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Bus Story: Dark of the Morning

January 10, 2014

Her crimson coat stands out among the ridership’s browns and grays like a single drop of blood in a desert. Piled high on her head are thick curls, black as a moonless night, wrapped effortlessly in a golden scarf, faintly shimmering with raindrop aftermath. Unlike most of us in a morning’s commute, she carries no bag or satchel, and has neither phone nor book in her hand. As she glides down the aisle, she looks from side to side at the seated passengers and, almost imperceptibly, licks her carnelian lips. Spotting an empty seat next to a young man frantically tapping away at his laptop keys, she shoulders aside an older gent who was heading to the same spot, hurling him into a knot of Sullen Teens. They recoil and break apart, like an kicked anthill. Red coat flaring, the woman slides into the seat, never having taken her gaze from the young guy.

For a few stops, he barely notices her, while she serenely sits and stares at the side of his head. The bus lurches, suddenly, spasming like a great behemoth with a gastric attack, and the lights dim briefly. All the light. Those in the bus, the glow of phones and computers and e-readers, and even the cloud-filtered early morning sunlight all seem to grow less luminous for a moment. With a groan, the shiny “C” line coach lurches forward and all seems normal again.

Except the guy next to the woman with the red coat. His laptop is dark and he gazes into her eyes, as she quietly talks to him. And the light seems to dim from his eyes, ever so slowly, as he changes from enraptured to sleepy to a drugged stupor. She suddenly stands as we reach the next stop, and he slumps down into his seat, his skin a grey pallor and his eyes half-closed and lifeless. As she steps off the bus into the steam from a venting grate on the sidewalk, the faint whiff of brimstone is present and a pointed tail appears to lash back and forth under her coat. Don’t leave an empty seat and stock up on holy water when succubi ride the bus.

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From → Bus Stories

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