256 Words

The Coiff-Off

Sandy Steinman

At Rumplemeyers, purchasing caramels, a tiny man, no taller than Pamela, my nine year old, tapped my shoulder.

"Ahem. Madame, I am Mario LaRusso. His heavily accented voice was melodic. "Your coiffure is intriguing," he whipped out a card. "I'm a hairdresser."

After small bits of chaff he suggested we stop for tea.

We sat at a Schrafft's booth. He leaned across, playfully tousling my hair, and whispered, "shall we have an affair?"

His shiny leather boots had three inch heels.

"You might pick on someone your size," I sniffed.

He glared at me. "I'm almost five feet."

"A pee wee."

"Fortunately, we're the same size seated." Winking, he said something in Italian.

I laughed, pretending to understand.

"A pot of of Earl Gray, please," I told the waiter.

"In the old country, short men are sought after; their vilirity is legendary. If the women are unfortunate enough to be caught, the villagers stone them."

I sipped tea, offered caramels.

"Tomorrow I sail to Paris. Why not come along?"

I was intrigued. Could I miss sewing circle? Find a nursemaid for Pamela? Would Nigel swallow my yarn that cousin Jane invited me to her spa?

"I'll see."

"Meet me here tomorrow at six," he caressed my hair.

The next day, I arrived exhilarated, having hired a nursemaid and duped Nigel.

I sat alone until closing. Mario never showed up.

At home I found a note under the door.

"From Mario," it read. The rest was in Italian.

I don't understand Italian. I tore it up.

Copyright ©2000 Sandy Steinman. All Rights Reserved.

Please contact the editor for free text versions of this very short story formatted for e-mail, usenet news, or ftp.

Story Bytes


August, 2000
Issue #52

256 Words