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Marked for Flat by BarberedStrong

As soon as John moved into his new house, he noticed his neighbor, Mark, who had a distinctive horseshoe flattop haircut. Mark was a dominant alpha male type, always confident and assertive. Their kids quickly became friends, and John and Mark would often chat while watching them play.

Mark would often tease John about his flowing locks, saying, "You need a real haircut, man! I should march you down to my barber and get you squared away!" John would laugh it off, but deep down, he felt uneasy. There was something about Mark's teasing that made him feel submissive, like he was being challenged to prove himself.

Despite his initial discomfort, John found himself looking forward to Mark's taunts. He couldn't explain why, but the thought of being controlled and humiliated by his friend was strangely exciting. He began to wonder what it would be like to be under Mark's dominance, to be forced to submit to his will.

One day, Mark invited John over for a barbecue, and John found himself feeling nervous and anxious. He knew Mark would tease him again, but he was also excited to see where it would lead. As they stood by the grill, Mark put his hand on John's shoulder and said, "You know, I'm serious about that haircut. You could use a real man's haircut, not that pretty boy look you've got going on." Having just turned 40, John had to admit that his jet black hair with soft waves brushing just over his ears, started to look out of place with his suburban dad lifestyle.

John felt a shiver run down his spine as Mark's hand tightened on his shoulder. He knew he was being challenged, and he wasn't sure if he was ready to submit. But he also knew he couldn't resist the excitement he felt whenever Mark teased him.

"Okay, okay," John said, trying to sound casual. "I'll think about it."

Mark grinned, his eyes glinting with amusement. "I'll take that as a yes! I'll pick you up at 8am sharp Saturday and we'll make quick work of this thatch!"

John swallowed hard, feeling a sense of anticipation building inside him. He hadn’t exactly said yes but he also didn’t correct Mark either. He knew he was in for a wild ride, but he was ready to see where it would take him.

As Saturday morning arrived, John felt his anxiety spike. He had agreed to let Mark take him to the barber, but now he was regretting it. What if he hated the new haircut? What if he lost his identity?

As they walked into the barber shop, John's nausea intensified. He felt like he was going to pass out. Mark noticed his hesitation and put a firm hand on his shoulder.

"Hey, it's okay, John. I've got you. You're going to look great," Mark said, his voice commanding and reassuring.

But John couldn't respond. He just nodded mutely, feeling like a child being led to the principal's office.

Mark took charge, guiding his submissive buddy straight to the open chair. The barber, a hip tattooed, guido type with a thick slick back bald fade, welcomed him to have a seat. Mark spoke right up telling the barber exactly what he wanted. "Give him a high and tight flattop, and shave the sides with a razor. And after that, why don’t we give him a proper hot shave - I want him smooth-faced, no mustache. Let's give him a clean slate."

The barber grinned broadly - knowing this would be an epic transformation. John felt a sense of resignation wash over him. He was in this now, and there was no backing out.

As the clippers roared to life, John closed his eyes and took a stunted deep breath. He felt Mark's hand on his shoulder, guiding him through the process.

The soft waves started to rain down with heavy clumps in John’s lap. Instantly, he could feel the cool air from the ceiling fan hit his newly exposed scalp. As the barber grazed the top of his skull with the bare clipper blade, the bottom just about fell out of John’s stomach. The regret was overhehelming. Why don’t he put a stop to Mark’s insistence?

When it was all over, John looked in the mirror and gasped. His hair was gone, replaced by a sleek, military-style flattop with razor-shaved sides. And his signature mustache, the one he had grown and groomed for years, was gone, replaced by smooth, shaved skin.

Mark grinned, his eyes gleaming with pride. "You look great, John. I’m real proud of ya! You're finally starting to look like a real man.

Mark took his turn in the chair, instructing the barber, "make us look like twins!"

John took a seat directly across from Mark and watched as the barber sheared his two weeks growth back down to smooth skin and a perfectly square deck. Instinctively, he palmed his own new virgin scalp, feeling the pit in his stomach grow. He felt a surge of excitement mixed with embarrassment. He couldn't believe how much he liked the new haircut. And how much he enjoyed Mark's dominant approach.

John felt his face burning as he walked out of the barber shop with Mark. He couldn't believe the transformation that had taken place. His long hair and signature mustache were gone, replaced by a sleek, military-style flattop and smooth, shaved skin.

As they walked down the street, John couldn't help but notice the stares and comments from passersby. "Hey, look at the pretty boy!" someone jeered. "What happened to your mustache, John?" a friend asked, chuckling.

John felt a surge of embarrassment and humiliation. He couldn't believe he had let Mark talk him into this. He felt beholden and submissive to his friend, like he had lost all control over his own appearance.

"Mark, I can't take this," John said, feeling desperate. "I don’t know about this new look. I feel super self conscious."

Mark chuckled and wrapped his arm around John's shoulder. "No way, John. You look great! And besides, I’ve booked us back at the barber shop every two weeks to keep you looking sharp."

John's jaw dropped. "Every two weeks? Are you kidding me?"

Mark grinned. "I'm dead serious, John. You're going to be my new project. And I always see my projects through to the end."

John felt a shiver run down his spine. He didn’t know how he felt being called a project. He was trapped and he knew it. He was beholden to Mark now, and he had no idea where this new journey would take him.

As promised, two weeks later, Mark was at his front door at 7:30am to pick John up. "Let’s hustle brother! We don’t want to be late."
John couldn’t believe it but here he was back in the same chair, with Mark standing over him.

"What's the plan today, Mark?" John asked, trying to sound casual despite his growing unease.

"I think it's time for a little more discipline, John," Mark said, his eyes glinting with amusement. "Let's shave those sides back clean. And we’re both going to go for the horseshoe today. You're going to look like a real Marine, just like me."

John felt a surge of panic. He didn't want to look like a Marine, and he certainly didn't want to be at Mark's mercy every other week. But he knew better than to protest. He was trapped in this strange game of submission and humiliation, and he didn't know how to escape.

As the barber began to work his magic, John felt a sense of resignation wash over him. He was Mark's project now, and he would have to see it through to the end.

When the haircut was finished, John looked in the mirror and gasped. He barely recognized himself. His hair was shaved close to the head, with a thin strip of hair down the middle. He looked like a completely different person.

Mark grinned, his eyes gleaming with pride. "You're really starting to take shape. Don’t you love it?"

John felt a surge of anger and frustration. "I don’t recognize me." He hated this new look, and he hated being at Mark's mercy. But he knew he had to keep playing along, at least for now.

As John returned home, he was nervous about what his family would say about his new more extreme haircut. His wife, Sarah, took one look at him and burst out laughing.

"John, what have you done now?" she asked, still chuckling.

John felt his face burning with embarrassment. "Mark, uh, encouraged me do it," he said, trying to defend himself. "It’s…low maintenance."

His kids, Henry and Arthur, just stared at him in confusion. "Dad, you look like Uncle Mark!" Arthur said.

At work, John's colleagues were equally surprised. "John, what on earth happened to your hair?" his boss asked, raising an eyebrow.

John just shrugged, feeling like he was losing his identity. "Just trying something new," he muttered.

But as the days went by, John started to notice that people were treating him differently. His family and colleagues seemed to be looking at him with a newfound respect, as if the haircut had somehow transformed him into a more authoritative figure.

Even Mark noticed the change. "You're carrying yourself differently, John," he said, nodding in approval. "You're starting to look like a real leader."

John wasn't sure if he liked the new attention, but he couldn't deny that the haircut had given him a strange sense of confidence. He was still trapped in Mark's game, but at least he was starting to see some benefits.

Two weeks later, Mark pulled up to John's house in his truck, honking the horn to signal that he was there. John got in, feeling a mix of emotions - dread, anxiety, but also a sense of excitement.

"Hey, buddy!" Mark said, grinning. "Ready for your next haircut?"

John hesitated, trying to summon up the courage to ask a question. "Mark, can I ask you something?"

"Sure thing, John. What's on your mind?"

"Well, I was wondering if we could try something a bit different this time. I mean, the flattop is fine and all, but I'm not sure it’s for me."

Mark's expression turned stern, his eyes narrowing. "John, we're buddies right? Best buddies. What better way to bond, right? We're in this together, from here on out. No exceptions."

John felt a surge of disappointment, but he knew better than to argue with Mark. "Okay, okay. I just thought I'd ask."

Mark clapped him on the back. "Don't worry, John. You'll learn to love the flattop. And besides, we're not just getting haircuts - we're making a statement. We're showing the world what we're made of."

John nodded, feeling a sense of resignation wash over him. But then Mark started telling a story, a story about his own flattop origin.

"You know, John, I wasn't always a flattop guy. In fact, I used to have long hair, just like you. I was lost. Aimless. No direction. No self esteem. After a run in with the law, the judge said I had two options: jail or join up. So, I joined the Corps, and they shaved it all off. At first, I hated it. I felt like I'd lost my identity. But over time, my self confidence grew I learned to love it. I loved the simplicity, the cleanliness, the sense of discipline it represented. Not to mention, it looks pretty damned sexy, I’d say!"

Mark paused, his eyes gleaming with intensity.

"It took me time to adapt, John. But once I committed, I was all in. And I know you will be too. You'll see, John. The flattop isn't just a haircut - it's a way of life. And I'm proud to be your guide on this journey."

John felt a shiver run down his spine as Mark's words sank in. He knew deep down that Mark was right. He still felt trapped in Mark's vision, but he also knew that Mark was committed to seeing him through it. And maybe, just maybe, he would come to love the flattop as much as Mark did.

As they arrived at the barber shop, John readily sat in the chair, and, for the first time, spoke up for himself asking for the usual - a precise, military-style horseshoe flat. John watched in the mirror as his hair was transformed, feeling a sense of surrender, but also a sense of curiosity. What would it be like to be a flattop guy, like Mark? Only time would tell.

Over the weeks, Mark's influence over John's life grew. They began working out together, starting a comprehensive fitness routine. John even started to simplify his wardrobe, ditching the preppy golf shirts for more simple white and olive green tees, just like Mark. But alongside this new influence, Mark also became a mentor, teaching John about discipline, hard work, and responsibility.

Their bi-weekly trips to the barbershop became a ritual, a sacred bonding experience. Mark would sit beside John, watching intently as the barber worked his magic. At first, John felt self-conscious, awkward, and unsure. But as the weeks went by, he began to embrace the routine, the precision, and the sense of transformation.

Week by week, John started to see himself in a new light, as a flattop guy, just like Mark. He almost couldn’t fathom how he ever dealt with his shaggy mop. He began to adopt Mark's mannerisms, his posture, and his confidence.

After a lengthy business trip, Mark returned home to find his buddy John with a fresh horseshoe, all on his own accord. Mark noticed the change and smiled, proud of his protégé, clapping him on the back. "You're becoming a flattop guy, through and through."

John felt a sense of belonging, of being part of a secret club. He started to see the world in a different way, as a place where discipline and order reigned supreme. And he knew that Mark would always be there, guiding him, mentoring him, and shaping him into the best version of himself.

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