The last time we saw our burly bearded adventurers, a fellowship had been formed, duties were assigned, and a young scribe was pulled into a world of danger and adventure. Now we find a dyad of our heroic explorers on the outskirts of a southeastern coastal metropolitan city in the southern realm…
“No siree. I ain’t doin that. No. Nun-uh. Ain’t happening,” says the Gunslinger. He’s laying in the back of the Scribe’s horse-drawn carriage, legs crossed, hat tilted down over his face, trying to sneak in some rest during this long trek. The Scribe is in the front, driving the cart to the coastal city of Ostricester.
“But Gunslinger, if we are to make this deception work, we are going to need to pass ourselves off as pedagogues interested in educational pursuit. To pass ourselves off as legitimate academics, you will need some added… debonair. I have a few contacts here from my days in university. We should be able to transform you from grizzled gunslinger to wealthy benefactor in no time,” explains the Scribe.
“Why do I have to be the flannel-mouthed shaver,” mumbles The Gunslinger.
“What, would you rather wear my robes,” retorts the Scribe.
The rattling of wagon’s wheels turn into a grind as the wagon crosses over onto the cobblestone streets of Ostricester. The streets are bustling with activity as the wagon slowly makes its way through the limestone city toward the city square. The wagon slowly rolls to a stop in front of a small brick building with a barber’s helix over the door. The Scribe giddly springs from his driver seat as the Gunslinger groggily crawls out of the back of the wagon, wiping the sleep from his eyes and looking up at the signage.
Inside the Scribe greets the Barber with a hearty salutation as the Barber and the Scribe meet in an embrace.
“You look as good as ever sir Barber,” cries the Scribe.
“I wish I could say the same for you Scribe, you have many an uneven hair out of place, both on the head and on the chin,” replied the Barber.
“Well, it truly is difficult to find an equal to your razor, even in The Crown Jewel of the Realms,” declares the Scribe.
“Who have we here,” asks the Barber, pointing to the Gunslinger “a fresh glass of gruff and grit?”
“That is your subject today Barber. While I would like nothing more than to sit under your steady hand and let you place the razor to my face, our present circumstances require a clean cut Gunslinger. One with a high-class look,” answers the Scribe.
“I see. Among the outlaws and the pioneers he appears right at home, but among the elite he would blatantly be out of place. I can make him look the part of a gentleman,” claims The Barber.
So the Gunslinger sits back in the Barber’s chair, removing his hat. The Barber goes to work. With strokes like a painter, the Barber begins trimming the long hairs from the Gunslinger’s head and beard with his wickedly sharp straight-razor. The Barber moves with such speed and precision, the flurry of fallen hair swirls like a tornado following the Barber’s movement. The barber then gracefully moves on to shaving the neck smoothly and carefully. While shaving, curiosity overtook the Barber.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what is the origin of your strange scar,” inquires the Barber.
“It was a long time ago, I was chasing a bounty. I was looking for a killer who was fascinated in collecting pieces of his victims. While I was searching for him, a mountain lion spooked my horse and I fell off. I dislocated my shoulder pretty good, and I needed it put back in place. I went to the nearby hospital seeking treatment. The doctor said he was going to help, but he knocked me out with some nitro instead. Took my eye,” says the Gunslinger.
“You said he was a killer. Why didn’t he kill you? Why did he take something, but leave you alive,” asks the Barber.
“Well the way I see it, he knew that I was coming for him, and killing me takes a little bit of the thrill away from the sick things he does. One day I’ll catch him, but the pieces he collects and the chase is what keeps him going,” explains the Gunslinger.
With the shaving done, all that was left was styling the hair and beard. The Barber worked with the Gunslinger’s wet hair with a comb, like a potter working with clay. The Gunslinger’s hair was combed over and then slicked back. He looked very distinguished. The Barber moves on to styling the beard, pulling out a tub of Fable Beard Company Beard Butter from his cabinets.
“You see,” says the Barber, “your beard oil fits you to a T, patchouli and a hint of gunsmoke I presume. You, however, are pretending to, well, not be you. So try some of my beard butter. You’ll smell freshly shaven, with topshelf notes of citrus and fireball whisky. Plus it will leave your beard moisturized and manicured. High class indeed,” reasons the Barber as he applies the butter.
The Barber turns the Gunslinger around in the chair to see himself in the mirror. The Gunslinger is a simple man, with simple needs. He doesn’t need fancy perfumes, pricey haircuts, or nice clothes to feel good. He enjoys his oilskin duster, boots, a nice shave/and trim, and his beard oil. Even he, however, couldn’t deny that he looked like a couple million bucks.
“I look amazing,” crows the Gunslinger, “Well call me a flannel-mouthed shaver and I’ll believe it. I look so good I could go cut a rusty.”
“Easy there pard’ner,” says the Scribe for comedic effect. The Gunslinger is busy checking himself out in the mirror and the Barber is enveloped in the praise his work is receiving. The Scribe realizes his joke has fallen flat and continues.
“A nice frock coat, with a shirt and tie and we will be in high cotton as you would say,” continues the Scribe.
“Ah yes, I do believe I know someone who could help you,” chips in the Barber.
“Do I still have to wear the suit,” complains the Gunslinger.
This is great! Love to read these to get a feel for the characters! Keep up the great work!