The Straphangers: A Short Prose


Summary: A secret of a woman’s life on a bus in London going northward is revealed by a number of people she never met, trying to kill her.

The bus door puffed its air as the driver pushed the button, and Nida Rampage was suddenly worried about her hairdo and her petite intricately-structured dress. Flabbergasted by the white storm, she quickly jumped onto the bus and got no seats to take off her wet Prada. Her rummaging a number of coins in her Louis Vuitton left her engulfed in the bustle of the city. The driver then made his gesture for the rest since the cold was inevitable as his hands deviously pressed the close button. It was Wednesday, just two days after the disaster, and the weather anchor was absent from the screen; there was another face who was too aggressive, though. Nida twisted her head to the 33-inch TV right over her shoulder and gazed at an unusual-looking catastrophe on it. The streets were destroyed, buildings burnt down, and many people dead. The chime from the speaker came simultaneously as her watch beeped for the third times, leaving her no chance to look at a guy nudging the bus dashboard as it started running from the chaos. For a respectable quantity of minutes, she failed to resist the temptation on the chypre fragrance that passed off her very nose just seconds away.

All of a sudden, she perceived another fragrance in the music from the dashboard, and her eyes suddenly became blue. The TV was showing the anchor, babbling about some things so lovely that only could she hear lovely words, thrusting her disgust and hang it up to the plafond, but could barely avoid such atmosphere truly. He was the only person that could embrace her emotions: the anchor. Things that she herself has come to ignorance for eight years sharp. Up to this point. She remembered being ‘kicked out’, as most of her colleagues said, by misplacing the piano of Mr. Scholasse’s—or Scolded—son near the basement. She never liked the mansion, indeed, but what interested her was only the undeniable fare. Having devoted herself to a family whose descendents were ubiquitous and inheritance impossibly seemed to encounter its end for a work of only replacing and dislocating things on their house, obviously depressed any kind of woman on earth. Not to mention the physical pressure after begetting triplets by an accident eight years ago, she persisted on being an interior designer, anyway.

“Excuse me, Ms. Rampage,” a singular, lowered voice of a man thrushed into her head.

Nida rolled her eyes, thinking of something familiar and found his face. The first thing she could not resist was the square, thinly-bearded visage of the man.

“Yes,” she responded as the bus was waiting for the amber light to change.

“Do you think we have met somewhere?” His face was just seven inches from hers.

A quick thought crossed her mind, and she assumed that the scent of his breath was exactly that of her boyrfriend, the father of the three presumed victims of London Square Massacre. Above all, she was so surprised that the young man called her name.

“Can’t place you,” Nida proceeded, “sorry.”

She turned her head as the snowstorm raged on and filled the main street toward the next intersection. However, it was not that she did not want to talk to him, but she was afraid that other passengers would eavesdrop them, especially the young couple she met the other day where the incident happened.


It was the prime hours of work, and the city of Islington bustled though the snow left anyone struck to silence. A newlywed couple was strolling through the building where the killing happened and saw a lady bequeathing a bouquet of sweetpea flowers on three tombs similar in shape.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry,” said the girl, “must be a huge loss for you.”

The lady tilted her head and wept her eyes. “Your kind,” she replied, no smile, then turning back to her children.

The couple went back walking, leaving the lady in a mere solitude after all.


The bus door opened, and Nida finally got a two-seat bus chair for herself.

“I know,” a formidable sound of the old man next to her suddenly rang a bell, “it must be devastating for you to lose three children at once.”

“You don’t know me, old man!” her voice turned a level higher from it had been.

“Everyone here knows you, young lady!” his eyes were partially shut, tackling his voice in a whisper.

The man on the dashboard suspiciously watched her over. His enigmatic, strenuous face erased the splatter of charisma and “aggressiveness” as he broadcasted the inclement weather in the city. Recognizing the man was staring, Nida seized the gun hidden behind her dress and took a single shot on the man’s forehead, but missed to his upper shoulder. The scream from both the gun and most of the passengers made the bus so shaky that it halted. The only people left on the bus were Nida and Tanner.

“Y-y-you are not sa-satisfied enough, are you?” Tanner’s dying voice made her grin.

“How would I be satisfied,” Nida approached the dashboard, “if your old man used my life and wasted like I was a piece of garbage, you little fake musician?!”

“But y-you…”

“SHUT UP!” And another scream was heard. Nida took Tanner’s tagname he habitually used when being on air, saying “Wednesday, Detroit”, his TV name.

But all of the sudden, the old man ducking below his seat seized his gun and pulled the trigger toward Nida’s back for three times, leaving no more trace of the most wanted fugitive who had killed a wealth family and all its descendents two days ago.

Count Words: 942 words

Work Dramatization.

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