Seyfert Scopes Out the Cosmetologist with Julie Mark Cohen


Seyfert Observes a Terran Woman Inside a Beauty Salon
Mardi Gras Morning, New Orleans, Louisiana

by Julie Mark Cohen

Seyfert hid in plain sight among several closely-spaced, large oak trees. He snared the bottom of his gold-lace-trimmed, pearly-purple toga and polished the lenses of a pair of Terran binoculars that he found hanging from a tree branch. Focusing on the store window across the street, he mounted an audio receiver on his front-most cranial protuberance, checked his universal translator, and adjusted his ear buds.

A cosmetologist sporting several necklaces of purple, green, and gold stomped around a young lady, tugging on her disheveled clothes, trying to fluff her hair, and pinching her cheeks. “What happened to you, girl? You’re going to ruin my reputation.”


“When I do a makeover, it lasts for at least one month. You were here last week, correct?”

“Yes, ma’am.” The young lady hung her head in shame.

“Look at me. Why didn’t you follow my instructions? Wasn’t I clear?”

“Yes, I understood them. I washed my hair with the soap you gave me and used the cream rinse, but my hair came out dry and brittle, just like it has been for some time.”

“You must’ve done something wrong. Maybe, the water was too hard,” the cosmetologist said. “What about your makeup? I selected the best colors for you — the base lotion, rouge, eye shadow, mascara, lipst-”

“I know. I listened to everything you said to me. I remembered everything. I did everything.”

“If you followed my instructions, then what happened to your color?”

“I don’t know. Maybe, the make-up couldn’t take the humidity.”

“I doubt that. My products are the best.”

The young lady stared at herself in the mirror and sobbed. “I just wanted to be pretty. I want a boyfriend.”

Seyfert’s ears perked and he thought, Boyfriend? She is cute in a plain, mindless sort of way. He fixated on the young lady.

“I’ll try one more time,” the cosmetologist said. “How about an appointment now, so you can be ready for tonight?”

“Yes, please.”

“Your name, again?”

“Barbara Hortlak.”

That can’t be correct. Seyfert utilized his wrist computer. Oh no! Hortlak is Turkish for zombie.

# # #

Copyright 2015 by Julie Mark Cohen

19 thoughts on “Seyfert Scopes Out the Cosmetologist with Julie Mark Cohen

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Brains, Beads and Binoculars making over Beauty…I mean…here we are seeing a New Orleans scene through Seyfert’s eyes. The morals of this story is to avoid the Turkish Blood Baths and yes second entries are allowed again.

    • Julie says:

      Parisianne, I love your alliteration. (I wish I had thought of it. Maybe, I’ll add this as a subtitle to my story for “Asymmetrically, Seyfert.”) Thanks.

  2. Kenneth Weene says:

    I thought this a flat joke. It might have worked better if we knew the name and that it was important up front. Also, perhaps moving the story to Haiti and a mention of voodoo. As it is, the story amounts to saying “boo” at the end.

    • Julie says:

      Maybe, I need to tweak this one a bit — not the ending, but adding something to introduce unfamiliar readers to Seyfert so they can appreciate his profound disappointment in not finding a date… again. Each Seyfert story should standalone and, for this one, the word limit of 350 may have been 1-2 sentences too short. Or, I can lengthen the title (which I always treat as a log line). Hoping for Date, Seyfert Observes…

  3. Michael Stang says:

    Fun. A lot. I love your writing.
    So has Seyfert taken permanent residence in the back, spare bedroom? He seems quite at home.

    • Julie says:

      Thank you. Seyfert visits for a while, then goes on hiatus (when I get busy in my real world). The spare bedroom is waiting for him to visit again one or two more times so I can finish “Asymmetrically, Seyfert.”

    • Julie says:

      Hi Monica, I fear that this zombie tale (if you can call it this) may be the only one in “Asymmetrically, Seyfert.” Clearly, Seyfert isn’t keen on the idea of dating a zombie, although he continues to be desperate for a date.

  4. Diane Cresswell says:

    Wow I knew you had written another one so had to go looking and sorry for being late in reading. Of course Seyfert on the prowl will find absolutely incredible adventures on Terran and what better place than New Orleans. Wonder if he will approach the ‘lady’ or sit back and wait for another??? Good one.

  5. Tiffany V says:

    For those of us who ‘get the joke’, Seyfert is off to the races again. This is a private joke, and for someone who is rather new to it, it does fall a bit flat, but for the insiders, there is great fun, like hanging out with an old friend. I’m getting to know Seyfert, and I have to say, he’s as nutty as the rest of us here, asymmetries aside.

    • Julie says:

      Tiffany, thanks for remembering Seyfert. In his world, he’s not nutty. He’s just a male who is trying to enjoy life, become accomplished in his field, and find a mate.

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