flash nonfiction

Mutation of a Body by Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter

Mutation of a Body | Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter

Control taken too far will batter your body. Your slender frame will mutate, bones jutting out beneath loose material. 

Control will be important to you. It will drive you, consume you. Control will be your burden.

You will walk into rooms, jeans barely staying above the hips, concave contours of chest and stomach prominent through tops. And mouths will drop open, eyes wide. You’re sure they are fascinated, jealous of your control.

I’m not so sure.

As chunks of hair fall from your scalp, and your face sinks in, and your body begins to eat its own muscle, leaving dangling flesh, you will be self-righteous with your control.

At twenty-two, your control will drop you, sending you into a coma, shutting down your body. You will wake to warm towels shrouding your face, machines beeping and blipping, family lining the room, and neon light piercing your eyes.

You will spend almost two months in the hospital. most of it remaining a foggy memory.

Eventually, your eyesight will grow dim, the pictures before you faded, no longer crisp and clear. Facial features become a soft haze in your cloudy vision. Your control will find you on your knees, carpet scratching, tears rolling down as the world whittles down to four senses.

Your control will leave you breathless.

The last time you see sunlight, you will be in bed, staring out the window. Dust moats will swirl in the Sunbeams and catch on silver threads in your lilac comforter.

The last time you read a print book, it will be some romance novel; a well-intentioned gift from your parents. Head turned eyes straining, each letter will appear and slide in-and-out of view, like a fish swimming in-and-out of focus.

The last time you see color, your hand will graze along racks of clothes hanging in your closet, colors arranged by shade. A textile rainbow.

The last time you see yourself, you will stand in front of the hall mirror, so close, your breath fogs it. The image an Impressionist rendering. Blonde hair, tanned skin, long limbs will drift off into a haze, your outline softening at the edges, pale and opaque.

The last time you write by hand, it will be in a blue notebook, pen posed between fingers, scribbling invisible words across the page.

Your control will give you the last visual memories you will ever have.

About the Author:

Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter (she/hers) is a mom and writer from the Midwest. When she’s not chasing children, picking up messes or reorganizing the house, she enjoys yoga or reading to relax. In her spare time (A.K.A. her dreams) she’s a Broadway star. You can periodically find her on Twitter, until she becomes famous and can start engaging with trolls.

She’s a freelance writer whose work has appeared in 13thFloor, Hippocampus Magazine, Random Sample Review and elsewhere.