Short Story: Time Is Money



The racism got me riled a little but picking a fight with someone who’s obviously weaker and not as aggressive as you is downright cowardly. Bet these kids have never met a real fighter, someone who will bite, stab, shoot, do anything to win; someone who would kick you under a blanket of darkness.  They need to. Perhaps it would do them a bit of good.

“Yeah, can’t remember the last time I had a good fight,” says DRUNK GIRLS.

There it is again and it’s not going to go away and it’s there in front of my brain, the only thing I can think about and nothing matters anymore and I need to breathe but I can’t, it’s bursting my lungs, the anger oh the anger keeps coming and coming and coming and it’s there in front of me, an entity, a ghoul, waiting for me to fucking kill it and hurt it and it’s etched in my vision, I shake my head but it won’t go away, it’s back, it’s always been there but it’s been hiding and it’s like an old friend who I’ve missed dearly and I embrace it with open arms and it is the only thing I love, have ever loved, has ever loved me, oh dear god please go away make it go away I can’t do it again I can’t I can’t make it go make it




I push the gear stick into 5th and soon reach 90. I make a turn and am soon near Vicarage. Before I go there, I make a turn into a disused industrial estate. They’re still talking and probably think I’m taking the short cut through the country lanes which is reachable through the estate but they are so wrong, oh so fucking wrong wrong wrong.

I stop the car suddenly and DRUNK GIRLS LOVE ME falls forward off the seat and hits his head on the back of my chair. That’s the best thing about having a seatbelt that doesn’t work properly. It may have clicked in but if the eject button is constantly halfway pushed in then it won’t help you.

“Fuck! What’s the matter, drive? Nearly run over a dog or something?”

I sneer and get out of the car, my size 14’s step in a puddle and it ripples as I walk away. The lights from the car twinkle and shimmer in it. I reach the passenger door where eyebrow scar looks bewilderedly at me. I pull the door open and punch him in the face and then haul him out of the car before he knows what’s going on. He didn’t take his seatbelt off so as I drag him, it cuts into him until it rips. The one who was sitting behind me, skinny boy, undoes his seatbelt and throws his door open as I heave eyebrow scar onto the ground and start kicking him, lightly at first. My kicks get progressively harder until skinny boy tries to stop me by pushing me. I spit in his face and then push him back. He lands on the floor and I walk over to him and spit on him again, a nice thick green one. Then I punch him pretty hard in the nose, not enough to knock him out, but enough to daze him and his nose just fucking explodes. Everywhere. Snot and blood are piling out of it and into his mouth, which is open with his moaning.

That one was for you, Harry.


I walk back to the taxi where eyebrow scar is in a foetal position. He covers his head with his arms and is looking at me out of the corners of his eyes.

“Please,” he says quietly, “please don’t hurt me anymore. Who are you? Who are you? We won’t press charges, we’ll just forget about it.”

“I am…me,” I say as I casually kick him in the ribs, which he failed to protect. He gasps in pain and starts to cry but I tell him to “shut up, just shut up” and then proceed to tell him how “it’s only just started so keep the tears for when you’re really going to need them.” He curls himself into more of a ball, and he reminds me of a cockroach. I kick him in the back of the head so hard that it makes a sound like a muffled clap. He doesn’t make a move but I know he’s conscious as his body is moving up and down with his breathing.

DRUNK GIRLS LOVE ME is just getting up in the taxi, blood streams from a lovely looking gash on his forehead. The blood drips down his face and splashes on my taxi floor. The filthy bastard’s blood in my taxi! I haul him out of there and grab him round the neck and squeeze until he is going purple and his cries for help are now nothing more than tiny raspy splutters. The blood drips onto my arm and it feels warm, like a tongue. Just as he is about to become unconscious I leave him go and he falls to the floor in a heap.

Time is getting on now so I need to get back to the rank and get some fares. But not before these amoebas learn a lesson. I’m not a qualified teacher but I can give a good lesson when I want, let me tell you.

Skinny boy is first. Luck of the draw. He’s still on the floor and he hasn’t made any effort to get up. I pick him up and inspect his face — he’s not much of a beauty. I throw him back onto the floor, tell him to give me the money out of his wallet and not surprisingly he does so. Two tenners. I thank him and tell him to behave and let this be a lesson to him, that racism isn’t a good thing. But not before I give him a treat of a few more punches to his face, his eyes swell immediately and his mouth is nothing more than a crater filled with his own blood after I knock some of his teeth out. He gargles on the blood and I tell him to “be quiet”. I wipe his blood that is on my knuckles, some of it even spattered on my arm, on his clothes and then I leave him be.

He’s got his whole life ahead of him.

Eyebrow scar is crawling away and I rush over to him and stamp on his back. Seeing as he tried to get away without paying, I drag him to my taxi and rest his head on the opening of the door. I then slam the door on his head six times shouting “no-one gets away from me without paying!” until he just collapses on his back onto the floor. His head is fairly dented and lumps swell out of his forehead. He looks like the elephant man with those lumps and I laugh at him. I don’t want his money, he looks like he needs it. I then whisper into his ear “you wanted a fight, now you’ve had one.”

DRUNK GIRLS LOVE ME is just rousing from my stranglehold. He makes to get up but I tell him to give me money for the ride and of course, he obliges. Gives me a twenty. Fair play, these boys know how to tip. He tries to get up but I kick him back down. In the chest. He takes a sharp intake of breath and tries to get up again, looking at me, but the blood from his forehead is blinding him. He shakes his head and the blood flies in different directions off his face. He reaches into his pocket and, fuck I knew it, they were holding. He gets up. He’s got a pocket knife and jabs it at me but I jump out of the way and kick him in the calf quickly. This hurts him and he limps towards me.

“You fucker,” he says, “what have we ever done to you?”

“You wanted a fight. I’ve given you one. And you’re racists!” I shout back.

He’s closer to me now and jabs the knife at me again but I’m one step ahead of him and grab his arm and twist it until it cracks and he drops the knife. He screams and holds his arm as the pain surges in floods through it. He can’t do a thing. He’s delirious. I punch him as hard as I ever have to anyone and as his head hits the floor with a crack, I tell him “for fuck’s sake, stay down! Time is money!”

I look at the other two but they don’t move, only groan. I get back in my taxi and clean up the spots of blood with a tissue which I then throw at eyebrow scar as I inspect them once more. I get in the front seat, put the money in my fare-box and turn my full-beams on and then drive back to the rank quickly.

As I said. Time is money.

☛ More Fiction By Beard: Sharp Dressed Man



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