Five

Pistachio boy sat in the third seat from the back, his back pack still over his shoulder. He was nervous, not knowing if he’d make it in time. He knew they wouldn’t wait for him. He held his head in his hands, feeling the throb of his migraine with every heart beat. His vision was blurred but he must persevere if he’s to get what he’s waited the past nine weeks for.

Skye opened her hand and the butterfly emerged, flying up to the open window. She knew Him better now than ever. As a blanket of calm covered her, she felt drawn to look at the strange boy across the aisle. She stood, picked up her violin case and walked down the aisle to him. He appeared childlike to her and she knew that she had to help him.

Joseph, the driver of the bus, felt the cool steel of the revolver under his belt. He wondered if today would be the day. He felt the blur of the city, the same as the blur in his mind. It was meaningless and mute. He silently and repeatedly mouthed the words, “blessed is he who follows the black, blessed is he who drowns on the path.” His mouth was dry with blood and it was neither bitter nor sweet.

Simon wore his red shirt every Wednesday. He liked how it reflected in the bus window, making the tail lights of passing cars seem to disappear. He never looked forward to summer, when the night came later and he had to miss this simple pleasure. He only had two weeks before it ended. He hoped that Mrs Devlin would understand when he screamed.

Nora was not regretting her decision to leave. She clutched at the box in her lap, making her knuckles turn white. She grabbed what she could before Jason came back. She knew this day would come, just not so soon. She resented the time he spent with her brother in Munich. Their dealings meant that things could not go on, and despite his apparent shock when he left his phone message, he must have known it was coming.

Five souls on a bus. Five moments captured in time. Five lives in the balance. Five consequences about to be realised. Five unsuspecting victims. Five minutes remain.

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