Erin Crocker

Charley King's Taxis

"Charley, you're needed at the Hilton. Be there in ten minutes."

I hung up my cell phone as I turned into the prestigious Hilton Hotel pick-up area. A young man in a suit and tie signaled my cab. I pulled up to him and helped him get his two suitcases in the trunk. My yellow cab began to exit the parking lot when I felt a gun press into the back of my neck.

"Get me to the airport now!" the young man yelled.

I slammed my foot on the gas and sped out on to Caleb Avenue which, in my experience as a cab driver, provides the fastest route to the JFK Airport. As we sped from one street to the next, there was complete silence, except for the voices in my head screaming at me to run, crash, talk, do anything to survive this lunatic. I remembered something that I had heard while watching America's Most Wanted; people who converse with their attacker are less likely to be harmed by them, because people are more likely to harm complete strangers than a friend. When we turned onto 9th street, I tried to keep him and his gun calm by telling him about my family, and my hopes to open my own company; Charley King's Taxis. His only response to my rambling was that his name was Steve, and that he needed to get to the airport. As we spoke, however, I could see him slip the gun, a revolver I believe, under his seat.

The streets began to fly past us now as we became closer and closer to the airport until we came to the Oak Street Bridge. Due to the Verizon advertisement that sat atop my cab, we couldn't go under the bridge, rather, we had to take an alternate route that led us past the police station. I slowed down as we passed the station and we turned right onto Ellis Street and continued with our regular pace of at least fifteen mph over the speed limit.

I was starting to feel rather safe, so I stopped at the red light before Crane Boulevard, when a police car suddenly came screeching behind us as another appeared from the right.

"Go!" Steve yelled as his gun reappeared from below his seat.

I swerved left onto 21st Street, which was currently being repaved, and sped through five or six cones. Before I knew it, there were two more cops on my tail, and Steve's gun began to press harder and harder into the back of my neck as we progressed farther and farther from our initial destination. I began to panic and swerved into a magazine stand, hoping to lose the cops, and drove straight into a pile of sand which led my cab into a muddy ditch.

The cops swarmed around us like bees to honey. They pulled out their guns and ducked behind their cars as one of them got on his megaphone:

"Charley King! You are under arrest for the murder of three New Yorkers! Come out with your hands up!"


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