Freddie the Fat Man

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In a time and place not too different from now, there lived a peculiar little boy in a peculiar little house in a sea of bland suberbia. The house was peculiar in that it was made by the boy's father who, unlike his neighbors, had a passion for Georgian architecture and an unhealthy appreciation for tri-color Victorian facades...but a budget much more suited to the cookie cutter ranch homes of his peers. The result was this tiny, overwrought affair dripping with faux wrought iron, balconies, and garish color choices, which of course stuck out very much like a plastic Faberge egg amongst the usual, brown-speckled affairs around it. The little boy, on the other hand, was peculiar because he wasn't really little at all. Well, perhaps that statement is a tad misleading. The boy was small, of course, compared to those around him, with no friends but his tall willowy parents and his incredibly wizened grandmother who lived a mostly sedintary (if noisy) life nestled cozily in an iron lung in the guest bedroom. The boy may have been roughly child sized, and thus smaller as a matter of course to those around him, but as his (also peculiar) talent progressed, he became considerably broader, rounder, and, well, more horizontal. What was this talent, you might ask? From a very young age the boy showed a great propensity for, of all things, eating! The boy's parents first noticed this talent one unassuming evening when the boy was but a rotund tot, still swathed in diapers. Left to his own devices while they bickered about some nonsensical mundanity, they turned (in unison!) to the sound of a great chomping and gnashing. There on the dining room floor, minding his own business, was their considerable bundle of joy, systematically devouring his tinker toys! Alarmed and confused, they rushed the boy to the hospital. The dazed but well meaning doctor announced soon enough that, besides the splinter or two lodged in his bleeding gums, the child was perfectly healthy for a boy of his onbvious girth.

Years passed, as they are wont to do, and the boy grew and grew and grew into an awquard teen who shared more in common with a giant bouncing beach ball than the spindly, well formed children that so profusely littered the streets of his suberb. The boy quickly graduated from eating tinker toys to eating stoneware (oh so crunchy!), electrical cords (like spaghetti!) and even such improbable things like mounds of cake sprinkled with ten penny nails and tic tacs (one of his favorites!). The boy quickly realized that unlike those around him, he was possessed of an amazingly advanced constitution that allowed him to eat pretty much whatever he desired, and his massive engine of a stomach could process it all. While the boy looked at this as an obvious boon, his parents were scandalized when the neighbors whispered conspiratorily to themselves whenever he was seen outside, taking a bite out of the side of the house or chasing (more like wobbling) after a stray dog with an unhealthy gleam in his eye. The parents restricted the poor child to his room, where he was forced to gnaw haphazardly at his bedpost or to absently munch on his books as if light snacks. This state of affairs continued for some time, unabated, until one day the teen realized he could no longer leave his room even if he was allowed to; he had become so rotund he could no longer in any way fit through the door to his room, much less his tiny grimy window. During this revelation a disturbing and tragic event occured--his parents, now driven to drink at the state of their lives and the indignant strangeness of their whale of a son, suffered a fatal mishap while behind the wheel of their massive avocado van. Although the details of their death remained forever scarce to the boy, talk of the town fermented into something involving a cement truck, a doughnut factory, and several indignant girl scouts loaded with cookies. When the boy eventually heard the fate of his kin, he was appalled to find that instead of tears and grief all he experienced was a craving for cemented doughnuts made with real girl scouts. Unfortunately it had been two years or more since the boy had been allowed (or able) to go outside his cramped room, and the scatter-brained locals managed to quickly forget even such a memorable freak such as himself. He had no direct relatives (his grandmother had passed some years before, apparently after the boy had accidentally eaten an important portion of the iron lung) and so the house remained empty and unattended for several days after his parent's death. One late evening, a neighbor awoke from her slumber by a great and terrible crashing noise. Upon investigation (complete with floral moomoo, fuzzy slippers, and a Louisville Slugger) the neighbor found a large and roughly spherical hole in the side of the eyesore of the house next door. By this time, however, the boy was long gone.

The teen, more a moving mountain of peculiarly childish appearing man now, puffed and wheezed his way through the nighttime suberb and, remarkably, crept by unseen and unheard. The next day the only signs left of his passing were several bite sized chunks taken out of random objects such as the sidewalk or a car tire. As for the boy, he was angry and convinced he was to run away to join the circus--to his underdeveloped and sheltered mind, his parents had finally gotten tired of him and left him behind, alone and ravenous. In a fury of bites and wobbling, the fat man managed to do just that--as luck (?) would have it, a tiny, fleabitten circus was just getting ready to leave town. Following the delectible odor of cotton candy and axel grease, his nose led the way to his destination. Before he knew it, the fat man was famous, billed as "The Incredible Living Garbage Disposal." He single handedly brought success to the little circus, and was appreciated and loved for the first time in all his short and unfortunate life--that is, until the Master of the Estate happened along.

Who knows why the Master took a liking to the Fat Man? Who ever knows or understands the motivation behind the true fae? All that is known is that he was taken, late at night, while he slept the tremorous warbling deep sleep of a minor earthquake. Earlier that evening the circus had performed to a sold out audience in Manhattan, at the grounds directly in front of the Statue of Liberty. As he was taken by the Master's terrible and gruesome servants, the Fat Man woke, and one of the slithering things was forced to his mouth so that he would not be able to scream. The last thing the Fat Man saw as he was dragged deep into the Hedge was Lady Liberty herself, bathed in floodlights like an enormous saint raising her torch in benevolence. And thus began years of torture, degredation and torment.

First the Master imprisoned the Fat Man in a tiny cell for months, giving him no food and only the tiniest bit of water. At the apex of his grueling starvation, the Master threw in the corpse of some unfortunate mortal. To his perverted delight, the Fat Man ate the corpse, trembling with loathing and hunger. This exersice progressed until the Master grew bored with it...and then an even more sinister idea came to him. He had the poor man delivered to a cell in the small bloodstained arena on the grounds, usually delegated to after dinner entertainment as the Master and sometimes his guests would delight in watching creatures from his extensive menageie forced to fight to the death. Here he starved the Fat Man again, but instead of throwing a limp corpse at him this time, he had him fight for his meal...and fight he did. No matter what the Master threw at him, be it animal, plant, or mortal man, he would devour it with gnashing teeth and tears in his eyes. The Fat Man quickly became the star of the arena, earning disgust, fascination, and hilarity from the Master and his many guests over a span of decades. As is wont to happen in Arcadia, this treatment and attention began to shape the poor man into something altogether different. Before long, he grew even more massive, like a giant round edifice of filthy fat. His blood splashed skin grew tougher, more like smooth, fish white hide stretched to bursting. His tiny arms and overburdened legs grew muscular and gnarled in strange proportions, and tiny, deeply inset eyes began to glow with a ruddy malevolence. But worst of all was his mouth. Before their death, the Fat Man's parents had braces installed in the attempt to straighten his mishapen teeth (and whose teeth wouldn't be misshapen, after eating the things he was fond of eating?) and these braces were never removed. Now, under the attention of the warping influence of Faerie, his teeth grew perfectly straight and white, but fiercely pointed. The braces grew around his teeth in a razor sharp sheath that curved perfectly around every individual tooth until his mouth was a disturbing array of deadly steel. Furthermore, at points the braces grew out even more until sharp, pointed wire protruded at disturbing angles, often sporting gibbets of flesh not yet eaten. In essence, the Master had successfully converted the Fat Man into a ravenous, bloodthirsty ogre, hungering for violence and fresh meat...although sometimes, when no one that cared was looking, the ogre would cry fat, greasy tears of self loathing and pain. Late at night, when his captors were done with him and he was allowed to rest for brief moments, he dreamed of Lady Liberty. In his dreams, she would hold him to her curiously soft stone bosom and rock him, gently. The thought of being cradled and protected by something so much more massive than himself was a poignant and reflective reminder that, deep inside his twisted and deranged body, there still beat a mortal heart that could love and fear and grieve.

And now, surprisingly, he is free. Lady Liberty finally guided him home, her beacon shining like a luminous tear in the darkness, promising rest and peace at last. The conditions of his escape are jumbled and confusing to him, but that does not in any way refute the fact that he is, once again, in the mortal world...a world that has changed considerably since he was last here. Right now, he has no idea what to do, no idea what will become of him...but he has others that share in his exile. It is only a matter of time before they begin torturing and abusing him too, and only a matter of time before his boundless hunger rises again, a monster that must be fed. Whatever will he do?

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