“Electrolysis,” a Bad Survivalist Short Short by Roger D’Agostin

THE FOLLICLES DIDN’T KNOW WHY they were slathered in foam, but 17 said, “Don’t complain, this is the longest we’ve been.” Follicle 1 goose bumped, then quickly regained her composure. “Let’s not discuss the past.”

The others knew that Follicle 1, being the first, had suffered the most. Plucks. Wax. Bleaching. But this foam, it felt good. Still, Follicle 1 hoped it wouldn’t lead to infection. She knew all the eyebrows stared when she became a humiliating pimple. “You shouldn’t be there anyway,” they laughed.

Follicle 22 squealed, “If only she were famous. We would be important. Her identifying feature, the next Frida Kahlo.” But Follicle 8, who was close enough to the eyebrows that she was sometimes overlooked during plucks, didn’t succumb to this wishful thinking. She wanted to be an eyebrow.

Follicles 9 and 10 were the first to voice their concerns, which was not unusual since they were also the first to verbalize their delight in the hot wax, and ever since, still debated whether it was worth the sudden pain. All of them went on like this as they were shaved, giggling that it kind of tickled, it might even be better than the wax. But they didn’t like how she said that’s the last time I’ll be doing that. The whole night, they chattered, what could that mean? She never spoke like that.

The following morning, they awoke to a glaring light. The first burst of heat hit Follicle 17. A tiny white dot emerged where she used to be. Follicle 12 went next and then 22. 8 cried. She watched 1, 9, and 10 burn. She counted the ones remaining, prayed she’d be considered an eyebrow. Just this once, an eyebrow.

Roger D’Agostin is a writer living in Connecticut. His stories have appeared most recently in FRiGG, The Ravens Perch, and Pif Magazine. He hopes to publish two chapbooks in late 2021.

Image: balddenver.com

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