(I put this week’s story under my pen-name “Mike Mayak” who hasn’t been getting enough attention lately.)
The High Top
by Mike Mayak
The customers stared as the two walked into the barbershop.
“Hey, guys,” Anthony said. “This is my friend Evidivis. He’s the exchange student my folks have living with us this semester.”
“Hello, friends,” Evidivis said, raising a hand and waving.
“Hi,” Mort the barber said.
“Evidivis came all the way from Banouthnian. That’s over past Arcturus.”
“Oh, yeah,” Marcellus, the assistant barber said from behind his barber chair. “My Dad had a run up there back when he was shipping.”
“Yeah, shipping along the spaceways.” That came from the man under the hot towel in Marcellus’ chair.
Evidivis was looking around the barber shop, his eyes full of excitement. He stood four-foot-eleven and was a pale green. His body and head were each round, giving him the look of a greenish snowman with thin, spindly legs, matching his long skinny arms. He was wearing shorts and a Monroe High t-shirt. His facial features looked human, except with large yellow eyes with cat-like pupils. There was a small fringe of black hair running from his forehead to the back of his neck.
Anthony Manuel stood five foot eight, had his hair done in a fade. He was a sophomore and was wearing the same Monroe High shirt as his friend. He had been coming into Mort’s since he was little.
“So, how do you like Earth?” Mort asked.
“Earth fine,” Evidivis said. “I make more friends here. Not have as many friends on home world.”
“How come?” Marcellus asked.”
“Aw, this sucks!” Anthony said. “You won’t believe this! Some people there say he’s the wrong shade of green.”
Evidivis shook his head. “That the way it is on home world. I not dark green like many others.”
“What’s that about?” Mort asked.
“On home world, dark green is considered the norm. They rule us for many years.” Evidivis said.
“Like the way they did it with us down here,” Marcellus said. “Long time before I was born.”
“Yeah, that’s what I was telling him,” Anthony said.
“You know my Grandfather’s Grandfather marched in what we call the rights wars over a hundred years ago,” Mort said. “Anything like that going on where you come from?”
“Not yet,” Evidivis said. “But there is talk. There is hope.”
“Good,” Marcellus said. “So, you want a trim while you’re waiting for equality?”
“Yes. I want that.” Evidivis said, rubbing the frizz of hair on his head. He grinned as he sat down in Mort’s chair.
“Just take a little off the top,” Evidivis said.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Again, not the story I envisioned when I started writing. I guess the times influenced this one. And maybe Zenna Henderson’s classic story “The Closest School.”
—-mike, a.k.a. jeff