Wrong Turns by Kyle Hemmings

I didn’t get a good look at the cab driver’s face at first. I gave him the address where my ex-girlfriend lives, the one I’ve been stalking for weeks after she dumped me like a bag of stale potato chips. I was planning for another confrontation and this time I wouldn’t be at a loss for words.

I kept staring at the driver in the rear view before I realized he had no face. He was a dummy, perhaps programmed with  an internal network of city maps, purchased by the cab company to cut labor costs. I wondered if future generations of such dummies would come with implantable souls. Then Mr. Faceless started missing turns and drove over curbs and through open fruit markets. Finally, he (it?) crashed into a police cruiser and our car overturned. I was shaken but not seriously hurt. Mr. Faceless was now nothing more than a mess of tiny screws, plastic fingers, and electronic parts, spewn over the street.

After I left the emergency room, I tried calling my ex to tell her I was okay. Nothing but a couple of bruises over the ribs, a nose that kept bleeding on and off. Like the way it drizzled sporadically throughout the day. The phone kept ringing until a mechanized voice asked for me to leave a message. I said nothing. I tried to picture its face.

every face in the rain
an extension
of your childhood fears

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Blaze Vox, Matchbook, and elsewhere. His latest collections of poetry/prose are Scream from Scars Publications and Split Brain on Amazon Kindle. He loves 50s Sci-Fi movies, manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the 60s.