8/16/20235 min read

Jack was waiting for the bus, sitting on a wooden bench. He was returning to his home from his grandparents' home. It was late in town, near 9 pm. The town was small, and all shops were closed by that time. Usually, not many people get out of their homes at this time, but he had to reach college by tomorrow morning as he had urgent work, and luckily here was a last bus in a few minutes to his city. The bus stop was small, and he was alone. There were only a few street lights, and he could only see bushes and trees on the other side of the road. He was not feeling good as he was a little scared, but by that time, he saw a light of the bus coming near him.

Empty street
Empty street

The bus stopped near him, and the bus conductor opened the door. He got relief and entered the bus. The bus was quite big, but there were only six passengers and nine people, including him, conductor, and driver. He sat on a window seat near the door. He took his wallet out and paid money to the conductor for the ticket. The conductor was short, shabby, and old. He asked Jack why he was travelling at this time, and Jack told him that he wants to get to college by morning, that's why he is travelling at this time. The bus conductor asked him to close the window if he could, or he would catch a cold. Jack wanted to have some air for some time, so he told him he will do it later. The bus conductor went to his seat, and Jack took out his earphone and started to listen to the songs, looking out of the window and feeling the air.

The road was not that big, and it was all trees and bushes on both sides. There was fresh air with a cool climate. He could feel the cool air on his hair and face. It was dark, and no lights were there on the road. All he could see was his shadow from the light of the bus. After some time, the bus stopped in the middle of nowhere. He was looking for the conductor with questions, but by that time, the conductor came to him and said that the bus had a mechanical issue, and it would take some time to get repaired. Jack went to the driver's side to ask him about the problem, and the driver said there is a small issue, but he will repair it in a few minutes. So he thought of getting out to smoke a cigarette, but when he turned back and looked at the passengers, he saw something strange.

He saw that there was a husband and pregnant wife, a girl near a window seat, a father and young son sitting on the other seat, and a woman sitting on the other seat. All were sitting silently with no movement, and more strange is that they were all staring at him directly. Jack stood for a moment and stepped out of the bus with a strange feeling. He took out his cigarette and started to smoke, standing towards the tree trying to ignore this thing. It was dark everywhere except for the small light of the bus coming from inside. When he turned back, he saw everybody came out and stood silently and looked in the same direction towards the forest. This made Jack curious to know what they were looking at. He also looked in the same direction, but there was nothing. But when he turned his eyes towards them again, they were all near him and staring at him again. Jack got a little creepy feeling, but suddenly the bus conductor came to him and said the bus is repaired and ready to leave. The bus conductor's voice was like he was scared of something, and his heart was beating fast. Jack asked him if he was okay, but the conductor again asked him to enter with his anxious voice. Jack felt strange, but he ignored it and sat on the bus. All the other passengers were already seated. The driver started the bus and began driving on its route. Jack put his earphones back on and fell asleep as his eyes grew heavy.

a bus driving down a road in the dark
a bus driving down a road in the dark

Suddenly, there was turbulence on the bus, and Jack woke up, feeling very scared. His eyes were wide open, his heart was beating fast, and he was sweating profusely. He saw that six passengers were standing very close to his seat, staring at him. There was a woman, her husband and pregnant wife, a girl, and a father and son. They were standing like statues without even blinking their eyes. Suddenly, the bus lights went out, and it was dark. Jack couldn't see anything clearly but an unclear sight of these people. He was stuck, with his body paralyzed, his mouth wide open to scream, but there was no sound coming out of him. It was as if someone from behind was holding his shoulder very tightly, and he could feel their breath on his shoulder, as if their face was near his from behind. But he couldn't move even a bit to see or scream, even though his mouth was wide open.

Suddenly, he heard a voice saying, "Wake up, wake up, your stop is here." The bus conductor shook him, and Jack woke up with a long breath. Jack asked the conductor where they were now, and the conductor told him that they had reached the last stop of his city. Jack looked out the window, and it was morning. The bus conductor told him that it was the last stop, and he and the driver had to rest for a while before starting another journey. Jack looked around him, but there were no other passengers. He thought it was a bad dream, and by that time, his brother called him from outside.

Jack's brother came to pick him up and take him home. Jack sat behind his brother's bike, trying to think about what had happened. But he didn't talk about it to his brother, thinking it was just a dream. However, when he got home and removed his clothes for a bath, he saw marks on his body, shoulders, and legs. He was shocked for a moment and went back to that bus stand to find that bus. The driver and bus conductor were standing outside the bus, having coffee. He rushed towards them and asked what had happened the night before.

The bus conductor had no idea what he was talking about. Jack asked who the six passengers with him the night before were. The bus conductor was shocked and told him in a low voice that there was nobody on the bus except for him and the driver. Jack was feeling so shocked that he couldn't find any words. The bus conductor asked him if he was sure. Jack said yes and told him everything that had happened. The bus conductor became afraid and started sweating. Jack asked him what had happened, and he said that the place where the bus had gotten stuck was the same place where an accident had occurred with the same bus, and six passengers had died. That's why, when he realized that it was the same place where this incident had happened, he got scared and asked Jack to get back on the bus. This bus conductor was the same conductor as before, so he knew the exact place.

Jack had no feelings to express, and he stayed silent, turning back. He got on his bike and went back to his home. He was silent for the whole day. Then he had a question: if it was all real and not a dream, and six passengers had died, and he had seen those passengers in front of him, then who was behind him holding his shoulders?