Spring 2002 • Vol. XXIV No. 2 Fiction |

The Lizard Boy

He is ten, so the doctor speaks slowly. It is called Ophidioenderma because the first part of that word—"ophidian"—means like a lizard or snake. And that, essentially, is what is happening to his skin. As time passes, the small, scaly patches that now ring the edges of his hands and face will spread until his entire body is enveloped. Although the boy's condition is rare, it has been known to occur in people with his specific genetic defect. The doctor says that a combination of medicines can sometimes be used to temporarily slow the spread of the little scales. Depending on the effectiveness of this treatment, complete saturation may not occur until the boy is in his late thirties or even his forties. They will just have to wait and see. The doctor says he knows this is a lot to take in right away. The boy's mother looks at him reassuringly from across the examining room. Later, on the way home, when she kisses him and holds him to her breast at a stoplight, the boy

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Scott Kenemore’s short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Mudrock, and Seasons. His newest novel, The Grand Hotel, was published by Skyhorse/Talos in October 2014.

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By Edwin Steckevicz

He is ten, so the doctor speaks slowly. It is called Ophidioenderma because the first part of that word—"ophidian"—means like a lizard or snake. And that, essentially, is what is […]

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