Beijing . . . late one evening in 1995 . . .
Bus 375 is supposed to make its final run for the evening. On board are the driver and the ticket seller. Otherwise, the seats are empty.
The bus stops and an elderly woman and a young man, strangers to each other, board. They buy their tickets, and they both sit back for what will be a long journey into the night.
The bus drives on into the darkness for what seems a long while. Soon, the bus is on the outskirts of the city. It stops and three men in heavy military-style coats board. They likewise purchase tickets and take their seats.
The bus continues on.
Soon, there is a ruckus on board.
"You thief! You put your hands into my purse!" The elderly woman stands up, clutching her purse and scowling at the young man who had boarded with her.
"No, I didn't! I didn't even touch your purse!" he replies.
"You did so! I saw you!" Then, to the driver, she shouts, "Stop the bus! I want to report this thief to the police! Something's missing from my purse!"
The bus slowly comes to a stop.
"Lady," says the young man accused of theft, "I didn't touch or take . . . "
"All right," says the old woman, "then get off with me and let's settle this at the nearest station or with the first police car we see!"
She begins to pull the young man towards the exit.
"Come with me! We're going to take care of this!"
"Fine! Fine! Let's do that, then," says the young man.
The bus driver opens the door, and the two get off. The bus pulls away, leaving them both on the sidewalk in the middle of nowhere late at night.
The young man glares at the old woman for what has got to be the biggest pain in the neck imaginable, but she just smiles sadly.
After the bus is now totally out of sight, she says, "Young man, don't be angry. Did you see the three men in the heavy coats that got on a while back?"
"Yes!" he sighs. "What of them?"
"I guess you didn't see that none of them had feet. They were ghosts."
During the night, the bus disappears, never reaching the terminal. The terminal manager notifies the police. The police comb the area, finally locating Bus 375 lying overturned in a ditch. Inside, they find the bodies of the driver and the ticket seller. Both have apparently died from having their necks twisted and broken.
No traces of the three men in military jackets are found.
For my earlier version, see my posting for 8/6/12.
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