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Freak City

by Tom Lichtenberg

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2010 Tom Lichtenberg

Smashwords Edition License Notes. This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

Chapter One

It's hard to control your destiny while you're waiting for the bus. It's especially hard when it's a Monday and it's way too early in the morning and it's cold and gray and windy out there on the commuter-ridden sidewalks.

Twenty two year old Argus Kirkham was lining up to get on board along with all the rest of them. He was trying his best to notice nothing and no one. Who were all those people anyway? A lot of them wearing suits or nice enough clothes, likely taking their professions all seriously with their cell phones at the ready, their critical path decisions to make, their lofty goals to set and achieve. Chances were those people weren't working at some Pay'n'Pay like Argus was. Crappy job. Crappy life.

Waiting for the bus. Thoughts were swirling around in his head like the cold fog out there on the avenues. At least the pack of passengers crowding together now the bus was visible down the street was providing some kind of warmth or at least the illusion. Feet were shuffling, papers folding up as they all congealed into a heap of anticipation.

The bus came rumbling up the road, it's wheezing and lurching and grinding making pretty much the only kind of noise out in the world at that time of the morning. Argus found himself in the middle of the pack, right behind a clutch of overly perfumed ladies and right in front of a recent smoker; the combination of odious odors might have been enough to sedate a wild cat.

As the bus reached the gaggle the jostling began, although everyone knew there was plenty of room and really no hurry at all. The bus wasn't going to rush off without everyone there getting on it first. Argus felt himself tilted from the left to the right, from the back to the front, and then suddenly elbowed in the side by a stubbly old man in a pea green overcoat who pushed his face right into Argus' neck and muttered something that sounded like 'Sorry, Charlie'.

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