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As he walked down the street the idea of going for a haircut was perhaps the last thing on David’s mind. Haircuts were something that he grudgingly accepted he needed every now and then, but they were not something that he looked forward to or enjoyed. As he walked past each of the shop fronts he would glance inside briefly, not really looking for anything really. Suddenly he was brought to an abrupt halt. Through the window of shop he could see her. He had no idea who she was, but he knew that he wanted to find out more.

She was small, maybe only five feet one or five feet two inches tall. But she was startlingly pretty and her petite figure was perhaps the most attractive he had seen for a long time. Her slim legs were largely exposed by the short skirt that she wore, the pleats of it swirling temptingly around her thighs as she moved. Her firm and pert breasts were clearly outlined by the tight-fitting black shiny top she wore that clung to every curve of her torso. He wasnb’t sure but he guessed that it was made out of maybe plastic or even latex. She had clearly spent time and care in putting on her make-up, not too much and not too little, just enough to perfectly outline and accentuate her delicate features. But perhaps most of all his eyes were drawn to her hair. Jet black in colour it had been styled, cut was too simple a word, by a very skilled hand. It was not that short in length but over her ears either electric clippers or a razor had been used to take her hair sharply back to the hairline leaving a stark line. The same skilled hand had also been at work around the back of her head where the hair was severely tapered to lie close to her scalp. While at her nape the cut was so blunt as to look almost as if a ruler had been used so precise was the line that had been cut. It was almost a man’s haircut on a young girl so making it even more of a style statement.

He had been so taken by this pocket vision he saw through the window that David had completely failed to notice what kind of shop this was. He stepped back and realised with some surprise that it was a hair salon. Actually barber shop would have been a more accurate description as there was only a single chair and he could only see clippers and razors, rather than dryers and perm rods. As he stood looking through the shop window he suddenly realised that she was looking at him. No, she was more than looking at him, she was actually smiling at him. As he smiled back she raised her hand and beckoned towards him. David paused, unsure whether he was the intended recipient of this attention or whether it was in fact meant for someone else. He glanced quickly behind himself to see whether he was indeed the intended recipient of her friendliness.

Before he had a chance to wonder anymore, the girl appeared at the door, stilling smiling enticingly at him.

“Are you coming in then”? she asked suggestively.

He paused unsure what to do next. But close up she was even prettier than he had first thought and her haircut was even more severe. There was not a trace of stubble at her hairline leading him to conclude that she must have had it cut very recently.

“Don’t worry I’m not going to hurt you”, she almost purred, taking his arm gently with her manicured hand and drawing him into the barber shop.

Not quite sure why David allowed himself to be lead obediently towards the imposing figure of the large chair which dominated the interior. The combination of black leather and shiny silver chrome made him somewhat nervous and his throat felt dry. All he had to do was say he didn’t have time or something and that would be it. He would be free. But this close to her firm young body he could smell the delicate scent that she wore. Just a trim maybe. He thought, how bad could it be and of course he would get to spend more time in the company of this delightful young woman.

He took of his jacket and then allowed himself to be coaxed into the firm embrace of the old-fashioned barber’s chair and felt his body sink slightly into the seat. He gazed at his own image in the large gilt-edged mirror that hung on the wall in front of the chair, and he caught a glimpse of the slight grin on his face. Was it a smile of pleasure to come or the nervous smile of someone dreading what might be to happen next? The girl turned away briefly and his eyes hungrily took in the reflected image of that brief skirt floating around her firm legs as she moved, her turn causing the hem to raise slightly higher and so expose more of her long, long legs.

He heard a faint rustling behind himself and then with a flourish she covered David with a large black cape. He was expecting some light, silky garment to be placed over him but this cape felt much more substantial – oppressive even, as if he was now trapped under its unexpected weight. He guessed that it was made of some rubber like material although it seemed to almost cling to his body reinforcing the firm grip of the chair upon his frame. Before closing it tightly around his neck she tucked a tissue between the cape and then closed it firmly. He had been expecting a drawing together of a strip of fabric or the rasp of Velcro, but instead she closed the cape with a thick leather strap attached to the cape. She pulled the strap firmly and then secured it with a metal buckle. This was unlike any hair cape that he had worn before. The girl turned away once more and then returned with a second cape. Lighter than the first in weight and a deep scarlet in colour, the cape only covered his shoulders.

She stood behind him with a strange smile on her face, raking her blood red nails through his hair.

“I won’t be a moment”, she murmured before disappearing into the back of the shop.

David was left gazing at his own figure trapped in the barber’s chair . For some reason he seemed to look smaller, almost like a young boy as if placing the cape over him had turned back the years. Never mind he told himself, just a brief trim and he would be out of here. Although he hoped to think of some way or prolonging the haircut so that he could spend the maximum amount of time in the company of this young vision.

The young girl re-entered the room and looked at him in the mirror. She paused, blew him a kiss, and then to his surprise walked to the waiting chairs against the back wall and sat down. She crossed her long legs and then retrieved a magazine and started to read. David was confused. This wasn’t what normally happened when he had his haircut. The door to the side opened once more and a second person entered the barber shop.

David guessed that she was a least fifty years old and perhaps even closer to sixty. She cut an imposing figure as not only was she at least perhaps five feet ten inches tall he estimated, but she was also a large woman. David didn’t know that much about female dress sizes but he imagined that she would a plus size, maybe even a plus plus size. Her steel grey hair however was perhaps the most striking feature of this woman. It was the first time that he had seen such a short hairstyle on a woman. You could only describe it as a classic short, back and sides. The sort of style you might expect to see on a young boy.

“Is he ready?”, she asked.

David went to answer but then realised that the old woman was talking to the young girl.

“Yes, mother – I’ve caught another one”, she giggled before returning to her magazine.

The woman retrieved a comb from the shelf in front of David and began to drag it firmly through his expensively styled hair. She almost sneered at the length of it.

“I’d like just a trim please”, he almost whispered.

“Head down”, she commanded brusquely.

Reluctantly David dipped his head forward, but obviously not far enough for her liking, as a cold hand was suddenly applied to the back of his head forcing his chin down into the material of the cape. All he sound now see were his feet dangling above the shiny floor of the barbers. There was then a long pause
and he wondered what was going on. The silence was broken by a harsh buzzing noise behind him and then the sensation of something hard and cold being pushed against the base of his neck. Straining to look up he glimpsed a swinging electrical cord in the mirror – clippers! But his head was pushed back down again.

“Keep still!” she barked at him.

David started to worry as he saw clumps of hair – his hair – begin to rain down onto the cape. The hair slowly gathered in small mounds for a few seconds before sliding down the cape and then dropping noiselessly to the floor. He tried to imagine how much hair was being stripped from the back of his head as the clippers climbed higher and higher and still higher.

“I don’t want it too short” he gasped quietly.

He may have been wrong, but the only effect of his words seemed to be an increase in the speed of the clippers. Again and again they ploughed their deep furrow across his scalp, yet more hair falling to the floor.

Suddenly the pressure on the back of his head was gone and he went to straighten his neck and see what damage had been inflicted upon his hair. But before he had a chance to look in the mirror the chair was swung around and his head was moved roughly to one side. The clippers burst back into life once more and he felt their cruel blades start to bite into the hair on the right side of his head. Once more little mercy was shown as the hair was peeled rapidly and efficiently from his head. David was somewhat in shock at the speed at which all of this was happening and the speed at which his hair was falling to the floor.

Suddenly his head yanked over to lean the other way and the clippers started to strip away the hair on the left side of his head. He thought he heard the soft sound of the young girl giggling in the background but he may have been mistaken. Once more the clippers were switched off and his head was brought sharply upright. He tensed, waiting for the clippers to start sweeping across the top of his head. To his surprise however the old woman hung the clippers back on the plastic hook and picked up a small hand brush. She began to vigorously sweep the stiff bristles across his head, bits of his recently cropped hair being flung into the air before drifting to the floor. After a few moments of this harsh brushing the woman picked up a comb and dipped the fingers of her other hand into a small pot sitting on the shelf in front of him. Her fingers emerged from the pot covered in some sort of thick oil and she began to liberally coat his now short hair.

Satisfied that his hair had been thoroughly oiled, she began to draw the comb through the untouched hair smoothing it flat against his head. She also carved a severe side parting into hair while sweeping the rest towards the back of his head. By the time that she had finished her handiwork with the comb David looked about 20 years younger. Not only that, in fashion terms he looked liked he had escaped from the 1940s. She laid the comb back down on the shelf and inspected the results of her work. Satisfied that she had achieved the desired result she started to brush the pieces of hair from his shoulder and around his neck.

He was distracted by the sound of the door of the barber shop opening. In the reflection of the mirror he saw 3 young girls enter. They walked over to the seated girl and sat down with her. They too were wearing little skirts that teasingly rested high on their young thighs. The girl was talking to the new arrivals and then pointed at David sat in the chair. The girls looked at David trapped in the chair and laughed to themselves. If things weren’t bad enough he thought, now he had an audience to witness his humiliation at the hands of this fierce barberette. One of them even had her mobile phone out and appeared to be filming the whole process.

David started to relax a little as it appeared that perhaps his ordeal was finally approaching an end. The shoulder cape and then the heavy cape were untied and lifted clear of his sitting frame. He went to climb out of the chair but a heavy hand pushed him firmly back into the chair.

“Not yet”, the old woman commanded.

He reluctantly slumped back into the chair unsure what was happening now. The woman leaned forward to pick up something from the shelf in front of the chair. He saw a slim canister in her hands which she started to shake vigorously. She then squirted some its contents into her hand and then started to spread the white foam along his hairline over his ears, and then across the back of his neck. David relaxed a little – this didn’t look too bad. But then she started to spread the cream higher up the sides of his head and higher up the nape of his neck. He guessed that perhaps an inch or more of white foam now spread along his hairline.

The barber wiped her hands briskly on a small towel and then retrieved an old-fashioned cut-throat razor from a leather case on the shelf. She brandished the formidable looking instrument in front of him, the bright lights glinting on the long blade. He saw in the mirror that the now four young girls were leaning forward in expectation – clearly they had witnessed this spectacle before and were keen to see another victim suffer at the hands of this firm woman. David blushed – embarrassed at being so publicly brutalised, and in front of such a young and pretty audience.

His head was once more pushed firmly over to one side and then his ear was pulled roughly down as she started to work the razor along his hairline. She worked confidently with the sharp blade stripping away the short hairs left by the clippers. David strained against her firm grasp to try and see in the mirror just how much damage was still being inflicted on his hair. He almost tried to lean away from the blade but her grasp was too strong. After a few moments work his head was released and he was able briefly to steal a glance in the mirror. His heart sank as he saw the broad white strip of naked skin left by the razor that now existed above his right ear.

With only a slight pause, the barberette twisted his head over to other side and his left ear was treated to the same rough handling. Once again the razor did its work and another broad white strip was carved across the side of his head on the other side. His head was released once more while she wiped the blade clean and he was left to contemplate the matching strips exposing his skin above both of his ears. He could also see the giggling and pointing girls in the reflection and he wished the floor would open up so he could be freed from this horrendous experience and disappear from their mocking gaze.

All too soon his head was now forced forwards again as he tried not to think about just how much of his remaining hair at the nape was going to fall victim to the razor. He tried to gauge how high this new artificial hair line would be as felt the razor burning across his nape, the noise of its scraping blade contrasting with the high-pitched giggles of the young females behind him enjoying his embarrassment. Suddenly the pressure was gone and his was released. As he raised his head she picked up a rough towel and began to briskly rub it along the newly shaved skin to remove any trace of hair or foam. The skin, not used to this sudden exposure, stung as it was harshly rubbed.  

He saw in the mirror the girl that had first caused him to end up in the barber shop stand up and walk over to the chair. She looked over his haircut, running a long nail across the shaved skin.

“Do you think it’s short enough Auntie?”, she asked.

David was horrified and glared at her reflection, In response she just smiled cruelly.

“He’ll do for now”, the woman replied as she started to walk back towards the door through which she had originally appeared.

The girl frowned in disappointment but started to loosen and remove the 2 capes. With some disdain she held up a smaller mirror to show David the finished haircut. His eyes took in the new severe hai
rline left at the back which had been shaved in a brutal straight line almost halfway up the back of his head.

“Is that alright for you?”, the girl asked.

Still somewhat in shock he mumbled a quiet yes and stumbled from the chair, his legs feeling unsure and shaky after his traumatic experience. In silence he paid for the haircut and walked towards the way out and freedom.

“See you soon”, the girl shouted after him as she collapsed in laughter with her female friends.             

David walked numbly along the street, running a trembling hand repeatedly over what was left of his hair and feeling the extreme nakedness of the shaved skin around his ears. Hew too felt that everyone was looking at him wondering how and why he had chosen such an extreme and brutal hair style. Chosen?

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