Sunday, August 21, 2011

Excerpt from " The Monkey Toy"

     A cool fog set in from the harbor and the air was chilly. A taxi pulled up to the curb. Randy and Joe piled into the back and directed the cab driver to take them to Pier E, where the Royal was docked. The taxi driver looked confused, probably because he didn’t understand much English, but nodded, set the meter, and drove off in the direction of Pier E. As the driver turned his head, Randy was somewhat taken aback by the huge scar that ran down the side of his face, from his eyebrow to the corner of his mouth. Randy wondered to himself if he had received the wound in the war, or if he had been in some sort of accident.
     Randy and Joe sat in the back seat and discussed the night’s events. “Do you have any money left?” Randy asked Joe.
     Joe felt around in his pockets. “No, I thought you had some money left.”
     “I don’t. I left what change I had on the table for the tip,” Randy replied in disbelief.
     With a slight giggle, Joe asked, “How are we going to pay for the taxi?”
     The cab driver became suspicious and leaned over and looked in the rearview mirror at the two in the back seat.
     Randy whispered, “We’re going to have to do the old switcheroo!”
     The old switcheroo was a simple plan that they had put into action on numerous occasions before, when they had found themselves short of cash and needed to get back to the ship. They simply waited until they arrived at the ship, swung open the doors of the taxi, and ran like hell! They usually ran toward another ship and hid behind a trash dumpster to confuse the driver what ship they were from. After driving up and down the pier a few times, the frustrated and pissed off cabby would finally drive off and the sailors would go aboard their ship.
     Unfortunately, this was not the usual cabby, and although rather silent, he understood English very well, and knew exactly what they had planned.
     At that moment, the cab driver demanded payment for the ride in perfect English. Randy assured him he would be paid when they arrived at the pier. The cab driver immediately turned the taxi around in the opposite direction and began to pick up speed.
     “Jump out!” Randy yelled. But the taxi was going too fast and the driver locked the back doors automatically from the front.
     Randy and Joe were yelling obscenities at the driver when he turned off at a high rate of speed down a dark, secluded road. As the taxi skidded to a halt, the driver spun around and put a knife to Randy’s throat, barely piercing the skin. Joe began screaming.

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