Flash: I Am Prophecy – Part 3

She had emerged by herself and no one knew. Nineteen minutes and counting. Reaching out a hand, she touched her mirror image. Twenty-two minutes since dawn.


The screams normally would have activated the sensor, but her recent growth spurt inflicted violent cramps and she often woke screaming. After the fourth false alarm, her father had signed off on temporarily removing her emergency room monitor rather than pay fines. He had grown a foot in a six-month period as a teenager, and her body had already added three inches in height since the class term began in addition to her micro-boobs inflating to something she was having trouble hiding in the school uniform.


Wait, she had been so confused she had forgot. Too many pasts, too many futures, she had forgotten her present.


Throwing aside her sleeping robe, Vixen activated the uniform program. Some classmates only ran the shaver once a week, letting their fuzz give hints of individuality. Blond, brunette, white. But Vixen had always tried to blend with the crowd.


Standing in the center of the room, Vixen waited as the preparer removed any hair from overnight and spray painted her body with today’s skin color. Dark skin, milk chocolate brown, she sighed in relief. The flush red and dark blue lines branching with every blood vessel and vein submerged under the artificial dye. … Tomorrow, no … tomorrow’s tomorrow will be white, nearly no change for her and her friend Osantos, extra pigment for people like Marty who would have virtually no color added today. Her reprieve was temporary, but enough for now.


While sorting through the infinite of near-time, trying to discover a path to stay undiscovered, Vixen nearly missed the closet opening with her day’s clothes laid out. On top of the white blouse and tailored plaid slacks was a binder. She hated that binder, but the Emperor’s Boarding School took uniform to a level unknown anywhere at anytime in the history of man. – Her face relaxed into a small smile, her first since waking, as she verified this bit of unverifiable common knowledge. – Blending, being invisible in the crowd of children, was even more important than normal so she willingly plucked the stretchy fabric from the pile.


The binder did not snap in place after being wrapped around her rib cage.


“Maker bless mom’s genes.” Vixen threw the clothing back into the closet in disgust, laughing a little as mundane habit pushed back survival fear. She hit the button for a remeasure, the third one that month. Stepping completely within the closet, Vixen did the “tailor tape dance” as the kids in school nicknamed it.


Put your arms up, put them down, bend over, stretch arms to the side, stand up, lunge forward. An extra five minutes to throw her morning schedule off. An extra five minutes of life. But being late activated monitors, checks, which she no longer could afford. The path she needed to stay on required her recover a minute somewhere, otherwise the school would run a full diagnostic when she reported.


Today, she just wanted to live through today.


New clothes were released, the binder replaced with a brassiere and the shirt cut to accommodate her increasingly generous shape. No more hiding her gender.


Throwing on her clothes, she grabbed the blessed half-helm and snapped it in place over her newly non-human eyes and still human ears before rushing out for family breakfast.


(words 572; first published 4/10/14; republished new format 10/13/19)