The short story of a Barber

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hey there! This is my first post, so I'm open to any critics or suggestions you might have. Thanks for reading!

Submitted: April 28, 2015

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Submitted: April 28, 2015



It was a sunny day when the Barber entered his saloon to find a little girl sitting patiently in the room.

His heart stopped as he laid eyes on her; his whole body trembled unconsciously for one second. Then he smiled at her, and with that smile on his face continued walking through the hall towards the line of chairs facing the big mirrored wall.

“Well, well. This is rather an unexpected surprise. I won’t deny it; I had to found courage to keep on going. I was this close of making a big hole on that door with the shape of my very old self!” said the man jokingly as he cleaned his scissor and put a pair of chubby cushions on one of the chairs.

“Well, come on now! Don’t be shy. Aren’t you here to get a haircut? I cannot do it if you are sitting over there.”

The girl took a look with her sad eyes at the old man. He had gone bald a long time ago and a large, white beard rested on his chest, just above his big, round belly. And his smile… everlasting. She gazed at the chair, sobbed, stood up and began taking tinny steps towards the chair he had prepared for her. She kept her head down, ashamed.

As she got to him, he lifted her up in the air, placed her softly on the cushions and started combing her hair.

“You did take your time to come pay me a visit. For that, I am grateful. I still hoped you would wait a little longer though. But I suppose that’s just normal. Isn’t it?” he waited for an answer, but her mouth remained closed and her eyes wouldn’t lift from the floor. He started cutting. “You know what? Many of your sisters used to come here very often. Oh, yes! Happiness would sit on this chair and ask me to shave every bit of hair off. That silly, little prankster! No matter how much or how fast I cut, her hair would grow back again in a heartbeat. I could spend hours shaping it in any form I wanted. Those were good times. Good times in deed.”

He gave his hands a moment to rest, and a smile full of old memories came to his face. Then he went back to work. “Of course, she wasn’t always around. Sadness came every now and then. That one would ask me to cut just the tip of her curls. She would stay long afterwards, making me company.” A sob. “Oh, no, no, no! Don’t cry! Sadness was very kind to me. All of them, sweet little girls, just like you. Pride, with her long golden braids. Laziness and her messy, matted hair. Love, always trying different hair colours and styles.”

The girl stopped weeping and the barber believed hearing one faint laugh between the sobs. “And now it’s your turn! I have long thought about how it would be like to meet you. Now I see I wasn’t wrong about you. You do look more mature than your sisters. And… can I tell you a secret?!” he lowered his head till his mouth was close enough to her ear for him to whisper “You have the most beautiful hair I have ever seen.”

She took one of his hands on hers, felt the soft but firm surface of it. Those were the hands of a man completely committed to his life’s work. She looked up at him, and her eyes were not sad anymore. The barber cut the last lock of hair and watched happily as a big smile grew on Death’s face as she saw her reflection on the mirror.

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