Cabbie

By Sam Davidson

A/N: Written in response to Eldrice's review of marielmouse2001's "The Watcher," which also inspired her subsequent "Clown." Don't worry if that doesn't make any sense- those involved will understand. :-)

And now, the story:

Will pulled over to pick up the man in the gray suit standing on the curb with his arm extended. What an odd language of gestures we have, he thought, as the man shifted his briefcase to his other hand to open the car door. Simply stick out your hand and you can be transported anywhere in the city. Almost like a twisted reflection of an Old One's spell—extend your arm, spread your fingers wide, and you could work wonders.

"Where to today?"

"McAlester financial building, down on Hopkins Street." The man settled into his seat, not bothering to fasten his seat belt. After enough time at this, it's amazing what you can tell about someone just from whether or not they wear a seat belt, Will mused. Or whether they keep looking at their wristwatch, or whether they cross their legs.

It's one of the greatest lies that humans tell themselves—that they are independent and free willed. I can do whatever I want, they say, and then desperately look around for someone to imitate, someone to tell them what to do. They are always seeking a mold to fit into that someone else has already carved out for them so they don't have to do the work. And if the mold includes crossing your legs when you ride in a car, then that's what they do.

Even after all these years, he still couldn't decide whether he envied them or not. Some days he scorned their simplicity and ignorance, some days he pitied them. Others he longed for the simple pleasures they were free to enjoy, free from the weight of the world he carried on his shoulders.

And so, day after day, he watched them come and go through the rear-view mirror, exchanging a few words, accepting their payment. He studied them all, fascinated and yet detached, and saw them on their way.

"Here we are, that'll be 5.60. Have a nice day."