Patrick lay awake and wondered when the itching would stop. He lay flat on his back, staring up at the ceiling, and tried to think of other things. He thought about the eggs he'd had for breakfast. He concentrated very hard on the eggs, and remembered exactly how they looked on his plate. Amelia did not cook eggs well. He thought about Amelia. He thought about her skin, and her socks, and the skidmarks in her underwear, until the combination of eggs and skin and socks and skidmarks in little white panties made him feel sick.
Patrick's big toe itched like crazy. He screwed up his eyes and tried to ignore it. He clenched and unclenched his toes to the tune of a song he knew from a Halifax advert. He rotated his ankles in different directions, but the itch was under his toenail, and no amount of clenching and unclenching would do anything about it. Patrick wondered what the itch was. Perhaps a spider had crawled underneath his toenail and laid eggs - perhaps the itch wasn't an itch at all, but hundreds of baby spiders twitching their way to the surface.
Patrick shivered and sat up. He peered at his big toe in the dark. The itch was almost unbearable. He wanted to rip off his toes and scratch at the flesh underneath. He scratched and scratched from ankle to heel, between his toes. He wished he had a fork to itch his foot more thoroughly.
Slowly and carefully, Patrick peeled a layer of skin away from the sole of his foot. It felt more rubbery than he'd expected, but came away easily. If anything it was a relief. Patrick began on his little toe, and removed the skin from the rest of his foot without trouble. When he reached the bones of his ankle, there really seemed no other option than to continue peeling; Patrick unsheathed his leg from ankle to knee in less than 15 seconds.
Patrick paused for a moment, and considered his other foot. Seemingly just by thinking about it, his other foot had started to itch. Patrick had only to grasp his foot in both hands for the skin to loosen, and he eased it away from his toes and up his calf like a football sock.
The skin of Patrick's lower legs crumpled around his knees. He took a deep breath and eased it up and over his thighs, imagining that the sensation was not altogether unlike that of putting on a pair of Amelia's stockings. Patrick began to feel horny: a logistical nightmare when the layer of skin he was stripping reached his crotch. He took extra care around his testicles, bracing himself for pain, and peeled his cock with only the very tips of his fingers.
Having stripped his genitals bare, Patrick lay down, raised his hips, and peeled himself like a banana. His chest hair caused a minor problem, as did the insides of his ears, but he found that if he gave the problem area a moment to re-adjust, the skin around it would slacken and come away with ease. He took extra care around his eyes and removed as little of his eyebrows as possible.
Removing the skin from the top of his head felt strange, like squeezing garlic through a press. It was warmer than the rest, and greasy. When he ran his fingers over it he was surprised to find millions of tiny perforations, one for each and every individual hair.
Patrick took a deep breath and patted himself gingerly, fearing baby spiders. His body felt cool to the touch, soft and dry as if he'd been covered with a layer of talcum powder. His testicles, curiously, were very hot. He held the layer of his discarded skin gently between both hands, and wondered what to do with it. It was man-sized, of course, but he discovered that by compressing it between his palms he could make it much smaller.
Patrick held the outer layer of his skin in a ball about the same size and shape as a coconut. It was very light, and he tossed it in the air a couple of times, passing it from hand to hand. Patrick held it to his chest, lay in the dark and listened to his heartbeat. He felt extraordinarily relaxed.
After a moment, Patrick raised the ball to his face and sniffed. It smelt like old books, and ever so slightly like raw meat. He tasted a piece on the end of his tongue: it tasted exactly as he thought it would. Patrick began to chew, taking his time, moistening each piece with saliva. He did not stop to think about what he was doing, and when he had finished he burped once, quietly.
The itching had stopped. The room was still dark. Patrick guessed that there were still several hours until dawn, and started to feel very tired. He yawned, stretching, and rolled onto his side, wrapping an arm around the sleeping Amelia. Tucking himself into a Z-shape behind her, Patrick buried his face in her hair.
He was glad not to have woken her up.
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