George had difficulty transitioning to London. Chief among his troubles were the red double-decker buses.
They had no driver on the top.
The last time he rode on the top level, he curled into a ball, possessed by a fit of hysterics. An accountant from Notting Hill tried to soothe his fears, but George would have none of it. He howled, “But no one’s controlling the top! We’re gonna crash!”
The other passengers, otherwise calm and collected, stared at him with a mix of disdain and pity.
George spent a lot of money on cabs, and his feet were developing blisters.
Then one day, the extraordinary happened. A double-decker bus pulled to the curb. George could clearly see a driver on the top level. He climbed to the top, relaxed at last. He wasn’t spending mounds of quid and his aching feet got a rest. Feeling chipper, he struck up a conversation with the chatty upper-driver.
“So what’s the difference between a Striker and a Sweeper?” asked George.
The driver, was a long-time football fan and he began a detailed explanation. George’s belief that the upper-level needed a driver was so strong, and the driver’s fascination with football so complete, that something rather curious happened.
The driver wasn’t paying attention to where he was, and he made a wrong turn.
The top became disconnected from the bottom.
No screeching metal marked the departure from reality. The two bits simply followed different directions. The top level floated above the street, passing over cars. Three auto wrecks followed and people on the walks stared on in horror. George’s fellow passengers began screaming. Several curled up into balls, howling hysterically.
George, sitting nearby the upper-level driver was completely unaffected. “What’s wrong with them?” He nodded to his fellow passengers.
“Oh they probably just saw the score of the Liverpool/Newcastle match,” soothed the driver.
“Overly sensitive types, I’d say,” muttered George.
“Londoners have occasionally experienced sensitivity,” noted the driver.
The driver worked feverishly, all the while maintaining a conversation about fish & chips with George. Eventually, he located the bottom of the bus, surrounded by head-scratching London Police. Expertly, he steered the top back onto the bottom where they rejoined seamlessly.
A policeman fainted. A cyclist rode into the Thames. Onlookers in a pub, all ordered another pint.
George exited the bus and wondered what all the fuss was about. He muscled his way through the babbling onlookers. Arriving home, George started another article for the New Yorker about life in London entitled: The Sensitive Londoner.
Happy Easter! Written for the weekly Sunday Photo Fiction writing challenge. Look here for the original prompt and a blue link to many more of this week’s stories: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/sunday-photo-fiction-march-27th-2016/