If you read my post the other day, you know on Hallowe’en the final episode of the Alone In a Room With Invisible People podcast was released. More importantly it was the second half of the annual Hallowe’en fiction podcast, where listeners submitted stories to be read on the podcast. Mine was one of the ones accepted.
I present the tale to you here for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
It Ain’t Over Until the Fat Man ….
by James Husum, (c) 2020
The heavyset man opened the bakery door, entering meekly.
Lydia, the owner and baker, welcomed him. “Mister Gourmand, how are you today?”
“Quite well, thank you. I wanted to tell you those chocolate chip cookies you gave me really worked. You can see the difference.” He held up his arms and turned side-to-side.
“I’m so glad. I told you they were special. How much weight did you lose?”
“I’m down to three hundred from four hundred and fifty pounds.” He looked down as he asked “By chance, do you have any more?”
The woman hesitated. “Yes. But as I told you before, they are very powerful. You really shouldn’t eat any more of them.”
“But I was thinking, if I could just have one more, I could lose some more weight. See, I met this woman, and we hit it off. I really think she likes me. She looks at me like a friend. If I lose more weight, then maybe she’ll see me as something more. You know?”
The woman smiled. “I understand, and sympathize. But if you like this girl, and want her to take you more seriously, wouldn’t it be worth the effort to do the work yourself? Then she’d know that you were doing it for her. My baked goods are to help get you started. You need to do the rest of the journey yourself.”
He looked dejected. “So, you’re not gonna help me out?”
“I’ve already helped you as much as I can. I’m sorry, but no.”
“That’s not good enough.” A mixture of torment and rage flashed across his face. He grabbed for the plate of cookies, dropping a few on the floor as he pulled it to himself.
“No! You mustn’t!” She grabbed his arm. He shrugged her off, pushing her away. Lydia fell to the floor.
He raced out of the store.
Arriving home, he reached in his pocket for the cookies. He pulled out broken pieces and crumbs.
“No! I need these.” He stuffed a piece into his mouth. Would it still work? He swallowed.
“Nothing’s happening. I could feel it last time. Why isn’t anything happening?”
Desperately he stuffed the rest of the pieces in his mouth. He licked the crumbs off the palm of his hand. He went to the sink and guzzled water directly from the faucet. Still nothing.
He sank to the floor and cried. He was going to be fat like this forever. No one would ever love him. It was then he remembered the baker’s words. The cookies were just a start. He could do the rest of the work himself. He’d exercise, and start eating healthy. He could do this. He was motivated by his desire to be loved and would become a new man. He smiled at the prospect.
The next morning, he woke, ready to start over. He looked in the mirror and saw the new man. A skeletal figure, skin barely stretched over bones, looked back at him.