It Was a Mistake Getting in the Taxi

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Some journeys are not just trips.

It was a mistake getting in the taxi, but I was in a hurry.

The plane was late leaving the gate for whatever reason the airlines dream up. Someone probably lost the keys, or the nuts were stale, or the pilot was puking his guts out from a night of binge drinking and cocaine. Who knows, we will never find out. They never tell you.  

Deplaning is akin to ferret herding. A bunch of impatient type A’s aholes having to deal with a raft of passive aggressive aholes or simply stupid people.  There are the ones who can’t reach their bags or insist upon sticking their ass in aisle for 5 minutes while they collect their stuff, or the geriatrics who can barely walk, or the asinine kids whose stupid parents allow them to play as everyone with a life is attempting to get off this flying cigar tube.

It is tough enough cheating on your wife, even if she is a foul, fat, flatulent bitch whose idea of a good time is pouring vodka down her throat while watching wrestling and spending her time buying crap from the shopping channel.  Who spends every waking moment complaining about my hygiene, clothes, choice of friends, eating habits, haircuts -  whose cooking would cause a prison riot – and in France – get you thrown in jail. My mistress was waiting at the Holiday Inn express, naked  and well lubed I hoped, stretched out on the bed with a bottle or two of bourbon and some ecstasy to keep the party going. Yea, it’s tough enough without having the stress of air travel thrown on top.

Now you can understand why I am impatient to get off this flying bus. But some grandma/grandpa combo a few seats ahead were looking about in confusion. I don’t know if it was their walkers, their oxygen bottle, their colostomy bags, whatever, that they were hunting for. The sighs were getting heavier around them as the passengers fled forward of the couple and bunged up like a constipated hamster on the other side.

People were crossing through the center rows of seats to the other aisle to bypass the befuddled geriatrics. Just as I was about to flee that way, they found whatever it was they were looking for and starting shuffling forward. I raced past them on the jetway and bypassed the zoo that is the baggage carousel.  It reminded me too much of a feeding trough. All those people, milling about like cows waiting for the corn to come tumbling down so they can stick their faces in. Always travel light, that’s my motto. If you can’t bring it on the plane, it isn’t worth having.

In a stroke of luck, at least I thought it was luck, there was no lineup for cabs. Out the door, to the stand, into the gates of hell.

It looked innocuous enough,  a generic Chevy something or other festooned with ads and one of those teepee like signs on the roof advertising some play or event. Hell, it was even clean.  I popped open the rear door, tossed my carryon onto the back seat then plopped in there myself.

“Holiday Inn Express – the one downtown”, I told the driver.

“Holiday fucking Inn fucking Express it fucking is”, and we left the curb in a squeal of tires and a puff of smoke. I was  bounced around in the back as he chicaned around the other traffic, pedestrians and anything else that was on the road. “Hey, what are you fucking doing”, I yelled. This was crazy. He must have been doing 60 as he left the arrival level, swerving around the traffic that was behaving itself. As he was pulling his NASCAR thing, he reached on the seat beside him and pulled up a half smoked stogie.  I don’t know how he managed to light the thing while manouveuring through traffic, but he did.

“Put that thing out man. It stinks”, I told him. He ignored me. I fumbled for the seat belt since we did not seem to showing any indication of slowing down. “Stop this thing and let me out – NOW!” Again I yelled. Again he ignored me.

I searched the back of the seat for the driver and license information. There was none. I looked at the driver. He seemed normal, except for the slowly smouldering stogie sticking out of his mouth and a manic type expression on his face. A white guy (odd for a taxi driver), no accent, short well groomed hair, clean shaven. Ordinary. Nothing like the homicidal maniacs they show on TV.

“Can you stop this thing or at least start driving normally. You are going to get us both killed”. I was pleading now.

“Killed, yes fucking killed. Why not. There isn’t much to fucking live for is there asshole”, he shot a glance back at me. “God damn fags and niggers running the country. Fucking lesbian twats calling the shots. Fucking immigrants getting off the fucking planes and heading right for the welfare line. Nuthin  good anymore. The food tastes like shit as they fill it with genetically engineered crap. Hell we could be growing a third fucking leg or losing our eyeballs due to the chemicals and other poisons that they keep pumping into the environment. And if you’re lucky enough to get a decent job or house, the fucking banks suck up every cent through their obscene fucking charges while the executive fat cats walk away loaded with so much cash they have to hide it in Switzerland and the Caymans. They fuck up the economy so much the government has to bail the assholes out, and then what happens, they get more money shoved down their throats like geese getting force feed to make foigras.  But when the government is made up a bunch of talking heads in blue suits whose only goal in life is to see how much they can suck off the public tit, what do you expect. Twits on TV, perfect fucking teeth, perfect fucking hair, perfect fucking complexion, never answering a question, stupid little flag on their lapel to show that they are patriots. Patriot to what, their dick and their wallet. Makes me sick man”, as he was ranting,the speedometer read 90. We were on the expressway now, but I was still being thrown about like a mouse in the jaws of a sadistic cat as he wheeled around the slower moving traffic. “But I don’t roll over for these clowns. I don’t take shit from nobody, especially assholes like you buckaroo”, he shot another glance at me.

“You don’t know me, and you’re fucking whacked. I’m calling for help”, I whipped out my cell phone and tried to put in the code to unlock the screen. I don’t know how he did it, driving as he was and with only the small Plexiglas opening, but he managed to grab the phone from my hand. The next thing I knew he was tossing it out the window. I watched it smash to pieces on the concrete a few dozen meters behind us. “What the....”, in disbelief I fell back into the seat. “You are going to kill us”. I knew in my bones this to be true. My gut felt suddenly empty, as if someone had taken a scoop, dipped into my innards and scrapped everything out. I almost threw up. I almost shit myself.

“Yes Carl, I’m probably going to kill us”, he laughed.

“How did you know my name is Carl?” I asked.

“I know all about you. I know that you have a bimbo waiting for you at the Holiday Inn, that you were getting a chubby thinking about doing her up the ass. How you planned on slapping her around a bit, not too much, but enough to prove that you’re a man. I know that your wife is an insufferable bitch who should be in the back there with you. I know that somehow your kids managed to survive the totally dysfunctional domestic life that you tortured them with and will hardly talk to you. I know that you’re a slimy commodity salesman who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about his clients as long as you get your commission. I know a lot about you Mr. Carl Chelovic.”

I was stunned. “How did you know all that? Did Mest put you up to this”, Brian Mest was a colleague who was constantly trying to steal my clients and undermine my credibility with my manager.

“No asshole, I don’t know whoever the fuck you just mentioned. I don’t care about Mest. I was simply sent to fetch you and take you on your journey.” We did another evasive manoeuvre as he talked.

“Take me on my journey? What the hell does that mean!” I was shouting. I was scared. I was fucking angry. I tried to reach through the Plexiglas screen to do something, anything to this maniac, but he slide it shut as I started moving my arm towards it. The screen had a bunch of holes drilled in to enable communication with the driver when it was closed. “I am going to kill you asshole” I undid my belt and started clawing at the Plexiglas. It was built to survive such onslaughts. I fumbled through my bag and pulled out my laptop. I started pounding the panel. All that did was make the driver laugh. After a few blows, the laptop disintegrated in my hands.

“Lousy Japanese crap” said the driver.

“Who are you?” I whimpered, “Why are you doing this?”

Again he shot a glance over his shoulder. “Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Fylgja, Freddy Fylgja. Chauffeur par excellence”, he waved his hands about as he said this. “You, Mr. Asshole, need to understand a few things”, he swerved to pass, “and I am going to be your tutor”. Ha ha. “You know Dicken’s A Christmas Carol – where Scrooge gets visited by the 3 ghosts?” he was glancing through the Plexiglas as he asked.

I didn’t know what to say. Who cares about Charles Dicken’s? Who gives a rats ass about Scrooge. I knew the story, everyone did. A million Christmas movies had been done it. Hell, I felt like Bill Murray in Scrooged with the crazy cab driver.

“Fuck off. Stop the car. Let me out!!” I yelled.

“No can do buckaroo. I’m taking you on a magic carpet ride.” This was obviously some sort of sick joke with him, since he cranked up the radio to Steppenwolf.

Last night I held Aladdin's lamp
And so I wished that I could stay
Before the thing could answer me
Well, someone came and took the lamp away
I looked around, a lousy candle's all I found

Then the chorus started again.

I noticed that we were simply going in circles. Route 187b is a ring road around the city. We just passed the airport exit. “Why are you doing this?” I asked again as I slumped back in my seat. I was ready to give up. This was something out of a Wachoskis’ film. I was waiting to be offered a blue pill or a red pill any minute. Someone must be setting me up. Someone has a hate on for me and really wants to scare the shit out of me. Or worse. Could be Stella I thought. Maybe she had a lucid moment and decided to off me for the insurance. But this is to intense, too involved for her little mind. No, this was being done by someone smart, someone clever.

“Hey Carl, want a doobie?” he snickered as he held up a joint.

I didn’t answer him. “Your loss buckaroo,” and he lit it with a bic lighter. Again, how he could do that and still navigate the car on this roller coaster ride, I had no idea.

The pungent smell of marijuana filled the car. “Can you roll down a window or something – that really reeks.” I thought maybe I could get a window cracked then force it the rest of the way down.

“Sure thing buckaroo.” I wish he would stop with the buckaroo thing. He always stretched out the oo at the end. He rolled down the front passenger window. “Don’t want you getting ideas. Don’t want you hurting yourself.” He snickered again.

It must be Glickman, that prick. Mylos Glickman, a fat sweaty waste of skin who keeps hounding his staff to increase the volume. Glickman has more than once dicked around with the numbers to make it look like our department has done more transactions then we actually did. Glickman has called me into his office to sign off on certain questionable trades. I had no choice or I’d lose my job. I bet the obese cunt has decided I should be eliminated.

“It ain’t him”. Yelled Frank.

“What the hell do you mean it ain’t him? What are you talking about?” I was confused.

“it ain’t your boss Glickman. I know he don’t like you and all, but he’s got a good heart beneath that blubber. You gotta get over the larcenous mind though.”

How on earth did he know that? I looked around the back of the cab. I was panicking. My heart was thunder in my chest. I could hear the blood rushing through my ears. This was terror. It was only through a massive force of will that I kept from voiding my bowels. “You’re a fucking demon. Some sort of evil thing”. I was blabbering.

All I got from Fred was a laugh, “Yea buckaroo, I’m a demon. I’m your worse nightmare.”

He swerved the car around another tractor trailer.

I thought I was going to puke. My guts were a kneading machine, churning and convulsing. Bile was rising in my throat, that burning, acid taste on the back of my tongue. I slumped forward, oscillating about as the car continued its erratic course, Freddy babbling incoherently, the stench of cannabis hanging in the air.

Why, why was this happening. I scoured my brain. I admit, I have not lived the life of a saint, a priest or anything even close to being moral. My marriage is a mess, my kids hate me, my boss is an asshole who puts up with me because I’m only slightly less larcenous then he is. My girl friend only hangs out with me because I feed her money to get us drugs. I drink way too much, my friends are all degenerate low lifes that only feel comfortable when their butts are planted on a bar stool.

I was decent at one point in my life I think. As a teenager I had grandiose thoughts of being a doctor, or a priest. I’d put myself to sleep at night fantasizing how I would change the world for better if I were a superhero. Then I discovered drugs, alcohol and women – in that order.

It was my first year at University. I wanted to be rich. I wanted to kick things up a notch and live like a drug baron or a Wall Street broker. So I went into commerce and economics. I barely made it through. It was only by leaching off my roommate Roland that I managed to get any passing grades.

I used to call him Roland the headless Thomson gunner, after the Warren Zevon tune. He was a dweeb. First class nerd. Meek as a blind mouse, dorky like the brainy, pimply, skinny little twirp he was. I tortured him mercilessly. God I was a sadist prick. But he took it! He wanted to be my friend. He had no others. I knew girls, not the type you’d like to bring home to mother, but the type that if you pumped enough drinks into them they’d suck your cock and swallow it as well.

Then he jumped from our balcony, smashing the canopied entrance way and getting me in shit with the police. I had to ditch my stash, clean up the place and start paying ALL the rent. That sucked.

A snotty policewoman harangued me for weeks. Kept popping up to ask more questions about Roland and how we got along. Seems she had heard that I wasn’t the nicest guy in the world. That I had a reputation for degrading, ridiculing and generally being a prick to Roland. So what if it were true? The little dweeb deserved it. If you can’t stand up for yourself in this life, then you don’t deserve to be in it.  The police bitch eventually gave up. She wanted to charge me with something, but what the hell could they charge me with? I wasn’t there when Roland nose dived onto the walkway. I was busy having a very dirty weekend with some chick who said she was in first year, but who was actually in high school. No regrets there!

The good news was that he left all his papers and notes. He was nerdy to the extent that though it was only half way through the second year, he had already done the reading and almost finished the assignments. It was a godsend. There was no way I was going to get through year 2 without some sort of crutch.

“You thinking about Roland buckaroooo?” Freddy asked.

My jaw dropped. How the.... “

“I am a man of many talents buckaroo”, he was looking at me through the rear view mirror. “Many talents. Driving is one of my best though. Watch this”. He spun the wheel hard to the left and the car started literally sliding sideways. He quickly corrected and brought it back in line. I was flung from one side of the seat to the other, bashing my head on the window as we slingshotted about.

“Fuck! What the hell are you doing?”

“Smoking a joint asshole. Which you won’t share with me. Which I take as a real insult. Like I am not good enough for you. Like I am not your equal. You sold enough of this shit when you were younger. You smoked a lot of this shit with some pretty scummy people. But I’m not fucking good enough for you.”

“I have no idea what you are talking about. I think you’re crazy. I think that this is some elaborate scheme to blackmail me or scare me into giving you money. Well, I give up. How much? What do you want to make this stop?” I was really panicking. My hands were shaking and my mouth was dry.

“I want your soul Carl.”

“Huh? My soul? I don’t get it.” I fell back into the seat. We seemed to be on the straight and narrow for a change. I didn’t miss being tossed about in the back, but I was getting very creeped out by Freddy.

“Your soul, your incorporeal, immortal self, your anima. The essence of your being. It is located somewhere in your lower torso – or at least 33% of religions, who are completely unrelated and know nothing of each other – agree on this point. Ain’t that amazing, these unfucking related heathen bastards all agreed on that point. Ain’t the world amazing.”

I was flabbergasted. Nothing, nothing I had ever encountered prepared me for this. I freely admit, I have been a bit of an asshole in my lifetime. Even Roland wasn’t the worse part. The drugs, the booze, the fucking around, they were all on my plate. I never sought redemption, never gave a damn. If I had a soul, I knew I was going straight to hell – and you know what – I don’t give a fuck. I would rather rule in hell then serve in heaven – someone said that – forget who.

“Well fuck you Freddy, fuck you and your soul shit. Fuck this entire fucking ride. I don’t give a rats ass what you are going to do with me. I don’t care if you chop my head off and throw my body parts all over the freeway. I just don’t give a shit.”

Freddy’s eyes lite up and he glared at me through the rear view mirror. “Showing some balls finally are we? Ate some Wheaties back there? Reached way down in your purse and pulled those testicales out and glued them back on? Aren’t we the brave little boy suddenly. Let’s see how the bravery works.” He snickered a bit to himself and slid the plexiglass window closed.

The ride had settled down a bit. We were still doing 90, but the swerving had subsided since there seemed to be less traffic on the highway. I noticed something moving near my feet. Then I almost shit my pants.

A spider, a big spider, about 3 or 4 inches wide, was slowly crawling out from under the driver’s seat. I hate spiders. They scare the crap out of me. Getting tangled in a spider’s web is enough to make my heart go into palpitations.

The spider kept coming. I was almost in the back window, having jumped up on the seat and then tried to mount the rear window sill. I couldn`t get in, and I couldn`t take my eyes off that huge arachnid, its hairly legs moving as if fighting their way through molasses as it climbed the seat. I was screaming. I don`t know what I was saying. Flailing about like an epileptic I completely lost it. I wet myself. I was kicking the door, kicking the window, trying anything to get away from that horrid, ugly beast which was relentlessly making its way towards me.





Submitted: January 28, 2021

© Copyright 2021 RB Lafosse. All rights reserved.

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