Fat Boy Breathing

She always hated to hear the air rushing through his open mouth. You sound too much like your father, she would say, when his lungs were full of the cursed disease.

He had become quite adept at breathing quietly, secretly, sometimes hardly breathing at all. He would practice when his mother wasn't close by. He would imagine that he was gliding slowly through the cool dark water as if it was his air, his enormous body graceful in its weightlessness as he hunted octopus. But every so often he would catch a glimpse of a tentacle being sucked back into the blackness of a good hiding place and the doubts would begin to build, the questions. How badly did he want to breathe? Couldn't he stay there just a bit longer, just long enough for him to stab at the blackness with his trident? Sometimes he lingered, becoming dizzy, briefly satisfied, but the fear and the need to breathe would inevitably force his mouth open and the precious air would rush in.

About the author:

Antonios Maltezos believes every writer should have a room up in a tower with windows like gun turrets. Built for writing and nothing else, it would be easier to leave it behind and join the rest of humanity from time to time. He was recently published in Musings: An Anthology of Greek-Canadian Literature, Slingshot Magazine, and The Pedestal Magazine. He also has work forthcoming in NFG, Night Train, and The Carriage House Review.