“Do you know the one with the cab driver?”
“Oh yeah I do. It starts on the dark desert… no wait that was the one with the hitchhiker lady. No, I don’t know the cab driver one.”
“Okay, then shut up and listen.
“It all began on a stormy night. Not one like this, but the kind where thunder chased lightning across the sky and the wind blew the rain all over the place. It all began on a stormy night with four friends.
“Four friends, in a bar, on a stormy night.
“They were celebrating. The lawyer had won his case and the drinks were on him. Soon, the drinking was done but the rain wasn’t. And not a cab was in sight.
“Four friends, outside a bar, on a stormy night.
“That’s when he showed up.
“The cab driver was unimpressive. Those who lived to tell the tale can’t tell you what he looked like, for they don’t remember. The cab itself was the regular kind. The lawyer, glad to be getting out of the rain, jogged up to the cab, but stopped when he realised that the cab driver was walking towards him. In his hands was a box. He handed the box to the lawyer and said – This was left in my car for you.
“The lawyer didn’t understand. He didn’t remember anyone saying anything about a package. He opened the box, and guess what he found.”
“Not quite. There was an engraving – PLACE ONE SEVERED HEAD.”
“Sounds like some wacko vending machine.”
“Shut up, and listen to the story.”
“The lawyer laughed out loud. And then so did his friends. He dropped the box in the rain and walked away looking for a ride home.
“Four days later, they found his body in a drain, completely soaked and washed away by a storm.
“Four weeks later, the cab driver showed up again.
“The three friends stood by their favourite spot in the park, remembering the lawyer in between puffs of smoke in the dusky autumn evening. They didn’t even notice him until he tapped the banker on his shoulder and said – This was left in my car for you. And then, he walked away as silently as he’d come.
“Everyone looked at the box that the he had left on the bench with apprehension. There was no mistaking it, it was the very same box. In perfect condition. The banker couldn’t control his rage. He was sick and tired of this stupid prank. He picked it up and threw it on to the road. He watched it get run over by car thinking ‘good riddance’ and went back to the cigarette and memories.”
“Another four days later, he was run over by a truck.
“Four months after the road accident that the third of the company met the cab driver again. She was stranded on an empty highway in the middle of the night with a broken down car. The nurse had heard enough ghost stories and was quite eager to get away from the haunting silence that had enveloped the abandoned highway. She’d welcomed the two headlights of an approaching vehicle until she realised that the vehicle was a well-known yellow and was filled with dread when she realised that it was a cab, not the tow truck she’d called. The cab pulled up parallel to her and she stood paralysed as the window was lowered and the driver dropped an all too familiar box at her feet with an all too memorable ‘This was left in my car for you’.
“For four weeks, she carried the box around and the weight of its demand on her shoulders. Her friend could neither help nor wished to have anything to do with the bloody box. It went everywhere she did for she was scared of the possibility of what could happen if she lost it. Slowly, minute by minute, the nurse lost her mind. Until that one morning when walking along the docks, she decided she’d had enough and sent the box hurtling into the sea, hoping no one ever had to see the damned box again.
“It was four hours later that fishermen found the body of a young woman floating in middle of the sea.
“The fourth friend decided he’d had enough. He packed up his stuff, quit his job, and moved to the west coast. He changed his name, his life, everything. Four weeks, four months passed by and slowly he began to relax.
“One day, he came home to find a present on his doorstep. The box, looking like it had never been run over or thrown into the ocean or soaked in the rain, just sat there waiting to collect its payment.
“Four years after the last death, the box was back looking for the severed head.
“And it was never going away.”
“What do you mean ‘that’s it’?”
“I thought it would be, I don’t know scarier. What about the severed head?”
“That’s what I’m here to collect.”