Skip to content

Definition of peril: Cab a short story

July 21, 2012




1.a taxi

b. (as modifier) ⇒ a cab rank

2. the enclosed compartment of a lorry, locomotive, crane, etc, from which it is driven or operated

3. (formerly) a light horse-drawn vehicle used for public hire


The sun made the small cab of the lorry uncomfortably hot. Szymon would have opened the windows but the smell was wrong. He had tried to explain to Rob, his supervisor, that England smelt wrong compared to Poland. It was so squashed, so many people in such a small island, and they all thought that they were still important. Of course Poles had their lost empire woes as well, but now, Syzmon thought, god had decided that there would be no empire. Which was alright with him, but he used to wish that he could have stayed with his family in Poland instead of driving all over Europe on his own. But the money was incredible. Partly because he was never home to spend it. It went to his wife and their son and his mother. And now, the cab had become home. He felt like a snail in its shell.


His world at his childhood home had been so big. Large fields and woods, the village concerns, his lovely wife, and his son. Hen he had first looked in his boy eyes, there were worlds in that blue. He still thought of him as a baby but of course he was nearly a young man, eleven or twelve it must be. Syzmon rubbed eyes. When they closed he saw the road, felt the vibration of the wheels. He would have a small rest, then he must continue to make his deadline for Rob. The cab surrounded him with love and warmth, and seemed to agree.


When he had started the job, he had gone back often, every six months or so. But when he was in his so called home, playing with his son, in his wife’s arms, when he closed his eyes he saw the road, and the inside of the cab. It was 3 ft by 6ft by 3ft. With a small space with his bed behind his head, a nook where he was calm, if not happy. He wondered why, when he was in his nook, when he closed his eyes he was a child playing in the creek behind the village sun shining in his eyes, no trousers, mud up to his knees. But now, after when he was by the creek (polluted and turgidly brown) he just thought about his cab.


He was forced to get out to go to the toilet, and get food, but he rushed from the cab to do his business as fast as he could. His heart raced and his skin grew sweaty. He even started to shake if he was outside too long. When he came back to the cab, it welcomed him.He started going to his village less and less, and when he was there he started to shake outside. Now, for he went back for easter mainly, he would sleep in the cab. The last visit he couldn’t come out at all, other than for a shower. The cab had claimed him.


Next entries word:



  1. a small amount, esp of something soft or moist ⇒ a dab of ink
  1. a small light stroke or tap, as with the hand
  1. often plural (mainly British) a slang word for fingerprint



From → Definition

  1. It’s something that makes life worth living. It is something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. If your body produced it naturally, this would be sufficient grounds for saying that you are a perfect creation and your Maker should be proud of you. We do not, of course. We have to buy it, we have to put it in the syringe, we have to import the Stuff from the outside world by depressing the plunger. But without the dab, it’s nothing but a horror show.

    It’s still the reason you get out of bed in the morning. Even if you know one day you’re going to have one hell of a crisis when you realize that if you don’t pay the man in the theater then you don’t get to live the good life, you’re still willing to risk it. First you give the man your money, then you let the Stuff take its pound of flesh. It isn’t too greedy, the skin will only rot about a three inch radius around the needle’s entrance point. Of course, once it corrodes, it becomes so painful that you have to find a new place to stick it. Unless you’re smart like me and Jake.

    We spend a little extra, and we get the Ointment. Just a dab of this stuff right before you slip the needle in, and it keeps you fresh-looking and pain-free. It’s practically magic, I don’t know why its so uncommon. Its expensive, more expensive than the Stuff, but its worth it if you don’t want to spend your last days looking like a reanimated corpse. Frankly, I don’t know how anyone goes without it, I can’t enjoy the trip if I think about what the Stuff is doing to me. Just a little dab gives you peace of mind; I can’t imagine using without that little dab. I like a good party, but self-destruction isn’t my thing.

    It just gets so expensive, and the Ointment is hard to come by. I use the pure stuff, but I’ve had to start diluting Jake’s Ointment with water to make it last. It’s already starting to stop working, his skin is starting to blacken, but he can still enjoy his moments of the good life because he has faith in the dab. As long as he’s got that, he can keep using; once he loses it, it’s all paranoia after that.

    That’s why I’m being a good friend. Since he doesn’t know what I’m doing, the dab still works, at least psychologically. We’re meeting in an hour; I’m bringing the Stuff, he’s grabbing the Ointment. I just have to make sure that I don’t say anything that might make him suspicious. If he knew I had to switch arms because the pain got too bad, he might think that the Ointment isn’t working, and then he couldn’t enjoy himself.

  2. What a great story! I will mention it above the line on the Dab post too…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Dictionary of peril: Dab, a short story « dictionaryofperil
  2. Dictionary of peril: Dab, a short story « dictionaryofperil

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: