Ron Morelli
Flash Fiction Winner

It is 1993, the auditorium is dark and one can smell the salty, coppery scent of sweat. They, the others, the guests, are easily shocked by the man's weight or mass. It is his body that both repulses and attracts them. He is a large man, one easily remembered and forgotten, and no matter where he sits he is always the center of attention: both wanted, and unwanted.

We sat behind him, although I don't know why. I think my parent's were amazed and as curious as children to see a man of his size and girth in a place like this. They said not a word to us, their offspring, or to each other. Instead, we sat as peaceful as a nuclear winter, gazing at the man, trying to distinguish where he began and ended in the darkness, which was less cruel to him then the light.

My mother felt compelled to sit rigid in her chair, ankles crossed daintily over. She looked skittish, as if at any moment she would leap her painfully thin body upwards and run away, run far away from the situation. She had this look in her eyes, that no one but I could see in the half-light, half-darkness of the room. It was a look of discontent, of true future suffering as she eyed the man in front of her, her lips moving silently like a goldfish's, saying inaudible: That is what I will become. That is what I will become.

First published: August, 2003
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