“Sorry folks, looks like a traffic jam. Bad one. We gonna be stuck here for a time it looks.”
“Sorry, buddy. I’ll try and figure out what’s going on. See if we can get us some special treatment.”
It’s completely dark now. The moon hangs like an ornament in the window, blurring in his vision. He’s not going to make it. He knows that. Resigned, he digs a bent cigarette out of his hip pocket.
“Here.” She holds out a sleek, metal lighter and creates fire. He sees a gun in her open purse.
“How’d you get that piece on board?” His question floats as quietly as the smoke from his nostrils.
“I’m a woman. We have ways.”
“We’re stuck. Some kind of police search. Something about a murder. Cops be asking us all question soon. Everyone play nice and we’ll be on our way soon enough.”
“A murder? How intriguing. I wonder who got killed. Our city doesn’t see much these days.”
“Probably why they put up the roadblocks. Peaceful town. They suspect an outsider.”
“Not me. Look at me. I’m in no shape to kill.”
She lights one of her own, slim cigarettes.
“Maybe you’re the victim.”
“I’m not dead.”
The bus doors open and he startles awake. He must have fallen asleep. There were two cops, out of uniform, talking to the driver and exchanging glances. Most of them directed at the dying man.
They made their way down the aisle, looking under the seats and asking the other passengers questions. They stop at the woman, she had moved seats while he was asleep.
“You see anything out of the ordinary. Ma’am.”
“It’s okay, ma’am. If you did, and he’s on this bus, we’ll protect you.” They both pat their hip holsters.
“Him, back there. He shot my husband and then kidnapped me. Made me come on this bus with him. If I said anything he said he would shoot me. You have to help me.”
That honey voice broke through the fog. He had just been fingered by the broad.
He tried to protest as the two cops came toward him. His hand touched her gun on the seat next to him, his blood smeared on it.
“She’s lying. I didn’t do kill anyone.”
“Come with us.”
He tried to fend them off but was too weak. As they were carrying him out, he caught her eyes. She was fixing up her lipstick again. She smiled and laughed at him, that laugh that ricocheted off his bones.