ANDORRA & DRIVER

ANDORRA & DRIVER

A Story by VALORMORE DE PLUME
"

Not all taxi cabs take you where you want to go.

"

Andorra & Driver

From the

Mindscapes

of

VALORMORE

 

 

Burton Saddler starts each day in the same way; shaving and showering, next his usual breakfast of toaster waffles with cherry jelly with a large cup of coffee. Attention is on each detail, as he suits up for the office. Often, the theme song from “I Dream of Genie” sticks in his mind, causing him to whistle the one tune he can remember. The happy tune stays with him out the door of his swank apartment and on to the elevator.

“Darn it” says he to himself. “It’s out of order again.”

Burton always leaves enough time to take the stairs as the lift is prone to malfunction. He whistles his way down the five flights of stairs, knowing there is plenty of time.

Across the street, Andorra Palmer has already shut off the alarm clock and is dragging herself out of bed. She shakes off a night of tossing and turning as she manages to bathe, dress, and put on her thick makeup in record time. Her red, slightly graying, hair is to be covered in a scarf so she is glad that she has no need to take a lot of time styling it. Her focus is on getting to work on time. Andorra rushes out into the third floor hallway of her apartment building and is about to lock the door behind her when she remembers she has forgotten her cards. She is quick to go back in, retrieve them, and rush to her job. She doesn’t like the confinement of the crowded elevator and always takes the stairs. Today she is in a hurry so she skips every other stair and speeds to the bottom.

Johnny Driver rises earlier than normal and makes himself a splendid breakfast of pancakes with bacon and scrambled eggs. He has plenty of time for a second cup of Joe to wash it all down. He splashes some water on his face, looks at himself in the cracked mirror of the medicine chest, and decides to shave tomorrow. He sprays some deodorant in the armpits of the shirt that he slept in last night, puts on his pants, grabs his keys and off to work he goes.

Burton Saddler, after whistling his way down the stairs, exits his apartment building in a cheerful mood that deteriorates with more than usual haste. He looks at his day planner to be sure that this is Monday. It is indeed. Disbelief shifts to panic as he realizes that all the streets of the city are empty of people and traffic. It’s eerie and soundless.

His panic causes him to shout aloud, “How can this be? Where is everybody?”

A female voice from across the street says, “Everybody isn’t gone. I’m still here and so are you.”

Andorra Palmer is standing across the street in front of her Fortunetelling Parlor.

She calls out to Burton again saying, “You need answers? I can tell your fortune.”

Burton has never been to a fortuneteller and doesn’t believe in that kind of nonsense. Nevertheless, nothing is normal about this day. He crosses the empty street to her parlor and goes inside where she is now waiting at a very cliché looking card table.

He sits in front of the Gypsy woman and asks, “How much is this going to cost me?”

    Andorra replies in a scolding tone, “Today it is free for you.”

    She deals out the Tarot Cards, and then she tells him his name and many personal things that convinced Burton that she is not a faker.

He apologizes and asks her to tell him, “Why is everybody missing?”

Andorra leans forward, touches his hand with hers, and says in a calm voice, “Nobody is missing.”

Burton insists, “Then where are they?”

She softly says, “Everyone is exactly where they are supposed to be.”

Burton is getting agitated and confused.

He says in an accusing tone, “Why won’t you tell me what I need to know?”


She answers, “I can only answer the questions you ask.”

He thinks about it with care and asks, “Why is today different for me than every other day?”

Andorra leans forward again and touches his hand with hers. This time she has a quiver in her voice and a tear in her eye.

In a soft voice she says, “Last night you had a heart attack and died in your sleep, that is why today is different.”

Burton jumps up and storms out saying, “I knew this was a hoax.”

Outside the streets are still empty except for a lone taxi coming his way. He hails it and the cab screeches to a stop picking him up.

As they speed away, Burton is thinking, “Of course! The Gypsy is nuts!”

He looks out the window as the cab glides with ease through the empty streets and the driver is going through the red lights. Burton looks at the taxi driver’s Id. Johnny Driver. Burton chuckles to himself, amused by such a name for a taxi driver.

Burton said, “Johnny. You didn’t ask me where I am going.”

Johnny looks at Burton in the rear view mirror and says, “I know where you are going. The same place I take all the dead people. To see Saint Peter, he will let you know where you go after that.”

Johnny is accustomed to the disappointment and bewildered look in the faces of his riders.

Burton just sits back and thinks about his life.

 

The next day as Johnny reflects on his odd job he thinks to himself, “There is no decision like indecision.” He laughs at the play on words as he looks through the blotchy haze on the cracked mirror of the medicine cabinet.

Many of his passengers have no idea, which way they are heading. Johnny Driver spends most of his day in his sweaty smelling old taxicab. At night, he goes back to his small, cluttered, apartment to clear the day from his mind. The confusion of his rider’s minds predestines them to be undecided. For Johnny their conundrum is wrapped in his enigma. He can’t figure out why they are so confused. He used to ask his passengers how they felt about their lives. If they are asked to talk about their life, they seem to have a well thought out story about who they are, or rather who they want you to think they are. However, when you inquire of their feelings about who they are, the word feeling puts them in a quandary. People don’t think of their feelings about themselves. Even though they are always willing to elaborate on how they feel about everything else.

If he is more specific and asks, “Do you think you will go to heaven?” Almost all reply with a hasty affirmative. Nevertheless, in their eyes, he can see they believe it’s still undetermined.

Nowadays he doesn’t try to query them about feelings; instead, observation through the rearview mirror is more revealing. Yesterday he took the long way to the pearly gates, in order to visually eavesdrop on Burton Saddler.

Burton recollected his life, saying repeatedly under his breath, “Where is everybody?”

Johnny conveys those who have passed away, to their appointment with Saint Peter. After dropping them off, their fate is a mystery to him. The enigma Johnny wrestles with is do they know which way they are going? If so, how many are correct?

The next morning his passenger is, Andorra Palmer, the fortuneteller. Johnny has never met Andorra. He just finds whoever is standing alone out in the empty street where he picks them up in his cab, and takes them to, you know, the gates of heaven.

This morning the one, lone, person out in the street is Ms. Palmer. Johnny stops the taxi and lets her in. While they speed away, he studies her in the rearview mirror. Johnny Driver watches Andorra intently. He is in a quandary because he can’t read her emotionless face. He is about to come right out and ask her but stops short of letting the words leave his lips as she shuffles her tarot cards.

Johnny thinks to himself, “She must be undecided. If she is a fortuneteller, how could she not know? Is her fate also undetermined?

Next without showing any hint of emotion, Andorra Palmer starts dealing the cards as she usually does. Placing the cards onto the seat of the moving taxi causes them to slide around just a little.

She stops dealing halfway through the deck and breaks the silence uttering, “Now that’s a conundrum.”

    She stares at the cards that are face up for a short while and says, “Slow down.”
Johnny complies with her request by taking his foot off the accelerator. When the cab
slows to about 30 mph, he puts the cruise control in the on position.

    Andorra can feel his eyes upon her every move as she deals out the remaining cards hesitating to contemplate each one.

“Mind the road,” she advises with a stern tone.

     Johnny chuckles to himself, “She must not be getting the cards she is expecting.”

He chuckled because they are, by this time, outside the city and there is no other traffic anyway. They are on the high road now, you know, to heaven. There aren’t even any bumps from this point on. How good of a fortuneteller can she be if she can’t see that? He finds it difficult to keep the corners of his mouth from turning up ever so slightly.

Andorra now has seven cards left to deal out.

She lets out the tiniest little, “Hmmm.”

“Seven is a magic number,” she thinks to herself.

Unable to control himself Johnny asks politely, “What do you see?”

Andorra says, “So far, each card that comes up cancels the one before.”

Johnny asks, “Is that good or bad?”

“Neither,” she scolded.

“Shush!”

After the next card, she raises one eyebrow, with the next she frowns. The next two cards go the same way. Beads of sweat are forming on her forehead as she concentrates on the cards. Three left.

Johnny takes in a deep breath and then lets the breath out as slow as he can. The tension Andorra has on her face is getting to him now. He takes his eyes off her to look at the road for the first time since she started dealing. The taxicab is at the last bend in the road. Soon they will arrive at the gates.

Andorra Palmer now takes a deep breath and while letting it out she again says in a quiet voice, “I have been doing this for over seventy years and never seen the cards balance out.

She turned the next card up saying, “There it is.”

Johnny starts to open his mouth to tell her they have arrived.

Although before the words leave his lips, Andorra hushes him again turning another card. “NO!” she shouts.

“That sounds bad,” Johnny blurts out.

Andorra says, “I exclaimed no because the cards are still level, equal, even, centered, balanced. That is mathematically impossible.”

Johnny says, “You have one card left. Won’t that one break the tie?”

She turns the card revealing the card of death, but no answer about which way.

Johnny says, “We’re here. Sorry you didn’t see which way you are going. St. Peter will tell you. Goodbye and good luck.”

“The reading’s for you, Johnny, not me.”

“You’ll have to ask Saint Peter which way you go.”

 

THE END
by

VALORMORE



© 2018 VALORMORE DE PLUME



My Review

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Featured Review

ANDORRA & DRIVER
Valormore,
To read the detailed story of possibilities was great fun. This was like a modern day fairy tale; right up to date. I think heaven and hell are both real so there was conjecture involved. Still we are made to think and question and I finally just enjoyed the story instead. It was fun and not to serious.
Blessings,
Kathy

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

VALORMORE DE PLUME

5 Months Ago

Thank you for reading Kathy. I appreciate your feedback. When rereading this, just now, I think I mi.. read more
Kathy Van Kurin

5 Months Ago

You take your craft very seriously. Cool!
VALORMORE DE PLUME

5 Months Ago

The Craft, :) I enjoy bringing stories to life. If I do that well, then others are able to enjoy th.. read more



Reviews

I felt as is if watching a horror movie but I almost ran away but it was so enjoyable I had to finish it. Very well written, sir De Plume and with great details.

Posted 5 Months Ago


ANDORRA & DRIVER
Valormore,
To read the detailed story of possibilities was great fun. This was like a modern day fairy tale; right up to date. I think heaven and hell are both real so there was conjecture involved. Still we are made to think and question and I finally just enjoyed the story instead. It was fun and not to serious.
Blessings,
Kathy

Posted 5 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

VALORMORE DE PLUME

5 Months Ago

Thank you for reading Kathy. I appreciate your feedback. When rereading this, just now, I think I mi.. read more
Kathy Van Kurin

5 Months Ago

You take your craft very seriously. Cool!
VALORMORE DE PLUME

5 Months Ago

The Craft, :) I enjoy bringing stories to life. If I do that well, then others are able to enjoy th.. read more
This had a lot of imagery that would only be the equal of a Martin Scorese motion picture.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

VALORMORE DE PLUME

3 Years Ago

Thank you MoriartyMesa.This is a very flattering comment. You did a little digging to find this nugg.. read more

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Added on November 4, 2012
Last Updated on February 16, 2018

Author

VALORMORE DE PLUME
VALORMORE DE PLUME

Picture Rocks, AZ



About
Welcome to, "The Mindscapes of Valormore" I hope my stories produce pictures in your mind. That is what a mindscape is. A place you can go repe.. more..

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