"Another one!" Lindsey's father exclaimed as he slammed the paper on the table, barely missing his still steaming cup of coffee. "This time a teacher, barely 30 years old, " the balding man continued in his rough gravelly voice. His face had reddened upon first opening the newspaper and seeing that this serial killer had made front page news.
The media had nicknamed him the Ghost Killer, because it was as if the man didn't exist. He had baffled authorities for months now. There were never fingerprints or footprints, no witnesses, some times the doors were locked from the inside. If not for the wounds themselves, it would seem like the person just dropped dead of their own accord.
Lindsey was finishing her cereal. Mostly for something to do other than listen to her father. Sure today it was reasonable, but he always had something to go on about. She was already in her school clothes, dress code being one of the many, many things she detested about school.
Let's see, She thought, if for no other reason than for further distracting herself from the mumbling and ranting across from her. The way the teachers talk to us, the 'popular' people, the old books, the food, waking up early.
She could have probably kept going for a while, but at that moment her thoughts were interrupted. "Ten minutes!" her mother called from somewhere upstairs. That was Lindsey's usual bus warning, and so she rose from the table to grab her backpack. Oh yes, my backpack, she thought as she hefted the heavy sack of books onto her slender shoulder. I hate that too.
She checked herself in the mirror, only to find that her hair was flying out in at least a hundred directions, as per usual. About the only styling her hair would take was dye, so maybe it was no surprise that she'd dye a strip of her hair different colors from time to time. Now, for instance, it was a bright cherry red, that not one person over the age of twenty appreciated.
By the time she had somewhat tamed her hair and all but sprinted out the door, she knew she was cutting it close. All the same she arrived before the bus, at the corner with the big green power transformer and the old man who lived in a pink house with a hearing aid. Fortunately for him, he never wore his hearing aid, or else he might accidentally hear what some of the kids would say about him from time to time.
She scanned the street, but she couldn't see anything. Movement caught her eye as a couple of colorful, fall leaves twirled around in the breeze. Her eyes slowly turned upwards, where her gaze met that of a squirrel. She smiled slightly as the creature hopped from branch to branch, some times sending another handful of leaves tumbling to the ground. She was so engrossed in the little animal, she didn't hear the bus roll up behind her until the bus driver hit the breaks and the pneumatic hiss shrieked through the cool morning air.
She jumped, but fortunately didn't yell. Already though, that little display had some kids barely containing their laughter. Not that she could blame them. For that particular day, she was probably the most exciting thing about the bus. Ah, forgot that, she chided herself. Then they pulled out, the thirty-year-old environmental catastrophe of a machine chugging black smoke out the back, carrying her to the place that was killing her a little bit each day. The bus is definitely on the list.