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Midnight Calls

Midnight Calls

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Published by Joshua Allen
Art gave her a ride home, but what she forgot in his cab keeps picking away at his mind.
Art gave her a ride home, but what she forgot in his cab keeps picking away at his mind.

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Published by: Joshua Allen on Nov 12, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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11/11/2009

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 Midnight Calls
By Joshua Allen
The call came in just after midnight. Art had drifted morethan half asleep. He heard his number come over the radio likewater through cotton. He pulled his eyes open and wiped the fuzzoff the inside of his mouth with a slightly swollen tongue."Sixteen here."
 
"Sixteen, pick up at the Better Inn, should be at the frontlobby, but I got a room number if you need me to call.""Ten-four."Art shook the crumbs of sleep from his head and blinked afew times to clear the slime from his eyes. He lit a cigaretteand slid the window of his cab down a notch. He looked around,trying to ascertain his whereabouts. He was near down town. TheBetter Inn was on the highway. Traffic was light at this pre-bar-closing time, so he could be there in under five minutes. Hesucked down a second drag and put his cab into drive.The motel was on a plateau cut from the side of a steephill. He drove up into the parking lot and swung the car throughthe cul-de-sac in front of the main lobby. A younger man and ayounger woman sat there on a bench by the door. Their breathsclung in front of them like frosted glass. Neither was speaking.She stood up quickly, taking a garbage bag filled withsomething. Art couldn't make out what. She hurried toward thecab, he meandered along behind her.Art, since he'd started driving a cab, had become theexpert on sidelong glances. The man wore a nice suit that clungto him like tinfoil. The woman wore a dress that looked like hisdaughter's prom dress, only it clung more where it counted. Shewas thin and blonde--too much of both to be of Art's taste--butstriking. She was beautiful, from what Art could see. She had
 
that classic movie beauty, accentuated by her distress, whichshe wore as well as she wore the dress.He opened her door and she pitched her bag into the backseat and followed quickly. She looked like she wanted to beanywhere else. She tried pulling the door shut, but he wouldn'tlet her."We did the right thing. Promise you'll call me."She looked up at him, Art pulled out his clipboard to login the fare, pretending not to look at the two of them, butseeing them in his rearview all the same. He could see thesparkling crystal tears on her face.The young man leaned in and kissed the woman. She kissedback, but broke it off quickly. Art snapped his attention backto his white piece of paper. She shut the door. He noted thatshe had not promised anything."Where you headin'?""Fine, you?""I'm good. Where you headin'?""2305 North Denmark."Art jotted the address down. "Off Lincoln?""That's right."Art put his car in gear, glancing at the young man whostood next to the cab, obviously freezing in nothing but his

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