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The Occupation, Chapter 3 by Andrew Smith

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


(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 loved his new haircut. He did not want his bangs to be cut short and this new barber, Robert, had managed to maintain the length of his floppy bangs. His forelock was not chopped and he was very thankful for that.

That's when Robert reached for the hand clippers and told him he was going to taper the neck region a bit. That sounded nice.

Robert grabbed the manual hand clippers and tapered the neck a little.

When he was done, he grabbed a hand mirror and showed the back and sides to Marcel. Marcel was clearly impressed.

"Thanks, this looks fabulous! I wonder why I had not come to you earlier..."

In reality, he knew the truth why Robert's barbershop was on the expensive side and, had it not been for his brother, Marcel would never have afforded such a fancy barber.

Squeezing Marcel's biceps a bit, Robert squinted in the mirror and chucked, "Thank you for the compliment. It seems like you are all set for a fancy date tonight. Go impress some ladies!"

Marcel just sat quiet, not responding.

"This first haircut of yours is on me! It's free."

"Oh, you don't have to do that."

"No, it's my pleasure to cut such beautiful hair. And this way, I will have you come back to my barbershop, just out of guilt, if nothing else," he chuckled.

Robert added, "And don't you forget! Just as I am good at turning down handlebars into toothbrushes, I am equally an expert at grooming fine mustaches like yours into imperial handlebars. Let it grow, and I will show you how to style it properly next time you are here."


The next time Marcel visited Robert's barbershop, he brought along a cake and some freshly baked pastries from the fancy bakery all the way on the other side of the town.

When he opened the door, he saw the back of a man sitting in the barber chair. No capes. Was that Robert? It cannot be. The back was tightly shorn down. Robert must be in the back, he guessed. "Robert?" he called out. That's when the man in the barber chair got up and turned.

Marcel hardly recognized Robert. Had it not been for the barber's tunic, Robert was completely unrecognizable. Gone was his businessman's haircut. Now, he sported a much much shorter haircut! The sides and back were severely shorn, but the top was standing up erect and was cut uniformly to one single length short. Marcel kept on eyeing Robert's haircut.

"Marcel! Nice to see that you are growing your mustache out. How are you?" Robert asked. He got no reply, just more stares from Marcel. "Oh, ha ha," he spotted Marcel eyeing his hair. "This is called a flattop haircut. You see, the top is cut flat. Uniformly. Come here, touch it!"

Marcel was still awestruck, but he considered Robert's invitation. Like a programmed zombie, he walked up to Robert and Robert grabbed his hand and ran it over the flat top part of his hair pressing down gently on the slightly prickly flattop.

Marcel was standing inches away from Robert. Marcel continued pressing down on Robert's flattop and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath. His heart was racing fast. What was happening to him, he wondered. When he opened his eyes, he moved them down from Robert's hair to his face. Robert gave him a warm welcoming smile. The haircut really brought out the hazel in his eyes. And he had a pleasant smile to go with it. Robert looked very macho with his new haircut and his muscular body.

"Well, are you just going to stand there and say nothing? What do you think? How does it look?" quipped Robert.

"It's...um, it's really very sexy," Marcel forced himself to speak haltingly. He still was struck by Robert's transformed look.

"Yeah? You think so? Thanks. My cousin was visiting me from the south. Just to check on me to see how I am doing in the Occupation. He's a barber himself. It runs in the family. I requested him to cut my hair into a flattop. I've always wanted to get one, but there are no barbers who can cut a flattop well in this town; besides me, of course! And cutting it myself would require lots of patience, especially with these hand clippers. I was still going to do it when my cousin visited me and offered... hey, are you even listening to me? Marcel?"

"Uh, hmm, sorry, what were you saying? Your flattop?" Marcel felt embarrassed.

Robert let out a short laugh. "Seems like you like my haircut," he added, gently patting Marcel's cheek.

"Not just the haircut," Marcel fired back. Robert returned a mischievous smile.

"Well, what have you got in your hand there?" Robert asked.

"Oh yes, I almost forgot. This is for you. A gift. From me. I just wanted to thank you for my haircut last time. I hope you accept it."

"Hmm, let's see. Oh wow, this looks delicious," Robert added opening the box. "Why don't you feed some to me? Not a lot, though. I am working out a lot these days and am watching what I eat. Let's see. Umm, I don't seem to have any knives or forks to cut this cake, so..."

Marcel scraped some icing off of the cake with his finger and held it up for Robert.

Robert opened his mouth and took in Marcel's finger, licking it and sucking it very well. Something just happened in Marcel's mind. He closed his eyes. Something he had never experienced before. A different feeling. Like a trance.

When Marcel opened his eyes, Robert was staring at him. An awkward minute passed.

"Why don't I feed you some?" Robert offered. He scraped some icing off the cake and applied it to where his mustache would have been. "Look! I have a mustache, like you!"

Marcel hesitated. Somehow, he mustered courage and licked the icing from Robert's face. Another awkward minute passed.

Robert tried to change the topic. "Oh, that was amazing. The icing, I mean. But I cannot have a whole lot right now. I am sure I will finish it, though. Thank you very much for the gift."

"I am sorry. I am stupid. I should have thought of a better gift for you. Of course you don't eat a lot of desserts! With that chiseled body, you cannot afford to eat too much sugar. I wish I had this much discipline and had a body like yours."

"Hey, that's fine. Why don't I show you how I work out? Let me grab my dumbbells."

"You have them here?" Marcel was surprised.

"Well, recently, things have changed. Since the Occupation, business is slow, as you can see. There's no one here! Most of my regular customers cannot afford my services. When people have little to feed themselves, how can I expect them to spend much on a relaxing shave? I tried to offer complimentary services after all, these were my regular customers but most don't come; they feel they would owe me something in return."

They both stood quiet. Talks of the Occupation never went well in this small French town.

"Anyways, to pass my time, I have started working out. I have brought my weights here to my barbershop, and when I don't have any customers, I just work out."

He then invited Marcel over. "Marcel, why don't you come here? Let me show you how to do bicep curls." Robert grabbed some 25 lbs weights. He placed them in Marcel's hands. "These might be a bit heavy for you. Face the mirror to see how to maintain your form." Marcel turned to face the mirror. Robert stood right behind him and grabbed Marcel's hands to help him lift the weights. Their bodies were now touching. Robert leaned over to the side so that he could see the mirror as well.

Marcel saw Robert's handsome face next to his. And that flattop! That was to die for. He stared at Robert's face and the haircut in the mirror in front of them. They lifted the weights together, with Robert's help. Marcel could hardly focus on the weights. He was staring at Robert most of the time. He felt Robert's bulge poking him gently near his butt. He got a weird feeling. What was happening to him, he wondered. Why was he getting so excited by Robert?

Robert noticed Marcel staring at his flattop. He put the weights down. He returned to his position right behind Marcel; theirs bodies touching and facing the mirror. "You really seem to like my haircut. How about I give you a matching flattop? You know, shear you down completely." He grabbed Marcel's long bangs and tugged at them gently. He lifted his beautiful hair straight up. "How about I chop this floppy top down to half an inch?" he mimicked cutting the bangs with his fingers. A chill ran down Marcel's spine. He beautiful long locks cut down to half an inch! Robert started gently massaging Marcel's hair on the sides. "I can go even tighter on the sides... shear you down completely. All your beautiful long sexy hair chopped! A tight short flattop for Marcel."

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