The hollow sounds of footsteps clicked on the wet Autumn pavement.
Almost in synch with the beat of her heart the footsteps increase in speed
to match the rhythm created by the fear of the second set of feet following
close behind. Clacking loud one moment then muffled by the wet fallen leaves
which earlier in the day she admired for their turning beauty but now wishes
in the dark they wouldn't hinder her hearing of where those closing-in
All she has in her hands is the small bag of snacks she'd purchased at
the market. Squeezing the bag between her hands, she can hear the crunching
of the potato chips she'd had a craving for but knew not to buy since it'd
throw off her neverending diet.
"No willpower. You never did have any willpower", she grumbles at herself.
She stops squeezing the bag since she can't hear how far the menacing footsteps
behind her have advanced. What should have been a pleasant evening walk
has all the makings of a third rate horror movie.
"If, for once in your life, you'd follow through with something you wouldn't
about to be murdered", she continues. "All you had to do was hop on the
bike and pedal a couple of miles, but no. You wanted the junk food."
She squeezes the bag once more wishing it was the hand weights she should
have been carrying on her power walks. Only five pounds each. Not enough
to strain the muscles but enough to do some serious damage for perverts
who creep up behind defenseless women.
"Dammit, if I had those I'd teach this cretin what he can and can't do",
she growls under her breath. "I'd turn around and... and..."
She gives a scared squeek as the footsteps pick up speed behind her. She
can hear them gaining on her. Going as fast as she can she finds it's no
use. Her lungs are giving out. A pack a day habit of low tar cigarettes
doesn't allow room for much needed air. Her muscles are turning to jelly
due to lack of oxygen.
"Why didn't I do the arobics tapes Jack gave me for my birthday?", she
whined. "He wanted to buy me that sexy negligee and I told him no. Buy
me the tapes first then we can shop for erotic clothes together."
"Jack gave me his 'I know better' look", she whimpered. "I was going to
prove him wrong wasn't I. Look at me now, Jack. I'm going to die but not
as you thought. God, he's getting closer."
The footsteps were almost on top of her. She could hear the heavy breathing,
feel it on her neck. Sweat dripped down her chest and sides dampening her
"Why, why, why didn't I excersize?", she cried to herself. "I could have
out run him, fought him off. All I've got is this stupid bag of chips."
A tear trickled out of the corner of one eye as she hiccupped trying to
catch her breath from overexerting herself. Screwing up her courage she
turned around to face her attacker just as he caught up with her. A startled
gasp escapes her mouth. Eyes widening she stumbles back. Hacking coughs
almost bend her double.
A hand reaches out grasping ahold of her arm, steadying her.
"Careful, dearie", Mrs. Marshall cautioned. "You don't want to hurt yourself.
You okay, Kim dear?"
Kim tries to moisten her dry mouth to answer her seventy year old next
door neighbor. Her neighbor, who teaches senior fitness down at the 'Y'.
"Thanks, Mrs. Marshall", Kim tries to reply without letting her neighbor
see what a nimrod she was. "Nice night for a walk isn't it?"
"Always Kim. I like to take my daily walks at this time of night. So quiet
and peaceful. Let's me do my thinking without all the distractions", Mrs.
Marshall peppily responded.
"I should try that myself", Kim replied. "Maybe I should start tomorrow.
Nothing like being inshape now is there?"
"No, nothing like it", Mrs. Marshall agreed. "I must be off to finish my
walk, Kim. Now, you be careful. Watch your step."
"I will. I think I'll head on home myself", Kim said.
Kim watched her neighbor build up speed into a powerwalk wearing her spritely
tracksuit and carrying...
Kim slowly resumed her walk home contemplating tonights events. As she
thought about what almost could have happened, Kim opened up the bag of
crushed chips and starting munching.
"Boy", Kim thought, "a good fright sure makes me hungry."