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On a Bus

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On a bus, I sat bored out of my mind. Trees rushed by as we went past, leaves rustling in a faint breeze. I picked up my iPod and turned my music on wondering if I could lose myself in lyrics and rhythms. I bounced up and down as my bus driver hit tremendous potholes scattered along an endless paved road. White lines dotting asphalt skipped beside my bus as I rode by. My iPod suddenly clicked off, gray screen reading low battery. I groaned miserably; it seemed as though I’d be riding this bus till the end of eternity.

I peered around my seat: my friends were all sound asleep, heads curled up on fluffy pillows. I had no one to talk to. Leaning back against a stiff headrest I groaned, wondering how I would entertain myself for thirteen more hours. My bus’s TV screens had been blank for hours. I suddenly heard a scratching sound behind my chair: someone was actually awake on this bus and writing. I turned around again to see if I knew that person with the pen, but instead, an unfamiliar face smiled warmly at me. She had jade green eyes and a splash of freckles across her perfect complexion. She returned to her work, flourishing words from her pen. I glanced at her page, noting her spidery handwriting sprawling across blue guiding lines. Happily Ever After was written across her page’s first line. I wondered what she was writing about. Perhaps she was writing a magical tale with wizards and sorceresses battling fearsome dragons in faraway lands like Oz.

She noticed my wandering eyes and smiled again, almost mysteriously, as if she couldn’t decide whether I was going to bash her work. I smiled back, assuring her I meant no intrusion on her writing moment. She dropped her pen and picked up her page with nimble fingertips holding it out to me.

“Would you like to read it?” she asked quietly. I nodded taking her paper with care, not wanting to smudge any words she had just finished inking. Our bus hit a bump as I began to read, drawn to her climbing plot.

Her character, Claire, was waiting at a bus stop on a bleak rainy day when an old woman suddenly appeared beside her, cloaked in a hooded black veil. Claire, filled with anticipation asked her guest’s name and tapped her on a cold shoulder.

“My name is Veria,” whispered a voice inside Claire’s head. She looked next to her and found a wrinkled, batty face inches from her own. She looked oddly familiar, Claire thought, racking her brain. Then it hit her: black cloak, batty face, beady eyes, she was a wicked witch from Snow White.

“Happily ever after, Claire,” cackled that witch, pulling out a shiny red apple from her pocket.

Thud! I was transported back to reality courtesy of another pot hole. My mysterious writer friend was almost glaring at me with her startling green eyes. Returning her story I prepared to praise her wonderful ending. Only she cut me off.

“Don’t say anything to me! I don’t want to hear how you think its cliché!” she snapped immediately scooting over to an empty seat by a window. I was stunned. What had made her so angry?

So, hurt and bored, I turned back and stared at a dreary gray ceiling. I thought about her and a sudden change in her demeanor. She wasn’t exactly friendly when I first turned around, but she certainly wasn’t unfriendly.

Determined to not be bored silly I spun around to call her out for her attitude. But she was no longer sitting beside her window. Instead someone in a dense cloak sat hunched low in her former seat. Shocked, I tried to get whoever was sitting there to look up.

“Excuse me, what happened to that girl who was just sitting here?” I asked. Whoever was beneath that dark cloak straightened up and replied, “What do you mean? I’m still here.”

She pushed back her hood and I nearly fell out of my seat, yelling in fright. A wrinkled, gray face was stretched into a toothless grin and two beady eyes refused to let me escape from her gaze.

“Unfortunately for you, it seems your happily ever after has already expired,” she screeched pulling me into the seat beside her. I was too numb to even try to yell. Before I passed out, a gleaming sparkle from her pocket caught my eye. It was a red apple.




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