Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
The mix of humanity at the Budapest bus stop included backpackers, Spaniards, grandmothers with grandchildren, and the Miss Eden Contestants of 2011.
Several of the teenage girls stood by pink rolling suitcases. Nearly all were clenching their hands or tugging at their clothing. As new competitors arrived, each received stares and hair flips and thin smiles, all mannerisms stolen from the movies and executed with a lack of skill. One girl broke the facade completely and exhaled while looking sadly up at the clouds.
A guy with hipster glasses and Converse shoes kept a cell phone at his ear and a strained look on his face. It was his job to gather the girls and half-embrace them as he put on their sash. He took pains to make it appear painful. Their private bus slowed and parked behind an idling discount line to Prague, whose ticket-holders slowly realized they would not be traveling with Beauty that day.
There were only two sashes left to distribute as a tall brunette approached, walking ahead of her industrial-strength father and zebra-print suitcase. After eyeing the Hipster as he sashed his daughter, Big Dad took her aside for a conference and a fraternal pat on the shoulder. Since there was one more sash, there must be one more girl and hence no hurry.
However, the other bus was scheduled to depart. So the less-polished riders took hesitant drags on cigarettes and began to board. Those in the far right seats kept looking out, waiting for the last more-than-fashionably-late contestant to arrive.
She still had not appeared as the bus to Prague rolled away. There wasn’t an audible groan, but a collective rustle of passengers pretending that they weren’t all that interested anyway, as they turned quickly to their newspapers, their armrests, their settling in.