Jan 25th, 3:28 PM
The sale went smoothly for Samantha, for about the first thirty seconds, before going far, far off script when she sat down with Jeremy.
Name, Phone Number, Address, Birthday, all normal from a very average looking 18 year old man. He was a little bit chubby, average height, and wouldn’t meet her eyes but she’d sold dozens of memberships to guys like him in the five years that she’d been a sales associate at the gym.
“What made you decide to come into the club today,” was the first very personal question in the script and the answers tended to fall into categories of losing weight, gaining muscle, for a sport, or due to broken relationships.
“To prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse,” was Jeremy’s quiet reply. He finally met her eyes with a solidly confident look in his hazel eyes.
A long confused three seconds went by before she could say, “Sorry?”
“I want to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse. I want to get faster,” he answered without a pause.
“Are you in a play, or is it some new outdoor app?” She was hopelessly confused. After a month of fast paced sales, and high sales goals, she was incredibly tired of the New Year’s rush.
“No, the Zombie Apocalypse like in movies where the dead come back to life. I’ve had a dream repeat night after night for months now. In it the dead will come back to life starting next Halloween.”
She had never watched a Zombie film or show in her life but at least commercials for them had given a vague idea to her of what he was talking about.
“So, you want to get in shape for when the dead come back to life?”
“Yep, it’s going to happen at Halloween in 9 months.”
It wasn’t quite the weirdest answer she’d ever gotten. And she needed one more sale to get into a higher bonus tier for the month so she abandoned the line of questions and went back to the script.
“Do you have a family history of diabetes, stroke, cancer or heart disease?”
With Jeremy’s help the membership was quickly filled out.
“Thanks, and welcome to the club, you can workout immediately, your card might not scan for a few days but you can just show it to them at the front desk. Just a reminder the first payment will come out in 2 weeks from now on February 8th.”
“Thanks for your help.”
“If you change your mind on personal training or the free introductions to various things like our free Group Exercise classes let me know. I’ll call you in two days to follow up that everything is going smoothly.”
“Thanks, I really appreciate you treating me normally, unlike everyone else, when I mentioned the dreams.”
“No problem,” she said as he started to walk off and she turned to do some calls to leads.
“Wait, I have one question. Why do you need to workout for a Zombie Apocalypse. I don’t know much about it, but wouldn’t survival, or weapon, skills be more important than physical fitness?”
Jeremy’s automatic answer tossed over his shoulder as he left confused her for a few minutes after he left.
Jan 25th, 11PM
That night she couldn’t sleep right away. The sale to Jeremy wouldn’t quit repeating in her head, including his final answer.
After an hour tossing and turning she got up and started searching for information about Zombies, Zombie Apocalypse which led to things like Zombie Preparedness and other terms.
It was one giant rabbit hole that she only tore herself away from around 2am. Samantha went back to bed with a number of answers to her first questions but a few new questions bubbled up until sleep finally put them aside.
Jan 26th, 9:08A
Samantha was rushing in late only to pause and stare at Jeremy walking on a treadmill just past the front desk.
Her co-worker Alice buzzed her through for a few seconds before Samantha got the hint and went through the gate.
Gathering her courage she went over to him.
“Hi, you might want to consider ellipticals, they are a bit more of a full body workout.”
“Ah, I really mostly want to work my legs not my upper body too much. I don’t want too much muscle on my upper body. Actually, maybe some for climbing.”
“How about this, if you want I’ll sign you up for a 10AM orientation on weight machines. They will show you a bunch of machines including ones you can build strength and explosive power in your legs. There’s also machines to build strength in your upper back for climbing.”
“Sure. I have to get ready.”
February 15th, 8:04PM
The 5th zombie film had ended and Samantha had made a few notes on the pad beside her. Despite a full day of watching them she still couldn’t understand the impulse that made her take the day off just to watch a zombie marathon by herself.
March 2nd, 2:56PM
“I’m not getting faster or stronger anymore,” he said between adding sugar and cream to his coffee. He had invited her to the coffee shop down the street just before her break.
“It happens. Most people make a lot of gains the first few weeks, but it’s not them gaining a lot of muscle. It’s their bodies learning to exert all of their muscles at once. After your body starts triggering your muscle correctly then you need to put on new muscle to keep getting stronger, and that’s harder.”
“Ah. So, what do I need to do?”
“I can set you up with a personal trainer at the gym. I can get him to skip some of the intro sessions and skip to leg conditioning exercises.”
“Skip,” he asked.
“Yeah, they usually sell more introductory sessions than anything else. Their bread and butter if you will.”
A long pause followed while they sat and sipped.
“I’m going to a skeet shooting class on Saturday,” she offered.
“Ah, that’s kind of awkward,” he said after thinking a moment.
“Yeah, I guess.”
June 27th, 12:02PM
“Hey, Samantha do you want to come to my cottage this weekend? A bunch of the girls on staff are going,” asked Alice.
“Sorry, I’m going to a skeet competition down south this weekend.”
“Isn’t 26 a bit old to take up competitive shooting? I thought most of sports you had to start as a kid to be competitive?”
“It’s a bit old, but the Instructors at the range say I’ve got great hand-eye coordination and vision. I doubt I’ll even place in the standings but it should be fun.”
“Okay, if you change your mind, or make it back early, send me a text and then head over.”
“Sure, if I don’t make it this weekend how about we go out for lunch on Monday?”
“Sounds good, got to run, good luck.”
September 13th, 5PM
Samantha hadn’t run into Jeremy very often the last few months. He was mostly out running during the day and did his weights late at night.
She felt it was a bit awkward for her to see him as he sat down in the massage chair beside hers. His body had leaned out on the top while is legs bulged out of his running shorts.
“You look the opposite of most of the teen guys in the gym you know.”
“Most of them go nuts with trying to pack on muscle to their arms and chest. As they bulk up their legs slowly look like tiny chicken legs in comparison t their upper body.”
“Ah, most of them are out trying to pick up, or dreaming of it, so I guess that makes sense. My goal is a bit different.”
“You still have the same dreams?”
“Every night. Only a month and a bit before we know.”
“Yeah. Umm, would you like to go to a movie Friday?”
“Sorry, I really don’t have time left over right now.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
October 31st, 8:12AM
Samantha had decided to just wear her uniform. She was allowed to wear a costume but she just didn’t feel up to wearing one.
As she opened the front door she stepped out and was turning to lock it when she heard the screams.
A young blonde teen girl was racing along the far sidewalk, away from a bloody person slowly chasing her.
Samantha calmed watched the scene for a moment before turning, walking into her house, dropping her purse on the couch before heading to her gun cabinet.
November 4th, 10:29PM
The flat roof of the sporting goods store at the corner offered a good view of the intersection and a block or two along the streets all 4 directions.
Only the cold weather prevented the dozens upon dozens of corpses, spread across the streets and sidewalk, from being a putrid, rotting mess. The few living in the area though were used to it.
The zombie corpses missing chunks from their heads and torsos had slowly built up as the 25 year old brunette tore them apart with her shotgun.
As she watched a group of 4 zombies shuffle towards her from a block away a familiar figure raced up behind them. Quickly passing them before any of them could react the figure was racing towards her and her surviving friends.
As she watched him bolt straight towards her she saw the missing hand, the bloody jaw and the chunk missing from his side.
Lifting her shotgun for the 8th time that day she had a small smile and a bit of a haze in her eyes as she remembered his answer to her months before.
“I want to train to be a fast zombie in a world of slow zombies.”
As she lined up the shotgun and aimed she said her deepest thoughts.
“We’re both living our dreams. But a shot shell is faster than a zombie head.”