One Weird Trick

Syd’s doctor had explained to her that a month or two after the procedure, her body would settle into a sleeker reality. Her palate would adjust to crave only weightless quantities of photogenic food. The most disciplined patients transformed so thoroughly, so spiritually, they could transcend hunger altogether, casting aside their chains of gluttony.

But a year passed, and her hunger only grew. Her sutures, still pink, ached. She craved slow-roasted meats in exotic sauces. Too-hot pizza at a slumber party. Golden cheese fries on the boardwalk with a summer fling.

Furtively, Syd fingered the greasy paper bag before her and breathed deeply, quickly. Aromas of hot chili paste and pillowy dough and sizzling scallions shook her body with desire.


Elise Johnston is a speech-language pathologist and writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her fiction is forthcoming in SORTES Magazine. She shares a home with her partner and three geriatric pets.