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chapter 24

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Johnny Slipknot

Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 39
Location: The Burned City
chapter 24  Reply with quote  


Bull swept into Good Bodies Gym like a thunderstorm. He marched past the front desk without giving it a glance. A perky girl wearing a leotard that would’ve made Jackson Pollack queasy stepped in front of him and was almost bowled over.

“Excuse me, sir?” She smelled like bubble gum and had the brightest white-toothed smile that had ever needed to be punched in. Bull had the distinct impression she was checking her teeth in the reflection of his glasses. “Can I help you?”


He pushed past her, and cast about the gym for Seth. He only got a few steps further before the girl jazz-stepped into his path again, burning an extra eighty-four calories in doing so.

“I’m sorry, sir. This club is ‘Members Only’. Are you a Member?” she asked, still smiling all over him.

“No.” he pushed on.

She burned another eighty calories and said, “Sir, I’m afraid you can’t come in unless you have a Guest Pass or a Membership.”

At least she only came up to his chest, giving him an unobstructed view of the facility. But, there was no sign of Seth.

“I’m looking for someone. His name is Seth Slocum. Is he here?”

“Um…is he a Member?”

Bull stared at her. “No. I thought I’d try each building in Metro Atlanta at random until I ran into him.”

She thought about this for a moment (154 calories gone), but shook her head, “I’m sorry, sir. You’ll have to pay the walk in fee or…HEY! Would you like to consider a membership here at Good Bodies? We offer spin classes and a free one-on-one training session with…”

She rattled off an endless list of body-altering incentives for Bull’s fat-burning and muscle developing needs, completely unaware of the snowball’s chance in a blast furnace she had of getting his credit card in her little, manicured hands.

Bull bent down and said, “You know what, I would like to join. I would like a lifetime membership. Gold, Platinum, whatever. The biggest one you got. And I’d like to sign up my wife, while I’m at it. Now, I’ll be paying for this on corporate account with a bank draft, but my wife’s will come out of personal checking, which is a joint account so, while I’d love to set up a draft for hers, we’d better check with the bank and see if they will authorize it without her signature or if it has to be done jointly, which I would love to avoid if we could work it out, what with her birthday coming up and the surprise factor. How’s that sound?"

She stared at him, mute.

"What do you think?”

She blinked at him...

"Think that's doable?" a frog in a sandstorm. (17 calories)

“Um…" she managed at last, "why don’t I…go get the manager.” She dashed away in a flash of color and fear. Bull went in search of Seth.

He found him at the back, sitting on a bench, sweating over a copy of Interview, and resting up for another go at the dumbbells on the floor in front of him. When he saw Bull his eyes went wide.

“Bull! What are you doing here?”

“Doesn’t anyone answer their damn phone? I got no answer on your home phone or your cell phone. Jay’s either.”

“Mine were off this morning and Jay probably turned off his portable to avoid talking to anyone from the station. We had a bit of a situation at work today.”

“I know. I tried to get through there, too.”

Seth was still taken aback to find his friend in any exercise facility that didn’t have a basketball court or a batting cage. “So what are you doing here? How’d you get in?”

“Jedi mind trick.” Bull rolled the dumbbells away with his foot. “You need to come with me.”

Seth got up. “Why? What’s going on?”

“I don’t know,” Bull replied already heading for the exit, “but Trip’s e-mail isn’t just one of his pranks. It’s a fucking rattlesnake.”



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