The toilet belched and a few strands of black hair unfurled from around the U-bend. Mr Tims yanked at the handle again but the cistern roared in response.
He grabbed the toilet brush and rammed it into the bowl, trapping the hair against the stained porcelain and attempting to draw out what lay beneath. The lack of friction undid his efforts and he threw the brush aside, letting out a cry of anguish.
It is to Mr Tims’ credit that he did not pause to roll up his sleeves, instead soaking the cuffs of his favourite jacket as he plunged in his hands to clutch at the tendrils of jet black that trailed there lazily, like the most delicate and alien seaweed imaginable.
He tugged at the hairs, some strands snapping immediately, others squeaking across his skin. They seemed firmly anchored in place.
One final exertion and something gave; the water in the bowl turned a cartoonish scarlet colour and a chunk of her scalp bobbed sickeningly into view.
Mr Tims wept on the dirty linoleum floor and reached for a towel.