Shi Odori

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Three young boys run away from home. No one, not even they know where they are going.

Submitted: September 18, 2012

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Submitted: September 18, 2012

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When three young boys stepped onto the bus no one, not even they, knew where they were going. They slipped in line between the adults who did not even notice. As they filed onto the bus the driver assumed they were with their guardians who were throwing enough for their fare.

The youngest, a tiny thing of only eight was the last to reach the top of the steps. He spotted his older companions in a seat near the center of the bus. He glanced nervously at the driver, an older man with a graying beard, before joining the other boys.

The huddled together unable to believe their luck. Now they could go anywhere they pleased with no one to tell them otherwise. The bus began to move and the boys laughed and talked excitedly about the plans ahead.

It was only about ten minutes before the older boys became bored with bus travel. One took a scissors from his backpack and began stabbing holes into the back of the seat ahead of him. The other took a pen and paper and tried drawing.

“You’re going to get in trouble,” the younger boy said to the scissors one. The other boy frowned.

“No I’m not,” he replied.

The second boy grew frustrated with his inability to draw due to the shakiness of the moving bus. He crumpled up his paper and tossed it over the seat. The three watched as it bounced off the permed head of an elderly woman. They burst into giggles.

“You hit an old lady!”

“Let me try,” said the other boy, putting away his scissors. He grabbed a new paper, crumpled it up into a ball and pointed to a balding man. “Ten points if you hit the bald guy.” He tossed the paper and missed.

“I bet I can do it,” replied the other, and all three began tossing papers at various passengers.

The adults on the bus looked around at each other in disgust. Who were the parents of these ill behaved boys?

One passenger finally asked to driver to take action, just as the paper throwing evolved into the flinging of rubber bands. He pulled the bus over. When it was determined none of the boys’ parents were on board, they were escorted off the bus until a policeman could come a figure out just where it was these boys belonged.

As they waited the two older boys began nudging each other. They exchanged a glance and nodded enthusiastically. Grabbing the younger one’s arm, they took off in a sprint into the road, straight into the path of an oncoming car.

When the youngest boy awoke he found himself staring up at a high wooden ceiling. Wood beams crossed every which way over and under each other. It was very bright and he could hear loud music, singing, and laughing.

He could remember everything about running away from home, the bus and being struck by the car. He had no idea where he was now, and was in no pain so he rolled over to see just what was going on.

He was lying on a platform raised not more than three steps above a long, long hall that stretched as far as he could see. Straight down the center was a patterned wooden floor and to either side it looked as if a festival was taking place. People in long pale robes spun around and around in a dance, paper parasols of every color in their hands. When they saw the boy was awake they quickly floated up to him.

“Come dance with us,” they sang in voices that sounded like the chiming of bells. They took his hands and pulled him to his feet. He realized he was wearing completely white, and was suddenly reminded of a funeral. He looked up at the people and was frightened to see there was nothing distinguishable about their faces.

“I can’t dance,” he said. “That would make me dead.”

The spirits shook their heads in reassurance and led him down the platform. In a long procession they walked down the hall, moving through alternating sections of light and shadow until the end was finally reached.

The boy was ushered onto a carriage with neither wheels nor horses to pull it. The door closed and the spirits waved good-bye and blew kisses. The carriage began to float, up and away into the clear blue sky.

The boy leaned over the edge to peer down at the spirits still waving and calling out to him. He slid to the seat behind the driver, bending over the back to talk to him.

“Please stop,” he said. “I don’t want to be dead.”

The driver shook his head and the boy realized suddenly it was the very same driver from the bus. The carriage rose higher and higher.

“Turn around! Stop please!” the boy begged.

The driver said nothing. He didn’t make any motion or reply at all. The boy thought about his home, his father and older sister. He was sorry he had made his father angry, and wished he hadn’t run away.

“Please! I’m sorry about on the bus, I really am! Please don’t make me go!”

The driver spoke without turning his head. “Of course you are now.”

The young boy sank to the carriage floor and cried as it rose into the vast blue sky and vanished from view.


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