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Rejuvenation by Daniel A. Rabuzzi

Tracing (enjoying) with her tongue the silhouette of the four new teeth she'd acquired since her last incarnation.  Ah, lovely, so slick.  Why all the fuss?  Once upon a time, no one even bothered to remark on such things, but lately (meaning since the Great Flood) fresh teeth or a spare eyeball, a supernumerary digit or whatever, raised the news to heights of sensationalism. Sighing, she prepared for her audience with the journalists and the well-wishers and just plain random-folk who insisted on lionizing her achievement. Gawkers, mostly. Moderately flattering, she thought, stepping into half-light, but honestly no big deal. Not compared to the effort of being born originally, the first out-thrust and outcry, the sheer ridiculous temerity of emergence. Now, that was newsworthy. Of course, back then, way back in those before-we-called-them-days, almost no one was there to witness. Hmmm, a scholar's dissertation surely lurks in that contemplation. She shook her head. She put her hands to her lips, to her cheeks. More teeth could only be a plus, right? Last time in the other place, the meats were especially good, tantalizing of soul as well as body. Oh, hello, yum! She could smell something grilling, maybe a city-block from the press agent's office. Promising. Yes, yes, I know it is almost time “to meet the press.” Electronics this time, quicker than the telegraphics of her last time. No wings, that was it – she knew she missed something. Well, good, a fair trade, more teeth in return for wings stripped off. The latter were such a nuisance to hide, only good when she had to hunt. What is that aroma, the burnt offerings from a city-block away? (“Barbeque,” her handler informed her in the orientation session, what a marvelous word – she was most definitely all-in for snout-to-tail dining). Okay, here I come, hold on, my skin is still a bit tender from the rebirthing, sort of tingly all over – love this invention: hand lotion!  Sighing again, she endured the reporters and autograph seekers, all while running her tongue over the new teeth, a private indulgence she wished she could hide from the assembled eyes.  So slick, so … unused.

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