The thick, starless night enveloped the lonely figure with the smell of autumn, the season of mists. He didn’t know how long he’d been waiting in the abandoned bus shelter, he wasn’t even quite sure why he was there. He felt like a forgotten, unfinished rhyme. The world was stirring around him, time slipped through his fingers and melted into the landscape. The horizon lay dark and coldly wet as if a colour-blind artist had washed away the lines with grey water colour. Puddles of light trembled on the ground, hinting at street lamps hiding in the fog. Wind passed through the creaks of the shelter, but it felt so quiet and soft as if it hadn’t really been there. The bus stop was bleak and empty; there were no tags, ads or government propaganda, not even a time table. He thought about going home, but realised he didn’t know where he lived. It wasn’t the realization that scared him, but the fact that he was so nonchalant about it. As if it was no big deal. He hadn’t even noticed that his name, his details and his memories had all slipped away from him during the endless hours of waiting. A little later, two swaying light cones split the stirring darkness. A bus rolled into the stop; its long black and white body reminiscent of a stork. Its door opened with a grunt. The driver’s form melted into the night, he seemed nothing more but a living shadow. Trinkets jingled on the rear-view mirror: a coin with a hole in the middle, a plastic boat and a worn Pluto plushie. The driver greeted his only passenger with a nod, then he started the engine and the bus melted into the misty dawn.
*Previously published on The Casket of Fictional Delights in 2019.
Fanni Sütő is a writer, poet, translator and the proud owner of a growing number of novels-in-progress. She publishes in English and Hungarian and finds inspiration in reading, paintings and music. She writes about everything which comes in her way or goes bump in the night. She tries to find the magical in the everyday and likes to spy on the secret life of cities and their inhabitants.