Innocent Monsters

June had lost her shoe again, and in the frantic rush to get out the door for the 6.58 bus, meant that there would be a lot rushing for the rest of the day.

Today was market day, and it was when her little stall did its biggest sales. People from all over the town popped down for a catch up on the local goings-on and to take home some freshly baked bread, with that lovely crispy crust and some fresh fish from the local fishmonger.

There it was, under the pair of jeans she had thrown in the corner on Wednesday after she got back from the stables.

Shoes on, and rush out the door. The time was 6.49 and that meant a quick trot was required to get there before the bus arrived. If it was Gerald or Mike on the number 36, they would wait for her, but any of the others would stick rigidly to the timetable.

As June rounded the corner, the bus was just turning onto the street. She put her arm out to signal she wanted it to stop as she ran towards the bus stop.

June was still out of breath when she sat down on the seat near the back beside the window and took a further 3 stops before she had calmed down.

It was then she noticed on the floor beside her feet a little hands reaching into her bag. She slowly turned around and look over the back of the chair and there was a young child completely under the seat stretched out on their stomach. 

She turned back and bent over to tickle the little hand that was undoing the zip of her bag. A little giggle came from under the chair and then a small face appeared.

“Hello” June said.

The little girl giggled again and then darted back under the chair. This caused the child’s mother to look up and come rushing round to the chair behind June’s and pull the child up.

“I’m so sorry. I’m a little distracted today.” the lady apologised.

“Please, don’t worry, mine were always wandering about finding themselves mischief to get into,” June replied.

The lady looked tired, and as she dusted down the front of the little girls dress she said, “Would you like to sit your daughter here for a little while so you can get some rest?”

The girl’s mother smiled a little and told June she would be alright and took her back to the seat they were sitting on.

June turned back to the window and watched the cars and people going by. Funny how we have changed so much in society, she thought. We can’t even help each other out any more such is the fear of strangers.

And who are the strangers? We are all people living on the same planet and why should we feel so isolated from everyone.

She despised feeling that the world had turned her and everyone else into a monster. Into something to be feared and not to be engaged with under any circumstances.

Fictional Story by Maurice Randall

for April 2021 Newsletter