Saturday, May 3, 2008

Brief as Photos - 2: Bus Ride

They were everywhere - in the grocery stores where he shops, in the post office where he picks up his mail, on streets and parking lots - everywhere. They were even on his television set. One day he could not stand it anymore. He walked out of his house, and got on a bus where he felt safe, and slept deeply for the first time in months. He did not even wake up when he got to Guatemala.

He found his way to Flores, then Tikal where he stayed for months listening to the sounds of howler monkeys on the treetops. He did not want to go back north. But between Flores and Belize, he ran out of money and when he tried to enter the border, they would not let him in. They returned him to Guatemala City and informed the U.S. Embassy that he was in jail. The U.S. Consul looked like a kind man but he was trying to get him to go back north. He tried to explain to the official that there were aliens everywhere, watching him. The U.S. Consul became more concerned and told him his family had been looking for him. That was the first time he really thought of his family since he got on the bus. He found himself weeping quietly in front of this U.S. official, young enough to be his son.

Later, the man arranged to have his fine paid and moved him to a small hotel. He was asked nicely to see a head doctor, which he did, but he was later released. He was not a danger to himself or to others. The official loaned him some money for room and board and tickets for the trip back home. He thought it was swell of the government to do that for him. That night, for the first time in many months, he felt them watching him again. He was sure they were using the television set as a tracking device. He had no choice but to take it apart and destroy it. The next day, he took the bus to go back north. He liked the bus; he felt safe there and wished the bus ride would just go on and on and never end. He thought maybe he’d fall asleep and not wake up until he needed to. He felt sorry he did not write a note about the TV set; he did hope that the nice U.S. Consul would tell the hotel how sorry he was.

Read: Brief as Photos Disclaimer


Digger said...

That's fiction? Seems an awful lot like some of the folks I dealt with in Jerusalem!

Digger said...

I linked to you (and commented but did not quote because I didn't want to steal your thunder!) here:

DS said...

Thanks Digger! I've written about this planned weekend gig previously - to write a story under 1000 words once a week for a year -
I just finished two so I have 50 more to go. Yey!