Author's Note: This is somewhat of an experimental pasta, so constructive criticism is very much appreciated. Enjoy!
You know, I used to be hot shit. I had many friends, both at school and outside, and random people would talk to me on the street
This was probably because I was very sociable and open, but mostly because I was pretty (mostly my hair though, which was long, and very wavy). People liked my looks, even though it took me a while to notice. So why am I bragging about my status as a teenager? Because this happened.
You see, even though I had a lot of hair, I didn't really care for it well. I used to dye it brown when I was bored with it, and I did a lot of blow drying because it was too heavy to get dry. Eventually, these things began to take its toll on my hair. At first I didn't really notice, but soon I was surprised how easy it was to manage. I didn't really do anything with it though, I thought I had so much hair that I could take it. It seems so stupid now.
Eventually though, I could no longer ignore it. I no longer had the courage to measure my ponytail. I could clearly see my scalp through my hairline, and I had to cut it to avoid the bottom from becoming too thin. I never had it so short before, which resulted in strange looks from my friends. When they asked about it, I just said I was trying something new, though they probably knew better.
After a while, I started getting desperate. People whom I considered friends would no longer talk to me, and even my close friends started acting uncomfortable around me. I started looking for cures.
First I saw an ad for extensions. I was enthusiastic, at least before I read that those damage your hair even more. So I went and ordered a couple of shampoos which supposedly made your hair grow back, but none of them worked. They only made the remaining strands wider for a day or so. By this point I was on the edge. I distinctly remember the day when I discovered my bald spots in the mirror. I stayed up the entire night, crying and trying not to make my family notice. It made me a prisoner in my own body. Eventually, I had to wear an awkward cap, to prevent people from seeing my scalp. By now, I would do anything to get my long, wavy hair back.
I was still browsing products on Ebay daily, hoping to find something that would have enough good reviews to give it a try. After all, what options did I have? After clicking away another "HAIR THICKENING BUILDING FIBERS FIBERS HAIR LOSS CONCEALER SPRAY THICKENER" I saw a product called "Azazel's Blessing".
Given that its name was not some random arrangement of keywords in caps like the other products, I decided to click the link and see what exactly it was. In all respects it looked like a shampoo bottle, with art of apples as decoration, but a couple of things were just, well, "off" about it. For one, the seller's name wasn't a firm or something, it was just "Morgan". Just like that.
The name "Azazel's Blessing" was rather strange as well (and it wasn't "Azazel's Blessing Hair Thickening Oil" either, just "Azazel's Blessing"). The description just said: "Free yourself from the chains of shame." Seems legit.
I was about to click it away when I saw that the reviews were almost universally positive. I hesitated, then I checked the accounts, but they were not proxies or anything. People really liked this product.
After some thought, I decided to give it a try. I had no other options left, after all, and it was only $15, which was surprisingly cheap for this kind of product.
A week or so later on Friday evening, the "blessing" arrived in a package. The bottle looked just like I had seen it online, which was a good sign, I guess. The text on the bottle said "softly apply to the head". Fair enough.
That night, I used the blessing for the first time during showering. When I applied the oil, trying to avoid the bald spots, I felt this strange sensation. It's hard to describe, but it just felt great, like some terrible pain or itch being relieved.
The next morning, my felt a lot looked a lot better, and to my surprise the bald spots looked a lot smaller. Being optimistic, I decided to go through with it the next shower. That morning, I could barely see the bald spots and my hair looked a stronger, and longer too. So naturally, I went through with it.
It worked beyond my best expectations. A few weeks later, my hair had all its former glory back and even most of its length. I felt a lot more confident in school, having stopped wearing that awkward cap and not being worried about having it removed.
My friends were surprised by how fast it had grown, but when they asked about it I just responded I had been lucky. I kept the product secret instinctively, and honestly I just liked seeing their confused looks after they had been talking behind my back for so long.
I replaced my old, awkward cap-wearing profile picture from Facebook with another which showed my new, fabulous hair. When I measured my ponytail again, the circumference was 6.5", more than I had even thought possible.
I was in relieved, and even when my hair fully restored, I just kept using the product, ordering extra bottles because just it felt so good. I mailed "Morgan" about the result of the oil, and he said he was happy to help girls like me out. When I asked him about some personal details, he just said he lived in Hinnom, which is somewhere in northern Israel I believe (I live near Jerusalem myself). He was vague about everything else, but I didn't mind.
Eventually, I started dating the boy that I had had a crush on for years, but whom I didn't have the courage to talk to wearing that awkward cap. We saw The Life of Pi together in theaters and it just clicked. I didn't know if he was just after my body, and back than I didn't care either. He was not very pushy about it anyways. I felt like I was the happiest girl in the world.
Until I forgot to use the product one day. My white pillow was gray when I woke up, from all the black hair that had fallen out. I panicked, and I noticed I shed a lot of hair the entire day.
But then I applied the oil the next evening, and in the morning my hair was shining healthy again. I was relieved, but also anxious because I suspected what that happen when the product wasn't available any more. Thankfully my boyfriend didn't seem to notice the incident, and when I told him, he said I still looked amazing and started playing with my hair. I loved that feeling, it just felt like I meant something to someone.
As I mentioned before, I was still mailing Morgan sometimes. One time I asked him where he got the product, he didn't answer the question. Instead he sent this:
Hey Naomi,(This is not my real name. I don't want to reveal it on here.)
Can you do something for me? The oil is hard to get, especially around these parts. I'd appreciate if you did something in return, since I've been shipping the product to you for such a low price so long. You see, my community has a problem with hawks catching our animals. When your next order arrives, it will contain rat poison that you have to put in the stream where the hawks drink. It would relieve my place of an awful burden. If you don't, I'm afraid I can no longer continue to ship the product to you.
Needless to say all of this crap came completely unexpected, and it made little sense (What domestic animals get caught by hawks? Do they keep masses of mice or something?), and therefore I decided that I wouldn't partake in this unnecessary animal cruelty. When the box arrived, I half expected that the rat poison would not be in there, but it was, so I threw it in the trash and mailed Morgan that I had done exactly as he had told. Problem solved, right?
Wrong. A week later I received another reply from Morgan.
I'm afraid I have to stop shipping the oil. I thought you were better than this, throwing it in the damn waste deposit. My brethren suffer every day because of these twisted birds. I'll give you one last chance. If you want to keep your pretty hair, you better listen to me.
So I did. I didn't want to go back to wearing that awkward cap, I didn't want to lose my friends and status again. I didn't want my boyfriend to look at me with that gaze that means "what the hell happened to her?" I knew it was all shady but please, you have to understand what was going on back then.
From then on however, I was his. Cheating him again was no option, because apparently he knew everything that was going on, which made me feel really uneasy. When I asked him about it (politely of course, I didn't want to screw over him again), he simply replied that he "had his sources" which didn't sound comforting at all.
After some time, he came up with new tasks which made equally little sense. I had to release goats from fields and farms, spray texts in Hebrew at certain places with graffiti, (לְשַׁחְרֵר and לְהִתְקַדֵם if you really want to know), and destroy certain decorative statues belonging to people. I felt increasingly more guilt when I was using the oil, but I told myself I had no choice, that to stop using the oil would be a social death sentence. Eventually, he commanded me to burn down a supermarket in a neighbouring town, which...
I did. I'm not going to tell you where it was, but I want you to know that I regret it from the bottom of my heart. I was an idiot who cared only about looks and status and didn't have the guts to resist blackmail such as this. I just brought a lighter and gasoline, poured it over the roof and hurried away as the place burned to the ground. The next day, I was still not quite over it, and I refused to talk to anyone and shut myself in my room filled with guilt and shame. This had to stop.
Which is why, when he asked me to burn down an occupied house in the next mail, I told him I wouldn't partake in this shit any longer and I told him to go to hell. His response was simple.
Hell? You have no idea.
But it felt great, even though I knew that without the oil my life would be completely different. And sure enough. Within weeks, my hair had lost almost all its volume and bald patches started to appear. I'm still losing hair to this day, so if you have any suggestions for products please leave them here. My friends and family were surprisingly supportive, at least a few of them. Many of my then-closest friends still talk behind my back today. My boyfriend was very supportive too. Mostly. At least until I saw him holding another girl, after which it was pretty much over.
About a week after I had stopped using the product, the house I was supposed to burn down had been consumed by fire, which makes me think, I should probably tell the police, but at this moment I don't want to spend years behind bars. Yesterday Morgan sent me one last mail. It was this.
The angels are calling
From heaven above
For those who have fallen
With hatred for love
The guardians broken
The watchers are blind
They offer no shelter
To all of mankind
The seal will be broken
The lock will be torn
HIS splendor will leave
The old world forlorn
So brethren, show mirth
Your payment is due
When HE walks the earth
The world will rise anew