Writer's comment : Oh, gods I felt silly here... Mostly due to Korgan's new, ahum, accent...
The Hairbutcher of Seville
"Awww, momma," Vierna pouted as she practically cradled her long white hair. "I don't wanna get a hair-cut!"
Viconia sighed as she navigated her Ford Fiesta, or 'old rust-bucket' as she was calling it these days, through the busy streets of her home town, looking for a parking space that would place her at least a single block away from the local barbershop. "The fact that you are currently cradling your hair in your lap, should be reason enough for a hair-cut."
"Vierna," Viconia stressed, knowing very well how fast Drow hairgrowth was, especially for kids. "A week more and your hair will reach the back of your knees! Coach Fentan can't and won't let you on the baseball field like that. If you should trip and fall you could hurt yourself..."
"Okay," Vierna pouted. "But not too short!"
Viconia shook her head and parked her excuse for a car in one of the few free spaces she could find, and with some swift maneuvering, she shot her small car into the space just before a lizard-man wearing shades could move his corvette in. After shooting the lizard-man a final sly grin, she decided having a small car did have its advantages. As the lizard-man went in search for a new space, Viconia let her daughter disembark her iron horse to go in search of the barbershop.
A reasonable walk later, not to mention a brief stop at a toystore so Vierna could rummage through the newly released games, they arrived at the Bloodaxe barbershop.
It was a traditional italian barbershop with huge windows in front, and a multicolored pole with a white orb on top. Viconia didn't like the way the barber's eyes lit up whenever someone with long hair entered, but he did his job well.
As soon as mother and daughter entered, they were greeted by the Korgan Bloodaxe, italian-dwarven barber. "Mamma Mia!" he practically shouted. "What'a love-ly head'a hair!" he told Vierna and ruffled her white hair.
Viconia glanced around. The place had changed little since the last two months they were here. It was still a stylish, yet traditional place, with luxurious leather seats in front of large mirrors and a clean waiting area with (gasp) new magazines. But, still, the speakers of the shop still continuously piped in the score of 'The Barber of Seville'. Its cheerfulness often grated Viconia's nerves, but Vierna seemed to like it...
"Would'a ya lik'a your hair... short? Really'a short?" Korgan said, that mad glint appearing in his eyes once more.
"Vierna?" Viconia asked, knowing full well Vierna would never want her hair short anyway, but she still wanted to give her daughter the opportunity to choose, even though Viconia wouldn't allow anything else than 'the usual'.
"Eeeeeeeh," Vierna asked. "What have ya got?"
"The usual," Viconia quickly broke in. In only two months time, Vierna's hair had grown from the back of her neck to almost to the back of her knees. As Vierna crawled into the kiddie-chair, Korgan shoved a bench to the back of the chair to stand on. After wetting Vierna's hair, he lowered both his hands, and, quick as a flash, drew two razor-sharp scissors from his belt and raised them triumphantly.
"Korgan, you know what I'll do to you if you snip in Vierna's ears?" Viconia threatened as she took a seat in the waiting area and picked up the latest edition of 'Muppets Monthly'.
"Giv'a me a break!" Korgan retorted. "I'am a professionalle barber, eh?" That said, he dual-wielded two scissors and moved through Vierna's hair like a tornado. But just as a pouty Vierna was unaware of the growing pile of hair forming at Korgan's feet, Viconia's cell-phone went off.
With a disgusted sigh, she tossed down the magazine and took the phone from her coat and answered the call. What was left of her good mood flew out the window when she found out the caller was in fact, dean Odesseiron.
"What do you want?... I'm still at the barber-shop... I SAID I'm still at the barber-shop, I'll put that parcel in the mail as quickly as possible... yeah, I KNOW I could only leave an hour early if I posted that parcel but... I'm watching my girl... LOOK! I'll get around to it... NOW?! Why NOW?!..."
Viconia let out a disgusted sigh. "Sure, sure... NOW! Sure thing, Adolf... Yeah, yeah, I KNOW your first name is Edwin, you humorless ignorant pig... LOOK! YOUR precious parcel will be delivered right now... A replacement for your mother's crystal decanter which you broke last month? Oh, dear, is that why I heard the sound of glass breaking when I took that speedbump?... Just kidding, just kidding, I'll mail it..." she said, replacing her phone.
"Vierna," Viconia said. "I have to bring that parcel in the back of the car to the post office on the corner. I'll be back a little later..."
The irate Drow threw open the door to the barber-shop. After standing in line for half an hour to get Edwins' stupid parcel on the mail, though she was sorely tempted to 'accidentally' drop it while waiting, she was finally back where she was supposed to be. But as soon as she entered, she almost became one of those rare elves who experienced a heart-attack.
She almost didn't recognize Vierna at first, and frantically looked for the mother of this other Drow child, but she was forced back into harsh reality when Vierna greeted her with a cheerful 'Hi momma!'.
Vierna's hair was... strange. It was completely poofed up, an enormous volume. But there was no longer a trace of white.
There was blue, red, pink, orange, yellow, black and purple, but there was not a single trace of white. There were, however, several thick and thin braids tied with rubber bands. Several strange plastic beads, round, triangles and cubes, were placed haphazardly into her formerly pretty hair. In fact, the strange hair-do was even bigger than Vierna's head.
"But... but... but... but... but..." Viconia stammered.
"Isn't my hair pretty?" Vierna beamed. "Mister Korgan asked me what I wanted, and I asked him what he got, and he took out this book of photos and I pointed out this one and now I have it..."
"But... but... but... but... but..."
"It is'a beautifull'a masterpiece!" Korgan beamed. "Bellisimo hair!"
"But... but... but... but... but..."
"Come on, momma!" Vierna said, took a twenty from her mother's purse and gave it to Korgan and led her baffled mother onto the street.
"It's impossible to grasp!" Viconia said as she paced through the teacher's lounge at the university where she lectured. Joneleth and Valen were turning the teacher's lounge more and more into a rec-room, having recently added a new TV and having the coffeemaker replaced with a more efficient model. "I don't get it! I was gone for half an hour and the mad barber of Seville turns my sweet innocent baby into a multi-colored monster!"
"Such things happen," Valen said, dividing his time between the ranting Viconia and the 'Today Show'.
Joneleth poured himself a mocha java and downed it in one gulp. "Oh, don't worry. I've stopped counting al the whimsical hair-do's Bodhi has had. Short, blonde, red, purple, punk, spikes, a 'finger' shaved in the back of her head, Kojak-look except for a pony-tail..."
"I mean, she had to sleep on her fore-head last night! I sat next to her bed for hours in case the pillow would smother her!" Viconia ranted as she paced.
"Such things happen," Valen said, now fully focused on the 'Today Show'.
"I'd ruffle Vierna's hair, like I always do every morning, but I'm afraid I'll never be able to find my hand again..." Viconia said, and, in her current state, tripped over the carpet and fell forward, slipping across the TV with one hand as she fell.
"NO!" Valen gasped.
"I'm alright, don't worry," the Drow said as she picked herself up.
"So what?" Valen said as she took out a sprayer of cleaning fluid and rag and started to clean the screen. "You could have hurt the TV!"
After muttering a silent obscenity involving a certain vampire and a gallon of holy water, she turned to the subject that had her up in arms in the first place.
"Oh, don't worry," Joneleth said, "it's a passing fancy. She'll have forgotten about it in less than a week."
"I just worry about what the other kids in school would say to her..." Viconia shook her head. "I told her to stop by here first before going home. I half expect her to come here in tears..."
"Mom," was greeted from the dooropening, neither cheerful nor friendly. Vierna was there, standing triumphantly in the dooropening. There was a hard look in her eyes, and she was surrounded with an air of superiority. But the strangest was that she was wearing a different t-shirt than she had left with this morning. It was a pitch-black outfit, and on it was the phrase 'Die, Harry Potter! DIE!', directly above the depiction of the young wizard-wannabe screaming as he was being lowered onto a giant chainsaw.
"What the hell happened to you?!" Viconia shouted.
"Everybody liked my hair... I am 'cool', now..." Vierna said resolutely.
"And where did you get that awful shirt?" Viconia asked, raising her voice just a little. "What happened to your 'Hello Kitty'-shirt?"
"Don't be a fretting Freddy, mom," Vierna snorted. "It's in my backpack. And when you're 'cool', you don't wear 'Hello Kitty'-shirts. I bought this one from my own pocket-money."
"But you were saving your money to buy Neverwinter Nights!" Viconia added.
"When you're 'cool' you don't play games, you live the 'life'..." Vierna replied.
"Besides," Joneleth broke in, "Morrowind is better anyway."
"YOU keep out of this," Viconia hissed then turned back to Vierna, "And what exactly do you mean by 'the life'?"
"You know, the 'streetwise life'. The hanging-out, the..."
"You're only six years old!" Viconia snarled.
"Oh, don't be a doofus, mom!" Vierna snorted. "Anyway, for dinner I'd like a pizza tonight..."
"We are having baked potatoes," Viconia narrowed her eyes.
"But I WANT a pizza! 'Cool' kids eat 'Cool' food..."
"That's IT!" Viconia shouted. "I am taking you home right now!"
"Not in that uncool car," Vierna stressed, that same hard look appearing in her blue eyes. "I'll just take my BMX. Later, squares..." she said, and was out the door, leaving her dumbstruck mother to gape at the dooropening.
"Wow," Valen said, "Instant puberty."
"What did that hair to my precious, innocent and sweet girl?" Viconia asked herself.
"You've got to nip this one in the bud, Vic," Joneleth sighed. "Vierna is one of those rare kids who doesn't give a damn about popularity and has a good head on her shoulders. But now she's tasted power and it's gone to her head already. It's just like it went with Bodhi... Vierna will end up smoking in the girl's bathroom soon enough if this isn't stopped."
Imagining Vierna as a miniature Bodhi almost brought tears to Viconia's eyes. But first, some revenge on the mad barber was in order...
"I'm leaving..." Viconia said.
"HAH!" Sounded from the hallways as Edwin in his usual red blazer entered the room. "Good thing I just happened by there. You still have one hour to go, Viconia, and..."
"YOU!" the Drow screeched. "You and your stupid parcel ruined my daughter's life! I'll KILL YOU!"
"On second thought, you may go... Go now... Please?" Edwin muttered in fear.
It was a busy day for Korgan. No less then three children were sitting in the waiting-room, getting ready to get their haircuts. Those would be his last clients today. Blissfully wiping a huge pile of hair into a corner, he unaware of the coming thunderstorm... The door to the shop was thrown open, and suddenly he was faced with a very, very, very angry Drow.
"H... Hello there, missa DeVir," Korgan stammered. "What'a... What'a canna I do fer you?"
Viconia said nothing, but grabbed one of the shaving devices from the table. A grin of pure murder crossed her ebony features as she advanced on the dwarven barber, turning the device on and off for good measure.
Realizing her intent, the dwarf fell back and crawled into the corner. "No, no! Not'a the beard! Please, not'a the beard!"
"Kiss your beard goodbye!" Viconia snarled. Korgan closed his eyes... but the dreaded shaver never came close. When he opened his eyes again, he noticed Viconia's attention had been drawn to the giggling children, two girls, one boy."
"Where are their mothers?" Viconia asked.
"Well, they'a went away to some'a kinda sale and left their bambinos here..."
"Say," Viconia said, grinning like a fox. "How do you feel about starting... a trend?"
Korgan said nothing, but from the look in his eyes, it was obvious that the score of 'The barber of Seville' was playing through his mind.
"I can't believe how stupid I looked," Vierna said the next day, all foreign obstacles and colors removed from her hair, making it shiny, white and de-poofed again. Mother and daughter were having dinner, left-over baked potatoes. Viconia was happy that, when Vierna's monstrous hair-do disappeared, so did her attitude. "I mean, Joanna struts around like she owns the school, momma, and she talks stupid and thinks she's sooo 'cool' while she's a total dork..."
"Tell me all about it," Viconia smiled.
"I got my money back for that shirt," Vierna said, now again wearing her 'Hello Kitty'-shirt.
"I'm glad you're interested in games again," Viconia nodded. And that you haven't turned into a miniature Bodhi... she added mentally.
"Are you coming to my baseball-practise tomorrow?" Vierna asked.
"Always," she smiled, and decided she'd never leave Vierna alone at the barber-shop again.
6. The Hairbutcher of Seville
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