It was fairly late at night at the covered bus stop. The moon glowed softly through the over-cast sky, and a chilly winter breeze rolled over the empty roadway. Streetlamps from the parking lot behind it cast faint orange hues, enough to make out the advertisement panels on the sides.
Arlene Sumter sat quietly waiting for the last bus to take her home.
Arlene was an ordinary woman.
Her hobbies included some nerd stuff and tv shows - but that was popular these days anyway. She was a bit on the curvy side, with wavy dark brown hair and golden hazel eyes.
Arlene sat on the lonely bench, clad in her black work slacks and green empire top wrapped in a blue plush hoodie. At her side was her large travel purse which was big enough to confuse for a diaper bag.
She worked at the warehouse directly behind the bus stop. This evening marked the final day of inventory. As Loss Prevention manager, she had to stay until every single tiny crack and crevice of supply and product had been sorted and accounted for.
Finally after weeks of prep work, a tirade of long arduous shifts terrorizing her sleep schedule, she could go home and relax for the next few days. Thankfully next week would begin her normal work hours.
Tuesday was a full three days away. 73 hours of stay-cation awaited her back at the apartment.
Pure, unadulterated, glorious relaxation time for the first time in almost a month.
So there she waited. All alone in the chilly, dim orange glow.
Peering occasionally down the road for the beautiful light show that was the bus. (Light show of course being an exaggeration for the signature fog lights, side signals and lit route sign on top.)
A few cars zoomed by, but traffic was sparse this time of night.
About 20 minutes into waiting and Arlene was beginning to question if she should call a cab to take her home.
Despite rational thinking, her pride insisted that she take the bus because it was less expensive.
If she were being honest, she could walk home, but her legs were already throbbing from standing and moving around all day. If not for the cold, she would have kicked off her black sneakers and let her feet breathe for the first time since dawn.
Quite frankly, the only thing on her mind was to get home, drop everything, lock the door and go collapse on her bed.
Pajamas were optional at this point. She was so damn tired that she'd sleep in her work clothes.
Absently she craned her neck to peer down the four lane road, yet again, in hopes of seeing the bus in the distance. A sigh escaped her at the sight of a single set of taillights from a small car that passed by a couple minutes before.
At this rate it would be midnight before she got home.
Arlene leaned back into the metal bench. A stiff breeze caused her to draw her hood over her head and lean towards the advertisement panel to block the wind.
Unfortunately, the microfiber of the inner lining made her even more comfortable.
And every ounce of her began to settle.
Sleep descended on her hastily, and less important thoughts began to run into one another.
Before she could stop herself, sleep made her eyelids droop until she dozed off.
A car suddenly passed by and she found herself jolted awake.
With a sudden sniff she sat up and looked around, spotting the offending vehicle and groaned. Every aspect of her body was telling her to sleep, but her mind was fighting tooth and nail.
Next thing she knew she'd nodded off again.
This time she rolled her head awake enough to reason with herself that a nap was not a bad thing.
Against her better judgment - she decided to succumb to her desire for rest.
At least until the bus came.
The roar of the engine was bound to wake her up, so she surmised she needn't worry about setting an alarm.
The soft cushion of her jacket was just so warm and comfortable against the cool winter breeze that she couldn't stop as her body instinctively leaned against the cool plastic advertisement panel and sunk into a cozy slumber.
Minutes passed in peace, however unbeknownst to her…she was not alone.
From the atop the awning a humanoid shadow silently climbed down until it met the ground. It was crouched against the advertising panel and cautiously peeked around to look at her.
At the sight of her sleeping, a smile curved onto its face, revealing a large set of incisors. Red eyes glinted in the darkness, glistening from far off headlights.
"What a lovely, delicious looking creature we have here…" no sooner had the words left his mouth, the creature stood and examined her with hungry eyes.
Arlene was sound asleep as he approached.