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"Oy, let me see your calorie card!" The skinny man at the hotdog stand demanded, holding my hotdog just out of reach.

I sighed and dug the plastic out of my pocket, handing it to him with a sour grimace on my face.  I was sure I had already exceeded my allotted 1500 calories for today, but I was just so darn hungry.  Seriously, what was one hotdog going to do to my figure anyway?

He shook his head as he swiped it through the scanner.  "Sorry girlie.  This hot dog is 242 calories.  You only have 10 calories left for today."  He shooed me away in preference of those with enough calories on their card to afford his food.

My stomach grumbled its complaints all the way home.   If I had really wanted that hotdog I could have gone to the gym and earned more calories on my card, but I really wasn't in the mood for exercise.

It started in California, taking hold among the mothers who didn't want their kids to become fat and therefore miserable and hazardous to society.  And it became clear to the government officials--though many of them were quite fat themselves--that if you didn't allow the people to eat, they wouldn't get fat.  It was working.  I had gone down from a size 4 to a size 0-stick thin and miserable.

"Hey, fatty, how come you didn't answer my text?"  The voice came from the curb a few houses away from mine.  Sammi sat there, wearing baggy jeans and an even baggier t-shirt.  She was munching on a-

"Oh my gosh!  Where did you get that?!"  I rushed to her, mouth still agape.

Her smirk grew wider and she rustled the paper wrapping at me, sinking her teeth deeper into the hamburger.  I saw the golden arches on the bag.  McDonalds.

"There is no way under the sun you could have afforded that!!"  I wanted to snatch it out of her hands.

"Nope!"  She answered.  "You remember Max?  Well he stopped eating altogether."  

I grimaced at the thought.  Nobody wanted to be thin anymore.  He must have been out of his mind.  "And?"  I prompted.


"And he went and spent every last calorie of his on this hamburger."  She took another bite.  "And he gave it to me."

"You lucky little…ugh, you don't even know how much I hate you right now."  I plopped myself down but found myself staring at the juicy looking burger.

"Yeah.  But I need to gain some poundage."  She answered.  She took a long breath, as if inhaling the aroma of the burger would increase her calorie count even more.  I took a leaf from her book and breathed deeply as well.  She continued talking.  "It was weird going in. To Mcdonalds I mean.  So many government officials…all dressed up in their suits and ties, as fat as can be.  Max and I were in these oversized t-shirts."  She laughed.

"What if they found out?"  I had heard of people who stole calorie cards and were arrested.  I had never heard about what happened to those who gave food away.  It was just unheard of.

She shrugged.  "What are they gonna do to me?  What else is there left to take?"  She sighed deeply, crumpling the wrappings and the bag into a tiny ball and holding it there in her fist, squeezing tighter even though it was crushed to its limit.  

I stared at the ground, noticing a speck of dirt on my Converses.  "Well-"

She was right.  They had taken more than the right to eat.  They had taken our families.  Dinner time was obsolete.  Parenting was obsolete.  Spending time together was obsolete.

After a long, unbearable silence, Sammi finally stood, letting the crumpled ball drop to the pavement.  "They're going to find out about Max."  She said.  "They're going to find out about him…and…"  She swallowed.  "And force him to eat enough to live.  They're going to take away his right to die."
Inspired by the prompt "Eat" in =DailyLitDeviations's 7 Day Prompt Contest.

--

:iconthewrittenrevolution:

Questions:
1) Is this something you want to see expanded upon?
2) Did you have any problems understanding the society I created?
3) What are suggestions you might have in making anything clearer?
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2010-01-18
Eat by *vital-organs, reminds us that sometimes doing what seems justified is not always the accepted choice in our society. ( Suggested by Dream21Stalker and Featured by LadyLincoln )
:iconprimrosependant:
PrimrosePendant Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2016  Student General Artist
This is one of the best and most thought-inducing one-shots I have ever read. We were actually talking about portion control in my health class Wednesday, and we're talking about the battle between the processed food industry and any restrictions the government tries to place. This is a great example of the worst thing the government could do to regulate our calorie intake and eating. Although I'm not a fan of how the industry manipulates the public, I think parental control is a big factor in what children eat. Of course, the changes in school lunches and the growing sizes of portions could be a part of it, but parents can have control over that too! This will stay implanted in my mind. Great work! I especially love the contrast between the common, underweight, nutrient-deprived people, and the fat lobbiests and government officials.
Reply
:icongrimm-girlie:
grimm-girlie Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2015
I love this
Reply
:iconglittergirl79:
glittergirl79 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
I did not intend to read this(I was looking for something else) but I am really happy I did. You write seriously well, and the ugly truth behind an idea to stop obesity made for a great read. I hope you continue! (;
Reply
:iconthatsfreaky:
thatsfreaky Featured By Owner Edited Feb 1, 2015
this is so good! especially because in the beginning we can't really understand where it is going but it crystalizes perfectly the idea of freedom, challenging our conception of it, loved it
Reply
:iconthegreatlobotomy:
thegreatlobotomy Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015
wow this was fantastic.
Reply
:iconnyquil37:
Nyquil37 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2014  Student Writer
This is great! Please continue.
Reply
:iconjesstalpaedanplz:
Jesstalpaedanplz Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Student General Artist
Wow. Just wow. This is amazing. 
Reply
:icontwentyfootangels:
TwentyfootAngels Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. I love the concept! I definitely think you should expand on the whole thing as soon as the inspiration hits you. Subtly dystopian... I like that!
Reply
:iconshadowvampireninja:
Shadowvampireninja Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Student General Artist
 I love this! It's sooo awesome! Add to it, please? It'd make an AWESOME story. :D
Reply
:iconreedstar:
reedstar Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
would you one day consider turning this into a book ? I can almost guarantee that this would make a best selling book within a few days of marketing. 
Reply
:iconwendydewijze:
Wendydewijze Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I read this and added it a long time ago, and it stayed in my mind as a chapter of a book I very much wanted to read. Imagine my surprise when I found this here again. Is this not a book yet?! :D
Reply
:iconvital-organs:
vital-organs Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Unfortunately it's not! I want to flesh it out, but I haven't had the time lately. :(

But wow, I'm always astonded to hear that anything I've written has stuck in someone's mind! The same happens to me with other people, but I never thought my own work could do the same. Thank you so much!
Reply
:icongreyfowl:
GreyFowl Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
I just wanted to say that I haven't been on deviantart in a long time, but I was thinking about this story a couple of days ago. I've been telling friends and customers about this story, and logged on today just to find it. Thought you'd like to know.
Reply
:iconwendydewijze:
Wendydewijze Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
If I'm still on this site when you do add to it, I'll be thrilled to read it ^^
Reply
:iconbabbayanna:
babbayanna Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Kay wow, this is fabulous.
Reply
:iconmescalyn:
Mescalyn Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012
Yes, I could see this expanded.

Also I'm really hungry now.
Reply
:iconvital-organs:
vital-organs Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Please don't eat your keyboard!
Reply
:iconpengwens:
pengwens Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012
Wow, this is an incredable story. I like eating, Im never goning to worry about dieting. I know I have enough self control to stop eating unhealthy things when ever I want to. Cake rules!!!:D
You should really think about writing a book on this, a great plot.
Reply
:iconthe-improbable-ive:
the-improbable-ive Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012  Student General Artist
Oh my gosh. I...I...
...this is amazing.
Reply
:iconvital-organs:
vital-organs Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:blush: Thank you!
Reply
:iconthe-improbable-ive:
the-improbable-ive Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012  Student General Artist
You're welcome. :) Totally deserve it.
Reply
:iconlightningpelt292:
lightningpelt292 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That thing in NY with the sodas (though laughable at best) reminds me of this quite vividly... Made me come back and reread it for the umpteenth time. It's rare that a story sticks so stubbornly in my head...
Reply
:iconvital-organs:
vital-organs Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, I heard about the NY soda thing. (facepalm)

It really encouraging to know that people remember my story ages later then actually go back and read it. :blush: You make me want to hunt down some stories on dA that have stuck in my mind and let the authors know that I'm still thinking of their work as well! Thank you for that!
Reply
:iconsleepsugar:
sleepsugar Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
What's sad is that come August 1st, the American government will have outlawed bake-sales, and other snack tables at events, in an effort to eliminate childhood obesity. As if that's not the parent's prerogative.
Reply
:iconcathyrox:
cathyrox Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012  Student General Artist
After about a year since favoriting this deviation, I still find myself going back to it and rereading it. It's such a great idea, and this piece is really something else. I can't believe I never dropped a comment; but here I am: well done, great read.
Reply
:iconvital-organs:
vital-organs Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
These words are unbelievably encouraging. I'm sort of amazed at the idea that someone would remember something I wrote after a period of time and actually go back to reread it. Thank you very much for your kind comment.
Reply
:iconmjmcawesome:
mjmcawesome Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so freakin cool.
Reply
:iconizzazanderxp:
IzzAzaNdeRXp Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
More please!?!?!
Reply
:iconoviedomedina:
oviedomedina Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011
Whoa.
Iīd love to see this expanded some day.
Only thing I donīt understand is:
Why does Max wants to starve himself to death? I know its kind of the " impact-in the- last- line" thing but, I donīt get it(maybe Iīm kind of slow minded today).
Apart from that, itīs wonderful.
Reply
:iconmomokedatchi:
momokedatchi Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011
oh....my..... Darwin. this is amazing! its like a novel. its sorta like brave new world but with a different concept.
Reply
:iconvital-organs:
vital-organs Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
It's a premise, so maybe one day I'll expand upon it to make a novel. Thank you for your kind words. (:
Reply
:iconmomokedatchi:
momokedatchi Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2011
ur welcome. and u really shoud read brave new world. its a wonderful book.
Reply
:iconwingedinnocence23:
Wingedinnocence23 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
THAT, my friend, is BRILLIANT.
Reply
:iconcaptainsepia:
CaptainSepia Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This was amazing. I loved it.
Reply
:iconapelican:
aPelican Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, I alays found this "The government will take over our lives" kind of theme horribly frightening. But recently I have begun to appreciate them a lot more. Amazing thought, well set out and well written. And I'd like to say much more but...
1) I'd be ranting
2) I can't think of it all now without sounding cheesy or anything

By the way, how would Mc Donalds still be open if this calory thing has come into play? Wouldn't they go out of business eventually? heh
Reply
:iconbohemian-anime-chick:
Bohemian-Anime-Chick Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
1)It's difficult to tell if it would stand better as a short story or an expanded one. It's certainly interesting.
2)Not really, but a little more physical detail might help a bit(e.g: "Now I could see my ribs","the officials' stomachs spilled heavily over their hundred-dollar slacks") The oversized-T-shirts part helps, but more detail wouldn't hurt.
3)^That.
Reply
:iconvital-organs:
vital-organs Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Excellent suggestions. (: Those are all things I'll keep in my mind for an expansion.
Reply
:iconspeculativejester:
SpeculativeJester Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011
I find this story to be interesting. Are you trying to create a society that expands on the negative outcomes of socialism and communism? I think that's fairly interesting to tell it from the perspective of a teenage girl, but I think you should also try and show some of the more positive sides of "the society" as well- unless you're going for the whole dysotopian society deal. But, this was certainly well-written, but does need expansion.
Reply
:iconvital-organs:
vital-organs Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I have been thinking along the lines of an expansion for a bit of time, where I would give a better background of the system as well as more aspects.
Reply
:iconspeculativejester:
SpeculativeJester Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011
Sounds like fun. I'd really like to help developing "this kind" of society. So if you need any help, send me a message please. :D
Reply
:iconrandompath:
randompath Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011  Student General Artist
wow this story is great. is it part of like a ...series...? i was just wondering if there was a full story to this? its just i really like this story and i wanted to illustrate it comic/manga style. if thats OK with you of course... if you could expand a little on the characters then i can definitely draw something. =D
Reply
:iconvital-organs:
vital-organs Featured By Owner May 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I've been meaning to expand upon the story for a while now. Expect to see something at the beginning of the summer when I'll be more productive. (: And it'd be SUPER cool to have this in manga form provided the story gets credited to me.
Reply
:iconrandompath:
randompath Featured By Owner May 20, 2011  Student General Artist
great i absolutely can't wait till you expand on this story! and of course you will be credited for it if i draw the manga. i suppose i'll have to wait until you continue the story a bit more so as soon as you get more i would very much appreciate it if you would notify me. =D
Reply
:icongaahina-lrvr:
GaaHina-lrvr Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
1 Seeing this expanded upon would be a great treat. So yes if you ever find the time.
2 The only problem I had was the fact that businessmen were fat. Are your calories based on your job or something?
3 I'm not a writer, so I feel any suggestions I could give you would be pointless.

Wonderful world and thank you for writing.
Reply
:iconkokutan-tenshi:
kokutan-tenshi Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2011  Student General Artist
Isn't this an actual book? It sounds really, really familiar.
Reply
:iconluminita:
luminita Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2011
Brilliant idea and well written. Thank you for posting!
Reply
:iconladyjanedangerous:
LadyJaneDangerous Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2011
1. i would love to read more, expand on everything!
2. no, the picture was very clear, in a sort of scary way, where i could see it happening.
3. clearer? geez, naw. it was great!
Reply
:iconfizziberry:
FizziBerry Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2011  Student Digital Artist
beautiful and inspirational, I love that last line "They're going to take away his right to die."
Reply
:icony0shin0:
y0shin0 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This is a great piece, It really makes you think about where society is heading. With all of the dispute over these kind of issues it does seem like everybody thinks we should just take free will away from those that can't
'take care of themselves', but then you get into the part where all of the politicians are stuffing their faces. What gives them the right to make their own decisions about eating, and what gives them the right to limit our rights like that?! Well done. I love literature that makes you think.
Reply
:iconli-kiada:
Li-Kiada Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
reminds me of a story I read in English. Where everybody was 'handicapped' so they couldn't be more beautiful, or smarter, or stronger than anybody else.
Reply
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