Frank "Funny" Bones was a bus driver for Trans Sahara Road Trips, a company meant to last forever, though just with profit enough to survive. Two buses only, meeting halfway in a oasis to exchange passengers and get back. Four generations of drivers since the era of Lawrence of Arabia. Why they were driving in the middle of the desert is hard to explain. Bad payment, hard work and the drivers kept their jobs until death. Funny Bones drove the old Merc for thirty years now.
    Passengers were locals, tickets were cheap and the journey, eternal. Two shovels made the toilet facilities and tea was served somewhere along the way. An old AK-47 covered with spiderweb laid beside the driver's seat. Poverty was on wheels there and burglars had much better preys to hunt for. The machine-gun was there to keep tourist guides away when they weren't afraid of the bus itself. The Merc was hideous, rotten, and passengers used water to drink only. Funny Bones was the cleanest person there and he would only put himself under a bucket of water each fortnight. Tourist guides and their stupid questions kept themselves away on first sight. An iron coffin with black skeletons wrapped in rags lifting cloud of dust for hundreds of miles.
    The only road rage came from the camel drivers of drugs trafficking but even that was just ritual. Funny Bones knew all of them by name and everyone in the bus laughed when shots to the air and curses from the worst nightmares were heard from the line of furious men and animals. The road of terror had to keep its reputation.
    Funny bones would never cease to drive in the desert. His third wife was about to live him. All three kept saying he was mad, but his children always asked him about his journeys.
    "I see the horizon trembling in he heat of day", he would tell them, "and I gaze to all the stars of the sky at night."

Saturday, June 26th 2021