“No Apparent Sadness” by Ashley Shelby

It is the same story, every morning, on the M104 downtown bus at nine forty-five. The bus pulls up to the bus stop, and the driver lowers the left side so the nannies can struggle up the steps with the fold-up strollers and the backpacks and the schoolbags and their purses and the kids too. The skinny blonde mothers stand in bunches and wait for their kids to find a seat. The kids plant themselves near windows and wave, their noses squished against the Plexiglas and no apparent sadness in their goodbyes.

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“The Big Cheese” by Beverly Lucey

I’m thinking how I’ve got friends. They just don’t take my bus. And the bus is a branch of Hell. Think about all these bricks of Kraft Cheddar at the Publix. Yellow. They all look alike. Inflate them. Put wheels on them. A whole network of Hell on wheels tooling around the entire country. Torturemobiles. Around here they call any school bus The Big Cheese. When you get to high school it’s way easier to get around taking them. Everyone knows someone with a license by then. Most of us would do anything to avoid stepping up onto these things, all lined up, idling. Waiting.

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