Categories > Original > Humor > Low-Cal Diet
She was one of those women who wanted to dress fashionably. She would see how the other girls at the office always seemed to be able to strut into work ten, sometimes twenty minutes late; but the manager would only slide his eyes down their strategically exposed legs and ask for a fresh coffee. She had been pretty once too, and popular, a cheerleader in high school. But that seemed like an old black and white movie now. She had gotten married to her boyfriend right after graduating and they spent a few mouths as newlyweds, then reality hit. He fell into a bottle and she had taken to eating bonbons and watching soaps all day. The cheerleader was swallowed whole, and as her marriage dwindled, her waistline grew.
But she still liked to dress fashionably, even if she was just going to the store after work. Tonight she had on a little green dress, the thin fabric clung to her doggedly and her dyed hair was pinned and styled and sprayed until it gleamed hard like the linoleum floor. Red nails tipped fleshy, pink fingers as they curled around a bag of rice cakes, chocolate flavored. The dress stretched and pooled in unfortunate places as she reached for another bag, this one on a lower shelf. The boy stocking shelves behind her made a face and went to fool around in the stock room. If he had known her just a few years ago, when she was the cheerleader, he would have been ecstatic if she bent over in front of him. But now she was just a big bust and even bigger waist over tiny ankles and high heels. It was almost mesmerizing; the quivering motions of the bulging fabric; like a barn animal twitching its flanks at buzzing flies.
She tossed the rice cakes into her silver cart, and clip clopped down the aisle. A case of diet soda went next to the bland, calorie reduced bread. Healthy Choice dinners were on sale and she chose fourteen of the little frozen trays. The dinners always seemed to disappear so quickly even though she lived by herself in her cheap apartment. In the next aisle, she picked up some toilet paper, then a tube of medicated rash cream and a new eyeliner pencil. Several minutes were spent in front of the tall display of shampoos, debating on whether she wanted extra shine or anti-breakage.
Glancing at her doughy wrist, she turned her cart towards the check out. She liked to watch the reality shows that played in the evenings, especially the ones that revealed the dark, plastic underbelly of the rich and desirable. And if she wanted to catch them before she spent her nightly thirty minutes on the Stairmaster, she would have to hurry. When she passed the racks of magazines in line, she made sure grab the ones with the smiling, skeletal faces on the covers. The beauty tips inside would be carefully cut out and taped to her dingy bedroom mirror.
The skinny girl behind the register gave her a sour look as the green woman spilled her cart onto the chipped counter. It was almost closing time and now she had to wait on this dumpy woman before she could meet her boyfriend. The two could have been different sides of the same coin, with only the slow, inevitable drag of years between them. Both had the same pale glassy eyes, the same snubby nose, and the same naive vanity. But the checkout girl decided to have a salad instead of a pizza for dinner, as she watched the lumpy woman push her groceries out the door.
With her purchases loaded into the backseat of her drab little car, the woman flounced into the driver's seat; but before she could drive off, a hand appeared from out of the dark parking lot and grabbed the edge of her open door. She followed the dirty hand up to the face of a rough-looking man with small, black eyes. The woman had known of the tendency for people to be mugged in this area of town, but they had so far all been young, comely women. A small pathetic thrill went up her wide back as she remembered the news reports; none of the women had been hurt, just badly shaken and beautiful through their tears as they answered questions from the sympathetic newscaster. She not so subtly eased one sleeve off her shoulder and lowered caked lashes.
"Get out of the car and leave your keys." the man ground out, cutting over her fluttering thoughts.
She stared at him dumbly; the news had never said anything about stolen cars.
"I said get out of the car!" a flash of steel from his ratty coat pocket. "Get Lost! Are you deaf, fatass?"
The woman's wide eyes sparked and she felt something release in her chest. The man was still spitting out sharp words when her hand shot out and wrapped its' hard plastic nails around his skinny neck. He dropped the knife to clutch at the meaty hand digging into his windpipe. All this happened very quietly, while the man stared into eyes so white hot it felt as if his innards were being microwaved. The woman's arm jerked suddenly, yanking him close and he gave a small, shocked gurgle as the lipsticked mouth opened wide and gleaming white teeth closed over his head.
The air in the next few minutes was filled with the brittle crunch of bones and the heavy wet slide of flesh.
Letting out a dainty belch, the woman closed her car door and drove to the nearby Dairy Queen. She pulled up beside the speaker in the dive through, flicking small dark blobs from her collar; and ordered a large chocolate triple malt. Today had been the usual series of one disappointment after another, and she felt she deserved something. After all, she had already ruined her diet.
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