The bus was not a fast way to get home, but Chloe had refused to get a car, despite her mother’s silent disapproval. She’d only reluctantly gotten her driver’s license, and hated driving, and living at her job, she really didn’t need one. Only… There were times it would be very convenient to have a car and not be reliant on the vagaries of the bus. Like today.
“Why,” Satya hissed in her ear, “is there an angel on the bus?”
Chloe bent over and dug in her bag for her headphones. She slid them on, and only then did she answer him in a low tone. Their fellow passengers could assume she was making a phone call.
“It’s CincyCon this weekend.” She expected this to spark confusion, but he seemed to understand it. She revised her mental estimate of just how long he’d been dead. Or rather, how recently he’d left the living plane. She had questions that couldn’t be voiced in public, not even on a pretend phone call.
The angel wasn’t the only strangely dressed person on the bus now, as they were within a few stops of the big conference center where the convention was going on. Chloe turned her head away from the ghost and looked out at the sidewalks thronged with people in various costumes and what she thought of as congarb.
Until the last year, her life had revolved around the three cons a year she did. Cosplay took a lot of time and effort, even with help. Since she’d gone to work at Bellevue, the desire to be around her fellow geeks and nerds had faded. Nothing at the con could possibly compare to escorting a lost soul home to a sepulchre crowned with vaguely minoan bulls. She’d looked them up. They were certainly not standard Christian imagery, unlike probably ninety percent of the other memorials in the cemetery. Not to mention that after she’d shown him to his new place, she intended to have a quiet word with her boss about him, and the results of her search at the library.
The bus lurched back into motion, much emptier now that the con stop was behind them. She looked at Satya, who was swaying beside her, mostly wispy pale. Her stomach growled.
“If you’re feeding off me…” She muttered at him.
“No, no!” He flickered into near-solidity. “I’m not, honest.”
“Then who?” She looked around the bus. There were three or four others, including a man slumped nearby, snoring. “Knock it off.”
She hadn’t had any idea before today that this was how it was done, but it explained a lot now that she did. She narrowed her eyes at Satya, who looked frightened and faded until he was a mere shimmer in the air. “That’s better.”
“How much longer?” He asked. She could hear him clearly, and now she was wondering how that worked. It wasn’t sound waves, because no one else was hearing him, or seeing him.
“A while.” Chloe crossed her arms and leaned against the window. She didn’t want to keep talking to him. Not that a crazy woman on the bus was going to attract any attention.
She really needed to have a long talk with her boss.
My prompt this week came from ‘Nother Mike with “there was an angel on the bus.”
I prompted Fiona Grey with “scatter brained took on a whole new meaning.”
You can read the prompt responses and take part in the challenge over at More Odds Than Ends.