It all happened one strange night. I had just gotten off of work with 4 hours of overtime under my belt. And don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the extra pay, but this also meant I might just have to walk home.
I lived about 10 miles away from work. And even though I’m an adult, I still hadn’t been able to get a car of my own. So I was currently stuck with public transportation. I didn’t mind it. It got me from point A to point B. What sucked was the schedule. And for this bus I needed to take home, I knew it stopped running around 11. It was 11:03 when I left work.
I ran as fast as I could to the nearby bus station, that happen to be a few blocks away from my work place. It was still a bit of a run, but when I finally got there, I noticed something strange. The station was completely empty. No Security, no buses, not even the usual homeless guy who sleeps on the benches. Empty. I walked over to the sign for my bus and checked the schedule. It stopped running at 11:05. It was currently 11:07. I missed it by two minute.
I kicked the ground, frustrated with my situation. I turned to start walking away when I heard the sound of a bus coming up. I stopped, and turned to see the bus come up and stop in front of me.
The doors opened with a hiss, and the driver let out a sigh. “Where ya going?” I looked up at him to see the same typical uniform they all wear, but he himself looked strange. It was hard to get a good look at him, due to the lighting on the inside, but I could make out two seemingly black colored eyes.
“I was heading to Jackson Road in the suburb, but I missed my bus,” I responded. Surprised that he even happen to show up.
“Get on. I’ll get you there.” He hadn’t made much movement since pulling up, but I merely just brushed it off as it being a long day for him. I thanked him as I climbed up and pulled out my wallet. “Don’t worry about that. No charge.” I thanked him again, and turned to find a seat.
The bus was almost filled. Most of the seats were taken, minus a few here and there. But I was able to find two seat against the window so I wasn’t in anyone’s space. I sat and looked around at the people.
Some looked like business men, with suits and ties, just reading the paper, or looking through their briefcase. I saw a few older looking riders, some with canes, others just sitting, seeming to enjoy the ride. And then there was this mother, hold her little boy as she slept in her arms. He looked so peaceful as we rode down the streets. I plugged in my iPod to drown out the roaring engine in the back, and just leaned and watched the buildings go by.
After a while, I noticed something odd. Never once did the bus driver stop to either drop someone off, or pick someone up. He just drove aimlessly. And it was too long before I didn’t even have the vaguest idea where we were at. I took another look around the bus, but no one seemed to notice what was going on. I stood up and wobbled over to the driver.
“Excuse me? I was wondering where exactly we’re at.” I grabbed on to the nearest pole so not to lose my balance, but the driver merely chuckled.
“Get back to your seat. It’s not safe to stand while the bus is in motion, but don’t you worry. You’ll be home soon enough.” He chuckled again, and turned another corner.
I turned around to get in back to my seat, but when I did. Everyone, and I mean everyone was looking at me. And it wasn’t one of those “Is everything alright?” looks. They were glaring. Burning holes into my person.
I made it to my seat as quick as I could, and looked back out the window. Then signs we were passing looked foreign to me. Streets I never even heard of. But eventually I recognized one. Dover Street. I got a good friend that lived there. I was sure I could crash at their place until morning and get on the proper bus. And away from all this glaring.
I slowly shifted in my seat as I reached for the cord to signal for a stop. But as I reached for it, the baby the woman was holding started crying. I looked back to see the mother try to calm the baby, but something about its cry seemed eerie. Like something was off.
I couldn’t take it anymore. The glaring was one thing, but something wasn’t right, and I needed to get off now. I pulled the cord, and two long, slow chimes rang out. No “Stop Requested” light came on. Not even a glance from the driver. No. What followed was even more terrifying.
Silence filled the bus. Everyone’s attention turned to me. And then… the baby started laughing. It let out the most horrifying, demonic laughter my ears have ever heard. Chills ran up and down my spine as it just continued to laugh. Soon the business men start laughing, then the elderly people, and finally, the mother. And as their laughs grew stronger, they began to change. Turning into… into… these monsters that only seemed to come from the deepest depths of one’s nightmares. Skin peeled and fell onto the ground. Razor sharp teeth and horns grew out the their mouths and foreheads, and slowly they began to get up from their chairs. I pressed my back against the window, not knowing what else to do as I watched to horror unfold in front of me. I saw from the corner of my eye, what once was the baby, and now some miniature demon jump off its mother’s lap and began to walk over to me.
I was surrounded. Tears were pouring down my face. I knew this was the end. I had nowhere to go with demons all around me. The driver let out a roaring laugh that shook the whole bus. “I told you you’d be home soon. Now welcome home.” And with that, the demons lunged at me. Clawing and tearing off my skin by the chunks. I screamed with each tear that they took. And suddenly, it stopped. They all took a few steps back, and just looked at me. I looked down, at all the blood and skin that laid on the floor of the bus. I somehow found the strength to get up. And when I did, I turned to look at what was left of me in the window.
I was shocked to see what I saw. What looked back at me… wasn’t me. But a demon. Just… Like… Them… I finally understood what happen. All these demons… they were like me. People just trying to get home. But becoming these beasts instead after getting on the wrong bus. This bus just goes from city to city, picking up unsuspecting people. And turns them into these monsters.
I just wanted to go home… But it looks like I found a new home… And we’re waiting for you… Come join us.