View Full Version : One More Pound

April 13th, 2012, 11:33 PM
It is well after noon when she finally wakes. A part of her is glad - only a few more hours and it will be acceptable to down more pills and fall back into her deep, unnatural sleep. But quietly comes the dread that always greets her with the sun. It always starts off as a small pit in her stomach and slowly starts to radiate outward into her chest, making it hard to breathe. She tries to take deep breaths but only one thing ever makes it better.

The scale today reads 101.4. She stares down, blinking rapidly, wanting to feel happy but knowing she never will be. One more pound, she thinks. One more pound until my goal.

In the kitchen she puts the kettle on for tea. She's careful not to touch the refrigerator or even glance at it although there's close to nothing behind that frigid door. She takes her mug onto the back deck. It is a beautiful day outside. The sky is faint blue, almost blending in with the wispy clouds. The sun beats down warmth onto her always chilly skin. Yet she notices none of this. Instead, her eyes are trained on her wrists, calculating their overall smallness and if they could have somehow gotten bigger overnight. As she sits she sizes up her thighs, disgusted. Ashamed that she hasn't measured them in so long, making panicked promises to do so as soon as possible.

She turns her face up towards the sun and presses the bottom of her steaming mug deeply into her thigh, taking pleasure from the burning pain. This is how she stays, for hours, her mind full of numbers, calorie counts, measurements, and at last the fleeting fear of work tomorrow. Monday - her least favorite day.

Eventually she goes back inside. She curls up in a blanket and watches a movie, a hand playing idly with the soft down that coats her concave stomach. It ends and she sits, eyes staring blankly at the screen. It isn't long before the voices come, snaking their way into her subconscious. Just one bite. A carrot? No, more tea. Or you could even go out for cake... The clock above her head ticks loudly, matching the rhythm of her thoughts. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes...

She stands abruptly, her weak muscles screaming in protest. Takes two steps toward the kitchen. Stops. She turns abruptly and stumbles towards the bathroom, so anguished her hands struggle to meet the wall for support. Finally she reaches her safe haven. Takes leaden steps to the scale and looks down at those flashing numbers.

It is well after sunset when she collapses and sits in a daze on the bathroom floor, grasping the side of her tub as tears that she can't feel flow down her cheeks.

June 29th, 2012, 10:28 PM
This reads really well, and really evokes a feeling of despair and working through a difficult period. My thoughts while reading were that I wanted to see more analogies to the senses -- what does the dread in the pit of her stomach feel like? A needle piercing the skin? Perhaps the way the character feels could be tied to her mental state -- "Her stomach was hot like hunger..." etc. The same with using phrases like "leaden steps"... this is a common image, maybe it could be improved by using something more specific and out of the ordinary...

Olly Buckle
June 30th, 2012, 02:17 AM
I had trouble going from well after noon to well after sunset all in the present tense, mind you present tense pieces always seem to sit awkwardly with me . so maybe it is just me. Still, consider,
"She knows eventually she will go back inside, curls up in a blanket and watch a movie,"
A change like that might help.

July 17th, 2012, 05:46 PM
I must respond as this is always a subject that intrigues me. I love her relationship with her refrigerator and her overriding fascination with her wrists.
Why do I picture unopened ice cream in the freezer? I guess this made me hungry. heh-heh... I would add Lettuce to her list of food possibilites. I really liked the yes, no, yes, no in time to the clock ticking away time. I wondered about her fear of work. (nitpicks: I would remove "starts to," from in front of radiate(s).)

I just really like this and hope I get to see how she handles Monday; provided, of course, she wakes up again.

July 19th, 2012, 02:14 AM
Certainly captured a moment. I always admire an ability to pin action and emotion. And I enjoyed knowing what she was thinking, her motivations. On the porch, I noticed that she didn't drink the tea at all. It fit the arch of the story and made it logical to me. At the end, there was a description of her safe haven followed by her reaching the scale and seeing the numbers. I would use a colon in that instance. Would that be correct? Either way, I appreciated the well written story.