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Piggy Larson

Deep down inside, underneath layers of skin and layers of cells, lie rivers of red. Rivers flowing with pulses, empowered by thumps sent by the heart. Years of shoving oily French fries down one’s throat leave humans with thin river beds- small, brittle rivers. Individuals like these, after x amount of years, eventually start to carry pounds of cholesterol in their bodies… Cholesterol like this begins to block all openings in our rivers, and- in due time- lead to heart failure. After eating 21 meals at fifteen different fast food restaurants every week for thirty-four years, a heart can do nothing but give up. A heart does all it can to endure and continue to labor. No matter how much effort it puts forth, however, it is but a muscle. The heart can only function in certain conditions for so long.









Peggy Larson was a fat child. The first time her classmates called her “Piggy,” Peggy was a young first grader. Peggy, as she had been for years, was excused from class three minutes early in order to go to the school secretary’s office. At the office, Peggy picked up a small, colorful satchel of food.

“Good morning, Miss Peggy!” Mrs. Sommers, the school’s friendly secretary called cheerily. “Yes! It’s Mickey D’s day! They switched toys last week, you know!” Peggy’s knowledge of the McDonald’s toy schedule surprised no one. In the cafeteria, friends didn’t save a spot for “Little Miss Piggy.” No one wanted to sit with a swine at lunch. For this reason, Peggy had been begging her mother for months to allow her to eat school lunch like all her classmates did. Nevertheless, Mrs. Larson refused to cave in to her daughter’s pleas, claiming that she should be grateful for what she had.









Years passed, and Peggy wrote in her journal every night. “They called me Piggy again today… we read Charlotte’s Web in class. All of them- every single one of them- started oinking. They hadn’t done that in a while. I thought they forgot about it! Even the new boy, Jacob, laughed along with them.”

Peggy continued to request that her mother would stop bringing fast food to school for her every day. “Mommy, all the kids already think I’m fat! I hear the girls talking behind my back when you bring me all that greasy, calorie-filled junk food. I know that the boys see me, flaps of fat and all, and turn away. You’re ruining my life when you bring me this food.” But Mrs. Larson was persistent, as she had been all her life. Every day, a new bag of food appeared on the counter of the secretary’s office.

Eventually, Peggy simply stopped picking up her lunch at the office. Three days went by. Finally, on the fourth day, a student runner was sent to bring Peggy’s food to her. A note was attached to the bag. “Remember, you can always come and talk to me, if you need to! Love, Mrs. Sommers” Before she could read the note, however, the student runner snickered at Peggy. “Maybe you shouldn’t eat that after all… I mean… well…” Crying, Peggy ran to the girls’ bathroom and left behind her lunch. The third stall in the third floor bathroom- that’s where Peggy spent the rest of her elementary school lunches.









Middle school passed by quite quickly, as did high school. By the time Peggy was out of college, she had dropped both her nickname and about 100 pounds. Although she had dropped a significant sum of weight, she was still morbidly obese. Childhood memories of deriding comments still haunted Peggy. She avoided mirrors, yet still couldn’t break her destructive eating habits. Doctors warned her again and again of the risks of her lifestyle- she rarely left the house and paid for fast food delivery with the money she had inherited from her mother after she suffered from a fatal fall on the ice. Due to her weight, she couldn’t manage to support herself and ended up freezing on her driveway with a broken neck until her neighbor found her dead four hours later.

Stories like these were clearly supposed to scare Peggy- scare her enough to keep her from inhaling yet another quarter pounder… She couldn’t stop, though. Nothing could stop her. Nothing but a fatal disease, that is. When so much cholesterol had built up in Peggy’s arteries that blood could no longer flow through her body, her heart shut down. Within a half hour, Peggy had been rushed to the emergency room and had surgeons picking through her veins, thin rivers of fatty substance.

Within another thirty minutes, Peggy was being operated on inside of a jet while she was being transported to the nearest surgeon who had the experience and know-how to operate on conditions as extreme as hers. Sixty seconds passed, and a pulse was lost. Two more minutes, and the nurses began to wonder whether Peggy even had a chance of making it to the hospital. A mere ten seconds, and Peggy was dead. Her life was over. Peggy was dead.

A short funeral was held for Peggy at the hospital’s memorial cemetery. Peggy’s gravestone was placed in the third row of graves- the third grave from the right… and that was the end of Peggy’s story. Just one big, unending river… starting at the same place it stopped.





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