Off the grid by Guy Yasko

The bus slices through the grid, leaving six way intersections in its
wake. Inside, the boy holds his hand to the window and looks for a
street sign. His sister sits beside him and says nothing, her legs
swinging with each pothole.

The bus stops and idles. The boy hasn’t seen the sign.

— Harlem Ave, as far as we go, folks.

He has read of this place, on bus signs and route maps. It seemed
impossibly far away. He holds his limp transfer in his hand and waits
for a bus to take them back. Headlights tease, but no bus appears.

— Let’s walk.

His sister says nothing.

At the next stop, he doesn’t bother to look back. They walk on, past the
silent airport, past alphabetical streets.

— I’m tired.

The boy puts her on his back. She feels lighter when Ls turn to Ks.


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Filed under Guy Yasko

7 responses to “Off the grid by Guy Yasko

  1. It’s both sweet and dark–wondering why the ride is taken. Nicely done, Guy.

  2. They seem so lost and forlorn. I wonder what happened to them that they’re on this bus, riding to the end of the line…

    Nicely done.

  3. the lack of information, the white space, is what makes this piece so interesting and well crafted. I am left wondering so much about it, went back to re-read it several times. Thanks!

  4. guy

    Thanks for the reads and reactions. It’s good to have them.

    Back in the 1970s people thought nothing of kids travelling across cities without adults. I admit that you’d have to be a Chicato Transit Authority nut to prise the time frame out of the story and even then you still might miss it. I’ve heard that writers of kids books use the 1970s setting so their characters can actually do stuff w/o adults.

  5. stephen

    nice. it’s particularly interesting to me for the reversibility of situation—they could be just walking between bus stops the way one sometimes does when you don’t feel like waiting, or they could be lost or they could be in some peril. it’s all in what you fill in. very nice.

  6. Love the tenderness with which the brother cares for his sister, how she feels lighter when Ls turn to Ks. Peace…

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

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