By M. Hendrix

She eyes the two-day-old fountain drink next to her computer, silently wondering if it's worth taking a sip of. She knows it will be flat – as it was when she caved in hours ago – but being the only drink in sight made the thought more tempting.

It isn’t that there isn't anything else to drink. It was that she doesn’t want to get up. She's finally comfortable, finally in a place where she's both physically and mentally able to start working on her projects, and she doen’t want to ruin it.

Again, the plastic cup taunts her. There's a red-tinted soda inside, the blue straw sticking up at an odd angle; asking her to put her lips around and just give a little suck, a little taste to find the ‘treasure’ within. She knows how the treasure tastes, so she turns her eyes away again, ignoring the itch in her throat.

But not even a minute later, she finds herself looking at it again. She watches as her hand, against her desires, moves to pick it up. The blue straw, much too long for the cup, pushes past resisting skin, finding a home in her mouth. She closes her throat, and her cheeks cave in as she takes a sip, moving the liquid up the tube and into the cavern the straw was hiding in. The taste, vile and disgusting, assaults her tongue.

But she swallows, sets the drink down again next to the laptop, and continues working. The battle will repeat in another few hours, when it draws her attention again.

I wonder when I’ll just throw it away, she thinks; just as she thought last time she took a drink. As she’ll think again, when the time comes to quench her thirst.

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