Moving Target

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Laura had struggled with her weight all her life. When her friend suggests attending a Wellness Camp, she hopes it's the solution to her problem.

Laura Hill turned onto the high street, dashing in between the cars, and finding a gap in the traffic, crossed over the road. As she stepped onto the kerb on the other side her mobile phone rang. She rummaged in her coat pocket for her phone. Still walking, she hit the green answer button.

‘Hiya, Jess. How’s things?’

‘Not too bad. How’s the diet going?’ asked Jess.

‘It’s going well. I’m actually just out for a walk now.’

‘Excellent. I did that work-out video this morning. Sounds like we’re both smashing it.’

‘We certainly are.’ agreed Laura.

Laura hung up and went into the chip-shop. 

Ten minutes later, carrying a plastic bag full of wrapped pie and chips, she headed for home, eager to get stuck into her tea. As she walked, she told herself that she hadn’t exactly lied to her best friend. It was more a case of giving her edited highlights. Jess was on her game this week, extremely focused on healthy eating, diet and exercise, and losing weight and getting into shape. When Jess was on it like this she had all the zeal of a born-again Christian. It reminded Laura of a documentary she’d seen about a cult who brainwashed its members. In the past, when Jess had been having a week like this, Laura had made the mistake of offering her a biscuit, or suggesting they grab a pub lunch, only for her friend to recoil in horror, as though Laura had suggested trying cannibalism, not a pie and a pint.

Laura, like a lot of people, had struggled with her weight all her adult life. She had tried diets and eating plans and had forked out for subscriptions to gyms that she never went to. Junk food was a crutch. It was the thing she reached for when life got her down.

When Jess had started work in her office a few years ago, the two had hit it off immediately. They had the same sense of humour, similar outlook on life, and the same love of food. Jess, like Laura, had been trying to lose weight and had been on various diets for years. Jess would discover a new diet, and go all-guns-blazing for a month or so, before inevitably slipping back into her old ways of comfort eating.

Laura ate her chips out of the wrappers in front of the television.  She told herself the old lie, the diet would start tomorrow. The chips were just wonderful and she devoured them with gusto. As she tossed the papers in the bin, the familiar guilt set in. She swore and cursed her weakness of will. Maybe the next diet she started, would be the one. Maybe she would finally get the figure she dreamed of. The magazines she read, the people she followed on social media, all seemed to have skinny figures and designer lifestyles. Laura had neither. Maybe the portions in the swanky city centre restaurants were so small the jet setters and hipsters could eat out and maintain their figures. One recent article she’d read in a weight-loss magazine was about a guy who’d lost five stone and had also been promoted to manager at work. Laura stared with envy at his smug face on the glossy page.

Just over a week later Jess called around to see her. As they sipped tea and tried to resist the biscuits, they chatted away. The conversation flowed easily, as it always did. Then Jess pulled a leaflet from her pocket.

‘Have a look at this.’ she said.

She waved the glossy pamphlet at Laura. She took the leaflet and read it. Wellness Camp? As she read, Jess told her the details.

‘Basically, it’s a five-week slimming camp. It’s three hundred and seventy pounds per person.’

‘How much? What a rip off.’ said Laura.

‘They guarantee results. They say the camp is life-changing.’

‘It’s still a lot of money.’

‘If it changes our lives, won’t it be worth it?’

‘I’m not sure about this, Jess. Sounds a bit creepy to me.’

‘It’s a camp for health and weight-loss. What’s creepy about that?’

‘I’ll have a think about it, okay?’

‘Fair enough.’ sighed Jess.

They both knew that when Laura said she ‘would think about’ something it usually meant a refusal to whatever was being suggested.

As she flaked out on the sofa that evening, the pamphlet on the fireplace caught her eye. She shook her head. There was no way she was going to put herself through weeks of torture at that camp. It just sounded horrific.

After a bad day at work, the following day, Laura came home and curled up on the sofa. She found herself doing what she always did when she felt so low she treated herself to a few bottles of Italian lager and a giant block of milk chocolate. The cold beer flowed as she watched a film on television. That’s better, she sighed. Nothing cured a rubbish day like cold beer and chocolate.

As she popped the last square of chocolate in her mouth, the waves of regret washed over her. She had done it again. She had wolfed down beer and chocolate because of the way she was feeling. After such occasions, there always followed what she called the food-hangover, that awful feeling of what have I done? She would never lose weight, never have a normal relationship with food, while she did things like this. She shook her head in disgust. Why did she do this to herself? She went to make herself a cup of tea, no biscuit this time, and as she waited for the kettle to boil, it struck her. She knew exactly what she had to do.

She headed back through to the living room with her cup of tea and picked up the phone.

‘Hey, Laura, how’s it going?’

‘Okay.’

‘Don’t worry,’ said Jess. ‘I’m not going to try and talk you into going to the camp again. Sorry if I came across a bit pushy.’

 

‘I think we should do it.’

‘What? Are you serious?’

‘One hundred per cent. I need to do something.’

Laura held the phone away from her ear as her friend shrieked in excitement.

‘This is going to be so good for us, Laura. I have a really good feeling about this.’

‘Are you okay booking it? I’ll transfer you the money.’

‘It’d be a pleasure.’ laughed Jess.

 

One Saturday morning, a few weeks later, Jess and Laura crossed Manchester city centre, dragging their suitcases behind them. Laura had treated them both to a full English breakfast at a café on Deansgate. As they’d munched on the wonderful fried good, they’d discussed the camo and how this was their new start, the fresh beginning they were looking for. This time the diet would work for them.

‘Should we really be having this fry up, then?’

Jess pointed to their breakfast plates.

‘Absolutely. Ricky Hatton used to have one last breakfast before starting training for his next fight.’

‘Well, if it’s good enough for him, it’ll do for me.’ Jess said.

 

At Chorlton Street bus station, on bay seventeen, was the bus for the Wellness Camp. The sign on the front of the bus declared its destination in large blue letters as though it was a desirable holiday destination. A crowd of passengers waited in a line. The coach looked ancient. Laura wondered if the decrepit old vehicle would get them to the camp. It reminded her of the bus the Beatles had taken their Magical Mystery Tour on back in the 1960s. It also brought back memories of her school trips to North Wales.

Those waiting in line turned as Laura and Jess trundled up with their cases. They greeted them warmly. Laura was relieved to find that the group seemed to be made up of people like her and Jess. Maybe Jess was right, perhaps this was the start of their journey in more ways than one. The group were a mix of ages, and included a few men. A guy in a rock band t-shirt gave her a nudge.

‘I’ve had my last bacon butty this morning.’ He said with a sigh.

‘We had a full English breakfast.’ laughed Laura.

‘I’m Barry.’ he said.

‘What brings you here?’ asked Jess.

‘I got fed up with the way I was, know what I mean? I was stuffing my face all the time and felt lousy. I get out of breath tying my shoes, so it’s time to do something.’

Jess and Laura nodded in agreement. They understood completely.

The coach doors hissed open. The driver, a middle-aged man, told everyone to ‘hop on board’ before starting to load their suitcases in the luggage hold.

‘Hope we stop at the services.’ said Laura. ‘I’m starving.’

Jess shot her a don’t you start look and climbed onto the coach.

The passengers chatted and laughed as the coach headed away from the city centre and made for the M60 motorway. Laura noticed the woman across the aisle was munching on a large bag of salt and vinegar crisps. She pointed to the crisps.

‘Should you be having those where we’re going?’

‘The diet starts when we get there.’ she shrugged. ‘We’ve not been brain-washed yet.’

‘Good point, love.’ said Laura.

‘Want one?’

‘Oh, go on then.’

As she shared her crisps with Laura and Jess, she said her name was Helen. She was in her late forties and had a high-pitched laugh that was infectious. Helen jerked a thumb at the woman sitting next to her.

‘This is Irene. She’s the one that talked me into this trip.’

Irene pushed her glasses up and waved shyly.

 

Just over an hour later, the coach slowed to a crawl. Someone pointed, look, there it is. Everyone stared out the left side of the coach. The high fence surrounding the camp was lined with barbed wire. Through the fence Laura could see low wooden huts. The place was clearly a disused holiday camp or something, but the restricted nature of their upcoming stay, gave the place a rather sinister air. The jovial atmosphere on the coach was dampened as the reality of what they had signed up for hit home.

‘Oh wow.’ said Jess.

Laura said nothing as the coach swept through the open gates of the camp. As the passengers filed off the coach and stepped out onto the gravel courtyard, the gates slid slowly shut behind them. A woman in a dark blue tracksuit marched purposefully towards them. She was flanked on either side by people in sky blue tracksuits. She was around fifty years old and painfully thin. It occurred to Laura that being too thin must be as equally unhealthy was being overweight, regardless of what they preached at this so-called wellness camp.

‘Good afternoon, campmates. I am Brenda, the camp leader. Under my guidance, you will achieve the weight loss you’ve been dreaming of all your lives.’

The staff standing beside Brenda nodded and smiled.

‘My team will help you get settled in. I’m sure you will all adjust to life here in camp.’

‘For you the war is over.’ whispered Laura.

Jess shushed her.

‘Help us to help you.’ Brenda continued.

Brenda turned and stomped away, her footsteps crunching on the gravel, as she headed back to one of the huts. The staff approached the campmates, clipboards clutched to their chests. They were like the worst holiday reps on the worst holiday ever, thought Laura.

‘Right, campmates, your journey starts now.’ said a woman with a ponytail and a zealous glint in her eye.

Laura, Jess and the others were shown into the huts that would be their homes for the duration of their stay in camp. There were twelve campmates per hut. Single beds lined the dormitories. Laura had a flashback to a film she’d seen about soldiers preparing and training to go to fight in the Vietnam War. Laura hadn’t been expecting a luxury pad and a hot tub but the accommodation was even more sparse and basic than she’d anticipated. As they changed into their regulation grey tracksuits, Laura called out to her friend.

‘What do you make of all this? It’s a bit grim, isn’t it?’

‘This is what we need, hun. We need a kick up the backside.’

Laura sighed and pulled the scratchy grey tracksuit top over her head.

A lad called Dave flopped onto his bed.

‘Do you think we’ve got time for a kip?’

‘I don’t think afternoon naps are on the schedule.’ said Laura with a smile.

‘And definitely no chance of a pizza delivery getting through those gates?’ he asked.

‘You sound like her.’ Jess laughed, nodding at Laura.

A tall thin man appeared in the doorway. He wore the staff blue tracksuit and clapped his hands together to get their attention.

‘Campmates,’ he yelled. ‘It’s time to weigh in. Follow me!’

There was something so rude and bossy in his tone, Laura was instantly disgusted. She was about to pass comment to Jess, but her friend simply followed the others out the door. Laura sighed and followed on.

In a snaking line the campmates filed into the club hut for their weigh-in. Laura queued behind Jess and went inside. The queue lead up to a desk and a set of scales. Behind the desk, peering over her reading glasses, was Brenda. As always she was flanked by her staff, eager to do her bidding.

Eventually it was Laura’s turn to be weighed. She managed an awkward smile and stepped onto the scales feeling like a condemned prisoner pacing onto the gallows. Brenda peered down at the scales and tutted at the reading.

‘You have a lot of work to do.’ Brenda snapped.

‘Excuse me?’

‘Next campmate, please.’

The camp leader waved a hand for Laura to step aside. Shaking her head in annoyance, frustration and disbelief, Laura charged from the hut. Still fuming, she went out into the spring sunshine and found her friend on the parade ground.

‘You won’t believe what that cheeky mare just said to me.’ Laura raged.

‘I think I can imagine. She told the lad in front me that she now knew who had eaten all the pies.’

‘You are joking? We didn’t sign up for this.’

At that moment the entrance gates rolled back and a coach pulled in. The latest coach-load of hopeful slimmers stepped off the bus. As they were being taken to one of the huts Laura couldn’t help calling out.

‘Welcome to Hell.’

Jess nudged her to be quiet.

‘What? It’s all a bit Shawshank, isn’t it? If we do well here do we progress to Strangeways?’

Jess said nothing.

A while later lunch was served in the canteen. Laura and Jess grabbed trays and queued for the food being served. As they neared the trays of food, Laura’s heart sank. Salad, vegetables, beans pulses and lentils were on offer. This wasn’t food, it was torture.

The staff dolloped out a plate of dry chicken and salad and handed it to Laura. She took it and inspected it closely.

‘Have you got any ketchup?’

The guy behind the counter gasped in shock and simply shook his head.

Laura and Jess found empty seats at one table. The two men already dining on the table introduced themselves.

‘I’m James. This is Carl.’

‘What brings you to this place?’

‘I am the kebab king of Salford.’ Carl said.

‘It’s beer and peanuts, for me. When I have a bad day at work and I’m really fed up, I call for a few cans and a big bag of peanuts on my way home. The trouble is, I also do that when I’ve had a really good day.’

James laughed but Laura nodded in sad agreement. She knew exactly what he meant. She scooped up a forkful of food and tasted it. She sighed, the food was even more bland and tasteless than it looked. As she chewed on the dull food, she looked around at the other tables. All the other diners seemed to be as unimpressed with the food being served as she was. One guy sobbed quietly as he slurped a bowl of grey vegetable soup. Would they eventually get used to eating like this? For Laura, food had always been an enjoyment. Was this luxury now to be taken from her? She had always struggled dealing with food in moderation. It was her addition, she argued. Was she now to go Cold Turkey, literally, on this tasteless slop? Cold Turkey? She smiled, maybe that was on the menu for tomorrow.

The door opened and in swaggered a group of five campmates. They wore the grey campmate tracksuit but they had an arrogance about them. In the school-like surroundings of the canteen, Laura’s mind went back to her high school days. Had they really descended to the playground? She noticed they had silver bands around their upper arms.

She nodded in their direction and asked what those arm bands were for. Carl looked on in disgust as he explained.

‘The prestigious silver arm bands are for Target Members.’ he said.

‘Target? You mean-’

‘They are at their ideal weight.’

Laura looked over at the target campmates, who were now sitting at a table and exclaiming how lovely the food was. To Laura the so-called target campmates looked too thin. Admittedly, Laura needed to lose a few pounds to get down to a healthier weight. She needed to eat less and exercise more. But these target members looked ill. They looked as though they hadn’t had a good meal in a long time. Their limbs were so thin and their faces all had the same gaunt look.

‘That’ growled Laura, ‘is not my target.’

‘We do need to start being a bit more healthy, though, don’t we?’ said Jess.

Laura said nothing, her gaze returning to the painfully thin figures of the proud target members.

An hour later the campmates were gathered outside on the parade ground. Brenda and her cronies appeared. Each of the staff had digital stopwatches hanging around their necks.

‘Campmates,’ Brenda bellowed. ‘part of a healthy lifestyle is regular exercise. This part of the regime here.’

Laura wondered if Brenda used the word regime the same way that fascist dictators did when referring to their iron-clad rule over their people.

‘You will begin by running laps of the camp.’

She blew her whistle, a shrill sharp blow. The target members sprung in to action. They set off like they were training for the Olympic Games. The rest of the campmates merely kind of shuffled on behind, their trainers scuffing the gravel.

Regretting ever agreeing to this camp, Laura jogged beside Jess at a meandering pace that was as fast as they could manage. After a lap and a half, Laura’s chest hurt as she gasped at the air. She slowed to a walk. A staff member appeared beside her.

‘Come on, run! Don’t stop!’ she hollered.

Laura merely shook her head, unable to speak.

Several of the group had also stopped running and were facing similar beastings from Brenda’s staff. Jess was bent double and red faced. She muttered, I can’t do it, over and over. James and Carl leaned on the fence for support as they struggled to catch their breath. The staff berating the campmates really angered Laura. They were just being completely unreasonable. The campmates couldn’t be expected to suddenly partake in such vigorous exercise. These things took time and had to be built up. What was even more infuriating was that the target members glided past, running lap after lap of the camp with ease.

‘Come on, love. You can do it.’ called one well-meaning target member.

Laura chunnered under her breath, exactly what she could do with her silver armband.

 

The following morning, Laura, Jess and a few others were taken to one of the Lead Huts. In the middle of the hut plastic chairs had been arranged in a circle. In the middle of the circle was Brenda, smiling politely. No, thought Laura, not this, please.

‘Good morning, campmates. Welcome to your first Health Therapy session. These sessions will prove invaluable in getting you on the right track. I’m sure you’ll find the guidance and discussions inspiring and informative.’

There was the scraping of chairs as the campmates took their seats. Laura noticed there were several target members among them, complete with silver armband and smug grin. Maybe, Laura thought, you needed the smug grin to get the armband.

Brenda pointed to Colin, a heavy-set guy with a shy demeanour. He looked away from Brenda’s scrutiny.

‘Colin, would you like to tell us why you are here.’

With his cheeks burning red and shifting awkwardly in his chair, he explained that he struggled with comfort eating. Stammering as he spoke, he detailed how he was lonely and miserable and so found himself seeking solace in food. Laura felt so sorry for him as he details his issues with food and life in general. She decided that she’d have a chat with him, check he was okay and let him know that he wasn’t alone. Everyone here was in the same boat.

‘Discipline.’ snapped Brenda. ‘That is the key. You must be firm with yourself. These things take time and effort. If you are weak then you will never get to target.’

Colin nodded, eyes locked on the floor. Before Laura could object to his treatment, Brenda switched her attention to another member. She gently waved a hand at another member. The latest focus of her attention was a skinny woman with a silver armband and eager yet gaunt expression.

‘Trishia, perhaps you would be so kind as to share your story with the group?’

Laura noticed the change in Brenda’s tone, from barking at poor Colin, to purring over her precious target member. Like a classroom teacher’s pet, Trishia nodded enthusiastically. She then looked around the group, wide eyed with false sincerity like an Oscar winner about to deliver an emotional acceptance speech.

‘I was once like you are now. Then I discovered the Wellness Camp. It has changed my life. Losing the four pounds and reaching my target weight is like a dream come true. Being at target has given me more confidence. I even had the courage to apply for a promotion at work, and I got the job. My relationships with family and friends is better than ever, too. I love nothing more than catching up with my loved ones. We often get-together and go out for meals, not that I can eat out any more, but being at target has its price. I usually bring salad in a Tupperware box, so it’s fine. I just feel like a different person.’

Just when Laura thought she had finished her speech, Trishia went on.

‘Don’t get me wrong, it is hard. Even I,’ she said, hand on her chest dramatically, ‘sometimes consider going off-plan. When I am tempted, I just remind myself why I am doing this, I tell myself how far I’ve come and how wonderful my life is. That really helps keep me on the right path.’

Laura gritted her teeth. What absolute guff. Just because your weight wasn’t an issue, that didn’t mean the rest of your life became perfect. She glanced around at the rest of the group. To her surprise, the others stared at the target member with admiration.

Back outside, feeling like a prisoner in the exercise yard, Laura gave Jess a nudge.

‘She was a bit much, wasn’t she?’

‘Who?’

‘Bloomin’ Target Trishia. Little Miss Wonderful Life.’

‘It would be wonderful to be at target, though.’

Laura gave a look of mock-horror.

‘Jess, have they got to you, too? Have you been brainwashed?’

They laughed the way that only old friends did.

 

One breakfast time as they were in the canteen, dining on bowls of muesli, James and Carl joined them at their usual table. The look on their faces said they had news. Laura hoped that it was that they’d managed to persuade one of the guards to get pizzas sent in that evening. James took a sip of his apple juice then spoke.

‘I’ve heard that Helen in hut five has a stash of Bakewell tarts.’

‘We met her on the prison bus here.’  said Laura.

‘She had crisps on the bus.’ added Jess.

Bakewell tarts, mulled Laura, the stuff dreams are made of.

Outside Laura told Jess that she was going to see Helen about the Bakewell tarts.

‘Are you sure, Laura? We don’t want to get into trouble.’

‘Jess, have you heard yourself? I know if feels like school or prison, but don’t forget, we’re paying for this. We are the customer here. That Brenda, she works for us, technically.’

‘Don’t forget why we’re here. I want to lose weight and change my life.’

‘You sound like them. You’ll have a staff blue tracksuit and be telling me to do push-ups next.’

 

That afternoon as the campmates returned from a five mile hike, and entered the parade ground, Laura and the others noticed a commotion. Blue tracksuit staff were storming into one of the huts. Hut five. From inside came the sound of furniture being slammed and thrown around.

As the campmates looked on, the staff ransacked Hut Five. They tossed mattresses aside, and threw belongings from bedside cabinets across the room. Laura spotted Helen watching nervously, chewing on a thumbnail.

Moments later, a staff member appeared in the doorway. He held a clear plastic bag in front of him. In the clear bag was the condemning evidence, a packet of cherry Bakewell tarts.

Brenda charged past and out onto the parade ground. She rushed upto Helen, whose eyes were starting to fill with tears, and glared at her for a long moment.

‘I will not have rule-breakers in my camp.’

At that moment two staff members grabbed Helen by her arms. As the others protested and yelled, Helen was dragged away, tears now streaming down her face. The goons dragged, pushed and shoved the protesting Helen into the Leader Hut. The door slammed shut behind them.

Over an hour later Brenda stepped back out. She was alone, no Helen. Clearly Helen had been removed from the camp. Most of the campmates were outraged at the way Helen had been treated. Laura noticed that the target members huddled together. Judging by their smug glances and nodding heads that they agreed with the severe treatment the camp was dishing out. Helen’s friend Irene looked in shock. She stumbled towards Brenda.

‘Is Helen coming back?’

Brenda simply shook her head.

‘If she’s gone, then I want to leave too.’ said Irene.

‘Your friend’s journey has ended. She will no doubt be on her way to indulge in fatty treats as we speak. She will continue in her wicked ways. Is that really the path you want to go down?’ Brenda turned to the group. ‘That goes for any of you. Do you really want to go back to your old decadent lives? You should all remember why you came here in the first place.’

Brenda waved an angry finger at them all.

‘And anyone withholding contraband will be removed from camp.’ she yelled.

‘Firing squad?’ whispered Laura.

‘Silence.’ Brenda snapped. ‘This programme is about discipline. If you lot had discipline then you wouldn’t be here in the first place. You must abide by the rules.’

Leaving the campmates stunned by the events, Brenda span and marched away to her hut.

Despite Jess’s determination to find the positives in camp life, Laura wasn’t sure how much more she could take. She went through the motions for the next couple of days. Waking up to the rumbling of hunger in her stomach, the awful food, the forced exercise, the harsh treatment at the hands of the staff, the bullying from the target members, not to mention the Health Therapy sessions. These sessions were particularly infuriating. They seemed to serve no purpose other than making the ordinary campmates feel worse about their failings, and so that the target members could boast about how great they were and how perfect their lives were.

One target member mentioned in one session that her husband had once served her pasta served in a sauce that had come out of a jar. A jar! Not homemade.

‘I nearly died.’ she declared.

It took all Laura’s self-control not to tell them all to get a grip.

At another session one target member detailed how they would have a bowl of sugar-coated cereal for breakfast. The other target members shrieked in horror. Laura decided then that she couldn’t stand any more of this. As soon as they were outside she pulled Jess out of earshot of the other campmates.

‘I’m done, Jess.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘I’m finished with the camp. I can’t sit through another session like that. They don’t want to help us. They’re just out to inflate their own egos. Those target members subscribe to this rubbish.’

‘Can’t you just see how things go?’

Laura’s glare reiterated that she was done.

 

Brenda looked up from her paperwork as Laura was shown into her office. The wall behind her was lined with photographs of target members, before and after, and framed slimming awards issued by the wellness camp.

‘I want to leave. This camp is not for me.’ Laura said.

‘Adjusting to camp life can take some time. I am sure that once you settle down, you will feel better and will see the results of working with us. Who knows you may even become a target member.’

‘I don’t want to be a target member. I want to leave.’

‘I’m afraid that is not possible. On your arrival documents, you signed a consent form. You are to stay here for the duration of the course.’

‘You can’t do that. I am leaving.’

‘Should a rehab centre let a recovering alcoholic go and hit the bottle once again?’

‘That’s not the same thing.’

‘It is exactly the same.’ Brenda sighed, then looked to her paperwork. ‘Now, if there is nothing else, I will see you at tomorrow’s Health Therapy session.’

Laura was reeling. Quite unsure of what to say or do, she turned and left the hut.

She found Jess in the gym. She hovered by the treadmill Jess was using.

‘Are you leaving then?’

‘No, they say I can’t, and that I have signed up. I have to stay.’

‘You’ll come round.’ said Jess.

 

The next morning the campmates were herded into lines and sent to the lead hut for their weigh-in. Laura was quiet as they waited their turn. Jess over-compensated by chatting about a new exercise regime one of the target members had put together for her.

‘I’ll run you through it, if you like.’

Laura simply shook her head.

The line snaked forward. Laura begrudgingly stepped on the scales. Brenda looked at the results and then to her records. She gave her a beaming smile.

‘Congratulations, Laura. You have lost just over a stone.’

Laura nodded and left the hut. Jess came bouncing over.

‘Well? How much have you lost?’

‘About a stone.’ Laura admitted.

‘I have lost eleven pounds. Isn’t it fantastic?’

‘I suppose.’

‘Come on, you must have more to say than that.’

‘I have, actually. Me and Irene have started digging a tunnel.’


Submitted: May 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 CTPlatt. All rights reserved.

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Comments

AdamCarlton

The cult of weight-loss. Great story, rocks along, the POW camp metaphor works really well.

Fri, May 14th, 2021 7:38pm

Author
Reply

Thanks a lot for the feedback! People I know attend weight loss groups and the story just came to me, I am also partial to beer, peanuts and kebabs ????

Mon, May 17th, 2021 5:54am

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