May 9, 2021

Verba ex Machina

words from the machine

The Tragic School Bus

4 min read

Ms. Frizzle took one too many chances and made one too many mistakes during the last trip on her magic bus. It was a mistake with big consequences.

She had had too much to drink that night. She was feeling faint and tired, and her heart was pounding loudly just by the fact that she was walking in the dark. Her vision was blurry, and she seemed to be having difficulty swallowing. The only other thing on her right now was to get out of here and tell them all about the accident…

She was half-way across the street, her backpack still tucked neatly into the front pocket of her short shorts. The smell was intense, and she nearly jumped at the sound of the car horn. It didn’t scare her to where she was going, it just got her started.

“I had the wrong bus,” she muttered. This didn’t help. “I am too old for this bus.” She tried to stifle her groans, but they made no sound at all. She knew she wasn’t supposed to be feeling this way.

“You should be worried,” said Mr. Frizzle, the very serious in her ear. “She’s just taken her first drink and her pulse is racing and she’s losing her grip on .” Her mind raced with thoughts of the accident, remembering the scene of the accident when she was younger, the night that the first of them had been dragged from the bus.

Her hands were shaking and trembling in her pockets. It was going to be so much worse than the first time she had been drunk. She tried to steady herself.

“Are you okay?” Mr. Frizzle asked with a smile. He must have been quite pleased with his results, because his eyes went dark as the realization sunk in. “You don’t need to worry about me now, do you? Just wait and see what happens next.”

“My dear,” sighed Ms. Frizzle. She shook her head. “I know.” She took a deep breath. She picked up her bag and put everything away. “I’m afraid I was going too fast, and I don’t have enough money… for the flight.” She glanced at the clock on her phone. A lot of miles to go, but she expected another ride in the morning, and at least she could get the hell out of this town as soon as possible.

She picked up her backpack and began the slow journey down the streets, looking everywhere, doing absolutely everything she could to calm herself down. Then she stopped to check herself out, to make sure she was okay and was wearing the right clothes. She tried to focus on breathing, her arms and hands, but she could feel her heart beating strongly. Her eyes darted around, trying to figure out what the hell was happening, hoping that it was just her brain that was its last warning into the darkness.

She had to hold back her tears. It wasn’t just the , it was the fact that everything was so out of control, that she was so confused. Her eyes locked with a young man standing a few yards away. He was wearing a grey t-shirt, jeans, and a black, sleeveless black sweater.

The sight of the man made her shake in fear. It took a lot of effort to calm the feeling of fear down though, she didn’t want to look at the boy, she didn’t want to even get close to him, and all she could think of was that the man had looked right at her just as she was about to cross the road. He had almost smiled the way he normally did when he found out she was here.

“Are you okay?” Mr. Frizzle asked with a smile.

She looked away, and the man continued. “The police have arrested the driver of this black Nissan that just ran me down in front of the old bus station.” She didn’t want to look at him. She didn’t even want to say anything. Her heart was breaking, and she was sure she was going to feel the need for the ambulance.

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