First impression

Running down the hill, Amy could see the bus indicating right, waiting to pull out into the rush hour traffic.

“Don’t let it in, don’t let it in!” Amy begged but then saw a cream Mini slow down, its flash of lights reflect on the back of the bus.

She knew if she waited for the next one she’d be late and if she was late on her first day she’d not be sure if there would be a second.

The traffic lights ahead changed to red and whilst drivers cursed the new roadworks, they had bought Amy valuable seconds. She caught up with the bus and went ahead a little, waving in an attempt to catch the driver’s attention. He nodded and opened the doors.

“We’re not supposed to pick up between stops.”

“I’m…” Amy said struggling for breath, “sorry. I…”

“Late for work?”

Amy nodded. “First day.”


Amy smiled. She’d not had to catch the bus for her old job but now she was working in the town centre she’d either have a longer walk or take public transport and having spent too long deciding what to wear had only left enough time for the latter.

“Nice suit,” the driver said as she took the ticket.

“Thank you. It’s new.”

“First impression counts, hey.”

Amy blushed then realised that the driver was younger than he’d looked from the front of the bus. A little older than her but with a heart-melting smile. “So they say.”

Now, as she sat on the bus, she had another reason to look forward to going to work.


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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.