Take It All Off

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bloneohs 06/11/23 (Sun) 17:36:55 #56389128

Habitual lurker here, so apologies if I format this weird, but I had a strange encounter that I need to get out there before I forget all the details.

To start off, every day for years I've taken the same route to work: a 30 minute bus trip, followed by a short walk through town, which has let me watch as tons of places opened and closed. It sucks, really, but businesses don't last around here. When you see a new place, unless it's a McDonalds or something, you can bet they'll be putting up that "For Sale" sign soon.

With that in mind, on a completely regular Friday, I was pleasantly surprised to notice a barber pole poking out above the sidewalk out in front of me. See, normally it takes folks a few days to scout out the location, do a little window shopping for their window shop, and then you get a few days to watch as they settle in, but no! Right in front of me stood a picturesque barber shop. I don't know how long I stood there, baffled, aimlessly pulling my eyes from chair, to mirror, to the clippings on the wall, but at some point my wandering eyes found a sign hanging at the door, saying:


I was through the door before I could think; hit by a wave of cool air and the welcoming ring of bell, then quiet. After the silence settled, a handle turned on the lone door across the room, then swung open to reveal a man who I could only assume to be the proprietor of the magnificent locale.

From a distance I could tell he was dressed impeccably -a bit too formal for a barber perhaps, but the dress shirt and tie managed to complement his form perfectly. He was tall, not intimidatingly so, but enough to mean I had to turn up my head as he began to approach. As he did, I was taken aback by his face. It was Perfect. That's all. No other way to describe it.

He welcomed me and apologized for not being in the parlor when I arrived, but I didn't really mind; I was charmed the moment I heard his voice. I've got no idea what I said in response, but I can recall his side of the conversation exactly.

"So what brings you here?" I probably talked about seeing the pole outside. I'd guess I also noted about needing a shave because next he said:

"Well you can count yourself lucky, because that's exactly my business." Then he laughed. I probably did too.

"How much are you looking to take off?" Given the opportunity, I know what I'd want. My deal with hair is simple: On top of the head? Love it. Anywhere else? Hate the stuff.

I remember him chuckling at least, then saying, "Well that I can do. Why don't you take a seat?" I did.

"What do you shave with at home?" Nothing special. I'd have said that.

He laughed, "Well all I'll need is this little friend right here." He took a straight razor out of his pocket. "No need to look so worried, my friend. When you've got the experience I have, this is all you need."

I don't know if that would have calmed me down, but I sat there as he brought it up to my face and started getting to work gently pressing the razor down my cheek. I might have tried to move, because I noticed that was holding me in place with his other hand. Not aggressively, but firm. I was stuck watching it all through the mirror.

I sat there as he did the first pass of my lower face. I could see as the brambles fell, revealing the smooth skin underneath. In a blink it was all gone and I was ready to get up and pay, but he was still holding me in place.

I didn't resist as he started on the second pass. At first I couldn't tell any difference, but he was managing to fight off the shadow that I'd gotten used to sticking around when I worked on myself. The precision was enthralling and I found myself completely transfixed on her razor; watching the tiny particles of hair as they jumped from my face at the slightest push.

Soon he started on another pass, driving the razor slowly along my cheek while it started to sear. I felt the urge to scream welling up inside me but my body refused to react. I think I heard him chuckle in the silence, but I couldn't look to check. All I could do was stare as the razor traveled so gently, so daintily, across my burning skin.

He finished the pass and lowered the blade, giving me a chance to glance at her face. It was strange, she looked contemplative as she stared back at me, but where I expected an inquisitive air, scanning for any spots he'd missed, it felt more like he was sizing me up; choosing how to finish a fine meal.

He slowly raised the razor to my face once more, flipping it in his hand as he did so, and pressed the blade hard against my cheek. I felt the pain bubbling up, from a sting, to that same sear before, then further. My vision was darkening as I sat there, unmoving. I could feel every pore in my face responding to the icy touch of the blade's iron; Every nerve alight as I slowly faded from consciousness.

I was out.

When I woke up I was screaming. When I calmed myself down and took a look at my surroundings I noticed that I was still in the same room. Not exactly the same room, though. It was all the same things, in all the same places, but dilapidated. The windows were boarded up, the mirror was covered in a layer of dust, all things showed age in one way or another.

I could have explored further, but I decided that I'd had enough. I forced open the door, walked into the midnight-turned main street, and left.

You might be wondering why I didn't make this post Friday. My answer? I chalked it up to a weird dream, hallucination, maybe I ate something weird, had a shave, then fabricated a bunch of memories, I don't know. I only started entertaining the thought when I realized something quite strange:

1) I was shaved clean that night.

2) The hair hasn't grown back.

Whatever's going on, I couldn't be any happier.

Severed87 06/11/23 (Sat) 11:32:56 #84632766

Is the barber a guy or a gal?

You flip flopped a couple times and I'm confused.

bloneohs 06/11/23 (Sun) 17:36:55 #56389128

Oh gosh, I didn't even notice! I wrote the whole thing down and posted before taking a look over it so shame on me I guess.

SmolderedAsh 06/17/23 (Sat) 09:11:29 #78529341

I don't think it was your goal OP, but posting this helped me out a ton.

With that preface, I'll tell you how.

I live in an apartment overlooking a plaza: Tons of stores arranged around a center bit that people shop around in. Basic everyday stuff, yeah, but those two things together mean I can people watch. Plus it's a busy place, so there's lots of people to watch.

So I was having my lunch, doin my thing, watching people who make more money than I do buy dresses that I could never afford -not that they'd even fit with my proportions- and occasionally taking bites of a ham sandwich. Sometimes it's just like that, yeah, but I like to consider myself an observant gal, so when something is happening, I notice it, no matter what.

That's why I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I missed a glaring weirdness as it sat in front of me throughout my whole meal. It wasn't a person making a scene or running away with some healing crystals, no, it was one of the stores, just sitting there.

To be fair to myself, the store itself wasn't weird. It was just that how people were treating it, or maybe not treating it, was. It had no traffic, in or out, none at all. Like, what I mean is, it's a busy place all day, the plaza, and even the crazy weird shit gets some curious folk popping in. Absolutely no-one? Nah, no go. Something was up.

So I focused around the building for a minute and noticed something super crazy. It's not just that nobody was going in, nobody even looked at the place! I was a bit taken aback, I'll say, right bamboozled, but that isn't even the craziest part. Once again I like to call myself observant, so this is very very embarrassing, but I hadn't even noticed the most important thing.

A Barber Pole.

I'd read your post just the other day, so maybe it was just a recency thing, but I felt the puzzle pieces connect immediately. The weird ghost barber, manifesting for me? I've been desperate to have my own paranormal experience, so I was shitting myself with excitement.

I got up -slowly, we love back pain <3- and headed down the stairs. The walk across the plaza was a small war through a crowd of roaming shoppers, but I eventually got to that fabled storefront. As expected: no foot-traffic, but undoubtedly,


I was in, I'd bet, even faster than OP, and I was met with that same wonderful ringing tone.

The Proprietor arrived soon after. Not to say I doubted OP, but when they said perfect they didn't get across how perfect she actually was. I'm not even gonna try. Manifest the specter yourselves nerds. (Or whatever the fuck she is idfk)

Just like with OP, she apologized for leaving the parlor unattended, then the conversation went a little something like this (remembered what she said clearly as well, who would have guessed):

"So what brings you here?" I must have talked about the post because she said,

"Notoriety? That'll be good for business. Are you looking for a haircut yourself?" I wasn't, I don't think, but professionals know best, eh? She laughed at something I said. I laughed at her laughing, then she looked me up and down.

"I'm sure we can figure something out." She motioned for me to sit down, and I did, maybe not as slowly as I would have liked because she said,

"Are you alright hon?" My back probably flared up. Y'know, people say I'm "blessed", but I'm constantly inclined to disagree.

"Let's see what we can do then." She took out her straight razor and showed it to me. I must have looked puzzled, because she said,

"No need to worry, honey, I can do anything with this little fella." She tossed it up and I watched it as it flipped, reflecting the parlor lights into my eyes. When she caught it I could feel her other hand holding me in place.

"Just hold still."

Through the mirror I could see as, rather than raising the razor, she instead slowly lowered it against my chest, pushing it flat just below my collarbone, before stopping. Just holding it there.

I felt, in that pause, a strange sensation. Nothing should be happening, nothing could be happening, but against all reason the blade was getting hotter. I could see the metal starting to change from the inside out, emanating an pulsing orange glow.

It was then when I felt her starting to push, driving his blade down into my breast.

I could see it disappear into my flesh, leaving the uprooted flesh to curl up and shrivel like wood scrapings before fraying into desiccated strands.

I could feel the heat suffocating me, my own smoldering body filling my nose, but I sat there. Held there. Watching as she shaved away my right breast.

Some time later she paused to admire her work. I took a breath. Then she moved to the other side.

Scrape after scrape after scrape after scrape, I sat, and watched, and smelt, and burned. When she finished, when he was absolutely, certainly, done, she looked down at me and smiled a satisfied grin.

"So how does it look?" In the shock, finally set free from whatever hold she had on my body, I obliged, standing and walking up to the mirror.

"I might have taken a bit too much off the top, but I'm sure it'll grow back." She laughed. I had barely been paying attention to how it all looked. I gasped.

I was flat as a board.

There was no scarring, not even signs of blood. They just sat there as though they'd always been that way; Small, light, and unobtrusive.

Tears overtook my vision and I turned to look at the proprietor, to thank her for what he'd done to me, but she was gone.

The reality that prevailed as I cleared my bleary eyes was just the one you might expect: A dingy old abandoned barber shop.

I knew my encounter was over.

I went and bought myself a new dress. (Still figuring out my wardrobe situation :/ )

But anyway, Thank you OP.

bloneohs 06/11/23 (Sun) 17:36:55 #56389128

It feels weird to take credit for helping when all I did was make a weird vent post on a spooky ghost forum.

Good for you though. Happy to hear it helped someone out.

deleted user 07/01/23 (Sat) 01:00:26 #12985732

I found mine in a mall.

It's a rundown place, basically empty, but good to get away from problems for a bit.

It was weird, normally everything's closed, but right there on the door was a sign, saying


Curious, I stepped in.

Unlike you all she was waiting for me, sitting on a stool with her straight razor out.

The bell still rang in the air as he spoke.

"So what brings you here?"

I tried to respond, but I choked on the words. Even still, she nodded and frowned.

"You poor child."

He looked away for a moment, to think, I assume.

"It's been such a long time…"

She turned back to me with a pained look.

"But I think it might be just what you need. Take a seat, sweetheart."

He stood there for a moment after I did. Staring at nothing. Waiting for something, or maybe nothing too.

When she did approach, I saw that she'd left the razor on the stool.

"Look at me."

She spoke quietly. I could see her through the mirror, over my shoulder.

"Look at me, sweetheart."

The mirror was a crutch.

I turned my head, and in tandem turned into a trance, locking eyes with him, stepping through to her, wandering in.

His eyes were a forest of languishing trees, slick in coatings of lacquer giving weight to the breeze.

Breathed in by her subjects, the beasts trapped within, with their hair suits oft gambled and lost as they spin.

His hand was the spindle, her leg was the wheel, her forest was dancing, his forest was real.

He coaxed me to join in the clamoring throes, and the singsong turned bellows as I blistered my toes.

She dared me upon then the bitterest of ploys, as he said then so simply "Sing with us." I soon joined.

Her voice was the twisting of brambles through stone, all I managed to muster was a bluster and moan.

Understanding my blunder, I took wheel on hand mine, and unwound my fool's covering to the spindle in twine.

I turned my head back to the mirror.

He was gone, and as the parlor, I was emptied.

I returned home, where I'd fled hours before, and saw my mother waiting for me.

She saw me back.

She called to my false name, but it did not answer her.

She spoke to me concerned, but would not meet my eyes.

She paused, gathered strength, then heaved out my true-name, which dripped from her mouth as lacquer into pools at her feet.

In its surface I saw the forest, and her forest was real.

She betrayed her sensibilities and fell throughward, up into the deep dark and languishing wood.

I saw her start to dance, her coat weft with hair left lining the courtyard, forcing other party-goers to watch their step.

As of my writing this, she dances on still.

🗿TryLoreBite 07/01/23 (Sun) 02:17:01 #74995325


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