Bus Trip – Flash Fiction for 10/19/12

The light was red and I was stopped in front of the bus depot behind a line of cars. I looked over and there were a group of people lined up to get on the bus. On impulse I picked up my phone and took a grabshot. When I looked at the photo later, I was reminded of the times I’d put someone on the bus, or met the bus, or gotten on or off the bus myself. There was always emotion attached to those comings and goings. I wondered what the stories were of the people in the photo.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Madison Woods for starting this group, maintaining it so diligently, updating the technology and for providing guidance and support to new members. The Friday Fictioneers has come to mean a ridiculous amount to me, and to many others I’m sure. Thanks, Madison, for bringing us all together and leading us in this creative endeavor. You have the heart of a warrior princess. I also want to thank Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for stepping up and accepting the leadership role when someone was needed to carry on this fun, creative, weekly tradition.

In line waiting to get on the bus, my earthly possessions clutched in my hands. A fine day, the sun shining, the sky cornflower blue, cottony clouds curtaining the horizon. In my pocket, the letter from the father I never knew, who abandoned his family when I was a baby. I see him always as a young husband smiling in a wedding photo. In two days, I will visit him in the hospital where he lays dying. My feelings swirl, confusion, curiosity, resentment, loyalty to my poor dead mother. At his bedside, I will ask my burning, haunting question. Why?

If you would like to come out and play with Madison Woods and the Friday Fictioneers, click here and follow the instructions.

36 responses to “Bus Trip – Flash Fiction for 10/19/12

  1. Touching, Ron, and something I think has happened and will happen again, something for which there may be an good answer and maybe not. Well told. I like the “cottony clouds curtaining the horizon.”

  2. Ron,
    This is a real story that has been told and will be told a thousands times but you gave it life and truth and your own personal touch. This is the type of story I love to read and enjoy writing. I wish more writers touched pen to paper to create fictional tales based on real human struggles. You did that in this one. Hats off to you. A job well done….even if you used a keyboard instead of a pen and paper.


  3. Dear Ron,
    Thank you for the photo and it’s history. Your story is full of emotion and conflict – well done.
    Thank you too for your tribute to Madison. I’m sure you’ve summed up what a lot of us are feeling, but aren’t able to articulate so well.

  4. That was a nice story, Ron. Thanks for the photo prompt this week. It has generated a lot of fine and varied stories. Your’s is very thoughtful.

    I feel the same as you about Madison.

  5. Beautiful, Ron. I love the contrast between how he’s known his father (photo) and what he anticipates seeing and asking. I’m almost embarrassed about the silliness of mine, after reading the powerful stories your photo inspired. Thanks for a great prompt!

  6. i’m intrigued that he had all his “earthly possessions” with him. there’s another story in that sentence in addition to the story of “why.” well done sir.

  7. Dear Ron: First of all, thank you for your wonderful photo. It is fitting that it should be our dear, beloved Madison’s last. Your piece was heart wrenching to me personally because I lived this story…It was on the same bus that took me home to visit over several decades ( the route and scenery burned in my brain) and the last trip to bury my mom and two weeks later to bury my brother. I’ve not been on that bus since.

  8. “At his bedside, I will ask my burning, haunting question. Why?” A question asked by so many “abandoned” children (even those who end up in loving homes. Moving tale and most appropriate for the stimulus-laden photo you provided for us this week. Many thanks!

  9. Pingback: #FridayFictioneers #FlashFriday No. 30 « Random Inspiration

  10. Ron a beautiful photo prompt and your story oh so much like so many others in this sad society of ours.. It wrenches my heart for the little boy inside the man going to ask “why?” Very well written and your comments to Madison …well I tear up every time I think about it being her last but Rochelle is strong and can deal with all our egos right? As for Madison I am excited for her next release!
    thank you again for the wonderful photo.

  11. Dear Ron,

    Thank you for introducing me to Leonard Grishkin and his story. Would not have met him without you. When I read your story I felt nothing good was going to come of his visiting his dying father. I think that is because your photo is a mirror and all I could see in it was Death standing in the line. God, this was an unexpectedly great photo prompt.




  12. As you said, our stories follow similar paths. No matter what the son has envisioned or imagined concerning his father, it would be interesting to hear how that story unfolds. This story is very personal to me as I had to leave my family when my sons were 15 and 16 and, though I’ve been able to stay close to one, the other has not spoken to me for 13 years. I wonder if he will ever visit me later in life to try to understand why.

  13. So many memories your photo and story bring back. Thanks for stopping by my blog and your comment on my story.

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