#4 to San Francisco

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Status: Rough draft

Synopsis: An unsuspecting bus load of humans are caught up in the middle of a war for the cosmos. They just want to get to San Francisco.


Gary was wet, his friend was dying, and he was stuck on Earth – New York City to be precise…in the rain. It was fall and the sky had decided that a downpour was an apt setting for the day. Of course, the natives had umbrellas and they were carrying about on their usual New York City bustling with little regard for the surrounding sodden masses. The tourists were huddling under awnings and maps and wishing the rain hadn’t just ruined their long-planned trips to the big city.

Gary stood in the rain without thinking on any of them or the rain. He could have simply deflected the water drops away from him, but he couldn’t be bothered with the trivial thought of keeping his tattered-red-flannel shirt and wrinkled-gray slacks from getting wet.

Instead, he stood next to the street with one hand resting gently on the side of his steed, a large tour bus named Number 4. At random intervals, it would idle roughly and Gary’s would squeeze his eyes tight to try to contain the involuntary tears that fell and mixed with the heavy rain.

“Is this the #4 bus to San Francisco?” A man asked. He had an umbrella in one hand and a family in tow with the other. His wife was mostly under the umbrella’s protection, but the small child trailing behind was left to fend off the rain alone.

Just enough of the umbrella covered Gary to break him out of his communing with the bus. He blinked a few times and took in the interruption before him. Confused by it, Gary just stared at the man wildly.

“This is #4?” The man asked louder as though he assumed Gary’s hearing must have faded along with his hair color. “To San Francisco?”

Gary had heard him just fine, but it didn’t make his words any clearer. Why are you disturbing me?, Gary wondered. He’d chosen that city and that guise to blend in and not to be assaulted with such inanities. He’d wanted to blend in, yet the stranger was insisting on interaction. “What?” Gary finally responded. “How do you know about us? How do you know about Number Four?”

The man looked exasperated and pulled three small paper stubs from his pocket. “I have three tickets to San Francisco on bus #4. That’s you, right?” He pointed up at the side of the bus where large white letters declared boldly on the navy paint “004.”


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