MYSTERY BUS (a true story)

The otherworldliness of their appearance tricked many of us into misplaced excitement initially. But it didn’t take long for the positivity to fade.

They’ve been here for about a month; circling around menacingly, acknowledging no one and contributing nothing of value to village life. They are a mystery. Not an intriguing, pleasant kind of mystery, but the kind of mystery that almost certainly shrouds something despicable.

Anyway, though I’m not keen to paint myself as some kind of human Scooby-Doo, I have decided to get to the bottom of it. That’s why I’ve been sat in my car, in the pitch black, for two hours, clutching a video camera, and torch and a normal camera.

But before we get on with the actual nitty-gritty of the detective work, I may as well fill you in properly about what you’ve agreed to get involved with.

Our enemies take the guise of two (or maybe three, I’m not sure) 1930s American-looking buses. I think there are two green and cream-coloured ones and one that is probably best described as deep-but-dirty-burgundy (and cream). Apart from the difference in colour, all three (let’s say there’s three) are exactly the same in appearance.

Each one boasts the same blacked out windows, the same faceless driver and the same ornate styling. To the front of each bus is fixed a spare wheel, annoyingly small and incredibly shiny. The wheel sits on the point at which the buses’ elaborate side panels meet. Like waves encircling the bus they bulge their way along each side, forming an unnecessary peak that protrudes out beneath the driver’s cabin, which is made of weird angles.   

One the rear of each bus it reads ‘Oketon Prison’ – needless to say there is no Oketon Prison around here. And, despite my best attempts, I have managed to locate no Oketon Prison anywhere in the country. I’m not sure whether this is a clue, or an intentional distraction. I’m tempted to suggest the latter.

You’ll have to forgive any incoherence in my explanation here, as I am focusing my concentration into my rear view mirror. I cannot miss the opportunity to discover the truth.

Apart from the blacked-out windows and the fake prison motifs, the thing that is causing me most consternation at present is the route these buses take. I usually see them heading east to west along Park Road, they then loop round the roundabout, up past the shops, straight on past our house and then right down Phurst Street, where it disappears from my sight (cos I usually watch them from out of the living room window). I can only speculate as to where they go from there, as I thought it was a dead end. That is one of the things that has been driving me mad. It doesn’t make sense.

Sometimes, though this is rarer, they emerge south of Park Road, come up through the park, and then follow the same route once they hit the roundabout. Where they come from before they reach the park is anyone’s guess. They loop round and round and round. Sometimes you’ll see the same one twice, or even thrice, an hour. It is infuriating.

What else can I tell you? Though they operate most frequently during the day at weekends, they are also around during the week and at night. I think they run all the way through the night, actually. They never stop to allow anyone on or off. They loop around and around. Their purpose is entirely unknown. Once I thought the drivers were holographic. But I think that might be a bit far fetched.

We must discover where these buses come from, who operates them and what their purpose is. I think they are evil and creepy.