Anatomy Lessens – Edward Austin Hall

And so, the sexual assaults continued.

The police did their part, but it was not the part that the law called for. They did all they could, but still, protest persisted.

Eventually, the cops hauled in Huge. That name was the only one anyone alive knew for him — even Huge himself. His appetites had eaten him from the inside, and what was left frightened the few who tried anything like intimacy with the man.

Huge’s arrest was, like many made in sweeping up protestors, a mistake, but he never bothered to explain that to his captors.

After an hour or so of trying to get Huge to confess to things he hadn’t done — the astonishment being that the police chose the few crimes not on his résumé — one beat cop decided to earn his title.

“Tell me why they call you ‘Huge,’ son.” He raised his nightstick till it was level and wedged it against Huge’s crotch.

“You’re not my father, much as you remind me of him.”

Beat Cop punctuated his retort by snatching the instrument upward, into high striking position. Huge flinched the least bit at the withdrawal but never blinked at his questioner.

“I said —”

“And you’re not man enough to figure —”

Nightstick to nose bridge sent Huge toward the floor. With his hands cuffed behind him, only his battered face scraping down the painted concrete slowed his fall.

“How you like that, smart guy? Huh? Want some more?” B.C. held his truncheon at hip level, parallel to the floor.

Huge turned to face the policeman.

And smiled. “That all you got?”

The upright man reddened, belted his billy club, bent, and reached around Huge’s prone form. He fumbled with an unseen fly, undid a button by feel, and yanked down Huge’s pants to free the dome of his behind.

“Uppity bastard. I got something for your ass.”

“Bet you say that to all the boys, ocifer.”

“Shut up.”

B.C. smiled toothily as he pulled latex gloves from his belt. He donned them amid puffs of talc and swabbed blood from one of Huge’s cheeks, then spread a thin red slick between two others. He used the clean glove to draw his cudgel again.

Huge did not move at all as B.C. pressed the tip of the weapon into the bloodied cleft.

B.C. leaned into the other man. “Come on, let me in.”

Huge exhaled audibly and lay silent.

As if applying a battering ram to a suspect door, B.C. cocked his arm and thrust the baton forward.

Huge inhaled, again audibly.

The policeman stared, blinked, searched for where else his forearm could be, other than where it clearly was: vanished inside the other man. He tried to remove his arm but found that any struggle only hid more of him impossibly inside of Huge.

B.C., as if air had been crushed out of him, was whimpering for help a few minutes later as his head was engulfed.

Less than an hour later a detective opened the interrogatory door and poked his head into the room.

Huge sat, handcuffed to the table, alone, whole, and unbloodied.

An hour after that, as police bestirred themselves in search of their missing colleague, Huge walked free of the precinct, already in search of someone else to fill, however briefly, his own monstrous emptiness.

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