The fat man huffed and heaved as he climbed the last few steps. He flung himself onto the bench and pulled out a fine linen handkerchief to wipe his face. His companion sat silently, looking out over the view.
“Why do you always choose such faraway places? I could recommend a great restaurant in any city of the world,” the fat man complained.
A smile may have ghosted across his companion’s lips. “I’m sure you could. Next time, we will meet at a location of your choosing.”
They sat together, looking at the vista laid out before them. The fat man continued to wipe his face, his neck. He looked out, but he did not see. His companion may have smiled again.
“You’ve been busy,” he said.
“Yeah, tis the season,” the fat man grinned, folding up his damp handkerchief and tucking it into his pocket. “You know I love this time of year.”
After a while, the fat man turned to look at his companion. “What does that mean?”
“Where are we?”
“What? What do you mean? You chose this godforsaken place! Are you out of your mind?”
“No, I mean, I want you to tell me where we are. What do you see out there. Without looking.”
The fat man frowned. He looked down at his hands. He started to turn his head out to the view, but ducked it back down again. It wasn’t a good idea to ignore his companion’s questions…or suggestions.
“I…I don’t know. I mean, I know where you said to come, and I hauled my way all the way up here. But I guess I was caught up still thinking about other things just now. I don’t know what I was looking at.”
“Good. I like it when you’re honest, at least. You have much to learn, my friend. And it’s time.”
Suddenly the fat man was alone on the bench. But he wasn’t on a remote mountaintop anymore. He was in a city square. He looked around. He knew this place.
Whatever his companion had been on about, it was time to go home. He started to stand. Losing his balance, he fell back against the bench. Two young women walking past looked alarmed and rushed toward him.
“Ma’am? Are you okay? Do you need any help?”
He looked down. He was wearing a dress. And his belly was huge, but not fat. He felt something move inside him. “What have you done?” he whispered.
Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle, Eggs
April word count: