Flowering

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I deserved the hangover. I deserved to suffer. As I left the lecture hall I moved toward Jennifer and saw her unmistakeably tense, avoid meeting my gaze and deviate from her path to avoid me. So I’d done it again. That made how many? Three was it? Girls on my course that I’d made clumsy, drunken passes at. I always picked unattainable ones. Always the straight girls that I fell for. My “successes” were girls who told me they were bi-curious, but a little time with me seemed to quench that curiosity. I hadn’t had a second date with anyone in a year, and frankly I was desperate. I blushed as I saw Jennifer start to laugh with her friends, one of whom glanced around before her eyes briefly alighted on me. I deserved to be the subject of shameful gossip.

I’d known I was attracted to women from a very young age, but I grew up in a working class environment which was socially conservative and kept my feelings very much to myself. My family weren’t to know, nor my few close friends. I was a good student and enjoyed studying, seeing my escape to university as a chance for a fresh start, a reinvention of myself, where (I hoped) I could come out and prosper as my true, lesbian self. Of course, it wasn’t so easy. My years of solitude had left me with limited social skills, far behind most of my peers in the art of seduction. I knew nothing about reading the complex signals in the modern language of courtship, though my heart was easily won and I found myself despairingly longing for the love of the many beautiful young women, who were so plentiful about the campus. I was far too shy to act on such impulses, that is until I loosened my inhibitions with alcohol. The sensible thing was clearly to moderate (or stop) drinking, but then I would be trapped in my loneliness, which was unbearable. But my drunken flirtations were getting me a reputation than only added to my pain. I felt trapped. I’d never been so unhappy.

Some might say that the fetishes I’d developed were a result of my passions growing in isolation. Perhaps there was some truth in that, but I wasn’t ashamed of my interests (at least no more ashamed than I was in any other aspect of my sexuality, which is to say I was ashamed and found it very hard to admit to). I’d started to become interested in the ideas of domination and submission, largely because I’d found some online images that I’d found utterly beguiling. For some years now I’d taken pleasure in seeking out photographs and videos, and had a sizeable collection secreted on my computer. My greatest pleasure had come to be in those images where a submissive girl was given a forced haircut, and I took a special pleasure where she ended up bald. It seemed like an alchemical process, the ultimate symbol of submission, to go from conventional to making a public display of her willingness to sacrifice everything to her lover.

I’d long found a pleasure in seeing the results of a makeover, the shorter the better. I suppose it had started in my adolescence, when I became aware of my classmates beginning to experiment with their image. Girls I’d hardly noticed before could overnight become beautiful, their childlike plaits suddenly exchanged for glamorous, sleek blonde hair, or cut boyishly short. Then in my later teens I’d begin to frequent clubs and music venues, and was especially taken by goth and punk looks. I’d dyed my long, straight hair black (it was naturally light brown) when I was sixteen and it hadn’t changed since. I was often called a goth, because I favoured black, but my musical tastes were more esoteric. Fitting into any scene was something I’d never achieve.

Perhaps my interest in things punk and gothic nurtured my interest in domination, where such things often fed into the looks of the subcultures. Certainly my interest had deepened since I’d moved to university and I’d recently found an online forum for the BDSM community in the city where I was studying. I’d filled out a profile listing my interests: I was looking for a submissive girl with an interest in having her hair cut. Needless to say there were no takers. I soon came to realise that my curiosity about haircutting made me part of a tiny minority. I’d found only one other profile that talked about haircutting. It was a woman of around my age, but despite her listing her orientation as bi appeared, from her posts, to be largely interested in heterosexual relationships. I had messaged her but that was weeks earlier, and no response had appeared.

Until now. I checked my phone and saw an alert for a new message from the forum. It read: “Great to know there’s another haircut obsessed weirdo in the town. Hi from Soraya.” I immediately replied, thanking her for replying and saying I’d love to meet up some time for a chat.

An hour later (I was checking my phone every few minutes in hopes of a reply) a second message arrived. “I’m really busy at the moment, but yeah, might be fun. Maybe in a couple of weeks?”

I replied to agree, but it had the feeling of a brush off.

I was surprised that Soraya messaged me again a few times, and my hopes began to grow that she might actually agree to a date. I couldn’t help letting my imagination take flight, imagining her a pretty sub, bright and vivacious, willing to let me cut her hair short. I tried to fight against such expectations though; I knew from experience how I could convince myself that some distant girl could fall in love with me, only to be rejected and fall into the most agonising depression. Soraya was most likely a straight girl, but our common interests meant that she could be a friend, the first friend with whom I could discuss my sexual fantasies. Still, she hadn’t mentioned meeting again, and my negative side was sure she’d drift away.

I tried not to appear needy, but a couple of weeks after the first message I responded to her text with “How about that drink then? I’ve got a quiet week so this would be a good time.” They were all quiet weeks. I hardly ever went out.

I couldn’t believe she actually agreed to meet. I’d wanted to show some flesh, but it was autumn and the weather had suddenly turned chilly. I arrived at the pub wearing a heavy black overcoat and scanned the bar for someone I thought might be Soraya. She’d not given much away about her appearance other than that she had black hair and would wear a red coat. I’d given a longer description of myself: tall, slim, also black hair, dressed all in black. I didn’t see anyone and went to the bar, eager to get something inside me to calm my nerves and dissipate my inherent shyness. As I waited for my beer to arrive someone slipped into the gap beside me. “Are you Keri?”

“Yeah. Soraya?”

She nodded. I think I probably blushed. She was taller than me, and I was five eight, so hardly short, and in contrast to my delicate frame she was curvy and voluptuous. I was most struck by her face: strong cheek bones, a strong jaw too, though with a delicately pointed chin, large dark eyes, thick, well-trimmed brows, good complexion, nicely applied make-up. She was exceptionally pretty, far more so than I’d allowed myself to hope. Her hair was beautiful too, thick and shiny, cut above her shoulder in a layered bob, with a long fringe sweeping over her cheek. I added her drink to my order and we went to find a table.

She seemed almost as shy as me, at least until we’d had a couple of beers. The first hour was small talk, bits of stuff about her background, which was as unremarkable as mine. She was a student at the university too, but since she was studying business and I was a science undergraduate we were studying at opposite corners of the campus, so it was unsurprising that we hadn’t come into contact.

The pub was becoming noisy and overcrowded so we retreated to a restaurant that Soraya recommended. The food was cheap but tasty and plentiful. In the quieter surroundings she started to ask me about my interests in submission and domination. By now I was getting tipsy, drinking too fast because of my nervousness, but still found it hard to be direct. I talked about a lot of things without saying anything much about myself. I’m sure I was beginning to bore Soraya. “You’re submissive?” I said tentatively.

“I’m a switch. I’m mostly sub with guys but dominant with women.” I’m sure my face betrayed my disappointment. “You’re into haircuts too?” I nodded. “It’s odd, isn’t it? We both have fairly normal hair. You’re not tempted to go shorter?”

“I don’t know,” I said, fighting against the urge to cringe at the revelation of my deepest secrets. “I have wondered what it would be like to go bald.”

“Oh my god, you have? That would be amazing. You’re so tiny and delicate, and you’d look stunning if you shaved. You mean really smooth, right? Not just cropped short?”

I nodded. “Yeah, smooth bald is the only way, isn’t it? It’s just an idea though, not anything I’ve seriously considered.”

Now Soraya was becoming tactile, and she raised her hands to push back the wings of hair falling over my face from the centre part. I noticed her beautiful nails, painted a pale greyish pearly pink, long and nicely shaped, in contrast to mine which were cut very short. “You’re so skinny, Keri. You have a long neck and it would look great if you shaved. Even if you don’t you should really think about going short to show off your neck.”

I was stunned that this beautiful creature was flirting with me. “I don’t know. I like it long too. I’m not sure I’d like short.”

“I’d be there to hold your hand. And to tell the stylist what you need. Wouldn’t you like submitting to me?”

I gave a laugh, trying to sound cool, but it sounded strained and insincere. “I’m not submissive though, Soraya. I’m domme.”

She gave a little snort. “I think most people who are into domination have a sub side too. There are studies on it that back me up. Wouldn’t you love giving in to me a little bit? Say… say I did your make-up and chose your clothes for a night out with me, and you had no choice. Would you like that?”

I couldn’t deny that it appealed to me, especially since my reward would be another night out with her.

We met up on the following Saturday afternoon to make a trip to a coastal town about thirty miles away, where Soraya assured me there were lots of charity shops that were always stocked with fabulous vintage clothes at bargain prices. “You’ll see loads of stuff you like, but you have to get one outfit for tonight that I choose. Do you always wear black?”

I laughed. “I do. T-shirt and jeans is my uniform.”

“Well tonight you’re wearing a skirt and we’re adding some colour with your make-up too. Do you always wear your hair loose?”

“Ponytail in the lab, but otherwise yes.”

She huffed in frustration. “I need to educate you, don’t I?”

I was pleased that the awkwardness of our initial meeting was gone now. We were relaxed in each other’s company and conversation flowed easily. She laughed a lot which made me happier than anything.

Soraya was right about the shops in the town: there was an abundance of quality clothes. “It’s a really affluent town, the sort of place where people only ever wear anything once. I’ve been coming here for years. Most of my wardrobe is from here.”

I stocked up on tops (all in black) but was less comfortable about Soraya’s suggestions for me. Not only did she want me to wear a sparkly pink top, it was strappy and covered nothing of arms and shoulders. She was keen to pair it with a very short skirt.

“I don’t like being exposed, I’m too skinny. It’ll look ridiculous.”

She scowled. “Hardly. You have a body like a model. They’re all skinny and they can wear anything.”

“Can’t you pick something a bit more… Well, just a bit more?” I giggled.

“You said you were going to do this.” She came very close now. “You’ll make me very happy if you do as I say. You do want to make me happy, don’t you?” She put her arms around my shoulders and brought her mouth close to mine. “Just say, ‘Yes, Soraya’. That’s all you need to say all the time and I’ll be very nice to you.” She pressed her lips gently to mine and I felt my heartbeat throbbing rapidly. I was so excited and happy. I wanted her more than anyone I’d ever met before. It was unthinkable that dressing in some unappealing clothes would deter me now.

We went back to her house, which she shared with two friends. I was taken to her bedroom and told to change into the top. I was embarrassed but elated to strip to my underwear. “You look so nervous,” Soraya said. “I like that. You look so vulnerable and eager to please me.”

“I am,” I said.

“You see. You are submissive. You want to do things for me, don’t you?” I nodded. “You’re beautiful too, Keri.”

“I’m not. I hate seeing myself. I hate how skinny I am.”

“It’s not surprising you’re skinny though! You hardly eat. You left more than you ate in the restaurant the other night. If you ate properly you’d put some flesh on your bones.”

“I was always a fussy eater. I can’t say I much enjoy food.”

“I enjoy it too much,” she sighed, rubbing her hand over her belly.

“You have a beautiful body,” I whispered. “Just perfect. Soft and feminine. I was never attracted to girls with a figure like mine.”

She laughed. “It’s odd, isn’t it? I think you look beautiful, you think I look beautiful, but when we look at ourselves we just see imperfection.”

“I don’t want you to change anything, Soraya.”

“And I’m the opposite. I want to change so much about you!”

And a few minutes later she’d dressed me in the silvery pink top and a pair of red shorts that she’d chosen over the miniskirt. I grimaced as I looked in the mirror. “I look about twelve, like a little girl who’s dressing up. It’s really not me.”

“You look so cute!” she insisted. “But we need to do your hair and make-up to make you look right.”

I sat at her dressing table, with Soraya sitting on the edge of the table to apply my cosmetics. She had a formidable amount at her disposal, so much that I was ashamed to admit to the paucity of my make-up collection. She slipped a band over my forehead to push back my hair.

“We need to work on those brows. They’re pretty shapeless. Not shapelessly pretty.” She took a razor blade from a paper wrapper. “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt,” she smiled.

“Wait a minute. We never said you’d do anything permanent. Just make-up.”

“I’m just neatening your brows is all. And it’s not permanent. Don’t be so dramatic. Hair grows back.”

She smoothed some lotion over my brows and smiled. “Say ‘Yes, Soraya.’”

I nodded. “OK, yes.”

I felt her start so scrape at the edge of my left eyebrow. “Not too thin though.”

“Hush. Mummy knows best.”

She tugged on my skin to stretch it and kept scraping away at the fine hairs. “Not too much,” I said again. It felt like too much.

“There, just right,” she said. I’d had to tilt my head back to allow her to work, which meant that the mirror wasn’t visible. Now I turned to look and cursed as I saw I only had one eyebrow. She’d shaved away every trace of the left one.

“I didn’t want this!” I said, feeling a mix of anger and sadness. I was close to tears.

She pulled me to my feet and kissed the shaved skin. “There we go, better now. You turn me on so much more now. I love that you’re going to be brave and do this despite your misgivings. You’re so adorable, Keri.”

I felt a thrill deep inside me at her compliments, all the more at the discomfort of giving in to something too much. I couldn’t hide what she’d done to me, nor did I like seeing it, but that just made me feel the ecstasy of submission more keenly. I was panting with excitement and had to fight hard not to show Soraya how aroused I was, for fear it would make her push me even more intensely.

I had to resume my seat to allow the second eyebrow to be eradicated, then took in my new reflection. I looked strange, alien, unearthly. It certainly didn’t flatter my features, yet I couldn’t deny that there was a certain appeal in the change. The oddness and androgyny excited me.

Now Soraya set to work with her various palettes to change me again. I complained at the finished look: she’d given me a thick layer of pale foundation, subtly contoured with a pink glow, highlighter on my cheekbones, false lashes over thin wings of liner, blue glitter shadow, pale pink lips. And the pièce de résistance: thick brows in a cool blue-grey, not too dark but very artificial, tapering to sharp points at the outside, geometrically perfect and hard edged.

I didn’t even recognise myself. I looked prettier and more feminine than I ever had, though I was sure I couldn’t pull off this type of look even if I wanted to. And I didn’t want to look like this; it was a style that was worn by girls who were most unlike me. Yet when Soraya told me she could see how much I loved it I couldn’t contradict her. Seeing myself so transformed was exciting in a way I’d never experienced, and for the first time I understood how playing with my image and dressing up could excite me in ways I’d not previously guessed. So if I didn’t want to go out dressed like this (the idea made me feel anxious and shy) I still admitted to Soraya that she’d made me very happy.

Of course I did have to display my new look to the world. By the time we left the house I’d had my hair fixed into a huge quiff at the front, constructed through backcombing and application of hairspray. The free part of my mane was set in loose ringlets, and from my ears (which were exposed, as the sides were swept up to add to the bulk of the quiff) hung huge hoop earrings. I wore strappy sandals of silver leather, with three inch heels.

“You look so slutty,” Soraya laughed. I blushed because she was right. She looked beautiful, wearing a short sleeved top and wide-legged white pants that reached just past knee. Her make-up was more colourful than I’d seen before, but more subtle than my own. I felt absurd, yet I couldn’t help feeling a joy at my transformation. “I bet we could pull any guys we wanted tonight.”

“I don’t want to pull a guy ever. I don’t want to pull a girl either. All I want is you.” I looked nervously into her eyes, but became shy again and had to avoid her gaze.

“My little Keri. Such a good girl. You did everything I asked and so you deserve to be treated well. You want to obey me. Now we’re both happy.”

She wasn’t wrong. I was happier that night than I’d ever been. I drank too much, and everything seemed to become a whirl of pleasure and desire. We danced for hours, something I hardly ever did, yet now I was so elated that it seemed like the only way to express it, at least in the presence of others. We ended the night by going back to her room, where we cemented our love in physical terms. She dressed me in a strap-on of huge dimensions (far bigger than would have been comfortable for me) and now her bliss was complete. As she climaxed I declared my love for her.

The following morning was obliterated by the awful illness which was the price for my excesses (Soraya on the other hand seemed barely affected), but I regretted nothing. Perhaps that’s not entirely true; I’d slept in my make-up and as Soraya cleansed my face I saw myself browless again, my mane a tangled mess.

“Shit, I look awful,” I groaned, stroking at my shaved forehead in disbelief. “And my hair is like a bird’s nest.”

She laughed. “Why don’t you let me shave it?” I swore at the suggestion. It was terrifying. “Aw, Keri, you told me you wanted to try bald. It’d look amazing on you. You’d be so sexy. I’d tell you I loved you if you just let me shave you.”

“God, no. I couldn’t shave my head. I mean… What would people think? I don’t think I could deal with all the attention and my parents would disown me.”

She took me in her strong arms. “I’d look after you though. I make everything better, don’t I?” She started to give me gentle kisses, which seemed to make the hangover temporarily recede.

“You do make everything better,” I smiled. “Are we in a relationship now? I want us to be girlfriends.”

“Exclusive? Like see no one else?” I nodded. She looked thoughtful. “I do adore you, Keri, but that’s hard for me. I don’t really like men, but I like the feeling I get from being fucked. Would you let me have another lover from time to time? It wouldn’t mean anything emotionally, like it does with you, but I need it.”

I felt distraught that I couldn’t fulfil her needs as she could give me everything I needed. I couldn’t hide my hurt, and tried to push her away. She tightened her grip on me. “Hey, don’t. I won’t do anything that you don’t agree to! If it’s too much then we’ll find a way. I won’t let you go so easily, OK?”

I nodded, and felt proud that she’d give things up for me. “And if you did agree, I’d be so pleased that I’d reward you with getting my hair cut. I mean, wouldn’t it be worth it to let me go for a night if it meant seeing me with my hair cut really short?”

I still felt unsettled by the idea of sharing Soraya with someone else, but she knew that such an offer would intrigue me. I loved her beautiful, thick, shiny hair, but I had fantasised about how she’d look with something shorter. “How short do you mean?” I said.

“Like… very short. Clippered back and sides, no length at all. I’ve often though about it. Something very boyish and masculine. Would you like that?”

I tutted. “You wouldn’t do that. Your hair’s too lovely. You’re too pretty and girly.”

“I would,” she insisted. “I’m sure one day I’ll do it. And if you agree to me occasionally seeing someone else I’d get a short cut. And I’d be so discreet about my liaisons. You’d just tell me it’s OK and I’d be away for a night, then we never have to mention it again.”

“And if I want to see someone else?” I was still unhappy with her suggestion and wanted to provoke her.

“You can’t,” she said playfully. She moved on top of me, letting her weight trap me, and pinning my arms. She was much stronger than me. “You can’t because I’m your mistress and you’re my sub and subs do as they’re told. You love doing as I say, don’t you? Tell me you want to be my sub forever.”

“I do, Soraya. I want to be your sub.” I blushed as I gave in to her, knowing that she’d made me pass a point of no return. “But I need time to decide about you seeing other people. I don’t like the idea.”

She nodded. “Of course, baby. You have a long think about it. And about when you’ll let me shave your head.”

“I’m not going to do that!” I protested.

“Of course you will. I’m very persuasive.”

We became closer over the following weeks. My attraction to Soraya increased, but there was a friendship too. I could admit everything I liked to her, though it was hard for me to finally confess the strange longings I’d felt. As she played with my ears one day she asked me about my piercings. “You’ve got three piercings in each lobe. It’s cute. Does it bother you that my ears aren’t pierced?”

I shook my head. “Your ears are fine. Not that I’d discourage you from getting them pierced. I do like piercings. I’ve considered getting more.”

“Oh, you should,” she agreed. “Just ears or elsewhere?”

I could see she was getting overexcited and tried to calm her anticipation. “I would like some more, but not loads. I don’t want to look like I have loads of metal in my face. Maybe a nose ring, a stud in my lip. A couple more in ears, but that’s it.”

“That’s good. I’d like that. You’re right, too many in face doesn’t really appeal to me either. But you could get some that only we’d see.”

I winced. “Sounds painful.” She was amused. I’d discovered that Soraya was definitely more interested in sadism and masochism than I was. She’d spanked me, which I enjoyed up to a point, but I’d had to use our safe word when she increased the force. Our experiment with nipple clamps was curtailed as soon as I felt them grip my flesh. I couldn’t gain any pleasure from such intense stinging.

“Well any piercing will hurt. But if you got your nipples done it wouldn’t hurt any more than your nose, and it’d probably heal just as quick. Then it’s just about how nice it feels and looks.”

“I don’t know. I mean, aren’t piercings supposed to draw attention to your best features?”

She giggled. “I like your boobs. I have no problem with small breasts. If they make you so unhappy get them done. But with your boyish body big boobs would look odd.”

“I hate my body,” I sighed.

“So change it! Don’t just complain. Eat more and put on weight. You like sweet things, so gorge on them. You say you like my body so get your weight up to match mine.” I snorted dismissively, but she looked serious. “I mean it. I’m going to insist on you eating more. It’s not up for discussion. It might even make your breasts bigger. Wouldn’t that be nice?”

“No. I’d feel horrible all the time if I ate too much.”

“Nope. Decided. You get a piercing a week for a couple of months and you eat what I tell you to. It’ll be sexy to see you gorge. And if you agree I’ll tell you something really nice I want to do.”

Of course, I didn’t dare agree, but for the next few days she wouldn’t let it rest, promising that if I agreed she’d make me very happy. Finally I couldn’t bear not to hear her idea, but only agreed to a week long period of eating more. “After that I can change my mind. If I feel ill I can stop.”

“OK, but you have to be completely honest. No lying about how you feel.” I swore to tell the truth. “Now, since you’ve been a good girl, I had an idea. After Christmas Abi is going to move out of my house and since we can’t find anyone else me and Clara have given notice to the landlord. You’ve been complaining about the rent on your flat so why don’t we get a place together? We could get a one bed flat for less than we’re both paying now. And that way we’d have the privacy you need.”

I blushed as I remembered how Soraya’s housemates looked at me after our noisy sessions in the bedroom. I hardly dared do anything in my flat, since the soundproofing was so poor.

“Oh, move in together? That would be so good. I’d love to.”

We celebrated the idea with drinks at out favourite pub, and surprisingly Soraya told me the beginning of my new diet could wait till the following day. Of course I overindulged (as did Soraya, but she seemed better equipped to deal with alcohol, both in retaining control when drunk and suffering less the following day). I’d drunk a lot more since meeting Soraya, largely because I was out far more often, and I was a social drinker. The next morning I woke in her room, hardly able to remember getting there. My breakfast consisted of a slab of ginger cake which Soraya had been out to the local supermarket to purchase.

“Your new diet starts now. Eat the whole thing,” she insisted. “It’ll do you good. Sugar helps with hangovers. And after there’s a big bag of crisps to replenish your electrolytes. All washed down with coke for more sugar and caffeine.” I swallowed some painkillers and started to eat the cake. I worried that it would increase the mild nausea I was experiencing, but soon I realised I felt better for having a full stomach. But Soraya was only interested in excess: she made me eat the whole cake, which was far more than I was comfortable with. By the time I’d eaten crisps too I felt bloated, but somehow satisfied. The sugar and salt seemed to provide comfort from my hangover. She looked happy at my greed and we returned to bed to snuggle.

“You’re not going to be a skinny girl much longer,” she smiled, kissing me tenderly. “There’ll be more of you to love, Keri.”

I had lectures in the afternoon and Soraya dressed me for my day after I showered. She made me accept an eyebrow shave (she never let me go more than a couple of days without a shave now, and praised me a lot for accepting my browlessness). She usually put my hair up and today was no exception. Today she wrapped a donut ring into my hair, placing it right on top of my head. I pulled a sour face as I saw the style, one that I hadn’t worn before. It looked too old for me, especially since I looked pale and sickly from my hangover. Soraya was amused by my reaction and complimented me. “If you don’t like the updos you can always agree to a short cut and we’ll be done. Or are you waiting for when you relent and let me shave you?”

Of course I denied that I was going to agree to any sort of cut. I did allow Soraya to give me the works with her make-up: she gave me a smooth, pale face without brows, a thin line of black on upper lids, pale lips and a smattering of painted freckles.

“You look very business-like,” Soraya said happily. And she dressed me in a grey dress that seemed in keeping with my severe look. “Very pretty. I bet your friends are all impressed by your new look.”

I shrugged. “I don’t really talk much to people on my course. I don’t think they like me much.”

“How could anyone not like you? You’re adorable. She smoothed the dress over my hips. “It’s a little bit large on you. Just imagine, in a few weeks it won’t even fasten! You’ll need an entire new wardrobe. Soon we’ll be able to swap clothes. I won’t be happy until you’re heavier than I am.”

I remained silent. It would surely cause offence to say I didn’t want that. I kissed Soraya and left to attend my lectures.

By the time I returned from my parents’ home the following January to move into our new apartment I’d acquired the new piercings that Soraya had suggested. My septum held a ring, and my lower lip was marked at the centre by a labret. My right ear had a new ring high at the side, pierced through the cartilage. My most recent acquisition was a double piercing, lateral bars inserted in my nipples. I’d become inured to the pain of being pierced, and perhaps had even began to enjoy the experience, although it was so mixed up with the obvious delight that it unleashed in Soraya (and the resulting display of gratitude toward me) that it was hard to unravel precisely how I felt about it.

My parents’ views were more obvious: they were unhappy with my new piercings and my missing eyebrows. But my mother, whilst pleased that my wardrobe had become more feminine and colourful, was unhappy about my unmistakeable gain. I’d increased by a full ten pounds and the effects were clearly visible. I’d developed a small paunch and my hips, thighs and buttocks had all noticeably enlarged. I’d intended to tell them that I was now in a relationship, but my nerve faltered at the last, and I only informed them that I was moving into an apartment with a friend. I was sure that they knew about my sexuality, but we avoided discussing such matters frankly. It was easier for everyone to let such matters remain in the shadows.

I was in constant touch with Soraya, but I missed her terribly. I also found myself worrying that she would be unfaithful to me. I knew she still wanted some degree of openness in our relationship (at least for her), but I found it impossible to discuss the possibility of her having rendezvous with others. I found myself worrying constantly that she would take advantage of my absence to find the pleasures I couldn’t provide, and had no doubts that back in the town where she’d grown up there would be no shortage of ex-lovers to provide willing partners. I hated myself for giving in to jealousy, but that did nothing to ease the emotional pain I experienced in every waking moment. I didn’t dare bring it up in my communication with Soraya, but we argued far more than normal, and it was undoubtedly due to my suspicious mood.

We’d taken possession of the flat before leaving, but hadn’t had a chance to do more than move in the furniture. Our first week living together was exhausting as we decorated the slightly shabby rooms and tried to make the new space seem like our home.

Our tiredness doubtless contributed to the continuing sourness of mood that was at times evident between us. My suspicions had still not abated and it was inevitable that at length I would make an accusation. It came on a Saturday morning as we were preparing to set out for the shops. Soraya’s mood went through disbelief, strenuous denial, sadness, culminating in anger. She left me alone, slamming the door as she left. I was too furious with her to be rational, and sat crying for an hour.

She didn’t return until after dark. She was still angry with me, but calmer than I was. “I didn’t do anything. I haven’t so much as kissed anyone since we got together. Yes, I miss some things, but you make me happy. That’s all I want. If you can’t agree to me seeing other people then it’s fine. I accept it. But you owe me an apology for all the things you said. I’m innocent.”

I was still mistrustful and couldn’t accept her assurance. “But you put these doubts in my mind. I see how you look at guys, I know the type you like.”

“And I know the type of girls you like. Looking is something we both do. It means nothing. Acting on your feelings is different, and I haven’t done that. So accept that I’m here for you and learn to trust me or we’ll never be happy.”

Gradually my anger abated and soon we were offering tearful apologies, our contrition healing the wounds that had grown between us. “I’ve been horrible to you. And it makes me feel awful too,” I said. “I should trust you more. I mean, really, I should let you see someone else if it fills a need. But let me think on that. It is hard for me to accept, although it shouldn’t affect us. It was my time away from you. It was too long and I got paranoid.”

“You’re almost forgiven,” Soraya said, kissing me playfully. “Just let me shave you and it’s all healed.”

“I’m not ready!” I wailed. “Maybe. Maybe one day. I have thought about what it would be like.”

“Liberating. You’ve had your hair like this for how long? Six years for the colour and even longer for the cut?” I nodded. “I’d say that means you’re stuck in a rut. I know the styles you like and this ain’t one of them. If you shaved it it would release all the fears you have. When you grew it out you’d be able to try any style. Nothing would scare you any more.”

She made a good argument. I did want to be more adventurous with my hair but the prospect of shaving my head seemed like leaping from a cliff and hoping the fall wouldn’t kill me. “What styles would you like to see me with?” I asked.

“You’d look good with something very boyish.” I knew that masculine styles were a source of fascination for Soraya. “Buzz cut. Maybe a severe bowl, with the lower part down to skin. Flattop. A skullet would be sexy on you.”

I started to laugh and protest. “Skullet? You like redneck lesbians?”

“Mmm, it’s just the perfect look for you. I have something to show you.”

She went to a holdall and took out a plastic case, then passed it to me. “I got them over the Christmas break. Going to let me try them out?”

“Oh! Clippers.”

“Good ones too. Only the best for my little darling. Are you going to let me use them? They’d slip through your hair without the least strain.”

Of course I said no. But we started to drink. A lot. I felt so happy that we’d cleared the air with our argument and felt happier than I had in weeks. The drinks flowed freely as we celebrated moving into our new home, and unusually I drank a lot of spirits, since Soraya had been given some bottles of vodka as presents.

My memories of the later part of the night were fragmented to say the least. At some point the discussion turned once more to my haircut and as I woke the next morning I had a very bad feeling. I knew I’d done something stupid. I tugged at my hair at the back and was relieved to feel long hair still in place. But as I reached up to my forehead I felt soft bristles and nothing more behind my forehead. I desperately pawed at the top of my head and felt it had been buzzed back to my crown. The right side was gone too, but some hair was still in place on the left. I shook Soraya violently and began to cry. “What the fuck did you do?”

“Oh god,” she moaned. “Oh shit! Look at you.” She took me in her arms and hugged me. She began to laugh. “You picked the wrong time to ask me to shave your head. I was too drunk. Shit, I’m still too drunk now. Have some paracetamol and a drink and get some more sleep. I’ll finish your hair later.” She ruffled the short buzz. “You’ve got little tufts everywhere. God, I was drunk…”

“Did I really ask for this?”

“Yes! You were fully conscious. I couldn’t have done it if you hadn’t sat still. You said you wanted to try bald.”

I sighed. “It’s ruined! You took advantage. Got me drunk to shave me!”

“Stop sulking!” She kissed me again. “You’ll look so sexy.” She brought a couple of tablets for me to swallow and a bottle of lucozade. “Now sleep. Three more hours. Then we’ll make you beautiful.”

Surprisingly, I soon slept again, but for even longer than the three hours Soraya had suggested. I was woken by the smell of cooking and soon Soraya brought me breakfast in bed: more fizzy drinks, more pills (most welcome, though the last dose had taken some of the edge off my vicious hangover), vegetarian sausages, toast and a huge slab of cake.

Most of my gaining had been a result of Soraya’s discovery that when I was hungover I could binge shamelessly. I seemed to have an endless appetite for trashy food to quell my pangs and this morning was no exception, though the spirits had left my stomach more sensitive than usual. Still, I soon cleared the tray. “I love seeing you eat quickly,” Soraya smiled. “You’re not so skinny any more.”

I blushed. “My mum noticed. She was nagging me all the time.”

“She liked you being skinny?”

“No, it wasn’t that. Just that I’ve gained so fast. I think she worries that I’m living unhealthily and I’m going to get fat.”

“And you are!” Soraya said. “You’ve got a jiggly little belly. Still nothing changing with your boobs though. We’ll have to eat plenty to get them to a c-cup.”

I frowned. “That’s not going to happen, is it? Oh, Soraya, my fucking hair! I wish you hadn’t!”

“It was all on you, baby. You asked and I did.”

“And you didn’t persuade me, I suppose?”

“Persuade? I seduced,” she said proudly. “You should know I always get what I want. Shall we finish you up?”

I winced as I saw myself in the mirror for the first time. The top was cut to a few millimetres, so short that all the black was gone. My natural light brown was visible for the first time in years and it was so pale that I already looked almost bald. But as if that wasn’t ugly enough the cut was wildly uneven, with longer tufts sticking out across various parts of my head. Around my ear a long fringe of wisps remained.

“Wow, nice job,” I said drily.

“OK, I deserved that. I could barely keep hold of them. I was drunk too.”

I realised as I stared at myself that my face was becoming rounder. My gain wasn’t just affecting my body. I’d always thought my face was too long and narrow and was intrigued by my cheeks being rounded. Was it an improvement? I gave a humourless laugh as I realised that no one would notice my face; my lack of hair would be the only talking point.

I sat with a towel around me as Soraya fired up the clippers, a number one guard attached. Surprisingly, she seemed to handle them confidently now, and within moments the top was mown to a perfectly even pelt of tiny hairs. All the tufty irregularities were eradicated, and now she moved to clean up the side.

“I’ll leave the back for today,” she said. “You’ll have a skullet. If you don’t like it we’ll shave you tomorrow.”

“No way!” I screamed. “You have to just cut it all now.”

She turned off the clippers. “Now, Keri, simmer down. I thought we’d established that you’re my sub and when you’re obedient nice things happen. I was making a statement to inform you, not starting a debate.” She tugged at a strand of long hair at the back. Skullet for a day. If you argue you have to keep it for a week.”

“Oh shit, Soraya. It’s ridiculous though. And I have to go out today. Please.”

“Hush, baby. You know it turns you on. Just touch yourself while I cut and concentrate on the sensations. I want you to feel pleasure and not just scare yourself with worrying about how people will react. Come on, Keri. This is the only time you’ll experience so much hair being cut so savour it.”

I closed my eyes and did as she ordered, slipping a finger inside myself. I’d discovered that I was often horny the day after drinking, and despite my barely contained panic today was no exception. I felt the lock on the left side being lifted, pulled gently to tense it. The clipper’s roar grew louder as they were brought close to my ear, then slid up my temple. I could feel a ripple as the tugging on my hair was suddenly released, a gentle massaging sensation that was pleasant. The idea that such a mild sensation was shaving away my hair was hard to reconcile.

“Weirdly beautiful and beautifully weird,” Soraya said. I saw her looking down at me. Her pupils were dilated, the way that only happened when she was very excited. She looked so pretty in her natural state, free of make-up. Younger and more vulnerable, yet it was me who was vulnerable. She pushed my head to the side and gently tugged at my ear to shear around it.

“We should bleach your hair, baby. It’d look so cool to see you with a blonde skullet.”

“I thought you were shaving it all off tomorrow. It’d be so wasteful to spend money getting my hair dyed. It costs a fortune to get it coloured.”

“At the salon. I could get some bleach and do it. Please say yes, it would be so much fun to do. Imagine me fussing and pampering you. We’d definitely need to do two or three applications to get the black out.”

“OK, then,” I said.

“You’re so cool. It’ll look like a zef mullet once you’re blonde. I need to get a picture of you now. I love how you look with your face covered in clippings.”

I posed awkwardly for the pictures, never one to enjoy being photographed. I looked at the resulting snaps with a weird sense of alienation. I barely recognised the girl in I saw on the screen of Soraya’s phone. There was a mixture of excitement at the daring of the cut (I’d certainly have liked this image if it was anyone else) and horror that this was how I looked now. My feelings grew more confused as Soraya dragged me to the bedroom and pushed me onto the bed. I saw how her passions had been stirred and lay passively as she drew me up to raptures with her caresses. It wasn’t long before I experienced a huge orgasm.

I showered and sat for Soraya to style my hair and do my make-up. She didn’t go for understated: my eyes were decorated with heavy black wings, sweeping out over my cheeks, and with long false lashes to add decoration. My lips were outlined in deep red, but no brows were drawn today, adding to the starkness of my image. I left the house wearing a black velvet dress, trimmed with white lace, ribbed black stockings and flat shoes. The clothes were pretty, but I was very self conscious.

“You look so sexy,” Soraya smiled as we walked into town. “But that’s such a bad haircut! Everyone will think: ‘What the fuck? Why did she do that? She had nice hair, too.’”

“Oh god, Soraya, don’t,” I begged. “You’ll make me cry.”

“But you can tell them you did it for your girlfriend, because she likes you looking weird, or that you did it for yourself, because you love looking freaky and because you love being humiliated. I bet you’re getting wet right now thinking about the awkward conversations you’re going to have.”

She squeezed my hand and kissed me on the cheek. I sighed as I realised there was some truth in what she said.

We went to a hairdressing suppliers and purchased bleach and toner. “Let’s head back home,” I said. I was struggling with the attention my look was getting, both actual and perceived; I felt paranoid, convinced that everyone was staring.

“But you have a seminar, don’t you? You have to face it, baby. I’m not having you fail your course because of a little haircut.”

“A little haircut?” I sighed. “It’s horrible being out looking like this. I can bear it when you’re here to hold my hand. But on my own… And it’s people I know. They’re all bound to ask questions.”

“I know. Remember everything they say. I want you to tell me about it later, about how being humiliated gets you horny. You’re doing it for me. So sexy, so brave, so obedient.” She kissed me and sent me on my way.

Later she lay with me in bed and interrogated me. She couldn’t stop looking at me and stroking my head as we spoke. “Did everyone ask you about it? I bet they were shocked.”

“There was this one girl, Sammi, and she just goes ‘What the hell did you do? It looks weird.’ She’s so rude.”

“Awww, poor little baby. Were you upset? I bet you were, weren’t you?”

“I think I was more angry with her. I don’t really care what she thinks. It’s not as if I like her.”

“Do you think everyone else was thinking what she said though? Even though most people are too polite to say it.”

I felt my cheeks redden. “Of course. I mean, even I think that.”

“You look so pretty though. I think you should keep this cut for a few weeks.”

I pushed her away, but she resisted. “You told me you’d shave it all. I don’t want this awful cut.”

She laughed. “Listen to you, wanting your head shaved! How you’ve changed. But we bought the bleach and we should use it now. Let’s keep the mullet for a couple of weeks, until the buzz starts to look untidy. Then you go bald. Please, Keri. I’d be so pleased with you.” I felt my will weaken as she began to kiss me. “Actually, I wanted to ask you something. There was some mail for you today, but it was addressed to Kerry-Anne. Is that your real name?”

“It is. But I hate it. My mum used to use my full name when I was young but I always preferred just Kerry. And I started to spell it with an I when I was twelve or something.”

“Kerry-Anne! I like it. Kerry-Anne.” She repeated it now in a Southern US accent. “Redneck girl with a skullet. It’s so pretty. So you. Keri isn’t you, Kerry-Anne is. I’ll always call you by your real name now. And you should use it too, OK?”

“I don’t like it. It makes me sound like a little girl.”

“You are like a little girl though, aren’t you? You need me to tell you to do everything. A little girl, but not as little as you used to be,” she teased, stroking my burgeoning belly. “Quite chubby now actually. But very cute. Keri is the girl you invented with black hair. Now we’ll bleach Keri away. Kerry-Anne is coming back.”

She took me to the bathroom, naked and mixed up the bleach. “Sweetheart, I got you some sweeties to eat while you go blonde. It’ll take hours and I didn’t want you getting bored.” She threw me a bag of gums. “Eat them all up. I know you like these so enjoy.”

I felt ashamed by how often I gorged now, always on sugary foods: cakes, sweets, puddings, ice cream, pastries. Somehow I was unable to resist Soraya. I’d said I’d eat as she wanted for a week but at the end I couldn’t deny that I enjoyed binging on junk food when I was hungover (which was too often to be good). And so I’d maintained my childish diet, to the point where no one could mistake my gaining.

The bleach was now brushed thickly through my long hair, which at the back still reached past my bra strap. The front half, in contrast, was almost bald, and took little time to be covered in bleach. “The black will probably discolour the long hair, so I doubt we’ll get it perfectly light. But I bet the front will look wonderful. When you’re growing it we can get you a white blonde pixie. Wouldn’t that be beautiful? I might even let you have dark brows. I love that contrast between pale skin and blonde hair and really defined, dark brows.”

I nodded, bewildered by Soraya’s ideas. She was right, the possibilities were limitless, and perhaps it would be liberating to lose my hair. I’d long considered trying lots of different styles but had always retreated from realising them, through fear of change.

Now that the first application was complete we opened some beers. “I always wanted a blonde girlfriend,” Soraya laughed. “I didn’t think it would be you that night we first met. You looked so scared, you know? I liked you straight away though. At least once you relaxed. It was fate that we met. We were meant for each other.”

“I was in awe when I saw you. Just so pretty. I’d fantasised about you being beautiful, but I’d never dared hope you’d be as lovely as you are. You have the most perfect face. I still can’t believe that you chose me. I’m very lucky.”

“Oh, you are,” she laughed. “But I’m luckier still. You’re the most generous girl I could wish for. You’ve given so much to make me happy.”

I was quite drunk by the time we’d finished with my hair. The mirror had been covered throughout the process so that the reveal would be a surprise. I couldn’t stop laughing to see the effect of being blonde had on my look. Soraya was right, the shade at the back wasn’t perfect, a bit uneven and brassy, but the clippered hair was really pale and pretty. It did make me look quite bald though, and my lack of brows was more noticeable than ever. Soraya seemed to have no reservations about how odd I looked and seemed frenzied as we curled up together in bed; her passions had been growing through the long process of making me blonde, her restraint allowing her lust to grow to a point where it burst the dam eventually. Despite being pretty drunk we celebrated long into the night.

I struggled to accept my new look in public, the eye-catching blonde attracting more attention than ever. I could see people staring, and although I did have some compliments from strangers I longed for a style that was more neutral. Of course, Soraya didn’t see it that way at all. She would insist I went out with the back teased into a huge ragged messy style, and liked giving me bright, jarring make-up. “You look like a Die Antwoord fan, a Yolandi wannabe. It’s so cute.” It wasn’t me at all, yet I couldn’t deny I adored sitting for Soraya as she created another transformation. And I’d started to like having my strange cut, no longer wishing for her to finish cutting my hair, rendering me bald. I got embarrassed when a pretty young woman who served me in a shop was full of praise for my haircut, but I loved the praise, and enthusiastically told Soraya how keen she’d been.

A week after my first cut Soraya was waiting for me with the clippers ready. “Haircut time, baby,” she said calmly. “Undress and sit for me.”

“You’re shaving me?” I said. My hands were shaking so much I needed her help to undress. She said nothing in reply to my question, but placed a razor and a can of shaving gel beside the clippers. There was no attachment on the blades. “Oh god. I don’t think I can do this,” I complained. “Please, Soraya, I like my new cut. Let me keep it.”

She started to laugh. “It’s great that you can accept your skullet, but I am getting a bit worried. You were definitely too pleased with that little shop assistant flirting with you. I think I should punish you for being too sexy. Wrists!”

I held out my hands to her and she wrapped a leather strap around my right wrist, then pulled it behind my back before tying it to the left. “Oh, Soraya, please,” I begged, though the helplessness of being tied up was getting me as aroused as frightened. My pleas were suddenly curtailed as she tore a length from a roll of duct tape and pushed it over my lips. My eyes opened wide as I tried to show my disapproval. But then two more pieces of tape were pressed over my eyes. My helplessness was complete, although I wailed noisily through the gag in the hope of engaging Soraya’s mercy.

As the clippers fired up I felt myself growing wet. The fear only added season to my uncontrollable passion, and I realised that I wanted this. I felt the blades touching the left side of my head, but in careful, controlled touches. “Sit very still,” Soraya warned. “If I mess up you’ll be bald when you next see yourself.”

Soraya was using the edge of the blades, which were inverted in her hand, to trace a line across the side, angling upward from above my ear toward the hairline at the front of my forehead. She took an eternity, making little adjustments until she seemed satisfied with her work, then began the same process on the other side. Now she worked more quickly, her work on the left side seeming to have made her more confident in her work. Then she put the blades, flat against skin now, to my cheek in front of ear and slid them up, shearing away the fuzz up to the line she’d painstakingly created.

I was breathing rapidly and shallowly through my nose. I was no longer sure whether I was feeling panic or an all-consuming eroticism. I started to think that she would push my head forward and shave off the long hair, and I wanted it. I wanted her to humiliate me, show me off to the world without a hair on my head. I tugged at the binding on my wrists, not because I wanted to free myself, but because I was so aroused that I couldn’t bear not to touch myself.

Now I felt Soraya stand behind me and push my head back so that it rested between her soft, ample breasts. I made a low vocalisation as she put the clippers to the top of my forehead. The blades moved back into my hair and I felt myself melting as I thought that at last she would shave me. Did she intend to spare the back, making me wear the long mane behind a smooth shaved skull?

I soon realised that her intention was less drastic. She was making small, controlled movements, and only the front of my hairline was being buzzed. I felt a growing compulsion to push my head forward suddenly to ruin her work, at which she would then shave me to remove evidence of the accident. Why I felt this urge was beyond me: a self-destructive desire? A nervous tic produced through fear? Or was it something I unconsciously desired, a release of an erotic urge? I was sweating now as I agonised about whether I could resist the impulse, then heard the clippers click off, granting me relief (and it was relief I experienced, only tinged with the tiniest feeling of disappointment).

There was a brief silence, broken after perhaps a minute (though my perception of time seemed faulty without visual cues) by soft hiss. Now I felt Soraya’s fingers dab a slippery gel over the newly buzzed scalp, initially softly smearing it over the skin, but then pausing to massage the gel to a lather, pressing delicately against the granular stubble which was all that remained after the passage of the clippers. She took far longer than was necessary, obviously taking pleasure in the sensation as much as I.

Another pause, during which I could hear the soft rustle of a cloth, and sensed that she was drying her hands on a towel. A metallic clink, then she gripped the long hair at the back and moved my head to the side, more roughly than was necessary. I felt the razor on my cheek before my right ear, then slowly slip upward with a soft rasping sensation as she shaved my scalp smooth.

I could hardly breathe as she slowly and sensually removed the last vestiges of hair from the undercut, the blades now moving over and over the shaved areas of the sides without the least raspiness, the skin utterly smooth and hairless. Now it was the turn of my forehead to receive its shave, Soraya carefully dragging the blades sideways across the top of my head, still manipulating my head via the hair she held in her left hand.

I knew when the grip was released that I had completed my makeover. She ripped away the tape from my lips, making my face sting, but before I could speak Soraya cautioned me: “No speaking. I want you to look in the mirror in silence, a full two minutes. When I touch you you can feel your hair, but not before.”

She yanked away the tape from my eyes no less forcefully, and I couldn’t help gasping at the pain. I turned to face my reflection and saw that she’d shaved the sides so close that the skin looked pale and bare, not a hint of stubble darkening the skin. The front was shaved back half an inch, or a little more, and my high forehead was exaggerated to the point of absurdity. And to add to the artificiality the hairline was too hard now, so that no one could doubt it was the result of an intervention with a razor.

The blonde buzzed hair now grew above a hard line that went diagonally across my temples, with my sideburns eradicated. It looked more sophisticated than the original skullet, but very harsh, too much for my features, which seemed ever more boyish. I did as Soraya had instructed, and stared at myself for what seemed an eternity. There was no doubt that I was excited by the new changes she’d wrought. It was a very striking style, and for a moment I could force myself to forget that it was my own image in the mirror; viewed as a stranger, I found the image intoxicating.

The spell was broken as Soraya freed my wrists and lifted my hand so that my fingers caressed the side of my head. I was shocked by how strange my scalp felt and moaned as I rubbed it. The skin was very smooth, yet as I rubbed upwards it felt sticky, perhaps because of the friction of the hair beneath the surface of the skin. Certainly it felt different to my naturally hairless skin, and I could feel an erotic impulse growing in me.

“You’re such a strange girl,” Soraya said. “Beautiful, but too beautiful for the masses. You will treasure your loveliness, won’t you, Kerry-Anne? You’re my bitch now. My beautiful bitch.”

I had no words. I could only show my agreement with a kiss.

And so my new style was to be my zef mullet. It was maintained each day with a fresh shave that always made me tingle with delight, though every time I looked in the mirror I felt a jolt at the strangeness of the cut, and how different I looked to the image I had of myself in my mind, still slim, long haired, dark. I continued to drink too much and to gorge every day and as a result my weight had increased more than ever. When I first met Soraya my weight had been under eight stone, and now I’d hit nine stone, which still wasn’t big for my height, but the extra twenty pounds were very obvious and my gaining showed no sign of ending.

Soraya was delighted that I’d put on weight, and grew amorous whenever I ate excessively. Since I loved seeing her so happy I found it impossible to resist her. Often when she provided me with cakes or sweets or ice cream I’d insist that I’d only eat a generous portion, and that I should start to limit my unhealthy binges. Soraya, rather than disagree, would in fact say I was being sensible, but once I began she’d encourage a few mouthfuls, and goaded by her growing arousal I’d be unable to say no. Inevitably, I’d end up finishing the entire meal.

At least, that was her usual way. But there were times when she’d decide to go into another mode, far more dominant and cruel. She’d restrain me then and provide a repast that was excessive even compared with my usual generous portions. Then she’d feed me cramming my mouth with food and insisting that I should get it down me fast. Despite my complaints I soon discovered that I adored being abused like this, especially since when I obeyed Soraya would reward me with great affection.

I was very much in love with her, so much so that one evening as we lay in bed together I once more raised the issue that had caused me so much anxiety. “Soraya, I love you and I want to show how I trust you. If you need to take another lover I’d agree to it now.”

“You would?” She looked surprised. “I don’t want to if it makes you uneasy.”

“Nope. I know you have desires that I can’t fulfil, so it makes sense to allow you this.” Even as I said it I felt the shadow of jealousy begin to grow. I tried to control my feelings, but knew that there was something in my psyche that would struggle. Part of me immediately regretted my offer. But I couldn’t go back now, I was sure.

“Maybe I could arrange something over the Easter break when I’m with my parents.”

“No!” I said forcefully. “I’d rather you did it when you were here.” My insecurities were obvious to her now.

Soraya nodded. “OK, whatever works for you.”

“But please, don’t ever tell me anything about the men you meet with. I’d find it so humiliating.” I was close to tears. I expected she’d begin to tease me about my love of being humiliated, but clearly she saw that this was hard for me.

“I suppose you want me to make good on my promise to get my hair cut? I wonder if that’s the thing that’s motivating you to do this,” she said, laughing.

“No!” I protested, but I knew she was only making a joke to lift my gloom. “And I love your hair, so you don’t have to cut it.”

“But I do. I made a promise. I’ll get it cut short next week as a thank you to you for showing your trust. And if I do take up your offer I’ll get a really short cut. An expiation for my weakness in needing this. You can make me go as short as you please.”

I hugged her. “I really don’t need you to do this.” She smiled and kissed me.

I tried over the following days to put the offer out of my mind, and Soraya didn’t mention it, so I was able to make myself believe that perhaps she didn’t any more need to have other partners and could be content to have only me in her life. But then one day when I returned home she was sitting waiting for me.

She stood and spun before me. “What do you think?” she asked, her face split with a joyous grin. Her dark hair was now clippered on the back and sides, nothing more than a centimetre, faded closer on the lower part. Her nape had been shaved to a clean contour and her neck shaved. The top was still quite long, especially the fringe which reached almost to her chin. It was swept to the side so that the right side was exposed over her ear, and the lower part of the clippered nape was also bare. It was shockingly different to her long bob, but suited her wonderfully. She looked prettier than ever.

“It’s just stunning,” I said. “But why didn’t you tell me you were doing it? I would have loved to have been there.”

“I know, I’m sorry. But I wasn’t sure I could do it. I just suddenly felt ready today and I couldn’t wait. Please don’t be mad. I love it though! I promise that in future I’ll always have you beside me. It’s much better for me to have short hair, isn’t it?”

I laughed at her enthusiasm. “It’s really, really pretty. Before this cut I think you were a ten, but now you’ve broken the scale.”

“You always know the right thing to say. Feel it, baby, it’s lovely.”

I stroked her nape, surprised at how different to my own buzz the sensation was: my hair was fine, and very soft where Soraya had cropped it, whereas her hair was very coarse in texture, and felt stiff and softly prickly, but cool and sensual. I buried my nose in her buzzed hair, enjoying the heady odour of the dressing and kissed her. “It’s lovely,” I murmured. “I love your short hair. I hope you never grow it out.”

She turned me to face her. “When I do… Do the deed you don’t want me to mention then you take me for a cut. I want you to unleash your domme side. Be very strict with me. I want it too short, really horribly masculine. Dress me as you please. I want to feel your cruelty. Will you do that for me?”

I didn’t want to, I was sure. I loved her too much, and was addicted to giving in to her. Yet as I tried to imagine indulging this fantasy of hers I began to see how much I’d like it. There was a dominant side I’d suppressed for too long and the sort of ideas I’d used to experience came suddenly into focus. And the discomfort I felt at even the mention of her infidelity seemed to spur me on to an act of punishment for Soraya, which would absolve her of blame. I nodded: “I will. I’ll make you suffer, more than you expect.”

“Oh shit,” she giggled. “What have I let myself in for? I’m dreading it, but I know I’ll be so excited too. There’s a part of me that wants this so bad.”

I felt a constant anxiety during the following weeks; I hated that I’d given Soraya permission to sleep with someone else, but didn’t dare go back on the agreement, for fear that I’d lose face. I tried to hide my unease, but I was tetchy and quarrelsome. I admit, I wanted to see her shorn to my preference, and this too acted against me backing out of our deal. For now, however, I remained her sub, and suffered a shave each day to ensure my mullet remained in perfect shape, and each day indulged my childish diet of sweets and cakes to maintain my program of ‘improving’ my figure.

One Saturday afternoon I was told to shower and as Soraya attended to my hair and make-up she informed me that we were going out that night. “I’ve managed to get us invited to a party in Hallowfield [a city twenty miles distant]. It’s someone I met through the forum. It should be fun.”

‘The forum’ could only mean the BDSM forum through which we’d made our first contact. I was immediately alarmed and couldn’t hide my panic. I enjoyed submitting to Soraya but that side of our relationship was private, and I’d never discussed it with anyone else. Going public seemed terrifying, especially since I’d no doubt have to suffer to impress more experienced dommes. Soraya wasn’t to be dissuaded though. We would attend. She’d clearly planned this for some time, since a hotel had been booked. I realised that keeping it secret from me was a blessing; I’d have been unbearably tense worrying about what could happen. Now my suffering in anticipation was limited to just a few hours.

We dressed for the occasion. I was surprisingly plainly dressed, a floral print dress with a long full skirt, which indicated to me that I’d have to change once I got to the party. Soraya wore a mesh top, which exposed her midriff, not that the mesh concealed much above either, and tight black leather trousers. She’d got a beautiful pair of shoes with impossibly high heels, making her stand well over six feet. She’d shocked me by reshaping her eyebrows, thinning them dramatically (she’d always loved her well-shaped, thick, dark brows) to angular lines, which seemed to completely alter her face. She wore a lot of make-up, heavy shards of black decorating her eyes, and deep plum on her lips. It was excessive but beautiful and seemed entirely appropriate for the occasion. I was proud to be seen with such a pretty girl.

My make-up was striking too: my eyes were surrounded by opaque yellow, and my lashes had been painted to match. My lips were a pale silvery pink, and with my blonde shaved mullet I couldn’t fail to attract attention. We set out on an early train, arriving in Hallowfield around five. We checked into the hotel and an hour later took a taxi to a large house in a village at the edge of the town.

I could feel my heartbeat, rapid and heavy, as we stood at the door. I felt faint as I entered, and my vision seemed to fade. I could hardly take in the appearance of the woman who greeted Soraya and reacted numbly and automatically to her requests. I found myself entering a room where three other women stood naked against the far wall. “Undress,” she said coldly. “Clothes in the basket, write your name on the paper taped to it. There’s a pen on the table. Then go and stand with the others. No talking.”

I found myself naked against the wall, without any conscious memories of complying with the orders. I saw the basket of my clothes, but the writing hardly looked like mine, so shaky was it. I felt scared and sad, and couldn’t bear to look at the other women. From the glances I taken when I entered, they looked no more at ease than I was.

I must have waited in the room for more than an hour. By now the number of naked women had doubled from before my entry. The latest girl to arrive looked very young, perhaps the only one who was younger than me, and she was very large, certainly more than twice my weight and much shorter. She seemed more confident than any of us, and smiled as she took her place. She had a very pretty face and I was glad of her friendly glance toward me.

At last our waiting was over. We were told to form a line by a middle aged woman with a severe black bob (possibly a wig) and filed out of the anteroom. We entered a large hall where the other guests (presumably the dommes) were sat about, relaxing and sipping cocktails. Everyone present was female.

There was a raised platform where we lined up at the left hand side. The bobbed woman now stood at the centre of the stage and welcomed her guests, announcing that the night’s entertainments would begin with the declarations of submission. “First up is Cleo. Come along darling, kneel here.”

A woman in her thirties with a few tattoos on her tanned body came to the centre of the platform, where a square was marked with white tape. She looked terrified as she knelt. “Miss Hilary, would you care to join me?” Cleo’s domme was older by at least a decade. She looked excited but nervous too as she stood beside Cleo.

I noticed for the first time that there were a group of maids in the room. They wore black French maid outfits, though absurdly exaggerated since they were all corseted, with tiny waists. They all wore masks too, leather hoods that covered their hair and faces, only eyes and lips visible. Some of the maids now climbed onto the platform to assist Miss Hilary. They were carrying a wooden chest and opened it, passing what looked like a poker to the dominatrix. Now two of the maids restrained Cleo, one on each side gripping her arms, and forcing them into unnatural positions which seemed impossible to escape. Another lit a blow torch and held it in front of her. Miss Hilary held the tip of the iron in the flame and I realised that it was a branding iron, a Gothic ‘H’ forming the tip. It was more than two inches high.

Cleo moaned and said something I couldn’t understand. A hiss from one of the maids silenced her. The tip of the iron began to glow red and the torch was extinguished. The maid now moved behind Cleo and pushed her hip between her shoulders to prevent her moving back.

Miss Hilary was muttering something softly to Cleo but even from a few feet away I couldn’t catch the words. She raised the iron and aligned it with the woman’s sternum. Cleo was already wailing softly and I imagined the heat of the iron already palpable. Then it was moved forward and pressed to her skin. There was a hiss at the contact, and steam was released. Cleo made a soft moan that made me want to cry. The iron was pressed to her chest though, and there was no release. For what must have been thirty seconds it was held in place, searing deep into the flesh before the older woman finally relented. The iron was taken away and Cleo was raised to her feet, managing a weak smile. “Always yours, Mistress,” she said softly and kissed her torturer. The two women walked to the side of the platform, though Cleo was so shaky that she had to be assisted. She was left standing to display herself to the gathering.

I glanced at the others who were beside me and saw that they were all thinking the same as me: were we all to receive barbaric brands tonight? I was terrified; was it possible that Soraya would want me marked so cruelly? I knew that it wasn’t beyond possibility.

My legs almost collapsed as my name was called. I was guided to the square to kneel and felt my hands being bound behind me. A strip of tape was pulled across my mouth and I knew that Soraya had given instructions for this. I saw her seated before me and she lifted her glass in greeting. It appeared that my ceremony would be performed by a third party.

And soon I saw a slender young woman with long red hair advance toward me. “Hello, Kerry-Anne,” she said, her lips parting in a cruel smile. “Bow your head. You mustn’t look at me unless you have permission.”

I felt an ice cold spray across my head now, so much that drips began to run down my face and neck. I was shivering by the time the spraying ended. Now I felt the Mistress grip my head, her long, talon-like nails digging into my temples, firm enough to be uncomfortable. I gasped as I felt something scrape over my head, dragging across the top of my scalp from my forehead. “You look disgusting… Ridiculous…” the woman whispered. “I’m going to fix you. Now keep still or there’ll be blood, and you don’t want that.”

I stared at a fixed point on the floor, two feet in front of my knees. I felt the edge of the razor pulled firmly against my skin again, sure that it was a straight razor, sharp enough to slice through my skin without effort. Fear prevented me from making the least movement, and I only breathed when the razor was briefly withdrawn, presumably to clean the wet hairs from the blade.

She worked meticulously, first clearing the top of my head, then working over the sides. I could feel the difference when she went over the shaved areas above my ears, since the blade moved easily, without the scraping sensation that was present where longer hair was to be shaved. She rested the side of her hand against my head so that her strokes were steady and even.

As the razor drew back above my ear I felt the scraping of more hair being shaved, but only seconds later when I saw a long coil of hair fall to the floor did I realise that the last of my long hair was being taken now. I would be bald. I realised that my eyes were filling with tears and I was unable to control my sadness. I was sure my crying would be taken as a sign of shame and weakness, and only hoped that my failure wouldn’t reflect badly on Soraya.

The blade scraped in long, steady strokes over my nape and soon there was a large mass of dead hair around my knees. I felt her push my head from side to side as she finished removing the last traces of hair from my head. I saw a maid approach, though I still didn’t dare look up. Then I felt a sponge being wiped over my head, ice cold once more, making my scalp feel tight and inducing an ache in my skull. A towel was rubbed over my head and a few more scrapes of the razor were made where a little stubble had survived. I was, I knew, completely bald.

I rose to my feet, whereupon the spectators began to jeer and call insults at me. The woman who’d shaved me moved in front of me and lifted my chin. I saw that in her hand she held a collar of thick leather with two rows of conical studs. It looked like a dog collar, and since it was evidently old and worn I knew there was every possibility that it had been worn by a dog. The leather was perhaps a centimetre thick, and the collar was eight centimetres wide. It was stiff and rigid, forming a cylinder, which now enclosed my neck. There were two buckles which were tightened so that the collar bound my neck tightly. A hasp rose between the buckles, and a flap, bound in rusted metal was closed over it. A small padlock, five centimetres high and heart-shaped, was fitted through the hasp and clicked closed. “The key isn’t on site,” my tormentor whispered. “You wear this for a month. If you’re a good sub to Miss Soraya I’ll send her the key.”

She smiled at me, then called for some scissors. Evidently this took the gathering by surprise and it was a couple of minutes before a maid passed them to her. “Close your eyes,” I was ordered. I felt a terror as she brought the scissors to my eye. “Stop twitching!” she barked, obviously irritated by my lack of self-control. With the tips she began to snip away my eyelashes. It was an appalling experience, and I couldn’t stop blinking, sure I would feel the blades close on the edge of my eyelid at any moment. Finally I was declared complete, and the sponge was used to scrub my eyes, my make-up presumably now taken away. I was led to the far side of the platform to stand beside Cleo during the rest of the ceremony, still bound and gagged.

“Oh, look at you,” Soraya purred and stroked my bald head. She reached up and tore away the tape, making me cry out, especially since it had stuck to my labret. “I have to say, the eyelashes weren’t part of the deal, but I like it anyway. You look so pale and androgynous, and very submissive. Bald head and big collar. Just perfect.”

“Can I see it?” I asked sadly.

“No you can’t, you naughty girl. And when you’re here we have to follow rules. You address me as Miss Soraya, and all the other dommes as Mistress. You’ll be punished if you make any mistakes on that. And I won’t choose the punishment, so don’t say you weren’t warned.” I felt my cheeks redden in frustration at my predicament. I was most unhappy to have to suffer like this, especially in the presence of strangers. “Stop sulking!” she chided me. “You got off lightly compared to some of them, didn’t you?”

I nodded. Other than the branding there’d been a tattoo for the large girl, a code on her arm that was her slave registration number, and which could be entered on an online register to reveal her full sexual history. Another woman had been bound in a steel collar which couldn’t be removed except by cutting, and another had been chipped, a GPS tracker inserted under the skin at the back of her neck. Still, being made bald was something that set me apart and I could see fear in the eyes of the others when they looked at me, as though my humiliation might push their Mistresses into giving them the same treatment.

“Well, Miss Soraya, might I at least feel my head? You can untie me.”

“Gosh, baby, that sounded entitled. I think you forgot that you’re my sub, and tonight you have to act like it. You can do without the use of your hands for a bit longer I think. I’m going to socialise for a bit, to get some new ideas for how I can amuse you. I’ve found a nice young woman who’s promised to look after you. Wait here and she’ll be over soon. And I don’t need to tell you that you need to say yes to everything. Don’t let yourself down, because it reflects badly on me. I can tell you some people thought you were very naughty with all that crying. But let’s put that behind us. Just remember I love you and you look more beautiful than ever.” She kissed the top of my head and moved to the other side of the room.

I waited anxiously for ten minutes or more before I saw the overweight young woman approaching with her owner, a woman in her twenties with very short hair and a muscular build. She was the most butch of all those present, except perhaps for me now. She introduced herself as Miss Tara, and her friend was Amelia.

Miss Tara ran a hand over my body and took in my appearance very critically. “You’re the one who’s gaining for Miss Soraya? You’re very slim.”

“Yes, Mistress. I’ve gained quite a lot but I was very skinny to start.” I felt an awful tension as I spoke, aware that I might transgress some law that was unknown to me and earn a terrible punishment.

“How much have you gained?”

“Twenty five pounds.”

She looked unimpressed. “How long has that taken?” She scoffed as I said it had been three months.”

“Amelia, what’s your biggest gain in a month?”

“Forty-three pounds, Mistress,” she said proudly. My head reeled at the prospect of being three stone heavier in a few weeks.

“You’ve just been playing at gaining, haven’t you? Tonight I’m going to let you spend time with Amelia and she’ll supervise your eating. What weight are you now?”

“Nine stone eight when I was weighed earlier.”

“You should give your weight in pounds. That’s more conventional in the community. Your weight in pounds?”

“A hundred and… thirty-four pounds,” I said making a quick mental calculation.

“Well let’s see if you can’t make ten stone by the time you leave: one forty would be quite a breakthrough for a little thing like you. Will you do that for me?”

“Yes Mistress, I’ll try.”

She gave a bitter laugh. “And if you fail… Except Amelia is in charge of your diet tonight so she’ll be punished. Maybe she should get a Kerry-Anne haircut. Would you like that, poppet?”

“Truthfully, Mistress, I think I’d be upset because you like my hair, but I can’t deny I’d be excited to try it.”

She had thick hair, dyed auburn, cut in a wispy bob. The softness suited her well and I was upset to think I might be responsible for her being shaved. It was a more effective way of ensuring my compliance than threatening a punishment for me. However…

“I’m sure if you fail your Mistress will punish you as well,” Miss Tara added. “We’ll weigh you at midnight. Don’t let us down ladies.”

I followed Amelia to a smaller room at the side of the hall where a table was filled with food. “Can you untie me?” I asked.

“Of course I can’t,” she said. “Only a Mistress can do that. I’m afraid you’ll just have to let me feed you. I hope you don’t mind. For me it’s a great privilege. I selected food that your Mistress said you’d enjoy. You have to eat a lot tonight, probably a lot more than you ever have before, so it wouldn’t work if it was stuff you hated. Miss Soraya says you’re a very fussy eater and you eat too many sweets.”

“It’s true. I never took much interest in food before I met her, and I only agreed to eating sweet stuff initially.”

She stroked my arm. “You look so frightened. Just relax. I’m going to be nice with you. I want us to have some fun tonight, and I don’t want you to think I’m punishing you. You’d look so much more attractive to me if you got fat. You look great with your shaved head. I was very excited watching you.”

She began to caress my scalp and cooed, telling me how lovely it felt. “Is it OK if we kiss?”

“No!” I protested. “What if someone sees us?”

“Miss Tara and Miss Soraya agreed, so we’re allowed to kiss and touch. I would never have suggested it otherwise.”

I was shocked that this had been agreed without my agreement. Immediately I felt a paranoid distrust growing: had Soraya agreed this in order to give herself licence to indulge herself with other guests? I tried to calm my fears. If she did kiss other women here it wasn’t so bad, although I’d prefer she did it in my presence. I hated myself for not trusting her.

But then I felt Amelia snuggle up to me, her huge body soft and warm. She had such a pretty face, big eyes and plump lips and her smile made me forget everything bad. She kissed me softly on the cheek and neck.

“Poor little thing, they shaved all your hair. I saw how sad you were, but you won because you’re so beautiful now, and you don’t need hair. You just need to relax, because if you’re anxious you won’t have a good appetite. Have a couple of vodkas, that’ll ease your worries.”

It felt odd to have someone else lift a glass to my lips and make me drink. Amelia seemed intent on making me drink more rapidly than I would have chosen, but I had to put my trust in her. I didn’t want us to be punished come midnight.

“Just swallow it all down, as fast as possible. It’s best that way. It might seem a good idea to pace yourself but it’s not. Your stomach can take more if you cram everything as fast as possible. And when you get too full take a few big gulps of fizzy drink. Then have a burp and you’ll feel ready for more.”

I took another huge spoonful of trifle and swallowed. Amelia was filling my mouth with alarming frequency, always with soft foods that went down very easily. But already I was feeling full and we’d barely started. I couldn’t complain, however, since every time I swallowed more food was spooned into my mouth.

“You’ve got such a childish palate,” Amelia laughed. “You look so serious and grown up but you eat like you’re at a seven year-old’s birthday party. Miss Tara takes me to expensive restaurants. She loves seeing me consume expensive meals in minutes. You’ve never seen anyone who can dismember a lobster as fast as me. I bet you don’t like lobster, do you?”

I shook my head. “I’m vegetarian,” I managed between mouthfuls.

“Aw, poor thing. Are you saturated with sweet? How about some crisps? And a nice dip?” I nodded, sure that I’d eaten so much sugar it would tip me into diabetes.

Amelia threw an entire jar of salsa into a bowl and took a large bag of crisps. She popped it open then crushed the contents until only small pieces remained, then stirred them into the salsa. “Faster food like this,” she smiled. I was made to drink a glass of coke and my feeding started up once more.

I looked around the room and felt like I was witnessing a painting describing the last days of Rome. All around the hall I could see sex acts of various kinds being shamelessly enacted. A sub was laying on a sofa close to me receiving a tattoo from the woman who’d given Amelia her code (she was, fortunately, quite skilled and and the numbers were inked with precision). The woman looked tense as her neck was given a garland of flowers, though it was impossible to say whether her displeasure was with the pain or the tattoo, which would be almost impossible to conceal.

It didn’t take me long to find Soraya; she was seated in the centre of the room on her own, watching everything. “Kerry-Anne!” she shouted happily as she noticed me. “Come and sit! I’m a little drunk. How are you getting on with Amelia?”

“She’s lovely, actually,” I said. “I feel so stuffed though! Please don’t make this a habit.”

She looked at me slyly. “I don’t know. Amelia is such a sexy little dumpling. Maybe it would be interesting to see how you’d look if you were that big.”

“Don’t even joke. It would be so tough. I mean… she’s more than twice my weight. It really interferes with day to day stuff.”

“OK, miss sensible. I wouldn’t want you that big. Happy now?” She reached up to my head. “I know I am. My love is finally bald. And you still haven’t seen yourself, have you? Everyone has said how lovely you look. I think a few of these subs are going to be bald before long. You’re a trendsetter.”

“I think Amelia might be the first. Did you know Miss Tara’s going to shave her if I don’t weight ten stone at midnight?”

Soraya started to laugh. “Ten stone? You’re well below that. How much have you eaten?”

I put her hand to my distended belly. “Tons! More than ever in my life and it’s still not enough. Amelia reckons I need to eat about half as much as I already have to make the weight. I’m sure I’ll barf it all back up. Poor little thing is going to lose her hair. And I’d have to be punished too, Miss Soraya. Please don’t do anything horrible.”

She looked at me excitedly. “Gosh, darling. I mean all these people. It would have to be something dramatic, wouldn’t it? I mean poor Amelia getting shaved, and you just getting a slap on the wrist, that wouldn’t sit well. I suppose you’d just better eat up or… Or you get a tattoo.”

“You wouldn’t!”

“Actually, yes, I’d like it. Look at how nice that tattoo is that Sara is doing. She’s very good, isn’t she. At least your neck is safe. The collar protects you. A tattoo would look good on you. Maybe if you’re a good girl and you satisfy Tara I’ll get one instead.”

I kissed her. “I’m not saying you shouldn’t. Just saying you shouldn’t make decisions about things that you can’t ever change when you’re drunk.”

She laughed. “You’re a little angel! OK, no tattoo for me tonight. But if you fail you do get one.”

I was terrified at midnight when one of the maids came to the room and called me to be weighed. I entered the hall which was now much quieter, since everybody was watching me.

I wished I could drink to take away my nervousness, but, sensibly, Amelia had insisted I refrain from alcohol after the small amount I’d drunk hours ago: now that I was full she was sure it was too likely to make me vomit. I had however just drunk a litre of water and wasn’t sure I could keep that down, but, as Amelia pointed out, a litre of water weighs a kilogram and that extra kilo might just tip me over the edge.

The woman with the black bob (I now knew her as Miss Victoria, the organiser of the party) gave an introduction, explaining the challenge I’d been given. “At the beginning of the night our little hairless sub weighed one hundred and thirty-four pounds. And even though her mistress wants her to gain weight, she went and lost!” There was an exaggerated gasp around the room, as though I were a pantomime villain. “Yes, she lost some weight. All the weight of the long hair she’d had. But now to make up for it she was tasked with increasing her weight to a full one forty. That’s a nice round ten stone in old money. Double figures. Our lovely expert on gaining, Amelia, has assisted Kerry-Anne, so let’s see if the pair of them can avoid a punishment. Actually, mistresses, what are the punishments if they Kerry-Anne is still underweight?” There were calls from the floor. “Did you all hear that? Kerry-Anne gets a tattoo, her very first, and Amelia gets a haircut to match Kerry-Anne’s! I can see you all want her to fail now!”

There were cat-calls and jeers now as I stepped forward onto the scale. “Look straight ahead,” Victoria said softly but insistently. “Wait for me to announce your weight.”

I stepped off the scale and waited for Victoria to make the announcement, but she seemed intent on drawing out the result as far as possible. Finally, after much prevarication she said: “Kerry-Anne’s new weight is… one hundred and forty-two pounds! Challenge met. Unfortunately.” There were light hearted protests from the crowd. “But I think there’s been some cheating going on! Because the weight was supposed to be for naked weight and Kerry-Anne is wearing a big heavy collar which can’t be removed. I reckon that must weigh, what, two pounds? So I think it’s open to question whether or not she succeeded. I felt my face flush at the injustice. The collar was heavy, but nowhere near a single pound. Still, I knew I couldn’t question a dominatrix. “The girls had a good try, so maybe a lesser punishment, since we are merciful, aren’t we?” There was a lot of laughter. “Of course, the final say is with their owners. Tara, Soraya, join me please.”

Tara agreed that Amelia didn’t deserve to be bald. “But perhaps she should get the side of her head shaved for being so slovenly in her task. And her eyebrows. She loves them too much so let’s pluck those.” I glanced at Amelia, who smiled, but couldn’t hide her fear.

Now Soraya made her judgement. “Kerry-Anne has made me proud tonight, and for now she shouldn’t have a tattoo but if someone could give a nice piercing it would make me very happy. Maybe in her tongue?” The suggestions were both received enthusiastically.

Amelia and I were both made to kneel on the platform and within moments the red headed domme who’d shaved me was setting her clippers to poor Amelia. My sympathy for her was put on hold as Soraya came to me with Miss Sara, who it seemed was expert in all areas of body modification. A ring gag was inserted behind my teeth, stretching my jaw painfully. I couldn’t help groaning at the discomfort it inflicted.

“I know you’ve been eating too much tonight,” Sara cautioned. “This is going to hurt but I hope you can show enough control not to vomit. If you do you’ll get a tattoo of my choice, and let’s just say it might be placed a bit too obviously for you.” She stroked my bald head. I nodded to show I understood.

I felt some forceps close on my tongue and draw it out of my mouth. I focussed on my breathing, slowly in, slowly out. I told myself that my tongue was alien, remote from my body, and that I couldn’t feel pain in it. Yet when the needle pushed through it brought me back to the edge of panic. I felt faint and nauseous. As the bar was inserted I could feel acid rising in my throat and said a silent prayer that I could contain this urge.

I swallowed hard as the gag was removed, and held myself rigid as I waited for the nausea to subside. “You’re OK?” Soraya said. I looked up at her, and saw that she looked on the verge of tears. I smiled and nodded, the relief that I’d endured this test erasing any concerns with the pain I continued to feel in my tongue. Soraya helped me to my feet, wiped away the blood and kissed me.

I looked over and saw Amelia. “I thought Miss Tara said one side shaved.” She now had a mohawk, both sides bared and razored. Now the top was being cut shorter too. Once it had been neatly trimmed it was stiffly gelled so that it stood in a harsh crest along the centre of Amelia’s head.

“Kerry-Anne, come here,” Miss Tara instructed. “Since Amelia let you down you can perform the final part of the punishment. You can get rid of her eyebrows. Soraya, do you consent to Kerry-Anne’s wrists being unbound?”

Having the use of my arms again was wonderful, but they’d been fixed behind my back for so long that it was awkward getting them to move initially. I was taken back to the room where I’d gorged and soon I was alone again with Amelia.

“You poor little thing,” I slurred, my swollen tongue hardly allowing me to articulate. “I’m so sorry.”

She shrugged and smiled. “It’s OK. And not your fault. We did everything we were asked to. This is just some entertainment, and even if you’d gained fifteen pounds we’d have been humiliated anyway.”

“But now I have to punish you. I don’t like that.”

She kissed me. “You should. Tap into your cruel domme side, I’m sure you have it somewhere in you. It’ll be more fun for me if you get into a role.”

I blushed. “I used to go to punk gigs when I was a teenager. I loved the girls with mohawks and chelseas. You look sexy as a punk girl.”

“Please Miss Kerry-Anne,” she sighed, “don’t take away my eyebrows. I love them so much.”

“They’ve got to go, Amelia. You’re too vain and pretty. Not good for a sub at all.” I set the tweezers to her left brow and began to pluck. She gasped at the stinging.

“It hurts! Please don’t.” Where she’d been playful before she was now sincere.

“Hush, Amelia. You know this has to happen. You’re a big girl and a little bit of plucking won’t harm you. Now let me get on or I’ll report your behaviour to Miss Tara.”

She did look odd without her eyebrows. She wasn’t at all the same girl I’d met earlier, more androgynous, far less pretty, especially with her severe new haircut. “You look strange, but very sexy,” I assured her.

“I want to see it. There’s no mirrors though.”

“I know! I still haven’t seen myself. I haven’t even felt my head. I couldn’t for hours and now I don’t dare.”

We set off to look for Tara and Soraya but were interrupted my another domme who invited us to join her in her private room for a moment. Since we didn’t dare refuse we followed her. Inside was a glass sheet with lines of white powder neatly distributed. “I wanted to share my bounty with everyone. Do help yourselves.” We didn’t react. “I insist,” she said forcefully.

Amelia went first and used a chrome tube to short a line. “It’s OK,” she said to reassure me.

I did the same. I’d never tried cocaine before and was very nervous. The powder felt horrible as it entered, a burning sensation that was most unpleasant.

We were immediately dismissed by the domme, and left to continue our search. Instead of the expected rush I began to feel unsteady and confused. Then nothing.

I woke the next day in the hotel room, feeling a little groggy and sick, but no worse than I did after a moderate drinking session. Even my tongue piercing had settled, with the swelling reducing, though it was till very tender. My motion woke Soraya who looked concerned. “Are you OK?”

“I’m fine. What happened last night?” I was still speaking badly, since I had to reduce the movements of my tongue to a minimum.

“You took something. I found you and Amelia passed out. There was a huge scene. Patricia was thrown out. She was lucky the police weren’t called. It was ketamine, at least we think so. You were like a zombie. I was so worried.”

“Sorry I ruined your party. She insisted we should take it. I could hardly say no.”

She kissed me. “You were perfect. I mean look at you. So sub now. And chubby too!”

I groaned as I rubbed my scalp. I think I’d forgotten I was bald. “Oh it feels so weird.”

“It felt better last night, didn’t it, when it was freshly shaved. I can feel some stubble now.”

“I didn’t feel it last night. And I still haven’t seen it.”

I was soon standing in front of a mirror in wonder. I looked sickly and that added to my weirdness, as did the barbaric dog collar. I started to cry, but couldn’t really understand why. I felt so removed from the girl I saw, but I didn’t find my reflection unattractive. “You look great,” Soraya insisted. “Don’t be sad.”

“I’m not, I think it’s just shock. But look at my belly! It’s huge.”

“Yes! You gained eight pounds in a few hours. I was talking about it with Tara and she said that if you kept that rate up for a month it would be two hundred and forty pounds. You’d weigh three eighty. Twenty seven stone. You’d be bigger than Amelia.”

“Oh god, don’t even joke about it!”

She laughed. “I thought you liked Amelia. There was some chemistry between you for sure.”

“She’s lovely. I do like her. But please don’t ask me to gain that much. I mean your size or even a little bigger, I can live with that, but not really big. It would make everything so difficult. We’d not be going out for walks any more and I love that.”

She looked at me slyly. “I can’t deny that it does intrigue me. Maybe I can use that threat when you’re being difficult. Offer you the choice of doing as I ask or having a week of stuffing with Tara and Amelia.”

I giggled. “You’re so mean. I don’t know why I love you. But I do. I love you so much.”

My obedience to Soraya was soon being tested again, as I despaired about going out in the collar. “But it’s locked. I don’t have the key. You have no choice.”

I gasped. “You do! I can see you’re lying. You do have it. Now take it off. Please!”

She pondered it. “I like seeing you in a collar with your bald head though. It’s so beautiful. If I agree to take it off now then you have to agree to wear it in the house. As soon as you get home you put on your collar and lock it before you do anything else. And once a week I can take you out wearing your collar.”

I protested, but she wouldn’t relent. “And if I take it off now you have to wear the outfit I choose for you for the journey home. Eventually, as always, I backed down and the collar was unlocked.

I’d imagined the outfit couldn’t be too bad, since I’d seen everything that was packed for the trip. But I hadn’t reckoned on a shopping trip around the vintage shops. I was vulnerable enough going out with a bald head but now I realised that Soraya wanted to dress me in a suit. A man’s suit.

She selected one in scratchy black wool, heavy and shapeless, old fashioned. “Try it!” she begged me. “I want to see how it looks.”

It looked awful. I realised as I looked in the mirror that I no longer looked thin. I wasn’t fat, but I blushed as I realised people would now see me as average build, after a life time of being the skinny girl.

And I had a big, gleaming bald head! I saw myself now passively accept the outfit that was chosen, very plain: white cotton shirt, maroon tie, black lace up shoes. I was no longer feminine in the slightest. I looked like a boy with alopecia. The only consolation from this entire humiliation was the excitement that Soraya couldn’t hide. I knew she’d make me very happy when we arrived home.

I was left in no doubt over the following days that Soraya adored making me very butch. She got very aroused each time I allowed her to dress me in masculine clothes: the act of humiliation pleased her (while I’d always been tomboyish in my clothes it was far from my current look, especially now that I’d been shaved), but it was more than that. I endured the embarrassment of becoming butch because it was very clear that it made me more attractive than ever to Soraya. And I found it hard to resist giving in to her when I knew it would result in her living in a state of constant arousal, which was wonderful for our sex life.

Another example of her persuasiveness: a week after the party and my hair had grown into a soft stubble. It looked awfully short, but it was an improvement on the starkness of my bald head, which attracted far too much attention for my liking, both positive (compliments from strangers, and curiosity about why I’d done it) but mostly negative (crude comments shouted at me from teenagers and from passing cars). As we rose late, it being a Saturday, Soraya began to stroke my head. “It looks a bit tired and untidy, baby. You need to be shaved again.”

I shook my head. “You said if you shaved me it would be a one off. You said you’d be happy for me to grow it out and try other styles.”

She laughed. “Did I say that? Anyway, you look so sexy when you’re bald. I think you should shave every day. It’s easily the best look you’ve had. I adore it, and you look so submissive too. It’s like you can’t resist me when I shave you. If you shave I’ll let you wear make-up.”

“If I had some hair I wouldn’t feel so bad about not wearing any make-up. So that’s not a great argument.”

“But I’ll find you more attractive if you shave your head again. And it feels so nice! You didn’t even get to feel it when it was just shaved. We’ll keep you shaved for a month, then you can start to grow it. Please, Kerry-Anne. Otherwise I’ll probably start to go off you and we won’t have sex any more.”

I giggled. “You’re really mean sometimes. Hurtful. You only like me because I do as you tell me.”

“Of course! I like obedience, and you’re the most obedient girl I ever met. And the most lovable. That’s why I love you so much. But I’d love you about seven percent more if you let me shave your head.”

Half an hour later I was in the bath and Soraya was shampooing my head. “Don’t cut my eyelashes though,” I begged.

“No, I won’t. It was a nice idea, but you looked weird. I’ll let those grow back now. But you have to promise to keep this shaved every day for a month. Otherwise I’ll pluck your eyelashes and keep doing it until they never grow back.”

I grunted my displeasure. “I hate being bald.” The razor dragged back from my forehead. It had got too long to shave easily and the sensation wasn’t very pleasing.

“You hate being bald less than you like me loving how bald you are,” Soraya smiled. “One day I’ll do it too. Can you imagine us going out, both bald? We’d look so great.”

“You know what would look even better? Both of us with hair.”

“You don’t mean that. I saw how you looked when I got it cut short. You’d love to see me go even shorter, wouldn’t you? And you can make it happen. You only have to tell me to go ahead and a week later you can get my hair cut any way you like.”

The razor made another pass, tugging at my scalp as the hairs clogged the razor. “It’s dragging,” I complained.

“It won’t if I do it every day. It’ll feel lovely and silky then. Unless you’d rather we removed it all permanently.”

“No, I’ll suffer a bit.”

“I would like you to have your eyebrows done though. Electrolysis. I love seeing you without. I’ll never let them grow back so it would just make life easier for you.”

“I’d hate it though. I mean soon I’ll be looking for a job. It would be nice to look a bit more conventional. Who’s going to give me a job when I don’t have a single hair?”

“You’ll be stuck in a lab, where no one will ever see you except weird geeks and they won’t mind how you look. Anyway, it’s probably an advantage. No hair to drop into the experiment and contaminate stuff. They’ll probably realise that and make everyone have their hair permanently removed.”

“Well if they do I’ll be sure to recommend you to oversee their balding. Maybe you could set up a company to do corporate hair removal. No job too big.”

She laughed. “That would be my dream job! Except that it would mostly be science nerds, and there wouldn’t be much fun working on them.”

“Not everyone who studies science has Asperger’s. There are some quite pretty girls in the labs. You might be surprised.”

“And nice guys too?” I nodded. “Set me up with one. Then you can make me into a skinhead too. Or whatever you want.”

“Oh, shit, no! I mean, someone I knew… Never! If you have to do it, I want it to be someone I don’t know anything about. And you never tell me anything, so I can forget it.”

She scraped away another strip of hair. “Just say yes. Give me permission, then I can do it one day without you knowing. And all you have to know is when it’s over and you can take me for my punishment.”

“I don’t want to punish you.”

“Yes you do. For needing something else I deserve it. And for making you submissive, for taking all your hair, for making you fat. For a day you can get out all your resentment. I’m a sub at heart too, so it’s not like I won’t enjoy it. So do you agree? You just have to nod is all.”

I did, though I felt deeply uneasy. I wanted her to tell me she didn’t want this, that I was everything to her, as she was to me. My jealousy was stirring within me, implacable, destructive. I might be able to conceal it for now, but I knew that her demand was feeding it and it would only grow. If she did go through with her plan I would give her the punishment she wanted.

My nose wrinkled in disgust as I saw myself. My head was gleaming, so smooth and pale, the glossy finish a result of Soraya applying wax and buffing it to a sheen. “Stop it!” she said. “You look so pretty. The sexiest you ever looked. I like you so much better than when you had your long hair, better even than when you had your mullet. And just feel it.”

I rubbed my hand over my scalp and sighed. It did feel delightful, on that we were agreed.

“Now we make sure it stays like this for a few weeks at least. When it grows out a bit we should get you a mohawk. A really short fuzzy strip with bare sides. I know how much you like them. Maybe I’ll let you meet up with Amelia and see how hers is doing. I’d like you and her to keep in touch. You don’t have enough friends.”

We should meet with her and Tara. Wouldn’t you like that? I mean to have some friends that we can be open about our relationship?” I felt like she was suggesting I should be free to have a hook up with Amelia as a way to justify continued liaisons with unknown strangers.

“Maybe.” She smiled at me. “Are you worried I’d let Tara and Amelia loose on your feeding again? They could certainly accelerate you getting to your ideal weight.”

“Please don’t. I hated how I felt when I ate so much.”

“You’d soon get used to it if you did it more often. Tara says that Amelia can eat frightening amounts.”

“Yes, but neither of us wants me anywhere near her size. Let’s just stick with your plan for now.” Even this felt like a capitulation. I still had awful doubts about how big I’d got.

“But you do want to see Amelia don’t you? And if the four of us meet it’s inevitable that Tara will insist on seeing you stuffing. So too bad, baby. We’ll meet up and you can do as you’re told. And you’re going to have a gleaming head until I can show off how pretty you are to them.”

Soraya was true to her word. From now on I was maintained as a bald girl, although in truth I didn’t feel girly. She liked dressing me in masculine clothes, and make-up was usually limited to occasionally drawn on thick, dark brows, which only made me look more mannish. A couple of times, however, my make-up was different for a night out: she used pale foundation and concealer to give me a flawless complexion, extending over my entire scalp, then pale lips and eyes to emphasise my alienness rather than my androgyny. I was allowed to dress in more feminine clothes too, although they were hardly pretty or conventional, rather she pushed me toward fashionista type looks drawing inspiration from Instagram pages of hipster fashion students.

In other words, I was never allowed to go out without being dressed in a way that emphasised my unconventionality, nor was covering my head ever an option. I had to adjust to attracting a lot of attention, which wasn’t something I ever enjoyed; even compliments were something I found awkward and embarrassing. At home was different. I adored the pleasure my appearance gave to Soraya, and couldn’t hide my pleasure in the sensations of her shaving me, as well as the beautiful feeling of a newly shaved scalp. She’d not been as strict as she’d threatened regarding my collar, however. Mostly I didn’t wear it, but there were some nights when she insisted on its presence. It was uncomfortable, the rough leather chafing my neck, and if I’d worn it every day I’m sure I would have had noticeable damage to my skin, but I didn’t object to wearing it for a few hours, so long as it was in private. In truth, I liked to see how I looked with my bald head and collared, a true vision of submission.

As I mentioned, Soraya loved to look through websites to find inspiration for changes, and liked to have me alongside her. She loved outlandish hair pages, and asked me frequently how I’d feel about trying various styles once my hair grew out. Inevitably she focussed on the more extreme looks, and very short too. She seemed to have little interest in anything longer than a bowlcut, not even taking much pleasure in bobs, which were something I found beautiful.

It was while looking through a hair fashion Instagram page that she came across an image that piqued her curiosity. It was a vintage photograph (probably taken in the 1950s), but the subject was not a hairstyle: it showed a man, possibly fifty years old, standing alongside a younger woman (probably in her twenties), in his hand a tattooing machine. His bare forearm was tattooed, and the woman, whose back was to the camera and who was naked from waist up, had an image of a Japanese landscape covering her upper back entirely: a robed figure crossed a wooden bridge across a lake where cranes waded before a pagoda, all before a snow capped volcano. More tattoos were present on her left arm, a geisha on the back of her upper arm being the only one in the image that could be identified. The walls in the background were entirely covered with sheets of flash art.

“Isn’t that beautiful?” Soraya said dreamily. “She looks quite lady-like too. Not someone you’d expect to have tattoos.”

Her face was visible in profile, and she was quite attractive, but by today’s standards a little matronly. “I think it’s easy to miss the subtle things in a person’s dress after decades. Maybe in the fifties she would have looked quite decadent, even if the tattoos were covered.”

Soraya shook her head. “I bet it was so shocking then for a woman to have tattoos. It’s not like now where it’s such a common thing and it’s accepted, even if not everyone likes them. I mean, to get such big tattoos and so many… That must have been a real outsider thing.” I voiced my agreement. “We should get tattoos,” she said, her voice hoarse with excitement. “I’ve liked the idea for a while, but now I think we should make it happen. Look at that big drawing on her back. I’d love to see you get a piece like that covering your back.”

“Really?” I zoomed in on the image and examined it more closely. “It’s not very well drawn though. Quite crude really.” I’d always enjoyed drawing and had started to take a deeper interest in art in the last year or two, making visits to galleries a few times a month.

“Such a snob!” Soraya laughed. “You should have respect for traditions of tattooing. It’s folk art. And that’s a very good example.”

“It’s cultural appropriation! Why would a European woman want all those fake Japanese images? They don’t even look like Japanese tattoos.”

She wrapped her strong arms around me. “Hush, baby! If you keep being picky I’ll make you get a Japanese scene too, in fact a copy of her tattoos. If you’re a good girl and say you want to get tattooed I might let you have some say in the designs that go on your body.”

Suddenly the enormity of her desire was revealed. I’d considered tattoos, but had never been sure enough of any image to have a true desire to see it indelibly marked on me. Now Soraya was proposing that I should get lots of ink and soon. It scared me to imagine how fast I was changing.

Soraya wasn’t pleased by my silence. “You don’t have any hair until you have a tattoo, Kerry-Anne. I’m going to keep you shaved until you do this for me. I might just book you in with Sara and let her do as she pleases with your scalp. I bet she’d do such a beautiful image that I’d never want it hidden with hair. I’d just have to get your hair permanently removed. Tattooing and electrolysis for your lovely head. How does that sound?”

“Terrible. Really terrible and scary. Don’t even joke about it.”

“So where would you agree to? A nice back piece?”

“I don’t know.” I felt uncomfortable giving her any encouragement. I knew that what any tentative suggestion would be taken as a concrete agreement by Soraya, and I knew that she was so persuasive that once she saw some weakness from me she would ensure that I gave in to her demands. “A tattoo is a big commitment. And as for back… I don’t see the point of suffering so much for something I’d never get to see.”

“But I would, so it would be such a brave thing to do for my pleasure. But if you wanted a chest piece as well, or a sleeve, then I’d be delighted. You’re such a good girl.”

“I didn’t agree, though,” I protested, my voice not sounding as light-hearted as I’d intended.

“That would have its benefits too though. You’d always be bald. And you know how I love seeing you bald.”

“Are you really going to get tattooed though?” I wasn’t sure how I felt. I did like tattoos on other girls, but on Soraya it would be different.

“Definitely! I was thinking something big on my thigh would be cool. And I want an Arsenal badge. On my right arm.”

I couldn’t help laughing. Soraya liked football and went to a few matches a year (I’d sworn never to accompany her though, which she accepted), but the idea that she’d get a football tattoo seemed so at odds with her love of make-up and girly clothes that I couldn’t believe she’d do it. “Imagine you with your hair cropped and your football hooligan tattoo! You’d look such a dyke.”

She looked embarrassed. “Would I? I bet you’d like that.”

I kissed her. “I don’t know. I like you looking pretty. But I see a strange look in your eyes when you think on being humiliated and it makes me want to let you experience it. But dressing you up is temporary, and even a haircut will soon grow out. A tattoo is different.”

“I know. But I want you to support me in this. Tell me you want it for me.”

“I do. Maybe I shouldn’t let you touch my hair again till you book an appointment.”

She looked thoughtful, and I knew she needed time to know whether to proceed. She laughed suddenly and changed the subject.

My threat wasn’t enforced, and every day I felt a razor sweep over my entire scalp from brows to nape, though not for a moment did I ever feel comfortable going out without hair. The girl I saw in the mirror made me feel an awful divide: one the one hand I felt ugly and humiliated, but on the other sexy and daring, with the most delicious sensations when I or (better still) Soraya touched my head, never more so than when the razor had just taken away every hint of hair.

One evening I arrived home to find an empty house. I checked my phone and saw that I had a message from Soraya telling me that something had come up and that she’d be late home, which wasn’t so unusual, but when she hadn’t returned by eleven I was worried. I felt it wasn’t paranoia on my part to imagine her in the arms of some huge young man, muscular and athletic with buzzed hair: those were the type she liked. I felt sick and angry. I hated being jealous, but could do nothing to stop these feelings. I tried to sleep, but the silence of the bedroom seemed to make the thoughts ever more intense and I was soon crying. Eventually I must have dozed off because I woke up early the next morning and Soraya was beside me.

She didn’t wake for another couple of hours and when she did she looked embarrassed. “You did it then?” I asked.

She nodded. “I’m sorry. You look awful. Should I have told you what I was doing?”

I shook my head. “This is what we agreed.”

“I hurt you though. I thought you were OK with it but I can see you’re not.”

“I get… jealous. I just kept thinking of you setting this up for weeks, going behind my back. And I know I told you to, but I still find it hard to accept. But it’s done now. Did it make you happy?”

She nodded. “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take away an itch. But I don’t need to do it again.” She looked very serious now. “Book Friday off. I’ve got nothing on. I’m a shit. You need to make me pay.”

I didn’t want to be vindictive, and yet my anger was undeniable. I’d thought of getting a pretty cut for Soraya, taking her to a salon and doing something with the colour too. Yet now I found myself planning a visit to a barbershop. I only had a few days to plan, but found myself walking around the town centre scanning the barbershops to find one with a girl to cut her hair. I was so angry that I thought I couldn’t trust her if a man cut her hair. That would be too intimate and she’d enjoy it too much. My search proved unsuccessful, however. I then had another idea and began to do some online research.

By Friday Soraya was terribly nervous, but I was hardly sympathetic. We rose early and I told her to make herself pretty. Her nicest make-up, paint her nails, wear a dress and heels. She looked wonderful, so much so that I started to doubt my plan, yet I couldn’t deny that I found an awful thrill in the idea that she’d be so humiliated.

“Now you have to dress me and do my make-up,” I instructed her as she shaved my head. “Make me look feminine, but scary. Maybe something gothic and domme?” She did as I asked, heavily outlining my eyes with glitter black, the wings wide and sharp. I had thick, angled brows drawn on, and I looked like a stranger. She put me in a black dress that I hadn’t worn since we bought it months earlier. It fitted very tightly now and I was shocked to see how it emphasised my broad hips, buttocks and thighs.

We took and early train and arrived in our favourite coastal town just as the shops were opening for the day. “You have to say yes to everything today,” I told her. “If you refuse anything we do it all again next week. And you refer to me as Miss Keri. Agreed?”

“Yes, Miss Keri,” she said. I could see she was excited, but scared too. She had reason to be.

Our first stop was a barbershop. Soraya’s cheeks coloured as I led her to the door. “Are you going to make a scene?” I asked. I’d run through this a thousand times in my head. Sometimes she did, crying and begging to be spared. Perhaps I wanted her to embarrass herself like this, only to be silenced by my threats.

“No Miss Keri,” she said. “I deserve whatever you choose.”

“If you do behave badly I might just see you walking out of her with a cut that matches mine. Understood?” She nodded. “No, say it. I want you to address me properly, and to make sure Karen hears what you call me.”

“I understand, Miss Keri,” she said. I pointed at the door and she walked in.

Karen was just the type of barberette I’d wanted: young, pretty, girlish. She had long bleached hair and lots of make-up, pretty if a little obvious. I could imagine she’d make a lot of money from tips in this shop. I introduced myself and reminded her that I’d emailed her. I could see that she was shocked by my appearance, though she tried to hide it. “This is Soraya. She’s been wanting a nice neat cut for a while now, so let’s make her look pretty. Take a seat, Soraya, don’t keep the lady waiting.”

She sheepishly climbed into the big chair, upholstered with red leather, so big it seemed to diminish her stature. Sheepish made me think of a sheep being shorn, and that’s what was about to happen.

“What are we doing today, hun?” Karen asked, wrapping a tissue around Soraya’s long neck. She looked lost, and had no idea how to respond. I let the silence draw out to increase her discomfort.

Finally I spoke. “Karen, Soraya wants me to make the decisions today, so please ask me what to do. I want her to have a nice close fade on the back and sides. Down to the skin on her nape and over her ears. Bare up to say an inch over the top of her ears, dipped down a little at the back. We can leave more length on top. Can you start with the fade, then we’ll decide about the top when that’s done?”

“You’re OK with this?” Karen asked Soraya, who looked pale and pinched. She nodded.

“Speak up, Soraya. Tell the lady who’s in charge.”

“Yes, Miss, it’s fine,” she said to Karen. “Miss Keri will tell you what you need.” I smiled, happy to see her adopt her new role so well.

Karen still seemed phased. “Are you sure you want the back and sides so close? Has she had it short before?”

“No she hasn’t, but it’s fine.”

“I’ll start with a number three and we’ll see how it looks,” Karen said.

“No, a number two,” I said. I wanted to make sure she understood my determination. She wouldn’t talk me into softening the cut.

A white cape with baby blue stripes was fixed around Soraya’s neck and Karen combed through her beautiful hair, which crackled as the hairspray resisted the tines. Karen swept the hair forward and made parts on both sides, nice and high. “Do you want the top and sides blended?” She spoke to no one in particular, as though she couldn’t accept that the girl in her chair would have no say.

“No, short up to the part. The top disconnected.”

She slid clips in to hold the hair free of the sides. The top had got long now, Soraya’s fringe hanging past her lips, though Karen now looped it back and clamped it in place, so that it formed a quiff.

I saw her take up her clippers, locating a small guard and clicking them over the blades. “OK, last chance to change your mind. Number two?”

“Yep. Number two. All the back and sides.”

They cracked as the switch engaged, then buzzed noisily. Karen touched Soraya’s crown and she let her head sway forward. A comb moved up the back, which had grown out to more than an inch now. The soft, thick hair was suddenly freed from her scalp as Karen pressed the clippers upwards through Soraya’s nape. It began to fall free, gathering into black clumps that fell to her shoulders. The smaller tufts stayed there, but the larger ones continued their fall, gathering in her lap.

The cut hair looked delightful; Soraya’s hair was thick and dark, and even cut so short it barely showed any scalp. It was an even coating of bristles that gleamed in the strong lighting. I watched with increasing excitement as the shape of her skull was revealed. Her neck seemed longer now, the softness of the skin covering the taut muscles now revealed, the roundness of her head a thing of beauty. Her hairline was nicely shaped, rounded at the edges, a little point at the centre, faint whorls at each side of her neck, paler against her skin as the hair was finer.

Soon the entire back of Soraya’s head was cut close to her scalp. It looked boyish and hard, but lovely too, and I was tempted to ask Karen to extend the cut over her entire head. I was sorely drawn to rub my hand over the buzz, but I controlled my impulses.

Now the clippers made their slow path across the sides of her head. I studied Soraya in the mirror as she saw for the first time how closely she was being shorn. I understood only too well the conflict that she felt now as she saw her lovely hair being remorselessly cleared, taking away her femininity and transforming her. Her eyes gleamed, moistening with sadness as well as arousal. She hated what was being done as much as she desired it.

Her ears were pulled forward by Karen so that the hair around their perimeter could be neatly clippered. And now the clippers were snapped off, silencing them temporarily. A brush was flicked around Soraya’s nape to clear away the heavy dusting of black powder which had been only moments earlier part of her sleek, lovely hair. “How high do you want the fade to go?” Karen asked.

“About an inch above ear shaved,” I said, trying to sound blasé, but my voice revealed my nervousness.

Karen picked up a pair of scissors and, starting at Soraya’s left temple began to snip a line through the dark bristles. I watched the blades rapidly opening and closing, opening a pale gap in the hair.

“Higher,” I said firmly. “Take it up… about a centimetre.”

“It’ll be more than an inch above her ears,” Karen said cautiously. The line she’d begun would certainly have been less than an inch, but she wasn’t wrong.

“So be it. Another centimetre.” Soraya’s eyes flashed toward me. She wasn’t enjoying how extreme I was making her hair, but Karen obeyed me and began again. The line grew horizontally across the sides, then dipped toward the nape. Too much for my tastes; another correction was demanded, and implemented, taking the back higher.

Once the line was completed I nodded my approval. “All shaved below,” I said. Karen still looked unsure.

“We could try a number one and see how it looks.”

I was determined not to let her reluctance be encouraged. “No. Shaved. Wet shaved with a razor. I want the upper part faded to a number one. We have a lot to do today and I’d appreciate it if you can finish Soraya’s haircut as quickly as possible. If you can just do as I say I’ll be sure she gives you a bigger tip.” She looked at Soraya for confirmation, but she was too cowed to return her eye contact. She muttered her unwilling agreement and once more took up the clippers, now discarding the guard.

The sight of the bare blades scraping up Soraya’s nape, tearing away the even pelt and reducing it to a faint shadow made me wonder if I’d gone too far, but as the shaved area grew, I began to feel my delight increasing, and wash away any guilt. Again, Karen cleared the back before moving to the sides, and I could see a moment of shock register in Soraya’s eyes as she saw her sideburns being erased. I was pleased that Karen had already shaved the back, since it contributed to Soraya’s helplessness; there was no stopping the cutting now, the shave had to be completed.

I liked how the cut looked with a hard line, to the extent that I considered telling Karen to leave the step in place with the finished cut. But after a moment’s consideration I decided it looked quite edgy, and would perhaps be more feminine than a well-cut fade. I saw Karen adjusting the clippers as she prepared to fade the boundary and intervened. “Can you shave it smooth now? Wet shave with a razor.” She seemed ready to answer back, looking irritated by my interference, but then shrugged and assented.

I smiled at Soraya as she wrinkled her nose upon seeing her lower scalp spread with thick, white lather, and held my phone before her face to record her humiliation. Karen took a disposable razor and began to scrape it over her nape, the rasping sound delighting me as much as it appeared to appal Soraya. Her scalp was pale, with a slight greyish cast, at least paler than her face; her skin was olive, since she was of Mediterranean ancestry, and her scalp was still warmer hued than my pale skin.

I loved how smooth her scalp looked now as Karen dabbed away the remains of the lather with a white towel. “Can I feel that?” I asked. I rubbed my fingers up her nape and delighted in how warm and soft her skin was. The stickiness I felt as I pressed upwards was more pronounced than with my scalp when it was newly shaved. Soraya gave a little sigh at the unexpected sensitivity, and I knew she loved the feeling. But she looked hurt as she saw her reflection, her bare sideburns giving a brutality to her makeover. I felt cruel to inflict this on her, but I wanted this. My cruelty seemed to give me the most pleasure.

Karen followed my orders without question now, and soon stripped the remaining buzz to half of its length before fading the boundary. Soraya’s back and sides looked almost bald now, with only the upper part significantly darkened by her black stubble. Karen was, I was pleased to see, a skilled barber and the fade was beautifully realised, blending perfectly from the bald lower section. It looked comical when the thick upper section was now released and combed over Soraya’s face.

“I think a flattop,” I said. “But quite long. Two inches, or a little more at the front, a bit shorter at the crown. All swept up, very blocky and heavy. Can you do that?”

Karen was soon making my suggestion concrete. She rapidly cropped away the length, then dressed the hair with an oily product, using a dryer to make it stand vertically from her head. Now the craft began, as Karen combed through the hair and ran the clippers over the tines to produce a sculptured plane. It was hypnotic to watch, the uneven block of hair slowly becoming utterly regular. “Is that a good length?” she asked. The top was too heavy, and I was tempted to demand it should all be buzzed to less than an inch, but a little consideration made me appreciate that the lack of balance seemed pleasing.

“Just perfect,” I smiled. “You look adorable, Soraya.” She obviously didn’t believe in my compliment.

Soraya was taken to have her hair washed now, which given its brevity, took only a few minutes. She was returned to the chair so that Karen could finish the style, welding it into place with a heavy, sticky gel. A few stray hairs were snipped to regularity and the style was deemed complete.

Soraya looked shaken as she rose from the chair. She touched her nape and looked lost, not sure whether the feeling of her bare scalp induced pleasure or revulsion. “Pay her,” I ordered. “And a ten pound tip. She did a good job, didn’t she?”

“Yes, Miss Keri,” she said.

We headed out into the town, which was still quiet, only waking up. The haircut had taken place in thirty minutes. “ We should get some breakfast. You have a busy day. How do you like your haircut?”

“It’s… I don’t know. So many mixed feelings. I hate it but it was just the sort of thing I wanted too.”

We entered a bar which opened early for breakfast and ordered some food. “I need the toilet,” I said. “Come with me.”

Soraya looked nervous as we entered the deserted bathroom. “You still look gorgeous,” I reassured her. “Very pretty. Too pretty. Make-up off.” I went into my bag and passed her some wipes. She scrubbed her face to remove every trace of her carefully applied cosmetics.

“You look more boyish now, don’t you. Just what you wanted.” She nodded. “But your nails. They’re too girly. I’ll take off the polish and cut them short.”

Soraya was always very proud of her nails and spent a long time maintaining them. My decision didn’t please her. “No. Not that. Don’t cut them, please, Kerry-Anne.”

I laughed. “It’s Miss Keri. And you promised to be obedient today. As your punishment you’ll go back to Karen in two weeks and get her to trim your hair. You’ll keep your fade for a bit longer. Now give me your hand or I’ll chew your nails as short as I can. Would you rather they were cut short and neat or chewed to the quick?”

She reluctantly conceded defeat and passed me her hand. I doused a cotton ball in solvent and wiped away the pearly varnish, leaving her nails clean. Then I took a pair of clippers and cut the carefully shaped long nails as short as possible, stripping away their beauty and rendering them utilitarian. She looked miserable as she regarded her hands. “I think that’s worse than the haircut,” she sighed.

We ate our breakfast then walked around the shops. “What do you think is next?” I asked.

“My clothes,” Soraya said. “I need to be dressed like a man, don’t I?”

“I choose and you pay. No arguments or I’ll take you back to Karen and you’ll be bald too. And I’ll put Nair on your head when we get home and it won’t grow back for weeks.” I saw her cheeks colour, and I knew she was excited by my cruelty. This was something that turned her on, and she wanted me to continue in this role.

I selected her outfit in a charity shop: a red and white, checked, short sleeved shirt, beige chinos, leather loafers. I think she’d expected something more extreme, but the ordinary blandness of the outfit seemed perfect. I took accompanied her into the changing room. As she stripped out of her dress I folded it and stowed it in my bag, then passed her a role of tape. “You need to flatten your boobs. They’re too big and feminine for your sub version. Do it now.”

She tried her best, but the task was too awkward and I soon assisted her, binding her breasts tightly. I felt bad as I examined my work, realising that I’d made the tape very snug. “Is it uncomfortable? Should I loosen it?”

“It is uncomfortable, Miss Keri,” she admitted, “but leave it. It’s not supposed to feel nice, is it?”

“No, it’s not,” I smiled cruelly. “I let you get a beautiful haircut so I suppose it’s only right you should have something uncomfortable to balance it.” I buttoned up her shirt and turned her to the mirror. “What do you think?”

“It’s really shocking. I can’t believe it’s me. I hate it, I feel so humiliated, but I’ve wanted this so much. I’m burning up inside. I want you to get me home and fuck me. I’m so turned on.”

“We can’t go home yet though,” I told her. “I’ve booked you in for a tattoo. That’s why you got short sleeves. You’re ready for this so I’m not going to let you say no.”

I could see that she didn’t feel ready, but she wasn’t going to give me an outright refusal, at least not yet. “It’s permanent though,” she said. “Should we rush into this?”

I laughed. “It’s not rushing. You said ages ago that you wanted this. You needed to stop procrastinating. So I made the decision for you. You’re getting your football tattoo. The tattooist is all ready. A Tottenham badge on your upper right arm.”

“Arsenal!” she wailed.

I laughed. “If you don’t agree I’ll send you to Sara and it will be a Spurs tattoo. On the side of your neck.”

“OK, OK, I’ll do it. But be warned, if I get a tattoo so do you. We’re going to start getting you tattooed as soon as possible.” I’d expected this and nodded. It scared me, but for now I knew I had to maintain my domme personality.

“Don’t talk to me like that, it’s not your place. I’m paying for a nice big tattoo for you so show some gratitude or you’re going home bald.”

“I’m sorry,” she blushed. “Miss Keri, thank you for your generous gift.”

I felt strange as we made our way for the tattoo appointment, seeing a transformed Soraya by my side. She was too pretty to ever be mistaken for a boy, but her butch makeover took me by surprise every time I looked at her. I liked the haircut on her, though I had mixed feelings about the masculine dress. It was fun for a day though, and I looked forward to seeing how she’d look with a dress and make-up. I had no regrets about inflicting this punishment on her.

And soon I watched in fascination as her arm was given a huge badge. Her arms were soft and thick, and the tattoo was so wide that it would have wrapped around two thirds of the circumference of my arm, which had remained quite slim despite my rapid gain. I had mixed feelings: seeing her tattooed was thrilling, a really transgressive act, but I felt a twinge of sadness that something innocent was being permanently taken from her (and for all her boldness, there was something childlike about Soraya that I treasured). And my fondness was for aesthetic tattooing, not for those that represented something personal. A football badge was certainly not something that appealed to me, though today it suited Soraya, since she was becoming her butch fantasy. I hoped that the tattoo might become part of a half sleeve, just one part of a more complex and beautiful design, but that wasn’t something I could decide for her.

Soraya seemed placid now, accepting of the ink, and she tolerated the pain well, though since it was a large, complex image it took a long time to complete, and at times she groaned in frustration at the stinging. I held on to her hand and told her how brave and beautiful she was. She blushed shyly at the compliments. “I’m not at all pretty though,” she sighed. “You’ve made me so mannish.”

We went out that night and got drunk. I don’t think I’d ever seen Soraya so turned on as she was by her day of humiliation, and I enjoyed letting out all of my dominant fantasies, which had so long been buried. But I think that after that day things began to fall apart. Soraya went through a period of depression which left her constantly without motivation, and though I tried to be supportive it was exhausting. We were both facing our final exams, which was stress enough, and our relationship began to be strained. My hair was growing out, which should have pleased me, but Soraya no longer took an interest, which hurt me. I was sure she wasn’t attracted to me any more, and her night with a man had convinced her that she was more attracted to men than women.

As the exams approached Soraya seemed to grow stronger, her mood stabilising a little. I decided that I had to spend some time away from her and told her I was moving into a hotel for a few days to allow me time to study. She seemed utterly unprepared for this, though I’d been wanting to do it for weeks, and had only waited so long because I thought she’d be better able to handle it now that her depression was less severe.

We stopped communicating. Two weeks passed without any contact and I realised I wanted to make a clean break, without ever considering in detail why. I was following an instinct, too tired to question why. I moved my stuff out and left some money to cover my rent until the end of the tenancy (we had to move out come the summer anyway).

3 responses to “Flowering

  1. Loved the story (5 stars) until the last few paragraphs. It seemed the author simply tired of it and decided to end it in one of the most rushed, flattest endings to a fine story I can recall. It should have been set up for a Part 2. Instead, so much interesting material and good writing was undone by the ending.

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