Story 14: “Stationary Bike” by Stephen King

I thought it would be extra cool (or completely dorky) to read this story while actually riding a stationary bike.  As it turns out, it wasn’t all that much more terrifying.  The story itself is kinda scary when you think about it from the perspective of obsessions, but in terms of the actual plot, it really only works well as an imaginative, well-told, carefully crafted fantasy.  This is not to say that it was bad in any way, just not really that frightening.  Now, if I start thinking about a person with certain obsessions that drive them to do all sorts of weird things and wonder how close to that particular portion of the line of insanity I’ve come, then it gets a little scarier.

 

Summary:  An overweight middle 30’s man gets some bad cholesterol related news from his doctor and is told he has to eat better and lose weight or risk serious health complications or possibly death.  To convey the dire need of this message the doctor comes up with an elaborate metaphor about construction workers in his body who are overworked at having to clear the roadways (his arteries) of all the crap he dumps there and who are about to go on strike.  The man takes the message to heart, buys a stationary bike, and begins to ride, but soon he tires of looking at the wall while riding, so being and artist he paints a picture on the wall to look at.  The subject?  The road construction crew the doctor used in his metaphor.  But soon he begins blacking out during his rides and having terrifying visions of the crew and their lives.  But it can’t be real, can it?

 

Writing:  9/10

Personal Fright: 2/10

General Horror/Oppressiveness: 2/10

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