Here's the story so far:
The bus was more crowded than usual. It was bitterly cold outside, and I hadn't prepared for it. I noticed that a fair number of the riders were dressed curiously. As I glanced around, I stretched my feet and kicked up against a large, heavy cardboard box laying under the seat in front of me. (Splotchy)
I couldn't believe my eyes. Surreptitiously, I tried to establish, without giving it away, if anyone else had seen what I had. For ten years I had been looking for that box. What looked like an ordinary cardboard box to most contained something most precious. Only by the small golden "P" was I able to identify what I was looking at. (Freida Bee)
How the box got here, or how I happened to be on this bus with it now--these questions were immaterial. I just had to get that box. The bus slowed to a stop, so I steadied myself. Just as I was about to make a grab for the box, however, it moved. Someone else was picking it up to take it away! I had to stop her! (Dguzman)
What? This couldn't be happening--to get this close and watch some quick-footed little dwarf just up and snatch it away from me...no! I got up and just as I did the sweaty hillbilly in front of me stood up and stepped into the aisle. Moving like a bad mime imitating a man in a box he extended his arms and stretched, looking up at the ceiling as he did so. The dwarf with the box--I couldn't be sure if it was a man or a woman, but something about her seemed feminine--slipped out the front door and off the bus. I took a deep breath and slumped back down into my seat.(Bubs)
"Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!" I mumbled under my breath. I leaned my head against the cold window and watched the dwarf threading her way through the crowd. She held the box tightly to her chest as she leaned into the wind and rushed forward. The small gold P on the box flashed teasingly between the coats and legs of the passersby. I bit my lower lip, trying not to cry. I had a brief flashback to the last time I'd seen that box. Agnes and I had just enjoyed a concert at Crew Hall. We ducked into her father's book shop for some tea. As we shrugged off our wraps, we heard her father arguing animatedly in French with someone in the back room. Agnes laughed and waved her hand dismissively at me when I looked at her questioningly. "Eetz nussing!" she whispered. "Eetz, mon pere and mon oncle! Zay are deescussing an order." Just then Agnes's father jerked open the door to the back room and hurried out. His face was ruddy with anger and he was carrying the box with the small. gold P. A second later, Agnes's uncle followed. He opened his mouth to say something, but seeing Agnes and me staring at him, closed it again with a snap. His large mustache quivered. The bus pulled away from the curb, jerking me out of my reverie. I shook my head to clear my thoughts and searched the crowd on the sidewalk for the dwarf. There she was! Keeping my eyes glued to her, I stood again and yanked the bell cord. I'd get off at the next stop and see if I could catch up to her. The bus pulled up to the curb a couple of blocks away. I could still see the dwarf as she hurried in and out of the crowd. I lurched to the front of the bus and ran down the steps, still not taking my eyes off the dwarf and the gold P on the box. (DCup)
The hillbilly stretched again once his feet hit the pavement, his arms blocking my view of the dwarf and the box. Overwhelmed by the odor of a three-day drunk, I skittered around him as fast as I could. There she was! She seemed to be moving toward a store front? No! An alley! She ducked down the alley, the box clasped to her small frame. I hurried past couples holding hands, individuals talking to thin air, and turned down the alley, only to be confronted by two daunting challenges. A man vomiting, and a whole series of doors, any of which could have been the escape route of the little lady with the box.(Geoffrey)
Take it away, Erudite Redneck!