"Tracy" [ficlet]

Originally published on Ficlets June 7, 2008.


Just as Tracy was sweeping away the stray pieces of hair from the floor, she heard the jingle of the door and looked up. It was 5:30 PM and she normally didn’t receive customers this late in the day. Tracy eyed the young couple who entered the salon with a wary eye.

“May I help you?” She asked, leaning on her broom.

The girl couldn’t have been more than twenty. She had long, curly black hair and a childlike smile. The boy was around her age and he had a protective arm slung around the girl’s shoulders.

To Tracy’s surprise, the girl spoke first. “Um, we both wanted a hair cut? I know it’s kind of late, but we just need a cut, no blow-dry or anything…”

As her voice trailed off, Tracy sighed, drawn to the attractive young couple despite herself. “All right, but let me lock the door. You’ll be my last customers.”

The boy sat in the chair first. He asked for “just a trim.” Tracy took a deep breath and placed her hands on his head, waiting for the visceral jolt, the pull of memories that had yet to happen.

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