She chewed the bone down to the bristle.
She heard the remark, but kept grinding her teeth down on one of the empty bones.
“Antoinette,” her mother hissed.
She couldn’t stop. Her fingers slipped through the remaining meat, gliding through, tearing mercilessly.
Her mother pulled back her arm.
“Slow down girl. You’ll choke yourself.”
Antoinette looked over at her mother, her heavy tongue cleaning the cracks of her teeth. A smile flitted across Antoinette’s face, her cheeks puffing with pleasure.
“You’re eating like it’s your last meal.”
Antoinette ignored her. She felt the sauce enter a la seconde on the base of her tongue, expertly flowing to an intrinsic rhythm. She traveled through the corn, her fingers segregating different colors, textures, shapes, and sizes. The corn muffin broke easily against Antoinette’s rapt fingers, raining down in sad arrangements onto her synthetic dish.
“Is it good?” her mother asked.
Antoinette had proven her admiration. She nodded. Her face was slicked wet, a badge of honor. She simply nodded her head, her hand still wedged in a slab of pork.
“Good baby, good.”
Antoinette cleared the remaining food on her plate. She sat back, satisfied with her work, a sense of remorse creeping up into her.
“May I be excused?” Antoinette asked.
The feeling rammed through her, catapulting down her organs, riveting her liver, clenching her stomach. Her mother nodded, her own plate still a brilliant utopia. Antoinette made her way to the bathroom, her intentions clear. She could feel the emotion eat through her, rapidly whisking through her limbs.
Control, that’s what she needed. She bent against the porcelain, circling it with the base of her hands. The water, murky and uncertain, taunted her. She knew where to place her finger. She’d done it many times before. When she finished her slate was clean and utopia awaited her return.
Nashae Jones has had her fiction appear in Blackberry, American Athenaeum, and 101 Words magazines, among others. She is currently a graduate student, writer, and reviewer.