Sally prepared her razor again, she could feel that it was time. She washed it, though she’d washed it before she even put it in it’s case the last time, and gave it a quick polish. She called Kitty into the room, had her pluck a hair from her head, and hold it stretched between two hands. Sally flicked the knife and the hair was cut in two. Kitty hadn’t even been holding it taut.
Sally arranged the razor, brush, and foam on her bedside table, basin and towel at the ready.
Jack came through town whenever he chose but he always opted for a shave at her establishment. Just a shave. It was hard to deny the allure of a straight-razor shave but the other girls usually had to provide services after. Of course, Jack didn’t pay but it was worth the quiet company. Besides, she never had to sharpen the blade after, it was like he’d never been there, the razor was that good.
It was a bit like dancing. He always knew which way to turn his head with just the barest touch of her fingertips to his chin. He knew not to swallow while the razor glided over his Adam’s apple. The same swipes every time, they moved together automatically and quickly. It was all over in the space of a few minutes. He stayed the full hour he’d been given and Sally would take a nap while he sat in the rocking chair, moving it back and forth with his foot on the bed.
Kitty came to wake her once the hour was up. “Hey, can I use your shave kit? I’ve a client I think might like it and I’m in search of some extra tips this month.”
“Alright,” Sally said, still a bit sleepy. She went to her dresser to get one.
“Could I use the other one? It’s a keen razor isn’t it?”
“Sorry love. I’d rather not.”
“I’ll be real careful.”
“All the same. It was my fiance’s.”
“Why isn’t it with him?”
“He died. I had to sell the rest of his effects to cover some of the debt. This is all I kept behind.”
“Strange choice. You could have got a pretty penny for a magic razor.”
“Is it magic?” Sally handed Kitty the other kit and hoped that was the end of it.
Kitty had a meeting with a top landlord who was coming through town. Good shave and he could have an excuse to his wife for the money gone from his account. It’d have to be a very good shave for the kind of money Kitty needed. She took Sally’s kit before she woke up in the morning and returned it that night, wiped clean. Sally never noticed until she opened it up for cleaning again. This time Kitty’s hair only split on the second try.
“Did you take it?”
Sally sharpened it and cleaned it again, and then once more, and again until there was the gentle knock and her door opened. Jack stood over her, watching. She held the razor up in supplication. He gave her a curious look and placed his hat on the peg, sitting down in his chair like always. The tension in her shoulders smoothed away and she bustled around, getting everything ready for him, closing her door firmly. Then they danced.
This time he got into bed behind her and held her while they napped. He woke her before he left. He gave her a kiss on the cheek to let her know he was not angry someone else had used the razor and that he would be back. She showed him to the front door and he hesitated. She insisted and watched as he walked down the street a few paces and shimmered into thin air.
For the Terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge.