I’ve bought 5lbs of modeling chocolate. I’ve got something important to make.
I always loved chocolate, and was rarely allowed it. Mum locked the cupboards. Chocolate was a treat or a reward, and had to be earned. The next day she would make me stand on the scales and show me my shame in numbers.
As soon as I left home, I was free to eat all I wanted but it seemed I was never full. I buried myself in layer on layer of comfort. Mum said I was a disgrace.
‘I don’t care,’ I said, ‘I’m done trying to please you.’ But it wasn’t true. Her approval and her disgust were all mixed up in my head.
I met a girl. I thought she saw the real me under the folds of my disguise. We were friends. Until one night I misread her kindness and tried to kiss her. She recoiled.
I immediately saw my advance for what it was: the clumsy lurch of a greedy child. I tried to apologise but the words got stuck in my teeth.
It was later that the anger took root. It was when I saw her moving around, unaffected, still smiling and existing, as though I’d never touched her. Hot rage grew in me like a gnawing hunger.
It has to be chocolate. You can’t easily make the same kinds of shapes with buttercream, marzipan, or fondant. You can’t mould a person.
I make her beautiful. I carve her hair, shape the curves of her body, pinprick her eyes. I don’t give her a mouth, so she can’t tell me I’m not good enough. She can’t tell me no.
I stand her on the kitchen counter and look at her a while.
Then I smash her, and swallow her piece by piece.