Streaming

Cory pressed his foot on the rubber accelerator so hard that the car began to smell like peanuts from the oil it ran on. The couple in the back seat started making out viciously, tearing at each other’s clothes. They were middle aged, sixty or so, horny on a cocktail of uppers and hormones. They didn’t care where Cory took them; they were only there because the cab was cheaper than a hotel room. Cory laughed to himself, delighted at the couple’s enthusiasm. He slapped the plastic window on the back seat closed and inserted the woman’s credit line into his car. The car accessed her account, withdrawing money as the seconds flipped by on his red digital display.

Cory drove like a madman, like a bat on fire, like a gamer with a thousand lives. He accelerated around corners, trusting his system to warn him about oncoming vehicles. The woman began to moan in the back seat, and Cory smiled, a little turned on despite himself. It was the perfect backdrop for his show. Cory touched the broadsword on the seat beside him for good luck and pressed a button on his neck, connecting him to his personal server. In a few seconds he felt the network buzz inside him, warmth rushing down his spine.

“Streaming.” He said, and about four hundred people locked to his signal “I’m live.” Flags popped up on the inside of his vision, greetings and questions from his regulars. He dismissed them with a hard blink. He would deal with them later. Now, now was for the show.

“I’m Cory, and this is Backseat Metro, where I talk about my life as a cabbie in the big Eastern Sea City, from New York all the way down to DC. Right now I’m driving on the Clinton Bridge which is still stained black from the poison cloud that killed all those people last year.” Cory’s fans liked it when he put a bit of news into his show.

“They say that the black doesn’t make the bridge dangerous, it’s just a residue from the non-lethal part of the cloud, but I still put my filters on when I drive over the damned thing. Whether or not the black is toxic, the vampire gangs sure like it, hanging out on the viewing sites, trading their narcotic bites to junkies for blood. Part of me wishes that they would sandblast the thing white again, and part of me just loves the retro 17th century thing the kids have going on here.”

The woman in the back screamed passionately, her naked back pressed against the plastic divider between the front and back seat.

Cory glanced back at the couple. “Say hello to Roy and Michelle everyone. They are celebrating their first retirement into their second careers. Right now I’m taking them to the drive through Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the homeless bohemians are working on painting the front steps. It looks like they are painting giant self-portraits. I heard that Police have tried to pull them off, but the college kids surround them in protest. Personally, I think the whole thing is good publicity for the museum.”

Michelle and Roy were rhythmically slamming their bodies against the back window.

“Roy and Michelle aren’t particularly interested in destinations folks, not physical destination anyway, so right now I’m taking them where I want to go, and recently I’ve had this hankering to see this painting. I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s near the end of the drive through tour, and it’s of a man standing on stairs, in a dark corridor wearing a long white robe. There is something in his eyes that just says strength to me. He’s clearly a warrior, and of all the scenes of romance and religious stuff in that museum, he really stands out. I like to think that someday, I’m going to be like that guy in the painting.” Cory patted the electric broadsword on the seat beside him, his baby.

“When I retire, I’ll leave the cab and feel the cement of the Metro highway under my feet. I won’t ride but I’ll walk the entire length of it, I’ll meet every face and landmark I speed by, and I’ll know the whole thing like a lover.”

The backseat was suddenly quiet; Roy and Michelle were slumped over each other, exhausted.

“Happy Retirement folks.” Cory switched off the feed and took the couple home.

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The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

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