Saturday, August 8, 2009

Week 29, Day 202 - “Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Treadmill”

“Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Treadmill”
Written by Joe Janes
202 of 365

Rebecca, 30s
Tawny, 30s
Milt, 60s
Paramedic One
Paramedic Two
Verne, 60s

(Lights up on Rebecca in a health club walking slowly on a treadmill. Milt, an older gentleman, is off to the side on a recumbent stationary bike reading the paper while peddling. Rebecca looks like she could use the long-term positive effects of said treadmill. She looks bored and moves at a walking pace. Tawny, who is in much better shape and wears designer workout clothes, enters and hops on the treadmill right next to Rebecca. They give one another a quick, snotty look. Rebecca watches Tawny punch in her information and start walking at a faster clip than Rebecca. This does not sit well with Rebecca who bumps up her speed to match Tawny’s. Tawny looks out of the corner of her eye and down her nose at Rebecca. She pushes up her speed two notches. This infuriates Rebecca who has to work a little to make it up to her control panel and bumps up her pace not two notches, but four! She smiles at Tawny as she somehow manages to maintain this pace. Tawny starts punching up her pace one notch at a time and so does Rebecca until they’ve punched it up so much that all they can do is stop punching it up and run at a full speed for both of them. They’re both running at maximum and neither is going to give in to the other and stop. We can see it wearing them down on their forced smiles and flailing arms and legs. Rebecca starts to shake out her left arm, but won’t give up running. Her whole left side goes numb and she’s still trying to keep pace with Tawny. Milt takes out his cell phone and calls 911. Tawny notices and presses both her and Rebecca’s emergency stop buttons. Rebecca stops hard and collapses onto the ground. Tawny rushes over to her, but suddenly looks dizzy and collapses. Milt is keeping an eye on things but keeps peddling as he hears a siren approaching. Two paramedics rush in from opposite sides of the stage and face off against each other like gunslingers. They look at each other, look at the two women, and then back at each other. They both quickly tend to the nearest woman, One to Rebecca and Two to Tawny, racing to see who can revive their patient first. They try CPR three times each, keeping pace with one another. No success. They both race to try the defibulators. They end up both zapping Rebecca and Tawny at the same time. They do this three times. On the third try, Rebecca recovers. Tawny does not. Paramedic One helps Rebecca off while looking smugly over his shoulder at Paramedic Two. Paramedic Two packs up his stuff angrily, kicks Tawny’s dumb ol’ body and leaves. Milt, still peddling, watches the paramedic exit and then looks back over at Tawny. Verne enters and hops onto the recumbent bike next to Milt and starts peddling briskly. Milt physically and non-verbally indicates, “Fuck this” and gets off his bike. He gives Verne on old timey “up yours” gesture with his fist and elbow and storms off. Verne has no idea what that was about and creepily becomes aware of Tawny’s corpse on the floor as he continues to peddle faster. Lights fade.)