When it’s healthy, Twenty-One grows decoys, dull-eyed swaying humanoid figures that attach to a seat and sigh. The bus prefers adults–they’re meatier–but Jenkins would like the occasional kid.
At night, Jenkins coaxes the bus’s belly open and hauls out the remains of the day’s catch. Twenty-One’s gastric juices leave them white and clean, along with whatever plastic they were carrying: buttons and credit cards, condoms, phones. He throws all that away.
When Twenty-One is bedded down, Jenkins will be in his room, making patterns. Knucklebones to tell the future. Ribs to sing in the wind.