On the Bus

By Kathryn Andersen

The wheels on the bus go round and round.

Jim shifted in his hard plastic seat. The seats were an anti-vandalism measure, but whoever designed them was a sadist.

Round and round.

His teeth ached. The vibration of the motor made the whole bus rattle. Now he knew how a tuning-fork felt.

Round and round.

Jim sneezed. Too many smells: gas fumes, the soap scent of washed bodies, the old sweat of the unwashed ones, perfume, shampoo, bad breath, toothpaste... He breathed through his mouth, but he could still taste it.

The wheels on the bus go round and round.

The squeal of the brakes stabbed through his ears into his skull. The jolt nearly threw him out of his seat as he covered his ears with his hands. Where did the driver learn how to drive -- in tinker-toy school?

All through the town.

The hell with waiting for the bodyshop to get back to him. He was going to get a new truck.


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