SEMI-FINALIST – 10

Name: Erica M. Chapman
Title: Anomaly
Genre: YA Science Fiction

Mom’s craptastic advice is what I’m going to miss most. She always said, “Never fart in front of a boy. They’ll never look at you the same.”  She also said, “Make ‘em laugh on the first day or you’ll be the one who’s being laughed at.” 
She straightened my collar and cocked her head to the side, her blonde curls twirling around her shoulder. 
“Don’t forget to—”  
“—eat your green biotics,” I said, mocking her perky voice.
She swallowed me up with her arms, cutting off circulation to my toes.
I grunted out, “Love you, too.” She let me go and cold set into my lungs. I hated that I still needed my mom at seventeen.
 
As she waved goodbye, a black tear emerged from ten coats of mascara and slid down her sun-tanned face. “I don’t care if it’s the law, call me if you want to escape,” she said, before turning to leave.
At least a hundred mechanical voices penetrated the airport’s lobby, announcing flight numbers and gates. Two beams of light shot out of the wall and scanned my eyes. A tinny woman’s voice repeated my flight information. 
I reached the terminal and a large guy with an evergreen shirt and bald head — similar to Mr. Clean in the old commercials on RetroTV — yanked my arm, practically pulling it out of the socket.
I jerked my arm back. “You tryin’ to get fresh with me, Mr. Clean?”
Guess I’m the only one that thought that was funny.

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