Jake and Frank had been to a lot of metal shows together. They loved the music, the atmosphere, and the community. But ever since their makeover at the hands of Metalstolerable.com they’d gotten some funny looks whenever they went out to see a band play. Between Jake’s platinum blond beehive and the stiletto heels that kept him out of the pit, and Frank’s short and tidy haircut which gave him a sort of vintage vibe, taking his leather jacket in a rockabilly rather than metal direction when he was all decked out, they tended to look out of place, but that hadn’t stopped them.
They liked their new looks, and the way their new looks looked on each other, and after some ribbing, their friends had gotten used to it.
That night, at a Behemoth show Jake wore a short leopard print skirt and his favourite Panopticon t-shirt now cropped to show off flat stomach and newly pierced navel, and with the neckline cut out to display his elegant collar bones, and Frank wore leather. Even so, they stood out, and not everyone approved of these aberrations among the sea of leather, denim, and long loose centre-parted hair.
One such disapproving individual was a young man with long honey-coloured hair wearing a denim vest with Burzum, Peste Noir, and Wolfnacht patches on it (among others). He stomped over to the pair, having just realised that his desiring gaze, which had been fixed on Jake all evening, had in fact been fixed upon a man.
“What are you two faggots doing here?” he demanded over the roar of the music, beer sloshing out of his cup.
“What the hell does it look like we’re doing?” Jake snapped back. “We’re enjoying the show.”
“This music isn’t for people like you,” sneered the youth, as Frank stepped up. In heels Jake already stood taller than the little fascist wanna-be, but Frank was the more imposing of the two.
“Hey man,” said Frank, eyeing up the dude, taking in the patches on his vest and knowing what they meant, “I’d say this music isn’t for people like you.”
“You’re not metal,” the guy spat, “fags aren’t metal, it’s degenerates like you that are ruining the scene!”
The club was filled with the howl of guitars, drum beats shook the floorboards. It was the kind of music you feel with your whole body, the kind of music you feel with your whole body. Jake looked the dude over, he was maybe a little younger than them, 21 or 22, and if it weren’t for his politics, he might have been cute. The air felt almost electric in that moment like time had slowed for a decision to be made. And then, before anyone could say or do anything, Jake and Frank stepped forward.
“Do you want to take this outside?” said Frank, cocking his head and cracking his tattooed and beringed knuckles.
The guy was full of beer-induced confidence and the belief that pansies couldn’t fight so he agreed with a cruel smile.
The parking lot was empty and the full moon provided more than enough light. Jake and Frank had been in a few fights before, so they squared up with the practised ease of old pros.
It wasn’t a long fight. It was two against one, and Jake didn’t even break a nail wailing on the guy, once he was subdued, Frank got their would-be assailant in a headlock.
“Babe, you got those battery-operated clippers in the car?” asked Frank, referring to the clippers Jake used to clean up the nape of Frank’s neck between trips to the barber as they travelled.
“Yeah… what’d you have in mind?”
“I figure if this little fuck is going to act like a skinhead, maybe he oughta look like one too,” replied Frank. The guy struggled, but was no match for Frank who held him fast as Jake hurried off to retrieve the implement in question. By now a small crowd had gathered. Apparently, the guy Frank had in the headlock wasn’t popular in the local scene and a lot of people were cheering the couple on.
Jake returned with a set of rather impressive-looking clippers.
“Will you do the honours?” asked Frank.
“Hey, I didn’t mean it, I’m sorry,” said the Burzum fan suddenly apologetic, “it’s cool, please don’t cut my hair. I just run my mouth when I’m drunk is all.”
“A bigot and a coward, oh come on, it’s just hair,” said Frank, “and I should know, I got nearly as much of a shearing as you’re gonna get last month… though I’d won something other than the dickhead of the year award.”
“Please, my girlfriend loves my hair,” pleaded the young man.
“Should’ve thought of that before running your mouth,” said Jake flipping on the clippers with a smooth gesture, grabbing the guy’s hair and pausing for a moment.
“You know what, I’ll convince Frankie here to let you go on one condition,” said Jake with a malicious grin, “I know why you got so pissed at us when you did. I’d seen you giving me the eye all night, and when you realised I wasn’t a chick you got mad. Poor baby, but if you apologise for your behaviour and for ogling me we’ll think about letting you go unscathed, what do you say?”
“Fuck you, faggot, you could only dream of getting a guy like me, you t***** cunt,” spat the guy, unwilling to admit to the attraction he’d felt towards the slender blond.
“Guess he’s made his choice,” said Frank.
“Guess he has,” agreed Jake as he pressed the clippers to the nape of their would be assailant’s neck and pushed forward, a swath of silky honey blond hair came away, slipping over Frank’s leather-clad arm. The guy went still, eyes widening as he felt the cool air against his scalp. Jake kept going with ruthless efficiency, shearing the boy like a sheep. He left only the hair at the very front and in front of his ears. He’d had an idea. It was precisely the sort of thing a guy like their new “friend” would hate.
“What if we did something a bit more… skin-bird than oi-boy,” said Jake with a grin, “I think our buddy here’d look real cute with bangs, what do you folks think?”
The assembled observers hooted and hollered in approval. Someone even had a pair of sewing scissors in their purse and so between that and the clippers it wasn’t long before the young man who had formerly looked like any other metalhead (albeit one of the more bigoted members of the subculture) sported a fairly neat Chelsea cut, buzzed to the skin except for a long blunt cut fringe and tassels in front of the ears. It was a cut that was both obviously feminine, and extremely short.
Jake showed the guy his new look in the mirror of his compact.
“There, now you look like the skinhead you so obviously want to be, or well a skinbird really, do you want me to finish the job, take the rest down to the scalp?” asked Jake cocking a hip and smiling triumphantly.
The young man’s face drained of color as he looked at himself. He wasn’t sure what to say. On the one hand, the loss of any more hair seemed unbearable, but the stupid girly bangs Jake had snipped for him were just so feminine. With his hair like that, he did really look quite a bit like a standard skinhead chick.
“…you can finish the job,” he said finally in a tone of utter defeat, and so Jake handed the clippers off to Frank who buzzed off what little remained of the guy’s once glorious mane. Once he’d finished he released the guy who knew better than to try and take a swing now. He looked at his shoes. Without the hair framing his face he looked oddly vulnerable now.
“Get out of here,” said Jake, “and don’t let me see your bald ass here again.”
The guy slunk away with his tail between his legs.
“Pretty hair, shame he didn’t deserve it,” said Jake picking up a lock from the asphalt of the parking lot.
“Maybe this’ll teach him a lesson,” said Frank, smoothing his own close-cropped locks.
“I doubt it,” said Jake, “but it was fun.”
He leaned in to kiss Frank, who met him halfway, and with that, they returned to the show.