'Disorder' by Natalie Bowers

They're back, but how? She's washed the coats, the bedding, the brushes. She's bagged the toys, the bands, the clips. She's tried three different treatments, three different combs. Like a police officer on a manhunt, she's conducted a fingertip search of the scrubland that is her family's scalps. There was nothing yesterday, nothing the day before, nothing the day before that, but today she can feel them, scurrying about, sucking her blood, sucking her children's blood.

In the last five minutes, she's caught herself examining the heads of her daughter's classmates as they've hurtled past her in the playground. Which one of you is it? Which one of your mums isn't doing her job?

She's caught herself drafting emails to the school. You're not doing enough to protect our children. You need to send a note home, and keep sending notes home until these parasites are eliminated.

She's even caught herself contemplating a new career as a nit nurse.

Whatever it takes to stop the itching.

Whatever it takes to stay in control.


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