Johnny steps from the line-up onto the conveyer belt; the Supervisor makes her way over. She examines Johnny thoroughly.
“Reintegration,” she says.
I see the relief in Johnny’s face as he’s wheeled to the left.
My joints are frozen. Sweat drips off my nose.
Johnny got reintegration. I’ll get it, too.
I step up. My legs buckle.
The Supervisor pinches the skin around my belly. She measures the length of my arms.
She flips through her chart and writes something down. She doesn’t look me in the eyes.
“Spare parts,” she says.
Author’s Note: Another take on society’s obsession with appearance.
Macie pumped her little legs back and forth, back and forth, gaining momentum on her rusty, old swing set.
“Come on, higher!” She cried to the wind as it pushed along with her.
She imagined wings on her back, ready for takeoff as soon as the moment felt right.
With one big push, Macie brought her whole body forward, propelling the swing higher than she’d ever gotten before. A personal best.
She felt it then. The right moment.
Macie took a deep breath and let go of the chains.
The wind hadn’t lied.
She was flying.
Author’s Note: Whenever I tried this as a kid, I always ended up with scraped knees and pebble imprints in my palms.
The face looking back at her through the mirror was perfect.
She ran her fingers over the smooth ridges of her cheeks. She traced the contours of her flawless jawline. She admired the ruby hue of her lips, accentuated by her porcelain skin. She watched them curl into a smile. She hadn’t smiled in ages.
She brought her fingers over the nose, stopping on the bridge. The slightest of bumps protruded from under the skin, burrowed like the pea under the princess’s mattress. The smile faded from her lips.
She ripped the perfect face off and went to fetch another.
Author’s Note: Society today is obsessed with appearance, so what if we had the option to try on faces like we do outfits?