned the journal to where it had been, returning to my work as if nothing had changed.

But truthfully, my mind was churning over what I had just learned.

A few days later, the first opportunity I had, I went out to the woods at the edge of the lake on the outskirts of my hometown. I’d gone back to the journal and written down the scribbled down map so I would know where I was headed.

It wasn’t hard. Once I reached the edge of the lake, despite it being so cold, the water wasn’t frozen over, I could see the rusted chain. Except for the fact that this was an abandoned part of the lake, I’d wonder how no one had ever found this before. Bracing my feet, I grasped the chain tightly and pulled. It took some time, whatever was at the end of this chain wasn’t heavy but it had been in the lake 15 years.

But eventually, the rusted old chest came dragging out of the lake. Once it was out of the water enough, I grabbed the end and pulled it out. It was lighter than I’d expected.

The lock didn’t take more than a few thumps from a large rock I’d found to break open, the water having done the work for me.

Holding my breath, I shoved the chest open, eyes closing in pain at what I saw. I’d hoped the journal was exaggerating, that it’d been delirious ramblings of a man or woman gripped with grief.

But no, exactly what had been in the journal was right here in front of me. I closed the chest and moved it from the lake to the woods, just behind some trees. I wasn’t sure what the right next step was but I wasn’t returning it to the lake.

The next night, the phone rang while my parents and I were eating dinner.

My father took the call, fully expecting it to be a telemarketer that he was going to tell off for calling during dinner time.

But surprising my mother and I, he grew so very pale, eventually dropping the phone. My mother asked him what was wrong.

He shook his head, responding that it was someone’s idea of a cruel joke and not to worry about it. My mother and I exchanged looks but left it alone.

The next night, however, apparently the phone rang again. I wasn’t home, I was away with old friends from high school. This time, my mother answered and according to my father, had a similar experience.

I asked what was so bad about these phone calls. But neither answered other than to tell me to not answer if the caller id wasn’t someone I knew.

I shrugged it off, figuring it was nothing to concern myself with.

The third night, the phone rang again. I wasn’t there. I’d eaten dinner earlier as I’d been out all afternoon with friends and we’d ended it with a late lunch/early dinner. So I was upstairs, chatting with some friends from college. This time, my father held onto the phone and demanded answers. He wasn’t given any at the time, only a place to meet.

Hesitant, he chose to follow the person on the other end’s directions. My mother insisted on going with. I saw them sneak out later that night, apparently expecting me to be asleep, they started the car in the driveway before leaving. I’d heard the garage door open before hearing the motor so I was already looking outside.

I decided I wanted answers so I followed them on my bike.

They headed to the lake, to where the chest had once been.

I hid in the woods as they frantically looked around the shore for the chain.

My mother demanded answers from my father, answers he didn’t have.

Before they could draw themselves up into absolute panic, I stepped out from the woods.

My mother turned in shock, “Erin! What are you doing here?”

I tilted my head, “I should ask you that question, Mother.”

She frowned briefly before responding, “We wanted answers to the cruel joke someone’s been playing the last few nights. They told us to come here.”

“They, Mother?”

Before my mother could answer, I closed my eyes briefly before reopening them.

“Don’t you mean, she, Mother?”

Both of my parents gasped at the unwelcome familiar voice coming out of my mouth.

“Surprised, Mother, Father? I’m sure you never expected to hear my voice again. After all, you stuffed me in that chest and dropped me at the bottom of the lake, leaving nothing but a chain as a grave marker.”

“It’s not what you think, Erin.”

“I’m not Erin, Father! I’m Erica!”

Mother spoke this time, “No! Erin no longer has Dissassociative Disorder! That stopped years ago!”

“No it didn’t. Erin simply grew better at hiding it. Even so young, she could tell your distaste for it. But I’m not one of her personalities. I’m Erica. Erin discovered your journal a few days ago, Father. You know. The one where you detailed how you found me after she’d accidentally killed me when she shoved me off the roof, thinking I’d fly. Instead of telling the truth, you stuffed me in the chest, dropped me in the lake and then called Wolf, screaming that I’d gone missing.”

My parents grew pale.

“It was the only thing we could do. She was a child! We couldn’t let her life be destroyed.”

“But you didn’t mind leaving me without rest! Leaving me in an unmarked grave!”

Both parents flinched, in a panic, they’d made the wrong choice all those years ago. And now they would pay the price.

I blinked once more before speaking again, seeing the relief pass over my parents face at my voice.

“Now that I know the truth, it’s time for justice to be paid out.”

The relief faded from my parents faces.

“What do you mean, Erin?”

“Just what I said. I’ve been forgiven by Erica, I was only a child. But you abandoned her, left her soul to wander by not giving her a proper burial, proper closure!”

Before either of them could react, I blinked into a now rarely used personality but was created when I was exceptionally angry as a child and charged.

Once my parents lay at my feet, bloody and no longer breathing, I blinked once more and returned to being Erin again.

“Now what?”

The specter that was my sister, once more a young child, floated at my side, “Now we bury them the same way they buried me.”

I pulled out the chests I’d brought out here a couple of days and heaved them each into one. Then I dragged the chests into the lake just as they’d done Erica’s all those years ago. The only difference? I didn’t leave a chain that would lead to their chests. It would be years before they would be discovered if they ever were. As far as my friends knew, I’d returned to college this morning and would receive a call in a few days when my parents were declared missing.

I returned to my home one last time to pick up my car as well as my phone that I’d left at the house. Couldn’t have it tracking me to the lake now, could I? As it was, I would have to destroy all records of the calls I’d made the last two nights to my parents. The first had truly been my sister in my bedroom.

Erica had been telling the truth when she said I still had Dissassociative Disorder. What they didn’t realize was that one of them had always been my sister. For years, I’d thought it was my own way to gain answers. I didn’t realize until my sister’s spirit appeared to me the night I’d opened the chest that it was my way of holding onto her, my young mind unable to understand what’d happened. She told me she’d long forgiven me, I was only 5 and truly believed she’d fly after sprinkling her with glitter. No, her restlessness was due to our parents. Now, she gained closure, her remains having been burned and was now ashes in an urn I would keep with me for the rest of my life, and her spirit passed on.


©Paula Crofoot

Well, that was certainly something else. Even I didn’t see the Dissassociative Disorder coming.

For those that don’t know what it is, it’s formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder and is when a person’s mind splits and they have more than one personalities in one body. I’ve done some previous writing research on it.

‘Til Next Time, Friends.

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