Posted by Suze Appleton on Thursday, June 13, 2013 Under: Short fiction
The pain seared through his leg and seemed to connect with every receptor in his body. His leg felt on fire and his brain was telling him to run as far away as possible from this torture but he gripped onto the chair, his fingernails digging into the upholstery as his knuckles glistened white. Everyone was watching him, he mustn't crack, he told himself sternly. It had to be done. As the next wave of pain swept over him he couldn't help himself and he cried out in anguish.
'Ye gods, when is it going to stop? Please, make that the last one, for pity's sake. No more, no more, I can't take it.'
Cheryl glared at him.
'Oh do shut up, you wimp,' she scorned. 'You think this is pain? You men, you make me sick with all your bravado, your posturing. When it comes down to it, you're just mummy's boys, the lot of you. A woman wouldn't cry like you.'
He rubbed his exposed shin as she worked on his other leg.
'Not many women have got as much hair as me,' he replied as the hot wax slipped onto his hairy shin.
'It still hurts,' she snapped, viciously removing another strip of wax and hair.
Paul bit his lip, refusing to buckle in front of the pub's customers who were already laughing at his discomfort. He made a mental vow that this was the last charity challenge he would do that involved personal, physical pain. Next time he was going to run a kid's guess-the-sweets-in-a-jar competition, or dress up in a costume, something painless and fun. After the head shave and the marathon, this was the final insult and was a step too far. How did women do this all the time he wondered, wincing as the final strip of wax was removed. Cheryl stood up and waved the hairy strip ceremonially in the air, to a round of applause and cat calls from the crowd. Paul bowed his head and surreptitiously wiped a tear away.
'Thank you, thank you, everyone,' he said, limping from the chair, trying to keep his trouser legs rolled up. He wanted the cold air on his legs until he could get behind the bar and grab some ice. 'Just remember to pay up as soon as you like. After that pain I'm not letting anyone get away without paying.'
Behind the bar were a row of certificates for all the funds raised by his staff for their charity and despite the pain Paul felt a swell of pride. He had a good bunch working for him and together they were on target to be the best pub in the group, an honour which brought its own reward of a weekend away for everyone at the premiere hotel of the group, a five star historic Inn by a beautiful beach in Dorset. As his legs cooled his smile returned. Maybe it hadn't been that bad after
In : Short fiction