You Can’t Always Get What You Want

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A very short story for your amusement today:

Mick Jagger’s voice somewhere in the night singing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Drunks staggering out of a bar after last call. Grotesque creatures casting shadows beneath the neon sign of a cowboy riding a horse. They scurry off into the darkness and get into waiting cabs.

Jagger’s voice, high and shrill, emanated from the juke box inside and sent shivers down Alice’s back.

She stands next to the open bar door. Waiting for her taxi that was late. The silky midnight blue dress clung to her amble breasts and hips like a second skin. She clutched a blue satin purse that sparkled with rhinestones.

Alice was fuming. The jackass that had come on to her too heavily in the bar had gotten under her skin. He ended up getting arrested for disturbing the peace. That was hours ago.

Here was the thing. Alice was used to getting what she wanted. As an only child she was spoiled beyond redemption. Throw that in with her natural beauty and you had one headstrong woman.

The jerk backed out of helping finance Alice’s latest tech start-up unexpectedly. He wanted some fringe benefits – as in sex – before he’d spring for any cash. Alice would have preferred to have sex with a camel before letting that greasy little imp touch her.

Looking back.

Alice always got her way. That’s just the way it was all her life. A new dress. As many pets as she wanted. Cash stuffed into her purse from her mother, who wrestling with demons whenever she ran out of booze.

Daddy’s girl. He never said no to her. Even now, at thirty-two years-old, he could not refuse whenever she requested help – financially, emotionally, or otherwise.

Alice was getting ready to go back inside to call the taxi company again when a late-model white Chevy with a Taxi sign strapped onto the roof pulled up. The driver was wearing a baseball cap (Arizona Diamondbacks) sidewise, and had a bushy white beard.

You’re not City Cab, ” she accused him when he rolled his window down.

“Damn sharp of you to notice that missy!” 

“I called City Cab. Why are you here?”

Us cabbies work together sometimes when it’s really busy. I’m the sole owner of White Cab and I get City Cab’s overflow. Do you want a drive or not?”

Two thoughts in Alice’s mind. One, why did she have to go to such an out-of-the way place tonight? Two, the bar’s owner was locking up, turning off the lights, and walking to his pickup truck. Her options narrowed considerably.

She was alone. Not quite. There was grandpa playing with the car radio searching for a song. Waiting for her to decide what she was going to do. She didn’t have many friends, and none that would driven so far out-of-town (out in the middle of the desert) at 2:00 a.m.

She had no choice. Reluctantly, she opened the rear door (it groaned and made a grinding noise). “Gotta fix that,” the old man said. “Where to?”

Alice hesitated to give out the information, but knew she had to. She gave him the address of her cottage-style three bedroom house in an affluent neighborhood  (Paid for. Thanks Daddy!).

She settled into the back seat, cursing her luck. This was not supposed to happen.

Oh hell, no! It was a nice little club with good music and they were going to become partners in an enterprise that would make them both wealthy dot.com wonders. But the ass couldn’t hold his liquor and got sleazy as the night wore on.

When he lunged after her, several men in the bar suddenly appeared and restrained him. The police were called. Her would-be partner was frog-walked out the door between two burly deputies.

Which left her here, in the backseat of some poorly cared for taxi. After awhile she noticed the bright city lights were receding. Not getting closer. The old man was humming something and still fiddling with the radio.

Alarm bells! Something was wrong. “You’re going the wrong way you old duffer! she suddenly cried out.

Just then the old man found the song he was looking for, You can’t always get what you want…” He turned his head around and slowly peeled off his fake white beard. Then he smiled at her.

The End

As It Stands, the moral of the story is…take a guess?

Author: Dave Stancliff

Retired newspaper editor/publisher, Vietnam veteran, freelance writer, blogger, married 43 years with three sons and five grandchildren.

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