Portion control is a learned trait, practiced. Disciplined.
Not many master it.
Duarte pushed away from the table with a belly full of meat and leaf and grain and starch and ale. He was satisfied, more than.
The belt struggling at his waistline, the stretched and straining belt hole disfigured by its battle with unrelenting gravity. Duarte was no longer heavy. He’d passed chubby in the night with another mouthful of sweet.
He was fat. Just fat.
And he knew the price for his excess. He knew far more precisely than others the punishment for weakness, for gluttony.
He would pay with his life for his callous dismissal of one of the marquis rules he had once lived by. To become slow is to die.
Standing at the window, looking past his offensive reflection, he knew death was out there in the night. Waiting.
End would come with blade or knot or vicious blow. No bullets would be used. That was the rule. One he had lived by and practiced. It comes to us all, but for those like Duarte, it always comes at the hands of others. He had been those hands for others. Gripping, squeezing, inserting, slicing. Holding life and delivering death within the same moment, the same caress.
But, but he’d made his decision. He’d chosen life and living and loving, but worst of all, enjoying. Pleasure. That was his greatest sin. For the profession he had chosen as a young man was unforgiving. All who enter know what awaits around the corner, or tomorrow or in the misty black of night after a meal enjoyed. One with skill equal to and even superior to your own expertise would come. Some could not fathom such an end and chose a resolution of their own. Not Duarte. He found that he loved the excesses of life far too much to ever bring an end to the unique thrill that is anticipation of the senses followed by the explosion of taste.
He turned from the window and thanked the woman for the meal served. The portions were plentiful and satisfying. It may be a last. So be it.
With his coat stretched tight around his weakness, he stepped out into the welcome chill of night of dark. Of death.
iPhone notes story. CHS to DFW 12/19/13