On March 1st, 1987, a recently widowed man in rural Ohio — Arthur Young, 43 — reported to the local police that the walls of his home had been replaced by “living sloth flesh”. He had recently experienced a spate of abscessed teeth, preventing him from working, and claimed to have watched the walls slowly changing over a three day period. Though police confirmed the walls had taken on a hairless, fleshy texture and appeared to bleed after being fired upon, the precise nature of the flesh wasn’t confirmed till the following week when scientists from the University of Dayton were able to submit it to testing. Initial reports indicate it was the flesh of the “maned sloth” (bradypus torquatus), roughly seven years old in age.
Remarkably, the flesh was free of parasites, though it did show signs of having been subject to extreme cold. The home was confiscated by an unidentified US military agency not long afterwards, covered in black tarps, uprooted from the foundation and taken away. The convoy was last seen on I-34 heading to New Mexico.
Arthur Young was subject to government monitoring from that point on. A few days after moving in with his brother Louis (38), Arthur purchased a .38 and pack of bullets from a local gun-store. Several weeks later the agents assigned to monitoring him affixed dead sloth parts to the windows of Louis Young’s home equipped with small two-way-radios. They began harrassing Arthur day and night. During this time Arthur was also experiencing a return of his abscesses, issuing death threats and repeating long strings of random numbers.
Audio recordings inside the home indicate that Arthur had discussed a plan with his brother to surgically replace his hips with car-parts and unspooled 8-inch reel-to-reel tape. It was later found that his brother was dead during this conversation, though the audio tape records another voice — much higher in pitch — occasionally replying in the affirmative to Arthur’s suggestions. Not long after, agents forcefully entered Louis Young’s home in the dead of night and proceeded to sedate Arthur with chloroform before surgically removing his lower jaw and replacing it with the lower jaw of a large female sloth specimen.
Arthur awoke screaming and threatening suicide upon viewing himself in the mirror but the agents had smartly confiscated his pistol. Before he could do any other sort of harm to himself the agents took him away to an undisclosed location believed to be in the Nevada desert.
Arthur was studied closely for several months and mentally evaluated until he was finally deemed stable again after his horrific sloth flesh experience and the traumatic jaw exchange. The military began crafting Athur to be a remote viewer and he eventually proved to be a very good one. Perhaps their best.
Arthur was in the middle of a remote viewing session in which he described underground cave systems on Mars and spoke of a highly advanced race of vaguely humanoid vegetables living near the core of the planet. However, a problem arose. Arthur started complaining of something “running in” on his remote viewing efforts, some kind of static that clouded his vision. Arthur began describing abominable beings, perhaps demons, engaged in all manner of disgusting sex acts. The military tried to find a solution to the problem but to no avail. Arthur now complained day and night about the static demons being “trapped in his head”, “raping his brains out”, he had fits of horrible screeching accompanied by seizures, was locked away, and given copious amounts of thorazine for the next nine months.
During this time the miltary decided to continue adding sloth parts to Arthur’s body in hopes it might snap him out of his mental dilemma and set him back on a stable path. They removed his hands and feet and replaced them with their clawed sloth counterparts. At this, Arthur seemed wholly oblivious in his deeply medicated state. The military had planned more surgeries but then Arthur turned up missing. His cell was empty when the guards came that morning. The military was utterly bewildered and started a secretive nationwide search for him.
The military had given up hope but then there came a report of an “Amazing Sloth Boy” attraction at an unnamed traveling carnival show in the mid-west from an anonymous source. The source described the sloth boy very closely to that of Arthur, he was said to have had a “strange looking jaw along with large clawed feet and hands, as well as oddly malfunctioning mechanical hips held together with film reel.” The sloth boy attraction itself was described by the source as “a bizarre performance piece, which mainly consisted of the man believed to be Arthur Young having passionate sex with a watermelon under strobing black and white lights while another man dressed as a rodeo clown hurled old television sets around the room randomly. This was all accompanied oddly enough, by the song “Old School” by John Conlee emitting from a cheap boombox set on repeat.” However, The military never found Arthur or any such traveling carnival with the described attraction and all efforts to find him were shortly thereafter ceased.
Rupert McLintock lives in the remote wilderness of southern Montana. He is a former quaker and an avid connoisseur of rare and unusual fruit jellies.
Joseph Liverwurst is a former hedge fund research specialist for Intellicorp INC. He is married to a saguaro cactus named Desirae. He also enjoys being homeless.