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Barber Bud in the Chair by Manny

A continuing story. 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
Chapter 5 - Coach’s MPB Fringe Falls Amid the Fun
Chapter 6 - Erik Gets to Know and Look Like the Locals
Chapter 7 - Rev. Battersea Makes the Cap Fit
Chapter 8 - Edward's Executive Coif and Career Ends
Chapter 9 - Vic's Visitation
Chapter 10 - New Barber Takes Charge


Bill was enamored with his traditional barber look. He had always dreamed of sporting a white tunic that buttoned on the shoulder and desperately wanted to see himself in the mirror out in the shop.

Plus, he was seized with the thought of caping Bud up and mowing off his tidy business look. Two preacher-barbers....so much in common....so much to share....why not a private life together...and even business partners? They could call their barber shop Preachers!

When Bill strolled into the barber shop from the private quarters in back, he found Bud and Col. Cox chatting. But the Colonel was not getting his hair cut. He didn't need one.

Bud had a puzzled, worried look on his face and signaled to Bill that something was wrong.

"Bill, the Colonel was driving by and decided to come in. He was telling me that he was having difficulty finding his way home," Bud said with an anxious look on his face.

Bill grasped the situation and calmly said, "I know where the Colonel lives. I'll take him home." It was the right thing to do, even though that meant not caping up Bud and pushing the clippers through his tidy thatch.

"Getting lost, Colonel...is this the first time?" Bill asked.

The Colonel's face clouded over. "No," he admitted. "Just yesterday I got confused on the freeway. I didn't know what direction I was going in. I couldn't recognize things, so I just pulled over and sat on the shoulder. Finally, someone stopped and helped me. He took out my driver license, looked at the address, and had me follow him. He drove to my house so that I could get home. Like an angel! Wish I had got his name. Blond hair....looked like the fellow on that TV show from the 70s.....but he's not from around here, talked like a damn Yankee."

"Colonel, let me get you a cup of coffee. Sit here and relax. Rev. Battersea was just about to cut my hair. You're not in a hurry, right? After he's finished with me, he can lead you home like your angel did yesterday, how's that?" Bud asked.

"And, when we get there, let me call your daughter -- let me call Kathy. Does she know you're having memory issues?" Bill asked.

"Oh, I don't want to worry her. She's with Mark up in Rhode Island getting chaplain training," Col. Cox objected.

"She would want to know. I'm certain of that," Bill said firmly.

With all the commotion, Bill hadn't had time to study himself in the mirror, sporting his barber whites and freshly clipped head.

Finally, he made time to check himself out in the mirror. He liked what he saw! The tunic was rather on the large size, more than suitable to cover any embarrassment as he mowed off Bud's business cut.

"Okay, Bud, I'm eager to show off my stuff! Once I get that powerful, pulsating machine plunging into your prissy little business cut, you'll feel like a different man all together," Bill said, firing up his new buddy's imagination.

"Barber in the chair!" Bud exclaimed gleefully as he eased in the soft, worn, leather upholstery.

The cape was secured with no hitch. "I see, you have mastered the lesson on 'caping up the client'!" Bud noted. "It's nice and threateningly tight, the way it should be!"

"Do you want to watch, or is facing away from the mirror like this your preference?" Bill asked.

"This is fine. My mind will keep track of how you're doing. I'll sense any lack of skill or hesitation in wielding the clippers. And, of course, the big reveal at the end will be more fun," Bud responded.

Bill's hands lingered in Bud's soft brown hair. He observed some definite thinning on top to match the receded temples. Bill realized that Bud had projected his worry about MPB onto him! It was time for Bud to get a taste of his own medicine.

"I wouldn't worry about your bald spot back here," Bill said casually, knowing it would hit a raw nerve. The tunic and cape had reversed the power dynamic, and Bill found himself enjoying the dominant role. "It'll be at least another year or two before people start commenting on the skull cap that's formed. But, don't worry; your new barber won't say a word about it to others. I know how to be discreet. What about your Col. Cox? Mums the word about Rev. Brown's expanding bald spot up on top!"

"He looks like he has plenty of hair to me, although a trip to a marine barber shop would take care of that," the Colonel commented.

Bill fired up the Oster Progienic clippers and allowed the loud purring of the machine to fill the shop momentarily. The faint smell that the clippers emitted enhanced the pregnant pause before the shearing commenced.

"Ready?" Bill asked, firmly pushing Bill's head down to the cape. He would take the clippers straight up he back.

The question was rhetorical. The first drive up through the nape had Bill peeling off a nice padding of Bud's soft brown hair.

Bill felt totally in control as he watched the first chunk in Bud's helmet hair tumble to the floor.

Bud tried, instinctively to put his head up, but Bill dominated and kept it low, very low! "Hold still there, Buddy. I'll be hitting my stride momentarily. You can kiss your fussy business cut goodbye. It's as good as gone!"

And then, he went to town with the clippers. Peeling away the soft brown locks with quick drives up the sides and back. Bill was determined to clearly display his command of the cutting machine. In mere moments, the bulky taper was reduced to a short pelt.

Then he let Bill sit up.

He lifted the forelock up with a comb, and in a flash, ran the Oster across the plastic teeth very near to the hairline. Bud's medium length bangs were sent to the cape!

Bill upped the ante, deftly reducing the whole top using clipper-over-comb. Soft brown hair rained down to the cape in clumps and torrents of snippets.

"Is he leaving anything up there, Colonel?" Bud asked from beneath the cape.

"Not much. You won't spend 10 seconds with the comb in the morning," Col. Cox commented. "Rev. Battersea is a man of many talents, including match-maker. My Kathy is so happy with that junior preacher fellow he fixed her up with. Uh, Edward, uh, oh....his name......"

"Erik, that's his name, Colonel," Bill said.

"Right, Aaron, that's what I was going to say. I hope you will perform the wedding ceremony," Col. Cox said. "And when are you going to match yourself up, Reverend? So many ladies in the church have their eye on you!"

Bill felt a bit of a pit in his stomach. A painful topic.....

"I'm not sure I'm ready for anything like that right now. I need to concentrate on my ministry," Bill said.

"And on his new venture as a barber apprentice. I can't wait to see my crewcut. I've been following all your moves, Bill. You're a quick one, but I think I'm going to be pleasantly surprised," said Bud.

"Then let's not put it off any longer," Bill announced as he swiveled the chair to face the mirror. He knew he'd knocked the ball out of the park.

Bud gasped, "I love it! Oh, it's absolutely perfect. Short, but very nicely done. Show me the back."

Bill beamed with pride as he held up the mirror. "What do you think?"

"I like it! But....would it be too much to ask you to take me down another notch? I want it tapered to zero," Bud requested.

"And I will finish you off with a lather shave half way up to the crown!" Bill announced. "People will take you for a proud marine, like Col. Cox!"

Bill looked at himself in the mirror as he prepared to swap the blade. He couldn't be happier. Dressed like a barber, in a wonderfully cozy barber shop, preparing for an apprenticeship with his new romantic interest.

Everything was falling into place....except for the community war hero, Col. Cox. He was beginning to fall apart -- it would be a long, sad decline. Bill had watched his own father fade away at the cruel hands of Alzheimer's Disease. That transpired just before his wife began her losing battle against cancer. Suddenly, Bill was lost in thought about all of life's difficulties. His mind turned to how faith had anchored and brought him through the turmoil.

The final touches of Bud's haircut transpired in silence (except for a bit of snoring coming from Col. Cox).

When the cape came off, Bud was more than happy to shake Bill's hand and assure him of the apprenticeship. "This shaved back is fantastic. Love the look, love the feel!"

"Thanks, Bud!" Bill said shyly, reverting to a more submissive role.

"I'll help you change back into your clothes, Bill," Bud said with a wink. "The Colonel looks like he doesn't want to be disturbed from his little cat nap."

The two indulged for a few minutes in the back room exploring each other's new crewcuts and their developing relationship.

Finally, they heard the Colonel stirring and asking where everyone was.

"I wish I could stay, but duty calls...." Bill said, reluctantly freeing himself from Bud's tender embrace.

Then Bud said with a twinkle in his eye. "I've always wanted to try my hand at waxing a man's chest, Bill. Not something they taught in barber college in my day." His hand stroked the luxurious chest hair.

The thought of Bud ripping off the waxing strip with his furry pelt clinging to it made Bill cringe. Bud taking a paddle to him, leaning him over the barber chair -- now, that was a bit of pain he could get into!

"Let's go, Colonel. We need to call Kathy. I'm out of here, Bud!" Bill called.

"I'll be waiting here for you, Rev. Battersea!' the reply echoed back.

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