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The TV was blaring sex and violence, but all she could think about was her damn bubbling arm. She picked at it idly, once again cursing herself for forgetting the sun screen over the weekend. It'd been such a good chance to get Adam to notice her, but she'd just ended up burned and humiliated. She'd been offered some sunblock, but Tammy had been there, snickering some comment involving the term “Casper the virgin ghost”, so she'd rejected it, saying she wanted to work on her tan. Now, if she were any more red, she'd be mistaken for a radish. She picked at the onion-skin flakes on her arms, trying to ignore the odd texture of the bubbled skin.

She kept flipping between channels, trying to ignore the burning itch on her arms, face and body, all of which served to keep the memory of her humiliation crystal clear. She picked at her arm idly, trying to find a rerun of something she hadn't seen, all the while brushing off the liquid and peeled flesh from her arms


She looked at her arms, and felt her throat grow paralyzed around a scream. She was bathing in blood. It ran from great, flapping rents in her skin, the flesh peeled and pulled free in thin strips and shallow patches. As she tried to recoil, she saw a flash of bone. She skidded and fell from the couch, the jostling causing the peeled wounds to stretch more. Oddly numb, the rifts continued to ooze blood freely as she scrambled to her feet, starting to hyperventilate. She tried to press the peeled, red flesh back in to the wounds, but they just lolled free with a fresh splash of blood.

She walked gingerly, trying to ease her way across the floor, but every motion seemed to cause the peeling to extend more. She brushed her arm, trying to see the bleeding rents more clearly, and strangled around a scream as a palm-sized patch of flesh pulled and flopped free, blood glistening on the newly freed muscle. She moaned, hands rising to her face…only to feel it shift like a cheap, ill-fitting mask, the burning, itching pain rising more and more as she started to peel…

Hours later, she hooked a finger under her eyelid, mad pain compelling her to rid herself of the last, traitorous patch of skin.

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