Behind the Scenes: The Bus Runs on Time

22 08 2011

I’ve always been fascinated by stories of people who find themselves in what appears to be an alternate dimension or time period.  I was ruminating on this topic while riding the bus one day and watching some of the regulars get on at each stop.  I started thinking that these characters that I was seeing every day might make good characters for a story and thus The Bus Runs on Time was born.

I had been reading a lot of Stephen King short stories at the time I started writing The Bus.  A lot of the stuff that happens in King’s stories defy explanation.  In fact, if you attempted to explain some of the weird goings on, you lose some of the wonder.  I never explain how the bus driver gets himself into the predicament, but that is part of the fun.  He has no idea and neither should the reader.

All of the people, apart from the bus driver, are based on real people.  Even the demon that shows up on the route is based on an improbable woman I saw while riding the bus.  The old woman with the hovering cane and the two young professionals are all based on people who rode my bus at the time.  The tough gentleman is based on a conglomeration of several people.

Most of the locations are completely from my head except for the break room at the bus depot and the stop at which the scary woman departs.  The break room is drawn from one I’ve visited at a naval installation on Indian Island in Washington State.  The last stop is based on one of the stops my bus makes.

There is nothing too deep about the story, it’s just a fun romp through the paranormal.  I think it also serves to illustrate where writers can sometimes get their inspiration from.

As always if you have questions about The Bus Runs on Time, just pose it in the comments section and I’d be happy to answer them.  I will keep the identities of the people represented in the story private as well as the bus line.  I don’t want mega-pold fans riding the bus to try to identify who the characters in my story are based on.

If you are interested, I recorded a reading of this story in downloadable form for those of my readers who would like to be listeners as well.  The link is on the Fiction page of this website.




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