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Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc.
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The New Nightmare on Elm Street

by Benjamin Green

They grumbled as the Everett Transit bus pulled to a stop, and they climbed aboard. Travis Youngman had things other than the quality of transit service on his mind.

There was something he was supposed to remember, but for the life of him, he couldn’t think what it might be. It had been a busy day at work, and his brain was still trying to make the shift. There was something he was supposed to do, but he couldn’t think of it.

Once he got on the bus, and pressed his wallet against the ORCA card reader, that it came to him in a flash. The irony was that it was the bus driver who brought it up for him.

It was the usual large, matronly woman that drove them home. What made her notable today was the fact that she looked to be wearing some sort of Alice Cooper makeup. Plus a few painted-on scars.

The thought flashed across his mind, 'Some people really get into the spirit of the season'. That was when he realized what he was supposed to do. Tonight was Halloween, and he needed to get candy.

He had always despised the holiday as an excuse for sponging off the goodwill of one’s neighbors, with the implied threat of vandalism or hooliganism if their demands were not met.

He had never participated in such depredations, by God! He had come from humble origins, and he had to fight and scratch for what he had. Nor was he ever given any peace by the jackals that wanted to rob him of what little he got. Kids nowadays had things handed to them on silver platters...

He took note that there were more people on the bus than usual tonight. It was at least half-full, and a lot of them were wearing makeup. Perhaps there was a Halloween party down at the Everett Station, but he would be thundered if he had heard any mention of it.

The usual griping of the quality of service provided had given way to the other popular topics of what they were doing with their houses, or cars. Travis elected not to participate, but listened with half an ear as he stared out the window.

The bus finished its circuit through the plant, and pulled onto Casino Road. Travis was half-expecting a mass exodus at the Fred Meyers that was the last stop on Casino Road, before it turned onto Evergreen Way.

When nobody pulled the bellcord, he was surprised, and made a mental note of it. Then he dismissed the matter from his mind. It was just another bit of weirdness for the day.

The bus swung onto Evergreen Way, then took another left onto Beverly Lane. Travis noted with mounting dismay that people were getting on, but few people were getting off. The bus was getting crowded, and he was beginning to feel claustrophobic.

Beverly Lane took a dogleg to the left, becoming Dogwood Drive. The driver took a left onto West Mukilteo Drive, then a right onto Elm Street. So far, everything had been going the way they always had.

When the bus driver stopped the bus was when everything took a lurch into the surreal. Everyone started murmuring when the driver shut off the bus. There was no panic yet, but the herd was nervous, sensing that something was wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen, this will be the last stop of the evening. To those of you who have been waiting so patiently, dinner is served!”

A few began running for the doors. When they found that they would not open, the people began to pound on them with increasing desperation.

The pandemonium didn’t ensue until one of the made-up freaks bit a guy on the neck. He gurgled, and there was a crunch, followed by a wet, ripping sound.

Blood spurted onto a window, and Travis made a horrible realization; those loony toons were not wearing makeup!

2016-10-06 14:30:53
micheledutcher - Nice job turning normal into weird. No need to bang on doors, just pull out the window bar push out the window and exit. If they would have read how to exit during an emergency they might still be alive.

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