Saturday 22 June 2013

'Putting a Spin On It' by Cathy White

Burn up to 600 calories in 50 minutes
            Ooh, that’s a bottle of Chardonnay, or three slices of Domino’s bacon double cheese pizza, or three bags of salt and vinegar crisps, or... Susannah carried on reading the leaflet she found on the doormat.
            Release endorphins to give you that natural high and leave you feeling fantastic
I could certainly do with feeling fantastic, she thought. Susannah looked at herself in the mirror. At twenty-five years old, she weighed almost the same in stones. Roots the colour of charcoal showed at the top of her bleached blonde hair. Toothpaste and – what was that, last night’s gravy? – stained her baggy grey tracksuit. Through the window she watched her neighbour, Janine, slide into her yellow Audi TT and check her immaculate make-up in the mirror. I bet Janine doesn’t spill gravy down her top. Janine probably doesn’t eat pies. Susannah read the leaflet again. Six hundred calories... that’s a pie. Oh, stop it, stop thinking about pies.
            Two days later Susannah drove the half a mile to the gym for her first class. Spinning. According to the leaflet it seemed to have something to do with sitting on a stationary bicycle. A bicycle that doesn’t move? How hard could that be?
Discover your athlete within
            Christopher Columbus couldn’t discover my athlete within, Susannah thought as she got the lift to the first floor. Locating the spin bikes in the corner, she clambered onto the one furthest away from the window and looked around at her classmates. She was pleased to note they weren’t all skinny freaks like the ones on the television.
            The instructor arrived. A song Susannah recognised streamed through the speakers as the instructor screamed, ‘ARE YOU READY TO FEEL THE BURN?’
            The only thing burning, Susannah thought, are my cheeks with embarrassment. The instructor waved her arms in the air and as the rest of the class followed, Susannah gripped the handlebars tighter.
            ‘WE’RE GOING UP A HILL. IT’S GOING TO HURT. ARE YOU TERRIFIED? ‘COZ I’M TERRIFIED,’ the instructor yelled.
            Susannah glanced at the clock. Twenty minutes to go. She wasn’t sure she could last that long, she thought as she wiped her forehead with a towel.
            Fifteen minutes later, the warm-up track began and the class ended. Susannah clambered down from her bike and limped to the changing room.
            ‘Do you want to book in for next week?’ the receptionist asked as Susannah’s eyes locked onto the door marked EXIT.
            ‘Um... I’ll think about it,’ Susannah said, closing the door behind her.


The Water Levels Are Rising...

There's less than a week left before National Flash Fiction Day 2024 when we'll share another veritable flood of flash fiction here ...