I threw myself out of bed to prepare for another workday, trundling through the darkened room as the Los Cosmopilas sun peeked through the drapes. I awake in the morning with the upbeat idol pop as my rooster (partially because nothing else can wake me up), then in the shower I listen to beats and trip-hop from the labels I’m trying to get signed with for my own compositions. This helps get my mind up and working in the morning, contemplating the structure of the beats, what I like or don’t like about them, what I imagine made the labels want to accept them and how I can integrate that into my own work.
Every day I would get out of the shower, put on my robe, and gaze blankly at my blurred reflection in the mirror. This hazy reflection is the first time I really see my hair—a deep blue blur emanating around my head. I’d begin to focus on that part of the mirror and wipe it off hands-free with my magic, getting a clear reflection of my azure hair. Magical girl hair. The same blue hair color that all magical girls get upon our transformations and lose when our powers stop working after a few years. It is the most recognizable trait of all magical girls, even moreso than our actual powers, and what I believe is a big part of why society goes so crazy over us in the first place. The technical term used in the magical girl community for our hair is “azure,” but in layman’s terms it’s a kind of deep, royal blue mixed with hints of aqua and purple depending on the lighting.
I would dry my short hair every day, styling it over into a more toned-down version of the curl style I learned while training. Today the speaker gave me an automated message telling me it could queue up 20,000 songs with a wait-time of thirty seconds, or I could switch it into the hyperspeed data mode giving me access to all 40 million songs on the platform’s database for instant streaming, thanks to the speed of modern internet and the lunar data structures broadcasting to the planet from the moon. The internet these days is really fast, and it better be. It’s the reason we have magical girls in the first place.
Decades ago, 7G-wireless infrastructure was implemented for extremely fast technological communication, made possible with a data center relay on the surface of the moon. While giving the world unprecedented tech speed and becoming a major leap forward for digital communication, this data system has to be reset every year on the night of the Lunar Solstice. When the invisible 7G reset waves first spread through the world, though, there was a shocking and unintended byproduct to the technology—the radiation from the waves unlocks a dormant genetic sequence in a very small percentage of adolescent human girls, giving them superhuman kinetic abilities and strikingly cute blue hair. It is borderline impossible to predict which girls out of the population will go magical, although there has been considerable R&D devoted to potentially increasing the odds that a particular person can. Magical girls are primarily known by the general population for their abilities to telekinetically move objects and to cognitively generate limited fire and pyrotechnic effects. There are other powers we have as well, but we don’t display them as much for the general population. Noticing the parallels between girls afflicted with this phenomenon and the mahōu shōujo genre of anime and manga, these young ladies were soon pithily known as real-life “magical girls.”
Magical girls transform at around the ages of 12 and 13, with powers that typically fade at around the end of their teenage years. The magical girl community is one of many specific terms and traditions, and the term for losing one’s powers is “flatlining,” given the almost instantaneous nature of power loss with age and its immediate inability to be detected on our power-testing instruments. While transformation occurs specifically on the night of the Lunar Solstice, flatlining can occur at any moment. Girls are immediately aware that their flatline has occurred, because their azure hair is darkened into a sheened black that only has the tiniest hints of a steely-blue in the perfect lighting.
I dried my hair and began to get dressed for my job. I rarely ever used my magic in public, only ever doing so if I felt like I had to and no one was looking. However, in my room I still felt comfortable with having my magic help me get ready in the morning, magically straightening out my clothes and zipping up the hoodie I had to wear for my day shift at the smoothie shop at which I’d taken up status as resident celestial guardian. (That was a joke. I made smoothies for minimum wage.)
I always kept my uniform in the very front and center of my closet, situated in front of some of my favorite outfits, extending further and further in relevance to the very back of my closet, which is where I hid away my old magical girl costumes. I kept these old outfits far from the whole world, but hidden away most of all from me. I had two magical girl uniforms. One was my main performance outfit from when I was actually touring in my pop group MOONBEAM, and it’s a sort of tank-top/jacket/skirt combo that looks kind of cute on stage or at a rave or something, but definitely isn’t something you’d wear day-to-day. The second uniform was my performance gear from when I was a younger magical girl trainee at the Asphalt Castle, the facility in which magicals’ powers are refined before they leave for the idol industry. This uniform was the really embarrassing one—it was a frilly, stereotypical “magical girl outfit” designed to look cute and kawaii and it just makes me want to vomit. Bowties and sparkles and everything and just…ugh. It was hidden deep in my closet, and I wanted it to stay that way.