I’d always liked the climb over the hills by our house when I was younger, mainly because my mother forced me out of the house; she was terrified of fat people and didn’t want me becoming one. That all changed when I was fifteen; scientists had been working on a machine for years, a machine that would prevent fatness – no matter how much you ate or how little exercise you did. When I was fifteen, they completed the contraption. It took a while but it finally became readily available for the general public. It was called the Benevolent Eco-friendly Noun – or more commonly known as the FatFighter.
Some people really wanted one, but there were those that thought it would take over human life. Eventually more and more people got one until nearly everybody had one. I didn’t; my mother forbade it. If you wanted to have the FatFighter installed, you needed an operation to have it implanted in your stomach.
I was so glad that I didn’t get one; after a few years, something started to go wrong, just a few cases. In those individuals, it was just replaced and the problem went away. However, the number of situations where the FatFighter went wrong increased dramatically. Even after the machine was replaced, the problem just got worse until it had to be removed all together – but the hitch still worsened. The glitch became a full-on crisis; people began to eat everything inside, from cars to cats and without the FatFighter they turned into massive balls of pure fat. Some people didn’t eat anything but they still got enormously obese.
The government issued a warning that those unaffected by the ‘condition’ were to stay in their homes. No matter where we hid, the fat people found us. We were on the run for weeks, just moving from place to place, trying to avoid them. One thing that benefited us was the fact that wecouldrun; the fatties could only roll, which meant we were safe on high ground.
Right now, we’re at the top of the church in our town. Recently, the fatties have developed the ability to bounce. Thankfully we’re not all too high on their menu at the moment but I have a feeling we will be soon, once everything else is gone. Most of the houses look like they’ve been bulldozed – which, in a way, they have. Cars are nearly all gone from the streets. The fat people fight over what’s left. They’re like really, really round rhinos, charging at each other until one of them is dead or runs away.
There are only seven of us left. We could be the very last of the human race for all we know. Or maybe the very last Britons. But let’s hope there are no Americans left; I don’t like Americans at all.
“Niamh, it’s your shift on lookout,” Mum says to me, coming into the room.
I pick up the rechargeable torch and quietly move to the window in the other room. It used to have glass in it, but not anymore. It’s so dark outside. It’s been dark like this ever since the fatties ate through the wires. No electricity, no water.
I often find myself wondering if this is the apocalypse. Can the fat people really eat the planet? I do wonder.
I see movement coming into the market square and squint to try and get a closer look through the darkness. They’re back. They roll onto the road and slowly make their way towards the cars. One of them crashes into a lamppost. It creaks and gives way under the colossal mass. A couple of fatties roll towards the downed post. It’s horrible watching their vicious fights. Sometimes they just eat each other.
None of us knows how long this will go on for. Forever, maybe? Will we be in hiding until the day we all die? All we know is this: we will continue to hide, and to fight them, until the day comes when we’re eaten or we die.