The Night Bus – Friday Fictioneers, December 2019

Copyright Fatima


There are more of us tonight; we sit quietly, shoulder to shoulder.

Behind us, at a safe distance, we see the headlights of the first unmarked paddy-wagon.  This is for the redeemables.

The others are for the others.

Gratifyingly, there are fewer customers on the streets tonight.  The word is finally permeating through, though it’s taken a while.  And some ‘procedures’ we’d rather not dwell upon.

Five hours later, at 3.00am, our work is over.

The streets are safe, peaceful.  And deserted.

A patrol car heads in the other direction, the occupants averting their gaze.

Window-dressing.  No more, no less.

Sorry to have been MIA for the last two or three weeks.  I’ll try to do better to see out the rest of the year.  A more reliable presence throughout the year is the Friday Fictioneer leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  Thanks for all you do, Rochelle.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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55 Responses to The Night Bus – Friday Fictioneers, December 2019

  1. Indira says:

    I got the notifiction of your post after a long time. Nice take.


  2. Iain Kelly says:

    I dread to think what the ‘procedures’ were, or what happens to those ‘others’ who I suspect mysteriously disappear never to be seen again…


  3. Tannille says:

    Sounds like the underbelly at work.


  4. neilmacdon says:

    Wonderfully atmospheric word-building, Sandra. Deeply chilling


  5. Wow, such a chillingly understated story. Brilliantly done, Sandra.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  6. ceayr says:

    You are the Queen of Darkness, Sandra.
    It sometimes seems to me that you don’t write words, only nuances.
    Mon dernier chapeau!


  7. Dear Sandra,

    The words ‘redeemable’ and ‘procedure’ gave me chills. Always happy to see you and your stunning writing.




  8. Colline says:

    Now I am curious about what they have been doing Sandra. This piece has a dystopian feel about it.


  9. Spooky. My mind can assume many different scenarios here, all of them bad. Well done.


  10. The alternative police. We can but imagine what’s going on. A chilling tale Sandra.

    Here’s mine!


  11. msjadeli says:

    Law and Order by the Overlords knows no bounds. You’ve woven a chilling tale showing it. Great work.


  12. granonine says:

    Chilling and mysterious, and I don’t even want to know. Excellent piece, Sandra.


  13. Dale says:

    I love how you lead us down a certain path but leave us to take whatever direction we want, none of which, this time, are not causing chills.
    Fabulously done, as per!


  14. Oy, spooky! I don’t like the feel of that place … 😉 Well done!


  15. michael1148humphris says:

    Reading this I found myself thinking about the countries slipping under dictators.


  16. You nailed this dystopian piece. Chilling.


  17. A very chilling story. Dystopian to the core. Your writing is par excellence, Sandra.


  18. draliman says:

    “Procedures” doesn’t sound too promising… 🙂


  19. bearmkwa says:

    Set up for a deeper, scarier story here. Sends the mind into wonderings and such. Great one!


  20. You created a frightening picture of vigilante justice and you did it in so few words. Masterfully done!


  21. Liz Young says:

    That’s a cold way to deal with them. We took different routes from the same title – or did we?


  22. plaridel says:

    i wonder where were heading, but it didn’t look promising.


  23. Quite mysterious and yet utterly chilling. ‘Procedures’, ‘window dressing’ blanket this story in a cold distant atmosphere.


  24. Russell says:

    This piece has a great feel all the way through!


  25. jwdwrites says:

    When I was a teenager we used to call the police vans that they rounded up the troublemakers in paddy wagons, though I don’t remember why. I am certainly curious as to what the setting for your story was, it made me think of Northern Ireland in the seventies for some reason! Well done, beautifully written and as usual you set a lofty bar!


  26. siobhan1967 says:

    I’m glad you’re back and this was a great piece to return with. Ominous and scarily prescient, judging by current attitudes.


  27. Sandra says:

    I think the term has mixed origins. Some say it was coined in America where the police force was heavily populated by the Irish, and hence it was their vehicle used for conveying criminals. Other origins say it originated from the nationality of the occupants. I’m sure neither use is politically correct in these ‘woke’ times. 🙂 Thanks for reading, I appreciated your comment.


  28. What’s left unsaid is very eerie!


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