An ad for "Skin Deep by Sloan" runs, advertising the company's new body-sculpting technique. Pictures show an obese Debbie three days before the treatment, and an incredibly slimmed-down Debbie three days later. Now an ambassador, Debbie says that she's there to change people's lives. "Skin Deep" uses a leech-like creature to suck the fat from people. Dr. Herbert Sloan promises viewers that they'll have the perfect body that they deserve.
Henry Quayle is in the Sloan lobby watching the commercial, and Debbie comes over. He says that he got an email and Debbie finds him on the list of loyal customers. Sloan wants Henry to be one of the first presented with the treatment. One woman, Kelly, is reading a newspaper with an article about an upcoming eclipse. Henry tries to make small talk with her, and Kelly says that she doesn't care what Sloan's treatment is as long as he can make her look like Debbie. Sloan welcomes the customers and has them join him. One overweight man who was led away, Simmons, comes back looking incredibly slim.
Debbie offers everyone doughnuts, and Sloan says that they'll never to diet again. Henry is the only one to take one, and Sloan assures them that his new procedure will work on them. A wall panel opens to reveals an aquarium filled with the creatures. One of them slams into the glass, and Sloan explains that he and his team have collected ten specimens from a reservoir in South America. The doctor says that they've learned that the leeches eat fat, not blood. Everyone immediately takes out their credit cards to pay Sloan's price, and Debbie leads them off.
Henry is the only one left who hasn't paid, and tells Sloan that he's not going to let the doctor put a leech on him. Sloan says that he looked just like Henry once, and has FDA approval and countless trials to prove his treatment is harmless. He explains that he has sunk every dime he has into "Skin Deep", and offers to change Henry's life. Sloan admits that the leech is rare but figures that they all win. Henry refuses, saying that it's too freaky for him, and wishes Sloan good luck.
Two weeks later, Henry is at an outdoor restaurant eating. Slimmed-down customers order from the food truck, and a thinned-down Kelly sits down at Henry's table. She says that Sloan's treatment works and he hired her as a spokeswoman. Kelly says that the leeches are painless and Sloan is having her introduce the treatment on AM America the next day. She invites Henry to come and be their volunteer, and says that everyone is doing it.
The next morning at the studio, Debbie escorts Henry in and says that Sloan is excited to see his transformation. She points out the station owner and half the crew who received the treatment, and hosts Randy Witten and Suzy Spry begin the show. They announce that Sloan is going to take his treatment to the public in four days. Randy talks about the big solar eclipse that day, and they have their science expert Jim Scott reporting on it from an observatory.
Jim talks about the eclipse, noting that it will last 160 seconds and hasn't happened in a century. He assures the viewers that animals get jumpy during an eclipse because of increased magnetism. The hosts then go to Sloan, who says that they'll be amazed. The show goes to commercial, and Kelly asks Henry if he's nervous. Henry talks about how he's struggled with negative body image, and now all of his problems will be gone.
Sloan comes over with a container and Henry says that he never should have doubted him. The show starts back up and Jim reports that the eclipse has begun. He clutches at his stomach and winces in pain. The hosts go over to Sloan and Henry, and Sloan winces momentary in pain. Sloan introduces Henry and then the leech, twitching in its container. Kelly rubs at her eye and moans in pain, and the hosts cut back to Jim. Jim is in increasing pain, and Henry sees something moving inside of Kelly's eye.
The eclipse reaches its zenith, and Jim collapses in pain. Meanwhile, a miniature leech emerges from Kelly's eye. On the TV screen, Jim's head explodes. Dozens of leeches split Kelly's head open as they emerge, and she collapses on the floor spraying out more leeches. Debbie vomits leeches onto the hosts, and the crew that received Sloan's treatment vomit out leeches as well. Sloan runs over to the cameras and speaks into them, insisting that the leeches are safe and what's happening isn't normal.
Furious, Henry goes over to Sloan. Sloan runs off into a side room and Henry grabs him, accusing him of knowing what would happen. Henry figures that Sloan didn't care how many people he killed as long as he got rich. Sobbing, Sloan collapses and figures that the magnetic waves from the eclipse are causing the leeches to reproduce. He explains that he was close to 300 pounds and looking for an easy cure, and they tested the leeches but didn't count on a solar eclipse and the leeches leaving anything behind.
As Henry stares in horror, Sloan clutches at his stomach. The doctor dies and a few seconds later, his chest bursts open. Henry slips in the blood and drops his gore-covered glasses, and he puts them back on just in time to see a giant leech-creature emerge from Sloan's chest cavity. It extends a tentacle, grabbing Henry's leg, and pulls it toward him. Henry manages to shove over a nearby vending machine on the leech-creature, crushing it. Triumphant, Henry takes a candy bar from the machine and eats it, smiling.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 5, 2019