The next morning, to my horror, I could swear the things sticking out of my skull were at least an inch bigger.
It took a lot of maneuvering to hide them again, and by the time I was finished I barely had any time to eat breakfast.
I ran into the kitchen, like the idiot I was, and straight into my mom.
She was holding a pot of boiling water.
It splashed onto my face, my neck and arms. I heard a sizzle and, to my surprise, found that the sensation was oddly soothing.
There was no pain. My skin drank the water up and I felt nothing other than a happy buzzing in my head.
My mom stared at me.
"Zara, please tell me I'm dreaming."
I looked at her and my spine tingled.
Her expression went blank and she nodded, humming to herself and moving back to the stove.
I was in too much of a hurry to think about how weird that was, and rushed to school.
When I burst into the class, heaving with the effort of having sprinted for so long, I was surprised to see everyone staring at me.
Sure, I was fashionably late...but their expressions were what got to me.
"Z, I thought it was secret? Love the horns!" Miranda piped up just then, cluing me in as to my situation.
My tail had indeed come free again, and somehow the 'horns' had gotten longer during my run. Turds.
"Um...you didn't see anything." I muttered, paying no attention to the way their expressions glazed over and they nodded.
I was running back home, my mind racing.
I hadn't thought too hard about what was happening before, but right then I felt every possibility hitting me.
I was some kind of freak of nature, and would end up on a dissection table in Area 51. I needed...I needed to get home.
I unlocked the door and ran to the bathroom before my mom could say anything to me, rummaging through the cabinet angrily.
When I found the straight razor, I met my eyes in the mirror and steeled my nerves.
"Zara!" my mother was pounding on the door, "Zara! Let me in!"
After a few seconds she burst in, looking from me to the razor.
"The..." I started, lost for words, "The razor broke...when I tried to cut them off."
She saw the horns on my head and, against everything I had expected, sighed.
"Sweetie, meet me in the living room. Your father and I have to tell you something."
I watched her leave. It took me a while to get to my feet.
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.