Black and white children, not from ethnicity but from lack of color, as if they stepped from an old movie screen into this world of golden wheat and baby blue skies, race through these rolling hills and fields, baskets bouncing against their hips from the crook of their elbows. They hold bleached blonde rose petals, which the colorless children toss haphazardly into the wind and they flit about them like confetti.

The children, expressing no color, also produce no sound, and so the man made of skin hardly acknowledges he’s surrounded until there’s a pain in the back of his right thigh. The children riot about him, pulling scissors and scalpels and kitchen knives from deep in their baskets and cutting at him, peeling away his patchwork skin that, unlike their own, shines across the spectrum of humanity with tans and browns and olives. They cut at the sutures holding his patches of skin together as he tries to escape their onslaught, but to no avail. As his skin is pulled away, another layer is exposed, and another; the man made of skin is, or was, just that: skin upon skin upon more skin.

His struggling becomes weaker as his form is lost, limbs deconstructed, his torso shed away. The children tear until there is no solid mass left, then take the patches of skin and, with wet smacks, slap it onto their bland forms, creating vibrant, relative to their prior state, atrocities.

The newly skinned children continue their frolicking, now full of laughter, bubbling with glee tinged with malice. Their trail is further displayed as the rose petals in their baskets, as well as in the surrounding fields, take on scarlet pigments.

In their zeal, the children missed the deep fuchsia maggot that fell from the center of the man made of skin and buried itself in the ground. It is blind now, but will soon develop the ability to see red. It will discover the petals on the surface and make a snail’s run after its former itself. But for now, it waits.

It always waits.

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