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Sarge's Barbershop Part 3 by bucke
Disclaimer: This is totally not-realistic in anyway and is not intended to be. This is a world in which transformations can happen, seemingly by magic. If you only like realistic stories, this is not for you. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and feedback. Hope you enjoy
"Excuse me, Sir." Sarge demanded a bit too forcefully, "Please respect the sign."
Sarge was referring to the sign on the door that said, "Please do not use any phones when inside the shop." Sarge liked to keep his shop quiet after all. The last thing he wanted was multiple people to be yelling over each other to be heard.
The man nervously said, "Sorry, I’ll call you right back, no phones." Sarge could hear the person on the other end of the phone yelling and the man quickly hung up and took off the Bluetooth headset and let out a big sigh.
The man then turned to Sarge, "Sorry, I didn’t catch your sign. I was on the phone with my boss."
Sarge softened up slightly, he could see the man’s posture relax now that he wasn’t talking to his boss. Maybe he overreacted at first glance. He just hated when people talked on their phones like that.
"Hello, you can call me Sarge," Sarge introduced himself, "what’s your name and what kind of cut are you looking for."
Sarge directed him to the newly cleaned seat where the man sat down, "My name is David." The man paused for a second, took a deep breath and then continued, "I’m supposed to get something very short."
Normally Sarge wouldn’t hesitate when someone asked for a short cut, but this gave him pause. Sarge, perplexed, asked, "What do you mean supposed to?"
"Well, my boss said that I wouldn’t waste as much time if I didn’t have so much hair to fuss with. So I am a supposed to get a short cut to keep it out of the way," the poor man looked bummed out. It would be quite a sight to see him in a suit but with a short, military style haircut.
Sarge felt like he wasn’t getting the whole story, and didn’t want to commit to quickly to any course of action. To give himself some time to thing he grabbed some scissors just to begin trimming down the bulk. Sarge made sure that David was extremely relaxed and susceptible to his commands.
"You will answer all my questions truthfully and to the best of your ability." Sarge demanded.
"Yes," David replied fuzzily.
"Tell me more about your job."
"I work for an investment bank. I primarily deal with fixed income securities like bonds and bond-derived investment products…."
The man went on and gradually got more and more technical, so then Sarge decided to ask, "tell me more about your boss."
"My boss is an asshole. He always yells at me because I’m the most junior person on the team for every problem. Even when it something that wasn’t even my call or that was out of my control anyway."
"Well then why don’t you quit?" Sarge asked.
"He said that he would blacklist me and make sure I couldn’t’ get a job anywhere else. And my parents keep saying they pulled so many favors to get that job they would be so disappointed if I left after working there for only a year."
Sarge frowned, this was not turning out at all like he expected. He thought at first they this man would need some military discipline, but now he thought that wasn’t the case at all. He needed to free this man from his job and to do something he would enjoy doing. But to ensure a clean break, first the hair needed a dramatic change.
Sarge brought out his Oster Clippers and snapped on the #4 blade. As the clippers took a swipe down the center of David’s hair you could see a visible change in his body language. All the stress and worry about his old job vanished. His demanding boss would no longer plague his waking hours with toxicity.
Now oftentimes Sarge liked to decide people’s life paths for them, after all often times people didn’t know what they needed, only what they wanted. Many people don’t want the structure of the military, but that is often just what they would need to achieve their full potential. Not everyone needed that though, and this man was one of them. Sarge could tell at his core he was a good person. He had a knack for being able to read people, it came with his other "talents".
Once Sarge finished giving David a ½ inch buzzcut, he took the blade off the clippers and grabbed his come so he could give him a slide fade. Not a full on high-n-tight. More just an inch up the side to smooth out the edges. He wasn’t becoming a marine after all. Sarge made quick work finishing up the haircut and by the end David looked quite sharp with his shorter haircut. It looked smart, but it didn’t scream "military" like so many of the cuts Sarge preferred. And it would be low maintenance and allow David to focus on his new job…
Now that David’s stress has been excised from his life, Sarge now asked, "so what would you like to do with your life now?"
David responded dreamily, "I’ve always wanted to own an independent bookstore. I love reading and want to share my love with this town to bring people closer together."
Sarge had to be honest with himself, he was not expecting that to be the answer, but he went with it. He pulled the barber’s cape off of David to focus on his clothing now. He was still wearing his crisp suit from before, which definitely would be overkill. First his dark suit pants lightened to a nice khaki and became less silky and slightly thicker. His tie disappeared and his button-down shirt thickened and morphed into a Polo Ralph Lauren button down. Still nice but more comfortable and less restrictive. The blazer than morphed into a dark blue cashmere sweater because he liked to keep his bookstore cold and dry to protect the books. Lastly a plain brown belt appeared and his dark black dress shoes morphed into some nice brown loafers. He now looked every part the respectable small business owner.
Next Sarge made sure that mentally he would know everything instinctively on how to run his business, how to keep it successful, how to file his own taxes, etc.
Lastly all Sarge had to do before he left was to make the actual bookstore. A block away from Sarge’s shop used to be a clothing store, but now it was empty after the store moved to a larger location. He thought that would be the perfect place for the new bookstore.
Sarge imagined the place totally renovated, and it was so. There were now bookshelves everywhere full of every genre of book: history, fiction, fantasy and more. Books for kids, for teens, for adults, for all. He added some comfortable chairs for customers to use and read as well. It would be a new place where people in town could gather and enjoy books and leave all the baggage of the world behind for a time. And David could channel his passion to help people with that. Way more than he would have been able to help people at his old job.
Now that David was equipped with his new haircut, wardrobe, attitude, and knowledge he was ready to go back out into the world.
One last detail that Sarge almost forgot appeared pinned to the sweater, his name badge for his shop which in embossed letters read:
A Reader’s Paradise
"So what do I owe you, Sarge?" David asked finally coming out of his trance.
"Just $5, just like the sign says."
David fumbled for his wallet in his khakis and pulled out a $10. "Keep the change." He said and then shook Sarge’s hand. "I’ll be back in a couple weeks to get myself tidied up again."
"You better," Sarge joked.
David smiled, turned, and walked out the door to leave humming a happy tune under his breath. Sarge smiled to himself as David walked out of sight, to open up his bookstore for the day. Sarge’s smile vanished when he thought of David’s horrible boss.
Sarge thought to himself as he imagined the boss having to leave work to come get a haircut.
Suddenly Sarge heard the bell on the door chime and he say David’s boss walk in the door, just as he had willed it. Sarge’s instincts kicked in and he could tell that David had not exaggerated anything, this guy was a real piece of work. He loved abusing his authority over people. Sarge ordered him to sit into the chair, and the boss had no choice but to obey.
Sarge had many ideas for him. He definitely needed military discipline, but just in what form?
All Sarge asked him was his name, "John Daniels" he replied. Sarge’s eyebrows raised as he heard a British accent.
That just gave him an idea….
(Would love to hear your ideas for what Sarge will do to the boss. Anything military related is all I have in mind. Doesn't even have to be restricted to US military (or cadet/military school etc) .)