It’s an old bus, peeled, worn paint, exposing the metal under a layer of gray and red. The seats are smooth plastic, cheap corduroy, “I was here” and “Lisa loves my cock” scratched on the backs, elusively, only in the back, out of sight. I’d wipe the dirt from the windows if I could, but it’s splashed across the outside, like dust that’s risen from roads far from here, and been painted on. I can see through like sepia, like underwater almost.
The rumble, the groans and roars of the engine, they resonate into my belly, a jumble, shaking my baseless thoughts as they meander. I look forward to the head of the bus, and the largest woman I’ve ever seen is driving, her giant thighs spilling like water over the side of the seat. But she’s whistling as she drives, and seems happy.
Out of the corner of my eye, where I can barely see him, a mid aged, dark man is striding towards our idling bus. He’s angry, violently angry, and I notice the giant stick in his hands, worked fingers wrapped tightly around. If a man could trail steam and bile, he would. He’s coming alongside the bus, and then he’s swinging and swinging and I duck as the glass shatters over me. The belching fire of fear comes roaring up my throat, and I’m dry palmed and scratchy eyed, trying to keep my bearings. That cold sweat everyone talks so clearly about? It’s rolling down my back like dry ice and I try to stand, will my arm to move and brush the shards from my hair. I’m bleeding from pinpricks.
Quivering, my head turns from side to side, worried that someone will be seriously bleeding, or seriously losing their minds.
No one has moved. They all continue to stare blankly before them, out the filthy windows, at their papers and stories. When the man storms the bus, they do not flinch as I do, they do not move or gasp or anything. It’s like standing in the midst of a dream, or rather, standing watching one fly by.
He saw me. Unprotected by the flutters of other people, he honed in on me, started for me, then noticed the driver, her expanse frozen where she sat, terrified, pondering all those little fates that could so easily and violently be hers.
Somehow, he dragged her off the bus, her body slamming across the black vinyl of the stairs, her tears and screams echoing. I was compelled to follow, even as I heard the sickening crunch of wood on skin and bone, the squishy impact of flesh absorbing energy. Her screams murmured to gurgles in my ears as the water turned to glue and trapped my legs.
I watched her fall, shake and not get up, purposefully not looking at the spreading darkness underneath her, or the feral glare in his eyes, glowing as he stared hard at me. I looked back up into the bus, to the blank faces, the unknowing.
As fast as my feet could push me, I ran, with him so close I could feel his sticky hot breath on me, and his fingers ready to clamp across my neck.