littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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Permanent Loathing

“Why did you do this to me?” she asked herself, crying in the mirror, body full of fat and blood, thick, solid, thumping heart in her chest. “At least let me diet first. This body is too hungry, kills too many. I’d rather starve on a hospital bed than be this.”

And she had. For ten years before being bitten, she had gone between a hundred kilos and forty, bloated body and frail one, a life of self-hatred at extremes, a life both starving and full, in a desperate dissatisfied longing to find a perfect medium and passing it constantly. She had gotten used to the misery. It felt like she had spent less than 1% in that satisfied state before she lost it again, before her feelings, like a black pit of nerves and fear and disbelief, possessed her again and that hate bubbled to the surface again, convincing her she was ugly, that she wasn’t enough, that she had to eat less and exercise more, until her ribs poked out and her eyes sunk, and they had to feed her through a tube again. Feeling so sick, she swore she’d never do that again, and she ate and ate all her body back… until she couldn’t stop. And the process started over again.

She would never be back in that bed again. She was fat forever, a vampire thirsty for blood. Perhaps the vampire who bit her knew that, had a sadistic fascination with bloodlust, liked killing, liked corrupting her. Maybe he was like a soldier, or a serial killer, and wanted her to feel the same fury.

All that blood in her memories, dripping, soaking the ground, soaking people she had known… what was satisfying about that?

He walked up behind her, skinny had she had once been, thin waist, flat stomach, and wrapped his hands around her protruding one. “Because I love you, Stephanie. I hated to see you suffer. I want you to see yourself as I see you: beautiful.”

“I’ve killed people,” she said.

“I know,” he said. “But don’t you love me too? Isn’t this worth it?”

“No. Not anymore. I loved you too. But I can I love someone who made me this?”

“Because you just do. I can see inside your soul, Steph, I know you’re in pain. But love is forever, and I think you know that.”

“I feel no love here. I don’t think you ever have.”

“Stop lying,” he said, “it hurts, you know.”

“Now you know how I feel.”

“Please,” he begged, “just love yourself. Please,” he cried, silent solitary tears sliding slowly down his face. “Please.” He put his chin on her shoulder, looking at her reflection.

“I don’t know how,” she said.

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Kate before Leonardo

Her hips were padded with skin, her stomach caked with potato chips, grease and donuts. It wasn’t always easy to find her bones, and she’d been called fat too many times. Her head was filled with more demons than thoughts, and she fit into size 18s. She wanted nothing more than to stop caring, yet every day, her heart burst against their seams, barely able to contain herself.

She walked through the crosswalk, rugged up in layers of winter clothes and thick white scarf covering her neck, watching the steam rise up off of her coffee to go.

She stopped in the middle of the road, winded by a high-pitched monotone and a blinding bright light. When it disappeared, she was standing in a forest. She turned on the spot, looking up at the trees.

“Where am I?” she asked.

But there was no answer. So she started walking.

After a few hours, she came to a clearing, a brown little cabin in the centre of it. At first, she just stared, until finally she came upon it, trying to see through the closed wooden blinds. She found an old rusted axe by the door, and opened it.

Empty.

She dropped it again by the door, and sank into the bare hard chair, burying her head in her hands.

It got dark. She began to search the cabin for food, a bed. She went to sleep early.

She woke to a giant crash. A man stood over her, brandishing the axe. “What are you doing in my house?”

She threw up her hands. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” she cried.

She slammed down the axe, and she rolled off the bed. “Please, please!” cried Kate.

The axe came down again, and she turned on her side, her cotton sweater getting hacked through, her stomach grazed in the cut. She rolled up to her feet, hauled herself up, and ran for the door. He chucked the axe at her, whizzing in front of her and lodging itself into the wall. She ran out.

She fell through the trees as he rushed at her from behind. God, she missed the city. At least it was safer than this.

Arrows flinged over her head, and she bowed lower, hands up to cover her face. Yet somehow they flew behind her, and she stood up again as she ran, right into the arms of another woman, who dragged her into hiding behind a tree.

Kate looked around the trunk to see a whole group of women take down the one man. They shot him full of arrows till he fell silently to the ground, dead.

She gaped, hardly believing he was dead, or that he didn’t scream. Kate started to stand, but the woman at her side pulled her down.

“What!”

“No,” said the woman, watching her friends at their kill, retrieving their arrows. Kate watched her, still confused, trying to understand. The woman looked up as some birds flew overhead.

Finally, she was allowed to stand and join her new friends. She walked with them through the uncertain forest, feeling both insecure in their company, and hoping she could trust them.

They led her back to a ruin in the woods, columns rising from the ground broken at the top, and the centre stood a statue of a woman, naked. Her body was toned, her breasts fat, her hips full, and her face whole. She was almost like a real woman.

And now the women surrounded her, laying their weapons on a tablet, guiding her to the river that ran away from the ruined temple. And they began to pull away her clothes.

Kate took a step back, and her friend caught her. “I can’t.”

“You must,” said the woman. “We must honour Venus. Only you are pure enough for our rite.”

“How can you know that?”

“The Gods have spoken to us. The birds have given us a sign that we have found the one.”

“That’s insane,” said Kate. “What is your name?”

“Florence.”

She looked at Florence helplessly, then back at the already stripped women around her. “You don’t want to see me…” Kate said. “I’m ugly.”

Florence took her face in her hands, looking deep within her eyes. “You are beautiful,” she said passionately. “You are like Venus… a goddess amongst men.”

Kate looked back in horror. “I – I’m not. I’m horrible and fat -”

Florence ran her hands down Kate’s arms. “You are beautiful. You have a perfect body. To be any thinner than you are now, you would be ugly. Look around you. You have been sculpted by the Gods…”

Kate looked again at the naked bodies, bodies just like hers. She stared in shock. These strong, perfect women, and their stomachs were… round like hers, not flat. And still she saw muscles, and glowing skin, and perfect curls and blush and eyes. It was enough to believe in God again.

Florence slipped off Kate’s sweater, and she wasn’t even scared for a moment, until Florence realised all the layers were gone and she was already half naked, and hugged her boobs in an attempt to hide them. Florence held up the bra confused, then threw it away. Then she started on her jeans.

Kate jumped out of her skin, as fingers brushed her navel. “Are you sure this is alright?”

Florence said nothing, but smiled and nodded, working on the buttons. She worked them free, and began the slide the jeans down, when Kate grabbed at them in fear.

“I have thunder thighs.”

Florence looked up into her eyes, soft and vulnerable. “A gift from Jupiter,” said Florence.

Kate blushed. “I’m just a normal girl. Average looks. Full of flaws.”

“I don’t believe you,” said Florence, kissing her belly button. It shocked Kate enough to drop her hands, and allowed Florence to finish undressing her.

Then she led her by the pool to bathe. “I’ve done nothing to deserve this.”

“You don’t need to. You are pure. You have been loyal to our goddess, and now you will be hers.”

“I don’t know…” Kate was still trying to hide herself in the waters, but it wasn’t doing any good.

“You can’t hide yourself from me,” said Florence. “I see you.” She stroked her face lovingly.

She didn’t have to say it, Kate pouted, blushing, but took her arms away, finally surrendering to Florence. Florence smiled, staring, washing her nurturingly.

Kate later learned, while being inducted to their sisterhood, that Florence was their leader. And she was just one of her sisters. She didn’t mind; this place had finally begun to banish her doubts, and her fears. She learned to be one of them, in time.


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In The Club

She pulled me by the hand with smiling oriental brown eyes shining through the growing darkness at me. Her delicate orange hair flowed in beautiful waves behind her shoulder, and she was wearing a short yet elegant red dress.

Getting in, she dragged me grinning into the darkness, the flashing green and blue lights, and the pounding beat of the music. This is what she lived for, just another party girl, but she my friend and I wanted to have fun with her too if I could get used to this scene. I had never even been to a club before.

She took me through the club to the dance floor, and he danced together. She smiled when I smiled, and it was fun. She really was looking at me, and enjoying my company. If I could just keep it up…

But the night wore on and she got drunk. Some boys talked to her, and they must’ve asked her to take her clothes off, because before I knew it, her dress was off and they were taking pictures with their phones.

“Come on, do it with me!” she yelled over the music to me.

I shook my head. No way was that happening.

“Come on, it’s just a bit of fun. You should chill out and join me!”

“I’m all for being chill, but that’s a bit too far!”

“Well, then do it me! It’s just a bit of fun!”

I tried to keep myself together, stay calm, but I felt caught in a horrifying situation, spinning out of my control. “Then you go do it you slut!” I shot at her. Hurt filled her eyes, and she slipped back into her dress.

“What the hell!” she cried. I couldn’t bare to look at her like this, and made away through the crowd, looking for the exit.

Until suddenly she caught me by the shoulder, and I spun back to her without thinking.

“What the hell was that just now?” she asked me seriously, and I knew I couldn’t escape her now.

“I just didn’t want to do that just now,” I said, hugging my arms into me at the thought, “it gives me a bad feeling. I can’t believe you would. I mean, I know you feel like it’s all fun and games, but I don’t. You just don’t know where those things will end up.”

“It’s okay,” she said, touching my shoulder.

“No, it’s not,” I said, shrugging out from under her touch, uncomfortable. “Photos like that, nonconsensual, it’s like rape. Except it never ends. I don’t know I could stand it. I couldn’t live that way, constantly.”

“Geez,” said my friend, watching me guiltily. “I’m sorry. I just wanted to see you. You know I… I like you.”

Now guilt passed through me, and I looked away, holding myself tighter. I stumbled over words, apologising. I felt even worse because I liked her too. And now I didn’t know what to say. “I’m sorry. It’s just… I have a thing about my body. I’m shy about showing it. By myself I’m alright, but anyone else… I don’t know.” I looked at her. “I don’t even know I could share it with someone I liked,” I said, blushing. “I’m not sure I could trust them.”

“That must be a very lonely way to live, always hiding.”

“I can’t help it, it’s just who I am. Besides, what about you, always living so senselessly.”

“I guess we both have something to learn. From each other, maybe. Come home with me.”

I considered only a moment, picturing our future together, before I said yes.


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Rebellion is for Losers

She grinned from ear to ear, admiring her wavy blonde hair and her soft pink dress in the mirror. Today was the day she was going to meet the prince who she was arranged to marry.

She’d heard from her mother that he was a little bit older than her, but he was handsome and kind. From her father, she heard he was powerful, and had wide tracts of land.

She placed her tiara on her, forcing herself to calm down enough to gracefully float downstairs to meet her parents.

He arrived at a little past ten. He had a goofy grin that was out of place with his regal attire. His hair was black and curly, and would’ve made him look ordinary but for the style, all trim and smooth, like he was wearing a silk wig.

He had high, soft cheekbones, and a small gold crown that could’ve matched her own. It was like destiny.

“Royals of the court, I present Prince Benedict.”

Even his name was regal. She melted.

Her mother lead her out towards him. She felt butterflies. “I am Queen Margaret. This is my daughter, Princess Elizabeth.”

“It’s a pleasure,” said Benedict.

She learned more about each other at the lunch table. He was 35, and she was 23. Not a bad match, to be fair. And he was rather handsome and approachable. She’d never met someone so kind.

“I love the court politics,” she told him. “I hope to one day make my country proud as queen. The only thing I’m looking forward to more is marriage. It’s such an exciting adventure, don’t you think?”

“You certainly strike me as adventurous,” he told her. “And you’re very loyal.”

“I need something to do all day. I can’t let myself become idle or I might get lazy.”

“Oh, I think you’re in no danger there,” said her mother. “You’re so ambitious.”

“Maybe you ought to slow down a bit sometimes,” suggested Benedict. “Sometimes the people want someone to relate to.”

“They want someone to look up to.”

“See, this is why you’d be such a good match,” interrupted her father. “You fill each other out so well. For the good of the kingdom.”

When they were together, she was so respectful. He never pressured her. It was in moments like these she knew her father was right.

They were just destined for each other. She couldn’t wait for the wedding.

Yes, I know it’s a bit Tangled meets Benedict Cumberbatch, but whatever. I like this one. A response to a dare: create a non-rebellious princess.


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Trifecta – Reputation in Flight

His friends said he was too beautiful to be a woman; high feminine cheekbones, soft blushing skin, thin curved frame. Women were supposed to be beautiful, that was the whole point.

But his reputation preceded him. Word can fly when petty people whisper.

The man walked through the door, and he was struck by how pale he was. He could see where the reputation had come from, but he was a bit too pale, too platinum blonde. His appearance was stark, not beautiful.

He handed him a slip. He took at it and looked down on what the man had just handed him. ‘Inspection: 7 Sept. 2014’.

“You’re giving me this in person?” he asked the stranger.

“The school asked me to,” he explained. “Caused a stir last week, so I owed them.”

“What did you do?” he asked, curious.

“Indecent exposure. Which wasn’t really my fault, either, but…”

So that was it. The children had spoke about him not out of captivation, but out of scandal. Physical, too…

“What did they do to you?”

“Have you been up to the school? Have you seen the doors in the back?”

“I’m the Superintendent; of course I’ve seen them. Caught you there, huh?”

“I didn’t know they opened. The stalls were all taken. Some school play was going on, and half the grade was there changing too. I thought I could hide in the back room and change, but those doors don’t look. Some kid opened the door. It… was humiliating…”

“Sorry about that. Maybe I can bring it up in my inspection.”

“Thank you,” the man said gratefully.

“Can I get your name?” asked the Superintendent.

“Marley.”

Tale for Trifecta

 


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Friday Fictioneers – New Year In Bangkok

Copyright - Lora Mitchell
“What an exotic New Year…” she whispered, gazing in awe at the sky.

“Perfect,” her husband said beside her. “Sitting on the dock of the bay… with you.”

She smiled, looking at him briefly. “You’re cute.”

“You’re perfect.”

She looked at him again, for longer this time. “It’s a perfect vacation. Thank you.” She leaned in, settling into his neck.

He stroked her hair, and she angled up to see the fireworks.

“Forget about them,” he said. “Just be with me.”

“I am with you. I’ve been with you for five years.”

“Still. Humour me.”

She smiled at him. “Sure.”

One of my rare Friday Fictioneers pieces. 🙂 For some reason, this picture looked like a foreign south-east Asian city, like Bangkok or Singapore. So I went with that.