There were many names for what he was, though none of them fully captured his essence.
It was true that he was a poseur, a fake, a fraud, a facsimile, a faux person living under the guise of a concocted identity. He lived cloaked in flesh, his true self hidden, perpetuating a mimicry of human life, like something out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
But his impersonation of a human being wasn't really anything so ominous or sinister; it was merely a fact of his life, an unavoidable state of being for him.
He was not what he seemed, but then, in his experience, neither were most human beings.
He was a lurker.
And soon he would need to organize a feeding.
His skin rippled, reminiscent of the surface of a waterbed, a thin layer stretched tightly over a watery interior. The skin had begun to swim, floating on the surface, slippery to the touch. The layer of fluid that sat between his external shell and his internal being was growing too thick. This liquid did not self-regulate -- like a beaver's teeth, the body just kept producing it even after it had reached its ideal volume. The pressure was building as the fluid's volume increased. It needed to be drained through a feeding -- a release, an unspeakable relief, that would ease the pressure and release something akin to endorphins when the feeders bit into the skin and began to drain away the excess fluid.
It was difficult to ease his natural cycle of suffering -- difficult, and dangerous. He had had to post ads on Craig's List to find feeders. This left him extremely vulnerable, forced to rely upon others in order to ensure his own continued existence -- moreover, those he was forced to rely upon were complete strangers willing to respond to an unorthodox ad, whether due to personal fetish, perversion, or just wild curiosity.
The pressure had become almost unbearable by the time the day of feeding came.
A volunteer at the door acted as a screener, greeting each potential feeder as he arrived and ushering him into the apartment after briefly explaining expectations and the feeder's role in this event.
"You've heard of a gang-bang? This is like that, in a way. Some people are satisfied with one person feeding on them. Some need a lot of people to do it in order to be satiated."
Some of the participants had been to the feedings of lurkers before. They knew the ropes and embraced the "lifestyle."
For others, it was an entirely new experience, and they fell along a wide spectrum, ranging from curious, to anxious, to aroused.
John had answered the ad on a lark; he wanted the experience of observing this bizarre event.
As he entered the living room, he was almost shocked by what he saw. It was like an orgy of feeding -- a dozen people latched onto corners of the host's skin, sucking. The host lay sprawled naked across a long coffee table. The feeders, all clothed, lay writhing upon the floor, each one attached by the mouth to the host, like wiggling human leeches.
They bit in and drew back, the tented skin rising up with their mouths. The sound of gentle moans was audible. The feeders were sucking greedily, gulping down the oily lubricating liquid that separated the cloak of skin from the interior organism.
"Be careful." the usher warned him. "Don't fill your stomach with it. It can make you sick. It's like Olestra -- insoluble. You won't digest it. Too much, and you'll wind up on the toilet."
John resisted at first. It was a horrible, repulsive scene spread out before him. But he didn't want to draw attention to himself. Where there was a small opening, he slowly kneeled down before the host. Bending his head down to the man's abdomen, he hesitantly took a small measure of his skin gently between his teeth.
"Bite down." the host breathed, somehow aware of him in the midst of the dozen other feeders. His eyes remaining blissfully closed.
Horrified by what he was doing, John gingerly bit into the skin. When he tasted the liquid beneath, it was so sickly sweet that it initially almost made him gag. But there was something deeply satisfying about the substance. He began to gulp it with increasing fervor, quaking with relief as the liquid slid down his throat.
The liquid, smooth and rich, coated his mouth and throat. He shuddered with ecstasy as he swallowed mouthful after mouthful. No longer aware of himself, he dropped to the floor with the others, unconsciously writhing as he sucked, latched on like a baby at its mother's teat.
The feeders were his glorious saviors. The lurker twisted his body, contorting with pleasure and unspeakable relief, momentarily freeing his mind from its constant awareness of the danger inherent to his existence. He would live his life constantly expecting to be questioned, perpetually on the verge of being found out, always unsure if which one of his saviors would inevitably expose him. But, until he was exposed, punished, and destroyed, there would continue to be these occasional moments of blissful respite. These moments made the life-long masquerade worthwhile.