Late of night, my mind wanders to strange places. I watch the last passenger depart into the night, but I wish he had stayed. The door screeches shut, and fear consumes me. A strange presence haunts me, I just know it. To my rearview, I see myself and an empty bus. ‘Nothing out of the ordinary,’ I soothe myself .
It is a road I traveled night after night. At this hour, there is no one, nothing, save for the shuttering trees. Once again, I peer into my mirror. Nothing. I must be overtired. For my sanity, I park the bus. Row after row, I look for the monster. It must be a homeless man who overslept. Nothing. No one.
My nerves are calmed. Down the road, I push this decrepit bus as fast as it goes. It is a sad endeavor. But alas, I am out of the tree’s vicinity when a gale slams my bus. To my dismay, the lights flicker until I am in the dark.
My eyes are drawn to the my mirror. But I stop myself. What if there is something there? What if the moment it knows I know, it attacks. I clutch my wheel in cold sweat. I pray there is nothing else there. I look. It is just me, nothing out of the ordinary.
I savor the idea of parking my bus at the lot. With only a mile to go, I am surely out of harm’s way. ‘You’re being stupid,’ I laugh loudly. Louder. My loudest. I can feel its presence. I can feel the weight of its stare. I see it.
At the farthest row, it grins at me. I cannot stop. The longer I stare, the closer it approaches. I look back. Nothing. My imagination is against me. I refuse to look at the mirror.
The lot is within sight. I strain not to look. It’s horrible visage haunts me. It plagues my thoughts. I almost wish to close my eyes. I turn my head to the dark. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. ‘Be reasonable,’ I chuckle. My eyes climb to the mirror.
Two rows away, it reaches for me. I close my eyes. ‘Fuck this!’ I don’t know how, but I run out the bus. Nothing is behind me outside. The night is silent save the lot’s buzzing fluorescence.
I shut the door to my car. My breath escapes me. I heave and heave when I glance in my rearview. A grin and my screams are lost to the night.