Charon

Alexander dreamed. The 22 year old stood in front of a bus that has pulled up next to him. The doors opened towards him and he stepped into the steel opening. A handful of tokens drop from his hand into a cone shaped hole designed to take change. The driver turns in his seat and stares at Alex. The driver had no eyes, instead were hollow black holes. Alex stood in the bus staring deeply into the dark holes as the bus doors closed behind him.

He awoke startled by the dream. It was rare for the young man to have nightmares. Before falling back asleep Alex caught a glimpse of his clock, only fifteen minutes before the alarm goes off. With a groan he closed his eyes and waited for the annoying sound to wake him for work. Alex followed his normal ritual then made his way to work. He only needed to walk a few blocks to get to his retail job that gave him just enough money not to starve while in college. Everyday he took the same route, walking a few blocks to his job. As he walked over the bridge on the way their he watched the busy street below, as cars passed with a roar under him, he thought again of the dream. Unsure of its meaning, he had only taken the bus a couple of times, and the driver’s eyes still chilled him.

It was not long before Alexander dreamed again. This time he sat at the back of the bus, only the blue suit of the drivers back was seen. Looking around he noticed the windows that only showed the blackness, no outside world in sight. The scrolling lights that showed a destination where only a random assortment of corrupted characters that did not seem to say anything. The vibrations from the engine felt all too real but overall it was the silence that bothered Alex the most. He could feel the vehicle moving forward but could not hear the engine. It was only when a pair of hands came out of the darkness to slam on the windows did Alex wake from his dream.

Alex’s life had become a pattern of this. Work, school, and dream’s. The more he dreamed, the more he felt trapped in both sleep and waking. He wondered if he was the hollowed eyed drivers prisoner and if the bus had a destination at all. His rest suffered greatly, growing too tired to focus on work and school, his grades were suffering. It was on one such night that he was walking home. His body slumped and felt like it weighed far more than it should yet he walked forward weakly. As he was crossing the bridge home he felt his head go dizzy, he reached for the waist high rail for balance before he realized he was falling. Things seemed to move slowly as the railing and the bridge moved away from him, his feet were the last things over the railing. His eyes looked to the sky below him when he heard a sickening slump sound like a heavy wet bag hitting the floor and a crunching noise like twigs cracking.

Alexander didn’t feel pain as he laid in the street below the bridge. He couldn’t feel much of anything, his eyes and ears still worked but he could not move his body. His head sat at an awkward angle from his body staring down the road. He watched as two bright lights seemed to slowly move towards him. Soon he saw the lights attached to a large object, moving at great haste towards him. He tried to move off the road, but his body would not respond. Alex tried to scream for help, he wanted to yell “Am down here, please see me!” but his mouth would not respond. He saw a large bus moving towards him, alex could do nothing to get the drivers attention as it moved closer to him. The last thing he heard was the screeching of brakes but it was far too late as the world went black.  Alex opened his eyes to find he was on the bus once again. He could feel the bus slowing as the driver turned around, alex saw his eyes once more. They seemed to stare deeply into him as the driver spoke for the first time. “Your toll has been paid, your stop is ahead.”

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