Monday: Rebecca

*Apologies for the long break between posts! It’s been a hectic month. This is the first sketch of a story in a series – six more stories to follow in the coming days. Please tell me what you think (I have some doubts about the quality of the writing), and thank you for reading!

She reclined in the worn chair; it groaned with pain when she shifted. The nubby seat cushion was almost worn through; she didn’t care. Her hips hung off the sides, draping the wooden frame. Loose sails, she supposed they could be called. When she got the energy  to stand up, there would be harsh red lines dug into her skin. But it was her favorite chair, and she had long since stopped caring about such agony.

Her folds of skin stretched before her, one after another. Sometimes she liked to massage her stomach between flaps of skin, just as a reminder that she could reach her belly. She was no longer able to see her toes. Not that it mattered, but she used to paint them, every week. Dreamy pink, burnt orange, bright yellow. Names like “Sunshine” and “First Kiss.”

But she had made her choice.

The remains of greasy fried chicken littered the card table in front of her. With one careless kick, the wobbly table would collapse, sending bones rolling into corners, small treats for the mice that lived within her walls. Her mashed potatoes had been licked from their Styrofoam packaging; the gravy cup had grooves from her plastic spoon, so desperate was she to consume her meal. She wasn’t aware, but biscuit crumbs had made a home at the corners of her mouth. If she had thought to have a mirror, she could have brushed them off, sent the crumbs tumbling. But she didn’t. That was another kind of pain, an ache that couldn’t be filled with Black Forest cake, tubs of vanilla ice cream, countless bags of crispy Fritos.

She had been skinny, fit, once upon a time. But with the death of her parents, the break-up of her marriage, her job loss, she had turned to food for comfort. And, oh, how she loved food. It filled her, emotionally and physically. She no longer left her cramped apartment for she had only to pick up the phone to dial her favorite restaurants. Delivery was, in her mind, man’s greatest idea. She even kept menus in a newspaper holder next to her chair; there was no need to move. Some nights, she even slept in that old chair. She was a hermit, a loner, a woman devoted to food. It was her comfort, her partner, her desire. She turned to bagels and pizza in the night, not a man.

She knew that she would someday die from her eating. But for her, food was the only thing to live for. Loneliness was a bitter companion – a bitch. And when that day came that she surrendered her life to gluttony, she would welcome the painlessness, the promise of death. For only then would she be free.

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5 thoughts on “Monday: Rebecca

  1. This is really vivid and intense. At first I was like “What…? Why is that her favorite chair if she’s too big for it?” But as I kept reading it made more sense, and the whole piece was more powerful for it. How are you going to continue this?

    • I’m thinking of doing a Seven Deadly Sins series, but I’m still trying to come up with a way to link all of the women (in the stories to come). Maybe I could do some kind of epilogue where they’re in an afterlife together. I think that’s my biggest problem with writing – plots. Anyway, any ideas are welcome!

      • Maybe they’re all sisters, or all in a self-help group talking about their problems (though if they’re all going have different problems that idea might be harder to pull off). Maybe… maybe they all lived in the same house at different times, and the first one left a Me box, with her Seven Deadly Sins story, and the next woman decided to put her own story in the box too, and so and so forth.

  2. I’ve been reading your past few posts and I feel like you allow your readers to really get to know your characters. I admire the vivid description and occasional (but not overdone) use of metaphor to paint a picture. Keep writing!

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