Short back and sides…

Time to end, for now, the sabbatical and relate a short tale that had been niggling me.  It’s short and it’s simple.

First of all though, look at my beloved wheat fields!  They’re a complete mess….  Where once I had this…

I now have this…

I’m guessing the farm is either gone, the farmer is long gone or more likely the land was sold when farmers preferred to sell where they couldn’t diversify.


I recently enrolled on a creative writing course (which for one reason or another I didn’t complete) and the first piece of ‘homework’ was to write a ten minute scribble.  We were given a few titles to choose from and the only one that stood out immediately for me was, ‘running with scissors’.  I can’t say I remember ever running with scissors but I definitely can say I’ve ‘ruined’ with scissors…

In the midst of a balmy, warm summer afternoon, me and my friend Kathleen sat hidden in a crop circle that we’d flattened somewhere in one of my beloved wheat fields.  Access to our haven was reached via a network of tunnels, or channels, as you may want to think of them, that were made by crawling and flattening the wheat stalks in front as we crept.

In the middle of our little crop circle sat an old car seat; we’d dragged it for miles from outside of a scrapyard that sat on the outskirts of our village.  There was always something interesting laying around, however, access to the scrapyards were barred by adults who would never allow you in – unless of course you could sneak in and be careful not to alert anyone whilst in mid-sneak; walls were often scaled and fences climbed.  Kathleen was a quiet, calm, enigmatic sort with a deepness about her.  Her conversation and antics around me flourished, as did mine around her, however, around others, especially in school, she seemed distant, almost a loner.  At times it was difficult to remember whether or not you’d seen her on any particular day at all?  During our short friendship in those summer weeks though, she was bright, flamboyant and carefree; though should anyone else join us or interrupt our close duet, she would become a whole lot more introvert, shy and a little melacholic; it was hard work getting to know Kathleen but once you did, she was a wonderful companion.

Kathleen had the fair, innocent and loveable pull of any little girl that was still a distance from her teens.  Pale but not sickly with fine freckles across the smooth bridge of her nose.  Her smile was a happy smile, not enforced, not guarded and not false.  Her eyes would narrow quite sharply when she giggled and the cutest dimple of a dimple would appear deep in only one side of her face.  Her hair, untied, fell easily across her brow, and down over her shoulders.  There was nothing magnificent about Kathleen’s mane, it was fair and thin and you just know that styling it later in life might well prove frustrating; there was no particular body about it.  She was for all the World, a plain and simple girl, but she was my friend.

I remember at this point having very little hair as I’d only just been to the barbers.  Making an initial fuss when first seated in the barber chair would often lead to the promise of a lolly-pop for the better behaviour; I always tried to pre-empt the barber’s next move and which position he’d want my head in as he mowed away my locks, often failing and feeling a firm push in the opposite direction.  Had I realised back then I’d have just sat still because it made no difference anyway, I always got my lolly.  With this in mind, I suggested to Kathleen that we play barber shop.  We had a chair after all, however, no scissors.  I set off keenly with Kathleen bringing up the rear, skipping, mumbling and fidgeting with something or other…  After an almost tip-toe trek into the house and back out again, I managed to acquire a nice, big, shiny pair of scissors; my expertise in sneaking around the kitchen and ‘borrowing’ what I needed was second to none!

Back in the crop circle, Kathleen sat, wondering, bewildered and at a loss as to what she would tell her folks when she would later arrive home?  It was okay though, she still had hair, although she’d have to carry it home in her hands.


About Robert

A fifty-something, retired Celestial Travel Agent. Walked many paths; some good, lots bad. Meandering through the past, plodding in the present, crawling toward the future.
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