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Duct Tape: Revised: Duct Tape with a new ending
Posted by wordsmith, Jul 9, 2009. 1475 views. ID = 2754

Duct Tape: Revised

Posted by wordsmith, Jul 9, 2009. 1475 views. ID = 2754
This post was written in 3 minutes.
Just another version of my Duct Tape story but with a different ending. Which version do you think is better?
This post has been awarded 4 stars by 2 readers.
This post is Part 2 of a writing series titled Duct Tape.

Waiting for the bus, I watched as cars passed in the rain, tires swishing through the puddles. Raindrops collected on the visor of my cap, dripped onto the front of my jacket. Shifting from foot to foot to keep warm, I shivered in the wind.

“When,” I thought, “will the bus finally get here?”

A few feet away a woman in a long blue coat held up a large polka dot umbrella. She was frowning, so I decided not to speak to her. Besides, her umbrella was leaking.

I could hear the rumble of the bus’s engine long before I could see it. Stopping, the bus let out a constipated groan. I stepped back from the wave of dirty water thrown up from the curb.

Slowly, the bus’s folding door opened and I boarded the city bus. Only two others sat there, not counting the lady with the leaky umbrella. I took the first open spot I came to, but quickly moved when I found I could not identify the sticky substance on the seat. Not seeming to notice the substance, the umbrella lady took my place.

I caught myself as the bus lurched forward into the near empty street. I couldn’t help noticing the bit of white fluff sticking out of a tear in the back of the seat in front of me. I tried to ignore the bus’s dilapidated condition for the rest of the ride. However, it grew impossible for me to ignore the gum on the floor, the tears in the seats, the rust on the poles down the middle of the aisle; even the plastic handle the driver used to open the door seemed barely attached to its metal arm.

As the bus got closer to the center of town, traffic began to pick up. The cars outside the window were swiftly moving grey blurs in the rain.

The woman with the leaky umbrella had fallen asleep in her seat; eyes closed, mouth hanging open. I was tempted to join her in sleep, but I couldn’t let someone else look at me the way I was looking at her. I was also afraid I might miss my stop.

Hearing a clunky tapping sound like something falling, I looked forward and watched the leaky umbrella fall from the lady's grasp and skitter across the aisle towards me. As I reached to hand the umbrella back to her the woman woke. She turned in my direction with an embarrassed smile.

"Here," I said, holding the umbrella out to her.


We sat in silence for a moment more and then the woman spoke again.

"My name's Sam," She said, "What's yours?"


"That's a nice name," she said, "Have we passed Wilconshire Street yet? I fell asleep for a minute there."

"No," I said.

She seemed nice enough. She was thin, with brown hair and hazel eyes. She seemed much more attractive when she smiled. I wondered why she had been frowning before but didn't want to ask only to find out the answer was as simple as the leaky umbrella. I busied myself with looking around the bus, hoping she would lose interest in talking to me. It wasn't that I didn't want her to talk to me; it was just that I was terrible at small talk and didn't want to embarrass myself saying something stupid.

"Do you know," the woman said, gaze sweeping around the dilapidated vehicle, "this bus reminds me of something my father used to tell me. Do you know what he used to tell me?"

I was fairly certain I didn't know what her father used to tell her and wondered why she even bothered asking.

"No," I said, "what did your father used to tell you?"

"He used to say that there are only two things in life that a person should never be without, a can of WD-40 and a roll of duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape. I was just thinking this bus could use a good once over with a roll of duct tape."

Despite myself, I smiled at her.

The bus let out a screech and came to a halt at a corner stop. I waited while the only other two people on the bus got off, leaving me alone with Sam and the bus driver. As the bus pulled out into traffic I noticed a roll of duct tape secreted beneath the seat of the driver.

“I wonder why the driver hasn’t thought to use his roll of duct tape yet,” I mused aloud.

Sam shrugged her shoulders leaned across the aisle, beckoning in a conspiratorial manner with her finger.

“I bet he wants the bus to fall apart so he can collect the insurance if something happens,” she said.

“Really,” I said, “wouldn’t that be illegal or something?”

Sam leaned back into her seat and shrugged again. I risked a glance toward the front of the bus and caught sight of the driver’s face in the rearview mirror. It didn’t look like he’d overheard us talking.

With Sam’s words floating in the back of my mind I reviewed the condition of the bus and wondered if anything was bad enough to cause an accident. Rusty poles and ripped seats were unsightly, but not all that dangerous. A loose handle on the door however, that might cause a problem. I wondered if I should say something about it to the driver, but what if Sam was right? What if he had let it get that way on purpose?

The next stop was a gas station. The driver pulled the bus up to one of the big truck pumps. I wondered why we were stopping.

“I thought buses stopped for gas at special bus depots, not any old station that happened to be along the route,” I said.

“Oh no,” Sam said, “Buses can stop for gas anywhere. My school bus used to do it all the time.”

The driver put the bus in park and turned off the key. He turned around in his seat and told us that he would be back in ten minutes and not to touch anything while he was gone.

“How does he know he can trust us?” I asked.

“He doesn’t,” Sam said.

I found myself starring at the loose door handle and the roll of duct tape on the floor. I was itching to try and fix the handle but was afraid of what the driver might do when he got back and saw I’d touched something.

“Don’t worry about it,” Sam said, as if in answer to my unspoken question, “I bet he won’t even notice if we fixed that stupid door handle. Hand me that roll of duct tape would you?”

Sam had gotten out of her seat and gone up front to sit in the driver’s spot. I handed her the duct tape and watched as she wrapped it around the plastic handle to hold it more firmly to the metal arm. I didn’t dare criticize her for doing something that I longed to do myself.

“Hey! What the heck are you doing!?!”

Sam and I both jumped at the sound of the driver’s angry voice.

“Get away from there!”

Sam stood up hastily, catching the sleeve of her coat on one of the dashboard switches. As she struggled to un-catch her coat the driver tried to open the door. It was stuck.

“Here, let me help,” I said taking hold of Sam’s sleeve and giving it a yank. The sleeve came free, leaving a piece of blue thread wrapped around the switch.

“Hey! Unlock the door!” the driver yelled, “Unlock the door! It’s that switch you just flipped. Flip it again and unlock the door!”

Sam looked down and tried the switch but the thread had done something to it. It flipped back and forth but wouldn’t unlock the door. The driver banged his fist against the door but to no avail.

“I’m calling the police!” he yelled.

Sam and I looked at each other and shrugged. There was nothing for us to do now but return to our seats and wait for help to arrive. Maybe by then the driver would see we were only trying to help. Or maybe he would have gotten tired of banging on the bus door. I did feel bad for the driver, it was still raining after all and he was stuck outside while we were still on the bus.

“Maybe you could push your umbrella out the window?” I said to Sam.

“I’ve got a better idea,” She said.

Sam sat down next to me on the other side of the bus and picked up the umbrella. After fumbling with it for a minute she succeeded in opening it. She held it up so that it blocked the door of the bus and we couldn’t see the driver’s angry face anymore. We waited for help to arrive in silence.

Copyright 2009 wordsmith. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 4 stars by 2 readers.
This post is Part 2 of a writing series titled Duct Tape.

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