Author's Note: Sorry I missed the other week, my laptop broke down with all my stories and I didn't have Microsoft on my other one.
The whole bus stopped abruptly and I had to hold the bacteria coated pole beside me to keep from falling off my chair. That being said, a few people standing up, toppled over and fell.
"Sorry, it's a bit icy." The bus driver grumbled apologetically behind his shoulder as people stood up and resumed their previous oblivious positions. "We're at Crossroads, anyone getting off?" He said a bit bored.
"Me." Riley said as she gathered her belongings and headed down the aisle. I followed her and muttered a soft, "Me too." We pulled our coats over our shoulders and watched as the bus continued its route and turned a corner, disappearing from view.
"So," I started, "this way I guess." I pushed my hands into my pockets and enjoyed the warmth. Riley smirked at me while I shivered.
"Forgot that it's December, Noah? Or are you too cool for gloves?" Riley laughed and pushed her black ringlets off her shoulder with a beige gloved hand. I grumbled under my breath but laughed along. Nature seemed to be truly merciless as a gust of wind wiped past us. I shivered under my blue coat and despite her winter readiness, so did Riley. We walked a little longer in silence and the sun seemed to finally realize it was time to wake up as it rose higher and higher under the snowy clouds. We trudged further up ahead the small sidewalk. Crossroads was a small funeral home located in complete and utter wilderness. We past a couple of trees when I realized something was different.
"Hey, Riley? Uh? Didn't we already go past these trees?" I asked, a little unsure.
"Oh no." Riley replied, "We didn't. It's just that these trees look the same." I looked to my left and stared at the crooked branches surrounding us. She was right, everything looked the same, from the strangled trees to the way the fog drifted near a certain area: it all felt repeated in a way.
"We must be close though, right?" I asked uncertain.
"Yeah." Riley said and smiled. A few minutes past in awkward silence when she asked, "So, care to share why you're going in more detail. I wouldn't go there if I had the choice, I can't imagine why you are . . ." then continued, "lots of sad memories probably." She squinted through the soft snow fall at me. I gazed at my shoes, feeling my pace and heart quicken.
"Well, my sister - she, well, isn't in her grave. Uh . . . she disappeared. I don't know. I'm confused. I don't understand and I can't come up with logical explanations." I closed my eyes slightly: no need for her to think it was raining on top of all.
"So, you want answers?" she asked gently.
"Yeah, that's it I guess. I thought your uncle's funeral home would be the place to start," I shrugged and started moving faster toward our destination. The frigid air was surrounding us and I couldn't feel my toes. We walked in serene silence a little longer until, in the distance, we spotted a small black house that had nothing going for it. It was dark, gloomy and verging on breaking, in other words: a cliche funeral home image. Covering the rooftop of the little, black house was a thick coat of white that was increasing with every half an hour. We neared the small picket fence surrounding the fragile building. The fence was broken and chipped: perfect for a funeral home.
We opened the gates and entered the grounds. The newly fallen snow lay sparkling and I almost felt bad stepping on it. The shutters were pulled tightly over the windows and the whole house looked ghostly.