It’s too cold outside
Just rubber meeting rubber
As the world goes by
I figured since I was talking about the treadmill. I would sell out and offer up a short story of mine about a killer treadmill. Some of you may have read it, some may not.
There are two ways to get it.
The first way is the pay way. If you would like to read it on Kindle for 99 cents along with another short story of mine, click the book image below. It will take you right to it. I would love a review if anyone has the time.
The second way is the free way. Just drop your eyes below to read it.
Whichever way you choose. I hope you enjoy it.
So applause, applause. The curtain is lifting. Now begins the story called Twenty Dollars.
The web page flickered across Bob’s face as he stared at the ad. He couldn’t believe it, a great top of the line treadmill for only twenty dollars. He reached down and pinched the gigantic roll of fat around his waist.
“You my friend have to go.” He ran his hand through his middle aged hair then picked up the phone and dialed the number on the screen.
He held on a moment longer and just as he was about to hang up. Someone picked up. It was an old sounding voice; no not old, creaky was the word I was looking for. It had the feel and sound of one of those old doors that would swing open in a scary house. You know the kind, the doors that need some oil. The ones that make the goose bumps rise. Bob didn’t know how a voice could sound like that, but it did.
“I’m calling about the treadmill.” He was nervous and he didn’t know why, but twenty bucks what a steal.
“The one I posted online.” Screech went the voice.
“That’s the one.”
“Do you have twenty dollars?”
“Is it in your hands?”
“Can it be in your hands?”
“Yes, I guess. I need to get my wallet.”
“Hold on.” Bob went down and got his wallet. He picked up the phone. “It’s in my hand.”
“Thank you for doing business with me. You will find your treadmill in the garage.”
Bob paused for a moment. “Wait, how do you know I have a garage?” The phone line went dead as the money evaporated from his hand. A second later Bob heard a large bang in the garage. Something had just crash landed on the floor.
He put the phone back in its cradle and went out to investigate.
With a cautious ease he opened the door and flipped on the light.
In the corner where he wanted to put the treadmill, there it sat, gleaming in a pool of light, all shiny and new.
Bob looked around the room and then went down the two sets of concrete steps to the floor.
He stopped and paused.
He looked around.
“Impossible. This has to be some kind of joke.”
Bob watched as the plug lifted off the ground and pushed itself into the electric outlet. The machine came to life, causing Bob to jump back so hard, that he fell right on his fat flabby butt.
“Get on, take a spin.” The machine said as Bob looked up at it. “I’ll make you thin, girls you will win.”
“Not much of a rhyme.”
As caution goes in the human mind, anybody else would have run screaming for the hills the minute the treadmill appeared in the garage. Bob was however, cheap, very cheap, so the cost of buying it far outweighed the caution he should have had at this moment.
Bob got up off the floor and dusted off. He looked down at himself as his outfit evaporated and in its place was a shiny new set of clothes. Wick away shirt, keeps you cool and dry. Running pants that fit much like swimming trunks, net in the middle to hold your junk in place. Moisture control socks and a perfectly fitting pair of running shoes. To top it off, a head band had decided to rest itself atop Bob’s head. He was now suited up and ready to go.
Again, I can’t speak high enough about caution in this situation. Why would a human being in a situation like this even dream of getting on that tread mill?
Bob walked over to it, feeling the soft spring in his new running shoes. He looked down at them, blue and green with funky zig zag markings.
“That’s it Bob, step up, don’t hide, loose the gut, take your stride.”
Caution, hello, caution! I don’t care how cheap you are. If a machine appears in your garage and then starts talking to you in rhyme, maybe you should take some warning from that.
The belt began to move and Bob watched it for a moment or two.
He could see the screen clicking off miles, .01, .02, .03 . . .
I can’t believe he did this, but Bob climbed on.
“It was easy. I could do this all night.” That was Bob’s first thoughts. This was a nice gentle walk compared to what he thought it would be.
“Let’s go a little faster.” The belt underneath his feet picked up some speed. Bob watched as the mileage thing jumped from 1 mile to 10 miles.
“Hey buddy. I think your mileage thing is out of whack!” Bob was trying to stay with the current speed, but he was starting to struggle. A pain ran up his side, across his heart, and down his left arm. That machine picked up on it.
“I’ll slow it down a bit. I can tell by your breath that you are really struggling. Too many doughnuts and beer does not make a heart healthy I hear.” The machine chuckled, an evil chuckle. Bob for the first time kind of got spooked. Twenty dollars or no twenty dollars this may not have been such a good idea.
Bob reached out for the rails. He needed to hold on to something for a moment or two so he could catch his breath and walk a little easier.
Remember what I said about caution, well Bob has now just learned his lesson a little too late. The rails, man he shouldn’t have grabbed onto the rails, because the minute Bob grabbed the rails the machine had him where it wanted him.
A shot of burning pain raced through Bob’s hands and then a smell of burning flesh reached Bob’s nose. It was like a stove burner just got flipped up to high heat when Bob grabbed the rails.
He went to remove his hands. They were both stuck.
He tried again, but it was no use, his hands were fused to the machine.
The burning subsided, and a strange coolness took over before he could start to scream.
Bob calmed himself, and found his voice. “Hello, machine. I think something is wrong here.”
Something was indeed, wrong here, and Bob watched in horror as the mileage screen began to run through numbers and, yes folks, I’m going there with this cliché.
The numbers stopped on 666.
Fire blew out the back-end of the tread mill as an explosion rocked the whole machine. The belt began to pick up speed. Bob could do only one thing and that was to run. Run like his life depended on it and in so many ways, it did.
Bob ran and his whole body was responding to his sudden jump from couch potato, to marathon-runner. Bob’s legs were on fire, shin splints were tearing him apart, pain was running up his back, and the fat around his waist was flying like it had never flown before. It was like a water balloon that wasn’t quite full, sloshing all over the place.
Bob was breathing heavy. A heart attack must be on the horizon he somehow managed to think. It would be his last thought because now all he could do was just hold on.
His hands were still fused and the treadmill wasn’t stopping.
Bob could hear his feet slapping the soft rubber, the tread moving so quick he could barely keep up. If he didn’t stop soon he was going to pass out and he knew it.
He tried to do what most would do in this moment and that was to scream for help. He went to do this, but he was so winded that he couldn’t even muster a breath, let alone a scream.
Bob continued to run as his legs turned to jelly. He couldn’t go any further, but he had to. Hot fire burned on the soles of his feet as smoke began to rise from them. He ran, faster.
The mileage counter blinked out as the soles of his shoes melted off. He was now running on bare feet.
He continued to run.
The mileage counter kicked back on and it once again read, 666.
Bob could smell the flesh burning off the bottoms of his feet and as it burned off blood flew into the air like raindrops, these raindrops moved upwards before they went downwards, splashing and crashing all over the machine and the ground around it.
The machine lapped up the blood and soaked it into its mechanical insides. Wires ran from inside the machine to the blood on the floor and slurped it up like a kid slurping a milk shake through a straw.
Bob looked down and he saw with horror the skin split open and then shed like tissue paper. Pieces of his flesh went everywhere and the machine wasted no time lapping them up.
Bob realized he was now running on naked skeletal feet. He could feel the bones cracking as he ran and he knew before long, from his toes up through his ankles, there would be a fracturing earthquake. His bones would just shatter like glass on the ground.
Bob didn’t know, but the machine knew.
Bob felt hot pain run back up his left arm, his heart was about to go.
He went to scream, but before he could, a wire shot out of the console and flew right down his mouth.
Bob could feel it crawling down his throat to his insides. He could feel it moving around, probing, like some invading worm.
Horror set in.
Bob knew what this thing was going after, his heart, and the endorphins racing through his system.
The wire pushed into Bob’s motor muscle and began to suck the blood dry and all the endorphins racing through Bob’s body.
Bob died instantly, his body slumped over, hands still fused, legs dragging out and bouncing with the moving treads.
The machine stopped when it was full and evaporated. It dropped Bob’s lifeless body to the floor like a used sack of meat.
When he was found several days later, he was nothing more than a naked body on the floor of his garage. It was ruled a suicide, but the authorities could never find out how he exactly did it.
At a home, many states away, an over weight man was searching the internet. He saw an ad for a twenty-dollar tread mill . . .
What did you think about it?
Will you ever get on a treadmill again?