Emily’s nostrils were being pummeled with the sharpness of her neighbor’s perfume. She must have bathed in it this morning. Every breath through her nose felt like an inhalation of nails into her sinuses. She tried to breathe through her mouth but she still felt under attack. The woman’s nails were painted a crisp red. They reflected the light from the bus windows evenly. Two bangles rested on the woman’s wrist just below her black and white plaid jacket. More bobbles spilled out from under her scarf and hair. Why was this woman riding the bus? Her lipstick matched her nails. She was reminded of the movie “Working Girl” The movie with the big hair and shoulder pads from the 80’s. At the next stop she moved upwind next to an open window. It was further from the door but it gave her a better view of the street.

Emily felt a little nauseous all the same.  She could feel the perfume like lead in her veins. What weird chemicals were in the perfume? The woman, formerly known as her neighbor, pulled out a compact and refreshed her mascara and lipstick. Emily prayed that the woman would get off at the next stop. She turned to view the back of the bus. She hadn’t been as observant this morning. She didn’t see anyone that caught her eye. She’d been riding buses for three days, only exiting on the last loop to wash in a late night diner bathroom. A different route everyday. She didn’t have a pattern just walked around until a bus approached. The perfumed woman stood up as if preparing to leave the bus. Good, Emily sighed with relief until the woman grabbed the pole next to her and leaned to look out the window. Then the crazy woman actually took out her perfume and reapplied. The woman missed her target unless Emily was her target.  She felt her muscles seize up. Red drops landed on her hand and she sagged into her seat. The woman reached over and pulled the stop cord. The bus slowed. The woman leaned into Emily slipped an arm under hers and gently led her off the bus into the waiting arms of two thugs who stood next to a black SUV.


Set your timer for 10 minutes and write everyday. It doesn’t have to be good. It just needs to be done. 

About the author

Carley Hibbert

I just finished writing my first novel The Villain's Assistant. I'm preparing to submit it to an interested publisher.

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