Exercise to Death

Exercise to Death
Image provided by
Chris Dlugosz @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisdlugosz/

“Bertha, I have no idea why they call this neighborhood a subdivision except for the fact that the records show that the land used was purchased as one unit,” Lillian said.

The elderly woman on the other end of the phone line sighed deeply. “Lil, I guess it doesn’t make all that much difference anyway. I’m just curious. What are your plans for the day?”

“Do a little work for my boss, make some banana nut bread with the three overripe bananas sitting on the counter, and I’m going to get out there to do my power walk. What are you doing?”

“As little as possible. My shoulders ache after the gardening I did yesterday so I’m going to give them a rest.”

After ringing off, Lillian sat down at her laptop and cranked out the four proposals her boss wanted to show to clients. Working from home was an irrefutable improvement. When she had been working in the office, the workload was sporadic to the point where she felt like her life was centered around waiting for work and then racing to get it done. Invariable, her boss would say he needed her after regular working hours so that what he needed would be available the next morning. She didn’t have a life of her own. With this marvelous idea of working from her laptop, she could get things accomplished for him, send them to him via email attachments, and be able to do other things in her personal life.

She sent her work out and got ready for her power walk, one of the many things on her New Year’s resolution list. Her thoughts reeled around ideas of excuses she could use that would suffice for getting herself out of going for this walk. It happened every day like this. She’d try to talk herself out of doing it, and then, turn right around and talk herself back into it. How do people get themselves all excited for this sort of thing, she wondered.

Using the front steps for her warm-up, she surveyed what she could see of the neighborhood. Her street was deserted. If anyone was home, they had their curtain drawn shut and their doors closed. The backyards of the houses on the next block showed no sign of life either.

Walking with determined purpose, Lillian made her way around the bend to the next street. Many walkers and joggers use a headset to listen to music as they exercise — not Lillian though. She preferred listening to the sounds of nature, even the barking dogs. The house in the middle of this block had a rooster and several hens in the backyard. The rooster must have come from a different time zone because he never crowed in the morning. It was usually close to dinner time before Lillian would hear him from her house.

Pumping her legs as she rounded the next bend and walked the distance of two blocks, she began to hear something that almost sounded like music. Getting close to the next street she’d walk up, the noise got louder. She pushed forward, climbing the incline of the road when she saw where the sound was coming from. The music streamed out of the iPod as the blood pooled around the joggers head.

She stopped, being shocked by the scene. Finally words came out of her mouth. “Oh, shit.” She checked for a pulse on the man. There wasn’t one. She didn’t have her phone with her. She purposely left it at home so that no one could bother her during her two-mile walk. She looked around in hopes of seeing a door open. Her brain wouldn’t process fast enough. She didn’t know what to do next. All she knew was that she had to do something.

A car drove by and park in the driveway three houses up. Lillian made a beeline for the person getting out. The middle-aged man looked at her with puzzlement. “Sir, 911 needs to be called. That man down there,” she said pointing in the direction she came from, “is dead. I checked the pulse.”

The man was savvy about technology and brought out his iPhone. Punching in the numbers, he asked, “What’s his name?”

Lillian nervously figgled with the hem of her top. “I don’t know who he is. I’ve never seen him before.”

I guess this one is going to be more than just one post, readers. Part two is here.

Writing prompt (in bold) from @DailyPrompt.

 

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20 Replies to “Exercise to Death”

  1. Hi, dear Glynis! I have gotten behind in my blogging and am only now (slowly) catching up. I’ve seen updates to this story, but wanted to wait and read it in proper order. Ah, so a mystery is afoot! Nice pacing, good writing – and a hook to move me to the next installment. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I like stories that work themselves out in several installments. Serialized fiction has a fine history in popular American literature. I don’t know if this is true, but someone told me Charles Dickens used to publish some of his fiction in serialized form for newspapers.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Get this. I went to the used book store here in my little town looking for something to read that would cost me an arm and a leg. I found The Green Mile. The written story is done as a serial of 5 slim books (by Stephen King, of course).

          Have you notice how Charles Dickens books do make a serial, starting his life as Oliver Twist and going on David Copperfield and Tale of Two Cities?

          Like

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