A Small White Dog – Short Story

It was a metro bus with fifty grey seats and forty people on their way home from work. I was alone near the front of the bus and I was looking at the florist’s rose-flowered straw hat. There was a light green ribbon around it.

The bus pulled left down Skin Street toward the south edge of the city. The road was straight and we moved toward the skyline where the sun had just left.

We were five minutes away from the Pillar Avenue stop when I noticed it. The forty-one people (don’t forget the bus driver) weren’t saying anything to each other. All the people and not a single word.

I rose up from my seat into the aisle to peek around to make sure there wasn’t anyone whispering in the back. No one was.

That’s when the bus driver hit the breaks. I was just beginning to turn to sit back down and my legs slipped out under me, and I hit the aisle ground on my back.

I started sliding fast but by the time I got to the back of the bus I was almost stopped. I lightly bumped my head against the back door. I saw the black-spotted white ceiling above me.

“Are you alright?” a man asked.

And that broke the silence. I sat up and touched my head. Nothing hurt. I chuckled once and then the man chuckled and then the florist chuckled and then I laughed and another man joined and another. By the time I stood up all forty-one of us were roaring with laughter and the bus was just stopped there in the middle of the street.

It took a minute for us to all calm down. I was still standing by the back door of the bus when someone said, “why’d you hit the breaks?”

The bus driver said, “there was a small white dog in the road. Don’t know where he went now, but I miss’d him.”

I looked out the back window.

And there he was. Staring at all forty-one of us, tongue out, almost smiling.

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