[Beginning my first new story in about five years!]
"Steven--when was the last time you got a hair cut?"
Steven ran his hand through his thick head of hair before answering his wife. "I don't know, Sue...maybe three months?"
"It looks awful--you have to do something about it!" Sue complained.
"I know," he admitted, "but the place I always went to closed back then, and I hate trying out new barbers. I'm afraid they'll do a butcher job and then it'll be weeks before it grows out enough to try another place!"
Sue sighed. "I've been telling you for weeks that my sister Vera will be happy to cut your hair...and for free!"
"But Vera runs a beauty salon...and not even a uni-sex place. It's a really old-style women-only salon. I can't go there!" Steven protested.
"I called her earlier today," Sue replied. "She'll take you in just before closing, then lock the place up and work on you without anyone else around." She put her hands on her hips. "Please, honey, for me?"
"Okay," Steven relented. "What time?"
So it was that, at 5:30 that evening, Steven stood before the door of Vera DeManden's House of Style. Summoning his courage, he walked through the door and stood before the reception desk. "Hi," he began hesitantly, "I'm...."
"...you're Steven, Miss Vera's brother-in-law," the receptionist answered perkily. She was a cute blonde with ringlet curls and big blue eyes, maybe about 18 years old. "She's been expecting you." She picked up a phone and pushed a button. "Miss Vera, Steven's here....yes, I'll send him back."
She turned her attention back to Steven. "Miss Vera is waiting for you in the special services room. Just walk straight back to the red door and knock." She pointed to the rear of the salon.
Steven nodded and began the walk to the rear. Along the way, he had to pass the few remaining customers and the stylists working on them. He got a number of stares...and a number of giggles, too. He reached the door and knocked.
"Come right in, Steven." He opened the door to face his sister-in-law. Vera was a tall redhead with a voluptuous figure, unhidden by the stylist's uniform and apron she wore. Her skirt was six inches above her knees and revealed her glamorous legs perched on six-inch heels. She smiled as he timidly entered the room, eyeing all the paraphernalia of feminine beautifying that it held. "No reason to be afraid, Steven," Vera said, smiling. She stood by a typical hair-styling chair, not really very different from the barbers' chairs he was used to. "Have a seat."
Steven did as directed. Vera ran her hands through his hair. "I do so love working on a really thick head of hair like yours, Steven," she said. "But it's very dirty. Let's start with a shampoo, shall we?" Without waiting for Steven to reply, she spun the chair around so that Steven faced away from the mirror and sink, and adjusted the chair so that his head was over the sink. She turned on the water, adjusted the temperature and began wetting down his head. Then she squirted on some shampoo and worked it into a lather.
As she worked, she talked: "Doesn't that feel good, Steven? So good to feel my strong fingers working through your hair, scrubbing your scalp. It's sort of relaxing to have this done for you, isn't it?" She continued in this manner throughout the shampoo and Steven felt himself drifting into a light slumber. "That's it, Steven, just relax and let me work on you. I promise you'll enjoy it...relax, let your eyes close, relax and sink deep into the chair. Sink deep. Sink deeper....."
Steven did not fall asleep...but he did fall into the hypnotic trance Vera directed him to. "That's good, Steven. Just drift in your trance while I work on you. All you hear is my voice....all you care about is my voice and what I ask you to do. Anything I say sounds right and good, isn't that true, Steven?"
"....right and good..." Steven murmured.
By now, Vera was rinsing out his hair. She finished, wrapped it in a towel to absorb the excess water, then brought his seat back to an upright position. "Steven, you're going to get a lot more than a haircut, today. I'm going to give you a full makeover. That's all right, isn't it, Steven?"
"...all right..." Steven replied, dreamily.
She unwrapped the towel and rolled over a stand filled with curlers. She picked one up and began rolling Steven's hair. "I'm going to give you the cutest head of permanent curls, honey. You'll just love it when I'm done! You do love having your hair curled, don't you?"
"...love having hair curled...."
"I knew you would. All girls do. Oh...and we can't call you Steven anymore, can we? You'll be Stephanie from now on, right? You'll be Stephanie Stay-hard...but I'll explain about that later. Who are you, dear?"
"...Steph--Stephanie Stay-hard..." he replied.
She finished his head of curlers and wrapped a cover over it. "Now stand up, darling, we have to go out into the salon for you to sit under the dryer."
More to come