We’re All Waiting for the 139 Express Home : Scary Stories – Short Horror Story

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The Port Authority Bus Terminal buzzed as commuters abandoned New York City for the evening. Aaron stood in line at the gate, ready to board the 139 Express home. He looked forward to decompressing after a long day of toiling away in the office.

Except the bus was going to be late, according to the text message he received. It would also be changing gates. Aaron groaned and started making his way to another part of the Port Authority.

Distracted by the inconvenience, he didn’t notice that everyone else remained in place.

When he reached the hub of gates where his bus would be arriving, he saw only a single gate with passengers waiting. He got in line behind a pale woman holding a still child in her arms. He cursed his misfortune knowing the kid wasn’t likely to be quiet the whole ride home.

In anticipation of the wailing child, Aaron put his earbuds in, cranked the music up, and played a game.

He might have closely observed his fellow passengers if he hadn’t done this. No one else had a cell phone in their hand. No one carried any briefcases, backpacks, or purses. No one else spoke. The hub was as silent as the grave except for Aaron humming along with the music. All the men, women, and children surrounding him were empty-handed except for the paper tickets they held in their hands.

When the bus pulled in, the line began to move. Everyone presented their ticket to a bored attendant standing behind a podium with a scanner. He scanned the tickets, and the passengers silently walked onto the bus.

When Aaron’s turn came, he showed the Attendant his phone and waited for him to scan it. The Attendant frowned and signaled for him to remove his earbuds.

Aaron compiled and asked: “Is there something wrong?”

“Sir, I don’t think you belong here,” the Attendant declared.

“I got a message telling me this is the gate the 139 Express is supposed to arrive at,” Aaron replied and showed the Attendant the message.

“I believe there’s been an error with your ticket,” the Attendant said.

“You didn’t even scan it,” Aaron replied. Sighing deeply, the Attendant scanned the smartphone, and the machine beeped and blared piercingly.

“The confirmation number doesn’t match with our system. Could you please wait on the side while we investigate?”

Aaron nodded, allowing the people behind him onto the bus.

Minutes later, a courier delivered a folder to the Attendant. He paged through it and quickly found what he’d been searching for.

“Just as I suspected. A clerical error. Happens more often than you’d think. You don’t want to get on this bus. I apologize for the mistake. We’ll set it right immediately.”

The Attendant ripped a page from the folder in half, and a bright light blinded Aaron.

Aaron found himself standing in line for the 139 Express.

He looked forward to decompressing after a long day at the office.