The girl took her brother’s hand and walked toward another spot to wait for the bus. Perhaps inside?
The stench of urine and sweat was strong. The walls were bright yellow and there was a man with missing thumbs, a young man ranting and raving about government conspiracies. His eyes were bloodshot and blue, just like the fat blonde lady.
Many were fanning themselves, irritated they had to wait for this bus, it seemed.
She was tired, and when they found a seat, saw her brother was too, as he leaned on her arm, and fell asleep. She wanted to sleep. She couldn’t if her brother was here sleeping. But suddenly, those moldy smelling Sponge Bob sheets, seemed very inviting. And she wanted to go home.
She realized, to her horror, she’d left her bike outside. The very token to freedom she’d embraced, the very used contraption that was her Radio Flyer to parallel universes, where her mother was that person who’d bought them candy that time, and only that person.
Her brother was sleeping. She shook him awake. The man with the missing thumbs was getting close anyway, probably wasn’t safe to stay there.
Her brother whined. She knew how he felt but didn’t want to show him. She wanted her bike. She hooked him by the arm and dragged him out to where the fat lady and the girl no longer were. And neither was her bike. It was gone.
The man selling the puppies was gone too. And the encasement with the puppies was knocked over. Every one of them was gone except the runt. The encasement was only cracked and not shattered.
Perhaps some kind soul let them go, they were better off in the open, though probably wouldn’t make it through the week. Maybe they all ran away. Maybe someone took them in. The sickest one could not run away with the others or was left behind by the takers, malnourished and fending for even a sip of water, even though the rain was heavy.
She picked up the puppy and gently placed it near a puddle. It’s little pink tongue eagerly embraced the water and drank.
“The poor thing” a woman walked by, scooped it up and put it under her jacket, and was within only a few feet before being swallowed by the heavy rain.
Odd, the weakest one had the best chance, almost had to be dead for someone to notice and care.
“What are you kids doing out here in the rain?” Another robust woman with round glasses and big black eyes asked. She had a raspy voice.
“Waiting for that bus.”
“Ugh,” the woman motioned toward a nearby food truck. The steam was rising and people were laughing while making what smelled like gyros.
The smell was wonderful.
“Come this way. If we are going to be stuck here we might as well grab something to eat.”