The scissor-wielding street gang hit Caracas every Sunday morning, when most of the female population walked from their homes to the churches, flaunting their beautiful hair in the Venezuelan sun. Even though the women knew they could lose their locks in a heartbeat if a gang member on a scooter passed by, the threat did not stop them from indulging in their Sunday vanity.
Hair had always been an important part of Venezuelan society, a status symbol up there with cars and houses, but these days it rivalled cocaine as the main currency for organized crime. A full head of hair could fetch as much as a pound of coke on the black market.
Consuela wasn’t afraid to admit she was one of these vain women, walking the Sunday streets with her long black hair that ended just about where her curvy behind started and turned heads wherever she went.
Yet when Javier Sanchez, one of the youngest gang members but one of the most experienced when it came to hair snatching, snuck up on Consuela on Palm Sunday, traditionally a prime date for hair theft, he did not leave the scene with a grand worth of long black locks in his pockets. He left with his guts spilling all over his scooter. The gangs may have wielded scissors but Consuela preferred a machete.
Vanity comes at a price they say. For Consuela that price was set at a gallon of hoodlum blood. Each and every Sunday again.
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