Monday, November 22, 2010


By Tomara Armstrong

You grab your prepubescent member and scream like the quasi-girl you’ve become.
“You will get used to it, my dear,” Dr. Skin smiles.

“No! I want my soul back.” You snatch at the jar in his grip, but he pulls it out of your reach.

“Sorry… no refunds or exchanges. You agreed to these conditions.” Your eyes widen as he plays the recording of you nodding your head in acceptance to the photo of Justin Bieber—a crazed smile on your face.

You struggle to rise from the bed, but restraints snake over your body. Dr. Skin places a firm hand on your shoulder and instantly your mouth seals shut. “You need your rest.” You're trapped tightly to your bed. Your eyes dance wildly. The nurse shoots you with a syringe and the lights go out.

The doctor’s blood red eyes permeate your dream state, floating in and out of focus. In the jar clutched to his chest, your soul flickers like a thousand fireflies. He laughs and laughs as you feel your body expand and contract inside your Justin Bieber skin. You’re almost certain you’ll explode at any moment… but you don’t.

Sunlight tickles your toes and you sleepily open your eyes, blinking. You’re alone in a hospital room—strapped to your bed. Balling your fists, you grind your teeth. How am I going to get out of this one?

You close your eyes and scan your repository of acting roles. What can I use? You’ve played an invalid, a school teacher, a love-sick yoga instructor, an android sex fiend, a psychic pizza delivery person, a cat, comic book super villains, a ninja assassin, and a computer. You smile—glad you were never limited to romantic comedies. What can I use? you ask yourself again.

Outside your door, you hear footsteps, the ruffling of papers, and a heavy hand on the doorknob. You slink into your sheets, fake sleep, and wait for the turn of the knob and the footsteps to near your bed.

“Good morning.” The nurse/receptionist nudges you. “How are you?”

Your eyelids flutter open and you exaggerate a yawn. “Better, thanks.” You smile. She looks at you suspiciously. I shouldn’t have smiled, damn it. You look away and shake your head. “What did you give me?”

She busies herself at the workstation on the other side of the room. “Oh, just something to take the edge off. I am sure it’s difficult to accept the change, at first, but you will get used to it. Are you in any pain?”

“No… how come I am not in any pain?”

“Recovery time is hard enough without having to deal with the pain of the procedure…”

“What’s hard if there is no pain?” You ask with a laugh.

“Your body could reject the new you,” she turns to you in all seriousness.

Your jaw drops open, “Reject?”

“Oh yes, so we want to monitor you for several days --”

“For several days?” You’re trying to remain calm and channel your inner “lovesick yoga instructor," but you feel the sides of your mouth twitch and your jaw tighten.

“Yes, to watch for signs of rejection.” Your head is spinning now, but she continues. “First there is sagging at the eyes, mouth, and around the ears. Then it turns to drooping and gaping, like the skin is trying to slink off the body altogether.”

“What happens if my body rejects it?”

“Oh, no worries dear. We will replace it.” She smiles at you. You attempt a smile back, but don’t want to overdo it.

“These restraints are very tight. Can you please loosen them for me? My foot keeps falling asleep and it’s driving me crazy.”

She hesitates momentary, and you do your best to appear non-threatening. “Sure,” she smiles.
The restraints drop away, and you sit up, stretching your arms. “So much better, “ you say, pointing and flexing your feet, warming up your muscles. This new skin feels pretty good.

You channel your inner “ninja assassin” so well, you aren't even sure when you begin. The body of the nurse now lays on the floor, out cold, and you are standing on top of your bed waiting for the cameras to flash a perfect ninja still.

You quickly jump down, push the door open, and tiptoe out into the hallway. There are other recovery rooms like yours, but you pay them little attention. Down the hall, the door labeled “Skin Lab” is cracked, emitting a light pink glow.

You waste no time entering the lab and slowly lock the door behind you.

In the room, tubes stretch from floor-to-ceiling. Most are empty, but a few contain a thick pink liquid and trapped air bubbles.

You stare open-mouthed and run your hands over the warm tubes that weirdly resemble an old lava lamp you used to own as a kid. As you make your way to the back of the room, you notice a door marked “Vault” that emits a yellow glow—much like your soul in the jar Dr. Skin was holding.

You rush to the door and press your hands against the latch. It’s locked. The tube closest to you immediately grabs your attention.

Your old skin is floating in the pink goo in all its imperfect glory. Dark holes for your eyes, nose, and mouth cause your new skin to crawl and a great uneasiness overcomes you.

Near the bottom of the tube, a small computer screen is illuminated:

Celebrity HAS BEEN full body skin
Item Condition: USED in fair condition
Time Left: 10d 3h 42m
Bid history: 0 bids
Starting bid: US $2,000,000.00
Your max bid: US $
Shipping: $250.00
Delivery: Get in time for the holidays!
Estimated between Tue. Nov 30 and Mon. Dec. 6
Returns: 3 day money back, buyer pays return shipping| Read Details

You gasp as you see the picture from the other night’s paper is attached—even more shocking—there are no bids.


  1. Love the channeling of your inner ninja, 2. Wicked stuff as always. HooHaa!!

  2. haha! Thanks. I don't want to give away too many of my ninja secrets, so I am practicing the art of being vague.

  3. You and the ninja's, girl. I love it. We should write a ninja novel together. I think it would be fantastic! I'm thinking sort of a Kill Bill meets Ninja Assassins. What do you think? LOL

  4. What's funny, RaShelle... I didn't even think anything about ninjas until after he posted this today... then I cursed myself for being predictible.

    I sort of forgot I wanted to write about ninjas. That sneaky bastard just worked it's way into my chapter.

  5. 2 - it wasn't predictable. Totally snuck up on me, like a stealth ninja should. Plus, the skin in a jar was fabulous. I checked on e-bay to see if I could place a bid and was bummed it wasn't there. LOL