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Jeremy's Raven Locks Raise Funds by Manny

Last part (for now) of this series. Previous chapters include:

Chapter 1 - Jack Opts for Change
Chapter 2 - Mr. B or Mr. Baldy
Chapter 3 - Rev. Battersea: Barber, Buddy or Both


Chapter 4 - Jeremy's Raven Locks Raise Funds

Tuesday night finally arrived. The scouts were all up on stage with their leader, Rev. Battersea, sitting on stools and caped in pristine white (courtesy of Al's Barber Shop). They were arranged in order of totals raised for cancer awareness. At the head of the line sat Jeremy, with the highest largest donation total -- nearly half of the evening's grand total of $24,509. His long raven locks shimmered in the spotlight and glowed with an almost bluish tint. Periodically, he would flick his locks about, either by force of habit or on purpose to rile up the crowds.

Jeremy's friends in the audience started up a chant, "BALD, BALD, BALD!!!"

Someone shouted, "Enjoy it while you still have it, Jeremy!" To which the caped lad responded by twirling his head about so that his hair flew about wildly.

The host of the evening, Coach, seized the clippers and playfully taunted the caped Jeremy by snapping them on and bringing them close.

Next to Jeremy, in the semi-finalist position, was Rev. Battersea. His thick, beautiful wavy brown hair also glistened in the bright light. The heavy forelock was forever falling past his eyes and he fought a losing battle, repeatedly trying to flick it back away from his face.

The third highest fundraiser was Alex Curry who sported an enormous mass of red curls, which he fluffed out afro-style, almost doubling the size of his head. The soft locks were absolutely itching to be shaved off. Alex' face was etched with nervousness, although he tried to go along with the laughs, like he was enjoying it.

And, in fourth place was Jack, without much to offer the amateur barber whose raffle ticket would be selected because his golden mane with the swooping sexy forelock had been clipped down to a crewcut right before the fundraiser was organized.

The other four scouts were last on the chopping block and sat in a second row behind the top four.

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen," Coach announced. "We're all anxious for the clipping and shaving to get under way. At least, I am. Especially, to watch Jeremy's head get shaved!"

A general cheer, accompanied by foot stomping, claps and whistles went up and rocked the gym for a solid 3-4 minutes.

"Let me review the procedures tonight. We'll start with the four high winners and go through two rounds. The first round is clipping with these," Coach held up the Osters. "The second round is shaving with these." He held up some safety razors. "We'll start with Jeremy and draw a ticket for the first round. If the ticket holder is here, he or she comes down to the stage and either snaps on the clippers or unfastens the cape. Those who bought tickets and were not able to come have sent in their instructions. And let me tell you, I see a huge long list in the BALD column and just a smattering on the HAIR side of the page. Helping us shave by proxy for those not here is Al, the owner of Al's Barber Shop. He'll also be drawing the raffle tickets. Give him a round of applause, because these eight nice white capes are on loan from him, as are the clippers we are using tonight. How short will these clippers cut the fellows' hair, Al?"

"It's a #000 blade, so that will take Jeremy's long locks down to 1/50 of an inch. In other words, ultra-short -- mere stubble, like a fine grade sand paper," explained Al.

The teenage crowd in the audience went wild, chanting "BALD, BALD, BALD" again.

Coach grabbed the mic. "Okay, let's kick this show off with the first draw to decide the fate of Jeremy's hair. I should ask the Rev. Battersea to say a little prayer because I've spent a lot of money on tickets to ensure Jeremy leaves here bald, but I know everyone is anxious to start the divestiture! Draw the first ticket, Al."

"And Jeremy's fate will be decided by....." the barber's hand stirred the pot and pulled out a ticket. He got a huge smile on his face. "I can confidently say that poor Jeremy...." The crowd went berserk. "That poor Jeremy's treasured locks will soon be in the trash heap. This ticket was purchased by Coach Dickson!"

Jeremy started playfully shouting out, "RIGGED, RIGGED, RIGGED!!"

Coach joinedthe fun and grabbed Jeremy by his abundant mane, crowing, "It might have been rigged! I'll slip you a $50 later on, Al!"

Coach had an absolute blast taking the clippers right down the top of Jeremy's head. Hair tumbled in torrents and quickly covered the white cape. A second drive of the clippers had the cape looking like a zebra hide. Coach gathered some of the cut hair and dangled it in front of Jeremy's face, taunting him. The gym was shaking to the BALD, BALD, BALD chant. Jeremy hammed it up with weepy looks and other sorts of dramatic expressions. Once all the hair had come off, Jeremy looked so incredibly different. A small white pea head instead of the showy mane of ebony. To end the first shear down, Coach gave a quick peck on Jeremy's shaved head and the crowd went wild.

"Let's move on to our second caped sport, Rev. Battersea," Coach announced. The crowd cheered politely. "Bill Battersea is new to the community, but look how involved he's already gotten!" This time the cheers were louder and more enthusiastic. "He's even willing to sacrifice this pretty hair for a good cause!" Coach playfully stroked the thick locks and tried to pull them out of his eyes. "I'd ask the cheerleaders if there's an extra barrette he could use, but since Al is already reaching into the pot of raffle tickets, a barrette will soon become irrelevant, I hope. Time to decide the fate of Rev. Battersea's coif, Al."

Al looked at the ticket and announced, "Mr. Ruth Grandholm. I'm sorry, that's Mrs. Ruth Grandholm! Is Mrs. Grandholm here tonight?"

There was some rustling about and Rev. Battersea shifted nervously on the stool. No one came forward.

"Let's check the sheet here for ticket number 719, are there instructions?...and yes there are! It turns out that Rev. Battersea does have, after all, a hotline to heaven!! Mrs. Ruth Grandholm has checked the 'hair' box! Meaning, these nice, thick shaggy locks....oh, I would die to have hair like this instead my pathetic MPB!!...have been spared!" Coach playfully fawned over the minister's locks and pawed at his pretty hair.

Suddenly, two cheerleaders ran out with some hair brushes and barrettes and arranged his locks in a bit of a feminine style, fastened back away from his face, making him look rather ridiculous.

"I think I would rather have had it shaved!" Rev. Battersea joked.

"Then come to my Barber Shop tomorrow," Al laughed.

"Oh, but there's round two, Reverend! You won't leave the gym lather shaved this evening, but you could still get clipper shaved in the second go around," Coach explained.

"Now let's turn our attention to this....OMG....what is this?" Coach asked, grasping a massive handful of Alex' red curls. "How do your parents allow this?" Coach shook his head in disbelief.

The crowd start up its familiar BALD, BALD, BALD! chant.

Coach hushed them and then asked Alex, "Does stuff ever get lost in here? Like you can't find your school locker key and your mom calls out, 'Have you check in your hair yet?' Come to think of it, I can't find my coach's whistle!" With that, Coach plunged his hand into the huge Afro of red curls and pulled out his whistle. "Here it is! Hidden amid Alex' mop of curls!" Everyone cheered and coached whipped up the BALD, BALD, BALD chant again. Alex' nervousness even faded amid all the silliness and fun.

"His fate?" Coach asked Barber Al.

Al read the name loudly, "Cynthia Curry. Must be a relative."

A scream came from the top of the bleachers. "Get ready to go bald, big brother!" A young girl, accompanied by her father, came down from the bleachers.

Coached pointed to the curls and then asked the man, "Are you responsible for this? If you can't afford to get him decent haircuts, just let me know. I'll be happy to slip you a $20 from time to time."

Mr. Curry took the mic, "I just want to thank Rev. Battersea for coming up with this idea. It's the only way Alex is going to get a graduation cap on his head in a few weeks!"

"This fundraiser was the boys' idea, not mine! It's a great idea, and a huge success for out battle against cancer. All of the scouts chose it by unanimity," Rev. Battersea explained.

"So, little sister," Coach said, "you saved up your Christmas money and allowances to make sure your brother got a decent haircut. How many raffle tickets did you buy?"

"Just one!" Cynthia exclaimed.

"And that's all it took! Do you need help with the clippers? Dad or Barber Al can give you a hand," Coach said.

"Let's do it together, Sweetie," the father coaxed. The two had a blast mowing through the mass of curls. Mr. Curry pushed the clippers and little Cynthia pulled off the wads of hair and tossed it in the air to her utter delight.

While the shearing was taking place, Coach joked, "You know, you can buy a set of clippers at Walgreens for under $15. Keep 'em in the kitchen and keep Alex mowed down every other week. No more lost locker keys or whistles!"

After stool #3 was completely surrounded by shorn red curls, weepy Alex reached out from under the cape to feel his stubble. Then, attention shifted to Jack.

"I heard that you, Jack, were actually the mastermind behind this plan. Is that true?" Coach asked.

"Kind of, thought the credit should go to Mr. B....and this is a lot more fun and exciting than any of the other ideas!" Jack said.

"Oh, Mr. B thought of it?" remarked coach. "I guess the idea came to him when he was having his business cut shaved off. Stand up and let everyone see your baldy cut, Mr. B!"

The spotlight flashed on Mr. B and he blushed. Since he was a school favorite among the students, lots of applause and cheering ensued. Then, the teens started chanting "Mr. B, Mr. BALDY, Mr. B, Mr. BALDY!"

"Jack, you used to have a real sexy mane of perfectly sun kissed blond hair. And, a few months ago, you shaved it off and unleashed such a torrent of slams on our opponents at Benson High that we took the pennant. Do you miss all that long hair?" Coach asked.

"Not for a minute," Jack crowed.

"Hear that, Jeremy and Alex. Stop your pouting! And keep your heads clipped like Jack here. Time for another drawing! Al, is Jack going to keep this little bit that remains up here or is he going down to the wood?" Coach asked with flair.

"Natalie Battersea! You decide!" Coach announced.

Natalie approached the stage, sort of embarrassed and blushing.

"I heard you two are sweethearts? True?" Coach teased.

"Ask him," she demurred, gazing at Jack with puppy love eyes.

"Well, Jack, have you asked the minister to perform the wedding yet?" Coach teased. "How does that work, Reverend, when the minister is the father of the bride....walks her down the aisle then hops up into the pulpit?"

"I haven't had to figure that out yet, and I hope I won't have to for a while. Nothing against Jack, of course! He's as good as a guy as one could hope for."

"There! The father has consented to a long engagement! So, Natalie, what will it be for Jack?" Coach asked.

"What do you want, Jack? Bald or hair?" Natalie asked sweetly.

"BALD!" Jack bellowed. "Down to the wood!"

Natalie giggled as she snapped on the clippers and started taking off the little tufts of Jack's hair.

"You know, Natalie, your father could use a haircut after you finish with Jack," Coach joked. "Although, the barrette look is sort of growing on me!"

While Jack's head got clipped, Coach decided to let the barrette out of Rev. Battersea's hair. Then Coach ran his fingers through the copious locks. "It would be a great shame if you left with this mane! I mean, our rainbow of shades on the floor here would lack a nice deep brown. We have a massive amount of black and red, and some blond scattered about already...and these lovely brown tresses would round out the painter's palette. Right, Mr. B?"

"OK, ladies and gentlemen. We are going to start round 2 with our top fundraisers momentarily. We have three nice, tidy buzzed heads and one gorgeous mane of lustrous mahogany-colored locks that are just itching to hit the cape! They are still here, in all their glory, through the power of prayer, I'm convinced. Rev. Battersea. Tell us, did you pray that the clippers would be kept from this?" Again, Coach caressed and fondled the minster's hair.

"Coach, I did pray. I prayed that we would raise a lot of money for cancer awareness. To spare people unnecessary pain, suffering, loss and sorrow. I'm so proud of the boys for working so hard to raise almost $25,000 dollars!" Rev. Battersea stated clearly and with heartfelt conviction and gratitude.

The crowd went nuts, cheering and clapping. Then a chant started, RE-VER-END! RE-VER-END!!

"We're back to Jeremy. So, how does it feel to be bald? Have you gotten used to it yet?" Coach asked.

"I feel a bit lightheaded, kind of naked and exposed too," Jeremy said.

"No nakedness, please! Or indecent exposure!" Coach kidded. "Al, who is going to decide whether Jeremy leaves here with this fine stubble.....or whether this small white pea head will feel smooth as satin."

"Ticket 28! It's owned by...."

The loudest teens in the audience went mad -- about five guys rushed the stage. Jeremy's buddies. They quickly grabbed the shaving cream. Two held Jeremy still, two applied the lather and one prepared the razor.

"I guess we know their choice. Do be careful fellows! Very careful with that razor!" Coach warned.

Despite all the laughter and tomfoolery, the shaving of Jeremy's head was carried out safely. He was a good sport about losing it all. Once they were finished turning Jeremy into a cueball, his friends uncaped him and led him off the stage to the cheers and hoots of the general audience. Jeremy repeatedly felt his smooth bald head and could not stop smiling broadly.

Coach ambled over to the only moptop in the front line of shavees, Rev. Battersea. "Something tells me that this mane is on the very endangered list. Al, draw the ticket! Will Rev. Battersea's shag become extinct?!"

"Mr. Allan Grayson. Ticket 182. Allan Grayson, are you here?" Al asked.

A rather distinguished-looking older gentleman stood and walked carefully down from the bleachers to the stage. He was the church organist.

"What will it be, Mr. Grayson? Shall we choose a Thanksgiving hymn for the harvest of Rev. Battersea's locks? How about 'Bringing in the Sheaves'? Or better, "Bringing in the Shaves'!!!" Coach laughed uproariously at his own joke. "I will come rejoicing, bringing in sheaves of the reverend's shaved hair!"

Mr. Grayson cleared his throat. "I wonder if I could opt for a third choice. I know this is not in the rules, but I think in the spirit of the evening, you will allow it, Coach. I want to offer up my ticket here, number 182, to the first person who can push the final total over $25,000. I would like to sell this ticket to another person in the gym who will donate $500 and raise the total to $25,009!"

"I LOVE that! Yes, I will bend the rules," exclaimed Coach. "Will anyone pay $500 for this ticket and the right to decide the fate of Rev. Battersea's hair?"

There was a bit of rustling and murmuring. Then, suddenly, a voice rang out "I will!"

The spotlight swung over in the general direction, and there stood Mr. B waving his hand.

"Mr. B!! The school must be paying you too much. A $500 donation! Good for you. Come on up here!" Coach called loudly.

Mr. B's decision to buy the ticket had been made quickly and spontaneously. As he was leaving the bleachers, he realized he did not have a clear idea of whether to apply the clippers or unfasten the cape. His default position had been to spare the lustrous locks. But, how would that come across to everyone in the gym?

How had he gotten himself into this pickle? And $500 was a lot of money! But, the decision had been made. He needed to think quickly.

Mr. B approached the stool on which Rev. Battersea was perched. He looked so handsome, his long mane so sexy! But, also, he looked so vulnerable under the cape. Mr. B wanted to rescue him -- remove the cape and lead him off the stage, stroking and caressing his lovely locks. What could explain shelling out $500 to save the minister's hair?

He would not have to explain shaving him. Yes, the easiest thing to do was to grab the clippers and clip off his striking hair!

Mr. B decided to ham things up. He walked up behind the Reverend and placed his hand on the big metal clip, as if he were preparing to unfasten the cape and save the mane.

"Rev. Battersea is a good man. He's given so much of himself already, leading the scout troop and donating his time for the good of the community. Why should he have to sacrifice this nice head of hair?" Mr. B followed Coach's example of fondling the silken locks and fawning over the minister's mane.

Mr. B continued, "Anyway, that's what I first thought when I was on my way up here."

Suddenly Rev. Battersea's smile disappeared and he raised his eyebrows to signal alarm -- all in good fun, of course.

"Then I thought that Rev. Battersea is the type of noble person who wouldn't think that getting off easy was the right thing, the decent thing. Look, already three of his scouts are bald -- one smooth and two buzzed. He's the kind of leader who wants to be right in the thick of things, side-by-side in the trenches with his troops, sharing joys and hardships." Mr. B signaled for the clippers.

"Plus, I know he's tired of all this hair in his eyes!" Mr. B grabbed the forelock and held it up straight, off the reverend's face.

The machine came to life, and he took the clippers right to the base of the forelock. The vibrating metal teeth chewed it off right at the hairline. Slowly, the forelock gave way and was severed. Mr. B held the mass of hair up like a trophy and then dropped the clump of hair right onto Rev. Battersea's lap! The crowd cheered the popular minister's shearing.

Mr. B felt a lump in his throat as he surveyed the damage he'd caused. The gorgeous hair, now butchered and lifeless on the cape. The Reverend probably would not be so handsome with a bald head. Perhaps that would help him cool the feelings toward the Reverend he'd been struggling to squelch. Mr. B took the first direct swipe across the top of the minister's head and watched sheaves tumble off. The white scalp was startling! Coach began to hum "Bringing in the Sheaves' loudly.

Rev. Battersea reached out from under the cape and grasped one of the cut locks, effecting a pout on his face.

"We'll still be friends after this, won't we, Bill?" Mr. B whispered as he brought the clippers up behind Rev. Battersea's ear.

"This is a total bonding experience," Rev. Battersea replied in a way that only Mr. B could hear.

Mr. B felt a surge of ecstasy. Then he really went to town, mowing off all the bulky, soft hair. Mr. B very much enjoyed being in control and wresting the submissive head this way and that. He again imagined the minister lying on a sofa with the bald head resting on his lap, in a rather intimate way, soothing him to sleep.

Finally, Mr. B snapped off the clippers. Rev. Battersea looked up at his barber and mouthed, "Thank you, friend."

"Whatever you need, just ask me," Mr. B said as he took the whisk and sent loads of the cut hair to the floor.

"I believe you have your missing color on the floor now, Coach!" Mr. B exclaimed. "And that's the loveliest shade of brown I've ever seen!"

"If we could only get some of that white scalp down there too!" Coach laughed. "Girls, come back and claim your barrette! Rev. Battersea has no more need of it! I just hope your congregation can pay attention to the sermon with this stark white scalp distracting everyone." Coach said as he rubbed the minister's stubble. "If you hear some sniggers, this small white head will probably be the cause!"

Mr. B carefully unfastened the metal clip and released Rev. Battersea from the uncomfortable stool and the two left the stage.

The first thing the Reverend wanted to do was to find a mirror to check out his new look. Rev. Battersea looked at himself and smiled broadly! "I'm bald!" he laughed in disbelief. "I'm so glad you did that, Mr. B! The truth is, I was looking forward to my first lather shave!"

Mr. B's eyes sparkled. "We could still make it happen!"

"We certainly could!! Your place or mine?" Rev. Battersea asked, brimming with excitement.

"My place! I just bought a package of brand-new Mach V heavy-duty razors. This dense stubble won't stand a chance!" Mr. B said, almost suppressing a squeal of delight as he ran his hand firmly and authoritatively over Rev. Battersea's clipped scalp. "Maybe I'll ask for a head shave too after we down a few bottles of wine!

"If some serious drinking happens, I'll have to stay the night," Rev. Battersea remarked.

"Of course! We can't risk having the new minister getting a DUI!" exclaimed Mr. B.

"Your place then!" Rev. Battersea decided. "And I thought I was going to feel sad when I arrived home tonight with a bald head and an empty house...."

"...and a lonely bed?" Mr. B said, completing the reverend's initial pensive comment. The two stood awkwardly, shyly, avoiding eye contact.

"I think I'm...." Mr. B said, bringing his lips near.

Rev. Battersea swallowed hard. He did not pull away, but maintained an intimate proximity. "You are a dear friend, a close companion. I feel so at ease with you, and energized by your presence. I find myself wanting to spend time with you. But I can't offer anything more than Christian love and perhaps a bit of intimacy and affection. Think of ours as a special friendship, like David and Jonathan. Is that all right?" Rev. Battersea lightly caressed Mr. B's tight butch.

Mr. B struggled to mask his disappointment. "Of course, it is. Just being with you makes me feel like the luckiest guy ever."

Rev. Battersea smiled broadly and then kissed Mr. B in a gentle, caring manner that conveyed warmth, tenderness and kindess, but not sexual desire.

"Now let's go get my head shaved! I want it smooth and shiny. I wonder how it will feel, putting my hairless head on a pillow tonight?" Rev. Battersea chirped, suddenly altering the mood and dynamic.

Mr. B's thought turned again to the imagined scene on the couch, with Rev. Battersea's bald head on his lap, stroking his sensitive scalp gently and lulling him to sleep. Surely, with a few bottles of wine, he could make it happen.

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