Hot air washed over me like the breath of a giant, fetid with the stench of burned diesel, as the bus missed me by inches. Brakes screeched and rubber burned as it clawed to a stop, swinging nearly ninety degrees to face me straight on again. Staring up into that driverless bus, I knew that the poets and artists were wrong. Death wasn't a black-robed skeleton with a scythe. Death was a fifteen-ton hunk of diesel-fueled steel and glass with a chrome-grille grin.
Its engine growled. I took a step back, and it inched forward. I feinted to the left, then broke to the right. The engine roared as it came after me. I cut toward it, hoping to get inside its turning radius. A beast that large, if I got past it I might make it to that hill. But it clipped me. I sprawled out across the pavement. The fall shredded my hands, but I could only feel the pain shooting up from my hip.
When I sat up, the bus was charging me. I couldn't think. It grew bigger and bigger like an oncoming train. So I accepted it. I dropped flat like a dead man, and Death passed over me, undercarriage missing my nose by a hair.
The screech of tearing metal ran through me like lightning. The demon bus had wrecked, and I was still alive. I limped out of there as fast as I could. It wasn't a game of chess, but it'd do.