Oh hey, I think I fixed the text.
Sorry for not posting in the last couple of days. Guess I kinda missed out on the fifth day. But hey! Here's a story that is actually a reasonable length.
Sometime today I need to scan images into this computer so that tomorrow ( :O Christmas Eve!) all I will need to do is upload them and hit post.
This is something I wrote partly on the bus to the plaza half a year ago. All of the people on the bus were indeed people that I actually saw, including the awesome white beard guy. But no, he didn't give me a special rock ._.
The usual suspects sat on the bus that day. The driver fixed a midnight blue turban proudly atop his head as I nodded to him. I fed the bus ticket into the machine and felt all eyes on me as everyone looked over at the newcomer critically. I could almost hear their whispers about my black jeans and t-shirt, feel the imaginary hands poking at the large hat I wore that clipped around my chin and warmed my ears. But as they were digesting the sight of me, I was doing the same to them.
The boy I passed on the first seat to my left had obviously spent more than ten minutes gelling his hair to spiked 'perfection' in front of a mirror that morning. He ignored me and clacked furiously away on his phone. I paid him the same respect, and moved on through the bus.
There was a haughty woman, tall and thin and with a nose like a crooked beak, that glared at me when I passed her. Two teenagers were next, dressed in crimson school uniforms and taking turns in gossiping to each other checking their phones for new text messages. They stopped talking and stared a me when I walked by. The moment they thought I was out of earshot, they began talking again.
There were two people left. One was at the back of the bus, a suited, middle-aged man who eyed the occupants of the bus with a hawk's gaze.
The other sat closer and had his eyes trained on an object in his hand. It looked like a pebble to me. He had large spectacles on and a great white bushy beard tickling his chin.
I sat down on a seat next to him. The bus took off and stopped three more times to let on passengers before he seemed to notice me.
"Oh," he said, as he looked me up and down. "I guess now's the time, then."
"Sorry?" I asked. Sitting next to the suited man or even the gossiping girls seemed like a good idea, now.
But the old man grabbed my arm in a grip I was surprised that he could muster. I looked up at his eyes and realized with a shock that they were the brightest yellow. I could not look away.
"You must listen to me," he began.
"No way." I had half a mind to jump the bus then and there.
"Take it," he said, and passed me the stone he had been staring at. Puzzled, I picked it up and found myself not being able to take my eyes away. The blue depths of the pebble-shaped object swirled and glowed in my palms.
The bus was slowing to a stop. The senior with he bushy beard stood up slowly with age and edged past me. "Don't trust anyone. Goodbye, and good luck."
When he spoke, I was snapped out of my trance. I looked up and saw he was already outside the bus and walking towards an old apartment block. And then the bus started up again and drove onwards. I had never seen the apartment block before. I couldn't remember this particular bus going down this route at all.
Within a few confusing twists and turns, however, the main road appeared under the wheels again. In no time, I was getting off the bus as well and staring down the road that led to my school.
I looked down at the object in my hand. My thoughts weren't entirely sure if I should call it a rock or not. It fit well in my hand, felt and looked like a rock or pebble, and weighed about the same, too. The only thing that made me hesitate to name it a rock was the color swirling inside it. It was the deepest blue and captured my attention as easily as a skilled fisherman captures a whiting.
There was a loud sound from the direction of the school, and I swore and ran. It was the first bell. The next one would go off in ten minute's time.
I sprinted through the corridors bustling with students until I found my locker. I pocketed the rock and hoped to forget all about it.
The locker to my left exploded in a flurry of movement as Liam, my friend, attacked the lock. Within moments, he was inside the lock and stuffing his belongings into it. Liam believe that time was always being wasted and strived to do everything as fast as possible. He was smaller than me by a couple of inches and had a face shaped like a ferret.
"Hiya!" he said to me and I nodded in greeting.
"Well," Liam began. "Have you seen the suit walking around here this morning?"
"What? No. Who is it?"
Liam shook his head. "Probably some big shot who wants to put their son in a rich school."
I chuckled with him. "They should have looked anywhere else, then. When did he get here?"
"Couple of minutes ago. Around the same time you did, actually. Jumped off the 547x bus and walked here, I think."
I frowned. "I was just on the 547x."
Liam wasn't listening. "Here he comes- look!"
I turned to where he was pointing. The other students in the corridor quieted down a bit. It was obvious that everyone was curious to see the suited man.
It was the guy who had been with me on the bus, the one who had sat near the back. One of the teachers was leading him through the hallway and giving the 'history of the school' talk, but he wasn't listening. His eyes scanned the students until he found me. He stared until both him and the teacher had rounded the corner.
"Well that was weird," Liam commented. "What have you done to piss him off?"
"Nothing," I said, not totally believing myself. "He was on the same bus as me, is all."
"Oh, alright." Liam shrugged. "He probably just recognized you or something. Maybe he likes to stare."
"I dunno, man-"
Liam cut me off. "Aight', seeya in class." He had his books and was already jogging away. I sighed and grabbed my books too, following him through the quickly dispersing crowd of students.
It was the fourth lesson of the day. History. The teacher was getting us to copy down some information he was scratching out on the blackboard. The only sound in the classroom was that of our pens scribbling furiously away.
An elbow nudged me on my right. It was Liam. He silently passed me a folded piece of lined paper. I opened it.
'Look at the door on my count.'
In the corner of my eye I saw Liam unbend three of his fingers and hold them straight so I could see. One finger went back down. Then another. When the third finger was lowered, he 'accidentally' pushed his pencil case onto the floor. It sprung upon and pencils were everywhere. All eyes, even the teacher's, were on him as he apologized profusely and winked at me.
I took the distraction and used it. Bending my arms backward in a yawn, I turned my head and took a good look at the classroom door.
There was a tiny window inset into the door. Through that window, the suited man's face showed. Yet again, he was only looking at me.
"Shit," I breathed to Liam, helping him pick up his pencil case. "What the hell is that guy's problem?"
"Damned if I know. Maybe you should ask him."
I thought for a moment. I would only be out of the classroom for a moment. The guy didn't quite look friendly, but I was sure he wasn't about to go on a psycho rage and kill everyone.
"Fine," I told Liam. "If I'm not back in thirty seconds, you rescue me, right?"
"Whatever." He was spinning his pencil on the tabletop.
"Liam! You'll rescue me, right?"
"Yeah, yeah, ok!" Liam hissed back at me. "Hurry up so I can rescue you and get back to work."
I raised my hand and negotiated going to the toilet to the teacher. When he sighed and approved, I stood up and walked purposely towards the door. The face wasn't there anymore. Maybe he had gone off on his own.
I opened the door, walked through, and closed it behind me. I looked into the corridor and frowned. Where was he?
Two large hands answered my question by grabbing me by the lapels and throwing me against the closest row of lockers.
The suited man loomed above me, and twisted his head to the left and to the right, giving off resounding 'crack!' noises.
"What did he say to you?" the man asked. His voice was a collage of gravelly tones.
"What?" I said, and instantly regretted how child-like and ignorant I had sounded. I put my palms on the ground and started to slowly push myself into a crouching position.
"Arch Ranger Kristopher," said the man. "What did he tell you?"
Surely thirty seconds had passed by now. Surely someone had heard the sound of me hitting the lockers.
My mind raced to think who he was talking about. "That old man?" I ventured. "He didn't say anything to me." I didn't mention the strange rock.
"Wrong answer," the man said, raising his fist.
Liam counted the seconds on his wristwatch. He waited another ten seconds, just in case, and then decided to put his plan into action.
He raised his hand. The teacher looked up and sighed at him. "What now, Liam? Finally picked up all of your pencils?"
"Excuse me, Miss," Liam said, ignoring her comment. "I just wanted to know if you could smell that smoke."
The teacher frowned and sniffed a couple of times. Other classmates looked around and started sniffing too.
"I don't smell anything," one of them said.
"Me neither," the teacher agreed. She narrowed her eyes. "Liam, if this is another of your pranks..."
Liam cut her off. "Of course not, Miss. But I'm sure I can smell smoke. Better safe than sorry, right? I'll go and check."
Before the teacher could tell him not to, Liam was crossing the classroom and opening the door.
He froze when he saw the man in the suit about to punch me.
The man rotated his head slowly to stare at Liam. "FIRE!" Liam shouted suddenly, making the man flinch. "Evacuate the classroom, Miss! The entire corridor is on fire!"
I heard the teacher try and tell the class to move in an orderly fashion out of the classroom, but they weren't listening. The students poured out of the room, running and shouting and pushing each other out of the way. The man in the suit stumbled down the hall as he was pushed out of the way. Liam grabbed my arm and pulled me up, dusting my shirt off for me. He smiled and I went to thank him, but the teacher's shrill voice screamed down the corridor.
"LIAM! I CAN'T SEE ANY FIRE!"
"That's my cue," Liam told me, tipping an imaginary hat. "Get out of here before that man comes back."
I nodded and ran in the opposite direction. I took the first two corners without thinking, and almost lost myself in the maze of hallways.
That's it. I rather liked this story. I doubt I'm the only one who sits in public places and imagines fights breaking out or suited strangers tailing you and holding their hands to earpieces. Rather rudely staring at people on the bus is fun, though. Because each person has their own clothing style and attitude and is a potential agent of Voldemort/Serpine/President Snow etc.
Alright, I've sat here at the computer, eating and drinking and watching youtube videos to distract myself. I can't think of anything else to write about that short story right now. I probably won't come back to it, either.
But I was thinking about continuing the story for a while. I like the idea of being in a school situation when things go wrong, because we're so used to it being normal and controlled. You don't expect to see the White Cleaver outside of your classroom window, visor glinting in the midday sun. You don't expect to hear a few preliminary revs of a motorbike engine before a certain Purple Rose races down the school corridor on a Black Kawasaki Ninja.
Tomorrow. Christmas Eve. Last post. A couple of pictures. Look forward to it :P