I can't figure out how to indent here, everytime I put space, they just dissappear after I save. Help, anyone? Satan Is A Bus Driver --------------------------------- I never believed in Hell. Not when I was young. My father, every morning, would find ways to remind me that I was born of sin, made of sin, full of sin, smelled of sin, sinewy and any other relation to sin his dreams had brought him. It seems like such a force of religion as he was would have convinced me that I was doomed to Hell from the get-go, but just the opposite happened. I grew up thinking there could not possibly be a Hell like he described, because if there was I would already be there. If there was truly a God who was just and sent naughty children to Hell, I would have been carted off in a fiery tank by the time I was fourteen. But my father didn't know this; strangely enough, in his heart he thought that I was an angel in the making. The best part of growing up in the '80s was the freedom. All the little shits from the '70s had set a high bar that even heavy metal and leather couldn't top, and adults were just aware enough of what their children did to have convinced themselves they were on top of the matters of drugs and wild sex parties. At the same time, we were all so self-assured and arrogant that it was most likely our divine attachment to secrecy and sneaking that kept them in the dark. Either way, we had a blast, and we ruled the decade. I should mention I'm female, in case you were wondering. And my name? ***** "Get the fuck out of my room!" I screamed, shaking the false idol pinned to the door, a poster of Buddy Holly in tight pants. Father was already out, the door latched in his face, giving me the lovely view I had. He kept pounding, pounding on the wood, as if the harder he pounded the more I would want to turn the knob, to kiss and make-up. Why are parents so fucking stupid? I thought. I left him pounding and moved as quiet as I could to my closet and slid it open. "C'mon", I whispered to Nate, who was crunched in a corner behind a pair of chunky boots. His glasses were falling off his face, but he was too frightened to even move his hand to fix them. "Get up! But be quiet! He's still outside...and he's got a big knife!" I lied, wide eyed and gasping. That got him moving. He knocked me down and got to the window so fast I thought he would forget to open it before he went through. "See ya!" he hissed, and was gone. After slipping into the jacket Nathan had left on the floor, I went to the door, now quiet, and called "...Daddy. Daddy! Do you still love me?" Nothing. I pulled it open without a creak, grabbed my bag by the phone as I slid down the hall, and then, forgoing all stealth, flew through the front door and screen with a laugh, a bang, and a angry man running after me from the den where he had been waiting. "The Devil is in you!" he cried! "The Devil is in yoooouuuu! By the time I screeched back an obscene reply to that, he was stomping back into the house and I was joining my friend at the end of the street. "Let's go," I commanded. "Where to?" "Take me somewhere....exciting." The problem with Nate is he was never a leader, not in the least. If we ever did anything, it's something I suggested, and the only way to get him to speak up or have an idea was if I told him to. So when I told him to take me away to some late night paradise, he started moving away fast, to the right, and I followed knowing I would end up somewhere boring and make a decision for us. Sure enough, he stopped at a bus stop not far from my house and plopped down on the curb like he was exactly where he meant to be. "Nate," I said. "Where are we going?" He just stared ahead at the gutter for a moment, collecting his thoughts, before turning to me with his crooked smile and saying, "On...on a bus. This bus here. It comes in about..." he paused, looking up at the schedule pinned to the sign on his left. "About 9 and a half hours." He said this so certianly and matter-of-factly I had to laugh rather than be annoyed. In a moment he joined in, and then it was my turn to lead us off on a random path to nowhere in particular. We went some number of blocks ahead, then turned right again, where I could see a flashing set of yellow lights of a bus in operation. "Wonder where they're heading?" I questioned Nate, and turning away from his confused look, jogged towards the yellow beacon. The bus was parked in front of absolutely nothing signifying a stop. We were in front of a bookstore, surrounded by a few other small businesses and dark windows. It was very long, plated in a cold, gray metal, probably steel, I thought. It was also completely empty, the lights inside turned off, and only the front lights and signals blinking in the dark. It felt very forgotten, this large, empty and out of place bus, as though maybe it's driver had parked here to make a run for the bathroom and been distracted by something more important, like a drink in a nearby pub, perhaps. And whoever had left it parked here had also forgotten to close it's doors. Ignoring Nate's nervous breathing, I went to the front doors, and up the first step of the three that lead into the seating. "Hello?" I called, hoping for no answer. Nothing came, so I took a second step up and called again. "Anyone napping back there?" There was a harsh metallic creak from somewhere in the back, and I jumped a bit before recognizing the sounds of an engine that had just been turned off. I didn't want Nate to see me spooked, so I skipped up the last step and into the dark aisle inside. "Come along, dearie, nothing to be afraid of," I said over my shoulder. "It's empty! Come in! We could steal it if we wanted to!" "Could not," said Nate, now climbing the steps after me. "We'd need as key." He knew I wasn't serious anyways. I always said things that seemed a lot tougher and prouder than I really was, and he knew that too. "I know, but we could pretend." I turned back to the front and sat in the driver's seat. When he was studying some graffiti on one of the windows, I tapped the horn, sending Nate into the air so far he nearly cracked his head on the ceiling. The sound was loud and echoing across the otherwise silent street, but I didn't care. Laughing so hard it ached while he tried to start his heart beating again, I swiveled around to peer out the big windshield to see if my beep had woken anything up. While I was hoping it did, just to cause some trouble, I wasn't really expecting to see a fat man in a blue uniform come stomping around the corner of the bookstore, with a look on his face like he'd found a racoon in the fridge. In a second I had joined Nate in the aisle, and in another I'd dragged him into the very back, where a longer row of red and blue leatherette seats stretched along the wall, behind the others. Under this seat was a space just large enough to fit a small person, and here I shoved Nate, yelling in a whisper for him to hide and stay quiet. I moved back up the row, hunting for a nook to crawl into, and I was half way along the length of it when I heard a muttering voice at the front doors. I saw the top of the fat man's head, then his eyes, searching the darkness inside for the noisemaker, for me. Even as he stepped up to the floor I was now crouching on, I moved painfully slow to my right, towards the exit doors, still open. When I was as close as I had time to get, I leapt outside, hit the ground running, and was behind the bus, out of sight, and around the next block's corner before he even saw me. From my place some hundred yards off, I sat, out of breath, on a cold and wet lawn. I had barely started to think, barely remembered my friend, Nate, lodged in a dark space on the back of a strange bus, when the sound of an engine, harsh and hot, pulled apart my thoughts and stopped my breath. The bus! It was driving away! Had he found Nate? Was he unaware of the boy behind him still, being taken God knows where in the middle of the night? Again, I was on the move, this time chasing after the driver and his steel machine, screaming at them to stop. "Stop! STOP! Quit! DRIVING! There is! A BOY! On your BUS!" If he heard anything, the fat man took no notice, and kept driving on with Nate in the backseat. "NATE!" I cried out, "Nate! Get! Off! The BUS!" But nothing. The engine was too loud, the vehicle too fast, and before I could get close enough to get the driver's attention, it was turning, going left, and gone. ***** "And I never saw him again," my father said quietly, adding what he thought was a spooky and dramatic quality to his voice. "Honor thy Father, or the Devil will come and steal you and those you love away! I, too, used to be a 'punk', a 'rebel'," he continued, as I paused my feigned interest a moment to roll my eyes. "And I saw the Devil himself take my companion to the fiery pits in his midnight bus!" "The Devil is a fat bus driver?" I asked, with such wide eyed innocence Father bought into it and kept talking. "Yes, yes...he is whatever frightens you most. Good night, sweet Marissa. Sleep well, and don't let the Devil out of your dreams." He kissed my cheek and walked out, closing the door behind him. Once I was sure he was gone, back to his own stark bedroom, I rolled out of bed and went to my closet. Sliding it open, I reached down into the far right corner, where the carpet was loose, just a little. I pulled it up and grabbed the teeny plastic bag I kept there, out of my crazy father's prying eyes. I opened it and pulled out one of the little white tubes, smelling the strong, sweet sent of marijuana; the Devil's Weed, he called it. Lighting it up with the torch lighter I found in my jacket pocket, I stuffed the warm leather into my bag, took one deep, long breath of smoke, and blew it out the window as I put my legs over the sill and dropped out into the ready night. I never believed in Hell, and I still don't believe in God. Daddy Dearest is long since dead, and as far as I know his soul is still in a plot of dirt in Inchen Cemetery. And as for Sweet Marissa... I still have fun.