Here’s a short story with a timely warning – don’t get too cosy in your comfy chair this Christmas!
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
THE SLOB’S FATE
Gordon was lazy.
He’d always been lazy. As a child he’d refused to clean his room when his mother asked him, and he never helped with the chores.
‘You spoil him,’ his father told his mother. ‘If you stopped his pocket money, he’d soon brighten up his ideas.’
‘Aw, he’s an only child!’ she said. ‘And his childhood will be over soon enough. Let him enjoy it while he can.’
For a long time, Gordon got away with being lazy. He would spend most of his time in his room playing video games, and in school he would sit at the back of the class and nod off to sleep. In spite of this inactivity, he didn’t put on weight straight away; he was an attractive child, tall and slim, with dark red hair and sea-blue eyes.
His father would look at his school report and shake his head. ‘ “Could do better”,’ he read out. ‘Your reports all say that. It’s such a pity.’
Image by Mote Oo Education from Pixabay
‘I hate it when they put “could do better”,’ Gordon grumbled to his friends. ‘I wish they’d put “terminally stupid, no hope”, then people wouldn’t expect me to make an effort.’
When Gordon was sixteen, he fell in love with a girl at his school. He’d always known her, but he’d never noticed how attractive she was. Now he noticed her auburn hair (which he’d always thought of as ginger), her dancing green eyes, and most of all her breasts, which seemed to have grown overnight.
There was only one problem with Kim: she wanted him to do more.
‘It’s not good for you to do nothing,’ she told him.
‘You sound like my dad,’ he complained.
‘Well, he’s right. You’d be happier if you got out and about and did stuff.’
‘I’d be happier if you’d stop nagging.’
Kim ignored that. ‘We never go anywhere together.’
‘That’s because you’re always out visiting old people.’
‘Not always. And on the nights we see each other, all you want to do is stay in and watch Netflix.’ Then her eyes lit up. ‘You could come with me to see old people!’
Gordon looked at her like she’d suggested he jump off a cliff.
‘Seriously,’ she went on, ‘I love you, Gordon, but I can’t stay with someone who never does anything.’
‘You’re not going to dump me, are you?’ he said in alarm.
‘I will if you don’t make a bit of effort.’ Her face softened when she saw he was about to cry. ‘Just come with me once to Final Retreat. You might find you enjoy it.’
Gordon looked dubious. ‘What, visiting a load of old fogeys who smell of wee?’
‘They don’t smell of wee… well, not always. And it’s very rewarding when you know you’ve brightened up their day. It gives you a lovely warm fuzzy feeling inside.’
In the end Gordon agreed to go, on the proviso that he wouldn’t have to go again if he didn’t like it.
He didn’t like it, of course. ‘That was grim,’ he said afterwards on the bus. ‘Don’t they ever get out of those chairs?’
‘Yes, sometimes,’ said Kim. ‘But they’re old, Gordon, and it’s hard for them to move around without help.’
‘I’d hate to be old. Imagine being stuck in a chair all day – you’d end up turning into a chair.’ Gordon began to giggle. ‘That’s what happens to old people – they end up turning into chairs!’
Kim didn’t find this funny at all. ‘Sometimes, Gordon, you can be very silly.’
All the same, she was besotted with his good looks. She didn’t dump him, even though he never went with her to visit old people again; and when they were twenty-one, they got married.
At first, married life was good. They had a wonderful honeymoon in Tenerife, and Gordon even got off his backside to go dancing with Kim in the clubs at night. They’d put down a deposit on a house that was being built on a smart new estate, and they moved in in time for Christmas.
But things started to go wrong when Gordon said he didn’t want any children. ‘Kids are too much trouble,’ he told Kim. ‘Things are great as they are. Why spoil it?’
She didn’t press the point; she knew it wouldn’t do any good, and hopefully he would change his mind later.
But Gordon didn’t change his mind, and he soon fell into his old lazy ways. He bought a massive green leather recliner chair with special compartments for food, drinks, and remote controls for TV and gaming. When he wasn’t at work or in bed, he spent most of his time in this chair.
He had a good job in an estate agent’s, but it wasn’t long before he got fired for not pulling his weight. Now Kim was the sole breadwinner, and Gordon spent the whole day lolling about in his big chair in front of his big screen. When Kim was home, he demanded she bring him food and drink. She wasn’t happy with this, of course; but like his mother before her, she loved him to bits and found it hard to refuse him.
‘You spoil him,’ said her friend Mel. ‘If you stopped waiting on him hand and foot, he’d soon brighten up his ideas.’
‘Aw, I don’t mind,’ lied Kim. ‘I enjoy spoiling him – and he makes up for it in bed!’
At last, though, Gordon began to put on weight.
Once the process started, it escalated at an alarming rate. He stopped being good in bed, and found it harder and harder to get out of the chair. His body ached, and things started to go wrong with it. He became too lazy even to play games, and spent the whole time watching crap reality shows and bingeing on box sets.
Kim was losing patience. ‘You’ll take root in that chair one of these days,’ she told him.
‘Don’t nag, woman,’ he growled, through a mouthful of cheeseburger. He turned up the TV and took a swig from a can of lager.
The next day, Kim came home from work and noticed there was something different in the living room. The TV was on as usual and the big green chair was in front of it… but where was Gordon?
Then she noticed it was the chair itself that was different. It had great big bulges in the seat and the footrest. A pair of pudgy green hands grew out of the armrests, and a horrified green face stared out of the headrest.
Kim screamed, as she realized it was the face of her husband.
Gordon had finally turned into a chair.
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
©2020 Annabelle Franklin