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“The Dumb Blonde”

I wrote this short story after being posed the challenge of creating the fictional history behind a myth.

Read on to find out what happens when a blonde woman captures the attention of two men in a bar.

***

The Dumb Blonde

A blonde woman in a short dress sat in a crowded bar last night. She seemed to watch the world go by, as she sat at a table and sipped on a margarita that the bartender had delivered with compliments. Her slender index finger traced the rim of the glass absent-mindedly, dislodging the salt as it moved. She pretended not to notice that two men had approached her table: one with glasses and one with a moustache.

Moustache man cleared his throat and the blonde woman slowly, almost lazily, glanced up at him. He asked if the two spare seats at her table were taken, stating that all the empty tables had been claimed. The woman gestured for them to take a seat and both men moved to sit across from her. As she continued to play with the edge of her drink, the pair of men started a conversation centred on their own achievements and which one of them was superior to the other. When the woman did not give any input, the men started to mock her, suggesting that she might be just another dumb blonde, without a word to say.

For the first time since they sat down, the blonde broke into a smile, saying, “I have a story to tell you, if you’ll listen.” Seeing this as a possibility to take the woman home that night, both men swiftly agreed to hear the story. So, the blonde began her tale:

“Many centuries ago, before the society that we have was even thought of, blondes were known to be the smartest beings on Earth…”

Before she could continue, the man with the moustache interrupted. “Is this a long story? I’m worried you’ve already forgotten some of the facts!” he said, winking and nudging his friend, who laughed along with him. A small crease formed between the blonde woman’s eyebrows, as she replied, “You can believe me or not, just at least wait until the end,” before jumping straight back into her story.

“Blonde people were the best advisors, the first and best alchemists, and even the best thieves,” she continued, a mischievous gleam in her eye. “My kind were the stuff of legends! But this all ended when those with other hair colours became jealous of our skills. My kind were hunted to the ends of the Earth, chased for something that we couldn’t control. Blondes were burnt at the stake, hanged from the trees and drowned in the rivers. Eventually, only a handful remained.” The woman took another sip of her drink, looking up at the men, who seemed to be having great difficulty keeping a straight face. The man in glasses, who seemed to be slightly more composed than his friend, asked the woman, “What happened next?”

The blonde woman looked both men in the eyes, one after the other, then signalled the bartender for another cocktail.

“Though they were hunted to near-extinction, all was not lost for the blondes. Those remaining devised a survival plan, deciding that it was too dangerous to show the extent of their skills anymore. From that day forth, the blondes pretended to be dumb. The people of other hair colours didn’t know what happened to the blondes but didn’t complain, as they immediately warmed to the idea that they were now the smartest people in the world. The jealousy faded to a minimum and the world was happy.” The bartender delivered the cocktail and the blonde woman nodded her thanks.

“Even the blondes kept themselves happy by practicing their now-hidden skills in secret. They taught their blonde children and their children’s children to appear dumb as well, whilst nurturing their superior talents in the privacy of their homes.” The blonde woman leaned forward, making eye contact with both men.

“To this day, believe it or not, blondes are still smarter than others.”

Silence hung in the air, as the men processed what they had heard. Finally, the moustache man found his voice. “Do you really think you’re smarter than us?” he angrily exclaimed. The blonde woman considered his now-red face. “Yes, I do believe so. Though not many believe my little story,” she answered wryly.

The moustached man’s frown deepened, and he crossed his arms. “Why should we believe your little fairy tale? We don’t even know you!”

The woman gave a soft laugh. “Well, judging by your wondering eyes, you seemed more than happy to get to know me physically. I figured it seemed only fair that you got to know me more personally first.”

The two men exchanged a glance, then turned back to the blonde woman. The man with glasses speaks up. “I don’t know whether that was supposed to be a joke or a game, but it was not funny, nor was it interesting!” he exclaimed, with a huff.

The blonde woman threw her arms up in frustration. “If you’d like to talk about games, how about we discuss the game that you started here? The bets that every person in the bar has made? Moustache, the ladies’ man, versus Glasses, the underdog, in a race to get the dumb, lonely blonde into bed!”

The men tried to backtrack but can’t find the right words to even begin. Their glances shifted around the room, hoping that someone would save them from their dilemma. Seeing the helpless looks of the men, the woman growled, “Get away from my table and out of my sight.”

The men quickly rose to their feet, muttering about the dumb blonde that didn’t accept either of their advances, before they left the bar.

Moments later, the blonde woman went outside for a smoke. She shivered as the wind crept up her exposed legs and down the back of her neck. One of the bartenders came out for a smoke break and they smoked together in silence, gazing out into the quiet street.

“A bit chilly tonight,” he comments to the woman, offering his jacket to her. She extinguishes her cigarette under the toe of her pink high-heeled shoe and takes the jacket with a nod to the man. “You ought to be keeping warm,” the bartender continued, “Pretty thing like yourself.” The woman methodically pulls the jacket on, smiling fiendishly as she feels the weight of two wallets in the pockets. “Thank you, my love. It was dumb of me not to bring a jacket.”

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