Running Partner

Reads: 13  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

A girl who is obsessed with with training for a 5K becomes hopelessly infatuated with another runner.

Running Partner

 

Christy jogged down the sidewalk. Weaving around pokey walkers, a guy trying to light a cigarette as he precariously rode his bike with no hands, and an absent minded woman gabbing on her phone as she walked her dog. They all turned suddenly as Christy jogged past them. The guy on the bike almost losing balance, the woman jerking her curious yappy dog out of the way.

 

Christy was sure of it. She was sure that her paced had improved as she reached the end of the street. A driver pulling out of a busy shopping center parking lot was looking the other way as he rolled past the stop sign. This caused Christy to lose her train of thought, forcing her to maneuver behind the car rather than in front. It was safer to never trust a driver. Never assume they are paying attention she always told herself.

 

Christy reached the end of the street and was finally able to check her GPS. Unfortunately her time had not improved. Wanting to finish with a time of less than 50 minutes she was very disappointed. It was then she saw her. She had somehow ran past Christy without her noticing. She ran with an unfaltering grace, then rounding the corner she was out of sight. Christy still grasping her GPS glanced at it again, hoping that the time would change. Or that maybe she had misread it. But of course it was no different. Christy chided herself for thinking so. It had been a long day. Perhaps tomorrow her pace would improve.

 

Christy reluctantly showed up for work the next day. She was going to be swamped due to the end of the year approaching. As she took her seat Trish, an experienced runner stopped by her cubicle. I hear you are training for an upcoming 10K. Maybe we could run together sometime said Trish with a smirk. Christy only glared back at her. But oh I forgot. You and I run at different intervals. You probably couldn't keep up said Trish in a sing song voice. I am busy. I have a lot of work to do. Christy pulled herself closer to her desk and sat up straight and rigid. Wow you are lagging in that too? Trish walked away with her nose in the air.

 

Trish ran 5, 10, and 15K races. She always placed in the top three in her running class. Christy would love to beat Trish in a race. She knew she would be in the 10K Christy was training for. But she also knew that Trish was right. Christy never came close to her competitive level. She hated that bitch with her spray tan and fake tits. Christy couldn't wait for work to end so she could go home and run.

 

With work finally over Christy was eager to take advantage of the beautiful day. Her motivation high she took to the sidewalk with a strong and steady pace. She glanced at her GPS and was pleased with progress thus far and a smile flashed across her face.

 

But then she saw her again, the girl from the other day. Christy increased her pace in a fruitless effort to catch up to her. But she just couldn't close the gap. Her heart started to pound hard in her chest. She was gasping for breath and she wasn't any closer. In vain she breathlessly spoke an inaudible wait up before stopping hard. Christy panted feverishly. She was bent over with her hands on her knees. She looked up again at the girl. Her blond ponytail bobbing rhythmically as she ran.

 

Are you OK Miss? Somewhat annoyed Christy looked up and saw an elderly man at her side. What? Yes I am fine. I was just trying to keep up. With who? Replied the old man curiously. With her. Christy pointed up the sidewalk. The old man stood up and squinted hard. Well he began in a amused tone. My eyes are not what they used to be. Unless she is a really fast runner I...Excuse me snapped Christy. Cutting the old man off mid sentence. But I have to go.

 

Christy tried in vain to sleep. She thought of running, work, Trish, and that girl. Who was she? When would she see her again? The fleeting night raced by and Christy never actually slept. Her merciless alarm clock blared relentlessly.

 

Work dragged on. When it finally ended Christy was greeted with gray skies and high humidity. No sooner did Christy get home than the clouds released a torrential downpour. No running today Christy thought to herself as she starred out from under her patio. But then the rain let up and Christy contemplated running. The 10K would only be canceled if the weather was severe. Perhaps she ought to run in the light rain. The experience might do her good. But the gray skies rumbled, as if daring her to take the chance. Without another thought Christy grabbed a hand towel and went out.

 

There was no one out running. It was foggy and hard to see. But traffic still whizzed by without any means of caution. Despite the weather conditions Christy was still keeping up a good pace. She was thinking of increasing her pace when she noticed something up ahead. Was that someone else running? Christy strained to see through wet bangs and fog. She quicken her pace. Pink shorts and a baby blue tank top came into view. It was her! It was that girl! Of course! To run as well as she did one would have to have a strict adherence to training. One could not let a little rain intimidate them. Christy ran harder. Her sneakers had become soaked. Her shirt stuck to her back by warm sweat and cold rain. To improve in running, in anything one must be disciplined. One must be committed and dedicated. Christy was actually getting closer, but she was also getting tired. Her legs burned as the rain started to come down hard again. The girl began to fade from view. Looking ahead Christy didn't notice the raised sidewalk. She tripped and fell hard. Smashing her chin hard on the sidewalk. She looked up and the girl was gone.

 

Christy woke up the next day in pure misery. Her calves ached and her body was warm and covered in a layer of moist sweat. She had a fever, likely from her run in the rain. And to top it all of she sported an ugly gash on her chin from her fall. Despite not feeling well she could not afford to miss work.

 

After yet another long day at work. Christy returned home feeling even worse. She went into the bathroom to vomit but only experienced the unpleasantness of dry heaves. She absolutely could not run today. She was sick, exhausted, and burning up. Throwing herself down on her bed she rapidly drifted off to sleep.

 

Christy began to dream. She was running very late at night and didn't feel ill at all. Nobody was outside, there weren't even any cars on the road. Her footsteps seemed very loud in the empty darkness. She was enjoying the peaceful tranquility, but suddenly stopped dead in her tracks. There she was the girl. She was up ahead at an intersection. She had stopped to stretch and was using a sign to brace herself. Christy starred at her for a bit. The red traffic lights reflecting off of the cool black asphalt. A gentle breeze snapped Christy out of her daze. Then she started running towards her slowly. She was close enough now where Christy could call out to her. She quickened her pace and was only a few feet away when her alarm clock went off, ripping away from her dream.

 

Christy sat up in her bed with a start. Extremely agitated she grabbed her alarm clock and threw it against the wall. She sat there for a moment when the sudden feeling of nausea washed over her. This time she had no trouble throwing up.

 

As time went on Christy continued to train. She seldom missed out on running and her pace began to improve. However her dedication was beginning to become a harmful obsession. She started calling in sick to work to train. She was belligerent at times. Flipping off absent minded drivers when she ran and telling off Trish at work. She even dreamed of running and once woke up with her sneakers on. Christy would continue to see the girl she was obsessed with almost every time she ran. But still could not yet keep pace with her. However that was finally about to change.

 

On a extremely pleasant afternoon Christy went out to run again. The 10K was less than a week away and this would be one of her last runs. Her paced had improved even better than she hoped and she believed this would be her best race time ever. As she ran she again noticed the girl on the busy sidewalk. Christy calmly improved her pace. She began to catch up. She felt strong and full of vigor. She continued to evenly close in on the girl. She weaved around dog walkers and slow joggers. Christy was now right behind her. She could reach out and touch her.

 

Then overcome with a rush of confidence, Christy pressed on and was now running side by side with the girl. It was very challenging keeping pace with her, but she was doing it. A smile spread across Christy's face. She was in near ecstasy. Christy was so thrilled that she could keep up she was oblivious of the people who had to dodge out of her way. In fact Christy was so elated she wasn't even aware that she was actually keeping pace with a ghost that only she could see. Unfortunately she was also unaware she was about to run right into a busy intersection during a green light.

 

An SUV struck Christy's petite body with such force she was dead before she even hit the road. Her head struck the pavement with a sickening thud, a pool of blood collecting around it. Her blonde hair splayed about her head like some kind of macabre flower. Her eye, the other had been knocked out of her head starred upward blankly. The smile slowly receded from her face.

 

The driver of the SUV, an overweight middle aged mother who had been arguing with her children was hysterical. She stepped out of her car asking where did she come from? Why did she run out like that? Her two children sitting in the back seat were equally stunned. With Christy's body lying in the intersection it didn't take long for traffic to back up. People had already started to gather around the scene.

 

There were voices, but they sounded distant and muffled. Christy stood up and looked around. But she was confused about where she was or what had just happened. She walked around a bit, trying to orientate herself. Looking back she saw her mangled body lying on the road. Her confusion began to manifest into fear. Christy was about to say something but that was when she heard it. Hey, the voice said. Unlike the other voices this one was clear. Hey, the voice called out again. Christy turned and looked the other way. It was the girl, the one she had been running with. She smiled at Christy. She was a beautiful girl with bright green eyes. "I am Jill. Do you want to keep running?" Still confused Christy turned back to look at her body which now was surrounded by a crowd of people. "Christy! Earth to Christy!" Said Jill laughing. "Hey I have been looking for a good running partner for some time now. You are not ready to call it quits are you?" Christy looked back at Jill and returned her inviting smile. "C'mon I bet we can go at least a couple more miles." With that Christy joined Jill in their never ending run.

 

 

 

 


Submitted: January 10, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Jason Scott. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Horror Short Stories

Other Content by Jason Scott

Short Story / Horror

Short Story / Horror

Short Story / Horror