Charming Anton’s Woe

My entry for this week’s #BlogBattle challenge by wonderful Rachael Ritchey, where the challenge is to write a short story based on that week’s chosen word. Visit the link to read more about it! Anyone can participate, and it’s a great way to hone one’s writing skills! This week’s word is: “Blonde.”


Cavendish.full.1676632[1]Charming Anton strolled Elite Snooty Boarding School’s campus grounds and the magnificent garden, a luxurious haven made for the most prestigious of students, of which Anton was their shining star: The crown jewel of the school, and beloved by all. Everywhere Charming Anton walked people stopped and looked on in awe, for he had the most beautiful hair in all the land, glistening as if the sun itself had spun every strand. He flipped his luscious, golden locks at every turn to the admiration and swoons of girls and boys alike, all praising his beauty, and in love with his magnificent appearance.

He strolled through the garden on this fine day, during midday lunch, and paused to observe and smell every dainty flower, melting the hearts of fans as they watched and followed in his wake.

“Charming Anton is so beautiful~”

“Charming Anton is the sun itself, blinding us all with his blonde radiance!”

“No one can compare to him.”

“No, there is none like him in all the land! Kyaaah~!”

Anton secretly smiled to himself, overhearing his fans’ adoration. He turned with a rose in hand and winked at them. They fell back in a faint, overcome by the exquisite blonde beauty and heart throbbing charm.

He turned to continue his walk through the garden when something caught his eye. In a space of grass was a blanket, and sitting on the blanket was a person eating a sandwich: an ordinary picnic. His jaw fell open, repulsed by the thought of doing such a common thing. What sort of person, if they had any sense of decency and manners in them, would sit on a blanket and eat a messy sandwich? He narrowed his eyes. The person was young, so they must be another student, and they wore a ridiculous fabric hat that wrapped full around their head; there was no hair in sight. “B…bald?!” Aghast, he realized this person was bald. But not only that. This bald person sporting a strange hat was also…a girl.

He almost fell over in a faint, the sight of it so repulsed and shocked him. He couldn’t understand it. Why would a person choose to be bald, and forgo the beauty and grace that was hair? How could a girl do such a thing? “How can she sit out here in the open when her appearance is so ghastly lacking locks?” He must get to the bottom of this mystery!

Later that day, he asked quietly around school about the strange girl. Only two other students had the answer he was looking for: She was born with a genetic disorder that wouldn’t allow her to grow hair. She didn’t have friends, and so ate lunch on her own in the shelter of the garden frequently. Her name was Iris.

Pity washed over him, and he pressed the back of his hand to his forehead on the verge of another faint. What a pitiful existence this impoverished girl must be living! A life without hair? Without locks that swayed as you turned, and glistened while catching sun kissed beams of light like jewels? He closed his eyes against the horrid thought, and raised a brush, combing through his own luscious, luminous golden locks. He felt a tug. That was odd. He lifted the brush to have a look. A clump of blonde hair lay there, staring back at him.


He tried not to panic. He combed the brush through again. Another clump came off in the bristles. He screamed bloody murder, and collapsed to the floor…. When he awoke, it was to face the doctor as he lie in the school’s infirmary. The doctor gave him the diagnosis, quietly, and the blonde charmer braced himself: Anton had a serious scalp infection. All of his beautiful hair would soon fall out…and it would take a long time for it to grow back with treatment. The doctor assured him it would grow, eventually, but no amount of kind words or comfort could rid Charming Anton of the depression he fast fell into….

He wanted to hide from the world and never leave his room again; but the Elite Snooty Boarding School principal would not allow it, and so he was forced to go back to classes. The first students to lay eyes on him, and every person thereafter, stared: openly shocked, horrified, and utterly repulsed. When students used to gaze in love and swoon over his magnificence, now they laughed and pointed, and the worst of jokes spread. It was a nightmare beyond all nightmares for ex-Charming Anton.

“The horror…” he moaned, “Every time I look in the mirror, it is to see a monster staring back at me: its head naked, and its countenance like that of a hairless baboon. Oh, woe is me!”

Feeling humiliated beyond repair, the once Charming Anton walked by himself through the peaceful garden, and pulled the hat he now wore further down over his head, trying to hide his face with it as well as the glimmer of baldness.

Someone called out to him. He stopped, and warily looked about for the source. Then he saw her: the bald girl, waving for him to come over to her picnic blanket. “You can eat your lunch with me, if you like.”

He hesitated, remembering how, not long ago, he had been repulsed by her, and laughed, and even pitied her existence. But her smile looked inviting, and her demeanor warm. He didn’t deserve her attention but he took a chance and slowly sat on the picnic blanket. He wasn’t good with conversation, so he opened his lunch: a bento box filled with delectable bite-size foods. He was about to eat when she offered him half her sandwich. He’d never had a sandwich before; they always looked so messy. He hesitated, then took a tentative bite. A wash of new flavors hit him. It was then he learned he enjoyed sandwiches; and in return, he gave her half the gourmet grilled chicken and sushi bites from his bento. She laughed, saying that he ate like a prince. “Come down to Earth from your high pedestal, now and then,” she grinned.

Weeks went by with every lunch break on the picnic blanket, and the more time he spent with Iris, the more he learned there was so much more to this girl than that she was bald. Iris had a lot more depth to her than any of the other students he used to know, and swooning fans he used to hang out with. She was an artist, and she was studying old languages, and one day she planned to travel the world and explore ancient ruins. He never dreamed of such things before. He was mesmerized.

“So what if you’re bald, or I’m bald? It doesn’t make me any less of a person,” she said. “It’s who I am, and I’m not going to go and hide myself just because some people don’t like it. God made me beautiful without hair; what’s wrong with that?”

Her motto, her way of life, it fascinated him. Truly this was more beautiful than any blonde head of sun-spun gold and luminous locks! Hair, she didn’t need it. There was such beauty behind those hazel eyes; and her face, now that he took the time to actually see her, was quite lovely and different….

One fine spring day Charming Anton walked through the garden, his hair grown back: long, wavy and shimmering like the finest wrought gold, blinding all who gazed upon its glory. Girls and boys swooned left and right, pleading that he join their group and eat lunch with them. They followed after him, begging, but he ignored their pleas. Instead, Anton found the girl with the hat—Iris, the prettiest girl in all the land to him, his new found friend—and sat with her on her plain blanket eating a simple lunch.

The girls and boys stared on in shock, eyes as wide as dinner plates; they gawked that, of all the people he could hang out with, he chose her. They couldn’t understand it, and with much grumbling and pouting left, leaving the two to talk and laugh, and forge a bond that would last forevermore.

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20 thoughts on “Charming Anton’s Woe

  1. Enjoyed this. A good tale of looking beyond what we see on the outside. I’m glad Anton learned his lesson and didn’t just go back to being vain when his hair grew back. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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