THE SHINE JOURNAL

Flash Literature, Poetry, Art and Photography!

 

 

 

The Wrong Direction

 

by

 

Keisha L. Grant

 

 

 

 

Adam woke up on the pavement at what was apparently a crowed bus stop. There were hundreds of people hustling to board the two buses that were parked and waiting.

 

“Sinners, calling all sinners here,” shouted a man dressed in a white bus driver’s uniform. He was waving people over to him. Several people responded to his call and boarded that bus.

 

“How is this possible?” Adam asked.

 

“It’s not what I thought it’d be that’s for sure,” said a jolly looking fat man who was standing a few feet away. The man was rocking back and forth playfully on the balls of his feet with his hands in his pants pockets. On seeing that Adam was still confused he continued to explain. “Well my name’s Rick and I remember choking on a delicious turkey sandwich. My wife would be gloating if she was here. She always said that food would be the death of me,” he added the last line with a chuckle.

 Adam was watching the actions of the other bus driver who was dressed a black business suit sitting on a folding chair. He was lazily holding up a sign which read: Calling all Saints, step on up.  

 

A newly arrived man roughly pushed his way pass the other people waiting to board the bus and got on. An elderly woman who had been watching the proceedings just as Adam had turned and headed for the sinners’ bus.

 

“So what were you doing when you died, you do realize that you’re dead, don’t you?”

 

Adam nodded gravely. “Are there any rules to this?” he asked.

 

“There doesn’t seem to be. You just choose whichever bus catches your fancy.”

 

“And what happens then?”

 

“How would I know, I’m still here aren’t I?  I’ve been watching for a while trying to decide which is the right bus. It goes like this: the buses pull up, the drivers get out, people get on, the buses leave and then come back empty to do the whole thing over again. Some people show up here and they walk straight to the first bus.”

 

Adam moved closer to the first bus and saw that its destination, spelled out in lights on the front of the bus, was paradise.

 

“So why didn’t you get on this one?” he asked.

 

“Look at the sign.  I’m no saint, I mean I’m not evil but I’m not a saint”

 

Adam stood there pondering the situation for a moment. Then he began walking towards the sinners’ bus.

 

“Wait stay here!” shouted Rick, “I’ve been here for a while and nothing bad happens here. Why risk falling into a trap? There’s no way to know which one is the right one.”

 

“This isn’t where we’re supposed to end up. Come with me,” said Adam.

 

Rick’s face lost all signs of its happy demeanour. He shook his head no.

 

“Look I’ve thought this through. This is our last test. You were right when you said that you’re not a saint, none of us are and anyone who isn’t honest enough to admit that is probably headed in the wrong direction.”

 

Adam left Rick standing at the bus stop still staring at the buses as they pulled out of the station heading in different directions. Adam sat next to the elderly woman he had seen earlier. They exchanged smiles.

 

On the other bus the man, who had been in such a hurry to get on the bus to paradise, was staring out the window at the changing scenery. With each passing mile the landscape grew more barren and desolate. He realized too late that he was going in the wrong direction.

 

 

 

KEISHA GRANT shares...

BIO:

KEISHA L. GRANT is a native of Trinidad. She has previously been published in the online magazines Ascent Aspirations and has also shined here. KEISHA was one of the judges in out shorts contest last year. She can be reached:  leiana6@gmail.com  or http://lei.gather.com/

MOTIVATION:

"This piece is just another excuse for me to deal with some of my favorite topics."