Bite-sized

Bus stop

He is standing at the bus stop. Watching the rain fall and never land. Cars are passing by. The street lights are distorted by sprinkles of rain. A flickering image of interference. They woosh to the left and hurl right. Then straight down and soon almost horizontally.

He pulls back his hood. Soft raindrops slowly prickle his skin. His lips are cold and broken and his fingers are brittle to the bone. He opens his eyes and tries his best not to flinch at the sprays of water hitting his face. A man on a bike passes by. He is singing along to a song played through his earbuds. His lips are moving but no sound escapes them.

He takes a step back. Head turning slowly to follow the man on the bike’s path down the road. His hair is getting wet and slick. A quick peek at his wrist tells him that his bus is late… Again. The rain has muffled this otherwise so busy street. It’s like the whole town has been sealed in silence and everyone is afraid of the cold. The big jackets are out. The kind that’s lined with fur in every end and feels more like a blanket with a zipper than a piece of clothing. The people are shrouded in the night. Hiding their faces from late autumn’s biting breezes.

There are other people at the bus stop. Some are sitting, watching carefully over the hands in their laps. Some are standing, subtly rocking back and forth. Some seem to think that this will make the wait shorter. That their dance will make time go faster. But the rain keeps falling and the bus isn’t coming.

The cars are moving soundlessly through the night. Their headlights seem so dim, like fireflies protruding over a sea of asphalt. He looks back over his shoulder. His gaze is met by a lady looking back at him expressionlessly. Shivers run down his spine and through his arms. For just a second he wonders if she’s dead or alive, because she is as unmoving as a marble bust. But then suddenly the bust cracks and comes to live. She coughs dryly, wipes her mouth and stands upright, frozen still again.

They seem to have aged a hundred years with the setting of the sun. He unzips and lets his jacket drop to the ground. A sight that disturbs the others at the bus stop. Maybe the winter wear was what really was keeping them cold. Though they stare at him, he doesn’t look back as he turns around and walks into the dark. The rain keeps falling and never landing.

And their bus is late.

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