Never Again

bus illustration

I swear, if he breathes again it’ll be the last breath he takes.

Oh, there it is. The long, squeaky inhale through the nose and the rattling huff through the mouth.

Does he realise how loud he’s being? Is there something wrong with him? Is it normal for human breath to make that kind of noise?

I’ll just clench my fists and keep my eyes closed and pretend it isn’t happening.

Of all the seats on this bus, thunder-breath over here had to sit next to me.

Why is it always me? Why do I always attract the heavy breathers and the egg mayo sandwich eaters and the ones that listen to music on their phone without headphones?

I should learn to drive.

Keep the eyes closed. It will all be over soon. In time, this torture will end.

The bus lurches to a halt briefly in traffic and breath hisses from his mouth in unison with the pressure released from the air brakes. And this time, I can feel it. Why is he facing me? Why is he breathing all over me? That’s it. I’m done.

I open my eyes and glare at him. “Dude. You…”

His eyes look weird. They’re all rolling around in his head. And he’s clutching at his chest. And he looks like he’s trying to suck in air and he can’t.




Did I hex him?

“Stop the bus!” I screech. I whip out my phone and hit 999.

And then I vow to make a change.

I will never take the bus ever again.

Inspired by The Daily Post prompt: Noise

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