I’M GETTING OFF THE BUS! • by Jane Brown

Down McLaren, right on First.

Argh, I know this friggin’ bus route off by heart.

Haunt a bus, they said; it’ll be fun, they said. Sure, it’s fun for late-night-thrills but the monotony is going to make me lose it.

Luckily, I got the go-ahead this morning. I can finally get off this stinkin’ bus. I’m allowed to choose one passenger from the 3:15pm to be anchored to instead.

I’m thinking Bruiser Boy in row twelve. He’s already tripped two, verbally assaulted three more. Just my type.

It doesn’t take much to freak out kids like him. All you need is a cold breath on the shoulder, a word writing itself on the window, lights flickering — it’s child’s play really.

Hang on, Miss cute-as-a-button Pigtails in row six is crying. Could there be another bully contender?

Nope, she’s on the phone.

I swirl over and listen in.
The girl sobs. “Dad, no! I love my violin! Please don’t sell it!”
“Well, I love booze and I’m all out,” a slurred voice replies. “It’s not like you were talented or anything.”

If I still had a heart it would be racing. This is too close to home for me.

My glow turns green for a second.
My choice is acknowledged.

When little Miss Pigtails gets off the bus at Smith, I drift after her smiling. I can’t wait to watch this deadbeat Dad crumble.

Jane Brown is a web programmer and short fiction writer who lives by the beach in Australia.

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