Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1198706-Bus-to-Purgatory
by SueVN
Rated: E · Short Story · Fantasy · #1198706
Could this be the wrong bus?


Prompt:  After falling asleep on a twenty-hour bus trip to his mother's house, a college student wakes up to discover that he's been on the wrong bus the entire time.

298 words

The bus intercom woke him, “Elysium coming up!  All passengers must depart.”  Jake blinked.  Elysium?  Was that on the way from Philadelphia to Miami?  He dozed off.

“C’mon Dude.  Gotta get off.”  The driver shook Jake’s shoulder.  Jake stumbled to his feet, pulled his duffle bag down and clambered off.  Inside the station, he saw a coffee counter. 

The brunette behind it smiled. “Need some caffeine?”

“Probably more than that, but it’s a start.”  He dug out two dollars and took the steaming cup she held.  Her hands were very white, and when he looked at her again, her hair platinum blonde.  Wasn’t she a brunette?  He shook his head, trying to get the cobwebs out and walked to the Destinations board.

Jake stared at the cities.  He recognized nothing.  People strolled by as though they knew exactly where to go.  Why was he so confused?  He looked back at the coffee girl.  Now she was a redhead with freckles. 

“Purgatory!  Next bus to Purgatory!  Gate 5C!”    Purgatory?  Wasn’t that a ski area in Colorado?  His mother was going to kill him.  He was blowing a whole day, maybe two, wandering around the West on his one-week college break.  How could he get back East?

Jake spotted the ticket counter, eyes searching above it for anything to tell him where he was.  The counter evaporated into a black tunnel.  Helpless, his legs walked into it with no help from him.  He fell, in slow drifting circles.

“Jake!  Jake! Can you hear me?”  His mother’s voice came to him.  He opened his eyes to her concerned face and realized he was in a hospital room. 

“Jake, you got on the bus to Akron and it had an accident.  It was the wrong bus, Jake!” 

“No kidding, Mom.” 

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