forever ... for a moment

Route 59. Roaring engine … dried leaves, newspaper, flutter in the wind. Passengers quiet, each in a private world. He sits alone, coat over his lap, bag squeezed awkwardly behind the seat in front. Looks up from newspaper, nearly home?. A way to go yet, but …

Haven’t we already been round this corner? Just deja vu? Back to the paper.

Bell rings, stop, a boy and father get off. Glances out side window. Rain falls, they run to escape the downpour. Engine roars, off again, giant pothole, Bang!. Cell phone rings, terrible din, punk rock?, young teenage girl. Rustles paper disapprovingly. “HELLO!”, Great, a shouter. “Yeah, sure, I am just about to get off now …”. Bell rings, slow stop, girl gets up, down the aisle, gone. Quiet. World flashes by. The rain has stopped.

Screeching brakes! Angry horn, squealing tyres. Driver shakes his head. Close one? Back to the paper. Sigh.

Bang! Huge pothole. Slowly looks up from paper. Heart races, eyes dart. This cannot be! The same pothole? What’s going on? Going in circles? Eyes flit nervously across the landscape. The boy and his father run for cover. It’s raining again. They are still there? Shouldn’t they be long gone by now? Thoughts rudely shattered, swelling fear. Cell phone rings, terrible noise, PUNK ROCK! Turns from the window. It WILL be the same girl. It can’t be! She DID get off! Don’t say it. “HELLO! … Yeah, sure, I am just about to get off now …”. “Ding!”. Watches the replay. Disbelief. Face to window, eyes wide, horror! Girl stares back worriedly. She averts her gaze. Slides back into seat. Am I a mad? Calm down, then, Screeching brakes! He knew it was coming. Horn blaring, like a hot needle burning into his head. Squealing in the distance. Bolt upright, cold sweat, desperate. Have to get out. Cell phone girl stares back from the window. Again, quicker. No pothole this time!. Not much time, the trap is closing. Yelling, pleading. “Stop! Stop! Let me off!” Cell phone girl last one off!, there are no more stops!. Have to make them stop! Rushing to the front now, screaming, people staring, frightened faces. Screeching brakes! Falling to the floor. Crack! Taste of blood. “Stop! Please stop!”. “We are stopping just up there mate, hang on”. The driver does not understand. “Up there” never happens … no-one understands! … why do they not see? Are they safe from this hell?

Brakes screech again. So little time! Horn! Must do something! Brakes! Horn! Brakes! Grabs driver round the neck. Horn sounds, but does not stop. “LET ME OFF!”. Driver’s eyes fearful. Horn increases in pitch. Rain slows and then stops, jewels in the air. Horn whines, slowly dies. Silence. Beyond human hearing. Driver staring, agonized, face frozen, stone, fear. Everything fades to black, time shrinks to a minute slice, too small to carry perceptible light. Then … nothing … silence … darkness … for ever … for a moment.

forever ... for a moment


Joined November 2007

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