1.12.2012

Exercise or else....

She was walking to the Gym as usual when the first gust of wind wound its way through. By the time she reached the next block, the wind was ripping her cap off. There was the sound of howling all around her and she never heard the footsteps behind her. She reached the gym and it was dark inside. The blinds were drawn. As she entered the lights switched on and the camera installed on the wall reassured her that someone would be watching. She had always been anxious of being alone behind closed doors and the feeling had only been accentuated in the past few years. Now she had reached the edge of paranoia. As she hung her coat, instinct told her to keep the keys and phone in the pocket of her track pants. The first thing she needed was some noise, she hated quiet. She hunted down the TV remote , found it in one of the treadmill pockets and switched on the TV, tuned to TBS. She decided to try out the elliptical first and punched the buttons and nothing happened. While she was wondering if the display was a mock-up and it was manual mode, she saw a shadow across the window in front of her. That particular window was on the walk path to the door of the gym and anyone entering would be seen through it first. She was a little relieved at the prospect of having company. In the meantime she had churned the elliptical and now the display had come alive. She hit the glutes max program and started to move. It was a few minutes later that it struck her that nobody had come in through the gym door. She dismissed the shadow as the evening sun playing tricks. After a few minutes she moved on to the exer-cycle and started on the fat burn program. As she was working her way through it she heard a dull thud of something heavy crashing to the ground. She stopped and waited. All was quiet. There were only two doors to the gym and both led to the hall which was visible from inside the gym. She hadn't seen anyone come through them but then the noise. She became a little afraid but mustered up enough courage to go into the hallway and look around. No one. Where had the noise come from she wondered. She went back inside the gym but had second thoughts of continuing. Since she did not want to be a laughing stock for her cowardice again she steeled herself and walked over to the treadmill. Soon the adrenaline rush took over and she went over to do the Lats. She sat down with her back towards the door and started heaving. Suddenly through the laboured breathing she sensed another rhythm. With her spine tingling she turned around. Standing there in a grey long coat was a guy. She could only see his eyes through his scarf and headgear. She was chilled to the bone. He dint look like he belonged there. One of his hands were muddy and the other in his pocket holding something tight. As she started to get up he took a step towards her. She screamed and ran towards the door. He darted behind her. In the nick of time she managed to open the doors and run outside. The wind sent her spiraling backwards. She had had no time to take her jacket. She hit the brakes on her fall and saw from the corner of her eyes that the guy was also outside now. Whatever he was carrying in his hand was out of the pocket. It gleamed in the light of the street light. She could not believe this was happening to her. She sprinted towards the housing office. and climbed up the stairs only to meet a locked door. It was already past the office time she realised. She started running towards her home two blocks away. Atleast she could go to her neighbour’s. She could hear the guy pounding behind her and judging by the sounds she knew he was closing in on her very fast. By the time she ran half a block, her stamina was diminishing rapidly. Her breath had turned into a wheeze and her body was giving up. As she fell forwards she saw the guy's shadow looming above her. She turned her face up and as he brought down the gleaming object she tried to cover her face. What you cant see hurts you lesser. An agonizing second later she realised she was still alive and opened her eyes. Thrust in front of her eyes was a credit card. Upon peering some more she realised it was hers. It must have fallen out of her coat pocket. Tears welled into her eyes as she stood up and took the card. She waited till she caught her breath back. The guy was still waiting by her side. As she looked into his eyes and thanked him, he smiled. It was the scariest smile she had ever seen. Tears rolled down her cheeks, resigned, and the last thing she knew was a dull metallic thud. Surreal.
The next day's paper held reports of yet another murder in the area of a woman. The police was clueless since, even in this case, it looked like the woman knew the murderer. There was a calm smile on her dead face.
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