The Case of Bearder’s Remorse: A Chilling Epidemic

There is one thing we never recommend. Under no circumstance should you ever completely shave the beard without reason or valid cause. Notice, we didn’t say “your” beard, but the beard. That is because you are in the bearded brotherhood and your beard is now part of the hivemind.

We are all centrally connected to the beard overseer. We are one of many to a greater bearded cause. There is a telepathic sense of brotherhood between fellow beards. The link can be seen and felt through the involuntary nod and respect from a passerby beard.

In the event that you shave your beard, we’re sorry to say, but you will be struck with Bearder’s Remorse. A horrible ailment that will send you into a spiraling hole of regret and malaise. We only have to look at a man shaving his beard at this very moment. Take a ride into the collective beard conscious, we’re going to look at the unthinkable.

The Decision

Wilson Leary hasn’t been himself lately. High ranking members of the bearded order have sensed a disturbance coming from his beard, WLB95, a first class 11 month beard almost ready to graduate to the preliminary Council of Yeards. The past few days Wilson has not been caring for his beard.

An open bottle of beard oil lay splattered across the bathroom floor. There is a single straight crack in his favorite beard comb, Billy the Bold, a comb known for its impossible sense to detail. The collective has tried numerous times to reach Wilson to no avail. A recent interaction between Wilson’s good friend Patrick Beardman was less than satisfactory.

“Wilson, how’ve you been?” Patrick Beardman extended his hand to Wilson. An olive glow shot from his eyes to Wilson’s beard and back to his own. His eyes now a conduit to the Archaic Beard, a beard from a bygone era.

“Oh you know just hanging in there,” Wilson shook his hand before scratching WLB95. “Yeah definitely… so I didn’t see you at the oil-athon man. What’s up with that? It’s your favorite event all year.” Patrick said, referring to Oil-athon 2016, an event where beautiful models compete to groom a man’s beard the fastest.

“Yeah just wasn’t feeling it.” Wilson said as he looked distant. His gaze, something the ancient beard couldn’t quite grasp. “Well, I’ve got to be going Patrick, terribly sorry but something important has come up. Gotta shav- I mean uh go… See ya!”

Somewhere, far away in an undisclosed dimension…..

Wilson Leary and WLB95 stood in front of him. He seemed panicked. Sweat from his brow flowed to his cheek and was lost in the tendrils of WLB95. The Archaic Beard that inhabited the body of Patrick Beardsman viewed Wilson through his eyes. Archaic sensed what he’d sense, watched what he’d watch and felt what he’d feel. He witnessed Wilson wish Patrick a farewell.

The Archaic Beard inside Patrick Beardman began to contort the body he possessed. Foreign thoughts from an unknown deity abashed Patrick in awe and wonder. He left the vessel he called home. Up from the constraints of the third dimension, Archaic Beard wandered through time and space. It was here that he looked to his next vessel to occupy, WLB95.

The Fear

The Archaic Beard was now inside a place he felt more comfortable. Thousands of follicles thrashed into the front lines of skin. Interconnected hilts of brown, red and prematurely grey hairs mixed and matched together forming a mass of immense glory. Archaic Beard was just where he needed to be.

“Hello.” The Archaic Beard called out to his newfound home. There was a shuddering in the very hairs he felt now as his own. Who’s… who’s there? A younger frightened voice flew through the follicles and connected with the Archaic’s mind. “Do not fear, WLB95. It is I, the Archaic Beard.”

Burrowing from the depths of forested fortitude came a feeling of safety and comfort. Ah it’s you All-Father. You heard my calls of fear. I fear that Wilson no longer wants me.  “Fear not, my child. I’m here to help.”

Archaic Beard could sense that WLB95 now joined by another bearded entity was at ease. “Tell me WLB. When did you start fearing the preliminary inclinations of Bearder’s Remorse?” Archaic asked. I sensed it a few days ago. He’s been looking at pictures of himself clean-shaven. Talking out loud how he needs a change and ….. 

Archaic could hear WLB trembling. The winds in the air couldn’t hide the condensation seeping through his pores.

“Go on.”

Oh Archaic… This is my end, Wilson’s done it before! I’m destined to never join the Council of Yeards! A rush of droplets engulfed the mustache and dripped throughout the rest of their shared beard.

“Don’t be foolish,” Archaic boomed. “Have you done all preliminary steps to stop him from shaving?” Yes of course. I’ve thickened his beard, stopped food from getting in it. Hell, yesterday I attracted three different girls way out of his league. There isn’t a thing I haven’t tried. 

Archaic was worried. He had thought back on all of the times he’d stopped a beard from dying. There were the bearded philosophers of Ancient Greece he compelled to stay the course and not shave. He had ridden with Bedouin Nomads through the sands of Egypt. He had once served as counsel to the Pharaohs’ Beards of old. Archaic was responsible for an American Bearded revolution. Years he had spent in the company of Presidential beards. Surely, he could solve this small problem.

But before he could muster a response, his answer had already appeared to him. In his haste as Archaic’s mind was elsewhere, Wilson had left and returned home. Wilson now stood in front of the bathroom mirror. A scowl and look of death written across his eyes.

The Act

The terror in the room was malleable. Neither Archaic nor WLB spoke. They didn’t sway or prickle. They only stood there, motionless. Jagged steel hovered mere inches from their conjoined being. Everything seemed to be moving slower. A once friendly finger pinched their mustache and curled it. A flick of that same finger slid across the rough black surface of an electronic death machine. Terrible buzzing  emanated from the tool below them. Maybe, maybe it’s just a trim! WLB seemed to force an optimistic tone. But Archaic knew better. This was the death knell.

The blades slid to the upper sideburns. They seemed to hesitate for just a moment.  A sharp angle brought the blades to their intended target. In one fell swoop the blades traversed the entire cheek and down the lower neck region. Archaic and WLB were in complete shock. He had felt this before, but the pain never seemed to familiarize itself.

Appendages of lost brothers hung by threads to the rest of their shared being. WLB’s right quadrant become a former shadow of itself. He felt his connection to him slipping away. Contact at this point was for naught, as the buzzing and pain wouldn’t allow Archaic to express himself.

Up and down the razor grooved into nubile skin. First the entire right side followed by the left. A palm felt phantom cheeks where the beard no longer ruled. Wilson stopped to look at himself in the mirror for a moment. A distant call from the darkness came from within. Goatee… please. Don’t finish it. It’s too much to ah…. WLB was cut short. With rough hands Wilson wrapped the chin hairs into a ponytail. Without regard he tore an old pair of scissors into a chunk of them.

Wilson finished off the rest of it, sans mustache. Wilson did some strange motion with his face, where he moved his cheeks to the side and let the remnants of WLB’s mustache move in tandem. WLB was wise this time, he didn’t call out for the false promise of a mustache. Their enemy sprung from the darkness, took out both sides of their last fragment of self.

Wilson left a strange patch of them between his upper lip. He half heartedly waved his hand in the air and chuckled. The disgraced soul stache was now the final blow. Even that faded. It was over. Even as Wilson applied the murky white to his face and the razor touched bare skin, the act no longer mattered. Bearder’s Remorse was about to set in.

The Regret

The clean shaven face seemed to be setting in for Wilson. The remains below in the sink were that of an unspeakable horror. An apparition of two separate entities appeared alongside Wilson. “You should not have done that!” A furious WLB screamed into the air. Wilson put his face into his hands and cried out. “Oh God, I should not have done that.”

Archaic, mighty and broad floated effortlessly to the other side of Wilson. He was a stoic representation of all glorified beards personified like some Cthulhic entity. Varied colors and rope-like ringlets clasped around Wilson. The phantom outreach of his self engulfed Wilson and twisted and linked around him. Though he knew that he could not physically see him, Archaic knew that he would sense the curse of Bearder’s Remorse.

A shared memory flashed through Archaic’s mind and into Wilsons. There were the good old days of Wilson’s summer vacation. The beard frolicking in the shallow waters of the bay. A surprise kiss under the moon. The sweet taste of a forgotten ale. Dripping love from a forgotten past. Memories upon one another with his trusty friend in tow. There wasn’t a time that Wilson’s beard let him down.

Tears welled in Wilson’s eyes. Archaic could see the regret and sorrow that overwhelmed him. He let go of his inter-dimensional grasp and channelled implanted visions of a new kind.

The fresh outgrowth of designer stubble. The first taste of a mustache filtered wine. A beautiful girl caressing his beard under the sun set. He could feel the phantom glow of WLB emerging from it’s regrowth.

Archaic broke the physical barrier for just a moment and leaned to whisper something into Wilson’s ear.

One day you shall rise again. 

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