Harry Hanes was an average American teenager: a scrawny, girl crazy, school skipping troublemaker. He had a mess of reddish brown hair and light skin that had not been treated kindly by the onset of puberty. His voice was becoming squeaky and an army of rust colored hairs lurked just below the surface of his skin, waiting for the right moment to break free from their fleshy prison.
He thought to himself about the awkward embarrassment he would have to endure for the next few years while he went through puberty. Becoming a man was certainly appealing to him – as it was to most boys. The squeaky voice and possible pimples, however, put him off. His private wish on his 15th birthday was that he find a way to skip the awkward years altogether and go straight to the being a man part of his life.
It seemed like he was making good progress. As his appetite grew, so did his body. Lately his parents’ grocery bills had become ever-so-slightly inflated. Harry was eating about twice what he used to. Just last month he ate one egg, one slice of toast and a bowl of cereal before going to school. Now he ate three eggs, two slices of toast and a bowl of cereal – and sometimes he still got hungry an hour before lunch was served. Each day he would eat more than the previous.
Things continued on like this for nearly three months. His parents, friends, teachers and even the school bully were concerned about the once lanky kid’s size. The coach was now considering the newly bulked boy for the football team. The doctors were baffled by his sudden appetite. It could never be satisfied.
One day after school Harry disappeared. He’d become sluggish recently and complained of stomach cramps. He had also been doing a fair bit of sleeping. Days went by with no sign of Harry. Finally, friends, neighbors, his parents and yes, even the bully, were out looking for him. They didn’t find Harry but they did find one of the Eaton’s missing cows and a stray cat. That wasn’t all they found.
Two and one half weeks after the boy’s disappearance, a call came in to the police. A farmer two miles out of town (he had no idea who else to call) had discovered something terrifying in his barn. He wanted it investigated and removed immediately.
In the barn, the police discovered what could only be described as something from a horror movie. It was a shell of solidified, sticky, dark brown plastic-like flesh. The flesh was split down the middle and completely gutted. Strings of something slimy dripped from its’ edges, crisscrossing over the opening of the stinking skeleton. The strings of liquid were coated in dust and bugs (as was everything else in the barn). There were heavy tracks in the dust and straw that lead out to pasture. The police followed the tracks through the open double doors.
Outside they saw a man in the field. He was wearing nothing. He was light skinned, well muscled and sported a mop the color of rust. He sat Indian style in the grass, surrounded by corn husks and broken stalks. He was eating ear after ear of corn, voraciously. He did not seem to notice the officers – his interest in the juicy yellow and white kernels was intense. His eyes were glazed and his skin was sticky and glistened in the sunlight.
The officer called to the naked fellow.
“I’m so hungry.”
The words were barely understandable through hurried chewing. He looked to be twenty years old. At 6’2”, sporting a fine compliment of muscle and facial hair, it looked like Harry Hanes got his wish: he’d become a man.