I wasn't too concerned when the first blotches appeared on my skin, a small cluster just below my right armpit. As the weeks passed the cluster grew until it covered the whole side of my body, and upwards towards my shoulder.
Several visits to the Doctor, and a variety of creams and balms had absolutely no effect on the skin problem, week upon week the invasion continued.
“Who the hell wants to go out with a freakin' leopard man?” My now ex-girlfriend had laughed at me as she walked away.
The following months saw me visiting a succession of consultants, skin specialists, scientists, until eventually I was admitted to the Military Sciences Unit for tests and observation.
That was where I learned the rest of it.
No-one told me anything directly, I just put the pieces together from overheard snatches of conversation and surreptitious peeks at momentarily abandoned medical clipboards.
The coloration was occurring on a genetic level, my skin pigmentation was somehow altering of its own volition. And the doctors had no answers as to why.
I was not the only one to be stricken with this curse, across the world the average was approximately one in fifty thousand people, and although I never saw any of them, there were another seventeen patients somewhere in this facility, all with identical symptoms to mine.
All of the reported cases were evenly divided between male and female, and all within the age group of fifteen to twenty two years old.
I had been in the Unit for several months now, and the whole of my body had been affected. The blotches, which ranged in size and shape, were varied in colour, just now they ranged from light caramel to dark chocolate, the skin between them a rich shade of ochre. Some days they seemed to alter, to reflect my surroundings. One day after strolling round the gardens for a while I noticed the blotches had taken on shades of greens and browns, and lately theses changes seemed to take effect more quickly than before.
There wasn't a day went by that I didn't rant at the doctors, at the world, at God, for my predicament. Why the hell had I had this damned curse forced upon me?
The answer was on its way.
* * * * * *
When civilisation fell, it fell hard, it fell fast, it fell all the way, and to all intents and purposes it fell permanently.
I hunt naked now. The useless encumbrance of clothes long since discarded.
The Pinkies are easy to spot, easy to catch, easy to kill... and easy to eat.
After the collapse it had soon dawned on me just what my curse was for.
A blessing in disguise, so to speak.
©2012 Stephen. J. Green.