's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"The Balance of Control"

Submitted by David Jansen

7:00 in de morning, his alarm clock went off.

The sun just started to rise at the horizon, lighting up the landscape in beautiful colors.

Peter just woke up and with a sleepy head he hit the button.

It was time for his usual routine, put on the coffee, take a shower, grab the coffee and make some bread with cheese.

He was a healthy young lad working in a nothing special gym, where the same desperate people worked out every day.

Peter always enjoyed his morning coffee, black, no milk and absolutely no sugar.

He took a cold shower to feel more fresh and ate his bread with careful bites.

8:00, exactly the time for news he could always watch the news just before he had to go to work at 8:30 sharp.
Peter never wanted to be late because he had ambition to become the manager one day.

The usual things came on the news, ''War in Iraq, children drinking too much booze and more people getting overweight.

Peter looked at it each day and always ended it with a smile,
''Luckily I'm not in Iraq, not a child anymore and absolutely not overweight like the people in the gym.''

Every single day people came in wanting to lose weight but still eating a donut or saying one slice of bacon couldn't hurt them. And everyday he said with a smile,
''Of course it does! Don't make excuses, choose to be fat or not and live with that choice!''

He turned off the TV, and went to work. But noticed he was exactly one second too late.

Most people wouldn't make a fuss about it but Peter started to think, ''I took the same amount of steps in the same interval, how can i suddenly be slower?''

It started to mill about in his mind. ''Was it the coffee, or the news going on one more second? It wasn't me that was slower was it?''

The day went on while Peter started to slowly get irritated.

He wasn't as nice to the desperate people, he wasn't that nice to his colleagues either. Everyone assumed he just had a bad day like everyone has once in a while.

But it wasn't a normal day, Peter had never been too late, not even a second.

When he came home he checked every single thing. Coffee machine same time, news same time. ''How could this be possible,'' he thought by himself,

''Alright Peter, nothing to worry about, tomorrow it will be all normal again.''

He slept well, he had shaken his problem off, or at least he thought he had.

Because the next day the alarm clock went off at exactly 7:00, Peter went through his routine but noticed it didn't feel just as good as always. He was slower.

Did he gain weight? Did time go by faster than normally? The moment he grabbed his sandwich news had already started.

''This isn't right...'' He ran to the bathroom to weigh himself and came to a drastic conclusion. He was heavier.
''No, no, no!''

''Emergency Protocol!'' he screamed through the house, his neighbors should have heard it because even the glasses where shaking in their cabinets.

There was a plan for this sort of situations, these situations had never occurred before but he knew his plan would work.

Instead of cheese he took cucumber, no coffee only water, no news but exercises. This would definitely lose him some weight.

He ran to his work each day for a whole week.

The next Tuesday he timed himself again, 8:32... two minutes too late.

''Why isnít my schedule working... it should be...'' He looked at himself in the mirror and he knew he saw a bit of belly under his T-shirt.

He worked with chaos running into his mind, even his colleagues said he looked paler than normal.

Most of his clients avoided him and looked at him in disgust. One even told him, ''How could you do this to us, you said we had a chance as well.''

Peter looked at his hands and started to cry, the manager came into the gym and sent him home. ''Peter you're sick, see a doctor you really need help.''

The only thing that Peter could do was nod. If he felt like this tomorrow he would go to a doctor.

7:00, his alarm clock didn't go off. He looked to his side and saw the sun high up in the air.

''How?'' He quickly looked to his other side and saw he smashed the clock into pieces.

Heíd probably had a nightmare and hit it in his sleep, that was the logical explanation.

He felt himself struggling to get to his tap for a glass of water. He had problems with cutting the bread.

Heíd never felt this weak before. ''How do fat people live like this?''

The walk to the doctor felt endless but he managed to arrive, exhausted, sweaty.

The doctor shook his head, ''You feel exhausted, weak right?''

''Yes doctor could you explain this to me i was never like this.''

''Most of them say that, you might need to eat better. Get some people to join your cause. Most people can't handle this without help.''

''You.. You turning you against me as well...I shouldn't have gone to a doctor...I can do it on my own...''
As Peter ran out of the doctorís room he could just hear the doctor making a call, ''We have another one, Iíll send you the details.''

He tried to run as fast as he could, arriving home he quickly took a cold shower to refresh his mind.

''We need discipline! More activity, healthier food. No leaving home till I lose that weight!''

Peter was dead serious, for a whole week he worked his ass off, eating extremely healthy.

But that Wednesday, he looked in the mirror and saw the most disgusting man on earth. ''You ugly bastard!'' He had no energy left and he collapsed to the floor.

Thursday, he opened his eyes. His father and mother leaning over the bed, ''How could you do this to yourself Peter, why didn't you call us?''

''Because I thought i could handle it myself, this weight problem shouldn't be a problem for me.''

The doctor entered the room, ''A lot of people working in gyms subconsciously have this disease.''

''You...Go away!...You made me feel worse!...Saying I was like the others...Fat...''

The doctor came closer, ''You thought i said that, I never called you fat because in fact it's the opposite.

You have anorexia, sir. You think you are fat but you were losing weight drastically giving you less energy.''

''You drained yourself so much your liver almost stopped working. If you just had sought help your future would be much brighter. ''

Peter could only stumble, ''Future? What is wrong?'' He was so confused, he couldnít make sense of anything.

''We could restore your liver but unfortunately it caused you to have diabetes.
That means youíll probably gain some weight because of the side effects of the medicine. I'm afraid youíll need to live with some extra kilos, sir.''

His parents nodded, ''We will help you through this phase no matter what happens. Everything will be alright again. You can live your life as a healthy man.''

The doctor and his parents smiled because he survived, but there was only one thing going through Peterís mind.

''Extra kilos!''

''Extra kilos!''

''Extra kilos!''