Hello internet! To those who have just joined us, you’re in for a treat :p and you can catch up on the previous rules HERE. For those returning, welcome back my lovelies; I’ve dearly missed you all! <3
So it’s day four of my month long blogathon and I have to say I’m really enjoying it! Since I’ve been at university, I haven’t had much time to write for fun, so having this time every day to stretch my creative knuckles has been thoroughly enjoyable. In that spirit, I bring you rule four of the Rules of Life blog series! Enjoy!
Rule the Fourth – Don’t make conversation with the crazy man on the bus. Like ever.
It’s a full moon on a night in the town of Croydon. A girl patiently awaits to catch her regular bus home from a long, taxing day at work. She is eager for the countdown numbers to change to ‘due’ so she can depart from the stop just outside Grants cinema complex. She presses her hands together and rubs them. It is late on a cold November night. The streets are only illuminated by the harsh glare of the streetlamps, radiating ominously in the distance. The town pulsates with energy as the drunkards return to clubs with girls in too short skirts and the bums line the pavement gutters with their stench. The rubbish in the general waste bin nearby hasn’t been emptied on time and the putrid smell of rotting vegetable carcasses makes her feel a bit nauseous.
Almost in the nick of time, the bus arrives. She double checks the number bus. It’s hers. A small feeling of elation climbs from her stomach. She can’t wait to get home and unwind. Her muscles feel tense from a stressful day and she just wants to be on the sofa relaxing.
As the bus pulls in and opens its doors, she climbs inside the mechanical monster. She smiles at the bus driver, taps in her oyster card and ascends the stairs. There aren’t many people on the top deck. She wonders whether she ought to stay downstairs but opts against it and finds herself a seat at the back. Gingerly she sets her bag down on the seat next to her and puts her ipod headphones in her ears.
A hand tapping on her back drags her from her thoughts. She sighs and turns around to be greeted by what is clearly a very smelly and disheveled homeless man. He has a long beard and he appears to be missing a few teeth when he grins at her. He is holding out a can of lager in one hand and there is a plastic bag with another four on the seat next to him. His breath reeks of alcohol and it lingers, thick and toxic, in the air between them.
“Sinead! How are you petal? How’s the family doing?”
She is frozen. Her name is not Sinead but the drunk hobo looks so relieved to see her, she decides to play along.
“They’re… all right I guess? How about yours?” she asks. He takes a swig of his lager and looks thoughtful.
“Well,” he slurs, “the missus left me.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” she replies. He opens his mouth to say something but then appears to forget. She turns back around, hoping this will end their conversation.
“Yeah she’s dead,” he continues, moments later. She looks back at him, stunned and he laughs, a low booming belly laugh. She now doesn’t know whether to take him seriously or not and he is beginning to scare her. She looks around to the other passengers, begging for someone to help. The few passengers on the top deck of the 197 late at night stare back silently, their eyes wide as if to say ‘You’re on your own.’
She sees her bus stop name flash up on the board. She breathes a sigh of relief. She gathers her things together, presses the big red stop button and proceeds to get up and move towards the stairs.
“Sinead! Sinead! SINEAD!”
Horrified at the drunk man’s outburst, she looks up just as she begins her descent down the stairs. The bus hits a bump in the road and she is sent hurtling down the stairs, tripping on the step as she misses her footing.
She re-composes herself and gets off the bus.
As the bus moves away she sees the people on the top deck windows looking out and sniggering to themselves. She’s never felt more embarrassed.
And as the bus drives off into the night, she sees the drunk homeless man, waving at her furiously through the back bus window.
Bloody full moon… she thinks.
And that concludes rule four! The rule for tomorrow is Rule the Fifth – There are plenty of places to pee – Waterloo station’s platforms are not one of them! Check back tomorrow for that and feel free to pop over to my creative writing blog HERE – it’s uber awesome.
As always, comment and see you tomorrow!
- Cath xxx