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Driving Force

Driving Force

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Published by Joshua Allen
What happens when a job that makes you feel like a zombie, actually turns you into one?
What happens when a job that makes you feel like a zombie, actually turns you into one?

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Published by: Joshua Allen on Feb 27, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/27/2010

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Driving Forceby Joshua AllenVin was reading
Winter's Tale
the night it happened. Hedidn't mean to be; it was a class assignment. The man was allthe way in the cab before Vin even noticed him.Clearing his throat, Vin picked up his clipboard. "Whereyou headed?" Vin said from the driver's seat of his cab."Iowa," the man in the back of the cab replied.The engine sputtered. Vin gave it a little gas. He wasparked in front of a strip of bars on the Illinois side of theMississippi River. The bars were all closed, dark, and empty. Asingle streetlamp half a block away and the bare red bulbsignaling the entrance to the police station were the onlysources of light outside the cab. It was one of those nightsthat left you feeling greasy. Vin was still waiting for a betteranswer."Where in Iowa?" Vin finally said.He tried to adjust mirror so he could better see the youngman sitting behind him. The glare from the dome light wasblotting out any finer details. All he saw was dark skin andsweat.
 
Allen - Driving Force - 2
Couldn't have been a horny stripper, just off work, slickand shiny, too tired to worry about Vin ogling her. God forbid."Are you familiar with the vicinity around the high school?""What street?" Vin tapped his pen on his clipboard."Tucker, uh, Tucker and Grand, I believe. Does that soundappropriate?"
Appropriate?
Runner.If Vin had been in a worse mood, he'd have thrown the guyout of his cab right then. It took him a full count of ten todecide not to. Vin had been wrong before, and if not, let himtry to run.Vin put the cab into drive and started across the bridgethat spanned the mile-wide river and dumped all cars, wary andunwary alike, into Iowa. He was halfway across before picked uphis mike. "Korey? This is Three. I got one going to Tucker andGrand.""10-4," his dispatcher replied.Once the cab was across the river, Vin flipped his rightblinker on and cruised toward the turning lane at the lightedintersection."Can you go straight?" the fare asked."I thought you said Grand and Tucker.""I believe it's quicker to go straight."
 
Allen - Driving Force - 3
"Cheaper to turn right." Vin tapped the meter. "It chargesdistance, not time.""I want to stop by a friend's house--see if a...a ladyfriend is home."Vin swerved out of the turning lane, then stopped at the redlight. He checked his rearview again. There was a little moreillumination from the outside now, but not many more details forVin to make out. The kid didn't look like a bad sort,necessarily. There was a certain intelligence in his expression.Vin trusted intelligent people. The kid suddenly started lookingaround like he'd heard something. Then he leaned up in betweenthe seats, ducking so he could see the traffic light. He satback and began beating out a tune with his toe.To get him to shut up, Vin asked, "What's your name, man?""Alex.""You from here?" Vin asked.The guy started drumming the same song on his thigh usinghis fingers as drumsticks. "Not explicitly."Evasiveness. Vin didn't care how many five dollar words Alextossed around, Vin could smell a runner a mile away. "Where youfrom, then?"The kid puckered his lips, as though figuring a mathproblem in his head. "Many myriad places."

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