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FICTION on the WEB short stories by Charlie Fish

Hero
by Doc Byron

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Everybody kept waiting for me to get skinny.

They had a long wait.

My own mother told me if I lost weight, I could get pretty girlfriends. My sister tried to entice me into joining a local weight loss program by telling me if I lost at least fifty pounds, I could get handjobs - blowjobs, even - from her friends on the cheerleading squad.

But, no one ever just told me to stop eating, even try to curb my appetite a little bit.

Somebody on TV said that having sex would make you skinny. I knew right then I would have to go it alone.

Cigarettes, a girl I was eavesdropping on told my sister, cut down on your appetite. I thought, what the hell, I'd give it a whirl. I tried a cheap brand I'd found in my babysitter's purse. All they did was make me nauseous, made me barf.

It was hard to believe how big I really was. I was obese.

My ass, thighs, belly, and breasts (yes, breasts) had all reached maximum density. I was obese, ugly, and alone.

Then this new kid moved into my neighborhood, his name was Frederick.

Frederick Augustus Mallow.

Now, he was really obese. No, he was beyond obese; he was elephantine. He had created a new type of obesity, one never seen before. His mother told mine his weight was due to a "glandular problem." Not over-eating.

I knew I had found my new best friend.

All the kids in the neighborhood figured him for the fattest kid in the world. Me, now I was fat for my home town, the county. Now Frederick, he was the eighth wonder of the world of glandular problems.

And the kids liked him.

Me, they'd call fat shit, lard ass, tubby butt, fat fuck. But Frederick, for some inexplicable reason, could do no wrong.

Everybody just loved him; even my sister's cheerleader friends started giving him handjobs and blowjobs under the bleachers after the football games. For me, it was a small town fat-boy's worst nightmare come true.

Then the coach asked him to join the team. I could see it all now; Freddy the hero versus me the zero.

The first night of the big game I attended for the sole purpose of heckling him from the sidelines. I hadn't had to heckle him too long; five big behemoths from the visiting team all tackled him at once, really screwing him up bad. They had to practically dig him out of the playing field with shovels.

Freddy was out for about a week then it was Christmas break.

I'd waited for weeks to be a hero, but no dice. I was a dick, a big fat jerk who'd heckled the team's hero. I saw him at the local video arcade a few days later. He had a neckbrace on and a plastic halo on his head.

"Hey, Freddy," I'd said.

He shot me this look of brotherhood, as though we should together shoulder the great weight of fat-boy sorrow. Forget the past, enter the kingdom of kindness hand in hand. I punched him in his big fat guts.

He leaned back against the wall, blood coming out of his mouth.

Glandular, I'd thought. Murdered.

I could picture him at home in bed, his guts collapsing from a dead-on punch to the center of him, dying just like a hero was supposed to die.

Or, maybe he could die right here, slide down dead against the wall on his big fat hero ass.

I took up the rolls of his fat throat in my beefy hands.

"Freddy," I said, then blowing him a kiss goodbye.

A person can change; even a poor little fat-boy loner like me.

"Freddy," I said again, squeezing, squeezing... "Freddy, you fat fuck, you lard ass, you...

Squeezing... snapping.

"...You... hero."

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