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  • Writer's pictureH. M. L. Swann

NaNoFlashMo 2023 — November 13

Dating App

November 13 — Dating App

Her mother smoothed her hair back, tucking the stray blonde locks behind her ear. In her right hand, she held the electric razor.

“You’re so lucky, Pumpkin.”

The daughter nodded. Her mother pressed the power button with a stubby thumb. The low hum of the razor filled the daughter’s ears like a hive of bees had nestled themselves there. She pinched her eyes shut.

So lucky her mother breathed as she pressed the razor to her daughter’s scalp.

The hair tugged at first, protesting its abrupt removal. But then, the daughter felt the strands slip away, cascading past her ear and onto her bare shoulder.

The whirring motor stopped and she opened her eyes. The patch of scalp directly above her ear was buzzed down, skin grey-white from lack of sunlight.

Her mother was rummaging in a bag, pulling out a scalpel, alcohol swabs, and the kit she’d ordered online. The logo on the box was of an ear morphing into a heart. Never Lose Track! The Dating App that alerts you to your matches before you even see them!

It had been a gift for her fifteenth birthday from her mother, who made it absolutely clear her daughter should be making every effort to find a boy she could lock into a husband before leaving for college. Cheaper than any M. R. S. degree. This app will practically pay for itself when you compare it to tuition prices! her mother had said.

The stringent smell of alcohol made the daughter wiggle her nose. The mother swabbed down the space just above the ear, loosely fitting the earpiece and measuring the cord so it carefully wrapped around and secured itself into the panel that would soon be implanted into the daughter’s scalp. Once inputted, the GPS device inside would trigger an alarm whenever her matches were near. She’d never be able to lose them.

And they’d always be able to find her.

Seemingly satisfied with her measurements, the mother held the daughter’s shoulder with one hand, the scalpel in the other. “Are you ready?”

Сайхан Бичээрэй!


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