along comes the bus.

Penny huffed and leaned against the bus stop pole. For someone who's late a good amount of the time, she sure can be impatient when it comes to clients. Clients that's what she keeps calling them, what she has since the beginning. I guess it kind of dulls that aspect of the job.

The stretch of road we're waiting on is fairly deserted, with thin scrub brush scattered around. Over across the road is a pine farm, with thin saplings and bushy evergreens lined in even spaced rows behind a dusty chain link fence.

"EEEEK!" Penny squeals. She waves, pointing at a bushy, twitching tail under one of the bigger pines. Oh, yeah, she's hard core.

I see a dim light coming over the rise in the road, and point it out to the still squeaking, hopping, Penny. The half circle grows, gets brighter, and the bus crests the hill. I moan. It's yellow.

"Oh, come on! A school bus? Seriously?!" Penny hunches against the bus stop again, pouting. "I hate it when it's the kids."

The bus approaches, roaring. Penny straightens and we poise for the -

It passes.

Wait. I spin to Penny. "Was that supposed to happen?"

She shrugs. "Maybe it was the wrong bus," and flops against the bus stop, her boots sliding a bit in the dirt.

We wait some more.

And a bit more.

Wait for it...

"God, we've probably missed a dozen appointments waiting for this stupid thing," Penny puts in.

Another light. This time it's nearly dusk, and the headlights burn over the crest. Okay, I can deal with this one. This bus isn't yellow. Instead it's painted with purple flames done up in bad spray paint along the side, the windows are sealed with black garbage bags, and there's a sun bleached ribbon tied to the antenna. It's low tires spit gravel back at windshield level, rattling along in loose wobbles. Easy enough to see what's gonna happen here:

  1. A wheel's either going to blow or just come off completely, either way:
  2. The bus'll careen out of control
  3. The driver will over correct, causing the bus to start moving across the road sideways
  4. Then either the thing'll roll, or it'll crash into the pine farm

Easy. Happens all the time.

It didn't happen.

The End

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