Friday Fictioneers: On the Bus

A fond farewell to Madison Woods as the host of Friday Fictioneers. Madison, thank you so much for your work inspiring and bringing together all these different 100-word stories! And a big thank you also to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for picking up the Fictioneers torch.

As always, I’d like to know what people think of my story this week –

On the Bus

Mom doesnโ€™t like me to take the cheap bus, but a college student has to pinch pennies somewhere. Eventually the driver shows up, yawning and red-eyed. Makes me just a little nervous, but after he disappears into the menโ€™s room for a few minutes he looks a lot more alert.

We shuffle onto the bus and find seats. Iโ€™m up near the front with my backpack between my feet. The old man beside me grumbles about that, but hey, I paid for my ticket just like he did. The bus pulls out half an hour late – then we speed up, start making up time. Great, really moving now.

Oh my God – the curve –

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29 responses to “Friday Fictioneers: On the Bus

  1. Hi Sharon,
    Great internal dialog from your main character, and a dramatic conclusion. Good job! Ron

  2. Great sub-text here Sharon, with a very convincing voice. Nice one.

  3. Bringing back memories of a bus trip I took in college, although that one did not turn out to be the cliff-hangar this is becoming!

    • Well, part of the inspiration for this one is a girl from my church who always took discount buses for quick visits home from college (and she didn’t run into this kind of excitement either, thank goodness!)

  4. I was wondering about the driver looking more alert after going the men’s room. Yikes! You did get the voice just right; sounds like a real person.

    • Yes, the driver had a little help, I’m afraid. And thank you! It’s a challenge while writing to tell whether the voice sounds real, or whether it just sounds like me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Janet stole my line. The college doesn’t get it, must be a freshman.

  6. Hi Sharon, I like your character’s inner dialogue. Great details like the backpack between your feet and the bus driver returning more alert after the bathroom, and then the curve at the end! I feel like I read a complete story almost, or a story within a story. Great job!

  7. A real cliff hanger ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Well, this can’t end well! I think the driver was doing more than washing his hands in the bathroom! Well done.

  9. one of the few times i think i had a good guess early enough into the story. yay me. well done.

  10. Hi Sharon ~ Wonderful…easy flow to this. Wonder if the driver came out of the bathroom with a little white powder on his chin. Your cliff hanger made me gasp. Nice work.

  11. Nice stream of consciousness from your character. You see the curve but, like her, you’re powerless to do anything about it. Nice work, Sharon.

    • Thanks, Rochelle! As for seeing the curve, that was another time when the story “just happened” without being carefully planned first – I didn’t realize until after I finished writing that she had to sit near the front so she could see what was coming! Glad you like it. (And again, thanks for becoming our new Fearless Leader!)

  12. debraaelliott1960

    I see we “travel” in the same writing circles… Love this story and the 100 words story as well. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog Words are Timeless. I’m not sure why I chose to write about death, I guess it’s been on my mind of late as I move on in the seasons of my life.

    • Thanks (and thanks again!) I think this story was partly inspired by the fact that there have been several bad accidents over the past few years involving low-fare buses. (Not to say that the real-world drivers are on drugs, like this driver – in the cases I can think of offhand, the problem was that the driver got lost and either plowed into an overpass with too little clearance or – like this driver – missed a turn.)

      Besides, it doesn’t make much of a story to have the narrator get on the bus, feel resentful of her annoyed seatmate, and otherwise get home uneventfully!

  13. Speed kills, ‘eh? Lovely build up and final line to this neat little tale.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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