Story - Passenger

Photo taken by me – The Red Lion sign – High Lane, Stockport
Preston, England
October 9, 2016 12:43pm CST
(Written in a creative writing workshop at the Ham & Jam Cafe, Preston, run by Just Write, this afternoon) “Hey, driver, this isn’t the way to the pub. You should have turned left at the last roundabout. Is your sat-nav malfunctioning?” “My navigation systems are working fine, Guv, and where you’re going is better than any pub you ever went to, trust me.” “Trust you? I’m paying you to take me where I want to go, not somewhere you want to take me.” “Not tonight Sir, you are going where you need to be.” “What the Hell is that supposed to mean? I need to be in the Red Lion. I’ve arranged to meet friends there in ten minutes.” “You will like what I have in mind George, and rest assured I won’t charge you for the detour.” “Oh God, are you kidnapping me?” “Technically speaking, yes, I suppose I am, but you’ll appreciate where you are going. “ “It’s a surprise party right? My mates put you up to this.” “Not that Sir, but a good guess. “It isn’t your birthday until August 17th, so why would there be a party for you now?” “How do you know my birthday? Who are you? Stop the cab now and let me out!” “Don’t get angry Sir.” “I’M NOT ANGRY!” “Here we are Sir, your favourite seaside retreat, Whitesands on Morecambe Bay.” “The sea. How did we get here so fast? It’s forty miles from where you picked me up. We should have taken at least an hour to get here.” “You loved this stretch of coastline as a child, didn’t you, George?” “Yes, but how can you know? How could you get me here so fast? Are you some sort of Time Lord? “This isn’t Doctor Who George, this is real. I’m just a taxi driver. Why don’t you get out and walk round, breath in some of that lovely fresh sea breeze air.” “Why did you bring me here now? What’s all this about?” “I brought you here because you always said you’d like to live out your last days by the waters here. I’m making your wish come true.” “My last days aren’t for another thirty years. I’m only forty.” “Alas not George, your last day is today and your last moments are imminent I’m afraid.” “Why? What’s happening to me?” “You’ll die in the pub, when a car loses control of its brakes on that steep hill right outside. The car will roll right through the wall of the pub, killing you and two of your drinking buddies.” “Carl and Steve?” “Yes, though they are now being taken fishing on the canal to help them avoid experiencing their deaths too directly.” “I want to go back to the pub, right now, in time for the accident.” “I can take you, but you can’t stop it. I’ll erase your memory of this ride and you’ll face the tragedy full on. You might never see this slice of Heaven again.” “I don’t care. I want to be there, to feel the pain, and experience my end. You have no right to protect me from the reality of my death.” “As you wish Sir, and a wise choice, I might add.” “What’s a wise choice?” “Drinking the real ale instead of keg beers in the Red Lion Sir, and here it is now. I’ll just pull up outside the side door for you.” “Thanks. How much do I owe you?” “£7 quid sir. Cheers.” “Get a few beers for yourself later with the change.” “Nice of you to offer Sir, but it’ll go towards sorting out my brake-lines. “ “Why, what’s wrong with them?” “Oh, they stick a little. I have been meaning to get them looked at by the garage mechanics but I just never get round to it. Sometimes I wonder if the old cab will get up the hill here in one piece.” “I’m sure you’ll be fine. Thanks.” “Thank you Sir, and goodbye… I mean, goodnight.” Arthur Chappell
5 people like this
5 responses
@Jessicalynnt (48191)
• Centralia, Missouri
15 Oct 16
um...... the brakes!!!! Well written!!!!
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
15 Oct 16
@Jessicalynnt kind of spooky I expect
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
16 Oct 16
@arthurchappell indeed so!
1 person likes this
@Micmac (6853)
9 Oct 16
I like the suspense in this story. Well done!
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (114511)
• Boise, Idaho
9 Oct 16
What a great story. Really kept me hooked until the end.
1 person likes this
@ms1864 (7001)
• Bangalore, India
9 Oct 16
wow! I was so hooked on this story..
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (36740)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
9 Oct 16
Very good!
1 person likes this