Swing Your Razor Wide

Brushing his fingers against his chin, he realized it was due time for a shave.

In the mirror (a gift from Mrs. Lovett, as she muttered something about him needing a mirror that wasn't broken somewhere), he studied himself. Tired, blank eyes. What seemed to be an everlasting scowl. And the stubble that had grown on his face from the past months.

Sweeney unsheved a blade. The silver glistened in the spark of light the mostly gray skies provided. He watched it for a simple moment, taking in the thing's beauty—the beautiful details of the handle. Every moment he could, he admired his razors. His friends.

He splashed water from the basin in front of him. Still hot even after the last customer left, in the way most of his customers now left. The towel on the edge of the chair was soft, the perfume of summer daisies, courtesy of Mrs. Lovett once again. It was one of the few things that did not smell of metallic blood.

Using the badger-hair brush, Sweeney mixed another soap into the lather. It was satisfying to watch the two liquid-like materials combine. Instead of destroying, he created.

Light oil was massaged into the skin next. Most of his costumes rather enjoyed this stage. It was the last time something would them being meeting their demise. Sweeney spread the lather onto his own neck, covering the jaw to the areas around his lips.

Now came the razor.

His movements were overly theatrical as he sharpened his favorite blade. Every little piercing sound rang in his ears; a song of sorts, the song of barbers. Abandoning the strop, Sweeney passed the razor across his own palm. The most satisfying ending.

Thirty seconds was all it took to complete a shave.

Sweeney held the silver blade to his throat, running it along his skin. He was a master of his craft. Renowned under the blistering sun of Australia for the free shaves, he offered his fellow prisoners. Words spread quickly in the slums of London. He was famous for his work.

Yet he paused.

This was the same activity he'd started on several others. Until he drew their blood. But this was his own throat.

Forcing himself to continue, Sweeney stared at himself in the mirror, as if preparing for a fight against his reflection. His eyes grew wilder with every stroke. Madness crept into the back of his mind.

He looked down at the blade.

Lucy's eyes stared back.

Green and lively and perfect. The same eyes he recited vows to. The teary eyes he looked into as he promised he would return to her. The eyes he told himself he would always protect.

The razor dropped from his hand.

The world spun around him and he could do nothing. The confusing motions of light and dark and color and blankness. His life seemed to carousel around the room, as he could do nothing but blankly stare ahead of him.

He blinked. No. He would not allow himself to be consumed by madness. Insanity would not be a chain he was forced to carry. Sweeney picked up the razor from the floor.

Lucy gave him these razors.

Her tender pink lips beaming like the sun in the middle of spring. Pale hands holding the mahogany box out to him. Her laugh. Her smile. Her eyes.

"For your shop," she said to him in her song-like voice, "I think you need some new ones for opening day."

She watched him shave customers. Her song was always in the next room over. He could hear it between his chatter with the customers and his whistling, collaborating with whatever tune she hummed. Lucy intended for him to work hard, to provide for their growing family.

She never intended this. For him to kill. To seek vengeance on the world. Her memory was flickering, yet he knew.

Oh, Lucy, what has he done?

This fic was sparked by a thought I had which was, "Wait, Sweeney had to use the same razors he killed people with on himself." The whole description about preparing for a shave/the shave itself came from a book I've been reading about the daily life of a Victorian. I don't know exactly how accurate it is, but I hope you enjoyed the general idea of what barbers did. Thanks for reading!