This was a response to a prompt from the Line by Line prompt community on LiveJournal. These were so useful for great exercises. You get a grouping of words and you have to use them in the piece. The words are: she just couldn’t help herself.
She paces the length of the table, nearly wearing a groove in the dusty brown shag carpeting of the conference room. The treats, piled alluringly, attractively, deliciously upon the table call out to her.
Cookies. Cupcakes. Pies. Coffeecake. Chocolates. Donuts.
She whimpers and walks away. And then walks back to the buffet table and paces, hands on her hips, sweating with the effort to keep herself from reaching out and grabbing one (or several things) and shoving it into her mouth.
A devil appears over one shoulder. He whispers, prods, encourages. “Take one. You know you want it. Take one. No one will know. Hurry, before someone comes!”
An angel appears on the other side. He chides and cheers. “Nooo. You’re doing so well! A moment on the lips! Remember what Dr Phil said! Oprah? Richard Simmons?”
Her mind drifts back to the hours upon hours she’s spent sweating and hoping. Hoping her hips would slide off, her butt would deflate and her love handles would form less of a shelf and more of a curve… but to no avail. She still looks like an oversized figure 8 and feels like one of those blowup toys that, if you punched them, they’d fall back and bounce back up again.
She is old hat at calorie calculation. A quick perusal of the table tells her that she could have a cupcake, a brownie, and 4 cookies if she skipped dinner and did an extra hour on the treadmill. Which sounds good in theory– except she’s already promised herself that she could splurge at dinner if she skipped dessert (but maybe she could still have dessert if she rode an extra mile on the bike in the morning and then had an extra stringent breakfast).
“Oh screw it,” she says, to no one in particular. She plucks a napkin from the stack piled next to the full plates of sweet smelling confection. She knows full well that there will be no additional treadmill work. No extra mile on the bike. And no extra stringent (read: starving) breakfast. She will splurge at dinner and will probably have dessert.
Ah well, she thinks as the first whispers of powdered sugar hit her tongue. She just couldn’t help herself.