The Dancer

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Brigid’s hair had always been one of her greatest assets when dancing — long, wavy, and ridiculously thick from root to tip, her golden blonde locks had become her golden fleece and her greatest asset, swirling and twirling around her lithe form as she moved to the music. Walking on stage with it carefully gathered and pinned up atop her head had become a bit of a trademark, and her lush mane’s tumbling release was always met with almost as much enthusiasm when she discarded the casual updo in the same manner as the rest of her clothing throughout her act.

She’d never intended to become a Rapunzel, but she wasn’t so blind as to miss the fact that as her tresses got longer, her nightly earnings at the gentleman’s club got bigger. And so she let it all grow, right up until the robust, big, romantic curls wouldn’t get any longer and simply refused to grow past her tight little derriere, and she continued to dance, right up util she had saved enough to get her through the last two years of university.  

Three days after her retirement, she found herself in the local pharmacy, perusing the at-home hair color options on the shelves before her. She’d long since decided that she wouldn’t start the next semester as a blonde, but she found herself torn as to what shade she should go with. Fiery, energetic red? Studious brunette? Her hair had always been darker at its roots, so going brunette would probably be less upkeep… but part of her plan was to begin going to professionals for maintenance. She only wanted to do the first round on her own to avoid being talked out of it, which seemed to happen any time she even floated the possibility of making a change to her long locks.

The pros, it seemed, were even more protective of her precious mane than her former boss had been, often refusing to take more than an inch off its ends when she asked for a healthy three inches to go.

But now she was out of the business, she was focusing on he accounting degree, and she had just passed the halfway point between twenty and thirty years of age. There was no reason to continue looking like she wasn’t even old enough to drink.

As she continued pacing up and down the store aisle, Brigid pulled the long, heavy braid her hair had been tamed into in front of her shoulder and stroked its length, trying to imagine it in the various colors she considered buying. It was when she finally noticed the box of medium ash brown coloring, featuring a young woman with a shoulder length bob and thick bangs looking back at her. 

That was it. That was the color she wanted.

Two boxes sat on the shelf, and with both of them in her hands she read some of the details provided. With a disappointed sigh, she realized even two boxes wouldn’t be enough to color all of her hair, not with the voluminous amount she had. 

But she really, really liked the color.

As she considered whether she could maybe mix the color she loved with one she liked to get a color she could live with, her eyes drifted down the aisle and landed on an at-home haircutting kit. Almost without realizing she was doing so, she stepped closer, taking a look at the scissors, the clippers, combs, and clipper heads that were included in the packaging. 

Then she glanced up at the mirror in the corner of the store, the one that let employees keep an eye on potential shoplifters. She looked back at herself, at that long, heavy braid, and then glanced down to the woman with the beautiful bob on the boxes of hair dye. Two boxes would be good for hair lengths that were around shoulder-length. That wasn’t terribly short, was it?

And her hair always grew fast, so it’s not like she’d be stuck with less hair for long if she didn’t like it. And the color would look so amazing with her light hazel eyes…

An unexpected sense of giddy anticipation built in her stomach, and Brigid grabbed one of the haircutting kits just as quickly as she’d grabbed the hair coloring. When she placed everything down at the counter — along with a family-sized pack of Twizzlers — the cashier looked at her is dismay. A middle-aged man not unlike the hundreds who’d rubbed money against her hoo-hah over the course of her dancing career, his brow furrowed and a low grumble built in his throat. 

“You’re not gonna change your hair, are you?”

She raised an eyebrow at him. “No. This is just for my collection of stuff I don’t ever plan to use.”

He shook his head as he rung up her purchases, muttering, “Crazy broads don’t know how to leave good enough alone,” and then handed her the bag filled with products destined to put her Goldilocks days to an end.

This was certainly going to be an interesting afternoon.


Her roommate, Rachel, was sitting on the couch catching up on the latest episode of The One Percent Club when Brigid got home. Wearing a halter top and yoga pants, and with her wealth of silky, dark brown hair in a loose topknot, everything about Rachel’s demeanor suggested this was going to be one of her occasional couch potato days. 

“Did you find something you like? Rachel asked.

“Yup.” Brigid smiled as she replied, breaking open the package of twirlers and sticking one in the corner of her mouth like a sugary piece of hay. “But there’s a small hitch.”

Rachel paused the television show. “How so?”

Brigid held up the haircutting kit. “I have too much hair for the amount of color I could find.”

Rachel’s dark eyes widened. “No!”

Brigid nodded as she grabbed her bag of everything and headed to her room. “It’s overdue, anyway.”

A heavy thumping scrambling across the hardwood floors culminated in Rachel slipping to brace herself against Brigid’s bedroom door as her stocking feet lost their grip beneath her. “You’re gonna shave your head?!”

Brigid shot Rachel a look as she set the boxes out and shook off her sweat jacket. “No! I’m just cutting it a bit shorter.” Her t-shirt followed, and then she began to undo her long braid to set her glorious golden mane free once again. “Two boxes are enough for shoulder-length hair, and that was all they had and I really like the color, so…”

Her words trailed off until she finished her sentence with a shrug. 

“So you’re just going to do it yourself?” Rachel asked. She picked up one of the boxes of hair color, turning it from front to back a few times. The resulting shade, assuming the photo on the box was to be trusted, would be a few shades lighter than Rachel’s own, but Brigid wondered whether it might lead to them being confused for sisters when they were out and about. Fortunately, Rachel’s paler complexion and dark eyes created a nice bit of difference between their appearances.

“I don’t trust anyone else to do it without trying to talk me out of it.”

With her abundant waves of golden hair loose, Brigid stood in front of her full-length mirror and pulled the hair cutting kit open. The plastic container was a bit of a strain at first, but then it popped open, causing her thick, lazy curls to bounce excitedly for a moment, much like they always had during her dances. Setting it all down on her dresser, she picked up her faithful large-toothed comb and ran it through her long tresses, sweeping downward from crown to tip as she parted the impressive mane in the middle and gathered it all in front of each of her shoulders. Save for the sweatpants she still wore and the fact that she was in her own bedroom rather than riding through the city on horseback, she was a veritable Lady Godiva.

With a deep sigh, she took a moment to appreciate the visage one last time.

“What do you think counts as shoulder-length?” She asked.

Rachel bit her bottom lip as she leaned back against the dresser. Her left hand slid upward, but instead of gesturing where she thought Brigid should cut, it let Rachel’s own hair fall free, a cavalcade of silky, waist-length waves prevented from being one-length only by a small collection of breast-length layers around her face. “Your collarbones, maybe?” 

Brigid swallowed nervously. That was a bit shorter than she expected, but seemed sensible.

Caressing the soft, flowing tresses falling down her right side, Brigid took a mass of them in her left hand to hold them steady. The blades of her newly bought scissors approached slowly in her right hand, parting widely to take in the healthy lock just about level with her collarbone. Brigid’s eyes closed, and then so did the blades, sounding their attack with a long, slow, loud crunch that almost drowned out Rachel’s shocked gasp. 

Despite what Brigid had considered to be the small size of the chosen lock, the scissors struggled to fight through, needed five or six or seven full crunching bites before the blades snapped shut, letting the soft, silky locks fall limp against the back of Brigid’s clenched fist.

Cautiously, she opened her eyes, her mouth falling open with a surprised laugh as she looked at the twenty inches of perfect blonde hair in her hand. “Oh. My. God.”

She looked at the mirror, at the short, almost angry lock that curled up to rest above her collarbone among all the rest that still fell well past her waist. 

“Oh god, you’re really doing it,” Rachel whispered.

Brigid laughed, and placed the severed lock on the dresser top. She took another lock, though smaller than the first. Two, then three more crunches sounded and suddenly another expanse of golden silk was hanging free in her hand. Again and again she selected and sacrificed her beautiful, blonde tresses to her new life and new look, feeling not only the brush of cool air against her skin where just minutes before there had been a heavy blanket, but feeling her entire head lighten up as her immaculately maintained length was removed.

“How’s it feel?” Rachel asked as she watched the pile on the dresser grow and grow.

“Amazing!” Brigid replied. With the right side completely shorn short, she impatiently gathered the left side into one long pigtail, and set the blades to it.

SCHNIKT, SCHNIKT, SCHNIKT that blades sounded, fighting and struggling to fight their way through the thick, healthy hair that had almost solely provided the means for Brigid to live the life she was living — and yet here she was, eagerly discarding them in the hopes of getting a fresh start. Part of her had always worried what would happen if a customer from the club had recognized her outside of work at an inopportune time, but, suddenly, that just didn’t seem likely, especially as more and more of the mane she was known for fell away, 

Shortly after she began cutting — unbelievably shortly, considering how long the wealth of golden tresses took to grow out —Brigid was looking at a short-haired version of herself. 

Well, relatively short haired. When she set the scissors down, her silky, shiny, and abundantly full, blonde waves barely reached past her shoulders. She shook her hands through their length, watching the almost-curls bob and bounce as she tossed them about. Then she gathered them all back into the cutest, shortest ponytail she’d had since her preteen years, a beautiful bouncy thing that showed off her nape, elegant neck and adorable ears so easily and perfectly, dancing through the air with every turn of her head without feeling like it could cause a neck strain at any moment.

“Do you think it’s short enough?” She joked, unable to believe how much of her own hair she had cut off. Even with the massive, unbound ponytail resting on the dresser in front of her, she couldn’t believe she had actually done it.

Rachel, meanwhile, grinned a little mischievously. “Actually, now that you mention it…” She stepped close, running the fingers of her left hand through the soft, silky waves hiding Brigid’s right ear. “Your hair is awful think, you know? We should probably be better safe than sorry.”

Brigid watched as Rachel’s reflection in the mirror lifted the scissors to about mid-neck height and, without hesitation, snipped away another six inches of her already short hair.


Rachel laughed, and carefully chose and shortened another beautiful lock. “It’ll be so damn cute, trust me.”

“But.. I… I didn’t want it so short.” Brigid winced with every cut and snip, especially as the blades began to brush against her neck just beneath her nape as her friend and roommate worked her way around, shearing away most of the length that just moments before had made such a delightful, fun ponytail. 

Pouting helplessly, Brigid watched herself being removed from the ranks of long-haired women, her gorgeous golden waves shorn almost even with her chin as Rachel meticulously chopped and snipped away at her lovely hair, her roommates own glistening brunette locks shining softly in the light as they swung around with every movement.

“You were planning on going to a Walk-In place to get it fixed tomorrow anyway, right?”

“Yes. But now you’re coming with me, and I get to pick your cut.”

Rachel hesitated before her next snip, but then nodded nervously. “Fair enough, I guess.” 

Once Rachel set the scissors down and started mixing the two boxes of color together — one of which was most decidedly probably not needed now, Brigid noted — Brigid stepped close to the mirror and looked at herself. Her fingers moved up into and through what remained of her glorious golden fleece, a mass of thick, beautiful waves that barely made it past her jawline and chin.

“I have short hair,” she murmured to herself. “I really didn’t expect to ever have short hair.”

Rachel handed her the bowl of hair coloring and other materials. “But it’s gonna look awesome once you’re done with this.”


After showering and washing her hair the next morning, Brigid couldn’t have hoped to have been happier with the rich, gorgeous medium ash locks looking back at her from her reflection, even if they were a half foot shorter than she’d planned. Styling her newly bobbed tresses into a side parting, she let the dark, shiny sweeping bangs fall over her right eye, highlighting the contrast against her pale hazel irises. She loved the look, absolutely everything about it, but knew that some tidying would be needed to make sure it looked perfect.

She dressed quickly, and then spent the better part of an hour prodding Rachel into a presentable state to walk to the salon down the street. 

“But you said you like it,” Rachel insisted as she swept her waist-length locks back into a low ponytail. With a deft move so practiced she probably didn’t need to think about it, she pulled her breast-length layers free, letting the fall loose to frame her petite features. “Doesn’t that get me off the hook?”



Yet another hour later, Brigid found herself sitting in a stylist’s seat at the walk-in salon. Surrounded by posters of funky bands and myriad of hairstyles, Brigid kicked her feet nervously beneath the dark cape as the woman, Diana, straightened the tools at her station. Brigid almost found herself envying the beautiful, black cherry shag she wore her hair in, but, amazingly, it would be months before her own hair was even close to that long.

Finally, as the woman circled behind the chair, she asked, “So what are we up to today?”

“I just need it neatened up. I did a bit of cutting myself yesterday.”

That was probably an understatement, but it got the point across.

“Fair enough. You want to keep the side parting?”

Brigid nodded. “Yeah, I like how it looks.”

Rather than having her hair washed like it usually was in salons, Brigid’s dark hair was sprayed wet by a bottle, making her feel a bit like a misbehaving cat before Diana started running a comb through what was left of her once-abundant mane.  Brigid watched her reflection as she waited for the remaining lengths to be trimmed a tiny bit more, only to watch with wide eyes as a three-inch chunk was shorn from her crowning glory.

Quickly, another cluster of waves was gathered and another three inches were shorn away, and then another and another as Diana created a constant rainfall of dark, shorn tresses that tumbled down to land heavily in Brigid’s lap. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, the stylist’s scissors just kept dancing in and out of Brigid’s beloved mane, slicing away chunk after chunk from the top and then the sides and then the back and then the top again. 

The sensual sweep that teased her right eye receded more and more until it barely even hid her right eyebrow much less her eye, and before she could even realize what was happened, the chin-length locks she thought were so short before could barely hide the tops of her ears. 

Filled with a strange mix of horror and delight, Brigid watched herself being changed from a sexy, sensual dancer to a cute, adorable college student. The wild waves in her hair remained, but were being sculpted into something that might almost qualify as a pixie cut, though maybe one that was longer than most. Her lap just never stopped collecting the soft, now dry locks, their discarded lengths curling as she watched, unable to look away when Diana tilted her head downward so she could run the comb upward and shear away anything length that peeked above its teeth along her hairline.

It was an absolute massacre of a shearing, one that left Brigid caressing her shorn nape in disbelief once the cape was pulled away, spilling her harvested, short-lived bob across the salon floor. As her fingers rose up her nape, they eventually met the lengthening transition until they were able to play with the five and six inch lengths that remained at her crown, then down into the two inch bits on the side that could barely be tucked behind her ears.

Looking at herself in the mirror, she knew there’d be no way any of her former regulars would recognize her on the street — heck, they might not even recognize her on the stage itself. She’d gone from being a golden Godiva to a brunette Tinkerbell, without any intention of doing so.

Though it was completely unintended, she couldn’t find herself being sad about it. It was cute, after all, and made her look cute. It’d be interesting to try life being cute rather than being hot or gorgeous. She wondered whether different types of men and women would hit on her than in the past, and whether that’d be such a bad thing.

By the time Brigid managed to retake a seat in the waiting area, Rachel was already caped in the stylist’s chair. Although Brigid felt she had been rather merciful in her demand that Rachel ask for a shoulder-length bob with bangs, she was not surprised at all when she saw Diana gather her friend’s lush, silky hair into a tight ponytail and begin to lop it off right at her friend’s nape. The brutally blunt ends that escaped to slide forward left no doubt that it’d be months if not a year or so before Rachel had one of her lazy-day updos again, and Brigid bit her bottom lip sympathetically as Rachel looked over at her in horror after the eighteen inch severed ponytail was set in her lap.

Over the next fifteen minutes, Rachel’s new bob was shortened again and again, until its brutally blunt edge was perfectly parallel with her delicate jawline. Then a few determined swipes of Diana’s comb spilled a curtain of dark, silky locks over Rachel’s face, blinding her just before the terrifying rumble of the clippers’ engine roared to life.

Brigid felt chills as Diana approached her friend, and gasped softly as the stylist gently touched the naked teeth of the machine against Rachel’s forehead an inch or so above her perfectly arching eyebrows. Rachel gasped as well, but the stylist didn’t seem to notice. She was focused on her work, spilling more and more of Rachel’s formerly face-framing layers into her lap, giving her the look of a short-haired Cleopatra. 

Once the clippers traversed the width of Rachel’s petite features, they went quiet and were placed back on the counter. Diana studied each and every bit of Races perfectly straight bob, making sure there wasn’t a single strand out of place or any longer than its counterparts. The stylist worked with all the delicacy of a maelstrom, but damn if the results weren’t high quality. Poor Rachel looked like she might be on the brink of tears, but her new bob was flawless as it shone under the salon’s lighting. And, as Rachel swung her head back and forth at the stylist’s bidding, the dark locks looked like ink moving under water, the shape shifting and moving in perfect unison so no gaps of light shone through.

As the cape was swept off her shoulders, Rachel let out a little sob when she heard her lovely ponytail hit the floor, but after that she managed to gather her wits admirably.

The women paid for their respective cuts and exchanged pleasantries with the stylist before heading out, and, half a block later, Rachel finally exclaimed, “Holy shit I hate it! Why did she cut it so short!”

Brigid felt a swell of sympathy for her roommate, quickly wrapping and arm around her shoulders and hugging her as they walked. “But it looks gorgeous!”

“I know!” Rachel wailed. “How am I supposed to grow it out when it looks so fucking amazing? I’m not supposed to be a short-haired girl.” 

Brigid raised an eyebrow after Rachel glanced at her, and then glanced again. 

“And you look freaking adorable,” her friend said. “I didn’t expect you to ask for it to be cut so short.”

“I didn’t. I wanted to keep the length. But apparently the stylist didn’t. I feel bald.”

“Well, fortunately you’d look good bald, so any length of any sort is just a bonus.”

Brigid smiled, taking her friend’s hand in her as they continued walking home. She didn’t expect Rachel to keep her new bob for any longer than it took to become a long bob, but as for herself… she wasn’t sure. It was crazy to think the short little ponytail she played with yesterday would be her last for a while, much less possibly ever, but, as this morning demonstrated, life was full of surprises. Maybe she was meant to be a Tinkerbell rather than a Godiva all along.




Thank you for reading. I hope you liked it — I just needed to break through some writer’s block. Any comments/critiques or tips are appreciated, as always.


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