The step creaked loudly under my hand as I crept up the stairs and I winced, pausing about halfway to the second floor. Why did I have to be so grossly fat? I hated my body. Even now, I couldn’t keep my rolls of flab from brushing several steps at once as I moved on all fours. I made myself stay completely still for several minutes, and when I didn’t hear anyone stir, I continued creeping toward the second floor. I didn’t get more than two more feet before a man appeared at the top of the stairs, carrying some kind of heavy-looking trophy in one hand.
Great. He heard me.
I wasn’t worried, but I hated the way people looked at me. Usually no one woke up when I visited them, but every once in a while one of them didn’t stay asleep. The man had initially looked partly scared and partly angry, but now he just looked horrified. I stared up into his eyes, focusing, and even as his eyelids began to sag he had that look of revulsion on his face, like he was looking at a bucket of vomit or guts or something. The look stayed fixed on his face like it had been frozen there, even as his mind began drifting back to sleep. Finally even his face relaxed and he only looked like he had smelled a particularly bad fart as he lumbered off to his bedroom to put the trophy back and go back to sleep.
I sighed, wiping my short, stubby fingers over my rubbery face. He wouldn’t remember seeing me; he wouldn’t remember any of it, but why did he have to look at me like that? And he was going to hit me with a trophy, talk about adding insult to injury. It must be nice to win a trophy. I couldn’t tell what it was for, but he looked like he was in good shape with hardly any body fat, unlike me. He probably married a cheerleader, or anyway, someone really pretty.
Since the worst had already happened, I hoisted myself to my feet and climbed the rest of the way on foot, hunched over slightly so my head would clear the doorway at the top. Why were bedrooms always on the second floor? I planted my right foot in the hallway, and prepared to move the rest of my bulk through. There was a nightlight on in the hallway, close enough to my leg that it shone through a little. I could see the silhouette of three of the bones in my shin deep within the faintly green, gel-like blubber that surrounded it. I guess in a way I couldn’t blame the guy; even I didn’t like looking at me. I squeezed myself through, managing just barely not to touch the doorframe with any part of myself. I turned the bulb in the little nightlight just a little, until it flickered and went out, then I smelled the air.
There was a good smell coming from down the hallway to the right, opposite the direction the man had come from, so that had to be where the children slept. I moved to the end of the hall where there were two doors opposite each other. I pressed my face against each and sniffed. Good smells were coming from behind both of them.
I picked the one on my left first, opening it and moving into the room beyond. I could see fine in the dark; there was a single twin bed where a young boy slept on his side, and a lot of the clutter I had come to associate with young boys. I tiptoed across the room, careful not to step on anything, then knelt down next to the bed, hating the way it felt when my bulk squished over itself. I reached out and touched his tiny little shoulder, coaxing him until he turned onto his back. Since he was sleeping when I came in, he wouldn’t wake up while I was here; on the few occasions where children saw me, they were already awake when I entered. Unlike adults, they didn’t look at me with revulsion, they looked at me with such complete terror that none of them had even been able to scream. One wet her bed. I pushed that memory out of my mind as I adjusted his blankets, tucking him back in, then slipped my fingers under his neck until I found the spot.
When I felt the tingling beneath my finger, I pushed and the boy convulsed in his sleep, arching his back and craning his head back into his pillow as his mouth stretched wide open. I moved a little closer and opened my own mouth.
A thick gurgle came from my belly as I clenched it and the tube came snaking out of my mouth. I guided it into the boy’s, sliding it down his throat until I felt it coil as it met resistance.
I sucked through the tube, savoring it until nothing else came out. I don’t know why children tasted better than adults, but they always did. I withdrew the tube and let it slide back down into my own belly. The boy took a deep breath then rolled back over on his side, wiping his mouth on the sleeve of his pajamas. He’d wake up especially hungry, but he’d be fine. I heaved myself back up onto my feet, my flab settling down over my knees and ankles.
It didn’t seem fair I was so huge; I only ate when I got hungry, it just seemed like I was always hungry. At any rate, I was anxious to visit the bedroom across the hall. I thought I should probably check out the parents as well; once I’d filled up a little I could start being a little more finicky.
If I kept a move on, I could probably visit most of the rest of the houses on this street before morning. That was going to mean a lot of sucking, even for me.
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by James Knapp - © 2008
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