'First Day Of Spring' by Jesse Bradley

The children in this open air market tug on their parents’ hands and it makes everyone stare at Mitch and me and mom.


You sure this is a good idea, I ask Mitch.


I’ll be fine, Mom says. The filter near where her mouth should be lets her talk to us but doesn’t let her seep out, like she wants to sometimes.


The last few months, we’ve tested the body we built for mom so it contains her and she can move around as much as she used to when she had a body. This is our first time with her in daylight, among hundreds of people, a disaster in the making if she got angry and escaped.


Mommy, why does that lady have a glass head, I hear one of the children say. His mother stammers a bit.


It’s to protect me from germs, Mom says, in the mom voice she used to answer our questions when we were young and curious.


Really? Mommy, can I have a glass head so I can protect myself from germs? The little boy’s mother drags him off to sample some kombucha.


A security guard walks over to the three of us. Ma’am, you’ll need to leave.


Mitch gives the security guard that look he gives when he’s about to do something violent and stupid until mom puts her work glove hand on his shoulder. It’s OK, Mitch, Mom says. Let’s go.


Mitch gets in front of Mom and I get behind her. I take the roll of duct tape out of my back pocket, prepare myself to try and stop her if she decides to change her mind. We make it to the car without mom trying to breach her body.


This was a good day, I say. I glance in the rearview mirror and notice Mom nodding her fishbowl head in agreement.

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