The Adonis smiled, his stomach hung low over his belt...
Jason sat on the side of the bath allowing himself to drip dry, apparently it was better for his skin. The phone in his hand played a video of 5 helpful hints on gaining fat and hiding muscle mass. In order to watch the next video Jason had to watch a short advert, he accepted the terms. A beautiful man popped into Jason’s life, he was everything Jason wanted to be, here was a someone who clearly didn’t have to take his government mandated 50,000 steps, here was a man who wouldn’t even know how to operate one of the Grid Mills that haunted Jason’s single room flat.
The Adonis smiled, his stomach hung low over his belt.
Jason’s envious eyes crawled over the man’s body, followed the chubby cheeks down to the sagging pectorals, down to the almost pregnant looking gut and finally those beautiful twig like legs, legs that looked like at any moment they might snap under the stress of supporting such perfection. The words “True Life Prosthetics – better yourself” faded on to the screen.
Jason tried not to think of his own horrid body, yet could not help but catch his reflection. There he stood, defined and muscular, that awful gaunt face staring back. Just 7000,000 more steps and he could afford a stomach enhancement and maybe even a calf reduction if there was an offer on. Just 7000,000 more steps.
The Mill, beeped aggressively for Jason to perform his civic duty. Jason stepped onto the custom moulded footpads and began to pump his horrifically powerful legs with a practiced fluidity, the screen in front played an insightful and thought provoking drama about the trials that a rich and podgy family faced as per his request. It took the better part of season one before Jason had generated the requisite 732,200 kilojoules of power, by the end of the day he had finished Season one and generated half of tomorrows quota, if he kept peddling like this soon he would be able to shrink his disgusting calves.
He knew that a calf reduction was a temporary solution at best but Jason could not think of any other way to get a taste of the lifestyle he craved. Jason would always have to walk, and walking gave him muscle. His phone buzzed very gently in his hand but Jason reacted instantly. He recognised the combinations of vibrations of his dating app telling him that he had a match. Jason’s jaw dropped at the beauty that had acknowledged his existence.
She was perfect; he couldn’t believe that she wanted to take him anywhere. He flicked his own profile photo on to screen to do some calculations on the gap of attractiveness between them. The photo of himself was not representative to say the least, he was wearing every prosthetic he owned and had had more than a little help from a photo editor. Jason flicked back to her, her bio described her as “lazy, bubbly and fun” and went on to list her interests as “Weight Gain” “Tattoos” and “Partying”, she had never had to walk a day in her life Jason could feel it, rich parents, real sugar, soft feet.
As an after thought Jason checked her name, Deb, and Deb had messaged him. With a trembling thumb Jason slid the message open. Deb wanted to meet later that night, down at The Train Wreck. The Train Wreck. This set off alarm bells, it was notorious for fakers and wannabes. She probably went there ironically, nobody that beautiful would be seen in a place like that, Jason reassured himself. He briefly toyed with the idea of trying to convince her to go to his favourite club, Dishy, but he didn’t want to push his luck. A thought flared up, what if asking him to The Train Wreck was a test to see if he was a faker or not… Jason took an hour to reply to the message, eventually settling on going along with Deb and claiming irony if she called him out.
Jason would have to get dressed now if he wanted to be ready in time, it was easy to do this from the ground up since the leg braces reduced his flexibility and the torso packs made balancing more difficult.
He wrapped the first brace about his lower leg then fed the clasp though it’s fitting. He repeated the process on his other leg then began to ratchet the braces as tight as he could. The thigh braces didn’t have quite as dramatic an effect but did make walking more difficult which added to the top-heavy illusion. Next Jason slung a buckled vest over his head. He strapped the various pads to the appropriate areas before covering his hard work with a dress shirt.
The face was the most difficult area to do since it had the most exposed skin, but Jason had a method that worked. First he slid a large silicon shaping pad into each of his cheeks then set to work with the contouring brush, adding the shadow of a phantom chin and smoothing out the wrinkles the cheek pads caused. Jason dimmed the lights, he looked good.
Jason tapped a code into his phone that told the security of his apartment block and the street not to fire at him. He scanned his screen over a sensor by the door to confirm his identity code before setting out. Jason tottered down the hallway to the elevator nervously eyeing the ceiling. It was rare but everybody knew someone who knew someone that had been fired at, even after the code had been input.
Jason stepped out on the platform directly outside his block. The rails criss-crossed their way though the blocks as far as the eye could see. Jason tapped his foot in a mixture of irritation and pain. The trains were always slow but this one was almost a minute late.
A train finally whirred to a halt, it’s magnets lowered it on to the rails and Jason stepped aboard. Sadly for Jason, someone of his build only sat for appearances sake. He wasn’t as tired from the short walk as he wished he was and lowering his rearranged body into a seat was more work then it was worth if no one was watching. Except someone was. As the train pulled away Jason saw the group of young men sat in the corner of the carriage. Jason cringed. They were all wearing shorts. These men had nothing to hide.
“Take a load off why don’t you?”
Jason flinched at the insult the most beautiful of the young men had hurled. They knew. Sweat was soaking into his leg braces.
“My back hurts when I sit” Jason ventured weakly, immediately cursing himself for rising to the taunt. The men began to cheer, and pump their fists. The beautiful pack leader began the chant “FAKER! FAKER! WE FOUND A FAKER!”. The group shakily got to their feet and began to move down the aisle with the help of the rails. Jason knew he couldn’t cry, his make up would run and the pictures would haunt the Internet for months. Jason’s eyes prickled as the train pulled up to an empty platform. Chased by flashes and the snap of shutters, he sprinted though the doors at a pace that redoubled the group’s laughter.
Jason hid in an alley and retightened his leg braces, he did not cry.
A few minutes later Jason strolled back onto the platform and got onto a definitely empty train. He was careful to take a seat anyway.
The queue to get into the club was long but a message from Deb said she was holding a place halfway down the line. Jason checked his reflection in a window and his make-up was fine. He looked better then nearly everyone here; maybe being a big fish in a small pond wouldn’t be so bad. Deb was half a head taller than most of the crowd. It was clear that the height was all in her spindly legs, accentuated by her massive heels. She was magnificent. Her bare arms were covered in tattoos (that probably cost more than Jason’s house). They curved to complement her huge sagging torso. Jason was speechless and Deb giggled nervously at the complementing looks. The conversation flowed easily once the shock had worn off. The pair were on good terms by the time they got to the bouncer, the only one in the crowd displaying muscles. He was visibly shocked at the sight of Deb. She was probably the most beautiful girl that had ever wanted to get in. He let her pass after checking that she knew which club this was and even went as far as pointing at the sign. Yes, Debs did know which club this was and Yes, Debs did want to come in. Jason smiled as widely as he could with out revealing his silicon cheek pads.
The mediocre DJ was trying his best and on the whole, the club was not as bad as Jason had be lead to believe. They danced together for most of a song before taking a break. Jason looked around the room at the other resting people; most of them clearly didn’t need the break based on their breathing. Too relaxed and comfortable, not at all like the ragged, short breathes coming from Debs and himself. He remarked on this to Debs and told her that they were surrounded by fakers. She nodded sadly and asked him to dance again.
One song faded into the next, Debs eyes flared. She leaned in close to Jason’s ear, the closest they had been all-night, and said “Oh my god! This is my favourite song”. Even after she had started dancing her hot breath tingled in Jason’s ear. Jason watched as Deb danced harder and harder, she looked like she was going to snap at the knee.
Jason watched in fascination, surly she must be getting tired he thought.
The song faded into the next but Debs was still going strong, her eyes shut in bliss. Jason leaned into her ear and asked if she wanted to take a break, she shook her head and smiled. Jason was confused as he walked to the bar. How could someone with a frame like that have so much endurance? Jason ordered a sugary cocktail. At his usual haunt it was all they drank but here it was seen as a luxury. Jason sipped and watched Debs dance. It looked like the rippling of her arm fat was changing. The tattoos weren’t dancing to the same beat she was. Jason’s face slackened in horror, his hand shot up to keep his cheeks in as his drink fell from his lips. Debs’ arm had slid down and was now bunched up around her elbow revealing a skinny tattoo-less arm underneath.
Debs danced on oblivious that her real skin was showing. Jason felt his eyes prickling again. He knew it had been to good to be true. Debs only looked down when her left leg brace failed and her trousers strained under the new pressure. Debs stopped dancing. Everyone was staring at her.
Jason waited for the shouting to start. It didn’t.
Jason looked around at the room full of people, all staring at the former most beautiful girl in the room. No one said anything as Debs sobbed in the middle of the dance floor and tried to get her false arm back into place. Jason stood shakily as Debs walked over to him. The room looked on.
The jeers still didn’t come. If this had happened in Dishy, the bouncer would have dragged Debs out. Jason looked at the crowd, he was disgusted. Everyone in the room was so busy being glad that this had happened to someone else that they couldn’t even bring themselves to shout abuse at Her. Debs looked sadly at Jason “I just wanted to feel pretty” she choked out between sobs.
Jason took a deep breath, feeling the gap between the pad and his chest. Then though his silicon filled mouth he bellowed, “Get away from me Faker!” and stumbled away on bound legs.
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