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“Then, added to that, my car broke down and I had to wait for the breakdown guy to turn up. By the time he towed me back to the garage, it was too late. I’d had to ring the salon and cancel. The only good thing to come out of it is that they found the fault quickly and were able to fix it there and then.” Lucy told her neighbour, Susan. The two of them stood on Lucy’s driveway, as she described the events of her day.

“So you’re still okay for driving to the airport?” Susan asked.

“Yes, thank God, but I’ve missed my hair appointment and it really needs a tidy up before I go.”

“What time’s your flight?”

“That’s the problem, it’s 6.00am. There’s no chance of getting it done today now, and tomorrow’s Sunday. They’ll all be closed!”

“I see your problem.” Susan sympathised, “How about when you get to the other end?”

“No opportunity! I land at 9.30am, but my first meeting is at 10.30am, so there wouldn’t be any time.” A frustrated Lucy explained. “I need to find a salon which is open again before Monday morning!”

“Hold on a minute!” Susan suddenly said, “There’s a woman who lives on the estate, just around the corner, who’s a mobile hairdresser. I wonder if she could help?”

“How do you know her?”

“Oh, she dropped leaflets through everyone’s doors soon after she moved in. I’ve never used her myself, but you sound desperate. She may be your only chance.”

“You’re right! Where does she live?”

“On Mayhill Close. Her house has a green garage door, and is near the mailbox. I think she drives a silver sports car?”

“Mayhill Close? I could walk that!” Lucy was feeling hopeful about this. “I’m going to go and see her.” With that, she locked her car and walked down the pavement, towards Mayhill Close.

Sure enough, the silver sports car was parked on the driveway, as Susan had described. Lucy was glad to see it, as it suggested the woman would be home. Lucy rang the doorbell.

“Hello, can I help you?” The woman asked, as she opened the door.

“Maybe. I’ve been told that you are a mobile hairdresser?”

“Yes?” The woman answered, leaning up against the doorframe. Her figure was slim, and she was wearing blue jeans and a tight-fitting jumper that showed off her ample chest. Her own hair was short, and jet-black in colour.

“Well, I’m sorry for just turning up on your doorstep like this, but I’m desperate to have my hair done. I leave for a business meeting on Monday morning, and it really needs tiding up before I go.” Lucy blurted., “I was wondering if you could help me?”

The woman looked surprised. As Lucy stood on her doorstep, she took a long look at Lucy’s long natural-blonde hair. It was parted on one side, and hung straight down.

“I might,” she finally replied, “depends on what you want doing?”

“Oh, just the ends trimming. Just a tidy up really.” Lucy was keen to get her to agree to do this. “Nothing too involved.”

The woman held her gaze on Lucy’s hair. “Looks like it needs a good cut to me. ” She replied, ” I’ll cut it if you want me to.”

“Great!” Lucy was relieved. “When do you want to come round?”

“Come in and I’ll do it now.”

Lucy didn’t expect that reply, but accepted her invitation all the same. This was a result!

“I’m sorry, I haven’t introduced myself. I’m Lucy.”

“I’m Zoë. Come upstairs.” Lucy followed Zoë upstairs as asked, and was shown through into one of her bedrooms. As she entered, Lucy saw that she had converted the room into a small hairdressing salon. Well, Lucy thought it bore more resemblance to a miniature barbershop.

“Take off your coat, and be seated.” Zoë instructed, as she briefly left the room. Lucy hung her coat up and walked over to the chair. It was a genuine black-leather barbers chair, complete with armrests and footplate. She lowered herself into its seat, and cast an eye around her strange surroundings.

A cupboard/basin unit was fitted directly in front of her, with a large wall mirror fixed above it. An assortment of scissors and combs sat to one side of the basin, on the countertop, whilst pots of hair products and several hairclips sat on the other side. On the walls, Zoë had hung framed photographs of woman’s heads. Strangely, Lucy thought, they all sported short hairstyles.

As she sat there, thinking how surreal this small `salon’ in a house was, Zoë entered the room. She was now wearing a red barbers-style jacket, and carrying a red cape.

“Nice set up you have here Zoë.” Lucy complimented her. “Do you have many clients?”

“Yes.” Zoë answered abruptly as she flung the cape around Lucy. ” They prefer how I cut their hair.”

“Do you do colouring and perms here?” Lucy tried to make conversation.

“Sometimes the odd colour, but mainly just cuts!” Zoë fastened the cape around Lucy’s neck, and pulled out her long, blonde tresses. Lucy looked at her reflection in the mirror. She sat there, caped and with her blonde hair fanned out around her shoulders.

“I’m really grateful you could do this for me Zoë.” She said. “I would have been stuck otherwise.”

Zoë picked up a pair of scissors and a comb, from the countertop, and then turned to face Lucy. “Don’t mention it,” she replied, ” I’m looking forward to cutting it for you.” With that, she proceeded to walk behind the seated Lucy, and began combing through her locks.

“I’ve had a hell of a day,” Lucy continued, “my car broke down and everything.” But Zoë didn’t reply, she just kept combing Lucy’s hair before gathering it up in a makeshift ponytail. As she held it, pulled taut, in her left hand, her right hand opened the blades of her scissors. Lucy saw this through the mirror’s reflection.

“What are you doing?” She exclaimed.

“What?” Zoë retorted.

“You’re not thinking of cutting there, are you?” Zoë still had a good, firm grasp of the ponytail. She gave Lucy an indignant look through the mirror, with the blades of the scissors still poised.

“You want it cut right?”

“Yes, well, I want it trimmed really.” Lucy answered. She could still feel Zoë pulling on the ponytail.

“Sorry, but I don’t do trims.” Zoë snapped back. With that, Lucy felt her hair get pulled even tighter and heard the blades slice through the ponytail, releasing nearly fifteen inches of blonde hair.

“What are you doing?” Lucy screamed. “Look what you’ve done! How dare you!”

“How dare I what?” Zoë replied. “Listen lady, you asked me to cut your hair! You chose to sit in my chair!”

“But look what you’ve done!” Lucy stared at her reflection. No longer did her long, blonde hair fan across her shoulders. Instead, it was held in Zoë’s left hand.
“You’re free to get up and go if you want lady,” Zoë continued, stepping aside and holding out her arm to indicate the way out, ” but you’ll not find anybody else to sort it out for you before Monday now!”

Lucy sat there for a moment. Zoë was right. Just as she was Lucy’s last chance before that first cut, so she remained. But Lucy now felt very vulnerable, sat in Zoë’s own private barbershop.

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry, but you took me by surprise,” she said trying to bring some harmony to the situation, ” it’s just that I wasn’t intending to have my hair cut that short.”

“Short is what I do lady,” Zoë reiterated, “now if you’re not happy with that then please leave now. Otherwise, if you don’t mind, I want to continue cutting.” Her intention was very clear to Lucy, and by remaining seated it gave Zoë permission to do as she wished. Despite this, Lucy knew she still had little choice, and realised that she must accept fate. She sighed.

“Well?” Zoë impatiently asked, starring at Lucy through the mirror. Lucy looked back at her own reflection, absorbing the sight of her chopped tresses. On one hand the damage was already done, but she still had reservations as to what Zoë had planned for her. Sensing Zoë’s increasing displeasure, she slowly nodded her head.

“Very well Zoë.” She answered in a defeated tone.

“Good!” was the short a
cknowledgement. In an instant, Zoë was lifting sections of Lucy’s hair with her comb, and cutting into them mercilessly with the scissors. Lucy watched in horror as blonde hair rained down around her. Zoë’s cutting was relentless, swiftly working her way around Lucy’s head.

“You’re just like everybody else who’s ever sat there.” Zoë remarked.

“How?” Lucy asked, still in a state of shock as she witnessed more of her hair fall to the floor.

“You cling onto long hair, thinking that it’s what makes you feminine. I’ve lost count how many woman have stuck with short styles once I’d cut it short the first time, and I don’t doubt that you’ll be the same.”

“Don’t be too sure of that Zoë!”

“Oh, I think you’ll be surprised yourself. Imagine, no more fussing with drying and styling. No more turning up for meetings, worrying about how your hair looks.”

“We’ll see!”

“It’ll also make you look more professional, more business-like. You’ll find you’re taken so much more seriously too!” She was beginning to appeal to Lucy’s career-minded side, which was obviously her intention, and it was having the desired effects.

“So just how short are you cutting it?” Lucy asked, sounding more relaxed about her transformation.
“Nearly done with the scissors, and then I’ll just taper the back and sides with the clippers. It’ll sharpen those edges, and give you that crisp no-nonsense look!” Zoë could see Lucy starring at her reflection, imagining herself back at work. She was no longer complaining about the haircut and, instead, began admiring her new powerful look.

Zoë reached for the clippers, and switched them on. She could see the anxiety return to Lucy’s face, as the blades hummed together.

“Trust me,” Zoë reassured her, ” you will look so much better.” With that, she pushed the clippers up the back of Lucy’s neck. The sound of the clippers changed as they began cutting into hair. A nervous shiver passed through Lucy’s body, but then she relaxed a little and enjoyed the sensation. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the feeling of Zoë pushing the blades firmly against her skin. It was actually quite arousing!

“Feels nice?” Zoë asked, seeing her newest client succumb to the pleasures of her clippers.

“Mmmmmmm,” Lucy replied, eyes still closed. Zoë finished off with the clippers, before returning them to her tabletop. She then returned to stand behind Lucy, and began running her hands through Lucy’s newly cropped hair. Lucy visibly melted into the big chair, and groaned as Zoë’s pampering relaxed her even further.

“So what do you think then?” Zoë whispered, lowering her head down alongside Lucy’s. Lucy opened her eyes and looked into the mirror. Looking back at her was a woman she seemed to recognise, but her eyes appeared larger and her face seemed brighter and more open. She tilted her head from side to side, taking in the fact that her petite ears were now in full view, and she loved it!

“That’s so….beautiful!” She finally declared. “Thank you!”

“You’re welcome.” Zoë replied, giving Lucy a quick kiss on the side of her cheek. Lucy, already feeling aroused and at ease, instantly lifted her hand up to caress Zoë’s face.

“You do realise, if it wasn’t for the fact that you have a business meeting on Monday, I would have shaved your head.” Zoë teased her. ” Infact, if you become a regular customer you should know that at least one head shave is mandatory!” As she spoke, Zoë pulled the cape away, flinging hair cuttings into the air. Lucy remained seated, almost savouring the moment. She finally rose from the chair, and turned to face Zoë.

“Where’s your appointment book then?”

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