The Salon at 23rd Orbit by Marisca Pichette

“Green or blue?”

Clouds of LED light cross between the implants she holds. Her nails are broken. I itch to file them smooth.

“Green,” I say. She nods, capped teeth grinding together as she plucks the protective covers from the needles at the end of each strand. I run my hand over my scalp, feeling the scars left by my last wig.

“Lie back.”

She walks around me, pulling gloves over her hands. “You won’t be able to do this much longer.”

I know. “Please.”

She positions the roots above my skin. I close my eyes.

Soon, I’ll be beautiful.

Marisca Pichette is a queer creator of monsters and magic. Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Fireside Magazine, Fusion Fragment, Apparition Lit, Uncharted Magazine, PseudoPod, and PodCastle, among others. She lives in Western Massachusetts, surrounded by bones and whispering trees.

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