Kids on a School Bus

In a tragic accident, a school bus carrying 30 school children crashed. Many, including the driver, died. But each have their own story to tell. And here it is. Just for you.


2. Alfie

He was quiet, considerably more transparent than the rest. He sauntered up behind me and timidly tugged my sleeve. I inspected him, the small boy with the hollow, sunken eyes and the damp, matted hope. “Excuse me, Sir,” He croaked at me, his chin lifted quite innocently. “We’re… we’re never going back there, are we, Sir?” It was said quite adamantly. More of a statement, a realisation of the truth, than a question. “We won’t be going back.” I answered softly. “Then I suppose… I suppose that I won’t be able to say goodbye to my Grandfather, will I, sir?”

“Oh, I expect you’ll meet your Grandfather very soon, Alfred. But for now,” I said, placing him on my shoulders, “You can tell me your story.”


It was sunny, the day that Alfie died. Alfie and his Grandfather were the first to know this. The dew-kissed grass tickled Alfred’s bare feet as he walked, hand in hand with his Grandfather, out towards the great Oak tree in their back-yard. “The sun is out, Alf, my son!” His Grandfather exclaimed, throwing his hands up in a grateful gesture to providence. Alfie felt a smile, crawling along his face. He did not have to think about the hardship he thought that he would have to face at school that day. He was not scathed by the bullies that haunted the corridors of his school, who would rip open his back-pack and pour out the contents onto the floor, who would pin him to lockers or lock him in girl’s toilets. At the moment, he was laughing with an old-man who loved him more than anything else in the world. And Alfie loved him back. Their souls smiled. “Not a cloud in the sky today.” His Grandfather remarked. Alfred crept behind him, with a battered and semi-deflated footballl in his hand. “Beautiful weather for a spot of footie…” He suggested, presenting the items that he had recovered from behind the bins. The old-man smiled. “Perhaps not now,” He retorted, gesturing towards their night-wear clothing. “But I promise that we will once you get home.”

His mother had thrown out a uniform, quite carelessly on his bed. It was starched and ironed and pristine and Alfred hated it. It was as though he still had to dress well for school, a place that spat on him as soon as he crossed it's threshold. It reminded him that, as a loser, he had to bow down to his betters. Or they would trample on him.

Alfie recalled the events of the day before and his lunchtime run in with the "in-crowd". The corridors were swarming with people, who had just dispersed out of their lessons. Alfie tried to look inconspicuous. Surely, people wouldn't bother to pick him out- in a crowd, your status as a loser or a popular cannot be determined. He ambled across to his locker, twisted the lock and placed his books inside. He felt a hand wrap around his waist, dragging him closer to a familiar owner: Yardley Timmons. "Hey!" She wined and then paused. "Oh, it's you, Alfie-boo! Should've known, you look like a girl anyway." She cackled and Alfie could see that her cronies were in close pursuit. Yardley pinned him to the locker and kneed him in the groin, bluntly. "Yep," She clarified to all around her, once Alfred winced in writhing pain. "He's a boy, people. Nothing to worry!" The six behind her laughed and Robert McKinley emerged from the crowd, grabbing Alfie's wrist. "Come on gay boy," He whispered. "Let's get funky!" Alfie laughed it off: it was quite pathetic as he may as well have been laughing at himself. "Ok, joke's over. I've got homework to do." Alfie retorted, slumping his back-pack over his bruised shoulder. Big mistake. The crowd howled at him and clapped. It was primitive, animal-like. "No, gay boy!" Robert moaned, viciously snatching Alfie's arm. "Come with us. We want to play." Alfie struggled, but he was heavily out-numbered and out-flanked. For too long, Alfie had clung onto hope. Now, his hands were festered with blisters and sores from hanging on too long. He slipped and lost his grip and gave in.


Alfie rifled through his bedside drawer and produced his mobile phone: it was truly knackered, the chrome plated sides scathed and scratched. It was his Mum’s old phone so it was not a new, fancy model or anything. He turned it on with a sense of sweaty trepidation. His heart leapt as a swirl of pixelated abuse hurled out at him. It was worse than usual.

Alfie’s facebook account was swarming with fiery traps; his text traipsed with hurtful messages from unknown numbers. Alfie closed his eyes. It was a sticky, hazy, morphed feeling that tensed him up inside. I need to delete that account, he thought. But by deleting that account it would mean failing. It would mean that his little corner of humanity would become dank and dusty and unused. He scrolled through the feed on his profile wall with a tingling foreboding. Yardley Timmons had posted a video of Alfie running in P.E with a caption of: ALFRED THE GREAT-THE GREAT BIG GIRL, THAT IS! LMFAO!! Alfie watched the video and turned quite pale. The video depicted him, lagging behind the other boys during the 200m. He looked sickly and pathetic, drunk with a kind of wasting fatigue. What sickened him the most was the fact that it had received almost 30 “likes”. He didn’t even want to inspect the thread of comments attached. Another post was directed at him personally. It was from Veronica Thompson, in the year above him. It said: LOL I REMEMBER WEN ALFIE ASKD ME OUT IN YR 7 AND I THOUGHT HE WOZ A GURL!! LOL! I WOZ LYK EWWWWWW!! LMFAO BRUVVVVVVV :D

Alfie threw the mobile phone across the room. In fact, it was no longer a phone to him. It was a plague ridden germ, that spread malice and... reality. It’s a reality check, he thought to himself, a reminder. A reminder that I’m a loser.

He retrieved it and checked the text messages. There were multiple ones, from one unknown number.









Stop, he winced inwardly, Stop, just. Please. Please. He took his packed school bag and descended the stairs and put on his shoes and grabbed a slice of toast and kissed his mum goodbye and waved at his Grandfather who was snoozing off his morning groginess and opened the door and closed the door and... He will never ever do any of those things again. Alfie is dead.

His Mum ran out of the house for Alfie, his jacket cradled in her arms, a hairbrush in the other. "Alfie!" She cried at him, waving the jacket with her free arm. "Alf, babe! Take you're jacket just in case." She was still clad in a bathrobe and as a well-brought up woman, she didn't dare to cross the threshold of the house in that attire. "It's fine, Mum." He protested and waved at her before turning away. " Hang on, young man!" It was a crackling shriek. "Lemme' give you a lift. I'll be ready in 2 minutes, yeah?" Alfie sighed deeply and brushed off any remnants of toast-crumbs that were velcroed to his uniform. They both knew that the school bus was turning the corner and would arrive soon, waiting to pick him up. The last thing that Alfie needed was a spectacle. "Nah. No thanks, Mum. I think I'll take the bus." He smiled at her but his heart was heavy with sadness. He knew that she loved him, but he sometimes hated her for it. The fact that he had someone who cared for him- someone who would absorb his pain. He didn't want anyone to have that burden. 

Alfie acknowledged the driver, a scrunched, scrimpish old man with a hunch. There were cackles of dirty laughter everywhere. Alfie sat on an empty bench row and began to think. There was a time when Alfie was popular. He remembered a small little girl with red hair  who he would push over and kick and steal from and always put the blame on. But then there was another time... a time when his Mother and Father began to argue. A time when his Father got angry at them and would hurt Alfred. A time when his Father made his Mother bleed and bleed. Alfie remembered when his Mother had to sell the house and they all moved into a smaller one, a long way away from Alfie's friends and old school. That was when it all began. Looks like that new kid syndrome has been taking it's toll for a bit too long, He often thought.

At the next stop, Melissa Cortman got on. She came and sat next to Alfie. Yardley Timmons came on too. "Eww!" She recoiled when he saw Alfie and Melissa sitting next to each other. "Two little stinkies, sitting in a tree! Get a room!" Alfie slumped and blushed but Melissa did not move. "I'm sorry," She replied, quite ferociously. "You're speaking. What makes you think I care about the bull that comes out of your mouth?" Yardley smirked- she was defeated, but thought best to wash it off. "Whatever, stink-bot." And she returned to her seat at the back.

The bus turned onto the main road. "I, um, That, that was... Thank you." Alfie spluttered at her. "I wish I could come up with comebacks like that." Melissa looked him in the eye and laughed. Not at him. She laughed with him. In perfect harmony.

Then the bus turned onto the main road.

The driver two chevrons ahead broke unexpecteadly and his van swurved outwards. He was old- the school bus driver. His youth was behind him, his reflexes not what they used to be. He didn't break in time.

The bus crashed and flipped over, flying in mid-air.

But this bird was shot.

And fell.






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