He had called a cab today. He did not feel like driving. He also needed to finish reading a book: Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino. Only a few pages remained to be read. It was an interesting piece of fiction. He could easily read it sitting in the backseat of the cab, which was exactly what he was doing. The cab driver was driving rather slowly. No one in the car was in any hurry.
The driver looked at Pranjal in the rearview mirror a few times. He didn’t need to, but there was something about him that felt off-putting. The driver had felt it as soon as he had entered his cab. He was finding it a little difficult to drive. He couldn’t help but look at his passenger repeatedly. Sitting comfortably in the backseat, Pranjal read with intent. His lips arched a little. He was about to smile. The cab passed a signboard.
‘GOD WILL SAVE YOU, SOMEDAY!’
He looked back again, but this time his passenger was looking at him as well. Their eyes met, and the driver quickly averted his gaze. He felt suffocated. Pranjal was smiling. When the driver looked back again, he felt a strange heaviness in his heart. Just the sight of his smiling face made him shiver with some strange emotion. He felt utter relief when a minute later, his passenger abruptly asked him to stop the cab and got off.
The driver took the rest of his day off, for some reason.
Pranjal decided to walk the remaining mile and as he walked, the smile stayed on his face. It wasn’t a happy smile. It was something far from happiness, something sinister. Only he knew what was going on in his head. He walked with steady steps, grinning all the while. A perfect walk to his office…