Weekly Writing 01 - The Bus


People won’t stop staring at me. It doesn’t matter where I go, they just stare ... openly.

They stare and they point and the whisper. Like I've done something wrong. They judge me.

I can't take it anymore. Something has to be done. I have to put a stop to it.

On the bus today each passenger turned in their seat and watched as I walked to the back. The whispers followed along closely behind me.

I sat alone at the back of the bus. I was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable as everyone on the bus turned in their seats to stare at me. Even the driver. I was sure we’d hit someone or run a red light, but I was amazed with his ability to drive with his back to the steering wheel.

I started to sweat. Why where they all looking at me?

An young couple near the front began to whisper to each other. They gestured threateningly in my direction and shook their heads. It was as if they made their minds up about something, I just didn’t know what it was. Their faces were set and resolute.

I ran my hands up and down my lap, over and over, as I tried to look away from the other passengers. I turned to the look out the window on the driver’s side of the bus. I watched the shops as we passed them.

The bus stopped for a red light and I noticed a man in grey sweats running in place on the corner. He suddenly stopped and turned in my direction. Our eyes met. I could see hatred and judgment in his. He shook his head at me. He mouthed a curse. He reached into the pockets on the front of his sweat shirt and slowly pulled something black and metallic free. It was a gun. A revolver. It didn’t look real. It was too big. Almost comically so.

The jogger pointed the gun at me and I dropped to the floor of the bus, screaming. The bus began to move. The light had turned green.

I got back into my seat. I swiped a hand across my forehead. It was drenched in sweat. My hair was slick with it.

No one was looking my way any longer. The passengers were all face forward in their seats. They were calm and quiet. Stoic. Dossal.

The old woman in the seat ahead of me turned and smiled.

“They’re all going to kill you," she said, gesturing to the other people on the bus.

“What?” was my only response.

“You won’t live to see the next stop,” she said and turned back around without another word.

“Wait,” I yelled. “What are you talking about?”

I stood and grabbed her by the arm, pulling her violently to her feet.

“Talk to me,” I shouted at her.

“You’re hurting me,” she said through teeth clenched in pain.

The other passengers rose. The two or three near me shouted and grabbed at me. I threw the old woman to the ground and backed up.

“Stay away from me,” I screamed.

I felt something in my jacket pocket. I reached for it and pulled it out. It was cold and heavy. Metallic. It fit just right in my hand. It was comforting. It was a gun.

A scream erupted from somewhere in front of me. The primal scream of a warrior on the attack. The gun in my hand rose and my finger found the trigger.

I squeezed the trigger and nothing was ever the same.

10 comments:

  1. Wow. Frightening and frustrating and so compelling.

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  2. Ohhh | don't know. This is really good. I love the POV from someone who has lost his mind. It's intriguing and enthralling. You had me hooked ffrom the moment the bus driver drove with his back to the steering wheel.

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  3. Thank you both for your comments. I really had fun with this and look forward to more.

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  4. The pacing was very intense, and drew me into the story, wanting to know more.

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  5. Talk about "lost it". Well done. I was hooked to the end.

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  6. At the outset, it felt like a nightmare. I kept expecting the narrator to wake up. By the end, it felt like Camus' The Stranger where the narrator commits a random murder. Your narrator is being pressured either by external or internal forces, unlike Camus' In fact, one of my favorite things was that it was impossible to tell whether the threat was real or only perceived.

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  7. Great piece. I especially loved the little visuals like running his hands up and down his lap, over and over. Terrifying ending. Loved it.

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  8. I expected him to wake up, too as it had this nightmarish quality. I like the idea of leaving it up to the reader whether or not the threat to him is real.

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  9. I was literally on the edge of my seat reading this. Way to pull me in ;)

    Thanks for linking up with Story Dam, I'm looking forward to reading more of what you have to offer us!

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  10. Thank you for all the great comments!

    I'm looking forward to starting my next Story Dam prompt.

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