“Good evening, sir.”

“Um, yesh. Are you sheeing cushtomers?”

“Yes, sir. Please come in and have a seat.”

“Thank you.”

“Haircut and a shave tonight?”

“Yesh, please.”

“And will I be doing your hands as well.”

“If you don’t mind.”

“Not at all. It’s not an uncommon request hereabouts. Are you comfortable?”

“Yesh, very.”

“Nice night for a walk, what with the full moon and all.”

“Um, yesh.”

“I haven’t seen you in town before. Are you working the mine?”

“No, I’m with Pinkerton.”

“A Detective, you say? How very interesting. Following any train robbers?”

“Yesh, and I can’t really wait a few days, if you know what I mean.”

“Hence the shave. Believe you me, sir, if you had to stumble into any town in Arizona this time of the month, Devil’s Gulch is the place you want to be. What some would call not-so-ordinary is just plain run-of-the-mill to us.”

“Sho it sheems.”

“Did you want me to leave the moustache and beard as full as they are? It would do a good job of covering the teeth.”

“Thank you. Fine idea. Pardon me for asking… are those shilver-handled shcissors?”

“No, sir. I wouldn’t dream of it.”

“Had to ashk.”

“Think nothing of it.”

“I’m shurprised to see a barber shop open sho late.”

“Only just got here, truth be told. Not much call for business during the day, not since the river dried up and the mine output slowed to a trickle. Hold still, please, while I do the forehead, thank you. Anyway, since we’re somewhat off the beaten path, and since Sheriff von Drachenroch took the badge, a certain kind of citizenry sort of gravitated to Devil’s Gulch. Nothing strange to folks around here, but city slickers might raise an eyebrow or two. Did you want me to clip your nails? I have a heavy cutter.”

“Thank you.”

“After you wrangle those bandits, feel free to bring them back through here. Marguerite runs the saloon and serves some mighty fine barbecue, if you catch my meaning.”

“I think I do. Shave looksh terrific, thank you.”

“I can get lower under the collar if you like.”

“No. Thish should be fine. What do I owe you?”

“Fifty cents.”

“Keep the resht.”

“Thank you, sir. Good luck with those bandits. Do remember us here in Devil’s Gulch.”

“I will. Oh, good evening, sheriff.”

“How do you do? Just passing through?”

“Yesh, but I’ll be back.”

“Good to hear it. Please have a good night. Hello, Mike.”

“Hello, sheriff. What’s your pleasure tonight?”

“Perhaps just a trim.”

“Can do. Let me just move this mirror first.”

Robert J. Santa has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. His work has appeared in Paradox, On Spec, Artemis, and Horror Garage. He lives in Rhode Island, USA with his beautiful wife and two equally beautiful daughters. When not writing, Robert is the chief cook and bottle-washer for Ricasso Press.

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Every Day Fiction