Pink Donut Perfection

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(This is FICTION. I welcome any constructive criticism & appreciate your thoughts & comments! **previously published**)

Amy waited in line at Quik Trip tapping her right foot on the dirty linoleum floor. The perfect pink donuts in quaint rows inside the Krispy Kreme box whispered her name. Then the Oreos, Twix and Reese’s peanut butter cups joined in, humming. Cool Ranch Doritos, hot dogs, and Funyuns spilled out of the top of her basket, eager to come to the party. Treetop apple juice, her favorite, to wash everything down.

It was always the same. The same things in the cart, but rarely the same gas station or corner store. Too risky, Amy thought.

After tossing some crumpled bills and change at the cashier who couldn’t even look her in the eye, she hurried with her goodies back to her car, which was parked on the side, away from the others. Slowly she unwrapped everything, saving the pink donuts for last, as was her ritual. She needed a marker, something to show her when she was done. Bright pink Krispy Kreme sprinkles were easy to spot.

Amy opened the familiar green and white box and stared. So neat, so pretty. Dainty, even. Until she reached in and started stuffing her face. One down, 11 to go. Then ten, nine, eight…until only one remained. A single tear slipped down her cheek. Quit being such a goddamned baby, she reprimanded herself.

The food was delicious at first. But a few minutes in, she stopped tasting and mechanical movements took over. The sweating began, the race to the finish line. Shoveling food in, more and more, gulping faster and faster, she couldn’t stop swallowing. She hated herself in those moments. Oreo crumbs in the corners of her mouth and stuck in her teeth. Stinky Doritos breath, sticky fingers covered in melted chocolate, empty food wrappers littering the floor of her otherwise clean and pristine car.

When the last peanut butter cup disappeared and only crumbs remained in the Funyuns bag, Amy checked her mirrors to make sure no one was around before grabbing the remaining Oreo and getting out of the car. Walking slowly towards the back of the Quick Trip, she savored the last bites of cookie, which now tasted sickeningly sweet.

After a final glance around to determine she was alone, she found a spot next to the dumpster. She didn’t even have to put her fingers down her throat anymore, the habit was so ingrained. Her body knew what she wanted it to do. She bent over and retched violently as her hand reached into her jeans pocket for a tissue.

Relief swam over Amy as she vomited again and again.

Your thighs are fat and your stomach is flabby, said a voice.

You’re ugly and no one really likes you, a second one chimed in.

You will never be good at anything, added the third.

Just then, she caught a glimpse of something pink. She hurried to finish the job.

You’re a coward, too, the voice came back. Taking the easy way out. Why don’t you just go to the gym?

Amy snapped up, swiping a pink trickle off of her chin with her sleeve.

Shut the fuck up!” she screamed, and realized the whole store must’ve heard. She jammed the wet Kleenex into her pocket and ran to her car. As she raced from the parking lot, she chucked the empty Krispy Kreme box out the window.

read to be read at

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  • Erin

    So glad this is fiction! Very powerful! And sadly, I can see that krispy kreme box in my mind! =)

    • Anonymous

      Me too, Erin. I put that part in there (in the middle, i mean, not at the end when she throws it) so that people would get the order of the food & that she started by eating the doughnuts. But somehow I still managed to confuse everyone! LOL. oops.
      Thanks for reading & stopping by to comment!

  • Terri Sonoda

    Such a sad story. Fiction, yes, but true somewhere out there, sadly. Vivid descriptions. Nicely done, my friend!

    • Anonymous

      Yes, it’s fiction, but you are right—it’s reality for many others. I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment (as usual!).

  • Anonymous

    As someone who struggled with an eating disorder many years ago, this rings true.

    • Anonymous


      I have always struggled with food & body image. Bulimia, no, but I have read enough and seen enough to know a fair amount about it. I only hope my kids can grow up without many of the issues I’ve had a hard time with. Thank you for coming by, and I hope this wasn’t offensive at all—I just really wanted to illuminate the inner struggle so many women deal with daily.

      • Anonymous

        Oh no, not offensive at all.

        I think you did an amazing job showing what it is like. I never had bulimia-
        but I definitely struggled with food issues. As a control thing.

        And body image…well, I’m going to be talking about that this week in my

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  • Leigh Ann

    W.O.W. This is powerful. A wonderfully written fiction piece. The imagery is amazing. I could feel myself in the car, going through the mechanics of eating the goodies, My stomach feels kind of full after reading it!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much. I’m really glad to hear you were affected by it! I also hope no one who suffers from bulimia was/is offended by it at all. I really was trying to get at the core of it, a woman’s struggle w/ body image.

  • Andrea B.

    This was really powerful, Erin. So intense and sad. I so totally know what she felt. I know what the edge feels like and although I never crossed over to where she was/is, I could have easily done so and know many people who did.

    I do have one question about something that threw me. I thought the doughnuts were the last, the marker for her, but then there is more about her eating, so that part mixed me up. Maybe I misunderstood them as a final bite, after they were all safely gone from her sight. So I think you could leave out much of the paragraph w/the last PB cup, Oreo, etc. and just say Amy checked her mirrors before getting out of the car and walked to the back of the Quick Trip.

    Does that explain my confusion a bit? If not let me know and I will try again.

    I really loved how you made us completely feel her, feel like we were her. The anxiety, the hurt, the self-hatred and the anger. The voices. I wanted her to not just scream, but to fight back!! Sigh. Poor Amy. How many girls and women are out there just like her?

    • Anonymous

      She opens the donuts last, but eats them first b/c they’re her marker. The first thing she eats will be the last thing to come back up…does that make sense? Re-reading it now I totally see how confusing I made it. Argh! Thanks for pointing that out.

      Sadly, there are probably way too many girls/women (and even some men) out there like Amy. Ugh.

      • Andrea B.

        I get what you’re saying now. I just lost that in my translation. 😉 I thought they were saved for last as they were the “prettiest” … and thought that you had skipped over her eating everything else to just bring us to them. Glad my own ramblings made sense. Again, great and intense storytelling.

  • PostDivorceCoach

    This is your forte. It was great. Fantastic. Seriously.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Lee. I wish I felt the same. It’s just harder to write about things that didn’t actually happen, you know?

  • Evonne

    I really like that you don’t describe Amy at first. I wasn’t sure if she was overweight and sneaking food or if she was going to turn out bulimic. You described everything so well. Even though this is fiction, sadly there is a real Amy out there somewhere.

    The only thing I was confused about were the donuts. I thought she saved them for last. Or is that her plan, but continues to eat anyway?

    • Anonymous

      yeah, I realized that….she opens them up last….but she eats the oreos last. the pink donuts go down first…because that means they’ll be last to come back up. Or this was my way of thinking?!
      thanks so much for reading!

      • Evonne

        I get it now. Thanks!

  • PamelaFaganHutchins

    I agree with Lee. This is where you shine. Shine you crazy diamond girl shine. Very good, very painful. Very true.
    Love ya.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, but it’s fiction and I’m soooo weak here. I am thrilled you came by, though! And you’re having quite the week, Missy! Happy for you and so glad to call you my friend.

  • Stephanie

    Very powerful Miss Lady! I really enjoy your fiction when you do write it.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, sweet Stephanie. It’s been a loooooong time since I dabbled in fiction. Should work on it more often and maybe I’d actually improve….

  • Kir

    Oh Erin, I really liked it although I was so sad for her. I liked how her voice talked to her and how she tossed the box away. I’ve never had an eating disorser but I felt every bit of pain for her imagining what it’s like.

    You did a really good job with this, but then again u always do.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Kirsten. I tried. I need to be more adventurous with fiction. I just find it really intimidating. Argh.

      • Kir

        U r really good with fiction. I find it easier to make stuff up! Lol it’s harder for the meoir, to really bring you back there with me.
        I wrote fiction for the doghnut too..but it’s fun..I’ve been writing such heavy stuff lately. I needed a break.

        Either way, I’m proud of your evolution!

        Sent from my EVO SHIFT

        —– Reply message —–

  • Belles_Books

    This is an amazing piece of writing. Very captivating. Great job!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  • Lawmomma77

    I really liked this a lot, even though it made me feel queasy and sick to my stomach! :) The only thing that threw me (besides the donut sequencing of first to last, which I get now from your responses to comments) was the description of her “giant paws” and stuffing her face. I understand that you are describing maybe what she sees, but because it’s not written first person, I started to picture her as gigantically fat. I don’t know if there’s a way to make it clear that what SHE sees are giant paws and a fat face rather than having that be the actual description.

    Does that make sense?

    Really great writing, though.

    • Anonymous

      It makes TOTAL sense, and I appreciate your pointing it out to me. You’re spot on. It’s her view of herself…but since I’m not writing it from first person, I think that made it harder for me. I am soooo bad at this.

      And I think my pregnancy brain is starting to interfere w/ the quality of my writing! LOL everyone was confused about the doughnuts, but it was crystal clear to me. snort. I’m a mess!

  • Andrea(LilKidThings)

    This was so intense. I agree with the minor critiques mentioned here but seriously, what a powerful piece. Well done.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Andrea! The critiques were spot on and I definitely see where my weaknesses are. My brain wasn’t in sync with the fingers typing on the keyboard!

  • jessica

    Erin I think this is an amazing piece of fiction. I felt like I was right there with Amy, felt her loneliness and the fact that she was trying to “fill” herself with food. I think you did a great job with imagery. You evoked so much emotion in me for Amy, you made her real.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Jessica! I was hoping to make her seem real. Because in my head? I saw her. She came to me as soon as I saw the prompt (which never happens, b/c hello, I never write fiction! ack!). I know the piece had its issues, but I’m glad you could relate to her and see her the way I did.

  • By Word of Mouth Musings

    Your imagery drew me in so much … that it wasn’t until reading the others comments that the food order struck a chord.
    The giant paws were a bit confusing …
    the strength of your writing, the emotions, the rawness and the pain she clearly feels with her lack of control in her life ….
    that was very powerful.
    You never cease to amaze me with your words :)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, sweet girl!
      Yeah, my POV kinda wavered, but I didn’t mean that she was actually huge. It was supposed to come across as her vision of herself. Mea culpa.

      The food order was my fault, too. I just saw everything so clearly in my head, but it didn’t transfer so smoothly once I started typing it out….

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for reading!

  • Tracy Morrison

    Very powerful. Sad. Rings too true.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Tracy. I think a lot of women can relate to many parts of this. It IS sad. I hope my own girls will grow up without a lot of the body image issues that have plagued me for so long. Sigh.

  • CDG

    Bulimia might not have been part of my struggle, but compulsive/ritualistic eating I understand, and once I saw where you were going, I almost had to stop reading. It was like looking in a mirror in a badly lit bathroom. You hate what you look like, but you know it’s true.

    But I stuck with you.

    I had some trouble with the sequencing, the order of the food, like some of the others, and it took me a moment to clear up her view of herself versus her actual appearance.

    The voices in her head kind of drew me out of the moment a little, and her outburst. But her flight, the box pitched out the window, that I love.

    You manage to be both truthful and tender with her, which is a hard line to walk. Congrats, Erin. It’s a powerful piece.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so very much. I realized too late about the order being really confusing. I just saw it all so clearly in my head—I knew what I wanted to write about as soon as I went to the Red Dress site and saw the pink doughnut photo. But I guess my brain and my fingers on the keyboard just weren’t in sync. I’m glad you stuck with me. It was hard to write this because although I haven’t been bulimic, I can relate to it all—-and I still struggle with food, body image, eating, etc…I have definitely binged before, and I definitely hear those voices saying very similar things in my head.

      Thank you.

  • From Tracie

    You have more fiction in you than you give yourself credit for, Erin!

    This is really good. Rereading it after reading through the comment stream, the whole food order thing did make sense. What is important, is something like that can be fixed in editing….the harder things, the emotion and the desperation and the hurt that she is feeling, are all there in force.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much, Tracie. I hate how I tripped everyone up, but my brain just isn’t working as well as I’d like lately! I love that you were able to see what I saw so clearly from the rest of the piece. As soon as I saw the photo for the prompt? I knew what I wanted to write about.

  • Ilana @ Mommy Shorts

    I thought this was a very powerful piece. I agree with the comments that some of the eating sequence was confusing. But I particularly like how you explained it, that the doughnuts were her marker- the last thing to come back up. I wish that was clearer in the piece because I think that is a very interesting and realistic detail that speaks volumes about her ritual and sickness.

    I also wasn’t sure if she was actually fat or thin but I liked the ambiguity. Most people in Amy’s situation have a very distorted perception so it makes sense to me that we wouldn’t really know since it was from her perspective.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, girlie!
      I realized after I hit publish how confusing this was and I’m mad at myself. It was so clear in my preggo brain, you know? But I totally see how I led people in the wrong direction.

      In my mind, she wasn’t fat at all, and that was my own slip into the wrong POV. Damn again. I am just not myself. I wanted to just focus on the way she saw herself b/c I think that’s the biggest part of women & eating disorders. It’s the voices she hears inside and the internal struggle she deals w/ constantly.

      Thank you SO much for reading and commenting!

  • Elaine A.

    I could just see her, in that car, stuffing her face. And I do like that you never really tell us if she’s physically fat of it she just sees herself that way…

    p.s. this is the first time I haven’t written for a prompt since I started joining a few weeks ago. Probably because I’ve been avoiding the donuts so much – ha! And thank you for always inspiring me to write too… xoxo

    • Anonymous

      Happy Birthday, Elaine! I hope today is full of sweets and carbs and everything you want! You deserve a day off!
      Thank you so much for coming by. I haven’t done any of the prompts lately, have been out of it and not so inspired. But as soon as I saw the photo for this one? I knew what I wanted to write.

      xoxoxo HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Erin you are super talented in so many ways. I could hear the voices and see her sweating. It saddens me to think that women even have to live like this and deal with it like that. Bulimia/anorexia are horrible disorders that so many women deal with every day. You have done a wonderful job of showing us what the person feels and thinks . Beautiful absolutely beautiful.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Angel. I am sorry I’ve been out of the loop. I saw a comment of yours somewhere about your cousin? You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

      I haven’t ever been bulimic, but I think most women can relate to issues with food and body image. So as soon as I saw this picture, I knew what I wanted to write about.

  • GalitBreen

    Oh this poor girl! You really captured her inner workings and I’m sad for her. The self talk was chilling and the ending was perfection- strong and emotional.

    I loved lines like this: “But a few minutes in, she stopped tasting and mechanical movements took over. The sweating began, the race to the finish line.”

    You made this real; I get why you reassured everyone that this was fiction!

    • Anonymous


      Thank you, sweetie! I mostly just didn’t want my parents reading this and thinking I’m bulimic. Since I almost exclusively write non-fiction, I felt the need to broadcast it to those who might not realize! LOL

  • Ami

    Great piece, Erin! There are so many parts of this I could relate to. You did an excellent job with the pacing, making us feel the frantic “race”. It might have been interesting to know what triggered this particular binge/purge, but not necessarily necessary. I was also a little confused by the order, but now that you’ve clarified in the comments I understand. You might want to tweak that a bit just to make it more clear to the reader that she hasn’t started eating when she opens the donuts.

    Hope you write more fiction! Practice makes perfect–well, better, at least. :)

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, sweet Ami!
      I always find it hard to work w/in word limits, and I also struggled with showing vs. telling. I wasn’t sure how much to reveal, especially within the limits of 600 words. It’s like a quick glimpse into a snippet of her day, right? And I know I totally confused everyone w/ the order. I’m blaming preggo brain!

  • Ally

    Erin – I know fiction is out of your comfort zone, but this was really great! I was confused about the timing also, but I read the comments – makes such good sense. I think it’s just that line “saving the pink donuts for last” that made us think she was going to eat them last. But I love the thought process that makes them the last to come up, telling her she’s done. I just really loved this piece.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Ally! Thanks so much. Yeah, my brain is total mush and I should’ve clarified the food & order more. Ugh. It was so clear in my head, you know? And I so appreciate your comments and that you took the time to stop by and read.

  • Ksluiter

    this was written so well; I can’t BELIEVE you are afraid of fiction!

    I love how REAL this read, even if it broke my heart…and turned my stomach.

    I echo the same critiques as other have already stated. I first pictured her as HUGE because that is how she was described. If this was from first person point of view, it would have made more sense that this is how she sees herself, not how the world sees her.

    I was also confused about the donuts being “markers”, but I saw here in the comments that you meant the last in the vomit–which is gross, but so very realistic.

    It’s those kind of details that make this seem so real.

    Excellent job, Erin.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Kate! I knew what I would write as soon as I saw the picture for the prompt. Everyone probably thinks I’m a freak now. I struggled a bit with showing vs. telling. Didn’t want to reveal too much by saying it outright. And realized only after publishing how confusing I was w/ the order of things…I guess I thought since she starts w/ the green and white box (which is so familiar to me, LOL), everyone would get it. But my brain’s a little foggy these days, to say the least.

      Still? Fiction is SO intimidating to me! To make stuff up? Ack. So much easier to write from my heart about real things that happened. I dunno.

      But thank you so much for coming by and for your comments. Helps a lot!

  • Anonymous

    I know that writing fiction is intimidating for you, but you really do have a gift of writing it.

    I was slightly confused by the order of the donuts, but I understood it by the end of the piece.

    Those voices Amy hears, can completely relate to that…

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I realized soon after publishing how confusing I was. I am all muddled up in my head right now. I even forgot to feed the dog one day last week, and I had to make my car payment by phone b/c I’m out of checks AND was late to send it in. Oy!

  • CrayonWrangler

    Wow. You are such a liar, my squishy…YOU ARE MADE FOR FICTION! This was powerful. I can’t say anything new that hasn’t been said below me…so I will just stand here and applaud your growing skill!!!

    • Anonymous

      Oh Alycia, you are a doll. I am still making the rounds. SOOOO many TRDC posts, so little time/energy! lol.

      I know there were some rough bits to this…but…I felt really drawn to the prompt and knew what i wanted to write from the moment i saw the photo. Wierd? Gross?

  • Anonymous

    I kind of feel sick and fat just reading this.

    • Anonymous

      join the club!

  • Ash

    I really wish you would quit saying you don’t know how to do fiction – I call bull shit. It’s ok to say bull shit here, right? You started it potty mouth. I like. Very much.

    • Anonymous

      It’s okay to say bullshit—especially for YOU to say it, Ash!
      where is my concrit? I count on you and Nance for that, you know!!! (but I totally see how I confused everyone w/ POV shift and the order of food, etc.)

  • Musings de Mommy

    Fiction scares the snot out of me, too. But lady, you’ve really done an amazing job with this piece. I was captivated. (And I love how you’re drawing out constructive feedback in your comments. I’d love to cultivate that with my posts…I feel like it’s the only way to improve.) xo

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Denise! I struggled with this. I’m just not feeling great but I really wanted to do the prompt because this came to me immediately when I saw the photo of the doughnuts!

      I really appreciate the constructive criticism. I had a feeling I was going to confuse people. Sigh. But it’s all good and I enjoyed writing this.
      thanks for coming by!

  • The JackB

    Very nicely done. I liked being able to hear her inner dialogue.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you!!!

  • Karen Peterson

    I don’t really know what to say that hasn’t already been said. You do a very good job of describing the scene and Amy’s inner struggle. I really liked the image of the discarded wrappers littering the floor of the pristine car. That is an effective way of showing us more about Amy’s personality.

    One thing I would like to be more clear on is Amy herself. Is she actually overweight or is it her perception? I think that would tell us a little more about her, too.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Karen,

      It’s definitely not that Amy is actually overweight—she’s not. I just slipped into the wrong point of view as I was writing this and should have gone back to realize….oy. I hate that this confused so many people. I’m just tired. ANd sometimes the word limit makes it really hard, you know?

      • Karen Peterson

        Oh, definitely don’t beat yourself up over it! It’s a very good story. We all have little details that get missed.

        And yeah, the word limit does make it tricky.

  • Mrs. Jen B

    This is striking, and though I’ve never gone so far as Amy…I know the feeling all too well. You need to give yourself more credit as a fiction writer.

    This line threw me: “Until she reached her giant paws in and started stuffing her fat face.” – since you had been speaking about Amy and not AS Amy, it came off like the narrator was commenting (aka you) and I was sort of taken aback. I get it, though.

    Also, I’m not sure she would have “savored” the last cookie – more like shoved it in to get it over with. There’s no savoring at that point.

    Beautiful piece, and so true of so many people. Sadly.

    • Anonymous


      Thanks for reading! Yeah, I’m not at my best right now and I slipped into the wrong point of view when I was writing. I didn’t mean that she was actually fat, etc….I meant that to come across as how she sees herself. I totally see how I confused so many people with this piece! And you’re right—savor was the wrong word choice. There is no savoring when you’re bulimic. I kinda knew that at the time, but then forgot to fix it. Ugh. Thank you so much!

  • Akagaoan Labirdie

    That made me feel nauseous. Great details.

    • Anonymous

      thank you so much for coming by and commenting!

  • Varunner7

    Erin, you shouldn’t be afraid of fiction! You craft it beautifully. I’m sure there are plenty of women out there who have felt those same emotions in a struggle with bulemia. Have you ever seen the documentary Thin? Your writing made me think of one of the women in that film, that describes her binges.

    • Anonymous


      I’m not sure if I’ve seen Thin or not? But I know a fair amount about eating disorders and have always been kind of fascinated by them….and as a woman of course I struggle with my own food issues and body image drama. I have read a lot and have seen some shows—which is where I got the bit about not even having to stick her finger down her throat.

  • Amy

    This was so descriptive it made me feel sick. So good writing :) I really like that you included the inner dialogue.

    • Anonymous

      It made me feel sick, too! I’m glad it resonated with you that way, b/c it shows I did a decent job. Thanks for visiting me!

  • Tulpen Elefanten

    I knew. From the first sentence I knew.

    I’ve never done it, but know people who have. And I don’t know if you have or not, but I believe you captured the emotion, the self loathing, perfectly.

    And I’m all set with donuts now for a while. Thanks!

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t done it, but if I didn’t have this deep-rooted fear of vomiting? I can see myself crossing that line easily. I think most women can relate to issues w/ eating/food and so it was easy enough to slip myself into the role.

  • Kelly

    You have nothing to fear when it comes to writing fiction! This was fantastic…it flowed with just the right speed and had just enough detail.

    So scary when she sees pink…so sad.

    No concrit from me, because I think this was just great.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Kelly. I felt like I was walking a fine line b/t the showing and telling. I didn’t want to come out & say too much because I wanted her actions to reveal things. But I struggled just the same. Thanks for coming by to read!

  • Nancy C

    Oh, Erin. This is good. Unflinching. Harsh. Precise.

    The details….the pink finish, the averted eyes. So spot on.

    You are no longer allowed to sat you can’t do fiction. Oh lady…you can.

    • Anonymous

      And you aren’t allowed to skip the con crit part, Nance. Come on. I know I was weak w/ the order of things and then slipping into 1st person a bit when describing her (big paws, etc.)….I’m just all over the place right now. Sorry I missed your call the other day—let’s catch up soon. CanNOT wait to see you!

      • Nancy C

        I didn’t say it because you already knew it. And more importantly, you know how to take anything to the next level. So yeah. You’ll whip this into fighting condition with the concrit, if you so choose. But your previous readers beat me to the punch.

        Can’t wait to see you!!

  • Anonymous

    Holy crow, lady! This was a brilliant piece of fiction that read so real, I had to re-read the intro to make sure it wasn’t.

    The donut order confused me at first, but after reading the comments, I realized they were opened last, eaten first. :)

    Keep doing fiction. You rock it!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, lady! I appreciate it. I am totally pleading the preggo excuse for the poor way I talked about the food/order of stuff. I am just not myself. But I’m so pleased you came by to read and that you liked it!

  • Leighann

    Powerful post Erin.
    Really pulled me in.
    I’m speechless.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, sweet Leighann. I’m glad you were pulled in by it, even if it wasn’t the most uplifting of topics.

  • Denelle @CaitsConcepts

    This. Was. Fucking. Brilliant.

    I have no other words. I’ve personally known people suffering from bulimia and you could not possibly have captured the emotions better.

    The ONLY thing I would change is where you said the cashier couldn’t look her in the eyes? You should change it to her not being able to look him/her in the eyes. It would better reflect the shame she feels in her purchases.

    You say you don’t write fiction because it scares you? I say you should more often; being scared suits you wonderfully.

    • Anonymous

      You know, there were so many things wrong w/ this that I didn’t notice until after I hit “publish,” and you’re spot on about the eye contact part. My brain is so fuzzy lately! And hindsight is 20/20, right?!!?

      THank you so much for reading, and for your kind words. Isn’t it funny we both had a similar thought about the prompt?

  • Kim

    Erin, this is really good writing. It made me feel so much. Sad. Insecure about my own eating craziness. Relieved that it was fiction. Really good. Also congratulations on your pregnancy!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much!!! I had to put that disclaimer in because otherwise I was worried my parents might freak out and try to check me in somewhere!
      The pregnancy was a wonderful miracle, a surprise, and we’re thrilled. But it’s still so early. Nervous. Worried.
      Glad you liked my piece!

  • Gini Dietrich

    Un-freaking-believable! This is GREAT!!

    • Anonymous

      my writing or the blog design?
      (or maybe both? wink, wink)

      • Gini Dietrich


  • Mamaface

    Very good blend of the humorous and heartbreaking. And junk food. I’m hungry…

    • Anonymous

      i’m hungry, too! thank you for stopping by to read, Mary!

  • Jackie

    I don’t think that you have any reason to be afraid of writing fiction! You did an incredible job with the descriptions, dialogue, and the feelings of your character and how they affected the reader.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much, Jackie!

  • Jayme

    Wow! This was beautifully haunting. I had a group of friends in high school that were bulimic and you hit the nail right on the head with this one. Even my college roommate was bulimic and I remember all too well nights like this one. This made me feel like I was right there.

    • Anonymous

      Oh wow, Jayme. I can’t imagine being roommates with someone who had the disease. She didn’t try to hide it from you? My goodness. Poor thing.
      It’s sad that this girl is really out there. Actually, there are lots of her.
      thanks for reading!

  • Words Done Write

    That is amazing, Erin. Truly wonderful imagery. I hope you’re writing a book. 😉


    • Anonymous

      Hi Amber!!
      I would love to write a book, I just don’t know how/where to begin! I’m full of excuses, truly.I just need someone to tell me exactly what to do. Wanna help?

      • Words Done Write

        No other advice to give other than just START! Sit at your computer and pump out that first chapter. Just do it. Set aside time and write, write, write.

        What you’ve written here is what I see on the “excerpt” page for your book on Amazon. Now, just DO IT!

      • Eric Sipple

        The only thing that makes a novel harder to write than anything else is that it’s longer. Ok, trite statement, right? But that means you have so many more chances to hit a wall, think what you’re writing is crap and walk away. That’s the real killer, honestly. Not that it’s hard, or that it takes time, but that you’ll think, over and over and over again, that what you’re doing isn’t the right story. You’re telling it wrong, or it should be funnier, or more serious, or the characters don’t feel real, or you had this experience the other day that seems so much more interesting than what you’re writing. You’ll feel it, and you’ll feel it a lot.

        Quit, your brain will say, because it’s going to be crap.

        Getting through something long is a lot of work, but the really important part is learning ways to get yourself past those moments. When you’re convinced the story isn’t worth it anymore, how to you keep going? For me, it’s a lot of things. It’s understanding that sometimes my brain is just telling me I need to stop writing and outline, or that I’m forcing a character to act outside of who they are, or that yes, the last book I read was awesome but my book doesn’t need to be that book.

        The first time through, you’ll be feeling through them blindly. And it’ll hurt. And it’ll suck. But you’re not doing it alone, ’cause you have us, and you can grab one of us and say, “I think this book sucks because–” and we can talk you through it. It took me almost 4 years to finish my first novel, and it was hardly a long one. It’ll take time, but it’ll feel amazing if it’s something you want to get through.

        Find a story you need to tell. One that’s strong enough in your heart that you’re willing to hate it a million times between today and a year or five from now. And then start working on what you can do of it today. Just do today’s work. Tomorrow, see if you can do another day’s work. Like that, a bit at a time, never letting the scope of it overwhelm you. Because it’s just a story. And you’ve proven you can tell a story. It’s a bigger one, sure, but it’s still just a story. Just a story.

        Hit me up if you ever want to talk about it. I’m happy to help. saalon at gmail dot com.

  • Everyone Knows Me Here

    Loved the parting comment… and if anyone else was looking at me in the store, I would have screamed and “What the FUCK R U looking at! LOL I love the way you write. Poignant with a dashed of pissed off. AWESOME 😉

    • Anonymous

      Thank you!!! I know the end part w/ the tires squealing was a little off, I probably should have ended it with her screaming there. Appreciate your coming by and commenting!

  • Dwmatty

    Wow. You took two of my favorite things, Krispy Kremes and peanut butter cups, and made me never want to eat them again. That’s how good your writing is. Whenever I want to avoid junk food, I’ll just keep coming back to this article.

    As always Erin, you impress.

  • Lady Jennie

    Very very visual. Very good. I just finished Women, Food and God and that character you wrote about would do well to read it. If she existed.

    • Anonymous

      I have that book (but haven’t read it yet!). I’m sure this girl exists—unfortunately, she’s all over the place. It makes me sad.
      Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’m going to start that book soon!

  • Anonymous

    Obesity is a very lonely disease, I’m glad to see that people are starting to take it seriously.

    • Anonymous

      I agree that obesity is a lonely disease, but most women who are bulimic aren’t obese. I think so many women can relate to these feelings, though—feelings that have so much more to do with self and self-esteem, not just “I feel fat,” etc.
      Thanks so much for coming by to read and comment!

  • tj @ any given moment

    You have no need to be afraid of fiction- in fact it had better be afraid of you because you’re coming to tame it, easily, deftly and with amazing imagery. Only you could take my beloved Krispy Kremes and do THAT to them. 😉 Be proud!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, TJ! I know—I’ll probably have to avoid Krispy Kreme for a while, too, even though this was purely fictional!

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  • Carrie Sieffert

    What a great story and you can feel her shame and frustration with herself. Very nicely done.

  • Aidan Donnelley Rowley

    This is so well-rendered and powerful. So happy you posted this.

  • Erin @Momfog

    Nicely done.  Very sad.

  • Dawn Beronilla

    Very well done!

    Your story was very well told, and evoked a lot of emotion. My heart goes out to your lead character, and I wish I could hug her.

  • Mayor Gia

    Ooof! A bad cycle for Amy to be in

  • Laurel

    My college roommate was bulimic and would eat piles and piles of junk food, and we would find containers hidden in places around house.  It was so terribly sad, this made me think of her and wonder if she ever got better,

  • The Dose of Reality

    As always it was visually well written and quite powerful. You are a writer, and I hope you know that.

  • The JackB

    I remember reading this last year and I still like that inner dialogue. It helps to establish who she i and creates an image.

    I still have the same donut photo from the prompt on my blog too. Makes me hungry to see it. 😉

  • Joseph Cereola

    At first you were making me hungry because I’m trying to change my diet and eliminate all those tasty little treats you mentioned. But then you got to the upchucking part which pretty much killed my appetite.  Kidding aside, superb writing, as usual.

  • Cindy – The Reedster Speaks

    I too am with the commenters who at first were like, Krispy Kreme! Awesome! Like you were describing my dream basket of food. You’ve teased out her emotional arc and we feel so much of her struggle by your vivid description of just one episode in this horrible cycle.

  • Christie O Tate

    Great post. As a recovering bulimic, I was chilled to the bone.  Greatly done.

  • IASoupMama

    Really, really nicely fleshed out character in Amy.  So many emotions in such a small space — beautifully written!

  • Michelle Icard

    This idea of having a “finish line” is really compelling. What a calculation contrasted with such a mess otherwise. That made Amy so interesting to me. Great job! Can’t wait to read more from you!

  • Tara_pohlkottepress

    Erin! I LOVE it!!

  • Jay – Dude of the House

    I felt the dripping anxiety as she devoured the food. My mother always told me not to eat pink foods, for there is nothing less natural on earth, so that made me a little extra queasy for Amy. 

  • jccbookclub

    I grew up in a house where food was fear and food still is fear. I must have read this over and over again. As usual, you know how to hit the perfect spot. Eric is right, you have a novel in you, even a memoir, you just need to feel it. 

  • Brooklyn Summers

    That was an excellent short, short. It kept me entertained till the end.
    Doughnut loving, heaving Amy would make an interesting character in a novel. If you haven’t already, I would work on building Amy up. I give this a A+++!

  • 50 Peach

    Vivid and intense, Erin.  I was drawn in and left with questions and wrecked emotions.  You know it’s good when you’re left wanting more.  Bravo. 

  • Adrienne

    Oh this was tough to read. So sad. I know it’s fiction, but so raw and heartbreaking. Well done, girl!