Snakes and Pills

005 - toys

The city bus runs, day in and day out, on people. The people get in, and no matter what their mood was previously, they are at least temporarily happy, as their chosen mode of transportation has finally arrived. One has to wonder what they would be like if they were boarding a bus that was leading them to someplace terrible, would they still feel that temporary glee that the bus showed up, and that they're finally getting to go?

The people sit on the bus in nice little seats, and if those nice little seats are all full, then they stand using the nice little handholds. People are generally gracious to the elderly and pretty young women (as if this is ever not the case), and give up their seats if either of these groups find themselves without a place to rest themselves. With individuals not in these two groups, people are a little less willing to not take up as much space as possible, but even then, it is very rare to have serious conflict on the bus.

The people sit happily, enjoying their time in comfort while someone drives for them and brings them to their destination, with almost no effort on their own part.

The bus groans, its wheels squeak. Perhaps they haven't been maintained as well as they should have been, but this bus has always gotten people reliably from point A to point B. Until today, where the happy little wheels on the happy little bus cannot bear turning anymore. In an instant, the wheel collapses, falls off, and the bus, traveling on the interstate in excess of fifty miles an hour, begins to lose control.

The happy little seats are now on the roof of the bus, or so it would appear. People fly throughout the interior. Well, some are people, others are becoming parts of people, and some are only formerly people.

As the bus skips around, rolling and grinding along the asphalt, so do the people inside the bus. There, a hand. Is that someone's ankle? Oh, my, look at that, it is someone's head. After time, it gets harder to see what truly is going on inside, with the smoke, the sparks, the flames, and oh, yes, the oh-so-lovely bright red blood.

Eventually the bus, less one wheel, comes to a rest on its side. Sixty people have now died. Their temporary happiness has been extinguished. Yet tomorrow, a different bus will be running the route with the same designation as the old, and somehow this new bus will still find sixty people to ride, sixty people with sixty temporary smiles.


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