An Ordinary Bus Ride

To blatantly rip off a much better known writer, “This may have really happened; I’m not sure.
But I do know that if it did in fact happen, it didn’t happen to me.”

The way I remember it, I was riding in the last seat on a public bus and this passenger got on. It was, I kid you not, a cardboard box with two legs sticking out of the bottom, wearing slightly transparent white hose. You know how sometimes in grocery stores or the neighborhood mom-and-pop store, they will slit a box in half to use it as a display tray for the merchandise inside? Well, this “passenger” was one of those boxes, but it was walking around with its own full-sized woman’s legs. As I stared, it strutted to the bench seat across the back of the bus, turned around, and sat.

I spent the whole time the box-with-legs was seated next to me staring at it/them and trying to figure out how such a thing could be possible. The box was obviously not deep enough for a full-sized woman to be walking under it, and yet there were these legs sticking out of it. There didn’t appear to be a visible top to the hosiery sticking out of the box, so I guess it was pantyhose rather than stockings. But, was the box some kind of portal to another dimension? Maybe a woman somehow got stuck in the middle of transferring from one to the other? Or something…

I also noticed, to my surprise, that not only was the hosiery itself translucent, but apparently so were the legs inside them. I couldn’t really see through the hose that well, but the image I saw through the hosiery was definitely that of the seat under it. So this box-thing was walking, not with its own legs, but its own hosiery with no legs in them?

While I sat there and tried to figure this out, another male passenger who had been sitting and staring at these very shapely legs like they were something to eat reached out to feel the legs. I guess he figured that if there was no upper body, there was no one to protest or react. It was a much bolder action that I would have taken; in the face of weirdness, I will usually sit and mind my own business, if I can help it. Sometimes I can’t…

The guy who reached out for the stockings sticking out of the box? Well, for him that decision was an unfortunate miscalculation, because as soon as his fingers made contact with the apparently empty hosiery, his hand was slashed by something neither of us could see. The poor fool yelled and pulled his hand back. I didn’t see any visible sign that he had been cut, but from his yell I have to guess he was in some kind of pain. He got up and marched in disgust to an empty seat closer to the front of the bus.

Even though I saw what had just happened to my fellow passenger, for some reason I felt bold enough to reach for the legs myself, thinking that the box or whatever it is must be able to see, since it turned around right in front of an empty seat and sat down. It must have seen the expression on the guy’s face and didn’t like it. I was curious, but not, um, hungry, at least not like him. I finally did reach out and stroke the stockings, causing them to twitch and to shift their position a bit, but without doing anything to me or causing anything to happen to me.

I rang for my stop about ten blocks after the guy who’d been slashed got off, and noticed immediately that the box-thing uncrossed its “legs” and stood up as if to get off also. I’d had someplace definite to go — that’s why I was on the bus — but when I saw this mystery creature stand and prepare to get off the bus, all thoughts of what I had been about to do just left me, as I decided to follow this creature and see what it (or “she?”) was up to.

When the bus stopped, I stepped aside and gestured for the box creature to get off first, mostly out of curiosity so I could watch from behind. And, sure enough, as the box-creature descended the steps, the movement of its hosed legs told me that they had to be attached to something “inside” the box, though that was visually impossible. Again I began thinking that the box was some kind of portal, with the rest of the woman on the other side of it. Made me think of an episode of the original Twilight Zone, where a little girl fell out of bed and phased through the wall into some other dimension, leaving her family to figure out how to get her back before the invisible hole in the wall closed up, which it did as soon as her father leaned through it and pulled his daughter back.

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