It was night. The station was empty. She was sitting at the platform, waiting for the last bus to arrive. Light wind caressed her hair, easing the hot summer darkness. She moved her fingers across the ticket, given to her by a hand and a bottom of a chin, peeking under the tinted glass of the desk window. Her transportation was supposed to show up in ten minutes. Still, she felt as if she wouldn’t mind waiting there for all eternity. At least it was quiet.
A few moments later, she noticed a fog under the bench she was sitting on, seemingly coming out of nowhere, as if the concrete platform itself was fuming. In the corner of her eye, to her left, she could see a figure approaching her. The person placed themselves next to her, sighing loudly to announce their presence.
“Good evening, El,” the stranger said in a raspy voice.
“Good evening,” El replied with all the politeness she was capable of mustering. She was too tired to be fully invested in the conversation. Her wrists also hurt. It was too late.
“Do you know who I am? My name starts with an E,” the individual asked. El decided to dignify the body beside her with a sharp gaze. What she saw threw a quick shiver down her back, but interestingly, it didn’t surprise her as much as her mind anticipated it would. Now, her collocutor finally had a form. It appeared to be a woman, her head shaved, and only milky short fuzz covering the scalp. She had thin lips and yellow eyes with narrow pupils, stretched horizontally, from one corner of the lid to the other. The face itself was longer than it should have been, radiating a cold metallic blue flare through the ashy tan. Her expression was strict and merciless.
“No, I don’t know you,” El said. The unfamiliar woman seemed as if she was going to yawn, and instead, released a chuckle, which was softer than El expected it would be.
“Clever answer. Of course you don’t know me, but you do know who I am and why I am here. I think I’m going to enjoy our time together,” the woman confidently declared.
“And why do I have a feeling this isn’t going to be so enjoyable for me?” El retorted.
“You did do it,” the phantasm said. The glow in her headlight eyes intensified.
”So? I don’t regret it,” El fiercely followed up.
“That’s not an outlandish response. Many don’t show remorse right away,” the woman imitated understanding.
“You would’ve done the same,” El insisted. The woman grinned, and El realized her mouth didn’t behave as one would. It moved peculiarly, revealing that the opening was actually vertical.
“Rules are in place. You might have avoided the punishment of whatever authorities you have here, you might have tricked them, but you cannot escape us,” the outsider assured El.
“They weren’t tricked, as much as they simply didn’t care. Legally, they were kind of powerless in this case, which they in turn interpreted as enough to not be bothered by it,” El explained.
“Thus, you decided to take the matters into your own hands. What gave you the right?” the mysterious visitor asked.
“What he did to me. He and his wife,” El replied with vexation murmuring in the centre of her throat beneath her voice.
“It was not yours to deliver justice,” the woman warned her.
“What could I have done? Let them go on like that? You don’t know what they did to me… To the others and to the animals, even… Justice was in my pain. How can someone be like that?” El responded.
“Like what?” the woman asked in a lukewarm tone.
“Willing to hurt someone else, for no reason. Just because they can? Because that makes them feel stronger? And then, I’m disciplined for putting an end to that,” El bitterly whispered, with tears of desperation dancing on the brink of her eyelashes.
“When you walk among humans long enough, you begin to perceive one certainty. People are petty and afraid, and angry in their helplessness before the cruel randomness of world,” the foreigner said comfortingly. El once again surrendered her attention to the ticket.
“Then, I’m not sorry, not at all,” El was unyielding. Her words faded away in the grunting of the engine of the arriving bus. The vehicle stopped at the platform and its door opened. El stood up and the woman followed her, as they both climbed aboard.
“If that is your ultimate sentiment, that is fine. I do not want to make you regret what you have done, I am here to remind you of it, at all times,” the woman replied, as they found a pair of vacant seats in the back of the bus. El shrugged her shoulders and thought how nice it was that she got to sit next to the window. She went through her pockets and pulled out her phone and headphones. Calmly, she plugged the headphones and put them in her ears.
“Truth is, I don’t actually want to forget. You can start screaming now,” El uttered, as the bus started to leave the platform and the station. The mouth of the woman next to her split, the vertical gap transforming into a void. The sound was one of furious dance of justice and vengeance.