Finding Out (Flash Fiction)

Bob sat at the bus stop, giving the poster for women’s underwear a fierce stare. The rumbling of bus 22 snapped him from his daze. He watched it puke black clouds into the humid air as it blew on by. He gave a sigh and wiped at the sweat rolling from his head. Across the street, children played a strange version of tag where the primary rule was arguing instead running or tagging. The children pointed and yelled, and Bob’s anxiety grew.

His glances became more and more repetitive to the east. Any minute, a dirty blue monstrosity would spew its congested lungs into the air and come rolling up the hill to find him waiting. He was tired of waiting. Then the raven joined him.

The bird fluttered down in an angry fashion as Bob shifted away with primitive fear. The black eyes peered, the onyx feathers gleamed, the long beak squawked violently in his direction. Bob wringed his sweaty hands.

“Shutup! Piss off! Go bug those stupid kids.”

The raven hopped onto the bench in offense to the commands. It spanned its wings with aggression, driving Bob into the corner of the glass, his face pressed against the teal laced thong of the ad. The squawking consumed the enclosed shelter.

The 26 east bound coughed to a stop and sent the bird to the air. Bob darted through the unfolded doors and sat immediately. The diesel gave a belch and a lurch and Bob was on his way. He unfolded the wrinkled envelope in his hand, stained with perspiration. His test results were in. They weren’t good. Bob looked back through a graffiti scarred window to see if the messenger of death followed in his wake.

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