School bus

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

We all have unnatural powers. All we have to do is just look deep inside of ourselves.
What is hiding inside of a regular schoolboy? He didn't even suspect.

Dedicated to My Friend. N., You did a lot for me.

School bus

1

A bell rang.

The sound of it shared on all the yard afore the school. The school felt abandoned and empty just like any school before the bell. Everything around was quiet and calm. It was just one of many schools you probably know.

The lane lead from the main entrance, on both sides of it were fresh green lawns that Mr. Preston cut yesterday’s evening. All the same, it left the pleasant fresh scent of grass.

Doors opened. Children began to pop out from the school, running and crying loudly. Some of them were even pushing each other or fighting.

“Calm down, kids!” A man shouted. Mr. Aaron, school guard, was standing near the opened door, holding it and raising his hand in the direction of the fighting boys to calm them down. But it seemed that it didn’t help much. Because kids sometimes are rebel, he offered excuses.

“Hey Ashley, hold on!” Steve ran out calling his friend.

Steve and Ashley were good friends almost from the very beginning when they met each other. Steve was twelve, he was wearing jeans jacket over his orange T-shirt, though it was not very cold. It was just part of his style, he said. His blond short hair was covered with the red cap with the caption of the baseball team on it. Also, he was wearing blue jeans with the special holes on the knees.

Ashley turned around, the boy of eleven years with a light tan on his face.

“Come on, I’m waiting for you.” He touched up his dark hair and moved the forelock to the left.

He was in red T-shirt and a pair of jeans, wearing his favourite snickers in which he could walk well and without any problems for the feet.

“It was hard to catch up after you,” said Steve trying to catch his breath.

“Yeah, I see.”

Their conversation was interrupted by a loud voice of Mr. Aaron, who was now standing near several big yellow busses that were waiting for a settle in.

“Kids, get in! Keep the order! Don’t push each other, that’s right!”

Children were separated in pairs and were getting inside one-by-one.

“Which one are we going to choose this time?” asked Steve.

“Let it be…”

“Hey, freak!” Sounded the voice from behind.

Ashley looked around.

It was Matthew or Big Matt, the big guy and two other guys, Barry and Ned were following him everywhere. Barry and Ned were making fun of Matt’s joke. They both were laughing.

Matthew was twelve, he was wearing a long basketball T-shirt with his muscles out, he was proud of them. His breaches were dangling on his hips.

Barry was not as high as Matt, he was wearing glasses due to his myopia, his body type was not as sport. He was thin and definitely not as muscular as Matt. He only wished he could be.

Ned was big, because he ate a lot, though he was not fat, because he loved sport. He was in his favourite green jacket with a serpent on the back and in his old knickerbockers.

“Get out of the way!” Matt said and with these words he pushed Ashley on the ground.

While Ashley was trying to get up and Matthew was busy with him, Steve tried to interrupt them but Ned and Barry were there right in time entertaining and holding him. Steve tried to push them away, on his attempt Ned hit him in the solar plexus. Steve’s breath stuck inside, strange sound in his ears appeared, he couldn’t even swallow. He fell on the ground. He could see the blue sky up above.

He heard the sounds of hitting and tried his best to get up, but he couldn’t. His body felt so heavy and that heat on his breast…

“Stop this, please,” Ashley cried, but so in low voice that no one could hear it.

Steve rolled over to see if his friend is all right. He watched the guys kicking him in his stomach, legs and back.

“Don’t touch him!” Steve yelled.

“Ned, Barry kick his ass,” commanded Matt.

“With pleasure,” said Ned preparing his fists.

Steve knew that it was a bad idea, but his friend was in danger. And he was too.

They started to kick him in the stomach, in the back, everywhere, to make him feel pain.

Steve felt the pain in his stomach and wanted to vomit but he hardly calmed down and silenced that feeling, his head was dizzy.

“That’s enough! Let’s go guys,” commanded Matt and they left.

Steve raised his head to look in the direction of the bullies, they went to the second bus. His vision was blurred.

“Calm down boys,” said Mr. Aaron.

“Fuck off,” answered Matt. Mr. Aaron lead him with his glance. He was not ready for such answer. They disappeared in the bus.

Ashley was lying on the ground motionless, that confused Steve.

“Ashley?” His voice was quiet and hoarse. “How are you?” Silence.

Steve started to move forward to his friend curiously looking on his body. “Do you hear me?” No move. He was scared.

After a short pause he heard a voice, Ashley’s voice:

“Yeah… Stevie, I’m OK, just can’t move… And you?”

“Me too.”

Steve tried to get up but it was a very poor attempt to do that, so he just sat and decided to relax a little bit.

Children were going back and forth without even noticing two boys lying on the ground. That’s how it goes, Steve thought.

The buses were waiting so they needed to get up and move. Steve got up and came to his friend. “Can you move?” he asked. Steve looked at his friend’s face, blood dripping from his nose.

“You got blood on your face.”

Ashley’s clothes were adorned with traces of hitting. He touched his face with thin fingers. Fingers were red.

“Can you get up?” asked Steve.

Ashley smiled, “Am I looking like the one who can?”

“Actually yes,” Steve admitted.

“You look well. Like a piece of meat tormented by dog.” Steve looked at him suspiciously then laughed.

“Come on, get up. Stop lying here like a little girl.” Steve gave him a hand.

Ashley got up and cleaned his clothes from dust.

Boys went to the bus when were ready and cleaned their clothes.

“On the board guys, we can’t wait for you all day.” Mr. Aaron said, paying no attention on how they were looking and what was going on with them a couple of minutes ago, though he saw everything.

They came up to the first bus.

“Hold on. It is full already.” Mr. Aaron stopped them with his hand. “Go to the second one.”

They did, Ashley went barely moving his legs lamely.

 

2

The bus was already full, almost. Everyone was looking at them at the entrance.

“Let’s sit there,” proposed Steve pointing places with his finger. They started to move forward. Steve was first, Ashley after him.

“Hey girls!” yelled Matt from the last row. Ned giggled near him.

When Ashley was going near the second row, he looked at Jessica who was sitting there. Her gaze met his and then it was distracted immediately. He saw the chagrin on her face, when her lower lip moved up a little bit forming a slow identified letter C. She was a blond hair girl of eleven in blue skirt with white blouse. He saw that she’s worrying about him, though she tried to hide it.

Steve was almost on his place, then he turned around at Ashley who lagged behind and instantly returned to taking his place. Ashley was almost near him, he looked at Steve and speeded up his pace.

Suddenly, the foot appeared right when Ashley was doing his step forward, near his feet. He stumbled and fell on the floor…

 

3

Everyone was laughing except Steve, Jessica and… the boy lying on the floor.

It was Barry.

Barry’s leg to be exact.

Barry burst into laugh with tears.

Ashley’s breast caused pain, but he tried not to show it, tears came to his eyes, so he bit his lips to cope with it and not to cry instantly.

Steve saw what happened and got up to help.

Ashley did a push up, though it was difficult for him after the first accident with the boys, and stood up.

“Are you ok?” asked Steve when Ashley was near him throwing his bag near window.

“I’m ok, I’ll sit near window if you don’t mind.”

“No problem, as you wish.”

They took their places.

 

4

“Everyone, take a sit and fasten your seat belts, please!” commanded Mr. Aaron.

Children were at their position already, all the seat belts were fastened, except some special braves.

“Now we can move!” announced Mr. Aaron and turned around to the driver. “Jerry,” he leaned to his ear, “turn on some rock’n’roll.”

“I heard You, Mr. Aaron. Listen and obey,” he said and grinned, exposing his teeth.

This time it was Cagey Strings Band’s song called Long Tall Sally.

Gonna tell Aunt Mary ‘bout Uncle John

He says he has the blues but

He has a lotta fun

Oh baby, yes baby, whoo-oo-oo-oo-oo baby

Don’t know if children were having fun but I know exactly that Mr. Aaron and Jerry did have, moreover they were singing along. Jerry pushed the accelerator down, the car roared and set out.

 

5

They were on the road, somewhere on the field. The day was not so shiny already, the sun hid behind the clouds.

The bus was roaring, children were busy with themselves, Jerry and Mr. Aaron were singing and looked on the road ahead.

The road was good with the dashed line on the left, smooth.

Ashley was sitting silently looking in the window on the changing view of the field though it was all the same view. Steve was busy with his phone. He was playing with a flappy bird, trying not to hit green tubes. He was going to be a champion in that game.

Something struck Ashley’s head, he checked it with his hand. It was a small piece of paper chewed and soaked with saliva. He threw it away with disgust and looked around.

“What is it?” asked Steve and turned around too.

It was Matt. He was holding a plastic tube.

He was laughing, Ned and Barry did too. Ned also asked “five” and Matt gave it.

Ashley was angry, he tried not to pay much attention and ignore.

Another portion hit his head. He turned around.

“Don’t mind this fool,” said Steve.

Ashley looked in his eyes and returned to the window.

Same view, same field, the sky was grey and seemed like it was going to rain.

 

6

Tap-tap-tap. The bird was trying to get high… but hit the tube.

GAME OVER

“Ah, can you believe it?” exclaimed Steve.

Ashley didn’t pay attention.

“Ashley?”

“What?”

“Can you believe it? I was going for the record.” said Steve.

“That’s awesome,” answered Ashley without enthusiasm but still trying to support his friend.

“Why are you so dull? Something’s worrying you?”

“No… Everything’s fine… I was just… Don’t worry…” answered Ashley and attached his gaze to the field.

Steve felt bewildered and didn’t know what was going on with his friend, furthermore, what was going on in his head. He shrugged and returned to his game.

START

Tap-tap-tap.

 

7

The day became grey.

Light patterns of raindrops were slipping down on the windshield of the bus. From time to time only lonely tree could be seen on the sides. But the only thing that was similar between them was their aspect. It looked creepy, like in the old horror movies, when they were really scary.

“It was not supposed to rain today,” admitted Mr. Aaron.

“These synoptics lied again, such bastards,” added Jerry, holding the steering wheel.

Mr. Aaron glanced at him, “Indeed.”

Children were sitting calm and quiet. Some of them were whispering with each other.

Steve was still busy with his phone, watching funny videos, headphones were in his ears. Smile was on his face.

Ashley was sitting, his head laid on his bag that was attached to the seat, his gaze stared out the window.

The sky moved forth and forth, it was gray. Was it moving at all? Or was it only seeming so?

His eyes began to close slowly, eyelashes became heavier, his vision started to blur and darken. Suddenly, from the outer side of the window something moved instantly on him. He saw the face… the face of… Something. Pale face… He woke up and jerked. What was that? Lightning glistened and then thundered.

Ashley assumed that it was only his imagination, maybe it was just a dream. He looked around, seemed everything was calm and no one saw that Something.

Rain drops started tapping the window leaving long flowing down traces, the wind blew stronger.

 

8

Before he turned back around, he felt the push ahead, his head was pushed by a strong hand. His bag was pulled away from him. Hit. The pain pierced through his hindhead, the body inertially moved forth. He didn’t even had time to put hands to protect his head from the seat’s back.

Steve turned around and saw Matt standing behind them with Ned. They were laughing.

Steve leaned forward to help Ashley, who now was bent, holding his hand at his forehead, his teeth were clenched. All that his face had shown was pain. Eyes were tearing, his head dizzy. It took him a while to recover.

When Steve touched his hand, he felt cold running his spine. Ashley clenched fists, raised to Steve and whispered:

“I’ll kill him.” Steve’s eyes were wide open.

 

9

“Wait, hold on.” Steve caught his hand and clung at it. He looked him in the eyes. But didn’t see the former Ashley there, he couldn’t recognise his friend. Ashley was different.

“I WANT HIM DEAD!” he said to his friend. Ashley’s hand was cold. Steve felt goosebumps from these words. His grip weakened.

“But you can’t…”

Something heavy hit the bus on the top, with a clunk.

“It’s ok,” Jerry said. “It was just a stone under wheel.” Mr. Aaron looked at him in disbelief.

Scratching sound in the back of the bus. Children paid attention on that.

Claws pierced in where the back door was, huge black claws started to move quickly to tear the door out. Children gasped. With a strong move, door was removed as it was absent at all. At the exit was standing it. Something similar to a big beast

It was all grey and wet, its wings were behind its back, claws were sharper than razors and could tear everyone apart. It was breathing leaving wet dripping from its breath. It was gargoyle… Its eyes were bright yellow and cold…

It moved forth to the ones, that were offended Ashley and teared them apart.

AAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Scream silenced everything that was going on around…

Ashley felt weak, his body pulled him down on the ground, eyes started to close…

When he almost lost his conscience, he glanced up at the beast… It was looking at him…

Ashley…” it whispered.

Ashley blacked out…

The beast squealed…

 

10

It was cold. The wind was howling, getting through the tiny holes in the windows. It was raining strongly, that time…

Silence covered everything around. There was no sound in the bus anymore. All the children were looking at the lying boy, who was not moving. Steve was sitting near him. He put his fingers to find Ashley’s pulse on the hand…

There was none…

Steve was shocked and didn’t believed his feelings at all. In disbelief he tried to reach Ashley’s carotid artery. He groped it and…

Nothing…

He’s dead, he thought and sit on the floor. His veins were pulsing, body became heavy, breath left him. He put hands to close mouth in desperation.

No one moved to help, because no one could. They were only spectating the scene.

The monster was gone… The only thing that left was a huge hole and dead bodies.

 

11

Jessica stood up, no one paid attention on that, and came closer to Steve. He peeked at her and hid his gaze. She stood on her knees where Ashley’s body lain.

Her heart was beating frequently. She started to get closer and reached out with her warm hand. Goosebumps had run on her spine. She touched Ashley’s face…

His eyes opened instantly, they were all black and empty, his face absolutely pale. He got up and ran to the closed door. He looked at Jerry, who was scared of what he was seeing. Jerry pushed the button without hesitation. Ashley ran out.

The weather was awful, rain created the wall that was hard to see through, lightning glistened the sky.

The boy looked left, right, apparently, he didn’t know where he was, then ran forth right into nowhere.

 

12

ASHLEY…

A voice whispered.

13

Ashley woke up. He was lying in his bed. His body was wet.

The watch was showing 3:15 AM.

Why did I wake up in the middle of the night? he thought. Ashley stared into the ceiling.

Apparently, a nightmare, but it felt so real.

The night was cold. He heard the howling of the wind outside the opened window. It was raining.

Need to close it.

He got up and came up to the window… He was only in his underwear and barefoot, but the floor was not cold.

The street outside was dark. There was no one there, it felt abandoned.  Only puddles were trying to catch drops that were hitting it with an amazing frequency.

He pulled the frame down with his hands and got back to bed.

It was just a bad dream…

He turned on the stomach and pushed his head into a cushion, his eyes started to close slowly and he fell asleep.

The wind was still making noises outside, rain drops hitting the glass of the closed window. And besides the rain and wind, there was something else…

It was staring through the window with its grief yellow eyes…

And the only thing it said was…

ASHLEY…

 

 

19.01.2020


Submitted: November 14, 2020

© Copyright 2021 J.R. Patrick. All rights reserved.

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