Tonya waited for the elevator, her stomach growling loudly. She stared at the shiny brown 'up' and 'down' buttons on the wall until they started to look like Smarties, and that made her think of her roommate's boxes of Halloween chocolate. It was pathetic. If she had stayed with the Digital Ninjas, she could have eaten hot pizza with interesting company, but what did she do? She retreated so she could eat protein bars in her room, like a hidden mouse nibbling scraps. She considered going back, but then the elevator reached her floor.
The door was locked, which was unusual this time of night. Usually her roommate Lynette left the door open to let her many friends wander in and out. Sometimes it made Tonya crazy because she never got a quiet moment, in what was supposed to be her home. When there weren't guests laughing and talking, and ignoring Tonya, Lynette would blare obnoxious pop tunes. Did she even like them? Tonya figured Lynette used her music like hunters use duck decoys, techno quacking attracted drakes to land on her pond.
For Tonya, an only child from a quiet house, the relentless bass and never-ending company were exhausting. After a long day, Tonya just wanted to collapse on her bed and read in peace. The best thing about Lynette was that she went out a lot. Tonya usually had quiet Friday and Saturday nights.
Tonya unlocked the door and walked in.
At first she didn't know what she was seeing. It looked too impossible. Lynette was seated facing the wall, her hands tied to the head of her rickety, wrought iron bed.
"Lynette... You okay?" Tonya rushed over and started untying her.
"Leave me alone. I have to stay this way, until the craving passes."
"Who did this to you? I'm phoning campus police," she said.
"Relax. It's okay."
"Are you sure?" Why would anybody want to be tied up like that? It made no sense to Tonya.
"I ate all my Halloween candy, and then all three boxes of your cereal, and I was about to eat your crappy diet food, so I got Roberto to tie my hands," said Lynette.
"He tied you up, so you wouldn't steal a few protein bars?"
"I was about to eat diet shake powder, without water."
Tonya felt relieved Lynette hadn't eaten her food, but having that thought also made her feel guilty. What was wrong with her? She should be worried about Lynette, not about protecting her stash.
"It's okay Lynette. Don't punish yourself for getting hungry. It's normal. Look how thin you are." Tonya put her hand on her skinny roommate's shoulder. "Come with me to the medical centre tomorrow? You need help."
"Don't look at me like that. I'm okay. I don't starve myself. Normally, if I want to eat a piece of cake or something I eat it, or sometimes I put on music and dance, or go out, and by the time I'm finished, I forget about it. "
"Promise me you're not on some dangerous starvation diet."
"Of course not."
Tonya stood there, no knowing what to do until Lynette said: "The urge has passed. You can untie me now."
Tonya sat on the bed so she could reach the knots.
"I don't know why I ever wanted to eat your diet crap," said Lynette. "It's full of fake sugar and chemicals."
Tonya heard the words, but she could also see a bit of drool forming at the corner of Lynette's mouth. The girl's eyes seemed too bright, and she wasn't looking at Tonya at all. She was looking over her shoulder at the boxes of shake powder and protein bars on the shelf.
YOU ARE READING
Feeding Frenzy (Watty Award Winner)Mystery / Thriller
*Watty Winner* & *Featured Story* WITCHES - NECROMANCERS - INAPPROPRIATE TABLE MANNERS. The three-hundred-year-old town of Loon Lake looks calm as a pond, but below the surface, clans of witches and wizards clash like hungry sharks. First-year stude...