All Stories, Fantasy, Horror

Body Art by Daniel LaPonsie


The human body is undoubtedly the greatest work of art in the entire universe. This is my sincere conviction as I silently spring, hop and even moonwalk. Swirling with grace through the city street, I place the human form on nude display while keeping my mind expertly focused, eyes calm and and dispassionate.

The dozen on-lookers are agasp. Clearly they are shocked by the majesty. Awestruck by the beauty. I continue to dance, bathed in moonlight and street light, harvesting the sounds of an audience that is at once captivated and shocked. Noise of murmuring and whispering crescendo. A smattering of on-lookers has given way to a crowd. Pictures are being taken. People are talking into cell phones. I curtsy and twirl, and kick.

These people are not here by mere chance. They were meant to see me — to watch me show them themselves. And here it is gentlemen and ladies! Your human form in all its naked glory.

Cold air and loss of blood are doing strange and wonderful things to the loose-fitting, ninety year old flesh. But it matters not. There are undoubtedly laws against this sort of thing, but it matters not. People are gawking and gaping, and calling for help. But. It. Matters. Not.

I do a twirl, strike a pose with a flourish. I am an entertainer, a dancer. I’m Sammy Davis Junior, Fred Astaire, John Travolta. One hand on my hip, another hand hanging limply over my head. I wink, place a finger on my nose and laugh. I sit on the pavement, tuck one leg behind my head, and sing “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” This man can do it all!

Gut and chest and butt are rumpled and sagging but, oh, the human body is a glorious thing. Nay, it is the single most glorious thing in all of the Earth. Nay, again! The most glorious thing in any galaxy in all of creation. Paintings and sculptures may duplicate, humaniform roboticists may replicate — but nothing can ever replace the real, natural thing.

And here come the sirens. How predictable. Let them wail.

The arms are hanging loosely, flapping in the wind as I spring back into motion. I do my best ballet-style hop, and I do it again.

I adjust the rump, for it slid slightly to one side. And I snugged up the arms, like one might do with a jacket that had slipped out of place slightly. And then the show continues with a spin and a kick, a rock of the hip and a thrust of the pelvis. And then a knowing nod to the speechless ladies.

Spinning, strutting, sauntering — I make my way into the very center of the intersection. Traffic has come to a halt, as well it should. Rotating red and white lights and sirens approach. Cars marked “Police” arrive and form a tight circle around me.

I straighten the fat, balding head and large gut. Everything keeps sliding out of place. This isn’t normally a bad thing. I’ve always preferred them to be fairly roomy. “A looser fit is more comfortable,” I recently explained to the fat elderly man before procuring this skin. (That was about ten minutes and three city blocks ago).

Now the dance appears to be at an end. One final act! I strut my stuff. Wag my butt. A shimmy and a kick. I am on Broadway. I am Lord of the Dance. I’m Michael Jackson, James Brown, Vanilla Freaking Ice. I am the very embodiment of living breathing art. I’m wrapped up in it, baby! I’m …

I’m being ordered to stop and lay face-down in the street. Hands out where they can be seen. But I will do no such thing. For goodness sakes, art cannot be stopped for men with guns! Art is far bigger than a human institution. I continue to dance. Shots are fired.

I strike a pose. I am Madonna. Bullets rain through the fat, flabby and fantastic human shell. One of the bullets sheers the nipple off a man-boob. Another takes a finger. Another, an ear.

Yes, it hurt. But one must suffer for art. But woe! the violation being visited upon the human body with bullets — this is what causes me the most agony. This is akin to urinating on the Mona Lisa. Or wiping one’s bum with the Odyssey.

For a few moments I lay in the street, feeling like a failure. But then, hark! a sound. Like  rain, beginning gently at first, and then growing and spreading. Clapping? No, not clapping. Nothing so pedantic. No, this is full-fledged uproarious applause! Wild appreciation, perhaps, for my efforts.

I lift my head. “I am the walrus,” I say.

“Coo-coo ca’choo,” comes a reply.

This elicits a giggle from me, and hushed awe from the gathered people. I look up to see the old man from whom the skin had been taken. The man seems to be smiling, although it is difficult to tell. For, obviously, he has no lips.


Daniel LaPonsie


Header photograph: By Svdmolen (Self-published work by Svdmolen) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (, via Wikimedia Commons

8 thoughts on “Body Art by Daniel LaPonsie”

  1. Hi Daniel, yep, it has been said before…Weird! But I like weird!!
    Skin stealing and the man with no lips feels as if this is saying so much but it is just outwith complete understanding. You have managed a mix of surrealism and voyeurism within this unique piece of work.
    I look forward to see what else you can come up with.

    Liked by 1 person

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