This week Moville writer Sharon Thompson shares another tale exploring the life of local people.
Each Sunday this series will showcase works of literature written by local women for readers to enjoy.
When Hetty and Mildred join a weight loss class, they are plagued by a very nosey, and very rude, veteran of the group.
Feel Lighter Forever
Hetty and Mildred are standing waiting by the poster, ‘Feeling Lighter Forever’. Mildred is warm in her fleece and cardigan but as Hetty says, ‘We need to weigh less next week.’
‘Your first time ladies?’ the thinnest woman Hetty has ever seen asks. They both nod as they’ve just seen their nemesis from the golf club slide in the double doors and announce herself to the large room covered in chairs and posters. Mildred chugs on Hetty’s sleeve in despair.
‘I’ve seen her,’ Hetty says. ‘Dinah the Disaster!’
‘I’m delighted you’ve given in to come. Some of us do need to watch our waistlines, don’t we?’ Dinah says approaching the queue. ‘But getting weighed in, is just the worst thing ever.’
‘Murder might be worse!’ Mildred mutters and Hetty’s proud of her.
There’s a whole plethora of leaflets and cards but the ladies can’t concentrate as Dinah is on their heels, chirping in about it all.
Hetty’s adamant that Dinah must stand back as both she and Mildred stand on the scales but Dinah still manages to find out their weights by taking their booklets and gasping loudly. ‘The weight will fall off ladies. Those few extra ‘temptations’ as we call them, make all the difference.’
Mildred thinks cannibalism sounds promising. Human flesh isn’t in the booklet, she has checked, while waiting on the talk from the thinnest lady in the world.
For the week, both ladies are exceptionally good. Although they’re told they shouldn’t be hungry, both ‘Feel Lighter’ and approach the weekly weigh-in queue with enthusiasm.
‘There’s no sign of her,’ Mildred sighs in relief, only to hear Dinah in the hall and then in the room and then behind her in the queue.
‘Ignore everything,’ Hetty says, ‘and we’ll leave before the talk.’ Shaking with nerves Hetty’s up for the weigh in. Feeling like a cow ready for slaughter, she pops off her trainers and fleece and cardigan. She hopes the thinnest lady in the world whispers the good news.
There on the space left for it on the page lies a measly mark of – 1lb. Standing in shock off the side, Hetty ignores Dinah’s eyes and waits holding her breath on Mildred. Both know Dinah will want to know all, so they engage in conversation with a man who’s lost so much of himself he’s barely recognisable.
‘She’s gone,’ Mildred scans the room. ‘Let’s make a run for it.’
Outside the night is closing in and the rain is coming down in torrents. A car screeches into the twilight and skids to a halt blocking their path. The window comes down and lets in the rain but there Dinah sits. ‘Well?’ she shouts above the wind. ‘Well, what did you lose?’
Hetty and Mildred are in shock. Getting wet and feeling heavier than ever, Mildred shouts, ’20 pounds!’
‘Between you?’ Dinah gasps.
‘Goes to show you’ve a lot to lose then doesn’t it?’ Dinah shouts as her window goes up.
With soaked clothes and hair, the ladies stand and both agree, ‘that’s an end to ‘Feeling Lighter Forever.’
Sharon is the co-founder of #WritersWise a trending, writers’ tweet-chat (www.writerswise1.wordpress.com).