Smooth jazz rang through Stephanie’s apartment. She was bathed, groomed, scented, dressed in something that could slide off as readily as the notes on a saxophone riff. White wine was chilled in the fridge, and the candles were lit. There was only one more thing she needed to do.
One more thing that she dreaded to do. Unwrap the mirror she kept, wrapped in cloth, stored under a pile of books. The mirror that had made this evening possible. She felt the back of her head, felt the prickly bristles on her neck.
The mirror had given her the confidence she’d always wanted. Or was she simply doing what the mirror wanted?
“Damn it.” she said, quickly ripping off the cloth protecting its surface.
Seeing her own reflection made her gasp. And then the doorbell rang.
Earlier that day
“That is a stunning pixie.” the remark made Steph look up from the book she was browsing. “Why, thank you, ” she said, turning around to see a woman her own age. A very cute woman, plump and rosy-cheeked, a cascade of blonde curly hair tumbling over her shoulders.
“I just love short hair styles, but yours is just gorgeous” she continued, nervously biting her lip. “Do you get a lot of compliments?”
Steph considered whether she could read interest in the other woman’s eyes. Did the she like short hair, or did she have a reason to be interested in women with short hair? And she HAD been reading a Sarah Waters novel …
“Yes. But that doesn’t mean I’m immune to yours.” she smiled. “My name is Stephanie, call me Steph.”
“I’m Emz-Emily, but everybody calls me Emz.”
She decided to talk hair, to gauge Emz’ intentions. “Have you ever thought about going short? I could give you my hair dressers’ address. She’s a sixty year-old lady, you’d never suspect her of being a wiz with the clippers.”
Emz blushed. “A million times, but, you know. Maybe, if I lose a bit more weight …”
“I felt the same way about my hair for a long time. And about tattoos, and everything.” Steph answered. “Look at me now.”
“Where did you get the confidence–” Emz started, before she realized how bitchy she sounded “I mean, I’d LOVE to look like you. I swear.”
Steph laughed at the awkward girl’s big eyes “It’s a long story. Buy me a coffee, and I’ll tell you everything.”
Emz seemed a bit more confident at the coffee shop, ordering for the both of them, slipping into the clearly unfamiliar role of pursuing another woman. Steph found it amusing to see her struggle, but had every intention of letting the girl win her over.
“If I only knew for sure that I’d look as good as you do, I’d chop my hair off in a heartbeat.” Emz repeated herself, again cautiously complimenting Steph.
“I’m pretty sure that I’d find you hot with any haircut.” Steph finally flirted back. “But I’ve got something at home that will make you know for sure. It’s a mirror that lets you see into the future–sort of.”
“Oh, really?” Emz smiled, a red blush over her neck and face. “How did you get it?”
Steph realized that she’d never told this story before. To anyone. “I got it at a very quaint little store. It was called, I kid you not, Dr. Tagliari’s Totally Not-Cursed Hair Utensils.”
Emily almost spit out her drink. “That sounds legit.” She laughed. “Let me guess, the store owner was a man with a waxed mustache and a long goatee?”
“Actually, he was, but he had a man bun and tattoos up to his neck. Total hipster. He told me the store’s name was ironic.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“I swear. In any case, it was a beautiful mirror, with a silver handle. I mean, it can’t have been silver for that price, I think it was, what’s it called …”
“Exactly. It looked really antique, but it came in a plastic box, so it can’t have been. And it was really pretty, I couldn’t resist buying it. And, of course, one day, looking at myself in the mirror, imagining what I’d look like with a bob, I saw myself in the mirror, wearing my hair in a shoulder-length bob. Clear as day.”
“My hair was longer than yours is then. Maybe not, yours is curly. I’d never really cut it, never had it colored, highlighted or anything. Virgin hair.”
“Oh my.” Emz replied, sitting at the edge of her seat. “I love stories about dramatic transformations.”
“In any case, the idea of getting my hair cut in a bob kept playing through my mind. I couldn’t let it go. So, that night, I booked an appointment, for the next day, at my usual salon. I almost couldn’t sleep that night, I was so anxious.” Steph continued. “For some reason, I took the mirror with me. And as I walked towards the salon, I lost my nerve. So, I took the mirror out of my handbag, and tried to visualize that style again. I couldn’t. However I tried, it looked awkward in the mirror. Still, I’d made an appointment, so I went inside.
“Do you know that feeling when you’re getting a haircut, and you see its not going well, but you can’t stop it? That’s what happened. Trisha – I’ve been with her for ten years – somehow managed to make it look frumpy and mumsy. I gave her a picture, but somehow, it ended up exactly as I saw it in the mirror the second time.”
“So, the mirror lied to you the first time?” Emz asked, more caught up in the story than she had anticipated.
“Well, as I walked out the salon, I felt so frustrated. At the corner, I took out the mirror again, to see if it really looked bad. And I saw the really cool style I’d seen in the first place. Clear as day.”
“So it’s just a really flattering mirror?”
“I couldn’t believe it either. So I looked at my reflection in the window, and I saw the frumpy style again. My real hair. But then I looked through the window, and it was another hair salon, and a stylist beckoned me to come in. Sue was her name, I kept going to her for about a year. She fixed everything, and when she was done I had the exact style I’d seen in the mirror. I mean, exactly.”
“Hmm, so when did the pixie happen?” Emz asked, and Steph noticed the blush had returned to her face “I’m a bit of a pixie aficionado.”
“Well, I kept going to Sue, and kept taking the mirror with me. And every time it predicted what would happen, I mean, if she’d leave it a little longer or shorter I’d know it beforehand. One time Sue wanted to do ombré dye on me, and I knew it before I even set foot in the store.”
“I’m not sure I can picture you with long ombré hair.”
“Oh, I was a very basic girl” Steph joked. “I only had this one tiny little wrist tattoo, all very sensible.”
“So, the mirror works on tattoos too?” Emz seemed curious.
“I tried, and no, it definitely doesn’t. But once you get a few bad tattoos, it’s easier to get more and more.” Steph joked.
“I don’t see any bad ones.” Emz flirted.
“Trust me, they’re there. But I only really got the confidence once I cut my hair short.”
“Mmm, so tell me about that.”
“Well, one day Sue told me she was moving to New Mexico.”
“Oh, no.” Emz rolled her eyes, clearly happy for the story to move on from the bob.
“So, I had to find a new hairdresser. And I used the mirror. Standing in front of the shop, I took it out, and I tried to picture myself in the mirror. And every time, it was terrible. Until I did it in front of a barbershop.”
“It’s a tiny hole in the wall, ran by an even tinier lady in her sixties. I figured, maybe she also cuts women’s hair?”
“And did she?”
“I didn’t see myself in a bob. I saw a very cute, soft pixie. Still a lot longer than what I have now, but way, way shorter than what I had then.”
“Now we’re getting somewhere.” Emz grinned.
“I told myself I wasn’t ready for that. I liked short hair on women, just … not on myself. I’ve always been afraid of looking like a fat, manly dike.”
Emz raised an eyebrow “I know some very sexy manly, fat dikes. It doesn’t sound too bad to me.”
“Yeah, you’d think that I was fourteen instead of twenty-eight, right? In any case, I chickened out. But an hour later, I realized I was still thinking about that pixie, obsessively. So I drove myself back there.”
“What do you mean, Obsessively?” Emz said, who was absentmindedly fingering her own hair now.
Steph blushed. “I mean, turned on.” She’d definitely never told this to anyone.
Emz bit her lip. “I can relate, actually.”
“When I finally plunked myself down in that seat, well, it felt like a huge relief. Have you ever had your hair cut with clippers?”
“Sort of-I mean, I’ve never had it shaved.” the blush was back, bigger than ever, and the hand that had been twirling her curls had moved towards the nape of her neck.
“Lucy didn’t even shave it that time, but just that humming sensation against your neck, hmm.” Steph smiled, thinking back. “I loved the experience, and I loved the result. I was absolutely crazy about it.”
Emz was biting her lip again. “Hmm, that sounds so good.”
-“Can I get you guys anything else?” The waitress startled them both, and Steph swallowed. How much had she overheard?
“No thanks, I’m good.” Emz shook her head, suddenly pale as a sheet. Steph looked at her glass, empty for a while. “Nothing for me either, thanks.” she managed.
“You HAVE to finish this story sometime … soon.” Emz said, laying her hand on Steph’s. “But I also have to be somewhere at one. If you want to meet back here at two thirty…”
“How about tonight, my place?” I smiled. “I’ll give you my phone number and address.”
Emily clearly liked that suggestion even better.
Back to the present
Steph had prepared herself for her date with Emily, but she wasn’t really prepared how good the girl looked in a sleeveless maxi dress, fabric taut over her chunky body.
“Oh my, you look gorgeous.” she exclaimed. “And is that-”
“It’s real.” Emily pointed at the little gold ring in her septum. “I can definitely FEEL it’s real.” she laughed.
Steph took the bottle of white wine Emily gave her, and they settled on the couch.
“That nose ring looks really hot.” Steph said, “I didn’t know you had it.”
“Thanks.” Emz smiled “I got it done this afternoon. I was going to get a tattoo, but I chickened out, sort of.”
“All day, I couldn’t stop thinking about your story.” Emz said, almost out of breath with excitement. “I’m sorry if I seem a bit crazy, but a magical mirror that lets me get short haircuts – that’s something I’ve always wanted.”
“Hmm, I don’t think it’s crazy at all. I’m a bit surprised you didn’t get haircut.” Steph said, stroking the big mound of curls on Emily’s head, sending her big hoop earrings dangling.
“Maybe you’ll take me to to the barbershop tomorrow.” Emily bit her lip.
“Mmm, she’ll know what to do with this.” Steph grinned, grabbing the hair at the girl’s nape. Emz let out a soft moan, then pulled Steph’s mouth to hers. The bristly stubble on Steph’s nape was far too short to grab, but Emily nevertheless let her hands roam freely over her lover’s scalp.
“Steph.” Emily said, when they finally broke off their kiss. “Before we continue, In case you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for short hair.”
Steph grinned. “You don’t say.”
“More than just liking lesbian hair, I mean. It’s a fetish. It ruined my last relationship. I told her far too late, and she felt betrayed, I think.”
“So, I’m not your first pixie?” Steph inquired, unsure if this was the right moment to discuss the mistakes she made in another relationship.
“I didn’t complain when she grew her hair out, I wasn’t controlling or anything. But she couldn’t stand how obsessive I was about my own hair. Why I couldn’t just cut it.”
“Hmm, and why can’t you just cut it?” Steph stroked her lover’s hair again, visibly making her squirm. “If you can get a tattoo …”
“I’m afraid.” Emily whispered. “I’ll feel gutted if it looks bad.”
“Want to try the mirror?” Steph said. “It’ll take care of any inhibitions, trust me.”
Emily laughed “There’s an actual mirror?”
“Did you think it was just a story I made up?”
“No, but, I mean, there’s no real magic, right?” Emily asked, uncertainly.
“I really believe it’s a magical mirror.” Steph said. “That’s why I want you to be cautious. You may like what you see, and when you’re under its spell there’s no turning back.”
“I’ll probably hate it.” Emily said. “I’m ninety-nine percent certain that I’ll hate it. Which is why I never try anything.”
“Last chance to back out.” Steph said, handing the mirror to Emily.
“Let’s see.” Emily said, reluctantly looking at her own reflection in the little silver mirror. Her reluctance turned to stunned surprise almost immediately.
“Does it work?” Steph asked, who, at some level, was still unsure if the effect of the mirror had been a trick of her own mind.
Emily let out a gasp, turning her head from side to side, looking at her own face from all angles. But just as suddenly, she put the mirror back on the table, face down.
“Did it work?” Steph repeated.
“Yes. No. Let’s just forget about it. I hated it.” Emily said unsteadily.
“Some women are meant to have short hair. Like you.” she moved over to stroke Steph’s face.
“I think you’d look very hot with short hair, but it’s your choice.” Steph answered. “I want to visit Lucy tomorrow, you can watch.”
Emz was already on top of her, their mouths almost touching “Mmmm, you want to get it touched up?”
“Maybe.” Steph teased, pulling up Emily’s dress. “Maybe I’ll go even shorter.”
“Mmmm, how much shorter?” Emily’s hands were all over her body now, and the little clothing Steph was wearing was beginning to feel like an annoyance. Luckily Emz was taking care of that, before getting rid of her own dress.
“You’ll see when you come along” Steph teased, running her hand through Emily’s curls. “Maybe it’ll inspire you.”
“You’ve been inspiring me all day.” Emily moaned. “Tell me how you would like to cut my hair.”
“Mmm, let met think” Steph paused, rubbing her thumb on one of Emily’s nipples. She suspected she knew EXACTLY what Emily wanted. “I could be gentle, leave you with a little curly bob with a shaved nape.”
“Maybe I don’t want you to be gentle.” Emz moaned while kissing Stephanie’s areolas.
“Then I’d take it all off. Completely. Shaved to the skin, make you a hot, chubby bald girl.”
“Yes, yes, oh yes.” Her tongue was circling Emily’s nipples now, and when she tried to touch the girl’s puss, she found a hand already there.
Taking a break from licking, she continued “And then I’ll take you to the tattoo parlor and get a big sleeve.”
“Ohhh. Yes, I want to be bald and tattooed.” Emily moaned
“Is that what you saw in the mirror?” Stephanie pressed her.
“Yes, I was completely bald. I want it so badly. Fuck, you weren’t kidding about the compulsion.”
“Let’s go to the bathroom.” Steph said, as eager as Emily to get the hair out of the way.
“Wait.” Emily said, reaching for her purse. “Do me right here, right now.” taking out scissors and a pair of cordless clippers.
“Oh my, you came prepared, ” Steph said, not waiting a minute to snatch the scissors from the girl’s hands.
“I’ve been fantasizing about this all my life.” Emz said. “This is the first time I’m actually doing it.”
“I told you the mirror worked.” Steph said, taking a seat on Emily’s lap. “Do you want to put the hair in a ponytail as a keepsake?”
“No.” Emily answered, closing her eyes. “No looking back, no matter what happens.”
“Good.” Steph said, grabbing a big section of Emily’s hair in her left hand, Almost too big for the scissors to cut into. Slowly, bit by bit, the outer edges began to fray, until finally the blades closed with a raspy crunch.
A shower of blonde curls fell on Emily’s shoulders, breasts, and the couch surrounding them.
Emily’s face was bright red.
“Believe it or not, you’ve still got a lot of hair left.”
“Then keep cutting.”
Steph didn’t need the encouragement, she was already grabbing smaller locks of hair, severing at the base, the light, curly locks tumbling down. Emily’s hair was big and seemingly endless, but slowly the contours of her skull were beginning to appear. Short tufts of blonde hair remained.
“I think you’re going to look really hot bald. You’ve got a nicely shaped head.” Steph remarked. Could you bend over, I don’t want to leave you with a mullet.”
Emily pressed her face into Stephanie’s ample breasts. And she found something to do for her tongue and hands.
“Mmm, I could get used to being your hair dresser.” Steph joked. “But you’re now officially a short-haired girl.”
“You know I don’t want to be a short-haired girl, I want to be a bald girl”
“Oh, don’t worry,” Steph said, firing up the clippers. “I’m not going to leave you hanging. But could you do this one thing for me?” She guided the other girl’s hand to her wet pussy.
“Mmm, yeah, I’m going to rub your pussy while you shave me bald.”
Emily had a gentle touch at first, intensified when she felt how moist Steph was. But she was the one who moaned out loud when the hum of the clippers made contact with her scalp.
“I told you it feels really good” Steph panted, clearing a path of pale skin on Emily’s scalp. “It’s addictive.”
Emily looked at the tiny hairs on her breasts and arms, too short to be blonde, dark, or any identifiable color. Stubble. “I can’t believe this is finally happening.”
“Mmm, so you’ve wanted to do this for a long time?”
“I’ve always wanted to be bald.”
“You’re exactly halfway there” Steph said, stroking the one side of of her lover’s head still covered in short hair. “And I really like it on you. Those earrings really pop.”
“Don’t stop now.” Emily moaned, her eyes closed.
Steph let the clippers answer, peeling off the last patches of hair from Emily’s head, stroke by stroke. Until finally there was no more hair.
“You look so fucking hot.” Steph said, kissing Emily’s head.
“I’ve never been kissed there before.” Emily laughed, bringing up her hands to feel her own shorn scalp, first gingerly, then sensually rubbing her fingers over her own head.
“I’m afraid to open my eyes,” she laughed “but I love the way this feels.”
“There’s a mirror on the wall to the left. A real mirror.”
“Well, here goes.” Emily said, turning around to look at her own reflection. For a moment, Steph wondered if this was the moment when she would burst into tears, but her fears were blown away when a broad smile grew on her lovers’ face, and she got up to get closer to the mirror.
“I think I really really like it.” she said, turning her head in every possible angle. “Well, I’ve always really liked bald women.”
“And now you are a bald woman.” Steph stated. “A really sexy one, by the way.”
“I can’t believe I waited so long to do this.” Emily said. “I was always worried about my double chin, ”
“–What double chin?” Steph interjected.
“Thanks, but I know I have one. But this is the first time I actually like it looks.”
“I could do the politically correct thing and say I like you with or without hair …” Steph began, looking at Emily’s gorgeous, curvaceous body.
“But if you didn’t?” Emily grinned.
“Please keep it shaved. You were meant to be bald.”
“Mmmm” Emily said, rubbing her head. “Good answer. I agree.”
She paused, startled by something in the mirror “Oh … my god.”
She turned around to Stephanie, pointing at a spot on top of her head.
“Look at this freckle. I remember seeing it in that magic mirror of yours.”
“It’s a cute little freckle.” Steph answered.
“I couldn’t have imagined that, could I?”
“I told you, the mirror really works.” Steph smiled wistfully.
“Have you ever tried to see what you would look like bald?” Emily asked
“Would you like me to be bald as well?” Steph asked, taking mock offense.
“What if I did?”
“I’d tell you to shave me right here, right now.” Steph finally let out her secret. “Before you came in, I looked into the mirror myself.”
“And?” Emily said, revving up the clippers.
“I saw my reflection, bald. I’ve been fighting the urge to shave it all off since before you came in.”
The first pass of the clippers nearly brought her to orgasm.
Years later, Steph and Emily would pack the silver mirror into a moving box. They hadn’t used it for years. The box then got left behind while moving. To be found by an old man, who sold it to an antique store for pennies. Where it was picked up by … well, that’s another story.