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When I awoke, I found myself sitting in the front seat of a bus. I glanced at the window beside me, but all I could see was pitch black darkness. The bus’s engine was rumbling, but I couldn’t tell if the bus was in motion. There was no driver, I noticed as I looked straight ahead, and there was a metal wall where the windshield should be. Written on the wall in a red-brown substance were three lines of words. They read:
Do Not Turn Around
Do Not Speak
Do Not Lie
I knew that I wasn’t dreaming. I looked behind me, not sure if I would be relieved if there happened to be someone else in the bus with me. I saw no one. All of the seats were empty. As I turned back to face the front of the bus, I heard a large bang against the wall, as if the bus had hit something. On the wall, where there were once three lines of text, now only had two: Do Not Speak and Do Not Lie.
I held my breath, immediately recalling that the first line warned not to turn around. My stomach churned and I started feeling nauseous as I looked up at the wall. Wondering if I had only imagined the first line of text, I turned around again to make sure no one may have been hiding under a seat, but before I stood up to check, I saw a large figure sitting at the back of the bus.
I ducked behind the seat-back, my heart pounding rapidly. I had only looked for about a second, but slowly the image of the figure I saw took form in my mind. It was a giant cricket, sitting on its abdomen with its legs crossed. I threw up on the floor, still ducking at my seat. I was terrified. I tried to open the window but it wouldn’t nudge, despite there being no visible lock. I pounded on the window and shouted for help. Suddenly, the engine shut off. I could hear nothing but my own breathing and heartbeat. I waited to catch my breath, and listened to see if I could hear any noise from the opposite end of the bus. I heard nothing.
I was ready to run to the doors of the bus and try to push my way out through them, but when I faced the front end of the bus, I was once again greeted with missing text. Do Not Speak was no longer written on the wall, and only Do Not Lie remained. Was I in a twilight zone? Was I really dreaming and simply living the most realistic nightmare I had ever experienced? I asked myself these questions, trying to calm myself, but I recalled the cricket I saw sitting behind me. The first time I turned around, nothing was there, but when I took a second look the cricket appeared. Of course, it was only a glance, so maybe I had just imagined it, as well as the writing on the wall. I didn’t want to turn around, but as I sat there, I feared that if a figure was there, it would approach and attack me soon. I slowly peaked from the side of my seat and immediately regretted it. I could very clearly see the cricket was now standing on its back legs. It was about five feet tall and its eyes were the size of baseballs. I cursed to myself and began to hear the chirps of crickets. They were faint, but they were definitely coming from inside the bus.
“Who are you?” I asked.
The chirping rather than stopping when I shouted multiplied. I was sweating heavily, still glued to my seat.
“Please, leave me alone!”
The sounds grew louder. I started to cry, but very quickly my sobs were drowned out with the chorus of thousands of cricket sounds. My head was pounding, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I stood up and looked back at the cricket. It stood, a few seats closer now, staring at me. Sitting behind the cricket were what appeared to be people with their faces bitten off. I slowly walked backwards towards the bus doors, keeping eye contact with the giant insect. Once I was beside the doors, I turned to kick them open. They didn’t budge. As I turned back, I saw that the cricket was now several seats closer than before. All of the seats behind it were occupied by people whose heads had been chewed up. I quickly jumped back into my seat. I poked my head up and cried as I saw the cricket was now only a few seats away from me. I crawled to the floor and sat on my vomit. When I looked up, the giant bug was now behind my seat, staring down at me. My whimpers were inaudible. My eardrums popped as the bug stood over me and the chirps raged. I was afraid to look away or hide under the seat, because the thing could very easily appear beside me if I so much as glanced away for a second. I wanted to close my eyes, but that same fear of being attacked kept my eyes stuck on the cricket.
I put my arms before me to protect myself, waiting to be devoured. The cricket slowly began to raise one of its legs and reached down towards me. Attached to the leg was a sheet of paper. It shook the paper off, and it fell on my lap. I looked down at the paper, and saw a question read:
“Are you going to die now?”
I closed my eyes shut and covered my ears. Sobbing profusely, I nodded my head.