Sunday, 23 August 2009

The Bus

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...


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10 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

To be continued soon, I hope. Very atmospheric. Love it.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Lovely Dominic,very evocative.I remember putting my chin onto the chrome rails of bus seats ,feeling the vibration chatter your teeth.Looking forward to the next installo!

Titus said...

Yes, I enjoyed it. I'm going to have to come back!

Dominic Rivron said...

WG and Titus: Thanks. Pleased you enjoyed it.

TFE: Be warned: fungus on the face tends to deaden the vibrations! :)

Poet in Residence said...

At last! Now I know why I was always finding bits of teeth in the cornflakes...I was all shook up. Yes, I was also a chin rester on the chrome bar...

John Hayes said...

Great idea to post work in progress--will look forward to the continuation--well begun.

patteran said...

What some of our American friends might describe as a kickass start! Onwards...

Poetikat said...

Wow, Dominic! So many great things about this that I (and other, I'm sure) can relate to. Nice details like, the people getting eaten up by the window's edge, the juddering of her jaw, the smoke from the chimneys and the reference to Hell. I really want to know this woman's story. It's the sort of thing I would most definitely read. (I'm reading Julia Darling's "The Taxi Driver's Daughter" at the moment and it sort of reminds me of that.
I really like the repetition of that "Then, as now." Let me know when the next instalment is up (it's hard to keep track of all these blogs - even with dashboards and such).

Kat

Poetikat said...

Btw, I have an annoying tendency to leave parenthese open. (It annoys ME, most of all!)

Kat

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments.

PiR: Bits of teeth in the cornflakes? We used to get free gifts in cellophane bags :)

JH: Thanks for dropping by.

patteran: A kickass start... I'll bear that in mind when considering where to start the finished article.

Poetikat: Pleased you like it. And, as for closing brackets, just to put you out of your misery:

).

There. That's better.