Fiction 500 | Short Stories


Her name was Jesse, but for as long as he could remember everyone called her Jeep. She had always been a big person, even as a girl. She wasn't fat, or overly muscular, she was simply...big. And she wasn’t a freak. Hers was not a grotesque bigness or a matter of odd proportions. In fact, many people considered Jeep quite nicely proportioned.

Nevertheless, she was big, and life for big girls in her time was not easy. Everywhere she went, she felt conspicuous. People raised their eyebrows in surprise as she stepped into subway cars. On crowded sidewalks among other women she towered above their petite frames, striding around and past them, seemingly running interference for them as grown men stepped aside to let Jeep pass.

Bigness did not run in Jeep's family. In fact, her parents were pretty average. Growing up she sometimes imagined that a mad scientist had zapped her as a baby with his evil growth ray. Other times she imagined that she'd been born thousands of years ago on a Greek island called Themiscyra that she'd read about in the Encyclopedia Britannica as a little girl and was its last surviving Amazon warrior.

Jeep went to college and graduate school and became a social worker. In time she met a man named Khari. Khari was big, too--much bigger than Jeep. They fell in love and married, then started their life together in a modest apartment on the outskirts of the city.

Not long after the wedding Jeep got pregnant. She laid awake at night worrying about the baby's size. Eventually she'd fall asleep and dream that the baby was born at record size, and the news made headlines around the world. Reporters and photographers swarmed the street outside Jeep's and Khari's apartment trying to glimpse the strange child through gaps in the curtains. She'd wake in a panic and recall the dream to Khari. He stroked her back and told her it was just a dream, babe, everything would be fine.

And it was. The girl was born a few weeks later and they named her Charlotte. Jeep endured a long, hard labor and slept for nearly a day after the delivery. When she woke, Khari wheeled her to the nursery. A nurse swaddled the baby and brought her to the window so Jeep and Khari could see. Jeep stood there admiring their Charlotte through the plate glass. Their child, so new, so beautiful, and so impossibly small.