I was sitting in a bus to get to East Croydon station at half past 9 Saturday morning.
The air’s chilly. Despite being weekend and a cold autumn morning, quiet a reasonable number of people are getting off and on the bus: retirees with their trolley, a family where the youngest was fast asleep in his pushcart, young people with their headphones – people from somewhere heading towards another.
I was not paying attention. I was seating by the window looking outside. Staring out onto places as the bus passed them by; sighing inwardly as what started as a light drizzle turned into a heavy shower.
As I was checking my phone for the time, my consciousness caught the tail end of the conversation happening right behind me. It was not the conversation itself that alerted me to pay attention. It was the voice.
A scratchy quality that travels up your spine. A voice so quiet, so shrill that it feels like darkness is creeping in behind you. That people should be vigilant or else: blink and you’re drowning in darkness.
I didn’t see who it was. When I stood up for my stop, no one’s there anymore. Just an empty can of redbull in the middle of the sit.
The airs cold when it hits my face. I opened my umbrella and walked away.
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