Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are advance, pander and shuffle. Something short and, well, not so sweet.

Penitence
He shuffles on aging legs, the soles of his shoes making a shish-shish sound from the course sandpaper he’s glued there.
The bus lurches from the curb and passengers use the rocking motion to stash bags, adjust their asses to the hard plastic seats.
Once moving, he starts to dance, scuffing the sandpaper across the aisle, the wide cuffs of his maroon trousers swishing to the sound.
In a rich baritone, he breaks into “You are My Sunshine.”
He moves down the aisle, shaking a brown paper lunch bag at eye-level as he sings, nodding when someone drops in their pocket change into the bag, it’s top edges carefully folded down.
“The other night dear, as I lay sleeping…”
He’s pandering hard to all the passengers, yet he seems to target the women especially hard, smiling as he sings, a gap-toothed grin that’s altogether creepy.
He locks eyes on one passenger, swings his head back and forth as he sings, advances.
She’s uncomfortable.
He knows, he always knows.
“I dreamed I held you in my arms…”
He shakes the bag where only she can peer in, getting a glimpse of the yellowed bones of a tiny fetus.
“When I awoke dear, I was mistaken,” he sings, a snarl replacing the smile. “And I hung my head and cried.”
Tears streaming down her cheeks, she tosses a balled up $20 into the sack, pleading with her eyes for him to move along.
Smiling again, he’s already locked eyes on his next target.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

14 comments:

Leonard Blumfeld said...

Certainly not uplifting, as you say yourself, but good!

jaerose said...

'he always knows'..maybe that's more frightening than the baby in the bag..power comes in many shapes and forms - even if you have to wear sandpaper on your shoes to make a noise..I shall remember this bus ride..Jae

R.S. Bohn said...

Whoa. Intense. This would've made a great Halloween story!

Unique and unpredictable. Loved it.

asuqi said...

Wow!

Short, potent and deeply disturbing! I really liked it =)

Michael Solender said...

wild and lots of emotive punch.

Greyscale Territory said...

The image in the bag, so deftly included, creates a churning nausea. A very tense, unique drama with froth and bubble and a good dose of contaminating lead!

Rinkly Rimes said...

There's a lot unsaid there...... very powerful.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Twisted and disturbing. Glad to see you're still in fine form! :-)

Ramesh Sood said...

There are people..who not only know but also get their targets..

Dee Martin said...

Nobody does creepy like you. I enjoy seeing what boundaries you will push, shuffling right up to the edge and peering over as you make us look with you...

Deanna Schrayer said...

Fabulously creepy story Thom! This is one that will stick with me for a while.

Quin Browne said...

The epitome of creepy.

Nice.

Donna Hole said...

Dude, you took one of my favorite happy songs and turned it into a macob parody.

And . . I liked it.

I like ordinary, favorite things that can be used to creep me out.

Well done.

......dhole

Hal Johnson said...

Eff me to tears that was creepy.