Chapter Three – Granny
I was parked in front of Macquarie Centre, a giant white cubed affair with tiled tentacles stretching in all directions. No one was catching cabs. My fares totalled less than eighty dollars for the entire day -“ ugly, no matter how you looked at it. At this rate I’d need to rob a bank.
A polite tap on the window accompanied by a warm smile from an old lady with groceries, told me I had a fare. I popped the boot and lifted the first of several bags into it. Collecting the last, I helped her into the back seat.
-˜Where to?’ I asked.
-˜Sixteen Brae St, Blacktown, please. Take the M2 if you wouldn’t mind.’
She was sweet. I punched the directions into the GPS stuck to the dashboard, and the route popped up on screen. It was in the middle of nowhere: there would be a decent fare in it. Odd she would shop this far from home.
-˜You okay back there?’
Her dentures stretched both sides of her mouth as she smiled. The whites of her capped teeth somehow managed to look both friendly and not at the same time.
-˜Very good, thank you driver,’ she said, unfolding what looked like a catalogue on her lap.
Seeing she was happy, I switched to autopilot. I worked my way through the traffic to find my exit; watched as houses became smaller and more decrepit. No leafy suburbs out here.
-˜This is my stop. Just up ahead on the right there,’ she said, pointing with a shaky but determined finger at a large stucco house off a side street.
I indicated and pulled over. It looked dark and empty inside with torn curtains facing the street. The fare was just shy of what I’d made for the entire day. She obviously had a bit behind her, not that the house suggested it.
-˜That’ll be seventy five and-“’
-˜I am sorry, sunshine. I’m sure you’re not doing this because you want to,’ she said, holding a small silver-barrelled gun tightly in her hand. -˜And the truth is, I’m not either.’
-˜Are you kidding me?’
She cocked the gun. -˜I’m afraid not. Pop the boot.’
-˜A gun for a fare? This is -¦ it’s just ridiculous, I-“’
-˜Need to stop talking and start acting. Pop the boot.’ The dentures weren’t friendly any more.
I did as I was told. How she was going to carry her bags, the gun, and anything else she had on that frail old body of hers, was beyond me.
I’d be a laughing stock back at the depot. This was not happening.
I heard the boot being lifted. She hadn’t moved; her gun was still pointed directly at me. In the rear-view I saw a large skinhead wearing black track pants, and what looked to be an Ed Hardy shirt, removing her groceries. Jesus.
-˜Thanks for choosing me -¦ you’ve made my day, really,’ I said to the rear-view above me.
-˜Well, let’s complete it then, shall we? I’ll take whatever you’ve got in the register.’
-˜I don’t think you’re stupid and your ears don’t look to be painted on. Do I really need to repeat myself?’ she added, smiling at me with a face that didn’t belong on that body.
-˜This is just un -¦ fucking -¦ believable!’
-˜We don’t want any trouble, sunshine. Just your money, love.’
Ed Hardy stood beside my driver’s door with his hand out. I emptied my cash box with the key I had taken from my pocket.
-˜Your keys and your phone as well, sonny’ she said.
-˜Come on, I’ve co-operated here!’
-˜You can have the phone back -“ I’ll just need the SIM card and we’ll be on our way.’
-˜Well, thank you. It’s nice to get some recognition once in a while.’
Ed Hardy pocketed my keys. They left down an alleyway opposite, him carrying the groceries, me with not much more than a silent phone and my pride seriously dented. I’d take a bath on this.
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Gripping. Action packed from cover to cover. Twists and turns like a winding road. An action/thriller movie in the waiting.
With most thrillers I can predict what is going to happen next. This was definitely not the case with Drive.Â Â It was a nail biting read trying to guess the connections within the story. From start to finish the story kept me guessing and wanting more.
A raw and engaging read. One of those books that feel very much like watching a movie - a fast-paced, exhilarating movie that keeps up a constant stream of suspense throughout its entire duration.
Just as addictive as GTA is to play, Drive is to read.
An easy style, with a fair bit of violence, so not for the faint hearted. Worth a read.