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The High and Tight Terrorists Part II by Buzz (recovered)

The High and Tight Terrorists Part II


For the third Saturday, Cadet Pettimore showed up at Cody`s room without being reminded. Since his first forced high and tight haircut three weeks ago, Pettimore`s attitude had changed drastically . His drill skills, his bearing, and most importantly, his personal appearance, had all improved dramatically. `Sir, cadet Pettimore reporting for haircut, sir.` `Shut up and assume the position,` Cody barked at him with a laugh. He could tell the plebe was enjoying the upperclassman`s attention. Jordan seemed lost in concentration as Cody navigated the clippers over the top of Pettimore`s head, buzzing away the minute growth of fuzz that covered the top of his skull. Pettimore had already shaved the sides and back of his head, so the run of the clippers was very brief. `Sir, thank you, sir!` Pettimore said when the haircut was done.

After Pettimore had left, Cody noticed that Jordan was distracted. `What`s the matter, little bro?` Cody asked. Cody was the older twin by seven minutes. Jordan didn`t answer, he just kept staring blankly across the room. Cody climbed onto the bunk and settled himself behind his brother. `Just thinking,` Jordan shrugged. `Our birthday`s coming up,` Jordan continued. `I was wondering what to do to celebrate. I want to do something special.` Like always, Jordan was more concerned with doing something for his slightly older twin than he was for himself. He needen`t have worried. Cody had a fantastic plan to celebrate their birthday.

The next morning, Cody woke up long before reveille. He walked over and kneeled by Jared`s bed, laying a hand on his chest. Jared`s eyes snapped open. Seeing Cody, he smiled and sighed. `You interrupted a great dream.` He whispered, trying to sound harsh. Cody smiled. `I`ve got a better one.` Cody whispered back.

Jared sat up, interested. `My and Jordy`s birthday is coming up soon,` Cody began, `and I`ve got the perfect gift for my brother.` `You woke me up to tell me that?` Jared snapped. `I thought this was going to be good!` `It is.` Cody assured him, his grin growing wider. `You know that Jordan didn`t have to come here to Patton, right?` Jared nodded impatiently. Like the others, he knew why the twins were at Patton. `Well, by coming here to stay with me, Jordan lost something very special to him.` Jared smiled. Random spikes of gelled hair shot up at attention as he rubbed a hand over his cropped head. `Right,` Cody went on, `Only we didn`t have a choice. Jordan did. He`s here because of me.` Jared frowned -- this was going somewhere, but his sleep-fogged mind had missed something. `We`re having fun terrorizing that plebe with high and tights -- why not take it one step further?`

Jared`s mind suddenly cleared. He grinned. Cody was awed by that grin, Jared`s lips were pulled back in a feral, hunter`s grin. It was the kind of grin Cody imagined a wolf gave to the rabbit it was about to snap in two. `The only thing is, we`ve got to keep it a secret from Jordan. It has to be a surprise.` Jared nodded. His mind already clicking through options. `I know,` he said, `Jordan`s taking French. The rest of us take Spanish.` Cody nodded, catching on. `We`ll get together during study period and set everything up then.`

That evening during study period, Jared met with Cody and the others in Bobby Dane`s room. Red-headed Bobby shared a room with John Hastings, the center for the Academy basketball team, so no outsiders would be bothering them. Thanks to Jared and Billy Young, cramming for the Spanish quiz was no real problem, so most of the study period could be devoted to discussing Cody`s idea. `I`ve got a search and destroy mission for us,` he told the group.

`A mission?` Bobby asked excitedly, `What do you mean? What kind of mission? What`s the target?` Cody and Jared smiled. `Not what,` Jared corrected him, `But WHO. It`s a human target!`

Bobby was intrigued. `What?!?!`

`We`re going to pay back the kid responsible for making my dad send me -- and Jordan -- to Patton! His name is Todd Bryant.` John stretched out his long legs. `So the target is going to be the kid who got you busted?` `No, Cody said, leaning forward. The rest of the group looked confused.

Jared had briefed them all on Cody`s background and how he wound up at Patton. Even Jared looked a little confused. He had assumed that Cody`s target would naturally be the guy who had been responsible for his being at the Academy. `There are several reasons for a different target.` Cody held up his fingers and began ticking the reasons off. `One -- Todd Bryant is attending Penn State. That`s over seven hundred miles away. Two -- Bryant joined the Marine ROTC, so he`s already buzzed.` The rest of the group nodded -- the mission would be more fun with someone who had long hair. Somehow, taking the hair of someone with a USMC high and tight just wouldn`t have the impact and shock value as taking the long, flowing locks of someone who loved his mane. `So, who`s the target?` Jared asked frowning. `You`re gonna love it.` Cody grinned, evilly. He looked around the group, letting the tension build.

From his notebook, Cody pulled a photograph clipped from his hometown newspaper and threw it on the desk. Billy Young grabbed it and studied the photograph. It showed a teen with long dark hair. The hair flowed down over the teen`s shoulders in cascades of loose curls. `That`s Scotty Bryant, Todd`s little brother! He`s a sophomore now and real big in the school arts. Hot s**t in the drama and music departments.` Cody looked around the group. Each of the other members looked pensive as they passed the picture around among themselves.

Eventually, each of them looked up and grinned, nodding their buzzed heads in approval. `You`re right, Cody.` Jared said, appreciatively. `This is true justice. His big brother is the reason Jordan lost his hair.` Bobby agreed. `It`ll be true revenge! His brother got your brother buzzed. Now his baby brother will get buzzed because of what HE did.` Bobby`s grin seemed to almost wrap around his head. `I like it!` `And reason number three,` Cody continued, `Is that I think this will be a great birthday present for Jordan.` Bobby studied the picture again, examining the curls -- they didn`t look natural. He wondered how much this Scotty Bryant helped his curls along with a perm. Bobby could imagine the little creep sitting in some beauty parlor with his hair wrapped in curlers or whatever the hell salons used to make those loose curls.

Suddenly, a thought struck him. `Hey!` Bobby looked around at the faces now turned his way. `The twins live seventy miles in the opposite direction of my uncle`s place. We won`t have any place to take him.` `I got that covered.` Cody said, his grin becoming more feral like Jared`s. He leaned forward and explained his idea. Billy`s face lit up with delight as he listened. Unconsciously, he reached up and smoothed his quarter inch auburn hair down. This was fantastic! Cody had really done some thinking since last night. John made a couple of suggestions that improved the plan, and three buzzed head nodded as he spoke. Jared finally stood up, signaling an end to the discussion. He looked around the room.

His gang had come together to formulate a search and destroy operation with military precision. `Everything sounds pretty good to me,` Jared said. `There`s just one problem as I see it.` The rest of the gang looked up suddenly. `How do we get Jordan over there without telling him before hand?` The others breathed a sigh of relief. `Easy! You`ll all come home with us for our birthday.` Cody said. `After everything`s over, we`ll pretend to come back here, and . . . on the way back we make a little detour,` Bobby said, laughing.

The following weekend, the gang joined the twins at home for their birthday celebration. None of the gang could believe the Miller house -- it looked like some giant had plucked a French chateau from the countryside and plunked it down thousands of miles away in the American suburbs. Mr. Miller greeted them at the door with lots of back slapping and hearty gruffness. Jared wasn`t sure which of the Millers embarrassed the twins more. Mr. Miller ran his hands over each twin`s heads, complimenting them on having real men`s haircuts for the first time in their lives. Mrs. Miller, on the other hand, lamented the fact that both of her little boys had lost their pretty curls. Bobby found it hard to suppress a grin as the twins blushed.

Over dinner Friday evening, Mrs. Miller unknowingly dropped a bombshell. She had gotten tickets for everybody to attend the community theaters musical gala -- where Scotty Todd was impressing everybody with his wonderful talents. At the theater that evening, Bobby and the other boys watched intently as Scotty danced and pranced across the stage in highlights from the musical `Cats,` his shoulder-length hair bouncing with each step. Jared was surprised at how small the guy was -- he couldn`t have been much over five and a half feet. The tight body suit he wore showed a very lithe, small boned body. Cody grinned in the darkness of the theater -- this guy was going to be easy.

Of the cadets, only Jordan wasn`t sitting on the edge of his seat in rapt attention to Scotty`s antics. During intermission, Mrs. Miller prattled on and on about how impressed she was that the cadets seemed to appreciate the evening. Each of the cadets replied politely about the importance of cultivating an appreciation of the arts. Jordan shot knowing glances at his brother and friends. The closest they came to appreciating the arts as far as he knew was when the newest Jean Claude Van Damme or Steven Segal movie came out.

Cody asked if his folks would mind if the cadets stayed behind after the show to see some old friends. After extracting assurances of good behavior, the Millers agreed. After all, Mr. Miller pointed out, what kind of trouble could they get into? After the show, Cody lead the others to the back of the theater where the cast and crew members were slowly filing out. Seeing an old friend from Little league days, Cody called out to him and lead the gang over to meet him. Cody made a point of calling a couple of other people he knew over to create a crowd of laughing teenagers around the cadets. Jared winked to Bobby, who slipped away from the crowd and wandered over to the theater.

Bobby couldn`t believe how easy it was to get in -- no one said a word to him as he slipped through the side door backstage. Following the plan, Bobby scouted around and easily found the dressing rooms next to the small shower room. The sound of a blow dryer caught his attention, going to the second dressing room door, Bobby peeked around the edge of the half open door. His heart skipped a beat as he sighted Scotty Todd blow drying his hair. Waving the blow dryer with one hand, Scotty raked his fingers through his curls, loosening them and fluffing them. From time to time, Scotty gave his head a quick shake, sending his curls flying around his head.

Bobby quietly slipped back and checked the other rooms. Just as Jared had figured, Scotty was the last actor in the dressing room area. Taking the stairs to the stage level, Bobby scouted around for other people and was surprised to find the theater empty. He quickly made his way back to the crowd outside, murmuring something about needing to find a bathroom in case he had been missed. To his surprise, no one had even noticed that he had been gone. Bobby flashed Jared a huge grin -- this was going to be so damn easy.

The next day, the Millers made a big deal out of having a few of their friends over to show off how good their boys had turned out. The birthday celebration was held in the afternoon so the boys could get an early start back to the Academy. Caterers tossed huge slabs of ribs and steaks onto a grill on the patio by the pool. Jared and Billy sighed with relief -- both of them had been afraid Mrs. Miller would have some cutsey party in mind. Obviously, Mr. Miller had been the one to plan the party for the twins. Only the giant cake showed signs of a feminine touch, with red and pink icing roses decorating the top and sides. But, hell, Jared figured -- not too much you can do to make a birthday cake seem macho.

After cutting the cake, the twins got to plow through their presents. The cadets laughed to watch the two boys opening presents. Cody ripped through the wrapping paper like a tornado in a trailer park. Jordan, on the other hand, carefully popped the tape free and unwrapped each present neatly, carefully setting the paper aside. So alike and yet so different, Billy whispered to Jared. Jared nodded. He`d noticed the minor differences in the twins before. Those minor personality differences were the only way to tell one twin from the other. Jared had seen plenty of twins before, and while most of them had looked almost exactly alike, there was always some physical trait that was just a little off. Not so with Cody and Jordan. Physically, they were identical carbon copies of each other. Even the Academy tailor had been astounded to find their measurements exactly the same, not even a quarter inch difference. They were so identical that the only way to tell one from another was the slight difference in hair length.

Until recently, Jordan`s hair had been a little longer -- about half an inch long, as opposed to Cody`s quarter inch buzz. Then Jordan had gone and buzzed his own head a couple of weeks ago, which made it harder to tell one from another. Jared excused himself from the tail end of the party and went to pack the van. He wanted to make sure the most important bag was put where he could easily reach it -- Cody`s black bag. Another scarlet Academy duffel bag held masks, surgical gloves, and black sweats. Jared lovingly patted the bag as he swung it into the back of the van.

Jared got back to the patio in time to witness Mrs. Miller`s tearful goodbyes to all of the boys. Christ, he thought, why do mothers always have to start blubbering every time someone leaves the house for more than a few hours. Jared checked his watch. The digital readout showed 8:27 -- almost exactly on schedule. Mr. Miller followed the boys out to the van and waved them off, after slipping each of the twins a palmful of cash. Jared drove steadily through town, past the community theater. As he passed the theater, he pretended to slow down to allow a car at the corner to make the turn, then pulled behind the theater. A dimly-lit window in the back of he theater showed Scotty Bryant`s silhouette. In the darkness, Billy glanced over at Jared and grinned at him. The human target was squarely in their sights!




About two miles out of town, Jared pulled the van into the parking lot of a pizzeria. As the engine cooled, Cody slid the side hatch open. The other cadets piled out, leaving Jordan sitting in the van, wondering what was going on. `Well, are you just going to sit there like a lump, little brother?` Cody asked his twin. Confused, Jordan climbed out of the van and joined the others. `We`ve all got one more Birthday present for you,` Cody explained. `You and Billy wait here. When everything`s ready, we`ll come get you.` `What is it?` Jordan demanded. Cody just smiled as the others climbed back in the van.

He jumped into the front passenger seat and saluted goodbye. More confused than ever, Jordan watched the van disappear into the darkness. Finally, he turned to Billy. `C`mon -- let`s get us a pizza, I guess.` Billy nodded. `No little fishes, though. I hate anchovies!` Jordan grinned and ran his hand over Billy`s head, ruffling his bristly hair. `Sure thing -- extra cheese and pepperoni okay?` Billy smoothed his gelled hair back down, and followed Jordan into the pizza parlor.

At the theater, Scotty Bryant was lingering in his dressing room, waiting for his turn to jump in the shower. He wanted to wash the tons of hair spray he used every night to keep his hair in place out of his flowing curls. When the shower was finally free, Scotty quickly stripped out of his body suit, wrapped a towel around his waist and walked down the hall to the double stall showers, his shower bag of shampoo and conditioner dangling from his hand. In the fiberglass stall, Scotty carefully adjusted the showers to the right temperature before stepping under the pelting spray. He plunged his head under the water and his hair collapsed under the deluge of water. Although his hair was naturally curly, Scotty drove to the next town every other month or so for a body wave perm to add even more curls to his flowing hair. He shampooed his his splashed on some conditioner and rinsed it out. The water began to cool, so Scotty twisted the taps off and reached for his towel.

Jared`s timing was perfect. The van pulled up behind the theater just as the crowd began leaving the building. In the back, the others had already pulled out black sweats and masks. While Jared drove, the others, accompanied by a lot of laughing and playful cursing, stripped out of their jeans and changed into the black sweats. Pulling behind the dumpster, Jared killed the lights and engine. Bobby slipped out of the van and made his way into the theater. Jared changed quickly, and grabbed Cody`s black bag. Crouching beside the dumpster, Jared watched as the last of the cars pulled out of the parking lot. Just like he had noticed during the previous nights recon, he thought.

Beside him, Cody whispered to Jared. `Why is Scotty always so late?` Jared looked around and saw that Cody`s green eyes were troubled. `I mean,` Cody explained, `there`s gotta be something making him stay so late, right?` `Maybe washing all that makeup off and shampooing all those curls takes him longer than the others,` Jared suggested. `It doesn`t really matter, though, he`s all alone in there, just waiting to help us celebrate your brother`s birthday.` Cody smiled at Jared`s thought and nodded in agreement. Suddenly, the side stage door opened and Bobby`s black clad arm waved them into the building using the military signals they had all learned at Patton Academy.

Keeping to the shadows, the rest of the gang hurried across the open ground of the back parking lot and slipped in through the open door. Once in the building, Bobby quietly reconned the backstage area, looking for lingering stage hands or actors. Like the previous night, the theater was empty. Reaching the stairs to the downstairs dressing rooms, Bobby could hear the sound of the shower. Rising to his toes, Bobby took the steps one at a time and crept down the stairs. The sound of the water stopped, and Bobby heard the creak of a door opening. Peering around the corner, Bobby saw Scotty Bryant walking barefoot down the hall to the last dressing room, a towel wrapped loosely around him. Bobby waited a minute more, then heard the sound of a blow dryer. Smiling, he crept back up the stairs and signaled for Jared and the others to join him.

In the dressing room, Scotty Bryant used his fingers to lift his curls and let the warm air flow under the chestnut locks. Every once in a while, Scotty gave his head a toss and watched the curls fall into place. Another couple of minutes and his hair would be perfect. Scotty knew some of the jocks made remarks about his curly hair -- calling him `Shirley Temple` behind his back as he passed in the halls. It really didn`t bother Scotty -- it meant that they noticed him and that`s what he wanted more than anything else. Recognition.

Tossing his head again, Scotty paused to study his reflection in the mirror. Staring at his reflection, Scotty slowly became aware that something was wrong. There was a figure dressed all in black reflected in the mirror. Turning quickly, Scotty saw not one but FOUR figures -- all wearing black ski masks. Reflexively, Scotty held the blow dryer in front of him defensively. Jared barked a short, clipped laugh at the sight of Scotty Bryant holding the hair dryer like an oversized pistol. Without a word to the others, Jared rushed forward and slapped his right hand over Scotty`s mouth. The others followed, and easily overpowered the dancer.

They pulled Scotty back into the makeup chair, forcing his wrists down to its arms. One of his attackers pulled a roll of surgical tape from his pocket and quickly made several turns of the white tape over his wrists and the chairs arms. The tallest attacker took the tape and wrapped Scotty`s ankles to the footrest of the makeup chair. Finally the leader took the tape and put a large piece of it across Scotty`s mouth, making it impossible for him to scream. His heart was beating like a jackhammer!

Once they had Scotty securely bound to the makeup chair, Jared signaled for John to get Billy and Jordan. Bobby found a couple of leather belts from some costumes, and used one of them to secure Scotty`s torso to the back of the chair. `Looks like you need this trimmed down.` Cody said as he grabbed a hunk of Scotty`s curls. Scotty gently rocked his head back and forth, as if trying to signal `no, no, no!` Jared remembered when his own hair had been nearly this long and almost as curly. But Jared`s curls were totally natural and not helped along in any way. Jared raked his fingers through Scotty`s hair again, lifting the long locks and letting them spill through his hands. Each time Jared raked his fingers through Scotty`s hair, the curls gained more volume as more and more air was able to circulate through the still-damp locks.

Jared growled, his disguised voice deep and raspy. `Your hair is prettier than a girl`s.` Jared thrusted his masked face close to Scotty`s terrified eyes. `Are you a girlie boy?` Scotty`s hazel eyes blinked rapidly as he tried to shake his head negatively. `I think you ARE a girlie boy.` Jared growled again. `You love sitting in a beauty parlor with your hair up in curlers, don`t you?` Again, Scotty`s eyes blinked -- this time, he was trying to fight back the tears that were rapidly brimming up behind the long lashes. `You love those curlers in your hair, gossiping with the other girls, don`t you.`

Out in the alley, Cody told Jordan `Happy birthday, baby brother!` His voice barely carried through the mask. Jordan had to strain to catch each word. `Todd`s little brother`s hair is all yours tonight.` Jordan and Billy donned masks, and silently crept into Scotty`s dressing room. Jordan`s eyes sparkled as he stared in disbelief. Each of the other cadets crowded in close, patting Jordan on the back. Jordan couldn`t believe how cool his buddies were -- this revenge was the greatest birthday present ever! The `search` was over. Now he was ready to `destroy!`

Jordan approached Scotty and grabbed a handful of curls. `Real pretty.` He growled. `You like these curls a whole lot, I bet.` Scotty tried not to move. He felt his stomach suddenly churn and his bladder threatened to void itself. He suddenly knew what was going to happen to him and felt physically sick. Jordan picked up the scissors and snapped them open and shut experimentally a few times. `Maybe just a trim,` he said. `We`ll just even the ends up for you. Is that okay with you?` Scotty begged with his eyes. Round and filled with tears, they looked just like the stupid little puppies painted on black velvet, Jordan thought. Jordan opened the scissors wide and slid the open blades over a lock of hair even with the bottom of Scotty`s right ear. Jordan snapped the blades closed.

The blades made a slow scrunching sound as they closed on the curls. Bit by bit as the blades closed, curls dropped onto Scotty`s bare shoulder before sliding down his chest. Jordan opened the blades again and snapped them closed on a second lock of chestnut hair. Once more, shorn curls dropped to Scotty`s shoulder. Jordan began to develop a rhythm of lifting a curly lock of hair, snipping it off with the scissors, and letting the shorn curls drop to Scotty`s naked shoulder -- lift, snip, drop, lift, snip, drop. Jordan continued cutting in a straight line around Scotty`s head at ear lobe level, dropping at least four inches of hair with each snip of the scissors. Reaching the left side of Scotty`s head, Jordan stopped and examined his work.

Scotty was covered with shorn curls. Small piles of curls littered his shoulders. Jordan used his fingers to fluff Scotty`s hair and pat it into place. The scissor action had resulted in a chin-length bobbed hairstyle. The volume of the curls made Scotty`s remaining hair puff out away from his head, making him look almost like Bozo the Clown. Jordan noticed that Scotty`s tear-filled eyes never once wavered from the lighted make-up mirror in front of him.

Slowly the shock began to lift from Scotty`s mind. Maybe this wasn`t going to be so bad after all. Why would these guys use scissors if they intended to shave Scotty`s head? They must be some of the jocks from his own high school who were always teasing him about his hair. Scotty`s mind latched onto that line of reasoning -- those jocks sometimes teased him about giving him a haircut. That was it! Somehow, the idea that he was being shorn by the jocks reassured Scotty.

He knew they wouldn`t dare shave his head -- they`d cut some of his hair off, sure -- but they wouldn`t shave him bald. Just cutting his hair would get them detention at school -- after all it was just a couple of inches of hair, kind of an initiation prank. Shaving his head would get them in real trouble. They`d be thrown out of school -- that would mean they`d be off the football team. Scotty relaxed a little. This was going to be a little humiliating, but a trip to the salon would fix the amateur haircut they`d give him. That`s what he told himself -- but then, Jared reached into Cody`s black bag and produced a pair of electric clippers. Scotty`s eyes grew wide with terror.




Scotty`s mind was almost numb with shock. He had felt every cut the guy in the mask had made with the scissors. He had seen handfuls of his long brown curls drop onto his shoulders and tumble down to his lap. His tormentor had sheared off at least four or five inches of his beautiful, treasure hair and was continuing to snip madly away, when . . .

A sudden noise sounded own the hall! Jared, Cody, Jordan and Bobby froze in their tracks. Using the hand signals they had learned at Patton Military Academy, Jared motioned Bobby to one side of the half-open door, and Cody and Jordan to the other. Jared positioned himself next to the costume rack. He was confident that his high and tight team could take care of any intrusion. After all, that`s what they had been trained for! Listening intently, Jared heard the sound of rapid footfalls coming down the steps. A cheerful whistling accompanied the footsteps.

Jamie Clarke, another actor in Scotty`s play, bounced down the steps towards the dressing room. His thick red bangs bounced across his brow and into his eyes with each springy step. Jamie walked into the dressing room and stopped cold. At first he was confused -- Scotty was in the make up chair, facing the mirror, and he had cut his hair. At least that`s what it looked like at first. Then, in the mirror, Jamie noticed the wide strip of white tape across Scotty`s mouth. Before his mind could grasp anything else, a strong hand was clamped across Jamie`s mouth, and four more had pinned his arms to his sides with an iron grip. Suddenly five figures in black clothes and ski masks were swarming around him.

Jamie was quickly carried over to the second makeup chair and easily bound. A wide strip of tape was applied over his mouth, sealing it shut and preventing him from making a sound. Jared motioned Bobby to recon the theater and then leaned over Jamie, his masked face thrust close to the terrified boy`s face. Slowly and deliberately, Jared peeled the surgical tape from his mouth. The tape stuck and pulled at the peach fuzz moustache the boy was trying to grow. Jamie gasped, then filled his lungs as if to yell. Jared quickly slapped Jamie`s face and wagged a warning finger in his face. `No yelling.` Jared warned in his raspy voice. `What`s your name?` `J-J-Ja -Jamie,` the terror-stricken boy answered.

`Well J-J-Ja-Jamie,` Jared said mockingly, `What are you doing here?` Jamie`s brown doe eyes glanced around fearfully as he opened his mouth. Jared slapped him gently. `Don`t tell me -- let me tell you. You`ve come to see you boyfriend, haven`t you?` Terrified, Jamie savagely shook his head. `Don`t lie!` Jared rasped. `Nothing wrong with wanting to be with your boyfriend on a Saturday night. It`s just too bad for you that it had to be this particular Saturday night. Don`t worry though, we`ll let you keep YOUR hair. Promise!`

Jordan turned Scotty`s chair to face Jamie. Then, reaching into the gym bag, he retrieved a barber`s cape. Jordan pulled the cape tight around Scotty`s neck while Cody plugged in the clippers. Jordan snapped the clippers on, letting the room fill with the humming sound of the electric motor. Grasping the back of Scotty`s head firmly with his left hand, Jordan eased the clippers closer and closer to Scotty`s right temple. The high pitch of the clippers suddenly deepened as the blades bit into the thick curls at the front of Scotty`s head. Jordan gently eased the clippers straight up through the hair on the side of the dancer`s head, flicking the shorn curls expertly onto the barber cape.

White scalp gleamed through the chestnut stubble left in the wake of the cold, bare blades. Jordan lifted the clippers and made another pass. The second pass slightly overlapped the first. The tears rolled freely down Scotty`s face as the shorn curls rained over his face. Jordan made a third pass with the clippers, reducing the curls on the right side of his victim`s head to stubble. Jordan snapped the clippers off and stepped back, brushing a few stray hairs from the side of Scotty`s head. Bobby laughed as he examined Scotty`s half-buzzed pate. The others joined Bobby`s laughter. But Scotty and Jamie were far from amused.

Jamie watched in horror and sympathy for his friend as the masked man with the clippers attacked Scotty`s beautiful hair. Jamie knew how precious those curls were to Scotty, and he knew how much it must hurt him to feel those clippers running over his scalp. Jamie also was a little ashamed for feeling relief that he had been promised he wouldn`t be facing the same ordeal. Jordan clicked the clippers back on and stepped near Scotty. Placing the clippers on the nape of Scotty`s neck, he pushed them up under the curly locks. Again, the pitch of the clipper motor changed as they encountered the thick locks. The pile of hair on the barber cape was quickly growing. Jordan worked steadily, pushing the clippers in straight even rows, up the back of Scotty`s head, moving steadily to the left. He watched with satisfaction as the flowing curls were buzzed away, leaving dark stubble in their place. All too soon, Jordan had reached the front of the left side of Scotty`s head. Jordan buzzed away the last of the flowing curly locks there, and snapped the clippers off.

Maybe they`re going to leave the top alone, Scotty dared hope. But his hopes were dashed as Jordan reached into a black bag, pulled out a plastic guide, and snapped it over the bare clipper blade. The clippers buzzed back to life, and Jordan ran them over the top of Scotty`s head without mercy. With a few quick passes, all the hair on the top of Scotty`s head was shorn to less than an eighth of an inch in length. Scotty watch in numb terror as the last of his brown curls cascaded down to the barber`s cape. The sides of his head had been shaved to stubble, and the hair on top wa barely long enough to cover his scalp. He looked like a Marine! He couldn`t believe what had been done to him, but he consoled himself with the fact that at least his ordeal was over -- or so he thought.

But his desperate hopes were shattered as a moist, white bolt of foam shot onto his head. Oh God, he thought, no! Now they were going to SHAVE him! And there was nothing he could do about it but watch. Jared began spread the wet lather on the sides and back of Scotty`s fuzz-covered scalp. He massaged the white foam deep into the stubble, taking his time to prolong Scotty`s suffering. Scotty had a hard time seeing his reflection in the mirror through his tear-swollen eyes. He knew what was coming but still couldn`t comprehend it. Worse yet, he began to forsee the jeers and taunts he`d have to endure at school. He began to struggle against his bonds. `Hold still!` Jared ordered.

Scotty steadied himself in response to his tormentor`s order. He didn`t want to get cut! He dimly saw the flash of the steel blade just before feeling it pull down the back of his head. The blade made a slow skritching sound as it removed the foam and the stubble that was left after the clippers had mowed his curls away. Scotty`s vision blurred even further as more tears flooded his eyes. All he could do was endure the feel of the razor blade as it glided over his scalp. Jamie watched in growing sorrow as the guy with the straight razor shaved the sides and back of Scotty`s head totally clean. Without the covering of fuzz left behind by the clippers, Scotty`s scalp took on a pinkish color. Jamie didn`t know much about using a straight razor, but he knew enough to know that the guy using it was an expert. The shaving creme and fuzz was peeled away without even leaving a single nick. He moved quickly and efficiently, scraping away more and more foam.

Jamie moaned in sympathy as the guy with the razor wiped the last traces of foam from his head. He stepped back and expertly ran his fingertips over the back and sides of Scotty`s head. `Smooth as a baby`s ass,` Jared judged. He rubbed some gel into Scotty`s hair, roughly brushed it straight back, then stood and admired his work. Now, Scotty thought, it`s finally over. But just then, Jared grabbed the clippers, snapped them on, and proceeded to shave a deep part into the right side of Scotty`s head! Scotty winced in disgust at the neatly groomed look the shaved part gave him. It would be weeks before it grew in! He didn`t recognize himself. `Perfect,` Jared declared gleefully to the actor, `Now you`re RIGHT for the PART!`

Jared turned to face Jamie. `Next!` he barked roughly. `NO!` Jamie screamed. He shook violently in the chair, trying to free himself from the tape. `You promised!` Jamie couldn`t help it, but he suddenly found himself sobbing. `You lied to me! You lied!` He hung his head sobbing. `Not really.` Jared said as soothingly as possible in his raspy voice. `I promised that you keep your hair -- and you will, I promise.` Jared pulled a large zip lock plastic bag from the gym bag and scooped a handful of Scotty`s chestnut curls into the bag to demonstrate his meaning. `I always keep my promises. Always.`

Jared carefully undid the barber cape around Scotty`s neck and dumped the shorn curls into a plastic bag. There was so much hair he had to stuff the locks down into the bag to get it all in. Once the bag was full of Scotty`s former hair, Jared snapped the cape a couple of times to flick the last remaining traces of hair off it. Then, he wrapped the cape around Jamie`s neck and pulled it tight before fastening it at the neck. He turned to Jordan. `He`s all yours -- enjoy.`

Jordan walked over and ran his fingers through Jamie`s strawberry blonde locks. The boy`s hair was thick, soft and straight. The long hair on top of Jamie`s head tapered slightly down, breaking over his ears and collar. Jordan walked over to his twin and whispered in his ear. `This one`s all yours -- Happy Birthday, big brother.` Cody took the clippers from Jared`s hand and moved behind Jamie. He grabbed a handful of the strawberry locks and tugged Jamie`s head back. Snapping the clippers on, Cody placed the humming clippers in front of the high right hand part on the side of Jamie`s head. `Say goodbye to your pretty hair.` Cody snarled, plunging the clippers into the mass of strawberry locks just below the part. Cody pushed the clippers straight back. Reddish blonde locks rained down onto Jamie`s shoulder.

Jamie blubbered and sobbed as Cody forced his head back, and began buzzing. He tried to form the words to beg for his release, but only managed to blubber incoherently. Jamie felt the clippers being pushed up the back of his head. The vibration of the electric motor throbbed in his skull as he felt clumps of his hair fall onto his shoulder. The guy in the mask made another pass straight back, sending more strawberry hair dropping to Jamie`s shoulder. Jamie felt the clippers move past his ear -- the sound of the motor growing louder as they worked. Suddenly, his head was jerked forward so that he was staring down into his lap. Already, some of the shorn locks had fallen from his shoulder to gather in his lap. Seeing the growing pile of hair in his lap, Jamie finally found his voice. `You guys are goddamn terrorists! Please don`t do this to me,` he whimpered in a tiny, helpless voice.

Cody was ready to start buzzing up the top of Jamie`s head when he heard the helpless voice come from Jamie. `Shut the f*** up!` Cody growled. He plowed the clippers down the top of Jamie`s head, flipping the shorn locks into his lap. The falling clump of strawberry locks was greeted with another whimper. Cody continued plowing the clippers in even rows up the top of Jamie`s head, keeping a steady pace of falling blonde locks falling past the boy`s face.

Cody continued to run the clippers over the top of Jamie`s head like a thresher mowing down a field of golden wheat. It took just five more passes of the clippers to reduce the rest of Jamie`s soft, thick strawberry hair to an even carpet of peach fuzz. As a finishing touch, Cody ran the clippers over Jamie`s feeble excuse for a moustache. He snapped the clippers off and turned to Jared. `He`s all yours.`

Jared finished shaving the sides and back of Jamie`s head totally smooth, then shaved a part in the right side to match Scotty`s. `There,` Jared repeated, `Now YOU`RE right for the part too!` Jared gathered the shorn hair from the cape and stuffed the strawberry locks into the second zip lock bag. Jared kept his promise to let Jamie keep all of his hair by opening Jamie`s shirt and taping the bag to his chest.

Three days later, Jordan, Cody and Bobby burst excitedly into Jared`s dorm room. `We`ve been christened!` Jordan announced. The twins could barely contain their laughter as they laid out a newspaper in front of him. Jared looked at the headline over the picture of the two boys. It read `High and Tight Terrorists.` A brief article described how Scotty and Jamie had been surprised, bound and given forced high and tight haircuts `by an unknown gang of terrorists.` The paper had even managed to get the newly-shorn boys to sheepishly hold up the plastic bags full of their hair for the camera. `You know actors,` Bobby commented, `anything for publicity!` Jordan busted out laughing. `Look at that idiot,` he said as he pointed to Scotty Bryant, `He looks like a plebe! Haha -- vengence is mine!` Jared laughed. `Vengeance is mine,` he repeated slowly.

Jared suddenly remembered how he had been forced by his father to `enlist` after an asshole kid named David had turned him in to the cops for bombing a car with a paint-filled balloon. He mouthed the name David silently. A devilish grin twisted his lips. Bobby knew that look. `What`s up?` he asked Jared. `Give!` Jordan demanded. `I have a mission for us,` Jared said, a maniacal glint shining in his eyes. .

Cody was intrigued. `For you, me, Bobby and Jordy?`

`No,` Jared snarled triumphantly, `For The High and Tight Terrorists!`



Chapter Seven: JARED`S REVENGE

David Thompson jumped into his VW, glancing at himself in the rear-view mirror as he started the car. He was pushing his long blonde hair out of his face, wondering if his pathetic mustache was EVER going to fill in, when suddenly a hand reached around from behind him and clamped over his mouth. Before he knew what was happening, he was being lifted out of his car and dragged into a waiting van. Once he was inside the van, his wrists and ankles were quickly wrapped together with surgical tape to keep him from lashing out. A small cloth bag was pulled over his head. He was totally helpless!

Bobby ran back to the VW and grabbed the keys from the ground, where David had dropped them, then slid into the bug and started the engine. The van was already pulling out of the parking lot as Bobby backed out of the space. In the rear-view mirror, Bobby saw John jump into the open side door of the van on the run. Bobby shifted into first and pulled out of the parking lot, behind the van. No one had noticed anything. Pulling the ski mask from his face, Bobby noticed that the entire operation had taken less than a minute. Perfect op.

As the van pulled out of the parking lot, Jared slid back into the front seat and relaxed, drawing satisfaction from David`s muffled cries of panic. He closed his eyes and leaned farther back to enjoy the ride. Jared felt his mind wandering back two years -- back to The Day. The fateful day that changed the course of his life. In his mind`s eye, Jared saw himself dropping a paint balloon from an overpass to the road below.

The balloon scored a direct hit on the hood of a car. White paint exploded from the balloon, splashing across the wind shield. David hadn`t actually seen the balloon drop, but he had heard the car crash into the overpass abutment -- at least that`s what he told the cops. Jared had no idea how much money his dad had spent to keep the driver from pressing charges. All he knew was that his dad and the judge had agreed that Patton Military Academy would be better for him than juvenile camp. A week later, Jared was sitting in the chair for the first of many shearings at the hands of the Academy barber. He had been a cadet for over a year now, and even though he had despised short hair going in, somewhere along the way, military training had changed his attitude. Now, long hair absolutely disgusted him. At first the weekly haircuts had horrified him, but then he came to accept them without protest -- and now he couldn`t GO longer than a week without a haircut! And through it all, Jared had dreamed of his day of reckoning with David. Now, at long last, Jared was about to exact his revenge.

Inside the warehouse, Jared and his buddies Bobby, Cody, John, and Jordan -- the papers had dubbed them `The High and Tight Terrorists` -- had little trouble strapping David into the barber chair they`d secured earlier. One nylon strap across the struggling boy`s chest, another around his waist, a third around his calves, and one each around each wrist kept David bound securely held in place. Using military hand signals, Jared motioned for the others to pull their masks into place. He loosened the bag and lifted it off David`s head. David sat blinking in the sudden glare of light, his blue eyes large and terrified. His gurgles were muffled by the tape gag slapped across David`s mouth. For the first time, Jared realized just how long David`s golden hair really was. Disheveled from his struggles in the bag, David`s bangs reached almost to his nose. The blonde locks kept bouncing across the captive boy`s face as he continued to rock and struggle against the nylon straps, desperately trying to free himself -- but it was hopeless.

Jared reached out and flung the hair back off David`s face with his fingers. He was disgusted at how long the golden locks were. David just sat quivering, blinking like a frightened rabbit. Even his nose above the tape gag was twitching like a bunny`s. Under his ski mask, Jared smiled at the sight. David trembled. He had read the stories of a gang who abducted long-haired guys and gave them military haircuts. The newspapers called them the `High and Tight Terrorists.` But David had thought it was a bunch of bulls**t -- until now.

Damn, Jared thought, David must spend fifty bucks to get his hair styled. Almost shoulder-length all over, the golden locks swept back away from David`s face in a graceful arc and ended in an over-the-collar wedge in back. A quick shake of David`s head and his hair just fell into place. Jared grabbed David`s chin in his right hand, tilting the boy`s face up to meet his own eyes.

`You look like a girl!` Jared said in a deep raspy voice, disguising his normally quite tones. `Are you a sissy boy?` David tried to shake his head, but Jared`s vice grip on his chin prevented any movement. `Only a girl would have hair like that, boy!` Jared turned to the others. `Don`t he look like a girl to you?` Each of them laughed, nodding agreement with Jared.

`It`s the hair,` Cody said, his voice an evil imitation of Darth Vader. `Yep, the hair,` Jordan agreed. Jared pulled David`s chin from side to side as he pretended to examine his face. `Are you sure you`re not a sissy boy?` He rasped harshly. Again David tried to shake his head. `You don`t want to look like a sissy boy, do you?` Jared smiled -- tears were already forming in David`s panicked eyes. Jared liked the look of fright and terror in those eyes.

`All he needs is a haircut,` Jordan said, his voice a low gravelly rumble. Jared released David`s chin and disappeared into the shadows. David tried to blink away the tears that threatened to spill down his face. Jared returned and set a black gym bag on a table next to David. Keeping his back to David, he carefully zipped open the bag and removed its contents -- a white barbers cape, a pair of electic clippers and a mirror. Jared finally turned, holding the black Oster clippers in his hand.

The sight of those ominous looking clippers terrified David. Guessing what was about to be done to him, he broke into a frenzy of bucking and head shaking, whipping his golden locks from side to side. Muffled cries of protest tried vainly to escape from the tape gagging him. Cody grabbed the white barber cape, then moved to David. He snapped the pin-striped cape tightly around David`s neck, draping it around the captive, covering him from neck to knees.

Plugging the clippers into an extension cord, Jared stepped behind David. `Lean your head forward!` he ordered. David responded by slamming his head backwards. Jared sighed -- he had expected this. `Hold him!` Bobby and Cody grabbed David`s face in their powerful hands and forced his head down. Jared`s right thumb flicked the clippers on. Every muscle in David`s body tensed as he waited to feel the steel blades mow their way through his honey colored hair.

As the electric motor snapped to life, buzzing filled the small warehouse. David felt the pressure of a yet another hand on the top of his head, holding it firmly in place. Jared applied the clippers to the nape of David`s neck, and began drawing them upwards. The buzz grew louder as the hungry blades bit into the thick golden hair at the back of David`s head. Jared smiled as he watched the blonde locks spilled over the sides of the blades and tumble down onto David`s back. Jared kept steadily pushing the clippers upward, admiring the swath of pink scalp showing through the mass of blonde hair. Reaching the crown of David`s head, Jared brought the clippers back for another pass up the back of his captive`s skull. Carefully placing the clippers to the right of the first pass, Jared`s second pass doubled the size of the swath easily.

David was powerless to stop them. He flinched as the cold steel blades touched the center of his neck and began their slow progress up the back of his skull. He closed his eyes tightly, partly to stop the flow of tears threatening to flood down his face, and partly to keep from seeing the shorn locks tumble into his lap. He was in a state of shock. They were actually buzzing the back of his head. It wasn`t a dream -- it was real!

Jared paused momentarily to admire his work. The precision-styled long golden locks that had covered the back of David`s head had been shorn away. The clippers had removed everything but a light covering of golden stubble. White scalp showed clearly under the golden peach fuzz. Jared set the clippers behind David`s right ear, moving them up and slightly forward. Now, the shorn hair tumbled down onto David`s shoulder before rolling down his chest and coming to rest in his lap. Jared noticed a strange heaving coming from David. For a moment, he was afraid the captive was choking on his gag. Then, he realized that the boy was sobbing. Perfect!

Suddenly a blinding white flash of light erupted in front of David. Then another! At first he didn`t know what it was -- but then his terror doubled as he reaized they were taking PICTURES of his ordeal. Oh my God, he thought, this is torture! And they were recording it on film! David couldn`t hold the tears back. They flowed freely down his cheeks as the camera snapped away.

Now he did feel like a sissy, but he couldn`t help it. He saw a huge clump of shorn blonde hair drop into his lap. He could even feel the weight of the hair as it landed on the cape. Suddenly, the tears flowed over and streamed down his face. His chest heaved with the sobs that couldn`t escape from behind the gag. The guy with the clippers moved from the right side over to the left. David felt the blades bite into his hair behind his left ear. As much as he wanted to, he couldn`t close his eyes. With his head forced down like it was, David couldn`t help but watch as the shorn blonde locks rolled from his shoulders and into his lap. As the clippers moved up over his ear, the shorn hair fell directly past his face and drifted down to join the growing mound of hair in his lap.

Finished with the sides and back of David`s head, Jared turned the clippers off for a moment as Cody repositioned himself behind the captive. John clamped his hands on either side of David`s head and once again forced it down. He marveled at the feel of the soft, fuzz left by the clippers. The downy fuzz reminded John of a velour shirt he had. Jared placed a guard on the clippers, then flicked them back on. He placed them at the left side of David`s forehead. Instead of going straight back, he skipped over the inch of hair that formed David`s long, flowing bangs, and then ran them mercilessly across David`s head, smiling as blond tufts of shorn hair dropped in sections onto the barber`s cape.

Stray pieces of golden hair stuck to David`s cheeks and nose as the shorn locks tumbled down his face. Now, his tormentor began plowing the clippers over the top of his head in earnest, from front to back. Shorn clumps of hair cascaded down past David`s eyes in a steady flow. The clippers lifted away from David`s head one last time. The guy with the clippers motioned to the one behind him. David`s head was jerked up. Another blinding flash of light erupted in his eyes as Cody snapped a picture.

The back, and sides of David`s head were buzzed to the skin, and the top boasted only a mere quarter inch of golden hair -- but a curtain of hair still covered his face. A sudden jet of water spritzed his face. Jared combed the moisture through his bangs, then began hacking away at them with a pair of scissors. Inch by horrible inch, the last of david`s hair fell to his lap. When Jared was done, his once-flowing bangs were history. For the first time in his memory, David could see without getting any hair in his eyes! A burst of tears began flowing down his face, and was greeted with yet another blinding white flash. At last, after what seemed like a very long time, his torture seemed over. His treasured hair lay in plies around him. David couldn`t believe the horror could get any worse -- but he was wrong.

David jumped as a wet bolt of shaving creme shot across the side of his head. Before he could regain the composure to renew his struggles, he felt hands from behind massaging the white lather on his freshly-shorn scalp. Jared turned and wiped his hands on a towel, then reached into Cody`s black bag and drew out a straight razor. The sight of the wicked-looking blade froze David. Only a slight flaring of his nostrils and the blinking of his eyes proved that he hadn`t turned to stone or died of fright.

`Keep still,` Jared warned him ominously, `Or You`ll get cut!` Jared touched the blade to the side of David`s head and drew it back. The blade made a scritch-scratch sound as it glided through the lather-covered stubble. Jared soon had a line of smooth white skin running across the left side of David`s head. He was glad that David remained motionless, he didn`t want a single drop of blood to mar his handiwork. Jared wanted his revenge to be perfect and that meant no serious physical harm to David. No bruises or cuts to give him sympathy -- just a perfect `high and tight` haircut.

As the straight razor removed more and more foam, the rounded outline of David`s head came into sharp focus. While still covered with stubble, the curve of David`s skull was blurred. Now, it was sharp and clean. Jared drew the razor down the back of David`s head one last time, removing the last of the fuzz, then towled his head. Now it`s GOT to be over, David thought. He was still wrong!

Jared smeared a dab of shaving cream across his upper lip, and proceeded to shave it clean. Then Jared produced a tube of ultra-stiff gel from Cody`s black bag, and rubbed it into what little hair was left on David`s head. Using a stiff-bristled brush, he brushed it to the side. The ultra-short hair on top barely responded, but the slightly longer `bangs` obeyed immediately and formed into perfect ridges as they were brushed up, out of David`s face. Now, finally, David`s forced high and tight haircut was finished. Suddenly a large mirror was thrust in front of David. He blinked reflexively, as though blinking his long bangs out of his eyes. But he needen`t have -- his long bangs were lying in his lap! He caught his first glimpse of his new haircut.

His long hair -- all of it -- was completely gone. All that was left was about a quarter inch on top, and the tinyest imaginable remnant of his `bangs.` The sides and back -- along with his `mustache` -- were shaved completely clean. He had been given a perfect high and tight. He could hardly recognize himself. Tears began to well up again when suddenly flashes of light began to erupt in his face. Oh God, David thought, they`re still taking pictures! His heart sank as he imagined the shots of his tear-filled face, barber`s cape covered with blonde hair, and his new, ultra-short haircut. God, he thought, what would his friends say? They`d tease him without mercy! How could he show his face in public? In school? This was unbelievable. It would take months and months -- years! -- for his hair to grow out again! He couldn`t bare to look at himself. And these terrorists were all standing around him laughing -- and taking pictures! Tears began to flow again. He was completely and totally humiliated.

Jared carefully removed the barber cape, folding it over on itself so that not a single lock of golden hair fell to the floor. Without waiting to be told, Jordan pulled the laundry bag back over David`s head. Cody and Bobby unstrapped him, while John retaped his wrists together behind him. His clothes were wet with perspiration. Jared carefully emptied the barber cape into a large zip-lock plastic bag and sealed it. The bag bulged with the soft, golden clippings. He was tempted to keep a long lock as a souviner, but he reminded himself to stick to the plan. From the bottom of the gym bag, Jared removed a large manila mailing envelope and stuffed the hair-filled plastic bag into it. They loaded David back into the van, then dumped his still-quivering body in the street, near his house.

A week later, an envelope arrived at David`s house, addressed to D. Thompson. As David retrieved it from the mailbox, a cool breeze swept past his newly exposed ears. He still felt light headed without his hair! He ran his hand across the blonde stubble on his head as he tore the envelope open. He still couldn`t believe his hair was so damn short! After a whole week it had barely grown in at all. As he expected, his friends had been merciless. They`d begun calling him names, and telling him every day that it was time for another haircut! `You`ll never see me in a barbershop again,` he assured them. And his parents actually had the colossal nerve to tell him `Maybe we should THANK those `terrorists!` You finally look like a young man!` Well, maybe THEY loved his new high and tight haircut, but he HATED it! He was looking foward to growing it nice and long again -- no matter how much time it took. He was determined to do it.

Inside the envelope, David found a plastic bag filled with long blonde hair. He recognized it as his! He also found a complete set of photos from that horrible night. David gazed with shame at his tear-stained face, hair-covered barber`s cape, and glistening, fresh high and tight haircut. No one must ever see these, he vowed. EVER! Behind the last photo was a typewriten note. His body quivered, and tears rolled uncontrollably down his cheeks as he read it:

Dear Recruit Thompson--
We sent a copy of these photos to the newspapers -- hope you don`t mind. You`re never gonna have long hair again. We`ll be watching you. We`ll come back when you need another haircut. Until then . . .

-- The High and Tight Terrorists

At long, long last -- Jared`s revenge was finally complete.

The End

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