The Taxi

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

A stranger on the Internet helps Christa with her homework...and the next day, something odd happens. How did he know her future?

R&R...it's for English and I'd like any advice or help you can give me! Thanks. :)

I don’t know if this will ever reach the outside world, but it’s worth trying. I feel like I need to tell my story to someone, even if it’s just a piece of paper. Maybe, someday, someone will read it. And if you’re reading this, I just want my parents, my friends, everyone I knew to know that I’m sorry. And to know the truth behind what happened...

The end of my life began one stressful Sunday afternoon. I sat at my computer, racking my brain for any fragment of an idea that I could turn into words and spit out onto the paper so that I wouldn’t fail English II. No luck. Desperate, I turned to my kindred for help, but they were about as helpful as my (dead) goldfish. “Just write,” said my mother, half-asleep in front of a weeklong ‘Days of Our Lives’ marathon. My dad didn’t even bother turning away from his desk to face me. “Read a book for inspiration,” he droned, scanning a page of microscopic text. I found my brother in front of his latest videogame. I stood in front of the screen, waiting for his advice. “Stop blocking the screen!” he said, throwing a pillow at me. I obliged, and he gamed on, saying, “Can’t help you.”

“But I need help. I can’t think of anything.”

“Well, that’s what the Internet’s for, isn’t it? Go away. I gotta beat this boss…”

I left the room, thinking…maybe that was a good idea. Well, I might as well try it. I had two days left to write it. My mind made up, I went online and posted a question: “Need to write a story for English. Can anyone help with ideas?”

I refreshed the page, and, to my surprise, there was an answer after only thirty seconds or so: “You’re walking home and a taxi driver stops you to hand you a note. -J”

Hm This could work

Two hours later, I had the first four pages of my story written. I left off at the scene where my main character opens the note.

The next day, I missed the bus and had to walk home. It hadn’t been that great of a day - five hours of sleep, gym, and a history test. I scuffed my feet on the ground and watched the gravel bounce along before me. The rumble of a car alerted me, and I made my way to the edge of the road to let it pass. A glimpse of yellow caught my attention, at the edge of my peripheral vision. I spun around, just as the yellow car - a taxi cab, apparently from ‘New York City’, according to the black logo - began to slow down. It stopped a few paces in front of me, and I wasn’t sure if I should run. Before I could, however, an African-American man got out and wordlessly handed me an envelope.

I glanced at the words scrawled on the front.

Rebecca Milan

That’s not my name.

That’s the name of the main character in my story.

I took the envelope and ran, turning down the first side street I saw to get away from the main road. The taxi sped past.

All afternoon, I tried to avoid opening the envelope, but it was like waking up too early on Christmas. You know you can’t get up yet, but you want to open your presents so badly. I stared out the window like a junkie going through withdrawal. There really isn’t that much to see in our town. It’s called Bartlett, and unless you know me or study tiny suburban towns in New Hampshire, you don’t know it. It’s dusty and dark, shaded by Appalachian forests. The trees border our backyard, and are always casting shadows down, except for in winter, when they create skeleton-esque silhouettes.

Finally, I gave in. I couldn’t figure out how I could have written a story and had it actually happen to me the next day, unless “J” from the Internet had sent the taxi. But then, how could he have known the details? I wrote about a taxi from New York and its black driver. Maybe coincidence? After all, taxis are most commonly found in New York, and African-American drivers aren’t out of the ordinary. Still…I wasn’t convinced. So I opened the letter.

The message was short, but it took me a while to decipher the tangled handwriting. It read: “You’re curious as to how I knew. Meet me at the corner of Main and Birch Sts tonight at 6 and I’ll tell you. -J”

Whoa.

My hands shook a bit as I put down the letter. As nervous as it made me feel, however, I couldn’t help wanting to know, wanting to unravel the odd puzzle. I wasn’t (and now am even less of) one to go poking my head into dark alleys. If someone were to break in, I’d be screaming in my closet. But there was the curiosity at the back of my mind, pushing me. If I didn’t go, I’d be left for the rest of my life wondering. I needed to know.

I made up my mind, promising myself that I’d approach with caution, run if he was armed, and leave as soon as he told me. It didn’t occur to me then that I should have brought someone with me. It would have been easy to drag Justin away from his game for five minutes. This never would have happened if I hadn’t been so stupid…

Anyway, I went that evening. I snuck out just before dinner, thinking that I’d be back just a few minutes late. The town was deserted except for a few stragglers. I arrived at the corner of Main and Birch. There was no one in sight. After seven or eight minutes, I was ready to leave when a car pulled up to the curb. I swallowed hard, but stepped forward.

A man stepped out of the passenger seat, but he didn’t look at me, simply stepped onto the sidewalk and opened the door of the backseat. He held out his hand to help the person out of the car, and I almost fell over.

The girl who came out of the backseat looked…just like me.

She flipped her straight brown hair out of her eyes and grinned. Holding out her hand, she said, “Hello, Christa Pembroke. I’m Christa Pembroke.”

I stared at her as she giggled. “Oh my gosh, I just love saying that! Too bad I’m not going to get to say it again, because I won’t be seeing you again, Christa.”

The man who had said nothing up to that point placed a hand on…the other Christa’s shoulder. “Yes. I’m afraid, Christa,” and here he nodded towards me, “you’ll be coming with us.”

I furrowed my brow. “Pardon me? I thought…someone was coming to explain…”

“Very well. The idea was posted by us, and the taxi sent by us as well, but you already know that, I presume?”

“I guess. But what about the details? How could you have known?”

“We have been monitoring you all your life, you see.” The man gestured towards the other Christa. “Since she was a baby, this Christa has been training to replace you.”

“What?” I was beginning to get a little bit dizzy, with all the information flying at me and the other Christa’s creepily false smile. Today wasn’t April Fools’ Day, was it?

“It would be a bit…dangerous to tell you everything now, seeing as we haven’t yet secured you. Mr James?”

The taxi driver from earlier stepped out of the driver’s seat and took me by the hand. By the time I reacted, he had already gently pulled me to the car. I tried to wrench my wrist away, but his grip was strong. He put a hand over my mouth just as I took a breath to scream and, with an arm around my waist propelling me forward, pushed me into the car. My head slammed against the opposite window and the colors began to swirl a bit. Everything was fuzzy, like when I don’t wear my contacts. Pretty, almost.

I vaguely heard the other Christa laughing, then asking something. The driver and other man got back into the car, and she waved as it pulled away. I was unable to control my head rolling against the door, and the impact made me nauseous. I coughed.

“Convenient. Let’s tell her the rest while she can barely comprehend, eh, James?” The man chuckled to himself, as if he thought himself clever. “Where was I? Ah, right. Our purpose is simple enough. We’re slowly taking over your lovely little country.” For the first time, I notice he has a slight accent. I can’t place it. “By replacing you with people who share our beliefs, we will penetrate each community from the inside. It’s simple enough to understand.”
I try to ask a question, but my tongue is too heavy and the sounds slur together. I’m getting sleepy, and I want to close my eyes. Something’s telling me not to, but why not? Sleep’s so tempting, so peaceful…but just before I drift off, I catch something: “What will happen to you? Well, you’ll just have to find out, sweetheart…”

It’s 2012 now, and I’m 24 years old. I’ve been living here for nine years. I suspect I’m somewhere in Siberia, but I don’t know. The man won’t let me outside. I do nothing but eat, sleep, and try to amuse myself. Writing this has given me something to do, taken my mind off of the tediousness of life here. I doubt I’ll get out alive, as I don’t think they’re planning on switching me back anytime soon. I don’t get much news, but I don’t think their operation is going as smoothly as they planned. Maybe someday I’ll be released, but before I die of boredom or lack of sunlight? Doubtful. So here’s my story.


Submitted: April 01, 2012

© Copyright 2021 Onnedhiel. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Jean Lagace

So, Onnedhiel, I think you are good for your age,quite young that you must be, I assume. You write well and there are some funny passages in this piece and you got them right, which is not easy. The story line is good, got my attention at the right time and while the finish is not quite as good (those expected and so convenient aliens), still you got us to the end of the story which is the point of the matter, isn't it?

Mon, April 2nd, 2012 6:09pm

Author
Reply

Thank you. I hate the ending of this and will probably rewrite it, but it was for a school assignment, so a) I didn't have time to do anything more than proofread after I wrote it, and b) the maximum length was quite short, and to write an ending that would fix the rushing and "convenience" would draw it out a few pages too long. Thank you for the feedback and for taking the time to read it! =)

Sat, May 19th, 2012 1:06pm

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