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A Visit from Miss Protheroe ... the Movie


Sean O'Hare




A small barbershop somewhere in London.

The barber, Sharon, is a woman in her early 30s, dressed in white

jeans and a skimpy black top. She has long blonde hair,

worn loose. Her client, the only other person in the shop,

is a businessman - a little older - with longish, boring hair.

He is in the chair, gowned, and looks nervous. She picks up her clippers and

is smiling as she fits a number 2 guard to her clippers

Sharon: You'll thank me for allowing me to persuade you to get rid of all

this hair, Mr Blake.

Mr Blake: I guess so, but I ...

<the clippers are turned on and moved from the nape to the forehead>

Sharon: Crewcuts are sooooo cool!

<she continues to clip, smiling>

Voiceover: My name is Sharon, I work in a small barbershop in London.

Each Monday we are quiet and Gareth, the owner, and I take it in turns to have

the day off. This week I am expecting a special client. I posted a

message on the internet offering free haircuts. I know it sounds

strange but I have what is known as a hair fetish. Let me continue.

I trained as a stylist but found that I preferred haircutting to perming and colouring, and

cutting short styles in particular. I quite enjoyed cutting women's hair but

I found that on a day-to-day basis there were few opportunities to for

precise cutting and so I decided to join Gareth a few months ago.

I wondered if any women clients would venture in but of course

none ever entered our rather traditional barbershop. So I thought

I would try a little advertising.

Last week I received an e-mail too from a woman in London who said she was thinking

of changing her hairstyle

and, once she learnt I worked a barbershop, she seemed even keener on

paying me a visit. We hadn't discussed styles in detail but she clearly

has a very strong interest in hair and sounds quite adventurous. And the offer

of a free haircut was clearly tempting.

So I'm expecting

I have built up this picture of a young, rather adventurous woman,

perhaps a student or working in a fashionable clothes store.

She mentioned her hair was quite long and I imagine it to

be straight and hanging down to the shoulders. I expect her to be wearing

casual clothes - jeans probably, and a T-shirt.

So at 6pm today, after my usual closing time for a Tuesday, one rather adventurous

young lady would be visiting me. Miss Janet Protheroe.

It is 5.15 and I have just started my final client of the day and we are the only

two in the shop. Jim, the stylist who works for me, has had today off.

Mr Blake, a regular client in his 30s, is in the chair having his regular

short cut.

As I began to move the clippers up his neck the door opens and a tall, elegant woman

of a similar age to Mr Blake marches in. She stands for a few seconds, clearly taking in the

environment. Presumably Mrs Blake. The only women to enter my shop are

wives and girlfriends.

Her glossy black hair is tightly pulled back from the hairline, and is swept up

into an elegant updo. She is wearing a smart black and white, checked suit - the skirt

at least 6 inches above the knee, the jacket tightly pinched in at the waist and

covering a simple and barely visible black, silk top. An expensive loop of

large pearls circles her neck, and a lot of gold hangs from her wrists, her ears

and on her fingers

She smiles, says nothing and moves to the leather armchair against the back wall.

I have tried for the traditional look, but placed in a modern setting. So there

is a lot of wood and leather, but plenty of plants to soften the look. Of course

I have installed traditional barbers chairs.

She says nothing and hence she must be waiting for her husband. She perches

herself on the chair, crosses her legs and demurely pulls down the hem of her skirt

although this does little to hide the long, thin legs that emerge.

I return my concentration from this attractive, but rather mature woman (at least

for me!) to her husband and continue clippering the back of his head.

A few minutes later I look up. The woman remains in the same position. Her gaze is

fixed on her husband, or more precisely his hair as I prepared to shave his hairline.

Mr Blake also notices. Our return of her gaze is met with a disarmingly powerful

smile - we both smile back although I feel unaccountably flustered and quickly

return to the task in hand.

However I can not help the occasional glance, and notice her position is unchanged and

her gaze is unmoved as if she is trying to take everything in.

Ten minutes later, and I have finished Mr Blake's hair. I remove the cape, ensuring

all the fine clippings are dusted from his face and neck. We walk over to the till

where he pays, giving me the usual generous tip, and I help him on with his suit


And then surprisingly he begins to walk towards to the door, without a backward

glance towards his wife. My gaze switches from one to the other, as if I was

watching tennis at Wimbledon. The door opens. He leaves.

Unless Mr Blake is particularly forgetful I guess this woman isn't his wife!

But she's been here nearly half an hour, Janet will be here in 10 minutes and I

do want to tidy up and get ready. What does she want and why has she not said

anything. I'm feeling puzzled and a little frustrated too. I don't want to be

rude, but ...

"Protheroe!". The woman has jumped and marched towards me, holding out her

hand. I'm feeling startled by the sudden movement. "Miss Janet Protheroe".

We shake hands. Her grip is cool and firm. Then suddenly WHAT she said

sinks in. "I believe you were expecting me Mr James". Expecting her?

"Oh, er, yes". Er, no I was expecting someone a little younger actually.

I feel it would be unwise to voice this opinion. "Er, hello, Miss Protheroe".

She releases her grip and we stand facing each other. She looks very

confident. I'm tall, but she's a little taller. So her head, and more

particularly her piercing grey eyes, are cast down slightly - almost


"Well Mr James, where would you like me?". I gulp. Why do I feel so nervous -

or should that be intimidated? "Here?", she asks pointing to my chair. I see

the cut hair from my previous client - I haven't swept up yet - and indicate

Jim's chair.

We walk the short distance and she lowers herself elegantly into the barbers

chair as if it is something she has done frequently. But looking at her clothes,

her hairstyle, her whole manner I realise she hasn't. I also now realise that

this has been a set up of some kind. She clearly isn't going to want me - a barber -

touching her smart hair. She leans back, her arms on those of the chair, adjusting

her position as if she is trying out new furniture for her home.

"Gosh, this is rather comfortable isn't it. I always feel they look so cold

and uninviting, don't you? Not that I've ever sat in one before. Yes, most

satisfactory". She launches that smile at me once more as she catches my eye in

the mirror. I still feel somewhat surprised by the turn of events. I nod and

smile back. But I feel a little lost as to what to do or say next.

I decide to raise the chair a little. "Ooo, gosh, that's nice. Are you trying to make it

difficult for me to run away?".

"Er ... no". Well, what was I supposed to say!

"Just teasing Mr James". She moves her right hand to smooth a non-existent unruly

hair on her hairline - I'm sure none of her hairs have ever had the nerve to be

unruly - and she then pats the elegant knot at her crown. "Now" - her voice has

become crisp and business-like but the smile remains on her face - "I believe

you intend to cut my hair young man". I nod. "So, would you care to start?".

"Yes, of course Miss Protheroe". Feeling on slightly firmer ground now - after

all she's now just a client - I kid myself! - I ask her if I can take her jacket.

She slips it off revealing the simple black top which barely covers all it needs to. It

is supported by two extremely thin straps and her smooth, white shoulders and much of

her back is laid bare. She fingers the pearls which now lie on her long, elegant neck.

"May I take down your hair?".

"Please do. But I wonder if I might ask a little favour". She retrieves her handbag which

she has placed on the counter before us, and removes a small camera. "I wonder if you

would take some photographs as we proceed".

I had wondered about this earlier. Asking if I could take photos, or even setting up

a video camera. But I felt a little uncomfortable it. Now here she was asking.

"No problem, Miss Protheroe. I will be happy to".

I'm no David Bailey but not too bad a snapshooter - at least I don't have trees growing

out of people's heads ... well not too often. I take in the controls, switch on the

flash and take several shots from different angles. I place the camera on the counter.

"Thank You".

I now stand behind her and study her hairstyle to work out where all the grips and

assorted ironmongery would be hidden to hold up such an elegant style. I remember

doing these styles in the past and it was never a particular favourite of mine.

At this stage it is impossible to gauge the length of her hair in this style but,

given her age (with apologies to all out there of a similar age or older) and the excellent

condition it appeared to be in I assume it would not be all that long.

I identify a couple of large clips which I reach in and snap open. And I am

amazed as wave after wave of hair seems to tumble down as I remove these solitary

fastenings. Instinctively I reach out to catch her hair as it is released.

I hear a little giggle - almost a schoolgirl giggle. "You don't need to catch

it. It's still attached ... well, at the moment". I look up and, unbelievably,

she winks.

I look down and I am confronted by masses of thick, black, glossy hair covering the

her shoulders, the back of the chair and reaching halfway to the floor.

I am captivated by its appearance. Without really thinking I pick up a brush

and begin to smooth it through. I remember about starting from the ends but,

this hair is in such excellent condition, that it simply glides through from the crown

to the ends without obstruction.

I estimate it must be around 3 feet long - probably well past her waist if she was

standing - and as thick and healthy at the ends as the crown.

After a few minutes I return the brush to the counter and point questioningly to

the camera. She nods, so I shoot off a few more snaps - the same angles but she's

looking quite different. I can't decide if she looks younger with her hair loose.

Perhaps, just different. More like an actress of the same age, rather then the

businesswomen that she seems to be.

I step back a little. "You have very beautiful hair Miss Protheroe". Well it is true ...

and I can think of nothing else to say, as I just take a minute to admire it.

"Thank you. Yes I do". She lightly runs the long, blood red fingernails of

both hands through the crown hair. "And that's a problem".

"Really? It seems ...".

"It is just about perfect - I know that - but of course I can not wear it loose.

Not like this, can I".

I'm thinking, why not? It looks sensational - but perhaps it wouldn't be quite the

thing in the boardroom. And it's always been like that. "From pigtails at school,

to ponytails at college, to buns at work. I've always worn it that way. It only

takes minutes to style too - so much practice at putting up, you see - so I

can't use that as an excuse for a restyle and hence the problem"

"But, you can ...".

She clearly had something worked out in her mind and my interruptions weren't

part of the picture. "I will admit to you I've always had a thing about hair,

long hair in particular. Don't ask me to explain it. When I first got access

to the Internet I realised I wasn't alone and enjoyed talking about my hair,

talking to other about theirs and picking up hints and tips for hair care".

She had been talking quite fast and sounded a little breathless. "But then

I found some of the other sites - the short hair sites - and found I was

equally absorbed by them". I may be mistaken but her face seems to be colouring

a little. A small blush. "Talk of haircutting, the photos and video clips of

makeovers - it all seemed so different. A whole new world. And such fun. And

of course that's where I found you. So here I am". The elegant, confident,

no nonsense manner seems to have dropped a little. She has pulled a lock of her

over her shoulder and it passes over the black silk top and curls in her lap.

She fingers nervously.

"Indeed you are here". I had accepted that this

woman was nervous of change. She had no reason to change her hair - it

looked marvellous - but perhaps she wanted a change to fit in better with

her work appearance. From all she had said I realise that a lot of hair

may fall but she will want a lot still left - just past shoulder so she can

wear it loose, or perhaps a shoulder skimming bob - and I have resigned

myself to this. But it will still be enjoyable and make a pleasant break

from the mens styles I perform all day.

"So what can I do for you, Miss Protheroe?"

There was silence. She stares straight ahead. She still fingers the

lock of hair she has separated from the rest. I wonder if I has asked

the question as her expression has not changed.

Then I hear a little cough as she clears her throat. "Mr James I would like

you to cut off all my hair".

"Into a bob perhaps, or something a little longer".

"ALL my hair, Mr James. I wish you to cut off all this" - she places both

hands at her nape as she says this, and then flicks up all her hair and it falls

back precisely in the same position - "so that is short". She takes a deep breath

"Very short".

My turn to lose my voice. I cough. I try to sound cool and professional ...

detached. Fat chance! "Very well. If you are quite sure then I will be

pleased to". I still don't expect this to happen. And I'm not sure if I

want it to. She has such lovely hair.

"Excellent. Then please proceed".

I know she will stop me. I've played games on the Internet too!

"Very well".

But I begin to brush her hair once more, this time from a centre parting with as

much lying in front of her shoulders as down her back.

I reach down to the drawer under the counter and remove a case containing

my lesser used haircutting tools. I pick up the large pair of scissors that

I had so rarely used. They look new and shiny ... and very sharp.

I make sure this is all in Miss Protheroe's view. She watches each movement and

I hear her let out a little gasp as I test the scissors with a few sample

clicks. "Oh my! They look rather efficient".

"I shall use these to remove the bulk of your hair. They are very sharp and so

it shouldn't take too long, even to cut through such thick hair as you possess ...".

She looks composed still - a typical businesswomen I guess - but I can hear

her breathing and its rate seems to be increasing. "Or perhaps I should say

as you currently possess". She lets out the nervous little giggle once more.

I separate and lift a three inch chunk of hair and place the scissors just

above her shoulders. I didn't know how short she intended me to cut her hair -

if indeed she would let me cut it at all. I still feel this is some sort of game.

But if I did indeed it cut it, it wouldn't be too short to consider other

styling options when she saw the hair begin to fall.

I held myself in that position and looked enquiringly into the mirror.

She appeared almosty exasperated. "Mr James, did I not say I wanted it cut


"Yes, but I thought ...".

"Did you indeed. I see - 'you thought'. Rather than asking what I have

asked you to do. Please raise the scissors higher".

Under the force of her words the scissors almost seem to glide slowly

along the hair shaft. I expect her to say something as they make their

way closer to her scalp. But no they finally come to rest just above her


I feel her flinch slightly as the cool metal touches the top of her ear.

"Ooh, they are, er ...ooh". Her expression has changed slightly - a mix

of perhaps excitement, even a little fear ... I don't know really, it

is difficult to fathom.

I don't know whether to cut ... or not. Will she give me an indication?

She seemed to be almost revelling in the delay, various small changes

in her expression betraying a cocktail of emotion.

"I'm now going to cut your hair Miss Protheroe", I say with more

confidence than I really felt. I feel this is the end of the game.

"Please do Mr James". A short pause as she tries to breath in, although

she appears to be having difficulty. "I'm waiting".

Her piercing eyes stare back at me from the mirror.

"Will you please cut off my hair", she almost commands.

And the scissors close as if I have no control. Schnick! The hair which belongs on this

attractive woman's head, which looks as though it will be attached forever, is

now severed. I hold it in my hand and she reaches out for it. I expected her

expression to one of horror, but it is close to amazement. She takes the severed lock

and rests it over the bare knee of her crossed leg.

I am surprised - almost as much by her, apparently casual, reaction as by the

removal of a lifetime's growth of hair. At her age it is unlikely to grow to

such length again, and certainly not in such thickness and condition.

But I suspect her job has taught her to control her reactions. As she stares

down at the severed lock I detected a slight tremble course through her body.

And then she tried to speak "Mr James" came out almost as a squeak. She took

a deep breath, and tried again. "Mr James. Thank you, but you still have a

way to go. A photograph first perhaps?".

I comply and then lift the next lock from her temple. Her right ear is

temporarily exposed. Schnick! And now permanently exposed as the the severed

ends of the hair fall away. I hand it to her and again she takes it, adding it

to the first.

I pause again, unable to take in quite what is happening. She raises an eyebrow,

and I quickly take the next lock and snip it off. And several more follow.

Even though I am cutting to simply remove the bulk, the quality of her hair is

such that it falls into a neat bowl shaped bob - a precise line forming just

above her ear. All the hair brushed in front of her right shoulder

was now removed. I take another photo.

She smiles and I smile back, both conscious that neither has spoken for several


"How are you feeling Miss Protheroe. You appear quite relaxed".

"Somewhat nervous actually, but rather excited too. I've wanted to have my

hair cut short for some time, but I can't really believe it's happening.

That I'm sitting in a barbershop and a barber is chopping off all my hair.

I wonder if I am doing the right thing". She holds up the hair she

has collected in her lap. "It is so long and beautiful isn't it".

"Yes it is. You are certainly a very brave woman. I can't imagine many

other women so willing to risk their whole appearance by cutting off the

hair most women would die for!". I voiced what I was thinking and wonder

if I had gone too far.

She looks so incongruous there. I purposely hadn't covered her with a cape

during this stage of the operation, for purely selfish reasons. I wanted

to admire this woman, in her elegant formal clothes, as she gradually loses

her magnificent mane of glossy hair.

"Do you think so. Do you really think it is such a big risk. Oh dear".

As if she doesn't know! So, why would such a woman want her

hair cropped short.

"Don't worry. It will be fine". I rest a hand on her now bare shoulder

and she smiles back rather nervously.

I now move to the other side, lift the first lock and snip it off.

I lift the next. Schnick! And the next. Schnick! And soon her left

shoulder is bare also, and an enormous collection of hair has been

gathered on her knee. I notice she is carressing it and, that as she

does so, it moves rhythmically in her lap. She looks up a little

guiltily and I quickly avert my gaze, allowing her to do as she

wished without my observation. Although I use the opportunity to

take a few more photos.

I move behind her now and gather the mass of hair that still streams

down behind her. Held like that, it appears she sports a very short

bob. "Hmmm, looking good Miss Protheroe but there's still a lot of

hair to remove. I'll cut all this off in one go. The last of your

long hair".

"Very well". I pull it taut and slide the scissors in at the nape and

attempt to close them. "Oooh, you are pulling rather hard". The hair is

so thick then it is difficult to cut.

"I'm sorry. If you would lean forward and keep your hair taut then it will

be come away much more easily". She complies, without a word. "Thank you".

I force the scissors closed and a few strands are severed. Again, and more

are cut. I feel her leaning forward and tugging against my grip. I sense

that she is a little uncomfortable - a slight grimace crosses her face but

this is mixed with a smile - almost a grin. She's enjoying this.

I continue to chop through this glossy black rope. I could do it quicker

perhaps but it is such an ususual sensation and she is clearly enjoying

it too that I take my time.

A final cut and her head jumps forward. "Ohhhhh", she exclaims. Her head

comes up and she looks in the mirror, "Oh, wow!". I hand her a ponytail

to match the hair collected on her lap. She grips the hair but runs her

other hand through the remnants of her hair. "Oh! Gosh! I've really

done it haven't I. Phew!".

"Well, you're getting there!". I take a comb and begin to run it

through roughly cut bob. I'm tempted to say that perhaps she should

go with a similar style but I was beginning to think shorter.

I section off the hair at the crown and comb down the hair at the

back and the sides from a parting a couple of inches above her ears.

I now pick up my heavy duty Oster

clippers and was adjust the blades. I could see that she had the

head shape and features to carry out many short styles. "Please hold these

while I place a cape around your neck".

The clippers look enormous in her small, long fingered hands. She

turned them over and appears to be admiring them, almost in awe.

"Will you be using these ... on me", she asked in a quiet voice.

"Oh yes, Miss Protheroe. The style I have in mind is very short

at the back and sides. All this will go". I pass my hand through the

hair at her neck. "Is that OK?".

"I ... I, er".

She sounds very unsure now. "Very well". I fix the cape securely

and hold out my hand. She returns the clippers. I turn them on

and place them at her nape.

"Oh, I say!", she exclaims.

As the clippers vibrate against her nape I wait. She appears frozen,

not wishing to move her head.

"Mmmm, I ... oh gosh". She is looking in the mirror and perhaps realises

that she could still walk away with a short style that would perhaps be

a little longer than I intended. Short, for sure, but elegant

to match her nature. "I ...".

"OK, I'll now shave your neck". I pause for a few seconds. She remains frozen.

Her eyes are wide, showing a little fear - the deer in the headlight look - trapped.

The bare blades of the clippers continue to vibrate.

I slowly ease the clippers up her neck. The even buzz of the clippers is replaced by

an uneven, popping sound as the clipper blades begin to chew her remaining hair.

I love these clippers - however thick the hair they remove it efficiently to the

desired length, even with this, the shortest, cutting head fitted. The path behind

the clippers was showing barely a hint of black stubble

"Ohhhh!". The clippers moved upto the curve of her smoothly shaped head.

"Gosh, that tickles!". She giggled. Did it, or was she just trying to

hide her feelings over what was happening.

As I flicked the clippers away a surprising amount of hair fell, some straight to the

floor and the rest onto her shoulders and slid down the cape.

A clean, bare path devoid of hair now sits at the back of her neck.

"Oh my! The cape was moving as the hair tumbled down. It was obvious her hands were moving,

still holding the cut length of hair. Her legs also seemed a little restless, almost in

a rocking motion.

Without further ado I make another pass of the clippers, easing them slowly past

the previous path. Again and again I slide the clippers until

the neck is bare. I now move to one side and place the clippers at her temple.

Her movements had slowed but as I ease the clippers up the side of her head

she sees the hair fall away and the white scalp showing through, and her movements


I move to the other side and steal a look in the mirror. Her eyes are partly closed

now and she seems to be in another world. It was clear to me that she would look

good with her hair short. But what will she think? What will her friends and family think?

What will they think at work? I got the feeling this matters little to a woman

brave enough to undergo this exercise in the first place.

She is clearly enjoying the sensation of the clippers. I

continue to use them long after there was no more hair to remove. It was obvious she

was getting off on this. And totally lost in it.

At an appropriate point - when her half closed eyes reopen and she looks up with a

little embarrassment - I turn off the clippers and turned away. There was a strange

silence in the air after the roar, whine and popping of the clippers.

Hair seemed to be everywhere although in reality this was only a small proportion

of what she started with. I release the hair at the crown which now seems long

by comparison. I dampen it down a little, with a spray and begin to layer it

through with scissors and comb, graduating the back and sides to a leave a

neat step just covering the clippered area.

The last of the long hair is her fringe. I comb it forward and it falls unevely

into her eyes, giving her a sultry sort of look. Something to hide behind.

She looks sort of enquiringly at me but says nothing.

I place my scissors on her eyebrows, but then slowly move them upwards.

Her eyes widen as they stop just short of the hairline. I allow myself

a small smile which she returns rather nervously. And then I close the

scissors and we both watch the last of her longer hair slide down her face

and bounce into the cape. I cut the fring almost to the hairline, leaving

a few slightly longer lengths to add interest.

The crown hair looks nice and neat, but rather heavy.

I feel it needs something more.

I begin lift sections and cut into them to texturise the hair. She looks

a little shocked at this - used to the sleek and smooth look - but as the

style begins to take shape her face relaxes a little.

Nothing had been said for some time but this didn't seem to matter to either

of us.

I now take the smaller edging clippers and begin to shave around the hairline,

around the ears. Her eyes go from wide open to almost closed. This new sensation is

clearly all she hoped it would be, as the smile forms on her face and seems

difficult for her to remove.

I turn the clippers off and, without a word, pull the cape away.

Rather, self-conciously, she attempts to pull down the hem of her

skirt which has ridden up a little. Sat on a leather chair, she has little succcess.

I stand behind her. Finished. After a short silence she says, softly "wow!".

"Yes, indeed. Wow!". No other words seem necessary. I take some more photos.

She gets up and I help her on with her jacket. There is some disparity between the

expensive clothes and accessories, and the extremely short hair that she now sports.

Surprisingly she looks much younger, and perhaps even more elegant. As she

has such a confident air and perfect posture, she doesn't look unusual with her

severe short back and sides. It was remarkable just how well it suited her.

She opened her bag and stuffed the camera and the long ponytail inside and removed

her purse. "Thank you Mr James. So what do I owe you?".

Momentarily flustered, I try to think. "Nothing Miss Protheroe. I offered a free

haircut", and was secretly hoping that I would like a few more replies to my message.

"Ah, yes you did. Well perhaps I could buy you a drink. If you've finished here".

I didn't need to think twice. "Well that would be rather nice. Shall we go".

I switch off the lights. The tidying up can wait until tomorrow. I shut the door and

we begin to walk through the precinct.

Heads seem to turn. Miss Protheroe attracts a lot of attention. And she clearly

loves it.

A few minutes later we sit outside a cafe with a glass of red wine each. People stare

and she plays up to it by running those blood red fingernails over her temples and

down her nape.

Two young women at the next table seem particularly drawn. Both are very attractive and

more the type of woman I had been expecting earlier. One wears jeans, the other has a

short leather skirt. Both wear white T-shirts and denim jackets. The mini-skirted

woman has her mid-back hair in deep spiral curls - natural or permed isn't obvious but

her hair looks immaculate. Her friend has hair of a similar length - blonde and thick,

worn in two long braids. Curly says "We think your hair's really stunning.

Where do you get it cut?".

"No my companion here is the culprit. He owns the shop just along there

and I'm sure he would be happy to assist you in a trim ... or something more".

I feel a little uncomfortable about this woman talking so openly about me.

The two women stare at me and, almost as one, ask "When?"

"Well he could open again in 10 minutes if you are ready now. I think you

are ready aren't you". It wasn't a question. Those grey eyes were working on me once


Both women nod, and giggle a little and begin fingering each others hair, thinking

about their respective styles.

Before we return to my barbershop Miss Protheroe gives me a little peck on the cheek.

"Thank you so much for this. May I now come along and watch you? Perhaps assist you?".

"Of course you may. I would be so pleased if you did".

And we walk back to my shop, discussing possible styles for my next two clients.


[I hope you enjoyed this story. If you have any comments on this story or

ideas for future stories then please drop me a line at]