Love in the Time of Chaos and Cannibalism

There is little to eat. Most of the world is starving to death. Top scientists predict all the world’s food supply will run out in two years. Humankind has never faced such a crisis, made worse by all the hoarding, and the attacks on the homes of the rich by hungry hordes looking for something to eat. Only the rich are fat. Their fat is seen as a delicacy to a growing trend of cannibals who hunt fat people in the night. This is the story of one such rich fat person living in the time of chaos and cannibalism.

Never before has Ted been so inspired to lose weight. He hears they are eating fat people now because they have so much more meat and fat people are easier to catch cause they are such slow runners. Ted’s doctor used to tell him his weight could eventually lead to death by heart attack, now his doctor tells him his extra weight could cause death by cannibals. This is when Ted takes up running.

Ted runs on his treadmill inside his heavily fortified house. Since the attacks on the rich, the rich have started shelling out on a well armed security team, a team Ted pays with food. Food is the new gold. Money has lost most of its value, food is the new gold standard.

Ted is rich and he has lots of both, food especially, cause he likes to eat. Eating is Ted’s favorite hobby. You don’t get to weigh 300 pounds by accident. Ted knows his football fields’ worth of food banks would run out eventually, and there is a chance that he would have to outrun a pack of marauding cannibals, so, Ted knows it is time to make running his new favorite hobby and his eating not so much.

Ted finds running to be cathartic. He gets on the treadmill with the fear that cannibals are right behind him. As he runs, he can feel the runner’s high of, stronger, fitter, faster, happier. Running burns so much more than calories; running burns stress away. Ted would run one minute then quit. Then two minutes and take a break. Then four minutes. Then five. Then ten. Then twenty, till soon Ted is running all the time. He runs so much, he has worn out two treadmills. He has also outrun a lot of weight.

“Mr. Bastion, your new assistant is here,” informs Tess, Ted’s secretary.

Ted doesn’t stop running, in fact, he increases the speed of the machine, his legs picking up the pace. “Right, sure, send her in.”

Ted had forgotten how beautiful the woman he hired is. He had been so impressed with her resume and interview, he didn’t see just how gorgeous her face is. Stunning. Her gorgeous blue eyes shimmer like the sea lapping against the cliffs off the coasts of Crete. Ted forgets he is running, stops, then is violently thrown off the treadmill.

“Are you ok?” Anna comes running to her brand new boss, her first duty is to help him up.

“It’s ok, I’m ok,” Ted says, taking to his feet before she can reach him, not wanting to appear weak. Ted is one of the richest, most powerful men in the world, though, Ted feels Anna is the boss of him. He considers firing her, to avoid confusion.

Instead Ted gets back on the treadmill, lowering the speed.

Anna watches her boss run in silence for more than ten minutes, before she asks, “What should I be doing right now, sir?”

“You’re doing it,” Ted says, not breaking speed, “and don’t call me sir.”

“Ok.”

“Call me Zeus.” Only Ted knows he’s joking.

“Zeus? Is that your title here?” Anna hopes he’s joking, but, she can’t be absolutely sure. She’s worked for some dangerously selfcentered people before, but never for very long.

“I’m joking. Sorry, we’re going to be working closely together, so, please, call me, Mr. Bastion. Again, joking, sorry, it’s hard to run and be funny all at the same time.”

“So, why don’t you stop running?” Ted is at her command. He shuts off the treadmill, that comes to a gradual stop so Ted can step off easily, facing Anna, who is still waiting to hear what she should call him. “So, what should I call you?”

Ted smiles. He feeds from her strength. “Call me, Ted.”

“Ted. I just want to say that when you hired me last month, you were a very overweight man. And, I liked that about you. I was under the impression that I was coming to work for the morbidly obese, but now I find you so thin, and tight and I wish I could sue for false advertising, cause, you’ve hired a cannibal who likes her fat, and now I’m not sure if I should eat you, or just kill you out of spite.”

Ted hopes she’s joking. When he sees her take the knife from her purse, he still holds a faint hope she is taking the joke to its limits.

She comes towards him. Ted is so used to running in one place, that he has killed his instinct to flee. His last thought is:  ‘All that running got me no where. I shoulda taken up skeet shooting.’

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