HOME | BROADSHEETS | ARCHIVE | ITINERARIES | MIXTAPE | EVENTS | FAQ | RSS | LINKS
Advertise | Newsletter | About/Subscribe | Submissions | Art Walk | Books | THE2NDHAND Writers Fund

**PRINT: A GAME I ONCE ENJOYED, by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, is THE2NDHANDís 32nd broadsheet. Somerville's work previously appeared in No.24 in 2007, and this Somervilleís second broadsheet since the release of his short-story collection, Trouble, in 2006 marks the first since his novel The Cradle launched into the cultural imagination with coverage in the form of reviews in places as high as the New York Times Book Review. Donít let that turn you off, though; Somervilleís work is viscerally humorous and elegantly dramatic as the best out there, as evidenced in this epic story, about a chess game whose stakes might well be higher than its players know. Also in this issue: a short from Ohio scribe Daniel Gallik.

**WEB: TAXICAB HORROR STORIES #351 Greggory Moore
THE CROW'S NEST Peter Richter
WING & FLY: NERVIER THAN THOU? The Broad Set Writing Collective | Todd Dills
THE SUMMER OF KRISTA MENDEZ Chuckie Campbell
LIVING COLOR Stephanie Friedman
GOOD FORTUNE Thomas Mundt
THE BITTER REDS Philip Brunetti
An excerpt from the novel HEARTLESS Eric Durchholz
HIDEOUS BOUNTY: THE BOUNTY | Andrew Davis
LIGHT LIKE PALM SPRINGS or EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION Pitchfork Battalion

TAXICAB HORROR STORIES #351
---
Greggory Moore

Moore lives and writes in Long Beach, Calif. This piece is excerpted from a novel in progress called "The Use of Regret."

I was about to round the corner, still a good mile from home. A taxicab pulled behind two stopped cars in the right-hand turn lane. I'd been walking for a while, and my feet were sore. I jogged up to the yellow mini-SUV and gave the front window a gentle knock. "Hey, buddy."

Bohemian Pupil Press, Chicago publishers of the South Side Trilogy

He popped open the door. "Hop in," he said, sounding like something was wrong with his palate.

"Buddy, look, two bucks to drop me off at the Wal-Mart center over the freeway. You're going that way anyway, right?" I had the bills in my hand, holding them like I was offering a lick of my popsicle. "It's like a half-mile. You're going that way anyway."

"I gotta run the meter." A car in front had a chance to go. He saw it, began to move.

"Dude, come on, man. Two bucks for nothing. You're going that way anyway. Here. Come on."

The cab moved a bit once, and he looked at me obliquely.

"Come on, man. You're going--"

"Alright," he said, snatching the bills.

I swung in quickly. The little door sounded a lot like plastic, soft, very Fisher-Price. "Good."

He moved us forward, and we swung around the corner. We started up the overpass, and I saw that we were bending toward the on-ramp.

"No no. Dude, what-- Not on the freeway. Dude!"

He looked straight ahead, his arms stiff.

"Hey, man!" I had raised my voice. "What's going on?"

We were accelerating up the onramp, about to merge into the sparse traffic. It was dusk. "Now, you give me three dollars, man."

"What!" I squeaked. "I just gave you two dollars. What are you talking about?! Dude, I said two dollars to just take me to the fucking Wal-Mart center -- that's what I said! You didn't have to take me. Now, take me back!"

"Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhhh." It was a yell of excitement, not a threat, like he was pumping with adrenaline at the first hill on a big roller-coaster. "Whaauuuuuuuu!"

"Fuck, dude!" I nearly shrieked. "Take me back, you freak!"

"Look, gimme three bucks. Three fucking dollars! Everything else is gonna be a lot more hassle than three dollars."

"What the fuck, you fucker," I was choking on the words, "I'm gonna fucking call the cops! You're going to go to jail, you stupid ass. What are you doing?"

"Just three bucks, I let you off, that's it. The cops-- Why hassle, man? Is it worth three bucks? Only three dollars. I'm getting off here, on this off-ramp. Look -- I'm going to. Just say you'll give me the three dollars, just give it to me, cut your losses, man...."

"Cut my losses, you fuck?! I-- Goddamn, I should fucking kill you, you deserve it, but I don't believe in violence. You fuck. But if you touch me I'll fucking kill you, I swear to fucking God!"

"Hey, I'm not gonna touch you, man. Jesus, dude! Whooo-hoooo, man. But just three bucks, come on -- the hassle's over. Just... come on, just give it to me."

"Goddamn it."

"Just calm down. Just think about it. Three measly dollars."

"Goddamn it goddamn it goddamn it! OK! Here [reaching for my wallet], you fuck, you fucking freak, I hate your goddamn guts. Just let me out, you goddamn cunt. You're a terrible person. I should kill you, I should fucking kill you. Here!" I threw three ones at him. "You fucker. You fuck."

We gently glided down the off-ramp, carefully, gingerly, both of us looking straight ahead. I felt so flushed and stiff that I thought I was going to tighten up and choke. He gathered up the bills as unobtrusively as possible and softly jammed them in his shirt pocket. I noticed for the first time that the radio was on (a Zeppelin tune I'd heard a million times without knowing what it's called).

"Hey," he chattered softly, "ever notice how 'e pluribus unum' isn't on bigger bills? It's only on ones and change -- ones and parts of ones... 'Cents': a percent of one... It's got to be intentional, ya know? They gotta have in mind... because, you know, it means 'from many, one,' see? All the parts of one say it, and all the ones... It's all of us, the philosophers, the poets. We're all a part. We're ch--...," he swallowed, "--ained. You should check it out."

We took a right, then pulled into a bus stop.

"Fine," I said. "Here, let me out."

He eased us to a stop. I opened the door, looking at him warily as I extricated myself. "You goddamn fucker. I'm getting your license plate, your information -- I'm calling your cab company, the cops...."

"Fuck you, you honker!" he called, yanking the door closed. He gunned the engine, and his tires ground gravel angrily.

"That's goddamn fuck... Fuck you, fucker, mother...." I was having trouble breathing, my chest heaving with tension that had nowhere to go. Three bucks. The worst thing was that he was right: it wasn't worth it. I knew I wasn't calling anybody. I hadn't even looked at his license plate.

EL ENTRAR, EL FUTURO

**SUBSCRIBE TO THE2NDHAND if you like reading our our respective broadsheet and online series -- any donation above $30 gets you a LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION to THE2NDHAND's quarterly broadsheet. See this page or send a payment through PayPal here:


OUR FRIENDS AT The Left Hand make great soap, salves, balms and other natural hygiene-type stuff, in addition to publishing a zine and running a book swap, a performance series and more from their Tuscaloosa, AL, homebase. When they offered to make something for us, we jumped. We introduce THE2NDHAND soap, an olive oil soap with a quadruple dose of Bergamot, "for the readers we've sullied..." Price is $6, ppd.

**BOOKS BY THE2NDHAND CONTRIBUTORS at Amazon

Google




112709