Vignette Collection: Welcome Aboard by Kihin Ranno

Fandom:Original Fiction Rating:PG13
Created:2007-12-14 Modified:2007-12-14
Summary:The second half of the dual story assignment. Same prompt, but from the homeless man's point of view.
Welcome Aboard

I always know when there’s a new one for the ride.

I can see them coming from a mile off. Bastards always look like the world has ended or something. White in the face, eyes all twitching, knuckles damn nearer to the ground than they were the day before. They give you funny looks too. Not like they’re just seeing you for the first time, but like they’ve just realized you’re a hell of a lot closer to them than they thought.

Damn straight I am. I ain’t been in your backyard, but on your doorstep, waiting for you to leave forever to come and live by me. Bastards act like it could never happen to them. Like I was born in the gutter or something. They don’t know shit about me. But I know all kinds of shit about them, and every bit of it stinks.

This bitch is just like the rest, but like all the ladies, she has the added feature of looking like she’s got black oil streaking down her face or like her eyelashes has melted or something. Can’t be sure how to describe it. I ain’t no writer or nothing. All I can tell is that she ain’t even been able to look in a mirror since it happened. Her nose twitches while I take my seat and then her eyes revolve, staring at me.

She doesn’t look too surprised like most of them. It’s different, but I don’t mind it. I think maybe she’s studying me, like a test she’s got to study up for even though she doesn’t know its coming. But I know its coming. And I know where she’s going.

No-fucking-where, that’s where.

How do I know so much? How do I know what happened to this bitch, where she’s going, who she’s been, who she’s gonna be? I’ll tell you how I know.

You learn a lot of things about the bastards when they see right through you. That’s how I know. If they don’t know anyone’s watching, they don’t know how to hide. I don’t know how to hide either, but I don’t have to. No one’s searching for me.

And I can tell this one’s hit rock bottom already. Doesn’t even move her stuff to the other side when I sit down. Guess she figures there’s nothing worth taking anymore. Doesn’t know I ain’t a pickpocket. Well, not unless I have to be.

It takes awhile, but the bus comes. It always comes. I don’t even have to tell her to get up and get on; she knows. Some kind of instinct maybe. And I follow her on. She don’t seem to like that too much, but she’ll have a damn hard time getting rid of me. Us guys stick together, through thin and thin.

Ain’t got nothing thick but our pride.

I get on after her and got to wait while she gets over the shock – part of her knew what was coming, but it didn’t bother to fill the rest of her in on it. Her face twists like a bottle cap coming off, and it looks like her shit’s about to hit the ground. But before that falls, she’s gotta fall.

I take the briefcase out of her hands. Feels empty, but there might be something in there. “This is the bus for the hopeless,” I say, smiling like victory when she turns around. I think she’s going to be sick on my shoes. “Welcome aboard.”

And get comfy, bitch, cause you ain’t never getting off.

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