Ben Maviglia

A 10 minute timed write with the following prompt: Using a name you’ve encountered in real life, introduce a new character based on only the name.

Ben was bold. He broke into the barbershop late that evening, and took the shears without breaking a sweat and began lifting lank hunks of hair away from his head, heedless of snarls and tangles matting it close to his scalp, and snipped. Snipped.

Once everything had been reduced to a short cropped fuzz around his head he rummaged through drawers until he grasped a set of clippers. The metal whir and clacking grate of the blades came to life and filled the empty darkness of the barber shop with violent suddenness. Ben ran the unguarded clippers around his head, his free left hand rubbing over and over the stubble until it all felt even and sparse. He didn’t bother looking up into any of the mirrors, wasn’t sure he would recognize the eyes in the face that might meet his in the mirror. Looks didn’t matter to Ben at this time anyway, just the freedom of his skin, the weight of his matted hair falling away after six months of imprisonment. The shorn hair crunched underfoot as he moved the clippers down his cheeks to begin on the ratted beard that had grown in while they held him in the dark cinder block cellar, never letting him get even close to a sense of clean the entire time they had him captive. The clippers struggled and cut roughly through the whiskers, pulling and tearing as much as cutting, but once the stubble on his chin was as uniform as that on his head he dropped them and moved on in search of the barber’s straight razor.

There was still so much work between the prisoner he was and the revenge he planned to become.