Thursday, 23 September 2010

Last Bus To Woodstock (Or Thereabouts)


The woman at the front of the queue doesn't understand.  She pulls at the pockets of the fur-lined coat and pulls out a small purse.  She waves it at the sour faced guard.

He shakes his head, 'Sorry luv'

The queue is growing. The smell of dampness hangs around us all, makes the place stink of days old washing.  Human washing, pulled in from the storm outside.

She waves her credit cards at him again and complains, 'Look' she says, 'You must take one of these cards'

He shakes his head, 'Your bank's six feet underwater luv' he explains, 'Your money's no good here'

A few of us are getting weary of this now.  It's been a long couple of weeks.  Homes, jobs, families: all are swept away.  The army of the dead are marching and this woman thinks she can buy her way into heaven.

You can tell from the way she holds her head that she's used to getting what she wants and she tries the trademark icy smile that has frozen so many people into submission.  But the guard is impervious to her looks and her pleas and is not swayed by her expensive perfume

'Your name's not down luv' he explains.  The waters are rising now around the remains of the terminal.  There's only a few seats left on the last bus out.  I wonder if i should have joined the queue with the nun at the front, but see that she is still arguing ecumenical matters when she should be climbing onboard.

Somewhere behind me someone breaks ranks, runs through the crowd towards the gates and tries to climb aboard the bus.  He is struck down.  No one says a thing.

The woman watches for a while, unable to comprehend that this fate could befall her, 'Look,' she explains again, still not getting it, 'surely everyone accepts AMX these days?'

17 comments:

Tumblewords: said...

Oh, dear - they probably don't. :) Nice write!

Stafford Ray said...

I'm still battling to understand what/where the bus represents, but the story got me. Haven't we all stood behind someone who takes forever shuffling cards, usually looking for one with a few dollars left. But AMEX? Shrinking acceptance here.

Kaelin said...

really enjoyed this!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

this reminds me of a scene from Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep...

that poor chick... trying to pass through the eye of the needle in a fur coat..she doesn't get it is right..you gotta strip yourself bare, lay yourself down and crawl.

Rene

kathew said...

money doesn't get you into heaven!

kathi harris said...

Money doesn't wk every time.

Lydia said...

Hah! Her expensive perfume may work down here....or waaay down you-know-where, but not waaay UP there.

The Bug said...

I loved Defending Your Life - Albert Brooks was great. And yes this is like that.

What an interesting story to get from that prompt - which is why I love the Magpie Tales & Poetry Bus gigs.

Book Bird Dog said...

Interesting story. What happend to the cologne? Here's my Magpie.

Kristen Haskell said...

Apocalyptic undertones I am always interested in readin other writer's take on that. I think in that time the only gold will be food and clean water.

dana said...

Now I'm having to picture fairies and pixie dust and monkeys riding on pigs just to get the image of doom and long lines out of my mind.

Brian Miller said...

i am afraid she missed the bus on this one..you took us right into it with her and all those waiting though..nice magpie!

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

thanks all for visiting

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

the title is a take on the Inspector Morse novel - for me the cologne was just the air of decadence that this woman had in my head

Just goes to show that money isn't the be all and end all

ninotaziz said...

I would love it if you would continue doing the magpies. This was a good read and an eye-opening story.

willow said...

Gosh, I know a woman just like this. Perfect title, by the way!

Reflections said...

Well, I get that money doesn't buy everything, but you would think the cologne would have worked at least.... after all this was the bus to Woodstock. :)

Nicely done.