Day 17: Your character gets on a taxi and tells the driver to take him/her to the airport. But the driver has his/her own ideas about where they are headed . . .
“Hi, can I get a pick up at 47 Westchester Drive heading to the airport?” Julia asked the operator of her preferred taxi company, All-Star Pick Up. She had been using them for years as a force of habit more than anything else. They were always quick to respond and fast in transport and today, Julia was late. “Great, thank you.” She replied to the operator and hung up, checking her watch and grabbing her keys.
Julia’s flight to Trinidad was set for 2 pm which meant she should have been at the airport at 12 pm. It was now 1:15 and Julia was still at home up in Stony Hill, 45 minutes from the airport on a good day. She paced her living room wondering where her taxi cab was when the intercom rang alerting the arrival of the cab. Without answering the phone, she grabbed her cardigan, handbag, and pull-along and strode through her door into the brilliant sunlight.
As Julia exited the main gate to her complex she saw the white unmarked and heavily tinted taxi sitting in the drive-way. It didn’t bear the familiar All-Star Pick Up logo but it had the undeniable radio antenna that stood at least 4 feet taller than the car. Julia slid her pull-along into the back seat and took her seat diagonal to the driver. She preferred to sit at this angle so she could always see what the driver was doing. Sometimes they would check messages on their phones whilst driving and Julia had a strong aversion to things like that.
“Good afternoon,” Julia said as she closed the door. The driver didn’t respond. He started the car and pulled out into the south-bound traffic.
After about 5 minutes of driving the driver asked, “Where to, miss?”
Julia glanced at the driver through his rear-view mirror and shook her head. “The airport.” She simply said; the driver nodded. Julia returned to her window gazing, watching cars zoom by, people walking along the side-walks and the familiar roads as the driver made his way to the airport. Every now and then she would glance at him and check the road ahead and when everything seemed fine she returned to her window.
Julia checked her watch again and saw it was 1:40 pm when the taxi neared the infamous round-a-bout that de-marked the airport but instead of heading right toward the airport he went straight across the round-a-bout heading toward the city of Port Royal.
“What are you doing?” Julia sat up, her heart starting to beat faster.
The driver didn’t respond. He stepped on the accelerator as he headed down the long stretch of lonely road. Julia started to panic. What did this man intend to do with her? All manner of evil thoughts ran through her mind as she tried to assess the situation. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves and searched her handbag for anything sharp she could use in this predicament; she found her keys and a pen in her bag. She deliberated whether the keys would be effective in puncturing a wound or if it was too noisy to move about with. She fisted her hand around the keys making sure not to make a sound. She then shifted the pull-along into a standing position behind the driver while checking the rear-view mirror to see if he was aware of her movements but he was busy concentrating on the winding road. She slid across the back-seat and sat behind him bracing herself. Julia’s heart pounded faster drowning out her thoughts and her logic.
Julia put her knees slowly into the back of the driver’s seat and took three sharp breaths the ready herself. What she was about to do could either go horribly wrong or terribly wrong and if she did nothing, she could end up dead wrong. She chose horribly wrong. In one fluid motion she wrapped her left arm around the head rest trapping the neck of the driver in the crook of her elbow as she grabbed the other side of the driver’s seat.
“A weh yah do?” He exclaimed as Julia held him in a head-lock but he didn’t let go of the steering wheel; the roads were winding through the mangroves and he knew they would crash if he did so. She then took the longest, sharpest key and jammed it into the drivers rib-cage with her right hand. He cried out in pain and fright, and swerved violently across the road, barely keeping the car straight.
“Pull the car over now!” She demanded into the drivers’ left ear while looking him in the eye through the rear-view mirror.
The driver did not respond. She jabbed him several times in the same spot with the key causing him to swerve off the road several times cursing and crying out in pain but he never stopped; he in fact, stepped on the accelerator. What can she do now? Julia thought. She grabbed the seat belt the driver was wearing and wrapped the belt around his neck strapping him into the seat by the head rest again. She leaned back and pulled on the belt around the man’s neck. He was pulled back so far that he could barely grip the steering wheel. Julia pulled the seatbelt tighter as she pushed on the back of the driver’s seat.
“Pull. The car. Over. NOW!” She screamed at the driver. He started to grab for the seat belt and when he couldn’t get a finger in, he tried to grab for Julia but because she was right behind him, he couldn’t do much. He started to choke and cough and he took his foot off the gas pedal. The car started to slow down almost to a complete stop.
“Stop the car” she growled at the driver but it was evident he could go no further and do nothing more, he was almost out.
As the car came to a complete stop the driver tried one last attempt at escaping the neck-tie of a seat-belt but Julia pulled even tighter on the strap and watched as he passed out in the front seat. She remembered watching on television the countless victims who released their attackers once they thought they were out, but had they waited a couple more seconds, they probably would have survived. So, Julia held on for a couple more seconds, then a couple more, just to make sure. She was not going to fail this test.
She slowly released her pull on the strap and watched as he leaned forward, limp and lifeless. She opened his door, unstrapped the seat-belt, and pushed the driver out of the car with her feet. She jumped into the driver’s seat and pulled the door closed over his unconscious body in the road. She then turned the car around on the soft shoulder of the road and sped back toward the round-a-bout and to the airport. Julia knew she missed her flight, but she doubt she could have made that journey after what just happened. She stopped by the first security post she saw at the airport Departure lounge and told them of her ordeal before passing out herself.
That was the last Julia remembered of that frightful day.