Last Bus to Translation by Al McDermid

Last Bus to Translation by Al McDermid

From the diner, the report sounded like a gun shot. I turned to see an old greyhound bus rolling into Clyde’s station, one of its back right tires obviously blown. The door opened and some of the passengers filed out, stretching.

“Looks like the town going to grow some,” Rosie said from behind the counter.

“Yep,” I said, “looks that way.”

The driver came in, sat at the counter, and ordered a coffee. “First the detour, then this,” he said. “Guess it’s just going to be one of those days.”

“You have no idea,” I said. Rosie glared at me and silently mouthed ‘stop it’ but she was smiling.

The driver looked about to say something but was interrupted when one of his passengers came in, a young blond girl in a full-on Hippie Chick get-up, who headed immediately for the restroom. Was that look back in style?

“Never mind him,” Rosie said. “He’s just like that. Clyde will have you fixed up in no time.”

The driver finished his coffee and headed out, getting to the bus just as Clyde was finishing up. He herded his passengers aboard, turned the bus around, and was heading down the road when Hippie Girl came running out of the restroom.

“Oh man,” she said, obviously exasperated. “I knew that driver wanted to ditch me.”

“Don’t worry, Hon,” Rosie said. “He’ll be back. Say, you want some pie?”


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Filed under Al McDermid

22 responses to “Last Bus to Translation by Al McDermid

  1. Al McDermid

    The story of Translation, Michigan continues; began Week #27 – Lost in Translation (for those who may have missed it).

  2. Really like how you’ve left this, Al. Gives me the Hitchcock chill if you read it a certain way!

  3. I’m getting a Twin Peaks vibe–that pie isn’t cherry, is it?

    • Al McDermid

      Rhubarb, actually.

      You honor me with the Twin Peaks reference (which someone made of the first part of this story). I’m going to have to go back and re-watch it now.

  4. Dawn Armstrong

    The line “You have no idea” says it all for me. The story is wrapped up in that statement. Rosie, and the teller of the story, seem to say it all.

    • Al McDermid

      Same narrator from the first story, so he’s bought into the ‘conspiracy’ it would seem. We’ll have to see how the new additions do. I actually have no idea myself. :)

  5. Hey, at least she gets pie. If nothing else…

    Nice one. I like hearing about this town. :)

  6. Len

    great dialouge. sounded really natural.

  7. Ha ha, this is great, very cinematic and real and well, fun. Yes, I like hearing about this town too.

    Al, I mentioned you in an interview on Fictionaut, but I don’t know where else to let you know besides here. Go to:

    • Al McDermid

      Thanks, Matt. Yeah, now I have to give this town some serious (well, not too serious) thought, figure out where to take it.

      Thanks again for the mention. I’m spend some time getting my blogs up to speed, then start spending some more time at fn.

  8. yes to the town, but esp to hippie girl. much enjoyed.

  9. All of the details mentioned above in the expert feedback are what drew me completely in, Al: town, hippie girl, bus driver, cafe with Rosie and Clyde. And I love the dialogue also: “You have no idea” speaks volumes and this piece could go dark, strange, Hitchcockian, etc. So many directions, and opportunities. What fun for the writer!

  10. Al McDermid

    Thanks Robert. Thanks to the response, I now want to flush this out, thinking more strange than dark, but don’t know yet, but I need to come up with a larger story. Maybe some of the upcoming themes will help.

  11. loved this fun piece. full of absurd little twists.

  12. Yes, rhubarb pie! Yes, David Lynch and surreally blue birds! Yes, serial stories! Anyways, I really liked this story. Peace…

  13. Al McDermid

    Thanks Linda. I’m now looking at future themes to see where the next installment can show. As I think about expanding, I struggle to keep it surreal. My mind wants me to explain, to pus it toward more narrative coherency. Perhaps I need to be reading Richard Brautigan. :) And re-watch Twin Peaks!

  14. Pingback: Week #31 – Missed the bus | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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