An elderly barber is cutting the hair of a bearded man. A boy runs into his shop and shouts that war has broken out. The customer thinks he is a clever lad, and asks him his name and age. The barber is extremely disgruntled. He claims that the boy is obviously lying, cheeky, and that since the customer has no call to be chatting with him, he won't finish the haircut. The customer introduces himself as the writer Frank and asks the barber to finish his work or at least to let him pay for what has been done already. Although the roar of aircraft is to be heard outside, the barber refuses to believe that it can be war. A young girl comes down into the room from upstairs. She is the barber's nice, but is not allowed to make any comment on the situation. Finally, the nervous barber throws the customer out. Frank decides to find another barber's shop where he will get served, but immediately bombardment starts, and he goes back into a room now full of broken glass from the window. The barber is sweeping up the pieces, but after a moment collapses and dies. The terrified girl takes refuge in the writer's arms.
William Styron (Když vypukla válka – povídka)