Route UB1

Long weeks working. Rain still falling. Heavy droplets, water crawling down bus shelter, dark skies bawling. Another day is done.

Through the grey a bus approaches, teeming inside, full of roaches, human insects, tired voices, “Ticket please,” one grunts. Franz knows the feeling; hating, hurting. Sick of service, new-world weary. Inside bright. The windows dirty.

Loose change. Find a seat.

Near the front, two ladies talking, behind them, a young boy squawking, rows of faces, soulless, gawking. What’s the world become? Tongues are wagging, swear words snagging, at the back three young men bragging. Stealing-shouting-almost shagging. How drunk they were last night.

Starting, stopping, people walking. Motion sickness, long face balking in the window, movement rocking: Bus Route UB1.

Through the city, every evening. Sniffing noses, heavy breathing. Bus vibrating, stomach heaving. Heart hammering against his ribs; an ancient, tribal drum.

All around him, buildings sliding, melting in the rain, subsiding, streaks of grey, rainfall hiding the city’s sobbing face. Lived for ten years. Worked for thirty. Bones are tired, his body hurting.  To cut his wrists, his hot blood spurting: a man can dream. He can.

At the back, the young men shouting louder, voices starting harder, jostling they assess their larder. Bus filled with easy prey. He knows the sort; no school, no teaching, fathers gone, their mothers breaching as they spawn more screaming offspring, red between the legs. The bus route is their hunting ground, their web where helpless victims found, like flies stuck to the city, bound to the monsters this world breeds.

Outside the road runs black with water. Under doorways, people loiter, waiting out the never-ending rain that will not stop. Clouds were black at six this morning. Raining since the day was dawning. Since he stepped, pale-faced and yawning, into another day.

Before his eyes, the young men changing. Altogether, outlines blurring. Faceless shapes, new limbs emerging. Monsters in men’s skin. Arms are growing, bodies breaking. Snap like pencils. Sounds like choking. Sucking. Slurping. No one worried, not awoken, dead to this, their world.

From the back it slowly reaches, twelve long legs, thick, dark like leeches bloated on a diet of human peaches; female fruit. Franz watches as the creature prowls, he listens to its high-pitch howls. Once-hoodies, now great fleshy cowls, beneath them glittering eyes.

The monster of Route UB1 drags its large bulk, must weigh a ton, between the seats, no need to run, it knows it has already won, its prey with their returns –

– day-passes, singles to the city, hopeless, tired of living, life is gritty, pointless, shitty, he asks himself, what is there to be done?

What can be done against this beast, which on soft female flesh it feasts, and when encounters men, at least will beat them black and blue? This creature has not always been, not always was, not always seen, but in this time, grown dark and mean, has found a place to
feed –

– and breed, a human brood lusting for food and heat and life and dark corners to do dark things, now brave and bold, the human beast of Bus Route UB1.

~ Thomas Brown

© Copyright 2013 Thomas Brown. All Rights Reserved.