Riding free of charge

Author: Ukari

To say here is far, and to call yonder nearby. Stories on the edge of the every day, strange tales you may or may not be moved by. Strange, curious, fantastic stories told by me, you, him and her. There are many stories but they’re all concluded within a single page, each story around 200 to 1200 characters in length, a short story collection you can easily read. Please enjoy them. Updated every Saturday at 6pm.

***

As I tried to get on the bus, I noticed it was quite busy.
It was a little early to be the evening rush, but it was the Obon season. Lots of people were returning home. This was just another form of the holiday rush home.
As you would expect from the number of passengers on board, the bus was stopping at every single stop.
We were slowly approaching mine.
I extended my hand and pushed the button.
There was a small sound, and the light turned on.

— Stopping at the next stop.

The bus driver sighed.
There was no-one at the bus stop.
There wasn’t anyone on the bus, either.
But the lamp for each stop kept turning on, one after the other.

“Well, it is Obon, after all…”

He muttered, scratching his head.
He looked back at the bus through the front mirror, the inside bathed in evening light. As expected, there was no-one on board.
There’s a saying that the spirits of the dead ride horses home, while oxen carry their luggage, but it would seem that even for the dead, the bus was faster and more comfortable.

— Stopping at the next stop.

There was a soft sound, and the announcement played again.
But hey, wouldn’t this be classified as riding free of charge?

 

Original Japanese

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