Catching a ride on the educational terror bus

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“No mom, please, you can’t make me go! I won’t do it,” Arnold screamed. The two had been arguing for the entire duration of the twelve minute drive to school.

Despite his protests, Arnold’s exasperated mother, Jane, grabbed his arms and began unwedging his squirming body from the seat.

“You have to *urp* go to school Arnold,” Jane strained out between grunts. “Everyone does things they don’t want to. Do you think I like going to my job at the glue factory every day? I have to shoot the horses myself!”

“No,” Arnold sighed reluctantly, “but you don’t know what it’s like here. Last week we literally flew into an active volcano, and a week before that everyone got shrunk down and drove inside our sick classmate’s body. I can’t believe anyone’s parents are signing permission slips for this!”

“Kids have such an imagination,” Jane thought, as she finally ripped her son out of the vehicle and sped off, leaving him to cough on the exhaust. 

“Well here goes another day,” Arnold muttered to himself.

Arnold walked slowly to the school bus; it was field trip day. As he embarked, he was greeted by the horrible grins of his classmates and teacher, Ms. Frizzle.

“Good morning Arnold,” they all droned in cold unison. Liz, the pet chameleon, was coiled around his teacher’s neck as always. It licked its chops and darted its eyes around menacingly.

“Hey guys,” Arnold mumbled quietly, and slunk into his assigned seat—number fourteen, left side.

The interior of the bus was stained with chemicals and smelled of ash and blood from past excursions. It made him sick to his stomach, which was unfortunate, since it reminded him of when everyone actually flew into his digestive track without permission.

As he put his head on the cold glass window, Arnold wondered if the bus had its own internal organs hidden somewhere below the cheap pleather seat coverings, as it was in fact, alive. 

[media-credit name=”ELISE MITCHELL” align=”alignnone” width=”378″]MagicSchoolBus[/media-credit]

The bus had eyes that rolled lazily around in their sockets and it could mimic facial expressions through the bending of its front fender.

Perhaps the bus was possessed through some hellish magic, and a demonic influence activated its whirling machinations instead of living flesh. Regardless, Arnold stomped his foot and hoped the bus felt pain, just in case it was the latter.  

The monster was also fully cognizant, showcased by how it responded to human speech with a variation of honks and beeps; its language was rudimentary, but still better than the average school bus.

It was controlled by Ms. Frizzle, who was also the designated bus driver on field trips for unknown reasons. Maybe the school district was facing budget cuts and couldn’t afford another driver. It didn’t really matter, but it always made Arnold uncomfortable.

Suddenly, the engine growled and the bus began to move. “Seatbelts everyone!” chirped Ms. Frizzle, and the class joyfully snapped in. “Now we’re going to a very special place today class and I think all of you are going to just love it, even you Arnold.”

Arnold’s eyes widened in excitement—maybe they were finally going to get to do what all the other classes did on trips, like visit a local prison or tour a waste-treatment facility.

“Ms… Ms. Frizzle, a-are we going to go on a normal field trip today?” he wavered out. The entire bus erupted with laughter and pointed fingers mockingly at his direction.

“What a loser,” someone sneered;

“I wish we left you in the volcano,” another yelled;

“A normal field trip? With the Frizz, no way,” shouted everyone else. They said that every damn time.

“You’ll see when we get there Arnold. You’ll see”, Ms. Frizzle quipped ominously, as the ground swallowed them up.