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“Oh, hi.”

“Hi ya!”

“I wasn’t expecting anyone, I’m in the middle of cutting Linda’s hair.”

“Oh I’m sorry, I should have phoned you first.”

“Don’t be daft, come on in, it’s great to see you.”

With that, Emma held the front door wide open for Lesley to walk through.

Lesley thought the two of them had a strange friendship. Emma had got together with Lesley’s friend Andy a couple of years previously and, whilst she had never said anything specific, Lesley had always felt that Emma was not that keen on her. However, she wanted to remain good friends with Andy and if that meant being friendly to Emma, then that’s how it was going to be.

“We’re in the kitchen,” Emma called after her as she walked down the hallway, “go on through.”

Upon entering the kitchen, Lesley saw Emma’s friend Linda sat in a chair, covered by a black cape. Her hair was combed straight, and was obviously being cut much shorter than it had been, as there were tufts of hair all over the cape and floor.

“Hi.”

“Oh hello,” replied Linda, “I’m in the middle of a transformation.”

“So I see.”

Emma walked through into the room.

“Yes, Linda needed a new look and so I volunteered my services. What do you think Lesley?”

“It looks good,” she replied, “how long was it before?”

“Just pass my shoulders.” Linda replied. “I was just going to get it trimmed, but Emma suggested that I go a little shorter and.”

“It needed a good cut! It was in a bad way.” Emma interrupted, as she picked up the comb and scissors from the table. She began combing through Linda’s hair, which she’d cut into a pixie-style.

“Are you here for a haircut?” Linda asked Lesley.

“No, I was just passing and I thought I’d pop in and say hello. I wouldn’t have bothered you if I’d have known.. .”

“Oh, I just thought you might be her next appointment?”

“No, it’s okay, I only popped round for a quick..”

“She can be if she wants,” offered Emma, “we’re nearly done here, and I don’t have anyone else due this afternoon.”

Lesley felt put on the spot. Afterall, she didn’t want to offend Emma, just as the pair of them were beginning to get on.

“Why not then?” Linda continued, “It’s an ideal opportunity!”

Why not indeed? Linda certainly wasn’t helping.

“Maybe another time,” Lesley almost blurted out, in her haste to end this topic of conversation.

Emma had continued finishing off Linda’s makeover, but now picked up the batten.

“There’s no time like the present Lesley.” With that, she ran her hand through Linda’s hair and declared, “There you go, all done!”

As Lesley stood there, pondering her reply, Emma pulled the cape from around Linda’s neck and shook it free. Hair cuttings fluttered in the air, before falling to the ground. Linda rose to her feet and ran her hand through her hair.

“That feels so much better Emma!” she declared.

“Go and have a look in the mirror over there. It looks so much better!” Emma declared triumphantly.

As Linda examined her reflection, Emma turned towards Lesley. With one hand she held the black cape, and the other she rested on the back of the chair. The two looked at each other for a moment.

“Next!” Emma called.

Lesley felt a hot flush go through her.

“Come on Lesley, take a seat.” Emma had a wry smile on her face. She could see Lesley wasn’t keen on the idea, but picked up on her dilemma.

“You’re not going to refuse a free haircut are you? I’ll take offence if you do?”

That was the problem! Lesley didn’t want to offend her but, at the same time, she didn’t want her cutting her hair. For one thing, she thought she’d cut Linda’s hair way too short, and, secondly, she didn’t entirely trust Emma’s newfound friendliness.

“Come on, sit down.”

“Go on Lesley, sit down.” Linda joined in.

“I’d love to, but…”

“But nothing. You came round for a chat right? So it’s not like you haven’t the time is it? Besides, we can chat whilst I sort your hair out.” Emma persisted.

Like a scolded child, Lesley felt herself step towards the chair and lower herself into it. Immediately, the black cape swooped around her and was tightened around her neck.

“Better!” Emma smugly declared. She ran her fingers slowly through Lelsey’s long locks, lifting up sections away from her scalp as if to examine it carefully. Lesley could feel Emma’s manicured fingernails as she clutched handfuls of her hair, gently tugging at them.

“It must take up so much of your time, looking after all this hair Lesley?”

“Yes, it does but I like it long.”

“You would look so much better if you let me shorten it a little for you, and it wouldn’t take as much to look after you know?”

“How much shorter?” Lesley quizzed. “I don’t want it cut too short, just trim up the ends.”

“Oh no, it needs more than just the ends trimming Lesley love.”

“Emma, I don’t want you taking too much off.” Lesley was becoming increasingly worried.

Lesley could no longer feel Emma’s fingers running through her long, blonde tresses, but could hear her pick up something from the table behind her. She realised it was the comb and scissors.

“You can never have too much taken off,” Emma replied with a sinister tone.

Lesley could feel the comb passing through her shoulder-length blonde hair, but with no mirror in front of her, it was going to be difficult to monitor what Emma was doing.

“I don’t mind you trimming the ends Emma, but that’s about it alright?”

“Jesus, will you ever give over! It’s just a haircut, that’s all.”

“Yeah I know, but I don’t want it cut short.”

Then Lesley heard it. Schnikk! The first cut had been made. Schnikk! Another, again at the back of her head. Schnikk! A third cut, all in rapid succession with no combing inbetween? Schnikk!

“How much are you cutting? That doesn’t sound like a trim?” Lesley asked worryingly.

Schnikk, schnikk, schnikk!

“You know something Lesley,” Emma asked, “Andy is always banging on about woman with long hair like yours?”

“What do you mean?”

Emma continued cutting as Lesley awaited a response.

“Well?”

“I think he prefers long hair on women, that’s all.” She finally replied.

“Emma, how much are you taking off?” With no reflection to look at, Lesley could not see just how much of her hair had been cut off, but she feared it was a lot.

“Myself, on the other hand, I think woman look so much sexier with shorter hair. I think many women put up with long hair just to keep their men happy. Is that what you do Lesley?”

“No, no it isn’t,” insisted Lesley, “but I do like my hair long!”

“Why, because you think it suits you?” Emma asked.

“Yes, I like it.”

“Well love, it doesn’t! It makes you look older. All women should have their hair cut short once they reach their 30th birthday..it should be mandatory!”

For a moment Lesley just sat there. She’d never really had a one-to-one conversation with Emma. If she had, she may have gauged her character better. But now it was a little too late. She was midway through having her long hair cut by some feminist nutter!

Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the comb and scissors being placed back on the table. She could hear Emma fumbling around behind her, but couldn’t make out what she was doing.

Suddenly she felt Emma’s hand on the back of her head, as it pushed her head forward. At the same time, she heard a loud pop, followed by a humming sound.

“Now hold still sweetie.” Emma called out.

Suddenly Lesley could feel something touch her neck. The humming sound changed tone and became louder. She could feel it rise up her neck, as a scrunching noise accompanied the humming. Emma’s hand pushed her head even further forward, down towards her chest. Realisation kicked in….clippers!

“What do you think you’re doing,” screamed Lesley, “stop!”

“It’s too late lo
ve, I’m shearing you short whether you like it or not!” Lesley went to get up and out of the chair, but Emma’s hand pushed down hard on her shoulder pinning her into the chair.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?”

“You’re not shaving me Emma!”

“Oh yes I am love. I’ve already done the back of your head, so you might as well make yourself comfortable whilst I finish the job..like a good girl!”

Lesley reached up to touch her head. Emma was right. Her long hair had been replaced with stubble.

“What have you done to me?”

“What have I done? I’ve released you love, that’s what!”

“From what?”

As Lesley slumped back into the chair, resigned to her fate, Emma continued with the haircut. She put her hand on Lesley’s forehead and brushed her hair back, following with the clippers to shave a path over the top of Lesley’s head.

“From the curse of long hair Lesley dear. No more hours spent washing, conditioning, drying, styling…just wash and go!”

Emma continued to run the clippers up and over Lesley’s head. Over and over again, as if just to confirm that her hair had been well and truly buzzed.

Defeated, Lesley just sat caped in the chair surrounded by masses of blonde hair.

Emma took a few steps back to admire her work, looking back on the forlorn figure in the chair.

“That is so much better Lesley.”

Even her friend Linda, who had sat quietly watching the event, stood up and gazed at Lesley’s new crewcut.

“Wow, that’s great!” she exclaimed, “Emma, I want you to do that to me…now!”

Unsurprisingly, Lesley was not so convinced. She automatically rose to her feet, as Emma released the cape, and walked over to a nearby mirror. Linda, who could not contain her excitement, immediately took her place in the chair.

“You will cut it as short as hers won’t you Emma?”

“You bet!” Emma replied as she threw the cape around her friend, pausing to look over at Lesley who stood staring at her own reflection.

“So, what do you think Lesley?” she asked. Lesley ran her hair through her hair, and what looked like a tearful expression turned into a smile.

“I like it,” she declared, “I actually like it!”

“I knew you would babe! Just wait until you’ve lived with it for a week – you’ll never grow your hair back!”

Lesley walked back across the room to where Emma was standing.

“So then Linda, as short as mine..or maybe even shorter?” she teased.

Linda looked up at her, and then looked at Emma.

“It’s up to you?” Emma said with a wry smile.

Linda looked back at Lesley, who gave her a wink.

“Okay, shorter it is!”

Just then there was a knock at the door. Lesley walked over to look through the front window.

“It’s the postwoman with a parcel for you Emma,” called Lesley, “oh, and she’s also got long blonde hair!”

“Not for long!” Emma replied as she walked to answer the front door.

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