Authors: Adam Moon
Doomed Copyright Adam Moon 2013
All rights reserved
Mike Williams scratched his shin. It itched like a mother fucker. He resisted the urge to scratch the skin clean off, but just barely. What was odd was that his skin wasn’t inflamed or blotchy. It was something beneath the skin that was irritating him.
Mike was in his room. He was eighteen and he’d be heading off to college in the fall. He had a lot of anxiety about leaving home and being stuck with so many strangers but now he had to worry that he’d be stuck there with a debilitating skin condition.
He picked an old fashioned comb off of his computer desk and used it to scrape his skin.
It felt much better but right away, his other leg started to act up. He gouged at that one with the comb now. When he was done, he was surprised to find seve
ral curly leg hairs stuck to it. He took a closer look at his leg and noticed that around each hair sprout was a tiny inflamed patch of skin, no bigger around than a pinhead. They were white but so small as to be nearly invisible to the naked eye.
Before he could ponder what it meant, he found himself clawing away at his toes. They itched worse than the legs.
His mom called him down for dinner so he put his pants and shoes back on and hoped like hell that his balls didn’t itch during the meal.
It was bacon wrapped meatloaf with corn and mashed potatoes on the side. It was his favorite.
His mom sat down opposite from him and said, “It might be burnt.”
“You always say that and it never is,” he said with a smile.
He paused and then said, “I’m all itchy. What do you think it is?”
“Let me see,” she said as she stood back up and looked him over. “Where do you itch?”
“All over but mostly my legs right now.” Then he rolled his pant leg up and put his foot on the table.
his leg over and said, “It doesn’t look like a rash or anything. Take a cool shower and rub some aloe on them.”
He nodded knowing full well she’d just pulled that little bit of nonsense out of her ass. That wasn’t to say he wasn’t going to do exactly what she prescribed. Her mumbo jumbo worked more often than not.
For some crazy reason, the meatloaf tasted terrible. He couldn’t get past the first bite. He tried the bacon but that didn’t sit right either. He filled up on potatoes and corn, which was precisely the opposite of how he usually handled dinner. The vegetables normally went in the trash.
He walked upstairs and grabbed a change of clothes and then went to take that shower.
The cool water felt great on his skin. But he knew it would feel better if it was hot so he inched the hot water up until it was just right. Apparently that was a mistake because he started to notice hairs flowing towards the drain. But the relief was too perfect to stop now. He turned the heat all the way up and let the steamy water rush down his body, carrying discarded hairs as it went.
When he tried to shampoo his hair, huge clumps came out in his hands. He might have screamed except that it felt fantastic. He realized he was losing his mind when he started to purposely tug tufts of it out.
He got out of the shower before he went completely insane.
He toweled off and sat on the closed lid of the toilet. He crossed his leg and looked at it. It was almost completely hairless now. He saw a single black hair and grabbed it between thumb and forefinger. He pulled on it gingerly, afraid it might hurt, but the hair came out easily and painlessly. At the end of it was what looked like a sesame seed but it was really the follicle root.
He stood up and toweled the steam from the mirror. His head was totally bald. But worse, he had no eyebrows or lashes. He sneezed and nose hairs flew from his nostrils. He’d be grossed out if it didn’t feel so right.
His blue eyes were bloodshot so maybe that’s why they seemed lighter than usual. Before he put his clothes on he made a mental note to make sure he got some sun before school started up. He was white as a ghost.
When he went back downstairs his mom nearly yelped. She said, “Men don’t shave their entire bodies Michael. You’d better hope it grows back in the next few weeks or your classmates will think you’re the weird kid.” Then she said more soberly, “Did it really itch so much you felt the need to shave everything off?”
“I didn’t shave anything. It all fell out in the shower.”
“Did Bill put Nair in the shampoo?” Bill was Mike’s friend and a bit of a prankster.
Mike wanted to defend his friend but now that he thought about it, that was a possibility.
He said, “I’m heading over to Bill’s later. I’ll find out if he had anything to do with it.
“Wear a hat, and get some sun for God’s sake. You look like one of those hairless cats.”
“Thanks for the pep talk mom. I can always count on you to lift my spirits. You’re the wind beneath my wings,” he said sarcastically.
Bill texted him saying to meet him at Pizza Hut. Apparently some of their ex-classmates were meeting there. Mike wasn’t going to miss most of those douche bags when he left for college but he’d show up anyway just so he didn’t seem like a putz.
Bill pulled up in his rusty pick-up just as he pulled into the parking lot and he just started laughing his fat ass off. “What the fuck happened to you?”
“It’s a long story. You didn’t happen to accidentally put Nair in my shampoo, did you?”
“I wish I did now. How the hell are you going to pick up college chicks looking like that?”
“Maybe there’s a girl out there that loves a guy with baby soft skin.”
Bill just shook his head.
Mike thought he was already self conscious about his new skin but he had just been propelled to new heights of embarrassment. He considered turning around and heading down by the lake but he was really hungry. He should have eaten that meatloaf.
Luckily he wasn’t popular enough for his ex-classmates to razz him about his skin. He was a bit of a loner and everyone was decent enough to treat him like one. He desperately wanted a pepperoni pizza but the image of all that gooey cheese and meat turned his stomach. That wasn’t normal. He felt like a sissy when he just got the all-you-can-eat salad bar. He avoided eye contact with everyone as Bill made the rounds, talking and joking with their old classmates.
Melanie Smith sidled up to him at the salad bar and whispered, “I hate salad but I’m eating it like it’s chocolate these days.”
Mike looked at her and his breath caught in his throat. She was wearing a ball cap and she had a turtle neck on but it didn’t hide the fact that she was hairless too. She could paint on brows but not lashes. And her face was so white that it was almost translucent, despite the fact that her dad was a black man.
Mike said, “What happened to you? It happened to me too.”
“I don’t know,” she said, her pale eyes welling with tears. “I have this home wax kit I use on my legs and it felt so good that I used it on my whole body. And trust me; waxing isn’t supposed to feel good. My hair came out when I brushed it and my eyebrows fell out in the shower. That was a few days ago and none of the hair has started to grow back.”
Mike said, “I think the roots came out when my hair fell out. Maybe
the hair will never return.” Mike knew he was awkward in social situations and it always hit home when he accidentally said something insensitive and someone started to cry, like right now.
Melanie wiped the tears away with her sleeve and said, “Give me your number. I need someone to talk
to about this.”
took her phone and plugged his number into it. He’d given girls his number before and he’d even been laid a few times, but each time he gave out his number felt surreal, like it could be a defining moment for the rest of his life. He knew that was a silly notion, but his mind always went to strange places when awkward moments presented themselves.
She saw his hands shake as he handed the phone back so she added, “It’s just to talk. We can go get some coffee or something.”
He smiled, feeling like a dumbass for being so obvious.
Bill walked over and said, “Don’t eat that rabbit food. Do you know more animals die in the cultivation of that crap than do to give us actual meat? For every pound of lettuce farmed, a hundred caterpillars and grass hoppers and roaches are chopped up by the harvesters.”
Melanie rolled her eyes and walked away. Mike knew there was probably a tiny nugget of truth in what Bill said but he always made up the figures because his memory was notoriously bad.
Bill waved a slice of pizza in front of Mike’s face and the scent made him gag. “What the hell is wrong with me? I love pizza.”
“Maybe you’d like to eat a nice dead mouse? You’re starting to look like one of those hairless cats.”
Over the course of the next couple of days, Mike just about forgot about Melanie. He was going through some changes that took up all of his attention. For one thing, his breathing became shorter, but not noticeably so to others. But
he could tell he was inadvertently taking in shallower breaths as time went on. When he tried to take in a big gulp of air, his lungs burned and he coughed it up right away. But even stranger was the fact that his leg muscles were growing at an incredible rate. They were easily twice as big as before. The muscles ached but it was worth it to finally have some musculature.
His hair remained absent but his skin no longer itched. He was also sleeping for longer spells but waking feeling physically ruined, like he’d been tossing and turning all night.
The worst part was the new nightmares. They were vicious and brutal but what was peculiar about them was that he enjoyed the feeling they left with him. He’d dream about going into battle and blood splashing all over his face and the memory of it sent his adrenaline spinning skyward. Once he even woke up with a boner.
When Melanie finally called, he was surprised. It took him a minute to even recall the name. He picked up and said, “This is Mike.”
This is Melanie. Can we meet?”
“Anywhere. But let’s do it soon.”
“I could come over if you want.” He hoped he didn’t sound creepy saying it but she must have thought it was pretty innocent because she said, “Sure. Do you know where I live?”
“I think so. I walked you home once years ago. Do you still live in that little yellow house?”
“Yep, the one on the corner. I’ll be waiting for you.”
Mike took a hobo-bath at the sink just in case he got lucky. He washed his crotch and pits and then he brushed his teeth. He knew he was probably reading too much into it but he’d been caught by surprise in the past so anything was possible. This time he’d be clean if he got laid.
He put some deodorant on but he stayed away from the cologne just in case nothing happened. If he showed up stinking of cologne, she’d know he was trying to get lucky. He didn’t want to come off looking like a jerk or a misogynist.
In fact, he wasn’t even sure he was all that attracted to her, but he was eighteen so compatibility hardly mattered. She was pretty but she wasn’t in the top ten list he’d put together of fantasy fucks. Maybe it was unfair to overlook her. Maybe he was on her top ten list, that is, if she was crass enough to have one.
Of course he wasn’t on her top ten list. He wasn’t on anyone’s. He took his hormones down a notch and then he left for her house.