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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium

After three girls, Jim and Marie celebrate the birth of their longed for son... a mother's love knows no bounds.

Submitted: February 11, 2018

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Submitted: February 11, 2018




“Think you’re going to need a bigger pram,” the midwife declared, her blue eyes twinkling with mirth as she placed the outraged infant on the scales. “Eleven pounds, six ounces would you believe?”

She carefully handed the new-born back to Marie, his exhausted mother. “Have you got a name for him? How about Sampson? He’s certainly a whopper… can’t remember the last time we had an eleven pounder.”

Marie stared down in awe at her son. After three daughters, they had finally got the son they had yearned for. “Actually, I think Sampson suits him, what do you think Jim?”

“You can’t call the poor kid Sampson. What about good old fashioned Sam.”

Marie smiled. “Sam it is!” 

A tap on the door was closely followed by a trolley wheeled in by a flame haired vision in an overall.  “Tea anyone? Oh my goodness… bet he made your eyes water. Thought my Vinnie was big, but he was nowhere near the size of your little one… or should I say not-so-little one. Congratulations by the way… any biscuits with your tea?”

The midwife briefly lifted her eyes from the notes she was scribbling. “He’s already proving to be quite a celebrity, and he’s only fifteen minutes old.”

“Well, he is a monster… sorry that makes him sound like a freak… sorry, I shouldn’t say freak, but you know what I mean,” the flame haired vision stuttered, while manoeuvring her trolley towards the door. “You take care now.”


Marie regarded her son’s larger than average birth weight as a weird sort of personal achievement, one to be applauded, to boast about. After having three fussy girls who found having to eat a chore, by comparison, Sam was such an easy baby. He had a voracious appetite, draining his bottles with fierce greed, before screaming for more.

At six months old, with a mop of dark curly hair, eyes that lit up when he smiled and his cute, round dimpled cheeks, Sam attracted an admiring audience, who fawned over him. Marie glowed with pride at her perfect, beautiful baby son. However, within eighteen months, his endearing, dimpled chubbiness had turned into solid tyres that encased his toddler frame.

After being advised by health workers to reduce Sam’s intake, all Marie’s attempts were met with shrieks, howls and spectacular tantrums that weakened her resolve. For Sam, food became an all-consuming passion, one that ruled his young life and rendered his mother a slave to his demands. He lived to eat… period.

By the time he was eight years old, he was already a morbidly obese child. Letters sent to his parents after school health checks, registered concerns about Sam’s weight and his relationship with food, and urged them to seek urgent medical advice.

“Marie, you’ve got to stop giving into him. Don’t you realise, you’re killing him with kindness,” Jim had pleaded.

Marie thumped the kitchen table with her fist. Her blond curls bounced and her blue eyes blazed as she snarled back at him. “He’s not just my responsibility. In case you’ve forgotten, you’re his father. Maybe you should take more of a role in this instead of leaving it all to me. Believe me I’ve tried, he doesn’t just love his food… it’s an addiction, one he seems to have been born with.” She put her head in her hands and began to sob.

 “Sam, sit down. Me and Mummy need to talk to you about how much you eat. Look son, I’m sure you’d like to be able to run around with all the other kids in the playground. Well if you didn’t eat so much, you could and what’s more, if you don’t stop it’s going to make you ill. Sam you have become far too fat and it’s very dangerous for your health.”

Sam’s dark eyes, like slits in his shiny, fat face, shone with defiance.  “Don’t care.” He shrugged. “They don’t like me… make fun of me. I need my tea, are we having chips?”

Marie could hear the girls singing and laughing in another room, in that instant it struck her how ‘normal’ they were… they had friends, interests, opinions, independence and above all, a balanced life. A rush of guilt cursed through her, it was all her fault. She had indulged Sam, doted on him treated him differently because he was her precious, only son and this was the consequence. He didn’t have a life… all he had was food.

Marie took her son’s hands in hers. “Listen to me Sam, I love you and I want the best for you. I’m worried sick you will become poorly because of your weight. This is why we have to stop you eating so much so, no, you’re not having chips for tea, we’re all going to eat healthily from now on, including you. Is that understood?”

“I hate you,” Sam yelled. Marie felt the sharp sting of his palm against her cheek.

Jim took him by the arm. “You do not hit your mother. Now say sorry and go straight to your room.”

Sam stared at his Mum through hate filled eyes. Then he spat in her face.


By the time Sam had reached nineteen years of age, he could hardly lift his monstrous body from the huge chair in which he sat in front of the television, consuming vast amounts of food at almost hourly intervals.

With the collapse of their marriage, Jim had moved out of the family home along with their daughters who had fled the nest.

At fifty two, Marie was haggard… her shoulders stooped with the burden of caring for her son who, despite years of trying to control his diet, had sunk into a bottomless pit of gluttony, which she dutifully indulged.

“Mum, it’s time for my ham-burger.”

Marie winced and her eyes burned with tears as she tried once more to make him see sense.

“Look Sam, you had pizza an hour ago, if you want a burger you’ll have to get it yourself.”

The remote control hit her face with such force, she reeled and fell hard, smacking her head against the corner of the granite hearth.

Sam stared at her prostrate form, at the blood that trickled from a gaping wound. He picked up his cell- phone, his voice impassive. “I think I might have just killed my mother.”

© Copyright 2018 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.

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