Renaissance Online Magazine Fiction

SEPTEMBER 1998 | VOL. 2, NO. ,4



Success Story


Wildflower | Brent Allen Yocum

JENNY MAINE, of Madison, New York, is a contributing writer to Renaissance Online Magazine. Contact her at


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The Girl in the Mirror


As the girl looked into the full length mirror, her hands began to tremble and her face got red with frustration. She hated, "The girl in the mirror."

The girl was 15-years-old and she stood about 5 feet 6 inches. She had long, silky brown hair which fell straight down her back. Her cheeks bulged like a chipmunk's and she had two chins that made her neck invisible. Her shoulders were wide like a football player's and her breasts were large with fat. Her stomach had stretch marks on it and even when she sucked in there were rolls that flopped over her pants. With every deep breath her stomach jiggled like jello, and her legs trembled and shook. "The girl in the mirror," was fat.

Tears ran down the girl's face as she walked away from the mirror, trying to forget the image that sunk deep in her head. She walked to the bathroom and stared at the scale. Stepping on the scale with legs trembling, heart beating fast, she saw the number. Her heart sank.

She kneeled down by the toilet, hunched over like a vulture waiting to feed. She took a deep breath, dreading what she had to do but the image the girl had seen in the mirror stared hauntingly back at her, and so she flung her long fingers down her throat. She gagged once but she dug further, forcing her whole hand in her mouth and down her throat. Her eyes watered and her face turned red and hot. Her jaw ached as they stretched and her teeth stabbed into her hot flesh. Her heart beat faster and faster as she fought the urge to retreat but then her whole body lurched forward and it felt like her whole stomach was coming up with each gag. Finally she threw up.

The girl quickly flushed the toilet and she ran to the sink to rinse out the disgusting taste that lingered deep in her throat. Then she washed the saliva from her sore red hand and rubbed away the teeth marks that were imbedded in her knuckles. She splashed her face with cool water, trying to wash away the hotness that seeped up through her skin Then she looked up and into the mirror. "The girl in the mirror," was still there and so, with tears in her bloodshot eyes, the girl forced herself back to the position by the toilet. And with trembling hands she started all over again.

Day after day the girl opened her swollen eyes to the warm summer's sun and she swallowed in pain. Her throat stung and her mouth was dry. The girl's stomach muscles tightened as she strained to sit up and her stomach growled loudly as she made her way to the bathroom. The girl prayed as she stood by the scale. She dreaded stepping on it, but she forced herself to. She looked down and her eyes bulged with disbelief. So, again, she stumbled off the scale and stared into the mirror hating the girl that stared back at her. Her stomach growled again and for the second time she ignored it. Her whole body hurt and it was hard to swallow but she locked the bathroom door. It made a loud clank like that of a cell locking up tight. She crawled back to her spot by the toilet and got into position. Her head felt light and all her muscles tightened as her mangled hand plunged down her throat. Tears sprung to her eyes, she didn't want to do it but a voice screamed from deep inside her. It was a voice that wanted her to be skinny, and that voice came from, "The girl in the mirror."

Every dinner the girl's mother would pile the food on her plate, and like always, the girl just pushed the food around. She would lift the fork to her mouth with just a little piece of meat on it and her hand would start to shake, and when she finally got it into her mouth and tried to swallow it, her throat would tighten up and her head would hurt. Then she would spit it out into her napkin and start again. But sometimes the girl would try to force herself to swallow, trying to ignore the voice inside her. But every time that she pushed the food past the tightness in her throat, she would see, "The girl in the mirror," and she would almost gag to get it up again so that it could join the rest of her dinner in her napkin. Dinners lasted forever.

Now months have passed and the girl is still at her perch by the toilet. Her hands and throat are torn and bleeding. Her eyes, which have sunken deep into the back of her skeleton-like head, are bloodshot and swollen. Her stomach muscles are so sore it hurts her to breathe. Her teeth are rotting and the disgusting taste in her mouth is always there. Her mouth is full of canker sores and her throat is numb from pain. The girl's bones are bulging out and she has very little energy, barely enough to walk. But still the girl steps onto the scale. Tears still come to her eyes.

And then the girl looks into the full length mirror. Her hands tremble and her face gets red with frustration. She hates the girl that is staring back at her. She'll hate her until she dies because she still hasn't realized that she's not, "The girl in the mirror."

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