by Arthur Quiller-Couch
(about 1000 words)
On a burning London day, eleven tired, middle class workers ride an omnibus to their various destinations. They know each other by face and the frequency at which they meet each other on the bus, and have all, in some way or another failed at life–at their goals, at their dreams who knows.
When a fresh faced twelfth traveler boards the bus, no older than thirteen and on his way to the docks to start his life, the travelers watch in uneasy pity as their new companion struggles to keep it together. They all remember what it was like to be that age, and they know the difficult road laid out before him.
Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch was born on November 21, 1861 in Cornwall, UK. He came from two long standing families containing many intellectuals and literary connections. He had a standard education, and after completing his degree at Trinity College, he went on to lecture there. He was knighted a year before his death in 1911. He’d published sixteen works of fiction, two of verse, and fourteen criticisms and anthologies.