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Beneath the Bus This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


Josh frowned and tilted his head, plastic bag of groceries swinging by his side as he came to a stop to stare at the feet. The bus, he recognized. It was a beat-up old thing that sat in the corner of the parking lot hiding behind the CVS. The wheels had been popped off a long time ago, and the windows had all been left open so that rain spilled in. The bus was there every day, but the feet … those were definitely new.

The feet twitched back and forth, swinging the untied yellow laces this way and that. The shoes were clunky and worn past the point of being stylish, the soles tearing at the edges and coming undone just enough to expose a bit of sock.

It was messy, ugly, and Josh didn’t like it. He glanced down at his own white tennis shoes. The laces were black and double-knotted neatly. He glanced back at the feet sticking out from under the bus and scowled at them. The laces, he ­noticed on closer inspection, were decorated with faded smiley faces.

With a sigh, Josh tightened his grip on the plastic bag and turned to leave. It was too hot to stand around and stare at the shoes of some weird kid lazing around under a bus. Sweat was beginning to slide down the back of his neck, making his skin itch. He wanted to go home so that he could shut himself in his room with the windows closed and the electric fan whirring in front of him.

He kicked at the layer of dust coating the asphalt and then hesitated, turning his head to send another curious glance at the shoes. Whoever was under the bus was now humming loudly.

Josh opened his mouth to say something but stopped, wondering if he was really so lonely that he would attempt to strike up an awkward conversation with Bus Kid.

Just as he started to walk away, a loud cough stopped him, soon followed by a muffled thump. The boy was scooting himself out from under the bus, cursing when his knotted red hair caught on the ­underside of the vehicle.

“Hey,” he called, once he had pulled his hair free and sat up. A streak of grime was smudged across his nose.

Josh stared at him, tempted to point out that his face was dirty and his jeans had grass stains. Instead, he shrugged his shoulders and nodded ­toward the yellow bus questioningly.

Bus Kid chuckled and scratched the back of his neck. “It’s the only place to get shade here,” he explained, before screening his eyes with both hands and looking up at the orange sky. He sighed and dropped back down on his back. “You’re free to join,” he said. Then he pushed himself back under the bus, out of view.

Josh stared, then glanced down at his groceries, then back at the boy’s laces. Yellow laces and a yellow bus. The bag dropped from his hand as he got down on his knees and crawled under the bus. F

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

babigerl1194 said...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 6:55 pm
i liked it so much i kinda want more like did the boys get along? good job. it was erie and yet cakm plz look at my work too though.....
 
B.R.Nack said...
Jun. 1, 2010 at 1:03 pm
I liked it, very well written :) keep it up!
 
Aelita said...
May 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm
I don't really understand what you, (the author) are getting at.  This story seemed nonconclusive.  If you can explain it- please do.
 
katiemiladie said...
May 31, 2010 at 12:24 am
This was wonderful! It was well written, and strong, and conveyed your message beautifully. Your words are delicatley strung together to make a great piece. Bravo! If you have the chance, I would love some feedback on my new piece, "Your Hand". Thanks!
 
Aelita replied...
May 31, 2010 at 3:12 pm
I will read your peice, will you please read mine, it's called The Beholder, and is also slow on comments over the last few days.
 
B.R.Nack replied...
Jun. 1, 2010 at 1:06 pm
I'll read both of your peices and if you get the time and it's not too inconvienient would you please read mine? It's called Tonight He Must Die. Please and thank you! :)
 
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