GI Jane “Look Jane just hold still will you?” Jane giggled and tried her best to not move, it was hard though when your husband was trying to get parcel tape to stick to you, and not to itself, himself, or anything else it came into contact with. She was deliriously happy, they both were, fooling around in the back of the Army Surplus Store like a pair of teenagers again. Just to think only last week their marriage was really on the rocks, she had been caught, literally, with her knickers down. Ed, her husband and lover for the past ten years, had been spending more and more time working away from home, and anyway they had been gradually drifting apart for years. An old flame turned up, and, the inevitable happened. If Ed hadn’t turned up unexpectedly the whole affair would never have lasted anyway, but he did. The old flame did the dishonourable thing and ran off, still clutching his underwear, screaming that she had seduced him. There had been tears, shouting and recriminations, ending in the most passionate love making the pair had known in years, and they were back together again.
Sometime in the afterglow, lying in each other’s arms, with moonlight streaming through the window and stars in their eyes, she had said she ought to be punished. Why she said it, or what she even meant at the time, was never important. It was a simple statement that became a lovers’ game. The idea of her Punishment Day, as it became known, took on a life of its own. It had its own date and countdown on the Calendar, its own alarm on their PC, and became a private code between them. They never discussed what form the punishment would take, or how it would be applied, only that on a certain date it would happen. The rules evolved without any conscious effort, each would suggest and the other modify, as the ideas came. This could be at any time or any place, and their favourite game became leaving suggestions at work for each other, and not always in their own private code. At last the big day came, all Jane new was that it would happen in public, it would be something she would never forget, and that she must go along with all of Ed’s coded instructions without hesitation or question. This was why she was standing, naked from the waist up, in the back of an Army Surplus Store. Ed finally finished struggling with the tape and she looked at herself in the mirror. Jane had always had a boyish figure, small breasts, slim hips and definitely a bit on the tall side. She was now more like a boy than ever, she had combat boots on her feet, combat fatigues disguised the shape of her hips, and her breasts had been flattened to her chest with a liberal wrapping of cling film and parcel tape. The only thing that was feminine was her hair – tit length she called it with a wry smile – it was hair that had seldom seen a stylist, for she kept it conditioned and trimmed herself, and the rich chestnut brown sheen was the result of hours of brushing in front of the mirror. It now hung in soft waves around her face, over her shoulders and midway down her naked back. Ed gently kissed her, and then helped her on with the army shirt, and, helping her lift her hair clear, fastened a set of dog tags around her neck.
“What do these say?” she asked.
“GI Jane. I thought it appropriate,” Ed replied. “Now, see if you can get all your hair under this forage cap”. Taking a last fond look at her luxuriant tresses, Ed helped her tie her hair into a ponytail and piling it on top of her head, helped her pull the peaked soft cap down to her ears.
“Wow, this is really tight, don’t they have a bigger size?” Jane complained.
“Look, trust me, it will look just fine.” Ed skilfully evaded the issue and pulled out a tub of cold cream from his travel bag. “Now sit down, I want to take off your make-up.” As they had agreed, she had left the house that morning, dressed to kill. Her hair was freshly washed and brushed, her dress, while not looking out of place early on a Saturday morning, was her favourite item of clothing, it was soft and flowing and made her feel both sensuous and feminine. Likewise her underwear, stockings, shoes and perfume were chosen to make her feel as soft and feminine as she knew how. Since they had entered the store, Ed had carefully reversed each part of this look, and now as she sat in the battered old chair, he covered her face with cream and slowly and sensuously undid an hour and a half’s work in front of the mirror. Jane sat there, face uplifted and revelled in the massage, she was so happy and starting to get more and more turned on by the whole experience. The whole idea of Punishment Day had taken on an erotic quality, what with the planning and the waiting and the fear of the unknown, and because she still did not know what the punishment would be. Was this it, to walk into a shop as a woman and walk out onto the street an Army Recruit? Was this the full extent of her punishment, to walk around a town in which they were both known dressed as a boy? She thought not, this must be the prelude, but one thing she did know, she had not felt this happy or mellow in a long, long time. The last vestiges of makeup wiped away, Ed packed his bag, put away all of Jane’s feminine clothes, and they both walked out into the store. The storekeeper was speechless as he added up the bill and took their money, his eyes kept drifting towards Jane, now posing against the wall but eyeing herself in the mirror all the while. He doubtless thought they were a pair of perverts, but into what he dreaded to think.
Back out on the street again they drifted side by side, enjoying the warm morning sun and the moment. It was the perfect morning, bright and sunny, still early around 10, mid-spring when there is still a crispness in the air, but the warmth of summer is just around the corner, and just the right amount of people about. Those that are about are not in a hurry, they have plenty of time to do their chores, there are not too many of them, the crowds come in to town later, and they are the most likely social group to stop and watch if something takes their fancy. The perfect audience.
As they drifted down the street, Jane couldn’t stop glancing at her reflection in the storefronts. Sure she looked odd, and she was certainly getting a few odd glances from passers by. But she sure looked handsome, she had never thought of dressing as a boy before, the heavy boots meant she could only walk with a boyish gait, and her body shape, so skillfully disguised, looked so different. The tight cap was still an annoyance, and even though it hid her hair completely, it itched and a few stray strands were already starting to work loose. But the whole thing was turning her on like crazy. Distracted by her reflection, it took a few moments to realise they had stopped outside a Barber Shop. It was a proper, old time, 3-chair shop. Clean and tidy where work is carried out quietly and efficiently, no appointments, no frills just good haircutting. The chair right next to the window was empty, the other two had clients, no one was waiting. Jane’s heart raced as she followed Ed inside, why were they going in here, what was happening. A kindly middle aged man walked from the back of the shop to greet them.
“Hi Ed, good to see you. Is this the new recruit you were telling me about?” Jane’s throat and mouth had gone completely dry and when she was asked what she thought about the chair, the chair right next to the window, the chair with no one in it, all she could utter was a strangled “don’t know”. “Made in Cincinatti, early 20’s, used to be my fathers, very comfortable, perhaps you would like to try it,” said the barber.
“Go on Jane, try it out,” said Ed. This was it, the magic code agreed days ago, it meant do it and do it now. Jane meekly sat in the wonderful old chair, it was all polished nickel, with that beautiful patina that only care and age can give, and leather, leather that had been polished by years of use. Oh what sights it had seen and what stories it could tell, and it would certainly have a story to tell very soon.
“Perhaps your young friend would like a trim,” the Barber asked, already knowing what the answer would be but playing along with Ed’s plan.
“I… I… don’t think so…” Jane was trembling from head to foot, an icy fear was gripping her and she could hardly stammer, let alone speak.
“Go on Jane, try it.”
Oh no, more code, only one answer. “Yes please,” she stammered.
With a flourish the kindly barber wrapped and fastened the cape around her, pushed tissue down the back of her collar, and pumped the chair up to working height.
“Now let’s see what we have under this cap.” Released from captivity, Jane’s long chestnut brown hair cascaded around her shoulders, over the cape and lay there shimmering in the sunlight. It had never looked so beautiful. The barber, despite being in on Ed’s plan, gave a little start but regained his composure. The client to the right though got a nicked ear as he and his barber, up until now making quiet small talk, both did a double take on what was happening. Time seemed to stand still, dust motes hovered in the sunlight, Jane had never been so terrified in all her life. He can’t want to do this to me. Her mind raced, perhaps a little trim will be OK, perhaps just shoulder length … but there was only one code that came to mind, a code that had seemed so innocent only a few hours before.
“Well Jane?” a friendly tug on her shoulder. “Well Jane?” this time whispered in her ear. “How much would you like me to take off?” the Barber asked again.
“All of it.” The words seemed to come out on their own, they had rehearsed these few private codes so many times that reaction was instinctive and instant, but never in her wildest dreams did she think it could be used in this context. All conversation in the other two chairs had stopped, scissors still clicked but no hair was being cut, all attention was on the chair by the window. Taking the scissors in one hand, the Barber took a long tress in the other and stretched it out, oh how long it was, sliding the cold steel down the length until it almost touched her scalp. He asked her again, silently pleading with her to change her mind “How much do you want me to cut off?” Jane looked into the mirror, past the image of the long outstretched hank of hair nestling in the scissors’ jaws, and straight at Ed. Slowly and deliberately, so that there could be no misunderstanding, he mouthed the words “Well Jane” back at her.
“All of it, please cut it all off…”
The scissors snapped shut and the first tress fell into her lap, Jane looked on in detached horror as the bald patch spread across her head. The barber was good and worked quickly and smoothly using his fingers to select a lock of hair, and then his fine old scissors to cut it off close to the scalp. The whole shop had fallen silent, politeness had gone out the window, everyone was staring at the shearing going on in the chair by the window. The window… Jane wrenched herself away from her own reflected image and glanced out… a small knot of people were gathered, all staring open mouthed at this act of vandalism that was happening in front of their eyes. She flushed bright red, wasn’t that her next door neighbours looking in?
“I’ll just have to clear some of this up”
Her hair, all her wonderful hair was now either lying in her lap, or on the floor, all that was left on her head was a longish crew cut, slightly ragged in places, but nowhere longer than a half inch. “We’ll give you a hand” the other two barbers raced to help him clear up the mass of hair littering the floor, not so much out of tidiness but more to get a closer look at this strange woman in their midst.
The floor swept everyone returned to their tasks. “Now we’ve got rid of all that length, it’s time to buzz you down to a grade….” The Osters were old, but well cared for and lovingly maintained, the instructions and scenario that Ed had arranged were clear in his mind, but he was still hoping that he wouldn’t have to go though with it all. “Aren’t they Osters, Jane?” said Ed, another code.
“00000 Blade,” responded Jane, not knowing what it meant even now, let alone when the codes were agreed.
“But that’ll leave you totally bald!” gasped the barber on the next chair, his own client completely forgotten.
“00000 Blade, definitely 00000 Blade,” Jane intoned without any feeling in her voice. There was only one code left, and the grim realisation of what it meant had left her without hope.
The Osters started to remove the last of Jane’s hair, they were well set up and wielded with the skill and expertise that only years in a trade can give. Pass after pass the clippers sent the little strands of hair flying into the air, revealing the white scalp underneath. She was now totally bald from front to crown, and up both sides. As the Barber gently bent her head down onto her chest, she stole another look out of the window. This was turning into a public spectacle. Most people were polite, pretending to talk amongst themselves, but all their attention really focussed on Jane’s head. The rest just stood and stared, openmouthed at the bald headed girl in the chair.
“Well that’s what I call a trim, a real West Point trim,” said the barber as he dusted her down, flicking the little stray hairs from off of her face. “Will there be anything else?” He surveyed his handiwork with pride, sure she was a woman, and women didn’t normally wear their hair this short but he had made a good job of it. “Wasn’t there something else, Jane, something else you wanted?”
The last dreaded code, an old code based on a private moment years before when she had coerced him into shaving her pubic hair. “Yes, can you give me a shave.”
“Head or face” joked one of the other barbers trying to bring some reality back into their ordered world.
“Well my young recruit?” asked the barber “What will it be, Head or Face?”
The question hung in the air. “Well Jane?”
She knew it was coming, the final part in the punishment. “All of it,” she quietly replied.
“OK you’re the customer,” he shrugged, as he pulled his best razor from its wooden box and started to strop it against the old leather strap hanging from the counter. “But I must warn you, I’ve never shaved a woman’s face before, I just hope you don’t start to grow a beard…”
Jane looked into the mirror, past the reflection of the bald girl in the chair and straight into Ed’s eyes. The confirmation of her fate. “Well Jane?” he mouthed again, smiling quietly. Jane looked away from the mirror and up into the smiling face of the kindly man who had done her so much damage, but meant her no harm.
“All of it, shave my face and my head please.” There was no turning back, tilting the chair back and resting Jane’s bald head back on the headrest, the barber swiftly lathered up her pretty face, and as she stared up marvelling at the feel of the cold leather on her scalp, she let him shave her. Deft fine strokes of the honed blade removed all the peach down that covered her face. Despite his skill her skin, unused to a blade started to redden and sting, the lotion he applied helped though, and as she sat upright again while her head was being lathered up, she could see the redness subside. Sitting in the chair she could only marvel at the skill of this old man, she thought she was bald before, but now her head shone and glistened as every trace of hair was removed. One thing for sure she would never forget Punishment Day for the rest of her life.