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Alicia was a mild mannered girl with little or no exposure to the outside world.  She had grown up in a small town and had married there, never having left the confines of its familiar streets and climbs.  By all standards she was beautiful, with thick blonde ringlets that cascaded down her back to her waist and the face of an angel.  Her eyes were blue as an azure lake and her skin was pale with a hint of strawberry. 

Her husband was considered one of the luckiest men in town for having had the priviledge of marrying her. 

It hadn’t rained in weeks and the dust was starting to rise in the streets, along with the temperature.  Every day the sun grew stronger and the temperatures rose through the eighties into the nineties, one day even reaching one hundred degrees.  Alicia was never one to be uncomfortable so she would often sit by the window fan, naked, with the artificial breeze blowing across her body as she waited for her love to come home from work.  Her hair would hang long off the back of the chair and drape on the hardwood floor, forming a small circle of  vanilla curls on the tarnished surface.  Any mortal man would have gone half insane had he walked into the room and seen her there with her thighs spread, allowing the fan to carry her luscious scent all around.  She didn’t really notice it, the musty, intoxicating mix of her sex and her beaded perspiration, evaporating off her body.  She was comfortable, and that was all that mattered. 

It had been almost two weeks of intolerable heat, and Alicia struggled to keep herself sane, as did the entire midwest.  The window fan had lost its power and sitting naked infront of it no longer brought comfort, but instead just moved the heat around, like a desert wind.  It was unbearable.  Alicia paced throughout the house, naked of course, but so hot and so inconsoleable.  She held her hair out away from her neck so only the tips brushed against her waist and then in a sigh of frustration allowed it to fall down against her dripping back the ends tight and dark with her sweat. 

Alicia had to get out of the house, it was too much.  She threw on a sundress, nothing underneath of course, and walked out the front door, barefoot.  As she walked on the uneven sidewalk along her street, the cement so hot that each step was a delicate mixture of a tiptoe and a skip, she slid over onto the grass which was so much cooler and softer on her babypink soles.  Soon she was on the main street, and cars were speeding by with their windows down, arms dangling out as if to catch what little air there was and direct it inside.  She stopped in the ice cream parlor and waited in line for a cone.  There was a older woman behind the counter serving up generous helpings, and when it was Alicia’s turn she ordered a vanilla. 

“How can you stand all that hair sweety, it’s pretty but it must be unbearbable in this heat.”  She said as she handed Alicia the cone.  The old woman shook her silver head,

the tight curls jiggled about, but stayed in place, forming a globe around the woman’s head.  Alicia nodded and turned to leave.  “You should get it bobbed honey!”  She said as Alicia open the door to the shop, the bell ringing as it closed behind her.

Alicia licked away at the cone, losing some of the precious ice cream to the heat as it ran over her fingers and off the end of the cone.  She sat down on a handy bench and finished off the cone.  Licking her fingers clean Alicia was sufficiently cooled off from the ice cream and got up to head home.  As she got up a young boy scampered out the door of the shop behind her, rubbing his bald head and laughing as he tripped down the sidewalk.  Alicia turned around and noticed that she was infront of  the local barber.

“Wally’s” she muttered under her breath.  Wally was sitting in one of the chairs reading a newspaper while his assistant, shaved another lucky boy.  She wondered how it would feel to be rid of her hair and feel the breeze against her shaven head.  As she watched the shaving, Wally looked up from his daily news to see the young Alicia staring into his shop.  He smirked a knowing smile, and returned to reading his paper.  “Silly” Alicia thought as she turned and headed home. 

Alicia dreaded the idea of making supper, and decided that a couple of sandwiches would have to do for tonight, besides, she wasn’t that hungry.  When her husband walked through the door, he was sporting a very short crewcut.  “How do you like it Alicia, thought I would beat the heat.”  Alicia slammed the plate with the sandwich down in front of him and headed for the bathroom.  “I guess she didn’t like it” he said under his breath, “It’s only hair,” he yelled “it’ll grow in!”  He started in on his supper after grabbing a beer out of the fridge. 

Alicia stood looking at her reflection in the mirror, her long blonde locks, curled with perspiration.  She opened the medicine cabinet and took out a pair of scissors and held them up to her hair at her jaw and started to close them, snipping a few long strands which fell to the floor uncerimoniously.  “Arghhh!” she threw the scissors across the room and buried her face in her hands.  “I can’t do it, damn it!” She said.  Alicia then stripped off her dress and ran a cold bath.  Slipping into the cold water felt so good, against her body that she shivered, not from the cold but from exhilaration. 

The next day, Alicia found herself staring once again into the mirror.  A few short strands of hair brushed against her cheek, a reminder of what she almost did the night before.  Once again the heat of the day rose, and Alicia found herself struggling with it.

She walked past the bathroom on her way to lie down when a glint caught her eye.  There, by the leg of the tub were the scissors she ahd thrown yesterday.  She bent down to pick them up and opened the medicine cabinet and placed them on the shelf where she found them.  As she closed the door, there she was, staring back at herself, miserable. 

Alicia opened the cabinet and gently took the scissors back into her hand, almost in a trance.  She placed them in the exact same spot, right at her jaw, only this time she closed them tight.  A cascade of blonde hair floated to the floor of the bathroom and covered her feet.  Without thinking Alicia continued to cut off her glorious mane, circling around the back and then starting in the front on the opposite side until in a gasp she realized she had finished.  All those fantastic locks lay lifeless on the blue mosaic floor.  She couldn’t see her feet for them.  In a panic, she cleaned up the hair and put it in the trash outside, as if that would hide the evidence of what she had done.  But the evidence wasn’t in the trash, but in the mirror, as she stared at herself.  Her hair was so thick that it stuck out almost sideways from her face, and it was chopped and ugly.  She couldn’t leave it like that.

Alicia grabbed the scissors and tried to straighten out the choppy mess, but only made it shorter, and worse.  In her haste she had cut it so short in back that it was above the hairline.  She pouted and a tear streamed down her cheek as she realized what she had done to herself.  But there was only one thing to do.  She threw on the sundress and headed out the door. 

She stomped down the sidewalk, ignoring all the stares she was getting from
people as they recognizsed who she was.  Delores’ beauty shop was about four blocks down the main street, and that is all she had on her mind.  Maybe she could fix this mess, Alicia thought.  She passed the ice cream parlor and thought about what the old lady had said and giggled under her breath.  As she came to the bench where she rested the day before she stopped and turned.  “Wally’s” she said, “OK” .

The door was open and Alicia surpised the men as she walked in and flopped down in one of the chairs along the wall.  “You’ll have to take a number Miss.” Wally smirked and jestured to the rack on the wall, the number 17 on top.  Alicia walked over and grabbed the ticket and went back to the same seat.  “Are you sure you’re in the right place hon?” Alicia nodded hesititantly. “Ok then.” 

There was a couple of young boys in the shop and they took their turns in the chair as Wally was by himself today, his assistant was off.  Alicia watched intensely as each boy was skinned of his hair.  The sound of the clippers as they whined was somewhat soothing to her.  It seemed like all the boys in town were getting shaved in this heat.

Alicia reached back and felt what was left of her hair in back as Wally ran the clippers up the back of the boy’s head, it didn’t go unnoticed by the barber.  Then Wally did something that he hadn’t done to the other boys.  He walked over to the counter and something whined for a second or two, Wally came back with a palm full of foam.

Shaving foam, she thought.  Wally spread it over the boy’s head liberally and then began to strop his straight razor on the leather belt that hung off the the side of the chair. 

“Bald?” he questioned the boy.  The boy giggled a yes.  Alicia was holding her breath as she watched the straight razor being drawn across the boys scalp. Once again she found herself feeling the short stubbly hair at the back of her neck.  Wally made quick work of the shaving and the smooth headed boy, paid the barber and off he went.  “Seventeen!” Alicia nearly jumped out of her chair as she realized that it was her turn.  “Gave yourself a haircut I see, young lady.”  Alicia nodded.  “Not a very neat job though is it?” He smirked.  Alicia shook her head.  “Shame though, it was beautiful.  But it’s gone now huh?”  Wally laughed.  “So what are we doing here?”  Alicia was at a loss for words, but Wally had an idea what she wanted so he lead her.  “I think you want it short right?”  Alicia nodded again.  “Not “girl” short,  but “little boy” short?”  Alicia let out a gasp and nodded again.  “All the little boys are getting buzzed down.  You want a little boys cut don’t you.”  Alicia couldn’t stop her hand from reaching up one more time and feeling her cropped hair in back, but Wally stopped her before her hand reached her neck. “I’ll take care of that.”  He shook out the cape and drew it around her neck with a clip and a strip of paper.  “We won’t need the scissors will we?”  Wally smiled. 

“No…”  Alicia whispered under her breath.  There was an oscillating fan on the counter that was blowing across her lap and she realized that she was very excited.  She could make out her scent, and she knew that if she could smell it, then Wally was sure to as well. 

“Here we go Miss.”  Alicia heard the Whine of the clippers that had calmed her earlier, only now they brought her to a place she only felt in her husbands arms.  As the clippers were brought to the top of her forehead she felt a deep wave of pleasure sweep over her body and a tiny gasp escaped her lips.  What took Wally only a minute to do, felt like an hour to Alicia.  Each pass of the clippers brought another wave of delight.  Alicia could feel her hair tumbling off her head, and occationally a large clump would fall down on the cape in the front.  All too soon it was over and the room fell silent, except for the giggles of the boys sitting in the chairs behind her.  Wally began to unfasten the cape when Alicia startled him.

“Please…..”  Wally followed her gaze to the shaving foam dispenser on the counter.  He smiled and loosened the cape, folding it under around her neck.  Walking over to the counter Wally filled his hand with foam and carefully and slowly applied it to Alicia’s stubbled head.  Alicia heard the razor being sharpened and then a slight tug at her scalp and she knew.  Slowly and deftly, Wally shaved the last of Alicia’s hair away, leaving only smooth, alabaster skin.  She gasped a few more times as the razor worked.  Wally rubbed a towel over her head and then dusted some sweet smelling powder from a bottle over it’s glass surface.  As Alicia rose from the chair it was as if she was born all over again.  The foreign figure in the mirror, was indeed her reflection.  She noticed how far her ears stuck out from her head, now that her hair was no longer there to hide them.  She would have to learn to live with that.  She offered to pay Wally, but he declined to accept, saying he enjoyed it almost as much as she did.  As she walked out of the shop she ran her hand over her head and turned to face her new barber.  “Thank you….I’ll see you soon.” 

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