The bus by Catherine Russell

The day Laurie took the dingy looking greyhound to Miami, I was in New York. My job prevented me from accompanying her, though I insisted she not drive alone. A woman travelling by herself on long isolated stretches of road would make an easy victim.

My fears proved to be unfounded. I lost her – not to a solitary accident on some lonely highway but a multi car pile up on I-95. Surrounded by her fellow passengers, she died alone.

Everyone dies alone.



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Filed under Catherine Russell

14 responses to “The bus by Catherine Russell

  1. Interesting point made by this, Catherine; overturning the “safety in numbers” belief.

  2. Al McDermid

    Well-done, though wow, so startling. Exactly why I hate giving or taking advice.

  3. Very well told. I can almost touch the raw emotion in your MC’s words.

  4. Your ending really knocked me. You tapped in on my greatest fear– that I will advise someone and they will be hurt or killed based on my advice. This is a great micro. Congrats!

  5. Len

    you packed a lot into this. sharp and tragic. well done.

  6. Kim Hutchinson

    Got me on this one, right in my road warrior’s worst fears.

  7. Oh dear – I laughed with irony at the ending. So final and incredible. I think I laughed at the pure awfulness (is that a word? if so, it’s a horrible word) of the ending. Makes everything seem so futile. Such a big reaction to something so small – but also so good.

  8. wow – i like the form. you really do get to the point quickly there. there’s finality for you. you bring the fear out well.

  9. Catharine, this one really struck me, right between the eyes. The fear of the unknown tragedy, somewhat like that phone call that comes in the middle of the night. Yikes. You’ve done a remarkable job with this one. Loved it.

  10. grey johnson

    “My fears proved to be unfounded” was powerful enough, but the follow up of dying with her fellow passengers was the real punch. Very nice.

  11. a story that surprises, in the best, original sense of the word. nice one!

  12. I wish she had missed the bus.
    This one plays on the fear of giving someone the worst advice with the best intentions. Love the way you dive in with the story, deliver, and leave me with a pit in my gut. Peace…

  13. guy

    This is distilled essence of story. You make it look easy.

    That death comes so often and so gently in your pieces is a little disturbing. (But don’t get me wrong — it’s OK to disturb me.) I find myself resisting & arguing with these narratives — like Max von Sydow playing chess with death in the Seventh Seal.

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

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