j. l. navarro

Cab 7235

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Illustration by Jeremy Jusay

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C.T. Lowell was killed in this cab. Some said it was haunted. Jim Marrow sat in it, looking at the dashboard, the windshield, and the steering wheel. Three weeks ago Lowell's blood and brains had been sprayed like diced tomatoes throughout the interior. Looking at it now, you'd never know it. It was scrubbed clean.

It was 9 p.m. and Marrow was getting hungry. If Marrow believed in anything, it was his stomach. Marrow believed in hunger. He did not believe in ghosts. He did not believe in 3-dollar bills, UFOs, or anything else that went against the grain of his well-heeled sensibilities. Marrow did not believe in Santa Claus--or God. Marrow believed in money and all the things that money could buy. Jim Marrow was a realist.

Over the radio, the dispatcher squawked, "Sunset-Echo."


"--209, take it into the Pioneer Market--in the front."


Marrow sat with mike in hand, waiting, listening.

Slow night.

A night like a turtle's crawl, he thought, and he was pleased with himself. I shoulda been a poet. Yeah, maybe that's what I shoulda been.


"What is it --102?"

"I can't find Benton."

"Check your map book, sir." The dispatcher wanted to yawn.

Asshole, Marrow thought. He had no patience with green drivers.

"You're a moron!" he yelled into the mike. "Ya hear me, you're a fuckin' moron!" A gob of spit landed on the mouthpiece.

"All right," the dispatcher said. "Knock it off. I need a unit for Sunset-Vermont. Plenty of calls, gentlemen. Let's go get 'em."

Marrow pressed the key and brought the mike to his mouth. "--235, Sunset-Vermont."





This story is included in The Blood Cake Vendor and Other Stories.