Written by: Drake Morgan
This is a free short story (well, that promo just ended, but it’s still awfully cheap and well worth a look) from author Michael K. Rose. The concept is quite good, particularly in light of the growing global obesity epidemic. The premise centers on a character named Ted. He has struggled with his weight for a long time. Food obsesses him and one day, his body revolts. An inner essence fights back for control over the eating. The voice moves from harassment to aggressive bullying to a final confrontation between life and death.
While the premise is quite compelling, the narrative and characterization lacked depth. Rather than the challenging and dark exploration of pain and suffering, we get “What the fuck are you doing? Leave me alone, god damn it.” Overeating and the compulsion for food are intense, psychological horrors for many people. Food can become an obsession that, like Ted, can threaten to destroy a person. But this story doesn’t capture that nightmare. Perhaps a longer, more in-depth narrative would have helped. This might not be a tale told in a short story form. Some horrors do not fit in a small box.
Rose’s idea here is fresh and his perspectives on the horrors within us work well. He doesn’t resort to blood, guts, and gore, but instead chooses to dig inside to find those fears that haunt us in the small hours. I appreciate his style and will look for more in the hopes that he takes that framework and really runs with it in a longer format. A good read that left me wanting a little more.
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