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The Occupation, Chapter 1 by Andrew Smith


The Occupation

CHAPTER 1

(This is a work of historical fiction. It is not meant to hurt anyone's feelings or support any agenda. Please view it as a haircut story with a different background.)

Marcel knew they might come for him. Of course, he was hoping they would not, but there was little doubt in his mind. He should have just ran away from it all, just like his older brother, Pierre. But he wasn't a coward, unlike his brother. He had decided to stay put.

The occasion was one of victory and celebration throughout France. After four long years under the Nazi occupation, France was liberated at last! The Wehrmacht had retreated from western and northern France from Marcel's small town some 200 kilometers north of Paris and the Vichy Regime in France had ended. When the Nazis had invaded France, some among the French were sympathizers of the Nazis and had collaborated with them. They helped the invaders send "unfavorables" to camps. Without their support, the Wehrmacht would have suffered stronger resistance in occupying French territory.

Pierre was one of them. As a collaborationist, he was responsible for many malicious acts. Under the occupation, life in Marcel's small town changed. There was widespread oppression, and many French citizens had trouble making ends meet.

Since Pierre was a collaborationist, he was able to take care of himself and his younger brother well. After the death of their parents to tuberculosis and typhoid, Pierre, at a young age, accepted responsibility of his younger brother. While there was shortage of food, Pierre and Marcel had more than enough to feed themselves. While their neighbors were selling off their household items, Marcel was busy using mustache wax and curling the ends of his handlebar mustache.

Although younger French men in his town did not sport mustaches, Marcel was proud of his thick black mustache. He would style it everyday with wax and pomade and curl the tips upward. The younger women in his neighborhood were fascinated with his mustache before the occupation, that is. The older men wished they hadn't shaved theirs. Those who sported them wished theirs were as jet black, thick and massive as Marcel's. Since the occupation, the mood in the small town had changed completely.

While he was stepping out of the barbershop, after a haircut, shave and mustache-trim, he was nonchalantly curling his mustache when he heard someone shout, "Look! We don't have money to feed and clothe ourselves and this man is burning his money on expensive clothes and haircuts." Marcel did count his blessings. He did feel bad for the people in his town but there wasn't much he could do. His brother was getting paid well and he could afford his lifestyle. He liked visiting Robert's barbershop.

Robert owned a small barbershop that he had inherited from his late father. His was the best barbershop in town, and also, the most expensive. Robert was about the same age as Marcel. Marcel had heard a lot about Robert's barbershop but had never ever visited it. He simply couldn't afford such a lavish lifestyle. But things had changed with the occupation. Thanks to Pierre, there was money at home. He could fulfill his desires of looking dapper by getting well-tailored suits and shirts.

The first time he visited Robert's barbershop was right after the occupation had begun. The Nazis had entered and Pierre had made some money off of it. During those days, Marcel sported a slicked back haircut and a regular chevron mustache. His hair was very long, longer than six inches, but since he would slick it back and apply a lot of pomade, the length wasn't so apparent.

When he first entered Robert's barbershop, he was surprised to see three Nazi soldiers in there, in their uniforms. He almost thought of leaving immediately. They all stared at Marcel when he entered the shop. Marcel surveyed the situation. The soldiers seemed to be customers at the barbershop. Nothing to panic about. Try to act normal. There were no other French men, just the uniformed soldiers and the barber in his white tunic. The barber introduced himself as Robert and said that he had other customers and suggested that Marcel wait. Marcel obliged and grabbed a seat.

The barbershop had two barber chairs and a Nazi soldier in his early twenties was seated in one. He gave instructions to the barber, which Marcel couldn't hear. The German soldier was a handsome man with a strong built. He had a thick handlebar mustache; thicker than Marcel's, which piqued Marcel's interest. The tips were curled up and it made Marcel's upper lip look childish. Marcel was in awe of the German's mustache and wished he could grow a mustache like that for once in his life. On closer inspection, th Nazi seemed to be not a soldier, but an officer, judging by the medals on his chest. He wore his hair slicked back, and that along with his burly handlebar mustache which he seemed to wear with great pride, gave him a commanding presence. The other two soldiers seemed to be members of his unit. Marcel was now interested in watching the German's haircut.

The barber took out a cape and wrapped it tightly around his neck. He then grabbed scissors and the officer tilted his head back. Marcel thought that the German was getting his mustache trimmed. However, Robert took the scissors and held them against the base of the handlebar curls and with a sharp snip clipped on the entire curl of the mustache. Marcel felt his cock stir. He dropped the newspaper he was pretending to read on his lap to prevent the bulge from appearing. Robert proceeded to clip off the massive curl on the other side of the mustache. Marcel almost came. He had never felt like this before and his heart started beating faster. The mustache clipping was sad but seemed exciting at the same time. A beautiful royal mustache cut off just like that! All the regality lost in a matter of seconds! All the effort and time spent in curling and waxing the tips gone in a few moments.

The barber combed down the remaining mustache which made the Nazi officer look like a walrus. The mustache hair reached his chin when combed down and curtained his lips. Robert took the scissors and cut the mustache hair along the top of the upper lip. The thick mustache curtain fell down on the officer's lap. Surprisingly, the officer seemed to swell his chest with pride, instead of shedding a tear. The handlerbar was now transformed into a sloppy chevron mustache. The barber then sprayed the remaining mustache with water and brought out his straight razor. Robert wondered, 'Was this man shaving off his mustache completely?' The barber, instead, properly measured the center of each nostril of the officer's nose and drew the razor in a straight line below. In a clean stroke, he removed part of the mustache. He repeated the same on the other side. The German's handlebar mustache was now transformed into a toothbrush mustache, a la the Fuhrer! A smile instantly appeared on the German's face and his chest seemed to swell with even more pride. For him, he was looking like his idol.

Marcel, on the other hand, tried to contain his laughter. He thought the officer looked funny. What a shame to dramatically trim a handsome luxurious handlebar mustache down to a toothbrush style! And all that to look like the psychopath dictator! He ensured not to appear humored by this, else he knew he would be executed right there.

The Nazi officer said something to the barber, which Marcel didn't quite catch. He said something else to one of his soldiers and they seemed to agree with whatever he said. He then straightened up in the leather chair.

The barber combed forward the Nazi officer's hair. His bangs fell below his eyes. The sides and back were short, but not extreme. Much shorter than Marcel's hair for sure. Marcel knew this would be another huge transformation and tried to control his excitement. While he resented and absolutely hated the Nazi occupiers, there was something about this officer that got him excited.

The barber took out his manual hand clippers and placed them at the base of the nape. Slowly, he moved them up the back of the head leaving almost stubble in its path. Marcel was enchanted. All the dark short hair fell on to the cape exposing a clean white scalp. The barber took the clippers almost up to the crown. This was very radical compared to most men's haircuts he had seen in his small town in France. The barber moved back to the base of the nape and moved the clippers up leaving an empty patch next to the one he had already created. Beautiful dark hair kept on falling on to the cape. He then moved to the sides and clipped them clean. The Nazi officer was almost bald on the sides and back, but had lots of hair on the top.

The top hair was too long to go with the sides and back, he thought. Marcel guessed that the barber would continue to the top and shave off all the hair there. But he was wrong. The barber wet the floppy hair with water and then then combed all his hair back so that it fell over the crown and down the back. The hair curtained the back of his white pale head that was freshly shorn. In a clear snip, the barber cut off everything that extended past the crown. Beautiful hair tips just fell onto the floor. The barber meticulously checked that the hair was uniformly cut until he was satisfied with his work.

The barber picked up a jar of pomade from numerous ones sitting on the barber station and scooped out a thick dollop. He rubbed it between his fingers and ran it through his client's hair. He created a part on the left side with a comb and tightly pulled back all the hair on the top.

It was a haircut Marcel had never seen before in person, but the undercut excited him a great deal. He was fascinated by the Nazi officer and the barber.

The barber pulled out a mirror and showed the sides and back to his client. He ran his fingers over the shorn back showing how well he had clipped the hair. The Nazi officer seemed impressed and gave a nod of approval.

The barber unfastened the cape and down fell the shorn locks that were hanging on to the cape. Somewhere in there were the tips of that burly handlebar.

The officer got up from his seat and checked himself out in the mirror. He ran his fingers over the exposed part of the upper lip which had once housed a nice handlebar. His fingers went up to curl the ends, but there was nothing. But he was proud to look like the Fuhrer.

He paid the barber while the two other soldiers rose to their feet. Marcel bowed to them as they all left the shop.

Suddenly, Marcel realized that he was the only customer in the barbershop. Robert invited Marcel into the large barber chair. Looking at him in the mirror, Robert gave Marcel a warm smile. Patting him on his shoulders, Robert asked him, "So, how do you want it to be cut?"



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