No appetite for such talk

Holly Todd
Holly Todd
His thumb smoothes infinite circles round my palm. Round and round until the skin he is tracing a path over starts to tingle.

My butterfly hand flutters closed, capturing the movement. When I entwine my fingers with his, the pulse in his wrist throbs slow and steady against my own.

My foot twitches involuntarily.

Outside the window a swollen gutter creaks in protest against ceaseless rain.

Having been without their daily run for a week, my restless legs release frustration with minor jolts.

His hand caresses my hipbone, trying to sooth my limbs into stillness.

Holly Todd has used paint, stitching and glitter to create an image which combines ideas as...
Holly Todd has used paint, stitching and glitter to create an image which combines ideas as diverse as Hitchcock films, Victorian toys and story book illustrations. This work reflects her acknowledgment of the darker side of a young woman's life. Holly was accepted into the Otago Polytechnic School of Art in November.
"Do you want something to eat?" he asks. I wish he wouldn't.

I shake my head, "No thanks, are you still hungry?"

Nodding, he grins.

I ask partly out of curiosity. The amount of food he devours has me grossly fascinated.

The question is also a desperate attempt to divert the conversation away from where I know it is going.

"You sure you don't want something?" In hesitation, his two front teeth protrude, biting over his bottom lip. "You didn't eat much for tea."

I shrug nonchalantly.

Trying for a reassuring smile, knowing it will be unsuccessful.

"I wasn't that hungry."

He rolls away from me and clamours off the bed.

"I'll be back in a sec."

His jeans, sagging in the back, smile droopily at me as he leaves the room. I listen for the creak of footfalls to fade down the hallway before peeling up my top.

A bloated mound protrudes from above the waistband of my jeans, leering at me. I want it out. A huge, disgusting, bloated mound. I want it out and gone.

I run my hands down my torso and slowly stroke the visible ribcage and then unwillingly press up and over the abomination.

Greasy stir-fried chicken oozes around in my stomach.

An infestation, leaden and intrusive. A wave of nausea consumes me. Please get it out.

When he returns, I peer out from under the bed covers which I have burrowed into.

He struggles to nudge the door closed with his knee while balancing a pottle of yoghurt, glass of Coke and two mandarins.

Laughter bubbles from my lips as cola slops over the rim.

I scoop up the remote and direct it at the TV.


I hit play and Angelina Jolie fills the screen. Her beautiful pout smirks at me. I am perfect.

Skinny and perfect. I watch this woman who is everything I am not.

Long, lean legs. A delicate, sweeping collarbone Nicholas Cage sweeps his lips along.

Tiny waist. I am taken by surprise when he leans in and kisses me. His mouth tastes of cheese crackers. I feel sick and pull away.

"What's wrong?" He doesn't understand; doesn't understand that I feel repulsed.

I trace infinite circles round and round his chest while trying to find the words.

Year 13, Taieri College



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