Main image
9th March
2012
posted by amber

It Happened in a Taxi

The body lay in the gutter next to a service road running under a busy overpass. The service road was not busy. The body had been there for a day before anyone discovered it.

“The homeless guy living in the cardboard box over there says someone threw her out of a taxi last night,” my men told me.

I didn’t bother to ask why the homeless guy hadn’t called it in. I could see that he didn’t have a phone.

“So, who found her?” I asked.

“Social worker. Comes by to check on homeless guy once a week.”

“Let’s go look at the body,” I said.

The victim was blonde and probably had been gorgeous before being pummelled by some blunt instrument.

“Nice clothes,” one of my men observed. “I’m thinking high class hooker.”

“She had a purse,” I noted, pointing at the designer clutch lying not too far from the body. Most hookers prefer to keep their cash and everything else they need in a more secure place than a purse.

“No cards or ID in the purse. Maybe it wasn’t hers,” one bright bunny said. I gave him a look.

The homeless guy shuffled over toward me, the cop who’d been babysitting him yelling, “Hey,” and running after him.

“Leave him be,” I said, and met the guy halfway.

“It happened in a taxi,” he told me.

“You already told us she was thrown out of the taxi,” one of my men said.

“It happened in the taxi.”

I asked, “You saw someone kill her in the taxi?”

My men began to pepper him with questions. “What did he look like? A big man, a small man? White, black?”

His answers were mumbled, rushed, without inflection. “Not big, not small. I don’t know what colour. It’s always dark here at night. He was shouting at her. I was afraid.”

I heard shouting. A beat cop was yelling. It sounded like, “I found the murder weapon.”

I walked down the street to see what he’d found. It was in a dumpster, underneath leaking bags of food waste from a greasy spoon. It was a baseball bat. A very famous baseball bat.

“Do you think he’s the doer?” my men asked.

“Scott Saunders? The baseball player? More likely he’s another victim. Didn’t you hear he was a no-show for the big game today?”

Their blank faces showed me they’re too busy to follow sports. I guess I should be impressed or something.

“Find the taxi,” I told them.

***

They found the taxi down by the wharves. “No sign of Mr. Saunders, or the taxi driver,” my men reported.

I glanced into the taxi, stepped back and told my men, “Saunders is in the water. Get some divers. And arrest the taxi driver.”

“How do you figure that?”

“You should pay attention to sports,” I told them. “Saunders has been seeing a mystery woman. People said she was a professional escort-”

“A hooker, like I said,” I was interrupted, but I shot the guy a look and kept on, “Yesterday they announced they were going to get married. Scott Saunders to wed Ali Sands. There was a picture in the paper. I would have recognized her sooner if there’d been more of her face left.”

“So how did the taxi driver manage to beat them both to death? Big guy like Saunders.”

“Saunders was shot. You can smell it in the cab.” Faint. The over-powering smell had been blood and death, but the gun powder smell was there.

“Why shoot him and then bludgeon her?”

“It was a crime of passion. Check the taxi driver’s name. Jasbir Sandhu.”

Once again I drew a blank from my men. “Sandhu. Sands. I bet he was her father. You did notice that she had black roots?”

“Surely she knew her father drove a taxi. Why would she get in the taxi if she suspected he wanted to punish her for…what she used to do?” one of the men asked.

Another of the men conjectured, “Or for marrying a white guy.”

“Oh, she knew it was his taxi. They were hoping to make up with the guy. That’s why they brought the gift.”

“What gift?”

“The baseball bat. You think the players carry them around all the time? You fellows need to get out more.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

This story was written with suggestions for a prop, a line of dialogue and a genre supplied by Peggy Shannon. I’m practicing for the script I’ll be writing for the 48 Hour Movie Making Challenge in Calgary on March 30. Peggy gave me: 1. A baseball bat. 2. “It happened in a taxi” 3. crime. Thanks, Peggy!

Leave a Reply