It comes on the most vanilla of days; the ones when your mind is wandering and running on autopilot. You know the days I’m talking about? They’re the ones when you’ve dressed and gone through your morning rituals, only to arrive at your destination with no idea of how you got there.
That’s when the Fake Bus shows up.
At first, you may be fooled that it’s your regular bus, but it’s not. Whatever you do, friend, heed my warning and DON’T get on it.
Don’t make the same mistake I did.
As it approaches, pay attention to the driver. For example, if the driver’s silhouette looks like a lady with thick, voluminous hair, but then appears to be your normal, bald-headed, male driver when it pulls up: don’t get on. Pay attention to the details.
Although there may be a strange, meat-like smell when the bus arrives, a bigger clue is that the driver will either show too much emotion, or none at all. His smile could be a little too wide, and maybe a tad too toothy. It’s also possible that his face will be a blank slate, staring silently ahead. No matter what, the driver will NOT know your name; they will have a good excuse for not knowing it, even if you’ve seen them five days a week for the past several years.
Taking your seat, you may notice the bus has a more comfortable atmosphere than normal, kind of like being wrapped in a warm blanket. If you listen closely, you might make out a faint, lullaby-like music being piped over its speakers. Do what you must to focus and pay attention to the order of the stops. That’s what initially stood out for me.
If anything feels off, it’s important that you let it be known. For instance, you may notice that many of the familiar-looking passengers seem to be in a drooling, semi-catatonic state. It’s too late for them. Worry about yourself. Make an absolute scene until you reach the next stop. Then, as the others begin launching themselves toward you from all directions, crawling down the aisles and writhing over the seats, while making the most disgusting squealing and sucking sounds through their distended mouths, you’ll have to battle your way toward the front of the bus. Kick, punch, gouge out eyes…do everything in your power to make it to the next stop.
Then, as the bus screeches to a halt and the doors finally squeal open, jump out and don’t look back. They won’t follow you. As the bus drives off in a cloud of black, lung-burning smog, know that the cuts and scrapes you suffered in the process of escape are surely nothing compared to what happens to the unfortunate unaware…the drooling ones. I don’t know where the bus ultimately takes them. Wherever it is, those passengers are quickly forgotten; even now their faces are fading from memory.