The Driver | By: christopher howells | | Category: Short Story - Action Bookmark and Share

The Driver


God she hated driving, hours upon hours stuck behind the wheel watching the world go by and it felt to her that she was loosing time she would never, ever get back. If she had her way she would work from home and then she would not have to spend so much dammed time in her car. No if she was being truthful she would not even work, instead she would run off with Peter and go and live on a sunny island sipping drinks all day long and making love all night.

"It doesn't even have to be Peter!" She giggled to herself.

A hoot of a horn brought her back to reality and she sighed at the long line of cars in front of her. She had moved to the city Ten years ago with so much hope and expectations and at first it had been great. Four years in design college and she had graduated with a first class degree and was immediately snapped up by a fashion house and was given a lot of money to do something she really loved doing. This was the late Seventies and she was at the front of the women's movement, she felt good and lucky to be alive. She had found a place close to work and happily walked avoiding the stress of owning a car; she also had the bonus of loosing a bit of weight and feeling great about herself. She had a few boyfriends and enjoyed herself with them and there was also time for the girls at work and for what seemed like forever life was good to her, young, rich and full of energy.

Then there was the pregnancy.

At first she thought there would be no problem, she was a young woman and had choices and could see someone about an abortion and well everything would soon be able to go on as normal. She had the abortion and it was for the most part a painless experience, the nurses and doctors at the clinic were nice and professional and it was over in what seemed liked moments. Afterwards she had gone home and found the note from her then boyfriend Alan, it was angry and accused her of murder and she was heartless and did not deserve ever to have children. At first she had dismissed it but as time passed the words began to play on her mind and then her work began to suffer and before long she was being warned that if she did not shape up then she was out on her ear.

She resigned before she was sacked.

She hid herself away for a few months and put on weight and almost gave up. Somehow she picked herself up and started again, she changed her whole outlook and began simply by working behind a bar in a pub and slowly her life or at least a much easier version of it began to form. She went out with a few men and then met Peter; he was athletic and had a nice smile and a wicked sense of humor. They got on really well and decided after a time to move in together and saved some money to move out into the suburbs and buy a house. This was the early 1980's and property was beginning to boom and both of them was happy they had got in right at the beginning and soon their house was worth three times what they had paid for it.

"But all this driving!" she said aloud.

Again she wanted to change her life and applied for a job working in a bank, something she did not think she would ever do and in fact she wanted to follow a career path in the banking centre. She would often laugh and tell her friends she was becoming a Yuppie.

"Still have to bloody drive for miles though."

That was the problem, their home was lovely but it was nearly Eight miles form the bank and of course she was working Nine to five and she had to come into the city with all the other traffic. Peter had asked her more than once why didn't she take the train but she was a little claustrophobic and in a train it was worse than she could deal with. But a car is smaller said Peter and yes she knew that but somehow it did not seem to be the same.

"It's the other people!"

She looked to the side of her and was looking into the face of a plump middle aged man wearing sunglasses. He was staring hard back at her and she looked away unnerved by his stare. She put the radio on and loud music blasted into the car, she winced and switched it off. Despite herself she looked at the other car again and to her shock the man was pointing a gun at her, she let out a scream and ducked under the window. She held her breath but no sound came and it felt like forever before a car horn blasted and she automatically sat up to see the man a few cars in front to her side. She looked in her rear view mirror and the driver behind was shaking a fist at her; she waved and moved the car into the space in front. They only moved one car space and she felt the familiar frustration of driving again almost forgetting the man with the gun.

"No it must of been a toy," she said aloud to reassure herself.

As she spoke the man turned to look at her and once again he was holding the gun up.

"Why can't anyone see this?" she shouted and then banged hard on the horn.

A few heads turned to look at her, she pointed to the man with the gun and as she turned to look she saw that the man had his driver window open and then a flash from the barrel of the gun made her blink. There was no sound because of the traffic noise and she looked quickly to the car in front and the driver was looking in his rear view mirror at her. She pointed to the man with the gun and the driver followed her finger and it was the last thing he saw because the man with the gun fired again and the driver in front's head exploded. She screamed and in a panic she slammed her car into reverse and thudded into the car behind, there was a hoot of horn and the man was shaking his fist frantically, she did not care she had to get out of there, she rammed and rammed and then shot forward and shunted the dead man's car forward, a small gap opened and she forced her car through scrapping a van and soft top on either side bringing more angry horns. She did not care she was free, gunning the car she screamed down a side street.

"Oh my god, oh my god!"

She knew she should have gone to the police but she was frightened and exhilarated and simply wanted to get back home to her Peter and just........she did not know what?

"Peter?" she shouted as she got out of the car and ran into her home. "Peter, Peter, phone the police."

"What?" his voice came from upstairs and there was a loud thud.

She stopped dead in the hallway and looked up at the ceiling, she was certain she heard a woman's voice.

"Peter?" She shouted up the stairs and he appeared at the top of them putting a jumped over his head. "What were you doing?"

"What?" He looked at her.

"What are you doing?"

"What?" He started down the stairs towards her. "What are you doing home so early...?"

She blinked, "I...was shot at..!"

He stopped right in front of her, "You were shot?"

"Yes," She looked past him to the top of the stairs. "What were you doing upstairs?"

He frowned, "What are you talking about?"

"Is there someone upstairs with you?" She asked and she knew the moment she did it was a mistake.

"Oh for god's sake!" He flashed red angry. "Your not going to let me live that down are you?"

She opened her mouth, what was wrong with her? She had seen someone being murdered and now wanted to go over her husband's affair form two years ago.

"I made a mistake and anyway you have...."

The glass in the hallway door exploded and a bullet ripped into the table holding the phone, another bullet came in through the door and the phone erupted into a thousand tiny pieces.

They both dived onto the floor and a volley of bullets tore around the hallway, it was as if they had been attacked by a machine gun. In the noise she thought why weren't any of the neighbors out, what was going on? Suddenly there was another explosion only this time it was not from gun fire instead someone had kicked in the door and when she looked up she saw a tall, powerfully built man standing in the shattered doorway and he stared down at both of them with his dark, dark glasses.

"Whets going...?" a blonde, slim woman was standing at the top of the stairs covering her nakedness with a sheet.

They both looked up at her but she was looking at the man in the doorway, she opened her mouth again and a shot took her jaw away and she fell back dead.

There was a dreadful silence.

"You have to stop me," The man said coldly. "You have to go to the nearest police station and tell them it was me."

"Oh my god!"

"Now both of you have seen me kill someone, so you have to stop me, he paused. "Or I'll kill the both of you."

Peter looked at her and then slowly at the man.
"Why don't you just hand yourself...?" The shot into ceiling stopped Peter's question in his throat.

"Because then it would be no fun and besides I have chosen you two!" The man said

"Why us?" She asked.

"There is no reason, The voice was low and very, very slow. "You are to drive back into the city as fast as you can and get to the nearest police station before I catch you."

"But you said," She began but another shot into the ceiling shut her up.

The man in the sunglasses walked back out of the house and when the both of them looked he was standing by his car.

"Why did you...?" She looked from Peter to the dead woman on the top of the stairs.

"I," Peter began. "We don't have time..."

Another bullet tore into the hallway and shattered a mirror a few feet from them, he got to his feet, dragging her with him and they ran out of the house and to her car, she started for the driver's side but the man in the sunglasses shot at the ground just in front.

"You drive!" He shouted and suddenly the woman from next door stepped outside.

"What is all...? The man in the sunglasses shot her in the head and she dropped to the floor in a second.

"Oh my god!" She screamed but Peter was dragging her to the driver's side. she fought him off scratching his face in her fear and anger, he stepped back, the man in the sunglasses raised his gun and shot through the window of the house opposite, there was a woman's scream from inside.

"Okay! Okay!" She shouted and jumped into the driver's seat and started the car and roared to the end of the street and almost crashed into a car pulling in.

"Where is he?" She shouted at Peter who was looking in the side mirror, she suddenly saw what he saw and the other car was closing in behind them.

"Oh god!" She accelerated and saw the police car coming towards her, she felt her mouth dry and slowed the car down as much as she dared, the policeman driving did not even look at her or the killer behind.

The police car disappeared as it turned into the housing estate and immediately a shot ran out and they heard the sound of the bullet entering the body of her car.

"Where did that go?" Peter asked when another bullet tore through the back window and shattered it; she almost lost control of the car and then felt Peter's foot on hers on the accelerator.

"What are you doing?"

"Drive as fast as you can!" Peter bawled as another bullet entered the back of his head and blew his face out onto the dashboard.

It took her a few seconds to realize what was happening and then she screamed and screamed loosing control and colliding with an oncoming lorry, there was an almighty screech of metal on metal and she was thrown through the windscreen onto the road. She heard rather than saw the rest of the traffic skidding to a halt and through her numb shock she expected to be run over at any moment.

Nothing happened.

The world went still and quiet and she could see people beginning to get out of their cars and running towards the wreckage. She could not move or hear anything but she saw the car behind pull up and the man in the sunglasses get out and casually walk towards her car; he rose up the gun for her to see and then put it in through the broken window. He paused and looked at her and she tried to call out but her mouth was full of blood and she could feel a deep, deep cold begin to envelope her body and darkness fill the edge of her vision. The last thing she saw was him getting into his car and she wondered if he liked driving?

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