How she had loved sitting on the top deck of the bus when she was small, watching the streetlamps as they drifted past the window, watching the people on the pavement get eaten up by the window's lower edge. The slightly sick feeling as the bus turned a corner and her whole world turned with it. It was always the same journey then, from their house to the town. Half way, the bus waited five minutes or so at the bus station. Then, as now. She used to rest her chin on the chrome bar along the top of the seat in front of her and feel the vibration of the engine. Her mum used to say don't do that you'll break your teeth one day and then what will you look like? Sometimes it juddered, just as now. She wished she could read to pass the time but she always felt sick if she read on a bus. Once she had been: she'd been reading a comic and her mum said put it away you'll be sick, but she took no notice and she was, all down the front of her duffle coat. Her mum had been mad. If only she could talk instead. But there was no-one to talk to and she couldn't -well, shouldn't- talk to herself. Anyone coming upstairs would think she was mad. She would think she was mad. She looked round: she was still alone. Then, it had been different. She rested her chin on the edge of the seat in front, just as she had when she was small. It still felt the same. Then, as now.
She raised her head. She looked out of the window. Between the edge and the metal roof of the station, through the waves of rainwater that were running down the glass, she could see the tops of the heads of people getting on the bus. Beyond the roof stood the church, its black spire sticking up in the air surrounded (she knew but couldn't see) by the dirty-looking cemetery. All the stone black. All the stone round here was like that. It was the smoke from the chimneys when the place was all factories did it. It must be like that in hell, what with all those fires burning all the time. Then, as now. There, as here. Only this was real.
To be continued...
4 years ago