The shaken and shocked driver pulled the damaged bus into the dark backstreet behind a pub and clambered out, his legs trembling violently beneath him. Pulling his bomber jacket collar up, he rounded the corner and entered the jaunty, loud establishment which was his daily haunt. The air thick with cigarette smoke.
He pushed his way to the bar, squeezing between two chunky men seated on unsteady barstools. He slid money to the barman and ordered a neat whiskey.
It was well past midnight when the barman served him his last drink. "No more whiskey for you, John. You get your drunken ass home now, you hear." John sculled the last of his drink with a nod and slammed the glass down on the bar. "You need a ride?" the barman asked taking the dirty glass from the bar.
"Maybe I'll walk, Bryce", John got off the chair unsteadily.
"Need to clear that head of yours, aye?"
"Something like that" John replied. He pushed the door open and walked out into the chilly night. He turned into the backstreet where he'd parked the bus. He approached its dark silhouette apprehensively. He could see Paul's wild, shocked eyes staring back at him accusingly. He blinked into the dark night, and something ahead of him blinked red and blue.
A couple of men in uniform were standing by the bus that was parked in a no parking zone. John was tempted to turn on his heel and walk back into the pub, but unfortunately for him, Officer Kent had already spotted him.
"John, you haven't been driving under the influence, have you?" he asked observing the damaged front of the bus, whilst keeping John within his sight.
John nervously cleared his throat, clenching his clammy palms, and tried to stand as straight as his drunken self would allow. "No", he replied.
"You drive this bus?" Kent asked, putting away his notepad. John was at a loss for words and simply nodded. "Humph. Sam reported the bus missing early this morning."
"Yeah, that'd be right."
"So, how'd this happen, John?" Kent asked, pointing at the front right corner of the bus where the damage from the crash had occurred.
"Err...an animal, tried to avoid it...couldn't help crash into a tree though", John slurred, swaying on the spot.
Kent nodded, eying up the soused man. "You're not planning on driving this tonight, now, are you?"
"No" John replied, rather too quickly. "Thought I'd catch a cab home, maybe..."
"Out here on the back street?"
"Err...just checking up on the bus, you know, to see if it's all locked up and that. Sam'd kill me if it were stolen and shit..."
"That'd be right." Kent considered the man for a while. "You need a lift home? Come on then, John, let's take you home."
YOU ARE READING
In Strange Company (**Complete**)Teen Fiction
Clare Peterson is rich, confident and beautiful, but even she knows money can't rescue her from her loneliness. As an unremarkable year draws to an end, she is shipped off to a ski trip in the company of strangers; her father's idea of love, but tor...