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Bits & Pieces

      I wrote this in an English class for my last year or two of high school so I'm sorry if it sounds a little juvenile.

      Taxi & Wolf
      by Galaxia Starr

      (This story, is meant to be read in a typical stereotype New York accent.)

      It was a dark, rainin’ night, in the pits of New York. The black streets were filled with black rain, and the sky was cloaked in an eerie drizzle. Being that it was night time, the wet street look as if it was covered in a dank oil, but in this part of New York it probably was. The illusion of hellish dankness was intensified with the rotten stink of the trash dumpster that I was parked by. Some how mixed with the rainy night it made me think of how this city was like a giant graveyard, sucking at your soul, making your flesh decay until a person just don't give a damn no more.

      My thoughts wandered into more and more morbid areas, with the surrounding weather it was unavoidable. The life of a lowly cab driver wasn't for me… this and the fact that there had been four cabbies murdered in the past month was not light on my brain. All the papers said it was like some kind of animal has smashed through their windshield and ripped into 'em.

      Earlier, lookin’ for solitude I had pulled into this back alleyway to rest my mind from the same morbid thoughts, but ended up falling even deeper into them. Shaking myself from my dark pondering, I tried to keep my mind on my work, but the people this late at night are not what I wanted ridin’ around in my back seat.

      I started the engine to my yellow checkered cab, it groaned and bitched but finally started. Switching on my headlights, THERE right in front of me was somethin' that I couldn’t believe! It looked like a giant dog diggin’ through the trash cans in front of me. Only this dog was really, really big, and standing on it’s hind legs. It must have been the size of a football player.

      Only half a second had passed before the thing snarled at the intrusion and leaped on the hood, it stood for a long moment staring at me through my windshield. Giant gobs of animal drool began to drip in large clumps onto my windshield. The Windshield… at that thought my eyes grew wider. One of its giant paws slammed down on to the protective glass. A large crack formed under it. I’m a dead man! My mind screamed out. And in my panic I slammed my fists down on the steering wheel. A long, shrill, burst from the horn erupted. And the creature covered its pointy ears then jumped onto the roof of my car, and bounced itself off of my rear bumper. There was a long, strangled, silence before the sound of that bumper, falling off, echoed throughout the alleyway.

      “Son of a B-” I cut myself off, and took a slow, deep breath. Back to the station I thought. my hands shaking wildly, back to HQ and report the damage. I thought I was gonna puke. My gut twisted, and my head swam. But I didn't but a strange fear came over me. What had I seen, really? I shook my head to clear my thoughts. My hands trembling I reversed out of the alley.

      The ride back to HQ seemed much longer than any other night I can think of. When I finally did arrive, I had a chance to fill out the report, explain minimally to my boss what had happened, and have a cup o’ java with one of my buddies. I could barely hold the cup; my hands were still shaking.

      The coffee was sobering, and I got a chance to tell my buddy in detail, what I had seen. His name was Butch, and he said he had seen something like that once before too, most of them had, it was like a cabby legend or something. At least it was in New York. “Yeah, it’s huge, hairy, and smells pretty damn rank too. There is even an old story that it ripped apart a cabby in 1940 somethin’. Personally I think it’s the Joisy Devil; it’s migratin’ to New York. That things probably runnin’ out of poodles to eat over there.” The Jersey Devil.. now there was a thought...

      I stopped for a minute to think about what he had said. “1940? Damn, that means this thing has been around for years.” I began to wonder how many taxi drivers it had taken down before my encounter with it. The thing was obviously fearless and getting hungrier every night.

      “Jimmy,” Butch seemed concerned this time. “Best to leave sleepin’ mutts die. I don’t know what it is any better then nobody else around here does. We ain’t gonna do nothin’ to stop it. Not like the police gives us a damn anyhow. Doubt you’ll ever see it again. Anyway it is a dark night, never knows what you saw. Nights like these a guys starts to get thinking, gets himself real worked up.”

      After a few more minutes of my cab getting assessed for damage, and finishing my coffee, I was told to head back out. Even this late at night there was still cab fair to be had. With a slight grumble, I tossed away my empty coffee cup and headed out. I was starting to wish I had some whiskey or something with me.

      I drove a long time before my mind registered anything. Just thinkin’ about what I could do, what it was, and how many cabbies it would eat before it got to me or anyone else that lived in the big apple. Then, as I arrived at the strangely empty Times Square (man, I thought it was busy all the time!) I saw the brightest full moon I ever did see in my whole life! It was hoverin’ in the misty clouds making a strange eerie glow. Just then, I caught something out of the corner of my headlights. Big and furry, but walkin’ on two legs. I knew what it was, even if I didn’t get the best look at it. The thing darted left and then disappeared into a dark alley, just like the first time I saw it. I swallowed hard before I made up my mind on what to do.

      “You ain’t going after no more of my buds, you stinking sack of drool.” I flipped off my headlights, maneuvering my taxi even with the entrance of the same alley it had just entered. I backed up as far as I could; my subconscious mind was making a plan, even though my conscious mind was not aware of it. I was positive by now, it could not only see me and hear me, but it could smell the sweat pouring off of me like Niagara falls just after the spring melt.

      It was like a wolf, waiting for its prey.

      I gripped the gearshift in one wet palm, and the steering wheel in the other. My mind was playing images from the first encounter. Flashes of its teeth in the headlights. Glimpses of the claws on it's feet. The echoes of a cracking windshield. I didn't want to head into that same situation this time. I might not get out of it again. I eyed the mouth of the alley. It was narrow. I didn’t know if the cab would actually fit. My mind twisted the facts over in about 3 seconds. I was ready.

      Flipping on the brights the beast's snarling form was outlined against a cruddy, moldering brick wall. It looked ready to attack. It recognized me. I could tell it wanted to finish what it had started with my windshield. It lunged at me in a mad dash.

      I slammed the gas petal until it smashed against the floor. The engine roared and the cab sprang forward for a good twenty feet before it smashed itself into the narrow opening of the alley. The side mirrors broke off. Sparks leaped from the sides. Metal ground against brick, screeching and grinding against one another. I could hear my own voice. Screaming at the wolfish beast. That punk was going down even if it took me with it.

      Everything after that seems so distant. Like I was watching myself from the passenger seat. In a flash and a blink, I had hit it. The beast flew backward from impact of the blow. It made a strange ‘yelping’ sound like a kicked puppy, before slamming headfirst into a dumpster. It left a bloody smear across its surface. Kicking and howling before it finally stopped moving.

      I was frozen behind the wheel, as the body began to change. Its fur began to fall out, relieving human skin. Its claws retracted back into its fingers. Shock, was starting to set in, I was still paralyzed. Its vicious teeth, began to recede.

      “Oh crap!!” was all I could say, as it began to transform into a more human shape. And without thinking, I backed out of the alley and kicked open the driver’s side door.

      As I approached it, the thing was almost totally human. But the guy was pretty bashed up… and naked. “Are you ok buddy? Want me to get help??” I don’t know what I was thinking, but all it did was snarl at me. I was in a tizzy I didn't know what to think or do!

      Then it came to me, what I had done and ran a good block to the nearest pay phone to call the cops. Rattling off things about the cabby murders and the thing I had hit in the alley. They showed up an astounding 2 minutes later, but all they found in the alley was a bashed up, beaten in, rusted out, broken down old taxi, and a smear of blood surrounded by some odd hair.

      They conveyed to me that something had happened. But they couldn’t tell me what. The last thing they said was that I had probably been seeing things, ran over a stray dog. At the end of a long week, with these weird murders had effected me. I could hardly disagree. And was promptly escorted to the police station for some questioning.

      Hours later I wandered back to HQ in a daze. I was startin’ to believe I was seein’ things. How could it have been anything else? My boss didn't fire me, maybe because he'd seen the same thing when he was a lowly cab driver? He gave me a couple days off and some sleeping advice.

      A month or so later, after all was said and done. I had been laughed at over the “werewolf incident”. But Butch was still on my side. And one night over a cup o’ java he had entrusted to me that some old lady on the west side of town had seen some kind of huge dog runnin’ around during the full moon, and a lot of cats from the neighborhood had started to go missin’…