Waiting For the Bus

Ankh Ascendant

It was a dark and stormy night.

As portents went, it was a pretty poor one. In London, all nights were dark, and a fair number of them were stormy, or at least soggy. All the significance the twins attached to the weather was to bring an umbrella between them, which they shared under a street light on a corner. It was doing them very little good.

"Miserable," said one.


If one got close enough, one could see that they were fraternal twins, not identical, because one had blue eyes and one had green. They were not the sort of green and blue that were easily taken for one another, either, but a really bright icy blue and a really verdant sort of green, which was about as far from blue as green could get without being yellow. Despite the eyes, however, they looked rather more alike than brothers usually did; they had the same auburn hair in the same wispy ponytails, and they wore the same light jeans (rather, two pairs of the same kind of jeans, since both pairs were somewhat too tight to fit two people comfortably), and the same blue tee shirts (ditto). They leaned against each other in exactly the same sort of pose, which was both lazy and utterly contrived. In short, they may not, in fact, have been identical, but they did a very good job of pretending to be.

"Cold," said the blue-eyed one, who was also the one who had made the genius observation about the weather being 'miserable'. He was full of such pearls of wisdom – he was, for example, excellent at declaring a pot of boiling water to be 'hot', and chips to be 'salty', but only after he had tasted them to be sure.

"Yeah," said the green-eyed one, just as he had said before. He was likewise excellent at agreeing with his brother on such occasions, though once in a while he too had to taste the chips, just to be certain.

Neither of them had brought a coat. Sometimes they were identically dense.

"I wish the bus would get here. It's late."

"Yeah, I had noticed. I don't think we'll freeze, though. We can wait."

They waited a few more minutes, leaning close to one another beneath the flimsy shelter of the umbrella, growing steadily more miserable. Their misery was not quite identical; blue eyes peered anxiously down one side of the street, and green eyes looked steadily up the other.

"Could have had a break down," said the one with blue eyes miserably. "Or a flat. Or an accident."

"Could have, I suppose."

"Might not be coming at all."

"That's true."

Silence fell again, inasmuch as silence is composed of the sounds of wind, rain, and general city noises heard from a medium distance.

The wind shifted direction slightly, and they both got a little bit wetter and just a touch more miserable.

The blue-eyed twin huffed. "I've had enough of this," he said. "Let's walk it."

"Yeah," the other agreed, trying to turn the umbrella into a shield against the rain. "Of course, it'll be funny if the bus shows up after we've left," he said as they stepped into the street.

It did. As bad a job as the umbrella was doing to keep out the rain, it was even worse at holding off a bus.

Their names were Dominic and Dmitri, and they had both just died.