2013 Fiction Prize Finalist
I am tired of data, tired of spreadsheets, tired of life, but I have to be at work in forty-five minutes. Half awake, I put on my glasses, and notice something strange on my arm. Little spots. No, not spots. Strange dark hairs. No, not hairs either. My eyes focus. Plants are growing out of my skin.
“This can’t be good,” I say to myself. I don’t freak out, though. I’ve always been hairy. The little sprouts feel like a new kind of hair, another sign of getting older that I hadn’t known to expect.
I go into the bathroom, poke around in the drawer under the sink, and find the tweezers. I choose a stem at random, one near my left wrist, and pluck it out.
Mary-Mother-of-Jesus-in-a-Bathtub, that hurt.