January 25, 2011

That One Bus Ride

[...posted by Ted H]

So...between 2008 and 2010, the bulk of my writing efforts went towards a project called "That One Night" It completely overshadows all my previous projects in terms of length, time spent, bloodshed per death, swearing*, and the most important stat: readers.
*Id have to check on that one...I do swear a lot when I write. I use "fuck" more than commas...
Obviously Ive found a new obsession in this site, but it does raise a key question:
Why not post it here?
Cuz its fucking long, holmes. I could break it up and post it piece by piece, but then Id be unable to post anything new for a long while and Id rather use that time to work some raw, unseen and unedited work.
But I'm not a complete asshole...so Ill post this one shot-short story that takes place in the same universe, bringing up a plot event for the hell of it.
You can call it a teaser...just dont call me a tease...


"That One Bus Ride"

Hey, how ya doing? You don’t mind if I sit next to you, do you? Of coarse not. I mean, yeah, it’s just me and you on this bus but hey, you looked like you could use some company. Funny thing about buses…eh, no. I doubt you’d be interested in the last time I rode a public bus. Then again it sure makes a great topic of conversation while we’re actually on a bus.

Not much of a talker, eh? That’s ok. Better off with no interruptions. I hate interrupters, always budding in on my stories with silly little questions. I fucking hate it when people do that. What’s that? Don’t approve of swearing? Yeah, I know you didn’t actually say it but you sure as hell were thinking it, I can tell. Don’t ask me how it is that I can tell because that would be one long ass story that I certainly couldn’t tell before my stop comes up. Anyway, yeah, I swear. I swear a lot. Get used to it, I certainly have.

So yeah, the story I was gonna tell you. Well, you remember that one night where that gas station blew up? What am I saying, of coarse you remember. Who wouldn’t? Explosion damn near woke up the entire city let alone how it was in the news all week. Well I was there. That’s right, I saw it in person…well, no. I didn’t actually see it since I was sprinting as fast as I could away from it at the time, but trust me, I was there.

Quick side note: remember how the news reported that there were “definite fatalities” but couldn’t produce any bodies? They said they were completely obliterated? Yeah, tragic, I know. You know why they couldn’t find any bodies? That’s because those “definite fatalities” didn’t stay dead. No, I’m not talking about zombies; sorry, read your mind again, didn’t I? There were no zombies at the gas station, but the people who died at the gas station didn’t exactly stay dead. Damn, you sure are skeptical. I’m not even sure why I brought it up.

So, gas station blew up, right? And let me tell you, I was sure as hell lucky to still have my eyebrows. By the way, in case you were wondering, I didn’t actually cause the gas station to blow up in the first place, that was the attendants fault…well, not entirely his fault. He couldn’t exactly be held accountable for his actions at the time as he set himself on fire and ran into a spraying gas hose. Funny how being possessed works, huh? Don’t give me that look.

Look, this isn’t even about the fucking gas station. It’s about my bus ride. I’m just letting you know about the gas station so you know when this all went down. Now, the night the gas station went up and obviously I need an alternate mode of transportation now since the truck I was originally driving around in was currently on the moon thanks in part to the gas station. So eventually we found a bus stop and caught the next bus.

Huh? Oh, yeah. “We.” There were two of us. No I didn’t forget to tell you shit, I was just getting to that part. I wasn’t traveling alone, I was with….uh…my niece. Yeah, that’s it, my niece…who I was taking home to her mother. No, she wasn’t anywhere near the gas station when it exploded. That’s just silly. You’re silly.

Anyway, me and my niece caught the next bus that came by. This is where the whole story becomes relevant, and why I don’t bother with public transportation unless I absolutely have to. This isn’t just some run of the mill bus we climbed aboard either, no, this is the midnight run crowd. You know the crowd, right? No, you wouldn’t. You probably only ride the bus at normal hours. Smart move, but I didn’t have the luxury of choosing when I rode the bus, or who I rode the bus with. I just had to deal.

The midnight run crowd isn’t exactly a bunch of nice people. You ever wonder how murderers and rapists get home after they’re done murdering and raping? How could you not? Well a friend of mine came up with this theory that they all take the same bus home and work on alibis with each other. That would be one interesting crowd. No, I’m not saying that that particular bus was filled with murderers, I’m just saying that the people on the bus reminded me of murderers and rapists…plus that one guy I’m pretty sure was a rapist.

Whatever, there were four other people on the bus at the time, all spread out around the bus and sitting alone. There was the rapist up front, a homeless woman a few seats back of the driver, a drug dealer in the way back and the wild card guy who looked like he had just got done with a Richard Simmons workout and forgot to change out of his short shorts and tank top, he was sitting a few rows ahead of the dealer. Now, I’m not exaggerating with any of these people, they really were a rapist, homeless, drug dealer and that other weird guy.

So, all these weird people on a bus, and they give me of all people a collective “what the fuck?” look when I walk on. I mean, yeah, I looked like shit; I was covered in dirt, bleeding and my pants had been on fire before, but to say I was the weirdest person on the bus was a gross overstatement. These people didn’t know about the gas station either, and I doubt they would care even if I had told them. It wouldn’t have changed their perception of me as the weirdest person on the bus, that‘s for sure.

I didn’t talk to any of these people. No reason to. I had somewhere to be and the only way there was to ride the bus. None of that required me to talk to anybody, and they sure as hell didn’t talk to me. Shit, they didn’t even make a peep. No coughs, no sneezes, no clearing of throats, nothing. And it wasn’t out of fear, either. I mean sure, you hear a loud explosion and you don’t immediately think “Yup, the ole gas station must have gone up.” Hell, most rational people think it’s a terror attack and run for cover. These people on the bus though, it was just another night riding through the city; one going home after sex, another looking to sell, one tired after sweatin’ off some weight and another with absolutely nowhere to go. The only difference here was that I had decided to join their ranks tonight.

We took a seat in the middle of the bus and waited. So, like I said, utter silence until the bus made another stop and picked up a new passenger. The driver said something to himself about getting some winners tonight as a black guy wearing all black stepped onto the bus. I thought he looked familiar until I realized that it was the gas station attendant. I shit you not. He wasn’t black so much as he was burnt to a crisp. Every time he moved, he skin would crack and crinkle like it were glass being stepped on.

I kinda slumped down into my seat and hoped he wouldn’t notice me. Ya see, while he was possessed and trying to blow us all up, I kinda kicked him in the nuts hoping that would stop him. It ultimately didn’t, and I was pretty sure he wasn’t happy about it. Sure enough as he cracked his head around and surveyed the crowd, he came upon me and immediately started walking over. I briefly considered jumping off the bus to get away, but it seemed moot since it would require me to somehow get passed the burn man anyway.

So the guys standing over me, just staring down. I try apologizing for getting physical earlier, but he only stares some more, also he growls a little, and he’s balling his hands into fists, and I doubt anyone would rise up and fight him off if he decides to beat me to a pulp. Also he smells like cooked beef jerky, which made it hard for me to concentrate on an escape plan. So, inevitably, beef jerky became my escape plan. I told him that’s exactly what he smelt like and he should beware of any hungry dogs who might attack him, and ya know what, he laughed! He thought it was funny. Then he turned and walked away. Anti-climactic, I know, but what would you expect me to do? Fucker wants to kill you and he just recently walked away from being inside a gas station explosion? If that don’t fuck him up, there ain’t much I can do to stop him.

The gas station dude is no longer a threat and we rode in silence for a while longer. When we hit the next stop, all those non-dead people quickly got off the bus leaving just me and the burnt man…uh, and my niece. We did pick up a couple new passengers though, a man and a woman.
The man was a former drug addict and the woman used to be an aspiring model. She was hot but she had been taking a lot of dieting pills and avoiding food. I say they used to be a drug addict and aspiring model mainly due to the fact that they were dead now as w-

-Hey! I saw that, mother fucker! You thought about pulling the stop cord and running off the bus, then you twitched for it before second guessing yourself. Why would you want to stop now? This isn’t anywhere near your house and I’m not crazy, nor am I lying. Those two people were dead. The guy was wearing a wool knit hat and you know something? Blood was flowing down both sides of his head from the hat. It had pooled into his shirt and was glistening in the light…ok, maybe not glistening, but it sure has hell was wet. Plus his jaw was just hanging there. I mean, really hanging, like it wasn’t actually connected to his skull anymore except for the skin and tissue.

The woman? She was eating…herself! I kid you fucking not! She was reaching into her shirt, and was pulling out organs from her torso, then she ate it before presumably reaching back in for it again. It was probably the same portion of stomach and it looked disgusting at the time, though awesome in retrospect...Please stop pretending like you’re going to puke. We both know you’re not.

Anyway, the guy stood up and walked over to the driver. After saying something inaudible to his girlfriend, he reached over and snapped the drivers neck. At first I wasn’t worried because I figured the driver would come back top life and drive the bus like a maniac, and keep the bus from slamming into that upcoming building. No such luck. Apparently you don’t get to return to life if it happens to benefit me.

So yeah, we crashed. I know the news reports talk about the bus crash and how it happened right after the gas station explosion, but it didn’t, and it had next to nothing to do with the gas station other than a few of the occupants. The crash wasn’t that bad though, me being the only one on board with a pulse to begin with didn’t hurt either…oh yeah, and the niece…

So, that’s kinda the reason why I don’t trust public transit as much: never know when some undead asshole will come on board and kill the driver just for a cheap thrill.

…Alright, lemme be honest with you: I don’t have a niece. The little girl who was with me wasn’t related to me, I didn’t meet her until a short while before the bus ride and I never knew her while she was alive. Don’t get me wrong, she was an undead freak like everyone else on the bus that night but she seemed to have liked me so she didn’t try to kill me…plus she kinda proved her worth earlier when she helped me scare an old lady half to death and inadvertently kill a cop…

Oh look! That’s my stop. Great talk! Can’t wait until we talk again…oh we will, but we wont, cuz you’ll be strung out on meth and I’ll be all kinds of fucked up after falling down a staircase. Gonna be one hell of a New Years party!

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