When you’ve an itch, the instinct is to scratch it. But the more you scratch one place, the more places you need to scratch, and the more you scratch, the worse it all gets. When you have an entire body that is itching deep under the skin, then it’s hell. You feel that anything would be preferable. Pain would be better than itching. That was Marcus’s unravelling. With itching so bad, he simply couldn’t do nothing!
His scratching began in earnest. Luckily, or unluckily, for Marcus, as he had got lazy in his old age, his fingernails were very long!
Marcus’s new body was rejecting his skin. Just like a snake or a transplant in reverse. Mother Nature's right hand hadn't squared things with her left. Marcus's new body was doing its best to dump his skin. It hadn't thought it smart to grow some more underneath first!
The body gave signals to the brain. “ERROR, ERROR, mismatch!... do something about it. Incompatible elements put together in a body fight, they rub each other up the wrong way. Where they meet is the battleground.
The weapon... extreme itching, not on the surface but down under the epidermis – skin deep.
When Marcus awoke, the turmoil started. His nightmares were about to become conscious reality, and more. He woke to extreme discomfort, feeling as though a billion ants had somehow found a way to bury themselves under his skin and inject their formic acid in and around while jostling and jiggling, fighting and fidgeting, crawling and creeping. It might have been one of his unconscious nightmares, but it was real, he was awake and more terrified than ever before.
For seconds he lay there, petrified, not knowing what was happening or what he could do about it.
Then he wet himself
Marcus’s much needed sleep was not a nice one. So much had happened to and around him very recently that it was obvious he would have a troubled sleep. Adding to the adrenalin-filled excitement, there were the ‘nasties’ that sometimes haunt the evil. And he was truly evil.
Some say our dreams can be our living heaven and our living hell. No doors are barred to the conscience. There’s no escape.
His nightmares were many and frequent, raising him to the edge of consciousness, then plunging him deep into another mental chasm.
But soon this suffering would seem tame!
Marcus went and lay down on his bed, desperately wanting sleep. The problem was that his fired up body and eager appendage wouldn’t let him. He felt feelings of extreme sexual frustration, but his rational side warned him against playing with himself for relief lest when it went down, it might stay down. He dare not touch it.
Giving himself relief might have given him the opportunity to sleep because of a change in body chemistry, but he resisted. He was finally granted a sleep after two hours which became increasingly turbulent as the night went on.
And nightmare laden!
Then Marcus started to rationalise that maybe he was being far too hasty. He’d been anticipating miracles from what was certainly the miracle of youth transfer. In expecting instant action, he wasn’t mindful that such a major physical change might need a period of readjustment to settle. He had the evidence down below that flesh could tighten skin. Maybe he needed to wait a while for the full effects to take place.
Give it time, old boy. he thought.
But I should start disposing of that boy.
Later perhaps. If I manage some sleep now, the time will pass quickly.
...mighty suspicious they might well have been. However, Marcus had an alibi. He admitted, after being coy about saying anything, that he’d been with a known prostitute. He had paid her handsomely for subsequent corroboration of his story. She stayed around the area for as long as it took for the death to be resolved and then she disappeared somewhere, never to return, but in any event, unlamented.
The police strangely ignored the bruised breasts, bleeding nipples and evidence of bondage wounds. Suspicious, but maybe it was just too difficult to solve and too easy to let the coroner decide.
Over the years, Marcus, controlling, had expected ‘wifely duties’ to comprise rather more than washing, cooking, ironing and the occasional sex. He’d subjected her to some of the most sordid practices following extensive ‘research’ on the Dark Web.
His perverse tastes developed after he discovered that he couldn’t sire children. This, on reflection, is perhaps a blessing for the world that he couldn’t pass on his genes. It might explain his callous approach to the life of young Rufus.
Suicide was the conclusion of the coroner, eventually, after his wife was found hanging from a beam.
Some were mighty suspicious...
The thought of sex prompted Marcus to look down. He didn’t need to, he could feel it. Checking inside his trousers, the only part of him for which wrinkliness might be acceptable was the only part over which the skin was tight as a drum!
He had an enormous erection that wouldn’t go away.
It was the first time in many, many years he had seen it that way and now he couldn’t do anything with it!
He’d been impotent for years, getting his sexual thrills through Internet pornography of a particularly unsavoury nature.
It had probably killed his wife...
Marcus cursed so loudly it might wake the dead, but not this particular cadaver.
Just when he should’ve been leaping for joy, he now cursed Rufus. But the failure was Marcus’s. Whilst he felt the vitality of youth, his mirror had been in denial.
He hadn’t tested the programme first!
The plan, meticulously drawn up and executed well in every respect except one, was that Marcus would transfer the boy’s youth to his own ageing frame. He would enjoy once again everything a young stud could wish for.
But what young woman would crave wanton sex with this wrinkly stud?
Desperate, Marcus went back to Rufus on the bed, who was showing no signs of life. Maybe if he wired himself up again and subjected Rufus to an overdose of electronic stimulation, it would rouse the boy again enough for one last angry spurt, which just might correct this unexpected and critical ‘skin error’.
He held the skullcap terminals on his head tightly with one hand and flipped the switch to ‘on’ with the other. Success?
Tingling, but tightening skin? Not a chance! He was stuck in his old and wrinkly skin... and he hated the skin he was in!
The machine should have rejuvenated every aspect of his old, tired body.
Marcus cursed himself. If only he had taken more time to make sure his maths was right and that the programming of the black box had been taken to the highest level of sophistication... or at least, if only he had tested it first with some other creature.
But Marcus had been impatient. Maybe this came with old age, but, given his experience in state-of-the-art electronics, this was a schoolboy error, but ironically, a schoolboy was what he wanted to be, in all but mind.
It sank in immediately. Youth had transferred from Rufus to Marcus. He could feel its energy inside his body. However, annoyingly, the youth transfer had not happened completely and his external appearance remained unchanged.
NOT WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!
Marcus, furious, smashed the mirror. He’d acquired Rufus’s anger... no doubt about that. Had he now acquired his luck?
After a few minutes ranting, he calmed as he thought it through. His impatience for youth had taken over his logical mind.
“Silly to expect it to happen in one fell swoop. It obviously needs time.”
He sat down and relaxed(ish!)
Marcus sat there in the chair for five or ten minutes. If he’d been sleepy before, he certainly wasn’t now.
Marcus looked over again to the lifeless figure of a young man on the single bed across the bedroom. A small sigh of relief, then he leaned over and flipped off the switch on the big black box and tore off his own electrodes from his head. He leapt up with the energy of a cheetah. He was reborn. He felt fantastic. He rushed to the mirror.
Imagine his shock at seeing a wrinkly old man looking back at him.
This final comment from Marcus prompted one final burst of anger, Rufus’s body lifted from the bed and he let out a blood-curdling scream. He fell back, lifeless, dead as a bedstead.
That was Marcus's intention, the final humiliation to draw the last bit of fiery youth from the boy.
Although feeling it necessary to keep his eyes closed until the life transfer had been completed, Marcus allowed himself a quick peek across to the boy on the bed, marvelling at the amount of anger he’d witnessed. How lucky he’d been in his recruitment.
Marcus, you chose very well!
When he saw the fight in this angriest of young men flagging, Marcus spoke to him loudly so that while there was still some life in the lad, he would hear. Hearing is the last sense to go as death approaches. Time for the final humiliation.
“Rufus, dear boy, I chose you because you’re an angry little shit who’s almost as ruthless as me... but not quite! I’m sucking out all your life. Every last drop of anger I will drain from you. I will have all your vital force. However good you might think you are, I’m even better!”
Rufus was manic. He wasn't succumbing without a fight.... exactly what Marcus needed, a virile young body and mind who was active, adrenalin-fuelled and fighting for survival. Marcus flipped a switch, dropped back into the easy chair, closed his eyes and covered his ears, partly to keep out the racket the boy was making and partly to ensure that his own electrodes were making firm contact with his head.
Rufus was now cursing and blinding for all he was worth. This carried on for about 20 minutes, when all of a sudden the fight in him started to wane.
"Now look Rufus, you were blind drunk and after your vicious outburst with the two lads earlier, I had to protect myself.”
“You’ll bloody need to, you pervert, when I get free!”
“Exactly!” said the old man, “and that’s why I restrained you. You were off your head!”
"Handcuffs, you filthy old git? When I get free I won't be off my head, I’ll be kicking yours in! And what’s with these wires? Get them off me."
"That's why the straps, Rufus!" was Marcus's cool reply. "You need restraining. You loathsome creature. You're pathetic!"
Rufus really started to boil then...
Marcus quickly stood up and picked up some kind of skullcap from the floor beneath the chair and placed it on his own head. Its trailing wires were connected to the same black box as the young man's electrodes.
At that point, Rufus awoke, opened his eyes and tried to free his arms and legs. He tried desperately to make sense, through his residual inebriation, of what was going on, and what was going to happen to him.
"You bleedin' pervert" he managed to utter. "What's your game? You bloody paedo! What are you doing? Lemme go, paedo! Lemme go!"
Fully secure, and before the boy awoke, Marcus lifted Rufus's head and taped crude electrodes to the boy's temples and the back of his neck. He connected the wires from these to a big black box he had dragged into the room earlier. It’d been heavy work. At this point, Marcus was worn out and he flopped into the easy chair, catching his breath for a moment before he dropped off to sleep. At his age, the effort had really tired him out. After about half an hour, Marcus woke hearing stirrings from Rufus.
Then it was time for action...