by Melissa Mann

It’s dark in the kitchen, just the light from the oven door buttering the front of Girl’s naked body as she sits watching two Polo mints, what should have been her dinner, roasting on a tray. “It’s all your fault,” Girl whispers, clutching herself, her body a ruined place - bones grown too big for her skin, breasts like a boy. Girl can feel hunger move against her thighs like fists in her gut, a bottomless hunger that consumes her, haunts her brown eyes, gets tangled in the frightened frizz of her auburn hair. Chimes from the oven timer bounce off the darkness and so Girl gets up, pulls out the roasting tray with a cloth and places it beside the wooden spoon and tweezers on the counter. “A five-mile run, that’s what we agreed, not two,” Girl says and using the tweezers, places the scorching mint circles on a new patch of translucent skin on her arm. Girl puts the wooden spoon in her mouth and, pressing down hard with the cloth, bites into the pain, for there must be no noise, no crying out in Girl’s silent fight to be the perfect ghost.


Melissa Mann is a writer, founder and managing editor of litzine Beat the Dust and lead singer of the legendary punk folk band the Holy Whores. (Okay, well the first two are true at least; the latter is just a figment of her imagination.) Adventurous types wanting to explore Melissa's imagination should head due north to her website equipped with all-terrain boots, a torch, waterproofs, and a large slab of Kendal Mint Cake.