Lucy kept growing, sprouting through her bedroom and out the roof. Mr. Snuggles fell through a crack in the floor and disappeared far below her. The oak tree on the corner stabbed her in the eye with one of its branches and she plucked it like a daisy. Roots, dirt, and sidewalk pieces fell across the street.

From her new height, people looked like indistinguishable paper cutouts. She’d never had a family, but she lost all three of her friends. Her cell phone fell inside her ear when she tried to use it. Lucy’s stomach rumbled and it sounded like the kind of thunder that wants to split the atmosphere in two.

Lucy signed a deal for her own reality show. Six figures per episode. Cameras the size of houses followed her everywhere. Flash bulbs sent her across the country in a series of drunken cartwheels.

Soon, she could travel the globe with a few, well-placed skips. She began talking to the leaders of nations. Dictators listened, afraid she might swallow them whole. She held them in her palm and forced them to sign treaties they later refused to honor.

She scored a record deal and laid some tracks that played at every club that mattered. She dictated her memoirs to a ghost writer, made every bestseller list. Oprah interviewed her from the top of the Empire State Building. She made scarves out of telephone poles, diverted hurricanes with a wave of her arms. Teenagers called her fan hotline just to listen to her voice.

Because Lucy’s time became so limited, she hired two hundred assistants who followed her everywhere, a personal relations river in her wake. But almost no one could communicate with her directly—the climb tired them out—and depression settled into her bones with the persistence of a bad winter. Men avoided her; women were jealous of her. Teenagers screamed at her, watching her with tiny, tear-glossed faces.

She became paranoid. Lucy stopped sleeping. Blood stippled her eyes. Her hair began falling out in clumps. Food no longer interested her. Her bones became a thing of horrible beauty protruding from her slack flesh.

Gossip magazines printed more stories about her than people could read. They watched her life in a waterfall of photographs: Lucy passed out on a Las Vegas sidewalk, Lucy stomping a photographer who inched too close to her right foot. People shuddered and flipped pages. They read her bizarre blog rants and rubbed their fingers together, feeling like they’d just consumed something delicious.

Lucy’s PR staff shut down her teen hotline because irate parents left messages using phrases like “coke-nosed anorexic skank” and “pill-popping hooker.” Her doctors gave her medicine to make her sleep. But she couldn’t, so she found solace in sex, sometimes with twenty men at once. Someone filmed her and marketed the triple-X tapes under the title I Love Lucy, and she cried until a small lake formed all around her, drowning several of her assistants who couldn’t swim.

On her way to a presser announcing her plans to enter rehab, Lucy collapsed in Los Angeles. She fell down across the Hills, smashing homes with her massive body as if they were no more substantial than tissue boxes. Ambulance crews and helicopters swarmed over her. Emergency medical technicians tried to perform CPR: fifty men jumping on her heart simultaneously.

An inquest into her death began immediately. Everyone agreed medical professionals should have warned her to trim her massive size back down to manageable again. But everyone also agreed that if she had been small, Lucy would never have started her own clothing line, or appeared in gossip magazines, traveled the world. Lucy’s life story never would have been adapted into a major motion picture. Lucy never would have been anything. Everyone agreed that it had happened this way for a reason, even if it was one they couldn’t comprehend.

Read more about Laura here.

Read more about Lindsey here.

1 Comment

  1. Michelle McCartney says:

    lovely ————-wonderful combination of fantasy, wit and pathos. Had to read it to the end and your prose style is simple and full of wonderful imagery that gets the mind exercising willingly. Well done,

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