Hunger – version 1- original version

A kind friend, thank you Mr S, found the original version of Hunger 1, so just for interest, I’m uploading them both, I would be interested in having your feedback on both versions.


Each morning must start the same way, fingers run down ribs, each rib must be perfectly feeable with no recourse to poking and prodding and then one hand on each side of pelvis, these bones must protrude sufficiently to be visible.

A deep breath, nothing of note has happened overnight, time for a visual check.

Full length mirror, the harsh one, the one that shows each imperfection and the brightest, least forgiving light.

Check one – collar bones, skin must appear tissue thin, a dip where collar and shoulder collide.

Check two – breast bone – a feeling test is insufficient here, the bones should be visible under clothes, she knows she has many months to go before that will be achieved.

Check three – breasts themselves, loose skin can be applauded, evidence that no fat has crept in at night to pad them out.

Check four – stomach, any signs of roundness, softening produce palpable panic, a resolution for sit ups in the evening routine.

Check five – bottom, hands slipped round, the seat bones, a dent should be felt by the open palm.

And finally, the spinal cord, fingers tap out a rythmn on each hard pad.

All these checks can and will be repeated throughout the day without recourse to reflection, a finger caressing the hardness of bone under skin.

And then, a daily decision, an eating day, an almost eating day, a non-eating day.

Once the decision is made it cannot be undone, except of course to downgrade, so an eating day can become a non eating day, but never the other way round.

A non-eating day is the easiest, no decisions to be made, no agonizing over the fruit bowl, hand choosing and then rejecting a banana, a nectarine, replacing them with a small apple,a tiny clementine.

Almost eating days have simple rules, 3 pieces of fruit and a small bowl of meusli, sometimes she cannot control herself and eats the cereal before she is even dressed, standing in the kitchen, spoon, bowl, mouth and repeat, but she has learnt that this is flawed, a poor approach to self control.

The little bowl must be saved until the evening, eaten at the table, slowly, one spoon at a time, savoring each mouthful and one spoonful must be left uneaten,to prove a lack of greed, a demonstration of un-concern.

Eating days are the hardest, the books must be balanced, what is eaten today, must be denied tomorrow, a record kept, no absent minded bovine grazing.

Hunger must be embraced, coldness on even the warmest day proof of negligible calories in and maximum calories out.

Hunger is power, best felt when other eat. She watches their hands reach into bowls, bags, wrappers and the unthinking placing of food into mouths that surely cannot need any more.

Hunger is power, she likes to place herself in danger, next to temptation and admire her own self control. Sometimes she lest her finger touch the sweets, the chocolate, the cake, sometimes, greatly daring, she will quickly lick the sugar, tongue barely touching the skin, fearful that this tiny taste will unleash a flood gate of desire.

Hunger is power, the power of control, the lure of constant vigilance.

“don’t you get hungry?” people ask and she smiles and says “yes, but it’s worth it”

Bed time and the careful physical checks again, a mental note made, subject of course, to a final inspection in the morning.

Eating day, not eating day, almost


About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

3 responses to “Hunger – version 1- original version

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