Phantom Night

Contributor: Taylor Gibbs

- -
Well you see, it all started with that campy pop-rock song “Drops of Jupiter,” by that corny pop-rock band Train, I believe they are called. Something quite mystical transpired. I was listening to the starry entrancing lyrics when the world began to slip into an unreality. A hazy floating daze swept me off the computer chair where I was checking bus times to a stop seldom used by myself. I realized time was of the essence and I had to get moving if I wanted to catch the bus, on account of the fair walk ahead of me to that near stop.
I began my journey home from work at a slightly less than frantic pace toward the aforementioned bus stop. I was getting near to it when all the street lights began to dim. A blank bus appeared out of the darkness, off in the distance, heading toward me. Desperately I picked up my pace in order to get to the stop on time. In my panic run I hadn’t paid attention to the lights or the bus that arrived at the stop at the same time as I did, until the doors slowly opened. I looked up only to notice where it should have said the route and number, read “Out of Service.” Oddly enough the bus had stopped regardless, and the doors were open, an inviting embrace to the soft ambient glow of its interior. I got on and swiped my card staring at the middle-aged female driver who only gave a vague nod and said no words. Her mouth closed in a thin white line as if it had been glued shut.
The bus was completely empty. I was the only passenger riding this mystery bus into the under lit depths of the city of Guelph.
As the bus traversed the streets I noticed that the city was empty and completely dark. The bus began a long and winding path into an abyss unseen, and in an eerie silence.
It glided through the streets like a boat on smooth, glass lake, fluid and agile.
It preambled so far off the path into deeper darkness that I no longer recognized or could describe anything outside the windows. The bus, however, was so quick to reach places I did recognize that it was as if the driver not only steered the great monolithic bus, but folded space in half and reached further destinations without actually traveling to them.
As it approached the downtown station the silence was oppressive. Where normally all the buses arrive with a practiced synchronicity; there were none to be found. We were the sole accompaniment. I nervously decided to unload myself quickly, allowing the driver a “good night,” to which she responded again with that vague (this time “knowing”) wordless nod.
I exited the bus onto the platform. Under the orange-yellow glow of the arc lights, silhouettes of people were milling about. Not quite substantial people, with many goals and things to find, none seeming to know exactly what they were looking for.
Lost obsidian souls in the ceaseless night.
I traversed this strange desolation with the stealth and cunning of a cat to an empty Subway restaurant for a sandwich, only to find no one would acknowledge my presence and serve me. I was invisible – a greyish specter of myself. So I left bereft, paranoid, and confused and headed home alone in the solitude of the night.
My building when I arrived was like a deprivation chamber. There were faint sounds and lights but everything seemed distant and unreachable.
I got into my room closed the door to be alone and try to piece my thoughts and rationale together, assimilate what it all meant. All I could focus on was the comforting song my roommate sang, drifting to me muffled through the wood of our closed doors.

- - -
My name is Taylor Gibbs, I am a twenty nine year old Support Worker and full time student at York University in English Literature. I have been writing for a few years as a hobby and only recently worked up the nerve to begin submitting for publication. I have a few poems that will be published in Leaves of Ink and The Wilderness House Literary Review come October.
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Help keep Linguistic Erosion alive! Visit our sponsors! :)- - -