'Fed up with the cold winter, want to win a trip of a lifetime to somewhere hot, then enter this free contest'
"Wow, this sounds great" I said.
"There's always a catch," Mum warned.
I looked at the rules. Seemed straight forward enough. I had to write a story about a time I had done wrong to a friend. I am sorry to say I had just a tale to tell. Only recently I had snogged my best friends boyfriend on a drunken night out. To be fair, he snogged me, but I didn't stop him. The shame was still burning on my lips.
I wrote my story. The thought of escaping the storms which had been sweeping Britain for months now spurred me on. I included every shameful detail; the amount of alcohol I had consumed, the kiss itself and the fact I let him put his hand up my skirt whilst he was kissing me. Then I posted my entry. It was sent to P.O. Box 666 and a postcode I did not recognize.
It was only two weeks later that I received an email telling me I had won. I packed my case and waited for the promised ticket. What arrived was a bus ticket. I presumed that this was for my journey to the airport and that everything else would be waiting for me there.
When I arrived at the bus station I showed my ticket to the girl in the ticket office. She gave me a very strange look; part disgust, part sympathy, part glee. "It's the red bus, way over there," she said, pointing. The bus was shiny red with a black roof and tinted windows. A flame pattern radiated from the front grill. It looked very luxurious.
The interior of the coach was black leather with splashes of red here and there. I took the last available seat. I noticed a TV screen mounted at the front. Wow, movies on the move. As we pulled out of the bus station everything seemed normal enough. We drove through familiar streets to the edge of town but then we entered a tunnel I had never noticed before. As darkness surrounded us so did the seats; mine seemed to clamp itself around me, squeezing, making me breathless. I tried to move but it was impossible.
Then the screen flickered to life. Instead of seeing actors I saw myself. My story, the one I had entered, was unfolding before my eyes. It was a video of my shameful night out. Every moment, every detail, there for the whole coach to see. I looked to the guy next to me and his blushes told me he was seeing something different, he was seeing his own moment of shame.
I realised then how hot it was getting in the bus. Sweat was pouring out of me as the temperature rose.
"Would you like a drink?" a hostess asked, holding out a bottle of water.
"Too bad." She held the bottle just out of reach and laughed. As the seats squeezed ever tighter people began to scream. The smell of sulphur permeated the bus. Smoke built up and the heat grew as flames appeared on the screen.
"Where the hell are we?" I screamed.
"You're getting hot," the hostess smirked.
Through the flames a face appeared. The eyes were red and glowing, the mouth blood red and gaping.
"Welcome to bus service 666, your journey to hell will take two hours. Enjoy!"