Go out and explore, his mother had always told Henry. So he had, all his life. Glimpsing the lonely snail under the mossy tree-trunk. Sniffing the singular fragrant flower in the wheat-field. Capturing an insect thought extinct in the Cotswolds. By the time Henry was 40, there really was nothing left to discover.
Yet, looking in the mirror one morning, he hit upon an undiscovered country on his face: a subtle wrinkle running from his left ear to his right. He traced the indentation with his fingernail and found something peculiar: a thin thread embedded in the wrinkle. Henry grabbed the thread and slowly started pulling, until the front of his face had been completely removed.
The mirror no longer showed a nose, a mouth. Even his peering blue eyes were gone. Instead long thin tentacles darted out of his face, with leafs and flowers at the ends of it. Unable to see or smell himself, Henry touched his new facade, but experienced nothing he hadn’t experienced before.
Disillusioned he made his way towards the park and sat himself down on a bench. Then the miracle happened. A bee settled upon the buttercup on his cheek, a love-bug crawled the string protruding from his left eye socket and a caterpillar nibbled on the clover on his chin. As he had explored nature before, nature was now exploring him.
A 5-year-old girl that had been playing hide and seek with her imaginary friend, abandoned her game and stared, eyes wide open, at the microcosm forming on Henry’s face. Henry felt her presence. Go out and explore me, he urged. The girl’s fingers stroked the face-strings. It proved a sensation unlike Henry had ever experienced before. His arousal building, he told the girl to keep on stroking.
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