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Happy New Year!


There are dark paranormal elements in this story.

On a dark and cold rainy day, Vera Lou, an elderly woman stood at the bus stop, her shabby shopping trolley on ground, waiting for the bus. She stared at a black and gold double-decker bus clanging down the street with a sign in flashing lights, ‘Destination Hell’s Star’.

For some reason, it reminded her of her wild youth in Las Vegas when she was a showgirl with dreams of becoming a star. In those days she’s was a rare beauty –  model-slim, big breasted, and legs up to her armpits.

On a whim, she waved down the bus. It stopped and its doors whooshed open.

You only live once, Vera Lou told herself, lunch with her granddaughter can always wait. She hopped and in the mist of excitement left her shabby shopping trolley behind.

An exotic scent of jasmine, sandalwood and spice filled the bus and soft jazz music breezing through the air.

The person in the driver’s cab was a rather intimidating hulk of a man. Handsome and bare-chested, he had on a black military beret, and a black bow tie.

‘Destination Hell’s Star,” he murmured in a deep sexy voice that sent delicious shivers down Vera Lou’s spine and weakened her knees.

Thinking she was too old for such feelings, she ripped her eyes from his naked muscled and toned chest, and locked eyes with his intense blue ones. Then blushed. She chided herself for acting like a school girl though it was very dark in the bus.

‘You will have to pay the required fare,’ he warned smoothing with a smothering gaze that nearly had her melt in puddle. He did not elaborate what the fare was.

You only lived once, she thought again, life was an adventure. She nodded in agreement to the fare and went inside the bus.

Further inside the bus, the interior had a red and gold theme and looked like a gentlemen’s nightclub. A well-stocked bar dominated one length of the bus with a handsome bartender dressed only in a pink bow tie and black leather thong. At the far end there was a pole on a tiny stage.

In the her youth, she had been quite a good exotic dancer before she got a chance at the big show in Vegas.

The sexy bartender flashed her a friendly smile, and she blushed.

‘Ladies Night tonight. Would you like a flute of pink champagne? It’s included in the fare.’

She ignored a niggling feeling about the fare and accepted the drink then wandered upstairs.

The upper deck was sectioned into three intimate booths furnished with large comfy red leather sofas. A group of trendily dressed people sat in one booth sipping red wine and eating bar snacks and laughing and talking and seemly having a good time.

One of the group suddenly noticed her and rose. ‘Are you going to Destination Hell’s Star?’

She was about to answer him when she noticed his lips were bloodless and his eyes soulless. A dark angel revealed.

Fear trickled down her spine and she hesitated. A faint smell of warm blood drifted in the air and she realised it wasn’t red wine they were sipping. It was blood.

The man repeated himself, this eyes shone dull with desire.

She was too scared to say a word, her nerves shredded and fantasy broken. Vain memories of the past had lured her here.

‘Are you going to Destination Hell’s Star? Answer me!’ he roared, his human mask vanished revealing a hideous twist of fangs and hate.
Terrified, Vera Lou screamed! The scent of death rose in the air.

Beyond the hideous one, the group jumped up flapping huge blacken wings, dark angels each of them. Next, they formed a circle around her, dancing to soundless tune. ‘Now you pay the fare, you may be old and ugly be you’ll have to do the crypt,’ they screamed in a chant and repeated. ‘Now you pay the fare, you may be old and ugly but you’ll have to do for the crypt.’

Old? Ugly? Will have to do?

How dare they!

Rage possessed Vera Lou and with a shot through her vein and with a fury, she  began to whack them with her handbag. ‘At least I’m alive you waste of dead space!’
Her courage surfaced an old wives tale about salt and garlic in her mind, and she always carried a salt shaker of garlic salt when she went for lunch. She pulled it out of her pocket and threw the salt in the air and towards demons.

Haunting bloodcurdling screams filled the bus, and the creatures squirmed in agony. Fire erupted from the floor. Next there was a loud explosion and the force threw the Vera Lou and the creatures from the bus.

Afterwards, she found herself bewildered wandering in a field, surrounded by several scattered ghoulish mounds of debris and ash. In the far distance the bus burned and smoke and flames raced to the grey skies.

Then she saw the driver and bartender walking towards her, both still dressed in bow ties and thongs, shivering from the cold.

‘Thanks for saving us from the fanged ones.’

She sighed, thinking her ego and vanity still got the better of her. ’You’re welcome – no one gets always with calling me old and ugly,’ she replied, not when she used to be Las Vegas Showgirl.

Then she thought what a nice story to tell to her granddaughter if she made it in time for lunch.

The end.