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The Occupation, Chapter 2 by Andrew Smith


The Occupation
(This chapter is part of a series titled "The Occupation". Please read the earlier chapter for proper context and background.)

CHAPTER 2

(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.)

Although Robert did not like the occupation, there was little he could do when the Germans entered his barbershop he had to serve them. But now seated in his chair was a young handsome Frenchman. There were no other customers in the shop either. The young man had long slicked back hair and the sides were very heavy as well. He seemed a few years younger than Robert, and Robert hadn't seen him before in the town. He was a new customer, and Robert wanted to make him a permanent one. He wanted to work his scissors-magic on his beautiful plush mane of hair and style it in the latest fashion and continue doing so regularly.

Robert flexed his muscles in an attempt to stretch his arms. He saw the young man look in awe at his ripped muscles. Good, his long hours working out were being honored.

Robert patted the customer on his shoulders and asked him, "So, how do you want it to be cut?"

Marcel had been so fascinated by the Nazi officer's haircut and mustache trim that he hadn't thought of what to tell the barber.

Robert caped him up tightly and was playing with his hair, and seeing the hair length and overall hair pattern.

Marcel decided on a slight trim, but Robert thought that the top was too floppy and needed severe thinning. Marcel didn't really know what that meant. His usual barber never used such barber terms and right now, he was clueless.

"And anything with your mustache? Want it trimmed like the officer sitting here before you?"

"Oh, no way! I am not trimming my mustache down to a toothbrush! I actually want to grow it out like the man had before you trimmed it."

Suddenly, Marcel realized that he shouldn't have said those words about the toothbrush mustache. What if Robert was a collaborator as well? He could have him punished severly for his lack of respect for the Fuhrer! But then, Robert calmed him down by replying, "Yeah, I get it. What a stupid idea to trim a nice handlebar mustache down to a toothbrush! Psst! I tell you, I have trimmed down a few of these handlebars down to the toothbrush on some other men from the Wehrmacht. I actually love it. Turning those men into pussies by trimming their handsome mustaches. Serves them well for occupying our country!"

He added, "And you want an imperial-style handlebar mustache! The most royal and graceful of them all! That is very classy."

Marcel was so engrossed in the conversation that he didn't realize that Robert had started trimming the sides and back of his hair already. But he wasn't cutting it too short, just trimming it with scissors and comb.

"Does that look good? Or do you want it shorter?" Robert asked about the sides.

"Yeah, looks good. No, not shorter please. I just want a trim."

"Great!"

When the barber turned to the top of Marcel's head, he told Marcel that he will be maintaining the length of the hair, but just thinning it, just "slimming it down a bit" so it doesn't look very heavy. That was music to Marcel's ears. He did not want to cut his hair much shorter and this "thinning" seemed like a great technique.

Robert artistically thinned Marcel's bangs. Marcel was extremely pleased that he did not have to cut his hair short. He actually wanted to look like the Nazi officer before his drastic haircut and mustache trim. He wanted nice long slicked back hair and a handlebar mustache, and it seemed that regular trips to Robert's would help him achieve that.

"You really seem to like your hair. Why not, it is really beautiful. Soft, dense, and nice and long," Robert asked him in between snips.

"Yeah, I like it. And I really like what you are doing with my hair. I want to grow it out longer."

"How's that?" Robert asked beamingly once he was done with the cut. "Do you like it, err... What's your name?"

"Marcel. Marcel Marchand. And yes, I love this style."

"Marchand. Marchand. Are you related to Pierre Marchand?"

"Why yes, he is my older brother!" Marcel beamed.

Suddenly, there was s look of contempt and shock on the barber's face.

Quickly deciphering it, Marcel added, "But don't you worry. I... I am... I am not like him." He had been facing this look for quite a few days now, since the entire town had found out that Pierre Marchand was pro-Nazi and a collaborator. News like this hardly ever stayed private in the small town. Everyone knew by now about Pierre.

Robert still did not trust Marcel. And why should he? He did not want to serve any collaborators people who had caused his country to concede defeat against the Wehrmacht. The Nazi officer that was a different case. He just had to serve him, else... well, he did not want to think about the consequences.

While Marcel was admiring his new haircut in the mirror, Robert was eyeing the manual hand clippers.



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