The porter lowered the pastrami sandwich and hastily swallowed the last bite, as Ferguson exited the elevator.
“On time as usual, Mr. Ferguson.”
“Exactly.” Ferguson lifted his hat. “Goodbye.” And with that he stepped into the pale evening. His stomach growled silently. He had three minutes to worry about dinner, then the bus hissed to a stop.
“Hello Bill!” he greeted the driver, “Nice evening today, isn’t it?”
Bill took the piece of jerky from the corner of his mouth. “But it’s supposed to rain.”
The small talk quickly subsided and Ferguson proceeded to the back. The bus was empty except for a dark figure occupying Ferguson’s regular seat. Unsure, he hesitated and eyed the young man. He sat, eyes lowered, face hidden in the shadow of his hood, leaning against the window. A Pepsi-can tumbled down the aisle, the neon lights flickered to the rhythm of the rocking bus. Ferguson’s mouth twitched, his nostrils flared. He took a step, then another, finally settling down behind the stranger. He crossed his legs and took the newspaper from his coat pocket.
The bang shattered the silence and rolled through the bus. Blood splattered on the window, followed by the hood, and the included head. The man sagged into the seat. Ferguson put the gun back into the newspaper and tucked it away. The bus came to a stop, and Bill peeked out of the cabin.
“What the hell?” His eyes widened at the sight of the dead man. He opened the door of the cabin. The closer he got to the body, the higher his eyebrows rose. “In the head? Was this necessary?”
Ferguson was now standing in the isle too. He looked at his work with a pride in his eyes. “Still better than your axe-idea, we tried at the park last week. That left nothing but ground beef.”
“Didn’t you like the goulash?”
“The meat was chewy. The fear was too stressful for the jogger. It has to happen swiftly. It has to be sudden. Precise. They mustn’t see it coming.”
“But the brain!”
“But the brain,” Ferguson mimicked his friend. “Always with the brain.”
“The cannibal forum says it’s a delicacy.”
“Well, you shouldn’t eat this one anyways. This man certainly has used strange substances more than once.”
“Oh, you don’t know jack. Just help me pack him up.” Bill dug a plastic tarp out of the driver’s cabin and spread it out in the aisle. The friends yanked the body out of the seat and wrapped it neatly. Tediously and not very elegant, they dragged the package outside.
Bill had parked the bus in an alley off the main street, a few meters from his garage, where an empty freezer waited. They stuffed and folded the body into it.
“Do you need help with anything else?” Ferguson asked.
“No, thanks. That’s all for today.”
“Will you be able to finish it until the barbecue on Sunday?”
“Sure. I am free tomorrow all day. That’s enough time for me to bleed him. The marinade is already finished as well.”
“Okay then, I’ll get going now. I’m hungry.”
Ferguson walked the last few blocks home. In the kitchen, he retrieved the goulash from the freezer and heated it in the microwave. The meat was chewy but still on the tasty side. As usual, he went to bed on time, looking forward to Sunday.
Understand German? Read the German version here.