Story for the Day: Hair Loss
If Alasdair ever went bald, I think he'd kill himself.
The commander, Teague and Den Asaan returned to Diras in the evening, Teague to give his assessment of their inspection to the king and Rautu to do the same in his letters to his brother. The giant would spend only a few moments writing all the necessary minutiae of their visit to Frewyn’s afamed trade port before resuming his patrol, but the commander, being otherwise disengaged for the few moments’ repose, went to the royal quarter to deliver something she had been asked to procure: a small item hardly noticed by the party when it had been purchased, but something significant enough to give immense amusement to herself when considering how it was to be used.
She went therefore to Alasdair’s chambers in hopes of finding Carrigh within so that the two women could share their mirth over Alasdair’s need for so ridiculous an article, but upon nearing the threshold of the main room, the commander was suddenly sidled by her king, who having heard the extent of the report from Teague was eager to be in receipt of his object.
“Did you find some?” Alasdair asked in an eager hush.
“Yes, Alasdair,” the commander simpered, handing him the small bottle and shaking her head at his great delight.
He nearly hopped with joy to read the label on the item. His smile conveyed his immense satisfaction and his sighs all his gratitude. “Thank the Gods.”
“You know very well that you have no need for this, Alasdair.”
“It’s insurance,” he protested.
“In case you should begin balding tomorrow?” The commander snatched the bottle from his hands and began reading of its contents. “Honestly, Alasdair. You use so many balms in your hair, you primp and fuss so much that I’m astonished your precious fringe hasn’t fallen out already.”
He took the bottle from her and humphed, rereading the words hair growth serum with assurance that such a contrivance should do well for him if the occasion should arise.
“Worrying about losing your hair, Alasdair, shall make you lose it faster.”
“Well, you have nothing to worry about,” he asserted in a pained tone. “Everyone in your family has lush hair regardless of how old each of them seems to be.”
“Ah, yes. The price one must pay for being of the Frewyn noble houses,” she snickered. “I daresay you have twenty years at least before you should begin to recede.”
Alasdair gave her a flat look.
“Your grandfather had remarkable hair and a perfect hairline well into his old age,” she declared, though from his fretting brow she could see that no amount of verbal support would assist where a serum would supply his security.
“A solid hairline means little for the top or back of the head,” he warily observed.
“You could merely mask any supposed dearth with your crown, but I know that maintaining your precious curl is all your ambition.” She lifted her hand to touch his sculpted fringe and her hand was vehemently slapped away. She laughed at his protective manner and smirked when he touched his front curl to make certain that his mild exertion had not ruffled it.
Once he was assured that no damage to his hair had been done, he added, “Allande used to cover his hair loss with his crown.”
“Is that why I never noticed it?”
“That and he had the tapestry-makers make him seem more voluminous.”
“Perhaps, but where he had servants to depict his perfect state, he didn’t have a seamstress for a wife who could weave him something to wear in place of his crown.”
“No, thank you,” Alasdair grumbled. “Count Ross wears enough of those to terrify me during court.”
“Is that why proceedings are so long, because you are rapt with trepidation by a wig?”
“They look as though a dead rat crawled onto his head.” Alasdair shivered for the remembrance and he flouted in disgust to think that one of those vile articles should ever come to touch his head.
“I thought dead rat was all the rage amidst the first circles this season,” the commander said with feigned seriousness. “Before considering to use such a precarious product, may I direct your attention to the adverse effects?” She pointed to the portion of the label beneath the ingredients marked with a warning sign.
“Side effects?” Alasdair repeated hesitantly.
“Assuming those balms have not hindered your ability to read, mark the symptoms of usage here.”
Alasdair regarded the label with a chary countenance and read aloud: “May cause hair growth on other portions of the body, headache and weight gain? By the Gods, if it doesn’t fix one problem it causes ten more.”
“Alas, hair may be the most important thing in the world to maintain but I daresay that portliness is the very last item on your list of things to preserve.” She patted his slender waist and smiled at his disenchantment. “Marridon’s contrivances, Alasdair. There is never one without a price.”
“In this instance, a price I’m not willing to pay.” He was about to return the bottle of serum to its giver when Carrigh suddenly emerged from the royal apartments. He panicked and attempted to secret it away, but his terrified gestures only increased her curiosity.
“What is that, Alasdair?” asked the queen in a pleasant voice.
“This? Oh, nothing. Nothing at all,” he said quickly, forcing the bottle into the commander’s hand. “Just something for Rautu that the commander wanted to show me. It’s not for me. I don’t need that. No, I don’t.” He succumbed to nervous laughter and ushered Carrigh into their chambers, away from the commander, vowing to never again ask for something which was wholly unneeded.