Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 6

“So you’re back,” I said, trying to keep a calm air about me as I gathered fragments of my phone off the ground. “Nice work with the disappearing act.”

The spaceman walked over to my cab and hit the top of the boot; it sprung open and he looked at me with beetling eyes as if to say, “You like that?”

“You owe me a fare, you know. And… and an explanation.”

“Well done, my friend,” he said as he inspected his suitcase. “Things have kicked off much sooner than I’d expected!” Continue reading “Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 6”

Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 5

The storm

“Wahid,” I barked into the handset. “Wahid!” Down the line I heard a sound like boiling soup.

“Justin, I told you never to call me before 2pm.”

“You said don’t, but-”

“If you’re intoxicated or it is money that you want, then please, not today.”

“No, it’s much worse.” I recounted the morning’s adventures to Wahid. “And now it’s blinking like a ballerina in a boxing ring and I don’t know if I should touch it.” Continue reading “Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 5”

Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 4

Dial ‘W’ for WTF

It occurred to me suddenly that the object which was blinking and buzzing gaily in the trunk of my taxi could have been some form of incendiary device. Naturally I’d not let myself be taken in by the paranoia which the foaming neurotics had so effectively disseminated around the world’s airports and shopping malls and, when I did notice an unattended bag lying on the platform at a train station, I never succumbed to hysterical fits as instructed: I proceeded calmly on my way. Continue reading “Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 4”

Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 3

The suitcase

The school was a plain one: red bricks, concrete playgrounds and wire mesh fences, hand paintings on the windows and bottle-brush trees along every path, and it had the most valuable view in the entire city. Even from the carpark I could see right past the heads out into the Pacific Ocean. It was not my choice to send Lorelei to a Catholic school, but Diane’s new husband was lathered in dollars and could afford to invest some pennies in the education of my daughter (for which I praised the virgin Mary every holy day) and she seemed to be truly happy. That most of her teachers were, as far as I could tell, not deranged, was an added bonus. Continue reading “Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 3”

Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 2

A bunch of flowers

If some higher power was trying to send me a message by willing me into the back of a flower delivery van, then I truly didn’t understand a fucking word of it. The sequence events went something like:

Crack! Fuck! Pause. Shwoomp! 

The  Schwoomp! at the end was the payload of brilliantly crafted floral arrangements landing on the windscreen. An boorish mediterranean-looking man shouted at me angrily from the footpath. I checked my fingers and ran one across my teeth: nothing missing. The rearview mirror gave me a similar report.

“Hey, are you alright?” I asked. Continue reading “Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 2”

Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 1

The Airport Pickup

“Explain to me, just once more, this exquisite irrationality of why I’m not allowed to see my daughter. I’m not an appropriate role model? Ha! How many two-hundred-dollar-an-hour sessions did it take to conjure up that delusion, Diana? I-” But I was forced to interpret the beeping in my ear as her answer, something at which I had become rather adept. A mid-sentence hang up, Diana’s signature valediction, meant one of two things: that whatever counterargument she had prepared in that gorgeous head of hers was too weak to put forward or that she hadn’t thought of one at all. Sometimes by fifth or sixth beep, when I imagined her leaning against the stove, regretfully toying with the number pad of the telephone, I understood that she still loved me – and that gave me comfort, if not a sizeable measure of moral elevation. Which reminded me: I was out of rum. Continue reading “Orbiting eccentrics – Chapter 1”