Flash Fiction: Gym Rat
“Donna? It’s been so long. You look great! How much weight have you lost?” Rose gave her old friend a hug as they stood in the check-out line at the store.
“Over fifty pounds.” Donna’s cheeks glowed with excitement. “I’ve got another twenty to go but I’m happy with my progress so far.”
Rose nibbled on her lip, thinking of the twenty she’d like to lose. “Do you belong to a gym?”
The grin fell from Donna’s face. “Yes. It’s the Fit ‘N Slim that took over the old warehouse on Kennedy Ave. You should try it. The ellipticals are great. You will lose so much weight. You won’t ever want to leave.”
“I’ll have to stop by.” Rose made a mental note to check it out the next day.
“In fact, I need to get back there right now. It was good seeing you, Rose!” Donna said, as she sprinted out the door.
The Fit ‘N Slim was huge. Every square inch of the warehouse floor was covered in ellipticals and almost all of them were in use.
Wow, business is booming. Rose’s heart pumped a little faster as she looked around. Unsure of where to begin, she stopped an employee for help. “Excuse me, how does this work? Do I just grab any machine?”
“The ellipticals are great. You will lose so much weight. You won’t ever want to leave.” The man wasn’t even looking at Rose as he talked.
She looked side to side but found no one there. Weird. “Okay. Thanks.”
It took a minute to find a free machine but as soon as she stepped on, it came to life. The pedals and handgrips moved smoothly and her legs fell into an easy rhythm. It was almost like she didn’t even have to do any work.
She smiled. Wow. It might be easier to lose weight than I thought.
A voice rang inside her head. “The ellipticals are great. You will lose so much weight. You won’t ever want to leave.”
With a gasp, she glanced behind her. No one had spoken. Where did that come from?
She swallowed and found she couldn’t let go of the handles of the machine. “You will come everyday. No matter how much they charge for a membership fee, you will come back.”
A scream caught in her throat but she couldn’t call out for help. “The ellipticals are great. You will lose so much weight. You won’t ever want to leave.”
Then a strange peace fell down her spine, pooled deep in her belly. She felt calm. It was good.
Her gaze went blank and she looked straight ahead. “The ellipticals are great. I will lose so much weight. I won’t ever want to leave.”
©Laura L. Zimmerman 2018