the short story project




Obesity lumbered down the hall unashamed, and met every stare, peering indignantly through dark slits, over mounds of self-righteous cheeks. So what, Obesity thought to itself – I know I’m big, but look at that guy. He’s easily a 5XL. Besides, the internal dialogue continued, mine is the new form.


It was true. Enter any clothing establishment and 3XL and beyond weren’t hard to come by. The apparel was stylish too. Not the plain black smocks of yesterday, but jeans with detailed stitching; t-shirts in all colors, like over-size dresses that came nearly to the knees, ironically covering up the decorative pockets on the denims of the copious wearer. Plaid shorts, even – with matching tops sometimes – that made Obesity look like a walking tablecloth.






“Skinny bitch.” Obesity’s female counterpart chuckled under her breath as the leggy, bleached blonde rushed past, a tattered backpack slung over one bony, tattooed shoulder. But she was in no hurry. Why should she be? She knew she was a queen and that there would always be a throne. She wasn’t about to hurry anywhere. She switched down the hallway, her hips always in opposition to the clingy fabric of her maxi dress. A tug every three or four steps though, kept the sea of rising ripples of her rayon/polyester blend in check


“ ‘Sup?” Obesity called out, acknowledging the queen.

          “Hey, now.” She chirped her reply. “How you feeling?”

          “It’s tight, it’s loose. Ain’t nothing but a thang.”

The duo stopped their chatter as 5XL approached, red-faced and distressed




“Is this English 10-A?” he asked, smoothing a sweaty strand of hair behind his ear. The queen sized him up, pushing her lips together.

          “Yeah, Dawg.” Obesity answered, rearranging the toothpick between his lips and indicating the classroom change sign near the door, with an index finger like a plump breakfast sausage.

          “Oh, good.” 5XL responded in relief. “Ladies first.” he said.


          The queen huffed but moved into the classroom as though she were walking through pool water, slow, methodical. She was trailed by 5XL, who looked around nervously at first but was soon smiling. Skinny bitch scowled at the elephantine parade from her place against the wall, as Obesity brought up the rear of the procession and claimed the last of the oversized desks that he already knew had his name on it.

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