March 2nd Prompt

At lunchtime, your character sees a school bus with an unusual logo pick up just one student. Your character tells a teacher, who responds, “Tell no one!” Your character investigates.

On a walk.

The school across from my house is full of gleeful yelling and laughter. Kids must be out after lunch.

The parking lot is a quarter full of various vehicles. And between the white plastic fence and sidewalk wrapping up to the school, a yellow school bus idles.

Must be a field trip.

The seats inside are empty.

A solitary figure slowly walks around the sidewalk in the direction of the bus.

Middle school age, tall and skinny. He’s wearing a black hoodie with dark stripes. A backpack with a Monster sticker.

I’m interested enough to stop my walk, pausing my workout.

It’s not just that the boy is the only one to get on the bus. It’s the bus itself that seems off.

The windows look tinted… that’s not the right word.

Spray painted black.

The door squeaks open and the boy is engulfed into the darkness.

The bus slowly pulls around the car pool lane to exit from into traffic.

Turning to face me, I see a steel grill that seems to be drunkenly leering. The front windshield is as dark as the side windows. Even the headlights are painted over.

As it pulls to the stop sign across the street, I lose all sense of hearing. No dull pulsing of the engine. No traffic or construction background noise far or near.

I feel a hand on my shoulder that startles me out of my space out. I turn to see a guy about my age with a lanyard around his neck leading down to a laminated card reading “Staff”.

“You ok man?”

I’m flustered, but determined to make someone at the school aware of how shady that bus was.

“I just saw a kid get on that bus, and it was all painted black, even the windows! That can’t be legal. You’ve got to do somet-“

“Tell no one.”

When he says this, interrupting my explanation, he’s smiling. But his teeth are black.

I’m losing it.

I blink and he’s still smiling inquisitively at me, his teeth now a perfect white.

I laugh nervously.

“Sorry, what’d you say? That kid needs help!”

He grabs the skin slightly above his cheekbones on both sides of his face and begins to peel his skin down to the collar bone. Black liquid pours out of the self inflicted wounds, pooling around our feet and staining the concrete.

I feel my head hit the concrete, pillowed by the monstrosities hand. I stare into it’s shattered face, dark rivulets coming out of every orifice.

Almost tenderly, it pulls me in. The mouth has transformed into that leering grill. I hear one final giggling phrase before I pass out.

“Tell no one.”

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