by D. J. H. III
John and Jennifer sit in a bus during a car crash. 300 words flash fiction contest entry.
John lurched, palming the backseat for balance. Jennifer whimpered, crawling from her seat to the floor. They were seated together when the bus stopped.
Someone screamed from miles away, almost inaudible. Dust covered every window, vastless like the cloudy innards of a murky marsh.
"Why won't the bus move," Jennifer whispered.
John didn't quite hear what she said, but shushed her in the attempt of offering acknowledgement.
From across the floor, Jazmin and Jody made eye contact with John and Jennifer. Slowly, the four surveyed their surroundings. Other classmates followed suit. Then they stood up to account for everyone.
It seemed no one was hurt, but everyone was shaken. The bus still pulsed with a high whine. John stretched his neck for the people in front of the bus.
"Shh," Jennifer whispered, grabbing John's sleeve.
"The bus driver's not moving," Jazmin said for all to hear.
There was a noise outside, of some machine roaring. Their bus moved with it, humming along with its own vibration.
"OH MY GOD—" Jason screamed suddenly before slapping himself. Everyone snapped their necks and glued their lips.
At the front of the bus, near the bus driver, there was a silhouette; a hazy figure laid on their windshield, limp, with a faint limb grabbing for air. As it waved, the silhouette inched across the glass.
Another scream: still outside, yet extraordinarily closer and more…pained?
"Is the bus driver okay?" Jody asked.
A thud hit their window; Jazmine and Jody jolt and yelp respectively. Then a harder thud, with a black hand print visible on their glass.
Everyone started panicking; screaming, whispering, hyperventilating.
John covered his ears. The bus rocked from all directions.
"You'll be sorry, you'll be sorry," John whispered, inaudible.
Jennifer didn't quite hear him; a limp driver inched from his seat, decollated.