A young woman with grey, rust stained hair coughs out blood as she stares with disbelief at the surreal scene before her. So very much, RED. With trepidation, she glances down at her hands that are literally dyed with blood. A further study reveals that she is even covered in a rust colored scent, that is its very own color. Ignoring the wounds of attack on her body, she bewilderedly studies the rust stained hands that she cannot recognize as her own. Glancing around, she begins to recognize the familiar figures strewn around her. Suddenly, her eyes freeze and become glued to the familiar figure of a small stuffed brown bear wearing a little blue suit with a matching blue bowler hat. The dazed grey-blue eyes fill with horror and recognition-.
A waitress with dirty blond hair and stained pink diner’s outfit crisply drawls, “Miss, here’s your order. Two Sunny side eggs, a side order of hash browns and a cup of orange juice.” The sour-faced waitress smoothly places the breakfast items onto the dining table. “Please enjoy your meal, Miss,” the waitress sarcastically muttered, before moving towards her next customer.
#017’s eyes fly open wide wake as she remembers her current location. #017 laughs softly at herself, before the laughter comes to an abrupt stop. “Enjoy the fricking meal, huh. She doesn’t know the half of it,” she mutters to herself. With relish, #017 happily digs into the oily meal that is guaranteed to raise her cholesterol level. Because in any other place and time she would have turned her nose up in the air. However, this was her first meal and it was something to be truly grateful for considering what she had to go through to get the meal.
After jumping out of the broken car door window, #017 rolled onto the pavement. The people were too occupied with the vehicle, that they had not seen the figure that suddenly surfaced onto the highway. Swiftly #017 removed the visor and black armor, but left the under-guard clothing items on, before tossing said closes items over the bridge. As the people began to come out onto the bridge, it became quite easy to maneuver between cars and gather unused items. A red hoodie, cash, some more cash, a fake ID and a motor bike. And with such ease, #017 sped off on the motor bike and crossed interstate lines. After driving most of the night, #017 had pulled off the road for a bite to eat and a new means of transport.
Finished with her meal, #017 leaves payment for the bill with a small tip. The tip is enough to state the underlying message, “Thanks and a crappy day to you too.” The diner door rings as #017 walks out. She glances at the parking lot that used to house a motorbike with the keys still in the ignition. The motor bike was long gone and the exact outcome desired.
The ground crunches under #017 feet as she heads to the bus station just next door. The smell of diesel fills the spring crisp air as a bus pulls into the station, while other buses depart from the station. The two lax security guards at the glass door barely scan #017 over. Given her size and clothes the lax security didn’t bother with #017. If she was a runaway, it wasn’t their business unless she was on the amber alert, which she was not nor was there a notice in effect. It certainly helped that she did not look like a minor either. And thus so, #017 not only went unnoticed but unremembered by the security guards of the bus station.
The bus front desk attendant doesn’t even glance at the red hooded #017. The bus attendant loudly chews on her gum with her mouth open. “Where too?” The female bus attendant slurred as she glances at her long pink acrylic nails.
#017 is silent for a moment studies the bus map and schedule overhead. With a roll of her eyes, the bus attendant glances at the customer in front of her. “So, do you want a ticket or not?” The bus attendant snapped as she blew a large pink bubble before having it pop annoyingly loud.
#017 is silent for a second as she eyes the tag that reads, Betty Lou Parks. “My bad. A ticket to Aurora, please,” #017 politely replied back.
The female bus attendant known as Betty Lou snorts as she flips her blond highlighted hair. With an annoyed look in her eyes, Betty Lou types the information into the computer. “That will be $169,” she crankily said. #017 happily pushes two hundred bills through the small opening into the window. Betty Lou snatches the bills and counts them, despite it being obvious that the amount given was $200.
After a moment Betty Lou opens the cashier box and prints the ticket. “Here’s your ticket, the bus leaves in 35 minutes. And your change is $31 dollars,” the female attendant said as she pushed the items through the window. Without even letting #017 finish grabbing them, Betty Lou in a shrill voice yells, “Next!”
#017 ignores the actions of the female bus attendant, but does take the time to fill out the customer service review questionnaire. Leaving a scathing review, #017 made sure to print the name of Betty Lou as the reason for dissatisfaction. Content, #017 walks over to Bus number #04 heading towards Aurora.
The bus ticket collector holds his hand out to punch hole the ticket. #017 hands her ticket to the tired ticket collector who punches the ticket without even glancing at it. Perturbed by the obvious lack of concern, #017 climbs onto the bus. The bus smells stank with the faint smell of vomit filling the air.
The bus is filled with a variety of people, but there are plenty of seats available. #017 makes sure to pick an empty bus seat next to the emergency window lever. But before taking a seat, #017 first inspects that the seat doesn’t smell too bad and that it is dry. Satisfied, she sits down and watches the bus fill up. The bus fills for the next few minutes as the final call for passengers to board is made.
The round bellied bus driver closes the door and announces on the intercom the destination. “This is bus #04 boarding and heading to Aurora,” the driver declared. No one looked panicked or startled at the bus driver’s announcement. Taking that as a sign, the bus driver takes off the brake and begins to move the bus. In a cloud of diesel, the bus roars forward and climbs onto the interstate highway.
Making her sure her hood is down, #017 gingerly leans her head back to take a nap. She hadn’t slept the night and needed a good night’s sleep. The sounds fade away as #017 falls asleep into blissful darkness that is empty of dreams or anything else for that matter. Nothing but sweet heavenly darkness.