Ghost Bus

Around these parts people try to chalk rumors up to urban legend. But I know better. I saw it with my own eyes. I saw it last night, and the night before that, and the night before that, and every night for as long as I can remember.

Someone must keep watch over this town in those wee hours of morning. At three o’clock the townspeople all lie defenseless in their beds. But not I. I wait at that bus stop down at the end of the main drag. I wait to hear the shifting of gears and the angry hissing of that bus that shows up at exactly the same hour every night.

It is no ordinary bus. That is why I must stake my post at the bus stop. This bus is supernatural. Ectoplasmic. A ghost bus. Only by its sound would you ever know of its approach at all.

That bus has it out for me. It’s been trying to run me over ever since the night I jaywalked in front of it. If there’s one thing the ghost bus doesn’t like, it’s having to slow down for pedestrians.

I’m out here, every night, trying to determine what mission the bus has, where it’s going. Of this, I’m still unsure. While I carry out this seemingly endless investigation, I guard the city streets from that ghost bus that would love more than anything to take pedestrians as victims in the middle of the night, leaving nary a trace of the calamity it caused.

The ghost bus has nothing but stealth on its side. What is invisible from a distance, only becomes visible to the human eye once it’s too late. By the time you can see the bus about to run you over, you would be staring down headlights just a foot from your own face.

I’m getting closer to learning something in my investigation. When ghost bus isn’t paying attention, I follow, my footsteps like whispers on the pavement. Last night, I saw that the ghost bus make a stop at 1424 Autumn Lane before proceeding to drive slowly, while the driver hauntingly called out into the night for passengers to board. And then ghost bus drifted out to the highway, heading out of town just like a cloud of morning fog. It dissipated. Gone. Almost too fast to perceive what had happened. Ghost bus was mad. Nobody wanted a ride.

If you ever hear a terrifying bus creep up alongside you on the sidewalk in the night, run. Hide. Go take shelter beneath your bed covers. And then rest peacefully. Sleep. I won’t let ghost bus harm you.

And so tonight, while you’re sleeping dreamily in your bed, just remember that I am out here listening for the ghost bus and keeping you safe from this otherworldly transport.

Elizabeth Bates is a writer and teacher from Washington state where she lives with her husband, son, and two Siberian Huskies. She is a co-columnist of “Full Send” at The Daily Drunk. Bates has recent or forthcoming works with Versification, Seaborne Magazine, and elsewhere. 

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