Chapter 7

Fred ignored the scent of fresh air and the pain overwhelming him. There were much more important things at stake. As soon as he got out, he wondered which way could the fat man have taken. Thankfully, the choice wasn't that tough as the soil was devastated, the flowers and the grass crushed, creating a hardly unnoticeable trail.

As he glanced to the distance, he noticed him. Slowly rolling away, his goals unknown to the mayor.

"Stop where you are!" Fred yelled, but Fatimus didn't answer. Either he didn't hear or he simply didn't heed the command.

"I said stop!" the mayor demanded obedience, but it was to no avail. The overweight individual wasn't intent on conforming.

Fred wasn't going to give up despite the increasing aches, hounding him through narrow streets and blind alleys. What the escapee couldn't climb over, he crushed like it was made of jelly.

The citizens of Nearville noticed, joining the pursuit. Yet the unstoppable ball of fat didn't care at all. It carried on, rolling over anyone who dared to stand in the way. Was there no end to it?

The outskirts of the town were already in sight and the local swimming pool was a few hundred metres away. It was emptied and dry to nobody's surprise as the drought had truly hit everything and everyone.

There was a whole crowd chasing after the fat man who wasn't willing to give up. It seemed hopeless, but then an intervention from heavens themselves happened. Or rather an oversight on Fatimus' part.

He fell straight into the pool, filling it to the brim and unable to climb outside. He was trapped.

"Please, friends, help me get out!" he begged, but they were aware that he would take to his heels if he was freed. However, it was not within their power to tow him out of the hole. The overwhelming weight of his body was simply too much for the entire city and available machinery.

"Not until you explain some things!" Fred yelled whilst trying to catch his breath. Meanwhile, kids found jumping on the flab funny and enjoyable, almost as if it was a bouncing castle.

"Stop it!" Fatimus shouted out of annoyance.

Yet the children didn't care. They laughed and laughed as they played, their voices deafening the confused debates of the people.

The mayor's effort to be heard was in vain. Nobody paid attention to him, ignoring his presence altogether.

"What should we do?" the baffled citizens wondered, but none could answer as more and more questions appeared. Was it really a dead end situation? Were they doomed to contemplate forever?

However, the solution emerged out of nowhere. As one of the kids jumped and landed on the flab, it exploded like a volcano, but didn't spew out lava. It was water instead. Like a geyser it gushed from the increasing number of holes whilst the children were leaping back and forth.

It was a miracle and the residents of Nearville didn't wait for even a second. They rushed to their homes, bringing buckets and filling them. The rejuvenating liquid was so sweet. Its taste was overwhelming for the senses.

The city was saved and Fred was convinced that it was his doing, but none cared about him. He stood there ignored and alone, confounded that nobody hailed him as hero and saviour.

And while the townsfolk gathered water in gallons, running as fast as they could due to fright that the source would be exhausted soon, he remained. The show eventually ended and the horrifying results of the drought had been negated, but he was still there not moving a single limb.

The day turned to night, making him a shadow. He meditated silently, realizing that the position of a mayor wasn't tailored for him. No. His mother was right. He would do much better if he became a farmer.

And so he abdicated. His successor managed to gain skyrocketing popularity both with the people and with the outside. It was a feat that Fred had never been able to perform. However, he didn't mind. He wasn't jealous or envious. Instead, he enjoyed his new profession. He enjoyed digging in dirt and raking in manure.