I smelt the flames before I saw them. My eyes widened and Basilic freaked, yelling at the driver to stop and evacuate the bus. He stayed until the last minute making sure everyone got off. We all stood outside, some backing away from the bus’ heat as it erupted into a ball of flames. I pulled Gabby off and I set her behind me. I stood up and watched as the petrol tank exploded. Most people stood further back than I did. I ended up getting sprayed in flaming petrol. It burnt holes straight through my clothes into my flesh. I flinched as the pain hit, but I stood there numbly watching as I let myself burn with the bus.
Which is why I'm now on the ground, surrounded by people gasping at my burns. Why did they pull me away? I groan and try to move, but someone pins me to the ground, making me stay still. I see the guy angel above me, his expression upside down and weird. Someone peels away what’s left of my grey hoodie and I hear a scream. I think it was me. Darkness claims me.
I can see Maxxie’s brown eyes staring down at me. They’re not real, Maxxie isn’t here. He can’t be.
Nothing feels right; none of my limbs feel like they’re there. I sigh and regret it as it hurts my throat and my dried out lips. I try to lick my lips to stop them stinging, but find that my tongue is dry too.
Things are coming back into focus. Maxxie is gone. I wish he was here. I could do with a friendly face around, at least, one that I’ve known for a long time. The pain is leaving my body. Am I dead? Am I dying? I can’t tell. The guy angel is looking a bit happier now, still the wrong way up though. I guess secretly, he’s a bat? Ughhh.
‘What’s going on?’ I croak. ‘What are you doing?’ I ask the angel guy. His eyebrow lifts, but he says nothing, concentrating on something. I notice the pain is gone completely now. Someone hands the angel guy a coat and he drapes it over me, muttering to someone I can’t see. I lay there for quite a while, until someone hands him clean clothes. He rips the tags off them – they’re new – and he sits me up, forcing my head and arms through a new shirt and hoodie. He then passes me the new jeans and I manage to put them on myself. They saved me. I look at the angel with unshielded bitterness.
So I'm stranded, alive, not wearing any boxers and there’s no sign of a new bus.