The actual Scariest Thing Overheard on the bus this morning:


I had been sitting behind the couple for some time, trying not to breathe too deeply of their fruity, punishing perfume of old beer, sweat, and something that smelled like warm nickels. Then they turned to each other, mouths slack and loose, and wordlessly started kissing, their lips and tongues slapping wetly. The bus filled with a sound like thousands of tiny dead fish being dumped from a sack onto stone paving.

Wait, this isn’t the scary bit yet.

Baby? She spoke in the weary, coquettish voice of a spoiled toddler. He was utterly unresponsive. She spoke again, prodding him with a single swollen finger. Baby?


Are we trick or treatin’ this year?

Hmph? Oh, yeah, yeah, sure.

Oh, good. She grinned crookedly and hugged herself. l’ll have to find my clown costume with all the dolls sewed on.