I’ve moved Meg to a chair now, as I realise it was probably silly to leave her in the aisle. Not longer afterwards a new girl stepped onto the Bus and moved to a row near the back. She looks lonely. Gabby came to talk to her but then went away quite soon afterwards, as though bored of her company already. I remember Gabby at the start of the Bus; she’s changed. Become more needy, more vicious, but older and wiser too, though she has only aged by a few days. I saw the pale demon, Alex, slip a note onto the chair beside the new girl, so it gave me an idea. She still doesn’t know who sent that note, but it looks like Gabby and Alex are making her troubled anyway. I wrote a note quickly, praying that Meg wouldn’t mind me ripping paper from her rough book to use. Then, when I was sure the new girl was asleep, I carefully placed it where, when she wakes, she will certainly see it.
Now all I have to do is wait.
This is what the note says:
Is the demon causing trouble? I know, a demon. It’s crazy on this Bus, but once you get used to it, it can be okay. Sometimes. Would you like help with anything? I need something to do right now-before sanity deserts me…
If you want anything done, I’m the man in the black jacket in Row six.
A couple of minutes later I hear someone clearing their throat in the aisle beside me. I gaze up at the new girl, aware that I look a complete mess: puffy, red eyes, hair messy from running my hands through it too much and an unconscious girl occupying the seats in front of me!
“Um, hi,” she says confidently, with a slight apprehensive twitch in her voice. “You dropped me a note. Said to come and talk.” I nod, still a little unsure of what to say, so she continues, “Did you send the first note? The one about being wanted, somewhere.”
I blush; I had hoped she wouldn’t come onto that. “No, Alex did. But he’s right. Every single person has somebody somewhere who wants them. Even if they don’t know it, yet.” The girl scowls, creases appearing on her delicate face.
“You don’t know me, or my life. You can’t say anything about what you can’t see.”
“I may not know your life, but I know girls who are in the same positions as you. I’m a schoolteacher (or will be if they don’t fire me for staying on this Bus). Mr. Bible.” I give a little chuckle and extend a hand. The girl, of about Meg’s age, looks at me curiously, as though she’s never seen a kind teacher with an odd name before and warily shakes my hand.
“Nice to meet you, Amelia” I respond instantaniously.
“In the note, you said…Alex…Well, I’ve known about ‘demons’ before,” Amelia says, “all around things aren’t what they seem most of the time.”
I sigh at this revelation-it seems that only my school are ignorant of the true world we live in.
“But thank you for sending that one note all the same.” She smiles, but at noticing my worried glance to the seat in front, changes her expression. “What’s wrong with her, Mr. Bible?”
“I’m not sure. She collapsed some hours ago, when her eyes were rolling around, but now she seems so still. And colder every minute. Earlier we were heading to a hospital, but I don’t think it’s anything they can solve. It’s like she’s…possessed, or something. Creatures on this Bus have tried to help her, but to no avail…”
“Hmm,” Amelia is thinking. I notice her eyes are drawn to the large silver cross around Meg’s neck. It seems to give her strength of what to say next. “God gave me a gift: I can change the structure of object, and move them and other stuff like that. I might be able to push whatever bad that’s in her body out, and free her.”
“Do you think you could help Meg?” I ask quietly, waiting for an answer that my girl’s life could depend on. Amelia looks up at me.
“I’ll try,” she says bravely.