Nobody here
but a few sparrows
pecking at fast food remnants
there's a McDonalds somewhere near.

Nobody's haste
but the traffic lights'
switching back to red quickly
before you've even crossed the street.

Nobody's season
but the cruel wind's
whirling up the roads trash
next bus scheduled in over an hour.

The first bus of the day pulls up in the town bus station, slick with last night's rain and the morning mists. The sun must have hit the snooze button and will remain behind a blanket of thick clouds when it finally rolls out of bed in the next hour. Meanwhile, the streetlights give the bus a festive look like a rolling Christmas tree or an optical fruitcake.

When the door whooshes open I climb the grooved steps and wave my wallet at the sensor. A bit of my money teleports from my bank account and appears somewhere else, unexplained except by technology that I don't comprehend. Clarke called it magic.

I nod to the driver, Frank this time, back from vacation in Florida. He'll eventually want to tell me how many fish he caught, but for now he's doing some checklist on a tablet. He does take a second to smile hello, his yellowed teeth adding another color to the light show.

In fifteen minutes the bus is packed with people. I shove my backpack under my seat and loop the shoulder strap around my leg in case someone gets greedy. I relax when an elderly lady and her daughter take the seat behind me. She's 32nd Street, going off to the clinic to get her chemotherapy. Nice lady, and her daughter is cute with dimples.

The doors make a steampunk noise as they close, and we're off, all of us wobbling to and fro as the bus hits bumps and potholes. I wait until we're on the bridge before I reach down to pull the small metal wire in my backpack. Something inside makes a slight hissing noise. It sounds like a jumbo jet taking off to me, but it blends with the background rattles for everyone else for sixteen seconds. I calmly close my eyes and count down until the homemade explosives will finally detonate and kill 56 imbeciles that voted for the wrong party. Only nine of my fellows who voted correctly will die this morning. It's worth the sacrifice...

Iron Noder 2017

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