Sneaking in at the very last minute with my offering for Kat Avila's Tuesday Flash Fiction Train
Rita stood in the middle of the aisle, eyes squeezed shut. The screams no longer reached her ears and she shuddered in anguish at the result of her rage. The memories had flooded her mind, intermingled with the taunts of the old woman and other passengers.
She had let it overcome her.
A hand touched her shoulder then stroked her cheek.
She ignored the whisper, soft and warm as a summer’s breeze. But Walter would not be shunned.
“Rita, open your eyes. Look at me.”
“Nooo,” she sobbed, “I can’t look! I can’t!”
She could hear the people on the bus again. “What’s wrong with you, girly girl?” it was the screech of the old woman.
Again she heard the soft voice, “Hush now, Lucy. You haven’t walked in her steps. Go still yourself.”
As Rita finally opened her eyes, she saw the old woman trudge to an empty seat. The bus moved steadily down the street, the passengers still staring at her, but without the hostility she remembered. There was no blood, no shattered windows. No one screamed.
Rita looked back to Walter, “I thought…I thought I killed them!”
“You almost did.” Walter said, “but you stopped before it became real. You chose life over death.”
Walter smiled at her. “Because you are stronger than the coven. They couldn’t control you as easily as they thought.”
“But the memories, the pain.”
“Lies. All of it.”
Rita shook her head in confusion, it had seemed so real. But as she tried to recall the fear and hate, the feelings faded.
“You are free, Rita.” As he turned to go, Walter looked back one more time, “See you in my dreams.”