A pissed off young man terrorizes a school bus full of children when he shoots the driver and threatens all the children on board. Enjoy the story.

You can sign up for my new weekly newsletter and receive these stories directly to your inbox every Wednesday. No interference from unpredictable algorithms. And bonus material. Sign up here.

Beginning next week I will post a story by newsletter every Wednesday, with added content. On Fridays I will continue to post the stories to my blog and cite them on social media, as I have been doing for the last three years.

Either way, thanks for being readers. I am grateful.

A Scar to Keep a Memory Alive

Bob Gillen

“Did you see that second goal last night! It was awesome! No one could have blocked it.” Lincoln Marrs twisted in his bus seat to talk to his friend. Two weeks into the new school year and morning energy still abounded.

The school bus stopped outside twelve-year old Sam Skor’s house. The last stop on the daily route. 

Sam got up from sitting on his front steps, slung his backpack over his shoulder, and ambled towards the bus. As Sam stepped on, the driver closed the door, said, “Let’s move it, buddy. We’re running late today.”

Sam pulled a small caliber revolver from the pocket of his hoodie and shot the driver. He slumped forward over the steering wheel. The bus rolled a hundred feet down the road, slammed into a pickup truck parked at the curb.

The truck’s owner came roaring out of his house. “What the hell is wrong with you? Look what you did to my truck.”

Sam fired a shot through the door of the bus. The man raised both hands, backed up to his front door. Sam pulled the door closed.

Inside the bus the younger students began crying, moaning, screaming. Someone cried, “Sam shot Lou.” Kids slumped down in their seats to avoid being shot. 

Sam fired a shot into the roof.

“Shut up!” he yelled. “All you little kids, get off the bus.”

No one moved.

Sam screamed. “Get off the bus.”

The younger kids moved to the front of the bus. “The door is closed,” one kid called out. Sam pointed to an older girl. “Open the door and get them out of here.”

The girl ran forward and began ushering the little kids out of the bus. The smell of urine filled the bus as some of the kids peed themselves in fear. A woman, grandmother age, ran forward and herded the younger kids into her house and out of sight. Several other residents crept forward and helped the woman with the kids.

The older students still on the bus busied themselves texting 911 or their parents.

A woman stuck her head inside the bus door. “I’m a nurse. Can I look after the driver?”

Sam fired a shot through the bus windshield. The woman backed away.

Sirens screamed as first responders arrived on the scene. In moments the bus was surrounded by police officers, guns drawn, all hesitant to approach because of the students present.

Sam waved his gun at the older students. “Put your phones away!”

In the back of the bus a few students slouched down in their seats, trying to be invisible.

A soft voice said, “Sam.”

Sam whirled on Lincoln. “Shut up.”

Lincoln said, “Sit down. You’re an easy target for the police.”

Sam looked around, sat down.

He said, “I should shoot every one of you. You threw me off the soccer team.”

Lincoln said, “Can I tell you why?”

Sam fired a shot at Lincoln. The bullet grazed his right arm. Lincoln clutched his arm as blood began to seep through his shirt sleeve.

Outside, the police moved closer to the bus. Sam saw them, yelled “Back off!” and fired another shot out the windshield.

A girl pulled a wad of tissues out of her backpack and passed them to Lincoln. He pressed them against his arm.

Lincoln gritted his teeth, spoke again. “Sam, you’re always angry. You fight with everyone over the rules and the scoring.”

“I know more about soccer than any of you. I know more than the referees and the coaches.”

Lincoln said, “We know you do. But you always pick a fight.”

“You’re all so stupid.”

Two police officers inched their heads in the door. Sam waved the gun in their direction. They ducked down under the bus chassis.

Lincoln said, “Sam, give up before they kill you.”

Sam put the gun up against his chin. “They won’t take me.”

He pulled the trigger.



Click. Click.

“Sam, you’re out of ammunition. That gun only holds six bullets.”

Sam dropped the gun on the seat. “I’m screwed.” He slumped back, fear and desperation crossing his face.

Lincoln reached across the aisle, shoved the gun to the floor. He waved to the officers. “He’s out of ammunition.”

Officers rushed in, guns aimed at Sam. They spun him around, slammed him against the seat. They handcuffed him, led him away. Other officers hustled the remaining students off the bus.

EMTs attended to the driver, who was still alive. The nurse stepped up to Lincoln, examined his arm. “Looks like only a scratch. You’ll be okay.”

“I can’t stand the sight of blood,” Lincoln said. He tried to stand, crumbled to the floor.

Lincoln woke up to the sound of wailing sirens. His own ambulance ride. The nurse held his hand. “Hi. My name is Mary. We’re going to the ER. The police called your mom. She’ll meet us there.”

“She’ll be so upset…What about the other kids?”

They’re all safe…uninjured.”


“He’s in police custody.”

“Will he be okay?”

Mary shrugged. “He’s a minor…but he could be facing attempted murder charges.”

Lincoln shook his head. “He’s a good kid. Always pissed off, though. He fucked up…oops, sorry about the language.”

“No worries. I’ve heard worse.”

Lincoln looked at the compress on his arm. “It hurts.”

“Yeah, it will for a while. They’ll give you a pain killer in the ER.”

“Will I need stitches?”

Mary nodded. “Probably.”

“Oh. I never had stitches before. I might pass out…again.”

“You were lucky. The bullet could have done a lot of damage.”

Lincoln shrugged. “I guess I’ll have a scar…a scar that won’t let me forget today.