TITLE: The Blue Jay
GENRE: MG Fantasy
The bus rolled across the pavement like a living thing, its bright yellow sides warning of danger. I stood on the sidewalk, watching the beastly vehicle inch closer, ready to swallow me whole. There was no avoiding my fate. I was doomed.
Images whirled through my mind, escaping through the cracks of my willpower as I tried to get a grip on them, predicting a disastrous chain of events. The bus crashing into a truck, rolling down a hill, landing on its back, underbelly exposed, until an explosion engulfs it in flames. The sensible part of my brain knew the chances of that happening were almost zero, but the part that insisted on imagining the worst wouldn’t see reason.
In the real world, a squeal of brakes signaled the bus’s arrival. The doors hissed open. The long line of kids in front of me began filing up the steps, laughing and joking as if our very lives weren’t hanging in the balance.
My heart rate accelerated from race car to jet plane.
Mom would say I was being dramatic.
Kyle would call me a wimp.
Anna would offer to let me borrow her stuffed lion to give me courage. Like I was a baby.
There were only two kids in front of me now. One.
I stopped just shy of the door, staring at the black rubber stripes lining the steps. My mind went through its usual routine of trying to find a way out.