Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

Emily Dickinson

Rachael was sitting on the bus reading a book when it suddenly stopped. She looked up wondering if they had arrived at their destination. They had not. Curious she looked around the bus at the other passengers. They seemed to be unaware of what was going on as well.

"Sorry folks, we seem to be having technical difficulties," the bus driver chuckled. With that he opened the bus door and went outside. Rachael went back to her book.

Sometime later a man stepped back on the bus. She had assumed it was the bus driver until she realized a couple of other men had followed him. All of them looked like they had come out of a novel. As they slowly walked down the aisle she studied their features. Pale all of them. Beautiful for they could not be called handsome and tall for their presence was suffocating.

He sat down beside her; blankness graced his features. Vampire she thought.

He smirked and she realized that he had heard her thoughts. To his surprise, however, she was not scared merely curious. She had no reason to be afraid for she knew what he was, and with that knowledge she gained power.

For a long while they did nothing but stare at each other. She could not seem to look away from this creature. It was not for lack of trying, for she did not want to try. Rachael gladly took all the time he gave her to take in his features, to study what his eyes told her. She was amazed to realize that he did indeed have a soul, however tarnished it may be.

At this he looked away, obviously having read her mind. Rachael could not decipher what emotion it was this creature was feeling, she tilted her head sideways in thought.

"I have a name," he said quietly.

Ah, Rachael thought, that elusive emotion had been timidity.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Jayden," he replied.

She smiled softly and reached out to touch his face. He shied away.

Rachael began to laugh almost imperceptibly, to his ears though it was clear.

"Why do you laugh?" He questioned. It seemed she was in no position to mock him, for she knew very well why he was sitting beside her this day. He could read it in her thoughts.

"Because," she stated, "When given the chance to face death: laugh in his face, weep by his side and question his intentions."

"And would you hold his hand while you fade away?" He asked.

"Yes," she replied, "It is better to go to the uncertain with a companion, than it is to walk into the unknown alone."

He studied her face for a little while; she could not read his thoughts.

"Everyone is dead," he stated suddenly, referring to the people on the bus. It was then he realized that she had begun to weep.

"I know," she whispered. Jayden was taken aback to learn this. She had, if fact, noticed what had been going on around her, though her gaze had never left his face. Now only the two of them remained on the bus.

He extended his hand for her to take, "Rachael, will you accompany into the Valley of the Shadow of Death?" he asked quietly.

She nodded her head and took hold of his hand. Together they exited the bus.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.