Fiona squirmed on the old, rusted bench by the bus stop. The sun was peeking out from behind the clouds this morning, giving everything a burnished, orange hue.
It made the world look ugly.
She just hoped that the bus would get there soon before it arrived. Most days it wasn’t a problem. Fiona was a naturally early riser, so she usually took an early bus, but some days, like today, she had trouble getting herself together. You never knew when there might be a dust-up and you were going to need your coat.
She saw it out of the corner of her eye. Damn. The bloody thing just unnerved her so much. It approached slowly, its head darting from side to side like it was looking for something. It paused a few feet away from the bench and straightened its coat.
God, it was hideous. The proportions were all wrong; its head was extended too far from its body and its limbs (the ones Fiona could see) hung at odd angles.
Glittering blue eyes flashed and Fiona realized she’d been caught staring. She whipped her face forward and withdrew into her coat, shrinking away from it. She knew what was coming next.
“Um, excuse me,” it said, its voice sickeningly high and smooth, “can you move over please? It’s a long walk from the shelter.”
Fiona cringed inwardly, but slid over anyway, her coat scraping the rusty seat.
“Thanks,” it said as it sat down.
Deep inside, Fiona swore she’d always remember to organize her things for work the night before from now on so she wouldn’t have to see this thing again.
They settled into silence and Fiona pointedly ignored the thing. Where was that bus?
Sighing, Fiona decided to make the best of a bad situation, and reached into her inner coat pocket. She felt parched, and a little juice seemed like just the thing to raise her spirits. Pulling out her juice box, she lifted it to her proboscis and silently sucked.
Never again, she thought.
There’s a regular feature on i09 where they post a piece of art and invite readers to use it as a prompt for a short story. I thought I’d take a shot at it for once, and I’m pretty happy with the result. I might make this a regular thing, because it’s a really fun exercise.
Let me know what you guys think!