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?Miss, Miss! Can you come back here for a second?? The receptionist called from the front of the salon as Karen walked out into the mall; her head hung low to hide her features.

?What?s the problem?? the tall stylish, but rugged man asked the receptionist, appointing his position as manager.

?That woman didn?t pay for her haircut, Mr. Samson.? The young receptionist said as she pointed to the long, curly haired women that continued to walk away from the salon and further into the mall area.

?Ok, get security up here and I?ll go get her.? The manger said as he started to walk after her.

?Miss, you can either stop or have security call the police than you can deal with them l?? His words were harsh, but his voice didn?t raise a decibel. This was the first time Paul Samson even had to say that he would call security.

The women stopped, her head still lowered, her eyes just staring at the ground in loneliness. The manager walked in front of her, her eyes didn?t shift from the marble titled floor. The man looked over her, noticing she couldn?t be any older than seventeen. Her style was definitely of a teenager?s nature. Her hair was long, tailing to her waist, the ends finishing done in a blunt line, as the color streamed with a radiant blond. From her tight, white t-shirt that cleverly showed off the right amount of cleavage, to her fitted khaki pants, to the shiny black boot like mules with her white socks that peeked from the backless part of the shoe.

?Now, why did you leave our store without paying? Can you tell me that please?? He said, his voice sounding like that of a parent when they are disappointed in their child.

?Well, I really needed a haircut, but I didn?t have the money for it. I didn?t think it would hurt anyone.? She said shyly.

?Well, you stole from those people that serviced you and from the salon itself. You stole those people?s time and the materials from them. Though, you?re young, so I really feel that you didn?t mean to do, if that makes any sense. But I feel that you shouldn?t be in any legal trouble at such a young age and I really don?t want to fill out a police report. So, if you can follow me back into the salon, we can talk this over.?

The two of them walked through the open front of the salon, the smells of used chemicals greeting them as they walked in.

?Sarah, when security gets here, tell them that I am going to handle the situation. Thanks.? The manager said to the receptionist as he passed.

Both of them continued into the salon, walking down the middle of the styling area, passing all the green vinyl chairs, some with people in them, their bodies hidden away underneath blanketing black capes, their heads floating above with wet locks.

?Take a seat, so we can talk this over.?

Karen took a seat in the light green vinyl styling chair. The cylinder that supported the weight of the chair was contoured in an off white. She raised her feet and placed them on thick, square black pad of rubber that was the footrest, held to the chair by a single silver pole that jutted at an angle from the bottom of the chair, as she lifted the rest of her body into the chair, her back squashed against the soft padding of the chair.

? I really wish that you wouldn?t have done what you had done, because I don?t want have to punish you. Though, you really have left me with no choice.? his voice smoldered on his lips. His face shadowed from Karen?s timid eyes as he rustled around the top of the wooden shelf that shaped against the wall, serving as a desk.

His fingers stapled themselves to a willowy piece of white tissue as he pulled one from a box that was laying on the counter. Paul with his free hand flipped Karen?s waist length hair over the top of her head, baring her neck. Slinging a hair clip from his belt, he secured the score of hair over her head. The papery thin material glazed over Karen?s bare neck, haloing around the middle of it as the ends were taped together. A swallow gushed down her throat, shaking the itchy tissue that coated her nimble collar.

A blanketing shadow fluttered over her as a whoosh of rustling material followed it. Before Karen knew it, her shins were sheltered in glossy, thick bluish black nylon as he rushed around them. The swamping material tented off her knees, its middle ballooning up with a pocket of air as it flowed over the armrests and her hands with a tickling breeze. Her body cooled under the drape of soothing, swamping black cape. The rustling nylon coated her shoulders circling around the back of them. The movement of the cape stopped at Karen?s neck, as it anchored itself around the back of the chair, until the two flaps could be united. The collar of the cape buffed against the neck tissue as it wrapped around the middle of it. A thick pop came as the cape?s two ends were snapped together in unity. Karen?s frightened body was cushioned and trapped within the spread of swimming lustrous black nylon.

Paul slid out the clip that held the gallons of hair secure on top of Karen?s head. Swinging plates of hair rubbed against the sloping cape and the nylon covered back of the chair, tenderly stopping as they reached the middle of the chair. As her sleek, blond hair masked over the contrasting black cape, Karen?s body shuddered out of fear, the cape wobbly with her movements. It was almost if her hair already knew what was coming.

With shifting movements the chair started to lurch upward as Paul pumped the hydraulic lift at the bottom of the chair. With each press of lever, the chair jerked up, the crushing under Karen?s butt squashed and stirred with each lift. The even surface of the cape rippled as the chair got higher, creating waves in the shaky material. The chair stopped, as the operator?s desired height and the world around Karen got even more terrifying and quiet.

?Trust me, I really don?t want to have to do this, but its either this or I call the cop and that is really something that I don?t want to have to do to a little girl. So, since you stole from us, I?m going to steal something from you.? As his words cooled on Karen?s ear, he pulled a random bundle of hair from the middle of her head. The bunch of fair blond hair hung limply, wilting over Paul?s hand. Sharpen blades of pounded metal severed through the mass of hair, snapping the ends close to Karen?s scalp. The tail of hair faltered over he brow, thumped against the chest of the bluish black cape. The broken pieces skidded against the polished face of the cape, curling and bending into U?s as they rested on Karen?s lap. Another extensive train of hair swept passed Karen?s eyes and played on the cape, before it glided over Karen?s capped hand, feeling the weight of the tufted hair before it fall away from her as it tumbled over the side of the cape and on to the tiled floor.

Revolting shock shook through Karen?s body as she watched her lovely hair lay on the cape, so close to her, but distance from her as well. And as her mind stopped, no more chucks had come down her black-tarred form. Then, her eyes shifted to Paul?s back as he grabbed something from the counter, the cord hanging below his hand. And then he was gone from her sight.

Fingers grasped around the sides of Karen?s head, guiding her head to look down. The view came enclosed with her caped chest and lap as her eyes were forced down. Locking plastic snapped against each other as a low electrical hum vibrated over Karen?s ears. A vivid crunching droned on Karen?s head as a field of lengthy chucks of crisp blond hair overflowed on to the black cape. Karen?s covered lap was masked by a blanket of severed blond locks, some still clinging on to the chest of slope.

?Oh my god!? the words grasped and gushed from the woman?s mouth, ?I can?t believe you?re shaving off all that pretty hair.?

Sitting in the seat next to Karen, a middle-aged woman watched as Karen?s hair came off. Her black sandals swayed on the footrest as her bare legs laid under the cuffing cape. Her own waist length hair laid wet and slicked back.

?I would never do that, since I love getting my haircut too much!? The inquisitive woman said as her stylist turned her chair to the mirror and asked her what she wanted done today.

Paul collected the tailing hair that charmed over the back of her head. Like a spanning bridge, the fan of hair was lifted up as Paul got the clippers under it. Sparking on Karen?s neck, the teething blades of the clippers buzzed. The meadow of raised roots, snapped and released from its base. As the first course of hair came off, it laid hobbled in Paul?s strong hand. The light blond hair faded away to reveal the white bareness of the back of Karen?s head. The last trail of curving hair flopped into Paul?s gripping hand, looking like a wilted bouquet of flowers. The assorted ponytail plummeted from Paul?s open as it wavered over Karen?s bowed head. Like a rolling log, the severed mass of hair milled against the slanting chest of the bluish black cape. Karen could feel the weight of hair ripple over the cape, pulling around her hands and shoulders as the bulky heap of hair sagged in the light cape. The heavy appendage of hair slithered along the cape slowly, brushing against the silky material of the cape, before it mounded with the rest of the mounting hair.

Paul shaved off the long pieces of hair hanging around Karen?s temple area; it dived for the lake of the cape, skimming down her chest in a quick race. The clippers ran against the top half of Karen?s head, drizzly the line of layering hair down on to the shoulder of the cape, before it grooved around the ball of Karen?s shoulder and skipped to the floor before. Only stringy wisps covered the side of Karen?s head like vive. With a swift and lite pass of the clippers, the flimsy section of hair, with its weightlessness it floated down lightly.

Karen?s head delighted with an airlessness as half her head was bared to the air for the first time. Her eyes were framed with fright, she stared in the wall length mirror, her caped body was covered in hair, expect for the one place that it should have been, her head. Her eyes roamed along the nylon drape, its color almost hidden away by the scattered chucks of tangling locks. Karen?s hands moved from their place on the armrest, swimming under the lagoon of black nylon. She waved her knuckles under the pile of hair that sat on her lap, even through the lightweight cape; she could still feel the load of hair. More swelled on the stack of golden blond hair as Paul shaved the rest off. Karen?s head floated away from her body as all the burden was engorged in her lap.

The styling chair descended down on rail as the lock was released and it returned to its original height. A breaking snap thumped in Karen?s ears as the cape?s snap button was broken and the two flaps were opened.

?Now, I didn?t really want to do this, but I just couldn?t let you steal from me and maybe do it again later on. So, I thought if I cut all your hair, it would give you some time to think about stealing a haircut again.? Paul gave her a reassuring smile, though it was grim and hidden.

Karen?s shoulders breathed again as the cape was peeled away from her. A rush of waiting hair, spilled over Karen?s knees as the cape was lifted off her hands, the mass of swirling locks splashed against the toes of Karen?s shiny black shoes. As the warmth of the cool cape was stripped away from Karen?s lap, her legs sprung to life with fright. Scared and confused, she leapt from the chair and ran into the swarming public of the mall, the white neck tissue still firm against her neck as she passed the gleaming eyes of the walking shoppers.

And in her mind, she thought, ?Steal a haircut, someone steals your hair.?

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