The barbershop dimmed for a moment, but this was fortunately offset by the boatloads of lightning outside. Lance took this opportunity to raise the razor in his hand, turn his head to Dawson Filter, and quote his uncle Maurice, saying “A clean scalp makes for plain answers, my boy.”
“Maybe I could give you realer answers if you asked questions,” Dawson replied, “instead of fill in the blanks.”
“Just finish the sentence.”
“You can’t end a sentence with a preposition.”
“Then I might as well die hard,” Dawson threatened, proceeding to repeat the word “with” 28 times, with implied periods separating the wretched creatures.
“You know what I have to do.”
Lance, seething with rage, thrust the razor into Dawson’s locks, referred to by Dawson’s dentist as “The only good thing about September.” A tuft fell to the moose-bone floor, and Lance, in that moment, established himself as a force for the Propagation of Sad Things nearly on par with the likes of J. Gordon Whitehead.
He reached into his uniform’s pocket for a tomato’s cheese sandwich. “You know, Dawson,” He monologued, I’ve been reading up on touch-based methods for diagnosing optical conditions. I worked out last night that if I wasn’t already blind, my glaucoma would fix that in about sixty business days. Double-blind, my boy; do you have any idea how much better than you this will make me? How do you think it would feel to be double-bald, hm? Double the negative, double the fun, as they say in the handbook; but I digress. Negative hair, that would be a sight to be seen by seers.” Taking a chequebook from behind his right ear, Lance chuckled. He made several marks on the paper, and said, grinning “Sign here.”
“2 hair” It read. “Payable to the order of Lance and friends”
Dawson signed, deciding he had nothing better to do with his life, and handed the cheque to Lance, knowing it would bounce.
“Good.” Lance muttered three times (a personal best), and inhaled sharply. “I suppose I’ll collect on the first now, then.”
“Cheques are not actually written approvals for muggings.”
“Bah, this is a barbershop; we stand far above the law here.
“If I might add some words,” Babe added, “let these be them.”
While Dawson was busy being, Lance proceeded to liberate his scalp from the fibers society had told it to maintain. The scalp was finally free. She was no longer Dawson Filter’s scalp. She still resided atop Dawson’s skull, quite happily, actually; but she was just a scalp whom he happened to use on a fairly regular basis. The world could finally see her as she was, not by the work she’d laboured over for the man who’d laid claim to her. She would go on to write:
“The Gate was shut. All night watchmen on the walls heard the rumour of the enemy that roamed outside, burning field and tree, and hewing any man that they found abroad, living or dead. The numbers that had already passed over the River could not be guessed in the darkness, but when morning, or its dim shadow, stole over the plain, it was seen that even fear by night had scarcely over-counted them.” (The Return of The King, Lord of The Rings Part 3, 1955)
Sylvester Denny remembered his existence, and looked into Dawson’s face. I scrolled up to the top of this page, and upon seeing the title, felt an obligation to include the word “rain” in this post. I already did, once, I suppose; but that time didn’t feel quite right.
“Rain.” Sylvester whispered. “Rain.”
I’m pretty sure that now it works.