This week I am participating in the Red Writing Hood at the Red Dress Club. It’s not my first time, but it has been quite a while. The prompt is write a piece, fiction or non-fiction, inspired by the delicious shot.
Before I turn you loose with my piece of haphazardly produced fiction, I have a small favor to ask. Please do not take offense to my language or story. Whether a person is small or large, they are beautiful. Inner-beauty is real beauty. I also believe obesity is a health epidemic, generally starting in childhood, and it should be treated as such. The first step to change is awareness, this piece is intended to bring awareness.
When Etta was little, she believed that each sprinkle was individually placed in the perfect predetermined spot to create the most scrumptious doughnut in the world, equally delightful for the eye and the stomach.
Now, at ten years old, Etta knows this was a silly childhood fantasy. She knows the sprinkles are thrown onto the doughnut, no one caring where each one lands. No one except for Etta. She meticulously nibbles on one sprinkle at a time before inhaling the rest of the frosted pastry, two minutes of crumbling sweet bliss. Chewing the sprinkles on top, which takes at least five minutes, is the slowest she eats all day.
At least it was. Since her last doctor’s appointment, her mother won’t buy doughnuts for Etta.
“They have too much sugar, sweetie,” says her mother.
“But you eat them,” says Etta.
“No, I don’t. Not anymore.”
“Yesterday at Starbucks. With Aunt Jane, remember?”
“Oops. It was a special occasion.”
“How often do we get to see Aunt Jane?”
“Not very often.”
“Exactly. A special occasion.”
“Why didn’t I get a doughnut then?”
“It’s for your own good, baby. I’m sorry,” and because her mother looks as sad as a hungry puppy, Etta drops the subject. She knows the real reason anyway. Doughnuts make you fat and Etta is fat. The kids at school remind her as much as they can. Etta’s mom is fat too, but it’s okay for grown-ups to be fat. Etta can’t wait to be a grown-up, she will eat anything she wants. Even chocolate cake for breakfast.
Etta doesn’t mind being round, she’s always been this way. Her best friend, Audrey, is also fat. Their favorite activity is to scavenge coins from couches and drawers and even the bottom of fountains before walking to the candy store and filling blue striped plastic baggies with sugar every color of the rainbow, always spending the exact amount they bring. Not a penny more, not a penny less. They sit on the bench outside of the store and devour each sweet morsel like it was their first and last meal on earth. Nirvana in a bag.
After the doctor’s appointment, Etta’s mom signed her up for soccer, but she couldn’t keep up with the other girls, she was the tortoise in a pack of hares, and she always kicked the ball in the wrong direction. Everyone was whispering about her, she knew because they pointed. When it was over, Etta climbed into her mother’s car and let go of the pain squeezing her throat the same way her elastic shorts were pinching the rolls on her belly. She was too hysterical to speak. Etta’s mother drove directly to McDonald’s to cheer up her daughter as much as herself. Over ice cream and french fries, Etta demanded her mother to promise she would never make her go back to soccer, and she promised right away, crossing her heart.