Friday 13th. The last bus home.

There were rarely more than six people on the 11 pm bus from town to the small village in which I lived. I often wondered why it still ran, but I was happy it did because the cost of a taxi would have prevented me from enjoying my Friday night in town with my friends. Yes I had a car, but I liked a drink on a Friday night and I was too fond of living to drive home drunk.

The drivers got to know those of us who traveled on the late night bus, which was comforting, as we were prone to falling asleep. If this happened the friendly driver would wake us up when we reached our stop.

On Friday May 13th I tripped over my skirt as I stepped onto the last bus home, almost falling on my knees. I saved myself at the last-minute and looked up at the driver, laughing. I was expecting to see Gerry’s face smiling back at me, always ready to crack a joke. Gerry was usually the late night driver on a Friday. Instead looking back at me was a stern, pale skinny face of a man who looked like Adolf Hitler. He wasn’t laughing.

“Fare please.Hurry along now.” he said.

I looked behind me, wondering why I had to hurry. “Come along we haven’t got all night.” he added.

I was the only person getting on the bus, so what was the hurry? I put my money on the little black counter and waited for my change. Adolf gave me a ticket, but no change. I wasn’t going to argue with him. Instead of sitting at the front of the bus as I usually did, I went right to the back. I didn’t want to pass the time by chatting to this driver and I am pretty sure the feeling was mutual. 

I looked at my watch, it was almost eleven. Was I going to be the only passenger? I really didn’t want to be on the bus alone with this man. Something about him was disturbing. I thought about getting off, but how would I get home? I had no money for a taxi.

The doors of the bus closed and we pulled away so fast that my head hit the back window.

As we waited for the lights to turn to green, allowing us to pull onto the main road Gerry’s face appeared. He was driving another bus, which was pulling up beside us. I looked at the handful of passengers and saw some familiar faces. I banged on the window scared, knowing something was wrong, but they were there for a moment and then they were gone as Adolf accelerated into the night.

I had a feeling I was on a bus ride to hell!

I am amusing myself by blogging short stories as I work with my editor to finish my novel ‘Dead of July’.

(Preview) Dead of July

I also have two short stories available for a little while longer on Amazon. They are my first published works, and I have recieved some great reviews. These stories are very special to me, and early next year, I am going to have my new editor review them, after which I will re-launch them in a book of short stories. I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)

Guy at the Bar Amazon

Guy at the Bar Amazon UK

Follow me on Facebook

On the buses – Sheila’s Story

My mam and I stayed with my Aunty Gwen and Uncle Bob for about a week. They were good times. Aunty Gwen made a big fuss over me and let me bake with her. Uncle Bob liked to drink beer, but it made him happy, not angry like it made my dad. My mam started to relax. We went for walks to the park and to the sweet shop, we ate ice cream every day, even 99’s with the Cadbury’s flake in them. We did all the things we weren’t able to do when my dad was around! Aunty Gwen paid for everything. My mam tried to pay, but she didn’t really have any spare money and Aunty Gwen knew that so she told her to put her money back in her pocket.

We took the bus to Etherly

Eventually we had to leave the comfort we had enjoyed with Aunty Gwen and Uncle Bob and move on to my Uncle Billie’s house. Uncle Bille was too busy to pick us up so we took the bus, it wasn’t a very long ride. Uncle Bille was always working, he had a taxi firm and a garage. My mam said he would work himself into an early grave.

I think he drove buses too because there were always buses parked outside his house. His wife Aunt Vera didn’t work so much, I think she took care of the paperwork for his garage, but she never looked well. She smoked a lot too, my mam said that’s why she wasn’t well. She coughed a lot.

Short rides on buses were fine, long ones made me sick, so I was glad when the bus pulled up outside Uncle Billie’s house. He had a nice house, it was new and my mam said it had all of the ‘mod cons’, I didn’t know what that meant, but I think it was good.

The bus driver helped my mam and I get off the bus with our bags. We still didn’t have all of our clothes with us, but we had a lot to carry. We were hoping Uncle Billie was going to make a trip back to Shildon to pick up the rest of our things.

We walked across to the front door, my mam walked briskly and I walked as slowly as I could, dreading the door opening. The door did not open. It was a frosted glass front door, divided into four panels, with little letter box right in the middle. I could see an image at the other side of the door, an image about my height. It had to be Julian. The letter box opened and a hand came out, a hand making obscene gestures.

My mam put her arm around me and hugged my tight. “It will be alright pet” she said.

The door opened and Uncle Billie stood there looking dishevelled and tired, his wild curly hair falling over his face. My mam said my Uncle Billie ate lots of burnt toast and thats what made his hair curly.  He opened the door and welcomed us. My mam loved her brother, and I knew he loved her back, and wanted to make her safe. Behind him we could see his son standing in the shadows with a smirk on his face. I hoped we wouldn’t stay there long!

To purchase my first short story ‘Girl on the Beach’ click on the links below. Available in paperback and as an ebook.

Girl on the Beach (Smashwords)

Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)