by J Benjamin Sanders Jr
The bus pulled over to the curb and Agatha heaved her impressive bulk from the seat. She could feel the large vehicle shift under her ponderous weight as she held onto the rails and moved toward the door. Behind her, she heard children titter and start to sing.
“Fatty, fatty, two by four. Couldn’t get through the bathroom door.”
Hearing the song, she ducked her head and smiled. Reaching the front, the diver turned around and opened the door with a frown, muttering softly when he saw her.
“Good Gawd Almighty, that is one ugly woman.”
Hearing him, she covering her mouth and smiled even wider. Stepping out onto the sidewalk she waddled toward her apartment, humming happily to herself. Pausing a moment to watch a group of children playing, she scratched her sagging belly, and one of the young girls came and stood a few feet away.
“Are you a witch? My mama says you’re so ugly you have to be a witch.”
Tilting her head back, Agatha laughed. A deep rolling cough that rose from deep in her wide chest, and the girl ran away. Reaching her friends, they stood together and looked back, pointing rudely despite Agatha’s wide smile.
Reaching her building, she crossed the lobby and waited for the elevator. The door opened and several people stared out fearfully at the massive woman with the short kinky hair, doughy face, and teeth like a barracuda. Linda Kearns, the slim blonde from the second floor, held her hand out and stopped Agatha before she could step through the door.
“Would you mind waiting for the next one? Fire codes, you know.”
Ignoring the look of distaste, Agatha giggled and stepped back with a nod, her eyes delightfully bright as the door closed and she pushed the button for the next car. Reaching her floor, she opened her purse and fumbled for her key. Inside, she set her purse on the counter and shrugged out of her coat. Stepping over to the table she picked up a massive and ostentatious trophy and caressed the glittering sworls of metal and polished stone and laughed loud and long. No matter what other people might say and think about her, Agatha knew she was special. More special than the world could ever know, as she breathlessly read the engraving out loud.
“First runner up, 1,034 th Galactic Spiral Beauty Pageant.”
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J Benjamin Sanders Jr
J Benjamin Sanders Jr is a member of the Dallas Fort Worth Writer’s Workshop. His short story “Witchlocks” was published in Sanitarium Magazine, “The Scavanger Hunt” was published in A Lee Martinez’s anthology Strange Afterlives, and “Little Red” was published in Mysterical E. “The Last Ballad of Nikke Stone” was published in the anthology, Night in New Orleans.