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April 20th, 2015, 12:18 PM
Bus Stop


She looked up past the street lights to the sodium sky, it was raining harder now bouncing up from pavement flagstones, gurgling down kerbstone gutters. It had been a bad day, Old Mother Price making her snide remarks, re-arranging her counter display.
“No girl, we do it this way at Hamlings, how many times do I have to tell you?”
Old cow, she didn’t even have the excuse of the monthly curse, she was way past that.

Two more days to pay day so The Prince and the Showgirl will have to wait; I wish I had blond hair like Marilyn, so sexy; could dye it I suppose but mum and dad would go ape.
She peeked out again from the shelter of the shop doorway. Where’s that bloody bus she asked herself for the third time. At last the red Double Decker pulled up at the stop with a sigh of air brakes, she tugged up her tight pencil slim skirt and pulled herself onto the platform climbed the stairs to the upper deck.
She chose a window seat and opened her bag delving through an assortment of makeup bits and pieces to find a pack of Senior Service.

The bus continued up Duke Street, turned left into Hope Street and stopped. She looked down at the huddled figures waiting their turn to board the bus. A broad hipped woman carrying two shopping bags squeezed herself painfully up the narrow centre aisle beside her to the front of the bus.
He collapsed in the seat next to her and shook his head like a soaked terrier.
“Do you mind?”
“Oh sorry, it’s raining out there” he grinned.
“Observant aren’t you?”
“Observant? Hey, that’s good”
She stubbed the butt of the cigarette on the ashtray on the back of the front seat and looked at his reflection in the darkened window. Tall, thin with pimples; Oh god, at least another mile to go.
“Do you go all the way?” he asked
“Don’t be filthy”
He laughed out loud.
“I can’t believe I said that. What I meant was---
“I know what you meant and it’s none of your business”
The bus stopped again outside Armstrong’s factory. The sound from the stair well of climbing boots was deafening, like a stampede of Rhinos; the accompanying stench of oil and rain soaked clothing was overpowering.

The bus at last turned right and geared down to start the climb up Brownlow Hill.
Thank God just one more stop.
She looked across at the youth beside her as he raised his hand to his cheek. Oh no; he’s not going to pick his spots is he? I’ll scream, I will.
“What’s you’re name”
“Pardon”
“Your name, I write poetry, would you like a poem just for you?”
“No, excuse me, this is my stop”
He stood up.
“A song then”
As she squeezed past him he looked down at the silver name tag on the plastic shoulder bag and grinned.
“Michele, got it; don’t forget mine, its John, John Lennon”
Half way down the aisle she turned back to him
“How could I forget, don’t tell me, you’ll be famous one day”
He grinned back at her.
“Bet on it Doll”

Scarygothgirl
April 20th, 2015, 03:35 PM
I like it :) it definitely held my interest.
Though I was a little confused by the line 'He collapsed in the seat next to her' following the woman walking to the front of the bus, as it made it seem like it was her who sat down.

Eliot Gilbert
April 22nd, 2015, 12:54 AM
I liked this! It passed what I like to call the "James Wood Test", by which I mean it met my fundamental mandate of fiction: it held my interest. I hope you keep producing work. The British voice made it quite enjoyable to read.

I have one critique for you, if you'd like it: I think you use the comma splice too much. There are many instances where I think your prose would benefit from different punctuation marks besides the comma. I'm not sure if it's a deliberate stylistic choice or not, but it isn't really working for me, regardless.

Here are a few examples.


sodium sky, it was

The comma here should be replaced with a semicolon, em dash, or period.


been a bad day, Old Mother Price

The comma here should be a colon.


this way at Hamlings, how many times

I would advise a period, though a semicolon would not be incorrect.


Overall, though, keep on keeping on!

AaronR316
April 23rd, 2015, 10:52 PM
I was a tad confused by the woman and the "He" at first, as well. Then I decided it was a cute way to emphasize the interest of the guy in the story. I would have spaced it out more to avoid confusion, though. :) I liked it, especially since it came with a twist!

sailorguitar
April 24th, 2015, 06:45 AM
Great. The story is there. I liked it too, it put a smile on my face. I'm not going to bother critiquing the grammar because it sounds like you had a story and you went with it. Good stuff.

Love,
Mom

Richied97
April 25th, 2015, 02:06 PM
It held my attention. Some of the stuff here troubles me to stay focused, but I like what I saw




Great. The story is there. I liked it too, it put a smile on my face. I'm not going to bother critiquing the grammar because it sounds like you had a story and you went with it. Good stuff.

Love,
Mom

Mom? This is great. I wish I had something like this

StephLondon
April 26th, 2015, 03:01 AM
I had the same thoughts about grammar as the people above, but it was a great read! I love how you can tell that you were into writing it. And the 'twist' as someone else said. I would bet on it ;)

Mr mitchell
April 26th, 2015, 08:52 AM
The story in the piece is wonderful and short, with something everyday accordance of what we see in our very life. You brought the tone which was sweet and caring, like there been not much to worry about.

I found it a bit slow at the start and it needed something more, something to catch my interests earlier. I didn't know much about the character, the background and all that; what she looks like would have been nice.

I like the easy read of the piece and had found it pleasant.

Thanks for sharing

Mr M

escorial
April 27th, 2015, 07:21 AM
i liked the easy read..which is not that easy to do..i reckon

dither
April 27th, 2015, 10:00 AM
I like it :) it definitely held my interest.
Though I was a little confused by the line 'He collapsed in the seat next to her' following the woman walking to the front of the bus, as it made it seem like it was her who sat down.

"collapsed into" if i may be so bold.:numbness:

Cardboardzen
May 3rd, 2015, 02:43 AM
I don't understand this story but I really liked the - love, mom - line from one of the folks typing.

Glenn_Beckett
May 3rd, 2015, 03:11 AM
The ending is pretty cheap. Like, it feels like that line from Back to the Future ("It's me...your cousin, Marvin! MARVIN BERRY?"), but robbed of the joy and humour.

I'd love to see the story with a more organic ending. The twist really cheapens the narrative, which is otherwise fun. I'd like to see more of how this socially malformed weirdo asks strangers on the bus if they want him to write a poem about them. That character is gold, especially without being like "oh HO! And did I MENTION that that exceedingly creepy young man was JOHN LENNON?!"

CerebralAssasin
May 4th, 2015, 11:00 PM
Very nice story I liked it.

the "He collapsed in the seat next to her and shook his head like a soaked terrier" seemed abrupt,since you were talking about a lady a sentence ago.Perhaps you should've described the man that was approaching before sitting him down.

And the ending was confusing to me....was he the real John Lennon?or some weirdo pretending to be?

Steelshades
May 6th, 2015, 11:09 PM
What i love about the story is that there are multiply roads you can take it.

A K Clark
May 21st, 2015, 11:29 AM
Hi, just loved your little ditto. I figured out, it was set in the past as soon as she lit up her fag on the bus.
Loved the ending, great twist. It almost sounded like John Lennon sitting beside her.
The only things I can point any kind of fault with are, the woman boarding and "he" sitting down, as other's have pointed out.
This could be easily clarified by saying something like; 'as I was concerning myself with the lady, I didn't notice the young man crash down next to me'. Or something along those lines.
And, you need to separate what she is thinking, and what she is doing. It confused the line.

"Two more days to pay day so The Prince and the Showgirl will have to wait; I wish I had blond hair like Marilyn, so sexy; could dye it I suppose but mum and dad would go ape.
She peeked out again from the shelter of the shop doorway. Where’s that bloody bus she asked herself for the third time. At last the red Double Decker pulled up at the stop with a sigh of air brakes, she tugged up her tight pencil slim skirt and pulled herself onto the platform climbed the stairs to the upper deck.
She chose a window seat and opened her bag delving through an assortment of makeup bits and pieces to find a pack of Senior Service."

Other than that I loved it.

musichal
May 21st, 2015, 02:43 PM
And so the implication is that he wrote the song "Michelle" for her (with McCartney), so that's cool.