A bunch of fat characters falling illustrated by Jeremy Pilote Byrne for Rocco Bambace's story 'Serves Me Right'.

Serves Me Right

By - Rocco Bambace

“You can’t write me,” he says, as I write him.

“Yes I can,” I tell him. “I’m writing you right now.”

“Put me back. I don’t want to be here.”

“What’s better than here?”

“Anywhere is better than here.”

He is coming to form with every word, whether he likes it or not. I give him blonde hair and a pale face. He has an overbite, because I say so. He doesn’t want to be here, but he’s here now. “Why are you doing this?” he asks me. It’s a good question.

“I don’t know. That’s a good question. Is there something else I should be doing?”

He thinks it through. In his mind, which is a decent mind, he goes over the other things I could be doing. Not knowing me personally, he attempts for a moment to make general assumptions based on what he thinks are fun or useful things to do in the world. He comes out short, because a part of him sees through the surface of these things. Offering him a hand, I grant him some understanding of me. For his benefit, I sharpen his cognition, all the better for him to think with.

Eureka, he has something: “You should be exercising. It all starts with your body, you know.”

He’s right, the little bugger is right. But how dare he.

“Who are you to talk?” I ask. I make him round, fattening him gradually, showing him a time-lapse of several months in which he force-feeds himself delicious cheesecakes, pizzas, big salad bowls of fruit loops. He’s now morbidly obese and wearing skin-tight jeans. That will show him for speaking out to me.

But the bugger, he has some defiance in him. He pats his belly and belches loudly. “Got any more cheesecake?”

“You shouldn’t have said that,” I say, sharpening my pencil. There are people standing around him, in all directions. He’s in a stadium – no, a colosseum. The colosseum is an uproar, tens of thousands of people all pointing and laughing at him, calling him fatty, pork chop, rotund. He circles in place, his two swollen legs waddling and wobbling as he pivots. He wipes the drool from his mouth. Looking to the sky, he screams over the spectators, up to me, “Is that the best you’ve got?”

O no, my son, I’m just getting started.

The coliseum disappears. He is in a blank space, with blankness that extends infinitely in all directions. The space around him folds over itself, forming a tube. The tube angles downwards and he stumbles a little, trying to keep his balance. A mountainous thud is heard somewhere far behind him as a huge, perfectly round granite boulder is dropped into the tube, picking up speed as it rolls toward him. Now, I can see, his bravery is faltering. Now, he is scared.

He runs – or, rather, waddles – down the tube, not quite as quickly as he can, because he knows he should save his energy for a last sprint if necessary. The boulder is rolling toward him faster and faster. He’s sweating, the little pig. I make the floor of the tube ice, and he slips onto his side. I angle the tube even more, and now the fat man is rolling, rolling down the tube, but not as fast as the boulder behind him. My laughter fills his world like thunder.

Cursing me, he uses his last reserve of strength to swing back and forth over the sides of the tube. I watch, and wait. He rolls from side to side, picking up more and more speed until, just as the boulder is about to crush him flat, he falls off the edge, down the infinite white.

My whisper in his ear as he plummets is louder than his screams. “Good idea, but now what are you going to do, tough guy?” I want him to fall for a while, but I don’t want his weak heart blowing up on me. So, with a few more words, I give him an indestructible heart. Best heart in the biz, no doubt of that. With this kind of heart, he can free fall for a long time without dying. Even if he does die, I could just bring him back. I’d say a week of falling will teach him a lesson.

Of course, he’ll need to eat. A stainless steel fridge of his exact weight appears next to him, with every shelf and drawer filled with Oreo cheesecakes. That should keep him. I yawn, and decide to take a nap.

My dreams are black and quick, as always. I’m awakened by the sound of drywall and wood planks shattering. A fat man falls through the ceiling, his soft butt cheeks landing on the side of my head, snapping my neck.

Death is nice, which is all I can think to say about it. So nice, anything else seems like a bother, or at least a bore.

Someone writes me up. I’d rather she didn’t.

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