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  1. #1
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    Mar 2008
    Perth, WA

    Insane Taxi Driver

    Haven't got a title yet, I have a few ideas. Such as Insanitaxi, or Halluncinocab, but nothing is set in stone. If any of you guys have ideas, please share them.

    it is a two part short story, following 2 different perspectives

    Bruce (Part 1)

    Cover for Part 1 (the image I based the story on)


    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]Giant birds. One, two, three. More and more they kept appearing, each just surreal as the last. I watched, in awe, as these massive, penguin like monsters kept materialising out of thin air. I looked out the window, the traffic jam I was stuck in, was non-existent, instead, these gigantic, unimaginable beasts had taken their place. Giant turnkeys lodged in their backs, as though they were a child's toy. I locked my door, and rolled up my window, just to make myself feel safe. It didn't work, I was in panic and shock, I could barely move. Tightness grabbed at my chest, in the heat of the moment, I had forgotten to breathe. I took one gasp of air, reminding myself that it was a necessity to live. Noise started to escape their beaks, as though they were trying to communicate with me.
    "No chance..." I said, as I slid down onto the floor of the driver's seat, meeting with the accelerator and brake pedals. I felt a little bit safer, now the giant penguins were out sight. Something caught my eye, I looked to my right, the passenger seat was filled. I hadn't noticed the passenger I had until now. A smaller version of the monsters outside had crept into my cab, and occupied the passenger's seat. It looked at me, squawking, my brain was racing. My heart leapt into my mouth, and my stomach dropped to my toes. The safety I thought I had vanished and now I was stuck, in a cab, doors locked, windows up, with a human sized penguin, sitting in the passenger seat, eying me oddly, attempting to communicate. Trapped, no escape, my mind started to fade.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 1 - The Lift of Fire

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]I stepped out of the shower, and looked into the mirror. My eyes, red from a lack of sleep, caliginous, deep bags were visible under my eyes. Unshaven, I looked as though I was insane, I was stressed out from work. I opened the medicine cabinet, desperate to find my medication to treat my condition. I found the little, transparent, orange bottle. Empty. No matter, I thought, I can survive one day. My shift started at eleven, it was now nine. I quickly dressed into my scrappy attire, and walked out onto the street, on my way to my friend's apartment. I received grimacing facial expressions from the general public in the street, as though I was filth. I ignored them, the apartment was only a few blocks away, I could manage ignoring the judgemental people of New York for at least five more minutes. And then I heard it, a slight whisper, as though the wind itself was talking to me.
    "...Bruce...." It was so soft, I was unsure if I heard anything. Regardless, I kept walking on, slightly increasing my pace.
    "Bruce!" I heard it for sure this time, the surprise made me turn quickly on the spot, bumping into the man behind me. This man was odd, it looked like bugs were crawling under the skin of his face, causing it to morph and change. We exchanged dirty looks at one another, I looked at him with fear and confusion, he looked at me as though I was insane. Fits the bill, I thought, and I turned back around, heading towards my friend's apartment building. I finally made it to the building. I clicked the button of the elevator, the button was boiling, and burnt my finger. I stood there, sucking on my finger, something really didn't feel right. I heard the low beep, signalling that the elevator was there, as the elevator doors opened, everything started to slow down. I saw flames, the elevator was burning. Flames shot out of the open elevator, as I jumped to the floor, the heat was immense, I was sweating heavily. I ran out, and sprinted up the stairs, lucky for me his apartment was only on the second floor. I reached his door, face full of fear and worry, dripping with sweat. I knocked fast and loud.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 2 - The Glass of Acid

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]Each knock sent a ripple through the door. A solid wood frame, rippling like it was water, each wave rebounding off the edges and colliding with one another. I stood, in awe, as the door was changing shape and morphing with each ripple inducing knock. I stopped myself from knocking, watching the waves calm, and the liquid became still. Before I knew it, I was back, staring awkwardly at my friend, as though he was the weirdest thing I had seen. He gave me a similar look, more of a grimace, a look of confusion at why I was staring at him so blankly.
    "Bruce, you alright mate?" He queried, eyes still scoping over me, trying to discover what was wrong with me. I looked at him, the door had stopped swirling, the illusory and psychedelic state I was in had passed, and I was now standing in front of my mate, sweating and shaking uncontrollably. He invited me in, sat me down, and poured me a cool glass of water. I could feel my heart rapidly beating in my chest, the more I focussed on it, the faster it beat. I couldn't stop thinking about it, the constant boom was moving throughout my entire body. Each beat was like an attempt for my heart to explode out of my chest, the thought of which caused nausea to plague my bowels. I looked at the glass of water, a small droplet was running down the glass. It reached the table, and burned through the Jarrah wood, like acid. I swiped the glass off of the table, smashing it into the wall. I couldn't bear to look at my friend, or the wall.
    "Bruce, what is wrong with you? You just smashed a glass for no reason!" I heard him, but the words didn't even penetrate the out of control thoughts racing in my brain. I looked over at the lime green wall. Sure enough, there was a dark green tinge, resembling the water, pieces of glass were imbedded in the drywall. Tears filled my eyes, as I realised what I'd done.
    "I'm sorry..." I got up, and ran as fast as I could, out the door. Something in my mind wasn't right, I could feel the imbalance, and the lack of control caused from this. I had to get to work, if anything, driving that cab like a mindless zombie might take my mind off of what is happening. I walked to the lift, went to press the button. Memories of bursts of fire came flooding into my mind.
    "No way." I though, as I headed for the stairs. Eager to get out of this building, I rushed down the stairs, skipping two at a time, until I reached the exit. I stumbled through the door, and re-entered the grimaces of the strangers in the street.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 3 - The Expulsion of Digestion

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]Five blocks away. I headed in the direction of cab depot, convinced that work would take my mind off things. I stuck to the left, avoiding all eye contact with people, scared for what I would see, be it the disgusted looks that had for me, or something much more psychedelic. And then, it happened again.
    "...Bruce..." A soft whisper, calling me, carried on the slight north easterly gust. Unsure if I had heard it, I shrugged it off as imagination, and kept on towards the cab depot. Just like the last time, there was a louder, more noticeable call.
    "Bruce.." I knew I heard it this time, this was not my imagination. But I ignored it still, and stuck to my walking rhythm.
    "Bruce!" It slapped me across the face, causing me to stumble. I would of fallen over, if not for the man who was walking behind me.
    "Watch where you're going..." His words seemed to explode out of his mouth. But it is what he said after that penetrated the very essence of my mind and spirit.
    "Freak." Freak... I hated it. I wanted to kill him, and then I felt it. Like the lift in the apartment building, a great fire was dwelling within me. I wanted this man, I wanted to grab him and rip him open with my bare hands. The thought of me knocking his face in reminded me of the door. The door of fluid, which seemed to calm the burning fire within my mind. I started to calm, not worrying about anything. The liquid changed to the cool glass of water. Immediately I felt as though my stomach was eating itself. The burning hot sensation, climbed my stomach, up my oesophagus, past my throat and exploded out of my mouth. I watched as the acid burnt through the rock hard cement, and I was left to wonder what my oesophagus and stomach were like. The burning was still there, it crept closer and closer to my heart. I left the acid soaked crater as quickly as I could, started running as fast as my legs would take me. One block left until I reached the safety of work.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 4 - The Machine

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]I finally reached the cab depot, my eyes fixated on my work car. The humble, mindless space I would occupy for the next 9 and a half hours. The place where my worries would turn into nothingness, and my body would enter auto-pilot. Well, this is what I was hoping for. I punched in my code to say I had arrived, the buttons felt awfully different to normal. I looked, and pressed the enter button. It felt soft, and the surface gave at the slightest touch of my pointer finger. Suddenly, it snatched its jaws around my finger, and started to envelop my finger. The surprise made me yell, and I struggled to save my finger from the grasp of the machines enter button. I tugged as hard as I could, nearly ripping my finger out of its socket. As soon as I put my entire body weight behind it, the machine let go, sending me flying back. My boss walked out, and looked directly at me, sprawled on the ground.
    "McNeil, what are you doing?" I couldn't explain it, to save myself from sounding insane.
    "I tripped, sir." I lied. Oh, the things we do to preserve what others think of us.
    "Well, get up off the floor and get into your cab," I knew what was coming next, my first job. "You have to pick someone up from the Empire State Building."
    Empire State Building, I thought. This should prove to be interesting. The menial task of driving should provide me with the ability to forget about what has happened today, and what could be, my deteriorating mental condition.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 5 - The Hole

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]Driving, a now menial task for me. I did it every day. I had driven in every kind of weather conditions, rain, hail, snow, sunshine, cloudy, windy... The list goes on. The conditions I was driving in now, were completely foreign and abstract to me. Physically, they were fine, the weather was nice, and the traffic wasn't too bad. Mentally was a completely different story. At first, the theory I had concocted, how working would take my mind off it, had a slight placebo effect. Until that effect wore off. Just a few blocks from the Empire State Building, the hallucinations came back, and I knew they were coming. I had that strange, surreal feeling again, this had become the telling signs of what was to come, like the shiver down your spine when a ghost is near. A bottomless pit dug itself into the ground. The blackness of its depths was like looking into space, just nothingness. I slowly drove past it, trying to ignore its existence.
    "It's not real... it's not real..." I was mumbling to myself. I kept chanting those words, as I watched the other traffic head straight for it. I watched, as the first car tumbled into its abyss, disappearing within seconds. More and more cars tumbled and tumbled off the edge of the bottomless pit, while I stood helpless and in awe. Forgetting the chanting I had done before, I had succumb to my minds tricks. I looked passed the pit and there I saw it. The big yellow machine, heading directly for the hole. School bus. I stopped, pulled on the hand-break, undid my belt and leapt out of my cab. I could hear the noises of the school children, eagerly awaiting the arrival of their field trip. Last straw. I bolted towards the hole, placing myself between it and the school bus, arms spread out, as though I was embracing the possibility of death to save the lives of these young ones. The bus driver's face exploded, his hand firmly smashing the wheel, sounding the horn, an attempt to get me out of the way. It did not work. I was committed to either saving the children, or perishing with them.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 6 - The Skids

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]The screech of tyres breaking hard and sliding is a piercing sound. Not bad enough to force me to move. Still standing with my arms out, like Jesus on the cross. I was willing to sacrifice myself to save the lives of the children, as He did for repentance of our sins, crucified between a bus and a bottomless pit. The hand-break was on, and the bus was screaming to a halt. Closer and closer it came. Each second brought nearer a hard thump, and an endless fall for me. And then it hit me... literally. The bus had slowed to the point where it only nudged me slightly, but enough for me to fall back. I tried to balance myself, my arms waving about stopping me from falling. I closed my eyes, and embraced my fate, the fall was meant to happen. I fell. An eternity went by until I hit the ground. The hole was gone, it was not real. But yet, I lay here, in the crucifix position, still convinced I saved the lives of the thirty odd school children. Although the hole wasn't real, and the bus hadn't squashed me, my life was still in danger. I sat up, and watched as the bus driver stormed off his bus, and raced in my direction.
    "What are you doing?" His voice was deep and booming, practiced after years of telling children off. "You could have killed yourself." His voice, filled with both anger and concern.
    "You could have killed yourself." I mimicked. "You're welcome." I whispered softly in his ear, as I stumbled off, back to my cab, with a big, cheeky, cheesy grin placed right on my face.
    "Freak..." I heard it. Blood rushed violently to my head. My face turned red, I wanted this man dead. As I turned to confront him, he was already sitting back in the driver's seat, and the bus took off in the distance. People were still looking at me, my red face settled back to its normal, flesh coloured self, as I stepped into my taxi, and made my way to the Empire State Building.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 7 - The Cracks of Insanity

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]I stared up into the sky, directing my vision to the tip of the Empire State Building. It felt as though the building was swaying, rocking back and forth, flirting with the point of collapse. The man who had called the taxi was not present, but I was obliged to wait for him. Waiting for my next fare. Waiting for my next mental breakdown. I knew another was coming, and it was going to be bad. It seemed they were getting progressively worse, my mental defences were starting to fail. Deep in thought, my eyes were still transfixed on the rocking Empire State Building. Back and forth, it looked as though it was gaining momentum. It was. I watched, as it kept rocking further and further each second, until it reached its limits. Slowly, midway up building, a large crack formed. The top half of the building balanced for a split second and then began its fast decent to the ground, falling right on top of me and my cab. The pavement was busy, filled with innocent lives, unbeknown to them that they were about to be crushed. I lay on my bonnet, stunned, paralysed, watching in awe as my life was about to come to a tragic end. I couldn't even make a sound, I just stared, eyes wide and mouth just the same. Closer and closer it came, it seemed to take an age, as if God was just slowing it all down for me, just so I would have to bear through this horrible scene for as long as possible. Closer and closer to my impending doom, just milliseconds until I was pulverised between the Empire State Building and the bonnet of my taxi. Out of my peripherals, it appeared no one else had noticed, I was the only one witnessing the events that were taking place.
    "Oh, there you are..." A voice called out. Suddenly, the collapsing Empire State Building vaporised and dematerialised in front of me, only to re-appear, standing up right and strong in its normal position. The voice was unfamiliar, and took me a while to respond. I had no idea who it was, but they sure knew who I was.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 8 - The Passenger

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]I sat up, and stared blankly at this unknown stranger. This man had distracted me from what I just saw, it seems the Empire State Building collapsing had escaped my brain.
    "I'm Joe, you're here to pick me up?" Of course, this was my passenger.
    "Yes, sorry, hop in." I slid off the bonnet and opened my door. He sat down, in the passenger seat.
    Odd, I thought, normally passengers sit in the back. No matter, it made no difference to me. I put the key in ignition and turned it, allowing the car to tick over, with the low rumble of the engine starting.
    "Do you mind if I turn on the radio?" Joe questioned.
    "Go ahead." I answered bluntly. He turned on the radio, and a hip hop song was playing.
    "Oh, I love Eminem and D-12." He stated, already knowing it was them after a mere second of listening to a menial beat. Then the opening lyrics started.
    " Schizophrenia, how many of ya got it? How many motherfuckers can say they psychotic?" Eminem rhymed. Of course, a song about schizophrenia had to play.
    "...just blow my buzz..." I heard Joe rhyming along, unbeknown to him, that I could answer Eminem's questions.
    " Schizophrenia, how many of ya got it?" I do, "How many motherfuckers can say they psychotic?" I can. I felt like saying it out loud, with my added lyrics, but I held my tongue. We pulled out, Joe still rhyming along with Eminem and the rest of his group, and within no time at all, we were stuck in the midday traffic.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 9 - The Birds

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]The traffic was intense. Moving so slowly, it was a wonder that we could move at this pace. Joe seemed to be fine with it though, still singing happily along with the radio, while I was focussed on trying to get through it as quick as possible. My peripherals betrayed me, out of the corner of my eye, I could of sworn that I had seen a massive bird. Turning quickly to meet what I thought I saw, I found myself just staring at another cab. Odd, I thought. Joe seemed to have seen me turn sharply.
    "Something catch your eye?" He queried.
    "I..." I had no idea what to say. " I thought I saw something, it was nothing."
    I couldn't open up to a complete stranger about how I had been seeing things all day, it would just creep him out. I turned and looked at the cab again. Sure enough, just a normal taxi, just like mine. Except for one thing. At the front, there was a beak.
    That's what it must of been, I thought. Wrong. I watched as the doors started to wave and change shape. They became wings. The entire taxi started to shake and morph, until it was a giant, penguin like bird. It's beady eyes were staring directly at me.
    "Jesus Christ." I muttered.
    "What's wrong?" Joe asked. I ignored him, and watched as the other cars stuck in the traffic started to follow suit. They each changed into the same giant, monstrous birds. I put my foot on the accelerator. Joe turned quickly, looking at me worried.
    "What are you doing?" He asked. I ignored him again. I weaved my way through the giant feet of the birds. Joe grabbed the wheel, and we both lost control of the taxi. We were heading straight for another bird. I tried to swerve and miss it, but doing so only sent us into another one. The impact was fierce, and my cab, totalled.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 10 - The Bird Infiltration.

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]As soon as we crashed, the birds seemed to become very vocal. They opened and closed their beaks, each time a squawk was emitted. I looked up, and saw something that made me nauseas. The sky was dark, and the moon was alight. The birds kept squawking. It felt as though they were calling to me, asking me to step out of the car.
    "No chance" I said. I looked down, trying to avoid looking at them. I couldn't help it, I had to get somewhere where my vision was predominately not looking out at the noisy, gigantic birds. I slid down, meeting with the accelerator, clutch and brake pedals. I felt a bit better, a naive sense of safety and comfort crept into my mind and body, and I started to relax a fair bit. I clapped my hands together, rested them on my nose and closed my eyes. Praying to anything that could help me.
    "Please save me." The only three words I could muster in this situation. I allowed my eyes to creak open slightly, something caught my eye, once again, in my peripherals. The passenger seat was full, I had forgotten about Joe. I looked to him for guidance, for comfort. Comfort that any human could bring in a world filled with masses of giant birds. Instead, I met the gaze of a smaller version of what lurked outside the lost safety of my cab. It stared at me. Squawk. It was trying to communicate. I had no idea what to do, my mind was racing. And then, like a switch was turned off my mind began to fade. I started to relax, I was slowly calming down. Memories of what happened during this bizarre day were flooding back to me. Until I came across it. The medicine cabinet, inside, the transparent, orange bottle which contained my medication was empty. I watched the feathers starting to malt off of the passenger bird. Feather by feather, each one revealed a new part of Joe's body, until he was sitting there, looking at me with both concern and fear. Tap, tap, tap. Someone was at the window.
    "Police, please step out of your vehicle."[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Joe (Part 2)

    Cover for Part 2 - Thanks to Cav for making this


    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]I watched, in awe, as my taxi driver started to flip out. He was panting heavily, eyes darting backwards and forwards, looking around at everything outside of the cab. I didn't feel very safe with him at this time, and he had locked the doors. I was trapped inside a cab, with a seemingly dangerous man. Before I could say anything, he was muttered something to himself.
    "No chance..." He breathed. No chance for what? I was completely stumped. I was curious and a little worried at what he meant.
    "Hey, are you ok?" He ignored me. This was starting to get weird. I watched as he slowly slid down, until he was on the floor, near the gas pedal. I was stunned, I had no idea what was going on. He was praying, his hands were slapped together, brought up to his face, and he was murmuring random words, I couldn't understand any of them.
    "Hey, Bruce, are you ok?" He heard me this time. He stared at me, mouth agape with fear. He froze on the spot. I was trapped, with a man who was freaking out, and could possibly be homicidal. No escape, no chance.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 1 - The Walk of Happiness

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]I woke up, ready begin my day. Excitement was flowing through me, as I was meeting the boss at the Empire State Building. According to him, he had some news, and it was well known that if he took you to a monument, then you would be getting a promotion. I started to get ready, scrubbing myself vigorously in the shower, trying to make myself as clean as possible. I stepped out of the show, and looked in the mirror. My eyes were big, and eager, sparkling from a good sleep. A little stubble was apparent, but not enough to need shaving. I ran to my bedroom, opened up the cupboard, to reveal a large amount of suits.
    Which suit should I choose? I thought, browsing through my own cupboard. I picked out a general business suit, and headed out the door, onto the streets of New York. Walking down the street, I met the gaze of numerous citizens of this great city. Each just as polite as the last, meeting me with a smile, and I returned the favour. I wasn't certain if it was the suit that helped me gain the respect of the community, or just the polite ideology most New Yorkers adopted. Either way, it was a fantastic feeling. I had been in New York for only a week, and already the difference in the way people treat you was apparent. In Los Angeles, you would appear to be filth towards everyone, not here. Not in New York. I made way down the street, receiving more and more friendly nods and smiles, on my way to the Empire State Building, where a possible promotion was awaiting me.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

    Chapter 2 - The Climb

    [spoiler:2fqcdi9e]I finally reached the building. I looked up, he wanted to meet me at the top. One hundred and two stories. I opened the doors, entering the massive structure. Walking over to the elevator, I noticed there weren't many people standing around it. And there, I saw it, the sign hanging off the elevator doors.
    "Notice, temporarily out of service." No matter, I thought, nothing could put me in a bad mood today. I was forced to take the stairs. All one thousand, eight hundred and sixty of them. I began my ascend, slowly making my way to the top, both in m workforce and in the Empire State Building. I was extremely nervous, butterflies began floating in my stomach. I was sweating heavily. Was it the nerves? Or was it the climb... I wasn't sure. But I was starting to make my suit wet. I started to fret.
    "What if I gave off a bad impression to the Boss, dripping with sweat?" I panted. Over halfway, I had to stop. I was exhausted, but my will was still strong. I pushed myself further and further.
    "Last 100 steps." I said to myself, as sweat was now pouring off my face. I looked at my watch, I had to meet the Boss at 9:30. My watch displayed the time back to me. 9:25. I had time, 100 steps in five minutes, shouldn't be too hard. I reached the door, and throw myself at it, stumbling through it as I opened it. Bent over, breathing heavily, dripping with sweat, I looked up at my boss who was standing near the edge, looking over the city.
    "9:30 on the dot, Sir." I stated, still catching my breath.[/spoiler:2fqcdi9e]

  2. #2
    Tim is offline
    Fanatic Enthusiast Tim's Avatar

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    Apr 2009
    Sydney, Australia

    Re: Insane Taxi Driver

    I'm quite busy at the moment so I only read the prologue and the first chapter. You're a really good storyteller but it'd be awesome if, instead of telling the reader the entire story, you to spent more time showing the reader the story, if that makes sense. I'll be honest though, showing rather than telling a story is easier said than done (I'm pretty bad at it too!). Another thing I'd like to point out is your pacing. At times, I found it quite monotonous. I found this quote the other day and it blew my mind, check it out:
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Provost
    This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.
    Basically, put yourself in the shoes of the reader and make them want to read your story. Pace yourself and think carefully about how one sentence flows on from the one before and onto the next.

    Hope that helps!

    Also, I'm thoroughly impressed by the length of your piece! I always get stuck after I've written about one or two hundred words! Keep writing!

  3. #3
    Veteran Enthusiast

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    Mar 2008
    Perth, WA

    Re: Insane Taxi Driver

    wow that quote really spoke to me, if you think the length of this is impressive you should so the book I'm writing, 10,000 + words


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