Monthly Archives: July 2015

Universal Taxi – a short story

Universal Taxi
The taxi, predictably, was right on time.  She climbed in, dropping her purse on the seat.  The driver turned back to look her over.  She had a light dress on, nothing else that her body revealed.  She was barefoot.
He arched his eyebrows,  “Where to, miss?”
“Can you take me to the end of the run?  To the wall?”
“It is theoretically possible.  It’s a long way and I’ve never done that before.  Can you pay?”
In a fold of her purse, she showed him more money than he’d ever seen.  “Yes, I can pay.”
“Very well.  We are after all the Universal Taxi Service.  Time to live our slogan.” 
They drove off into the night… then it was light, then dark again, then light and so on across the Universe.  She sometimes looked out the window at the passing landscape.  Was there anything she had missed?  Anything of interest she had overlooked?  Any activity she would still be happy to perform?  There was nothing.  She dozed as the taxi purred on, ever smoother as they plunged through alien territories.  Then it seemed to be climbing.  Her ears popped and the taxi’s engine lumbered under the strain.  The driver dropped into lower gear and pushed the pedal to the floor.
Suddenly he gave an exclamation of surprise and the taxi came to a screeching stop.  Before them stood a white wall that seemed to have no end: no bottom, no top, no curve to its sides.  The surface was as smooth a polished glass.  Not a joint anywhere.  No opening to get through.  No way to climb over.
This was her destination.  She stepped out of the taxi.  She smiled at the driver and handed him her purse.
“Here, take this.  There’s more money in there.  I won’t need it now. Nothing of this world can pass through.”
Then she took her dress off and tossed it on the back seat.  For a moment he admired her naked beauty.  He wanted to grab her, pull her back in the taxi and drive away from that place.  But she was out of his reach now, walking slowly and deliberately to the wall.  Belatedly, he heard her words — something about passing through.  He called to her:
“Hey, what are you doing?  They say there are terrible things beyond the wall.  Come back with me, I’ll take care of you…  You don’t want to mess with this.  They say it’s possible to get through but if it doesn’t kill you, what will you do beyond the protection and comfort of the wall?”
She called back, “What do you know of it, friend?  That wall has not been of great protection, or comfort, to me in my times here.  Besides, I know enough now to dare pass through.  I don’t think you want to see this.  You should leave now and not turn back.”
He wanted to see what she would do, what would happen to her, but he was afraid.  So he reluctantly turned the taxi around and headed down the great steep hill they had just climbed.
She walked to the wall, extended her hands, then her arms fully forward and pushed.  There was a loud snapping sound and as her body dematerialized in a shower of green and blue stars, she was beyond the wall.