This installment of Commuter Chronicles is an excerpt from a fiction piece I’ve been working on this summer. The scene below takes place primarily on a bus. I tried to use my observations from countless trips on buses to set the mood. The story itself is unfinished but I just felt like posting a piece of it here for feedback from my fellow bloggers.
As I rounded the corner to exit the alley and disappear into a busy street, I saw the 40A just down the block. What better way to cover the fact that I’m running like a madwoman down the road except to catch the bus? There was one person waiting at the stop. I flailed my arms to signal to the waiting passenger that I needed to board that bus as well.
Just as the waiting passenger disappeared into the stairwell of the bus, I made it to the doors. I glanced back to the entrance of the alleyway and saw a leg moving forward. I quickly skipped up the steps and fumbled for my bus pass which I always kept tucked away in the left hand pocket of my coat. I slid my card into the fare box and took a quick look around the bus.
There were just a handful of people aboard. Most were either reading a book or listening to their MP3 players. Two people were asleep. Wanting to blend as just another anonymous schmuck trying to get from one place to another, I grabbed a lone seat at the very back of the bus.
Feeling confident that I had evaded my pursuer for the moment, I slid all the way back into the seat and rested my head against the cold, steel window frame as the bus glided away from the curb. I took a deep, long breath and an even longer exhale. My lungs hurt. No, they didn’t just hurt, they burned with pain. I had not run that fast that since, well, ever. I could still feel my pulse beating on the inside against my wrist.
I panicked for a second. Where is my purse? Somehow in the flurry of activity, my purse managed to stay put on my shoulder but the back part of it was behind me sticking to my back. It didn’t even occur to me until that point to check for it. I quickly started rummaging through to make sure I had everything: ID, phone, wallet, keys, etc… Feeling some relief that I at least had my stuff with me, I now had a bigger problem to solve. I only had a vague idea where this bus goes and I needed to figure out fast where I wanted it to take me.