I picked up Kirsten Bruce’s story and continued with my two hundred words. Here’s Kirsten’s first words, then mine.
Turtle’s eyes were closed when the 8CL bus shook violently andstarted heading into the overpass tunnel, sideways. The driver tried to avoid hitting the body that had just hurled itself off the top of the bridge but with no luck. The body hit the bus, and then the bus hit the overpass. The motion of the vehicle sliding sideways caused Turtle’s head to hit the window and his eyes flew open just in time to catch a glimpse of a man sitting on the ground right outside where the bus had stopped. It wasn’t a particularly hard crash and no one had been violently thrown around, just frightened. Apparently, no one but the driver had seen the jumper. As passengers began collecting themselves, Turtle made his way to the front of the bus, his eyes fixated on the man outside. Why was he just sitting there? He wasn’t at all surprised that the bus had just hit a brick wall. Probably a vagrant, they always hung out and drank in those overpass tunnels. Maybe he could bum a smoke from him he thought as he exited the bus. As he approached the sitting man, Turtle called out “Hey man” but the man did not reply.
“Gotta smoke?” Silence. The man was staring at a particular point of the tunnel across from him. Turtle made his way closer. The man had long, stringy hair, sharp features and piercing eyes that seemed to read the cracks in the bricks or seeing through the bricks. Most passengers had vacated the bus. Two ambulances arrived. The whole time, the sitting man didn’t move. People were walking around him, not taking notice of him.
Turtle turned towards the sound of people gasping and looked over where a crowd had gathered. He walked over and peered over someone’s shoulder. The body of the jumper lay mangled on the ground, blood seeping from the head, eyes open but dead. A young girl, clues of her age in her fashionable clothing and footwear, the length of her hair and the many bracelets around her left wrist.
Turtle looked over where the man was still sitting, then followed the man’s gaze to the opposite brick wall and thought he saw an image flutter briefly on the wall, then disappearing as if melting into the bricks. He quickly turned to the man, checking his reaction. Had the man seen the same thing?