A Tale of Terror
'I'm just big-boned,' Mildred Maple was accustomed to proclaiming when people advised her to lose weight. She was in denial, it's true. Some may say her argument didn't hold water. After all, when did you ever see a fat skeleton? The truth is, Mildred's bones were just about the same size as those of the average adult woman. She wasn't big boned at all, She was just plain fat.
She didn't get out much. She didn't even go out to shop. Well, she could hardly get through her front door these days, and walking more than a few yards caused the tops of her thighs to rub together. It made her knees rub together too, for that matter, in an uncomfortable, even painful way that made her just want to go and sit down again and eat another tub of Cookies and Cream until the pain wore off. Her food delivery arrived every morning in a large van emblazoned with the name of a large London department store, freshly despatched from their food hall. Oh yes, Mildred was also wealthy, having inherited the fortune of her dear departed shipping magnate Papa, who had spoiled her rotten all her life, and could be said to have started her on the slippery slope to morbid obesity.
Mildred could easily have afforded to eat healthily, with her vast fortune. She just chose not to. She'd watched all the TV programmes and knew of the dangers of heart disease and extra strain on her joints she was causing by eating ten times her daily calorie requirement. She just didn't care. She'd watch the programme and open another packet of Oreos.
And then Mildred fell in love, and everything changed.
The object of her ardour was Tim, the nineteen year old driver of her food delivery van. It began with innocent chatting on the doorstep every morning, and turned into an obsession which caused Mildred to daydream in her oversized armchair all day about nights of passion with Tim in her reinforced bed, running her own chubby fingers over her blob of a body and imagining they were Tim's.
She started to add bridal magazines to her daily order, and spent hours looking at the floaty white, frothy wedding gowns on their pages. One in particular took her fancy. She phoned the supplier. This gown only came in sizes up to 22. Mildred was a 44.
Perhaps I'd better go in a diet, then, she muttered, becoming aware for the first time that her rolls of blubber might not be too attractive to a young fellow like Tim. 'It can't be too difficult. I'll buy a diet, lose some pounds, buy the dress, and then pay Tim to come to live with me.' To Mildred, everything could be bought.
But Mildred's weight loss was to come at a higher price than she ever would have imagined.