It’s been a great week. Not only was it my birthday, but I was a guest on Linda’s Book Bag discussing Spirit of Technology , and to top it off, one of my stories has been accepted for the anthology ‘Flashpoint’ to be released by Clarendon House books shortly.
You can read what Linda and I got up to here 😀
Staying in with Linda and Val
After all that were you still expecting a short story? Okay, here’s one I prepared earlier.
‘Jane? It’s me. Help! Have you still got the details of that diet from a few years ago, when you managed to lose so much weight?’
‘The one that landed me in hospital, you mean? It’s easy to lose the pounds when you’re constantly throwing up, and the miracle pills give you all kinds of side-effects. Didn’t you read the reports about how dangerous they were after that girl died? Fine if you want to sue the company for a million bucks to go into your estate, but not something I would recommend. Why the urgency?’
‘Something very important has come up. I need to look my best, and that means losing some weight, fast. I’ve only got three weeks. Any ideas?’
‘Meet me for lunch, and we’ll talk about it.’
‘Lunch? Are you mad? How can I lose weight if you drag me off to eat stodge? No doubt washed down with a bottle of wine. I’m serious. If you can’t help I’ll have to try something else. Ring you later. Bye.’
We both knew I wouldn’t keep my promise. I felt guilty neglecting all my friends, but for now I had more important things on my mind. More than a stone in three weeks was nearly one pound every single day. Even the silliest diets didn’t promise those results. After spending an hour browsing the Internet I had come up with only two options; one, order weird potions costing a fortune and were probably just scams, or two, get a time-travel machine and go back a couple of months to give me extra time. Plan B was to stop eating altogether.
Everywhere I looked there was food. I popped into the supermarket to get some batteries, and had to steel myself as the smell of fresh cakes and bread wafted from the in-house bakery. Collecting my weekly magazine from the newsagents, my eyes couldn’t miss the rows of boxes of chocolates. Even when I sat down to read it was full of adverts for biscuits, and how to make the perfect pies or calorie-laden cakes.
I was starving. I hadn’t eaten a thing for three days and it was beginning to affect my judgement. At work I found it hard to concentrate, I had no energy and my eyes felt blurred.
‘What on earth are you playing at, Zoe? The odd mistake I can forgive, but your work today has been appalling. You’d better pull your socks up my girl. There’s no room for slackers in this organisation. Now, get on with it, and for God’s sake do it properly.’
I was determined not to cry. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing how upset I was. Perhaps going without food wasn’t such a good idea if it meant losing my job. The breakthrough happened almost by accident. We were working on a project researching the relationship between lifestyle and lifespan, including the life expectancy of ancient civilisations. My mind had always been analytical, and normally I was methodical.
On this occasion my energy levels were at rock bottom, and with my eyes not focussing properly I extracted two non-related items by accidently skipping to separate files. The results of merging them were intriguing, but there was a missing link. Solving puzzles was one of my strengths and I worked deep into the night. No longer was it a case of earning money to pay the rent, now it was personal.
‘Hey Zoe. You look fantastic. Have you been working out?’
‘That’s one way of putting it. Sorry, I’ve got to rush. I’ll give you a bell and we’ll get together soon.’
‘Great. I’ll look forward to it. I want to hear all your secrets. Keep up the good work.’
‘Will do. See you soon.’
I wondered what she would think if she knew how I was achieving my goal. The important thing was, it was working. I’d lost six pounds in less than a week. With twelve days to go there was a good chance I would achieve my target, or at least get close enough for it not to matter. The weight continued to drop off, but at the same time I was full of energy and didn’t feel hungry. My discovery really was a miracle cure for over-weight people everywhere.
The big day arrived, and even I had to admit the dress looked fantastic on me. In fact it was slightly loose; I’d lost all the weight I wanted and then some. After the euphoria I decided to lose another half a stone and then stop, but it didn’t work out quite like that. Even when I went back to eating normally, and started stuffing my face with sweets and chocolates I continued to lose weight.
As I got slimmer and thinner people started hinting about being anorexic. From a previously fairly healthy diet with the odd treat, I now needed to eat almost continuously, but still couldn’t put on the pounds.
Although I had long since stopped drinking my elixir, three months later the scales told me what I had been refusing to believe. Despite eating like a horse, my body had shrunk to the size of an eight-year-old. By the time summer arrived there would be nothing left of me.
© Voinks January 2018