In the town of Hollingsworth stirred the rumors of the man with the most unfathomable face in America.
The man was called Mr. Nobody, a lonesome something of a being that lived in a dark, moody mansion on top of Manson Hill. Surrounding the hill were several houses made out of brick and wood, occupied by the town’s curious and often defiant children. Many of them were forbidden to visit Manson Hill because they feared Mr. Nobody was too grotesque to view in person. Although none of the townspeople had actually seen Mr. Nobody, they all knew he was an unsightly thing.
“His nose is five inches long and covered in warts,” said Mrs. Beasley, a concerned parent. Her eyes were full of concern.
“No it isn’t,” remarked Mr. Poppycock, “His face is five inches long and covered in warts. Or at least that’s what Mr. Jojoba down the street told me.” His belly was filled with beer.
But Daintly, the daughter of Mrs. Beasley, vehemently disagreed with both adults.
“You’re both wrong,” she said, poised confidently and full of breath.
“And how do you know?” asked Mr. Beasley.
“Because,” sighed Daintly, “Buggles down the street said the only thing on him that was five inches and covered in warts was his–“
Perched atop the steps of Mansion Hill sat Mr. Nobody, who by now felt brave enough to experience the air with both of his welcoming nostrils. The hill afforded him a full view of the town, although no townspeople could see him. He could never understand why anyone could not notice his full, six foot frame from the top of Manson Hill, although he never considered the five foot metal fence in front of him.
Earlier in the day Mr. Nobody had a important conversation with Mr. Dukes, his uncle whom he lived with.
“Uncle, I want to do something about my visage,” said Mr. Nobody to a nearly half asleep Mr. Dukes. Mr. Dukes was an old and tired man, but extravagantly rich and often drunk.
“Your face is just fine, James,” Mr. Dukes managed to slur over his bowl of crispy rice. But Mr. Nobody did not believe him. Certainly the townspeople would not blindly start rumors without believing it.
“No, I really am,” he said again, raising slightly in his seat, “But I’m not going to sit around and let it kill me any longer. I’m getting a new face!”
“A new what? A face? From where?” Mr. Dukes retorted, wiping the crumbs of rice from his face.
“There is a doctor in the next town over called Mr. Crooks,” replied Mr. Nobody, fully lifted from his seat, “He claims he can give you a new face and all for under five hundred. And you’ll look entirely different!”
“Well I certainly won’t discourage you,” Mr. Dukes said coolly, “But you look fine. Except for your unibrow, but you look perfectly fine.”
And with that, Mr. Nobody dialed a cab to the next town, silently rocking back and forth on the steps on Manson Hill. He was going to get a brand new face. This face wouldn’t cause rumors. It wouldn’t cause embarrassment. Better of all, no one in town would no longer compare his nose to a round, perky bum. And for that he was glad.
When the cab dropped Mr. Nobody off several hours later in the neighboring town of Winston, he wasn’t sure what to expect. The building in front of him read MR. CROOKS FACE TRANSPLANTORY, which didn’t seem as attractive as it looked on TV, but he paid no mind to it.
“Here goes nothing,” said Mr. Nobody as he rung the doorbell.
Several minutes later the door opened to a man in a clean white trench coat and the biggest spectacles he had ever seen. He held out a gloved hand.
“And you must be James,” said the man, shaking his hand so hard he thought it would fall off.
“Y-yes, I am,” he managed to squeak.
“Well, if you need a new face, I can certainly give it you. Best face of your dreams. Now come on in and we can choose a new face for you.”
Several more minutes later Mr. Nobody found himself in a small, darkened room called The Transplantory Lounge, where he sat adjacent to several unmoving people. They weren’t dead, but they certainly weren’t of the living type either.
Mr. Crooks sat in a leather chair next to Mr. Nobody, taking careful notes of his surroundings.
“So, James,” he began, drawing out a clean piece of paper from his clipboard,” You want a completely new face, if I understand correctly.”
Mr. Nobody nodded, although cautiously so.
“Well, you see those five people in front on you?”
Mr. Nobody nodded again, although more confidently this time.
“Well, you can choose which features you want from any person with my special transplantory process. Understand? So if you shall choose very quickly, I can transplant your new face parts quite speedily.”
This brought a smile, or what resembled one, to Mr. Nobody’s face. His ears were practically wiggling in excitement.
“Anything?” Mr. Nobody asked. Mr. Crooks nodded slowly, not lifting his head. Within minutes Mr. Nobody was traversing from one person to the next, viewing each nose, lip, and carefully plucked eyebrow with careful determination. Several more minutes passed before he darted to person number three, who possessed what he deemed the most perfect nose, lips, and eyebrows ever to grace a man.
“Him,” Mr. Nobody pointed enthusiastically, his eyebrows arched excitedly,” I want his face. All of it.”
“All of it?” Mr. Crooks lifted his head slightly, ” Are you sure?”
Several hours later Mr. Nobody woke up in a strange room, surrounded by numerous knives and syringes scattered clumsily on the floor.
“Oh, you’re awake,” said Mr. Crooks, who was positioned in the corner with a brown box. He held a portable mirror in his left hand.
“Would you like to take a look, James?”
Mr. Nobody’s eyes widened. It was his new face-his new lease on life!
Steadily, Mr. Crooks drew the mirror to Mr. Nobody’s face. Slowly his face came into clear and readily accessible view. His face was finally utterly perfect. No warts to be seen. No butt nose staring hautingly at him. His face was sharp and chiseled, like carefully sculpted marble.
But as he tried to express his satisfaction, he noticed his lips could not move. Nor could his nose, or ears, or eyes. They were frozen in place.
All Mr. Nobody could say was “Mmmph!”.
“Oh, I must have forgotten to mention it,” said Mr. Crooks, laughing, ” The transplantory process does give you a new face, but you lose all facial functioning.”
Mr. Nobody’s heart froze.
“I’m simply sorry about not…informing you,” said Mr. Crooks, opening the brown box,” But it’s too late now.”
Inside Mr. Nobody saw his face, laid on top of velvet. All of his facial features were still intact and able to move.
“I’m simply sorry…” he said again, quietly closing the box.