A halloween tribute for Mill Ave and Phoenix -- revisiting an old legend, updated for a gritter era.


“Is that wise?” Jason said.

“I think it’s a stand-off,” Vex said. “But…there’s still something I don’t understand. Four days ago something happened to bring him out of his routine.”

She glanced back at the trunk of her cab, where the Indian had slammed his fist down. The trunk of Salter’s cab had also had its trunk torn open. The rear-end of his taxi had otherwise not been damaged at all. Now it seemed a little strange that it was torn open.

Keeping one eye on the monstrous biker standing on the other side of the road, she went to the back of her cab and popped the trunk open. The only object inside was a bulky green duffel bag with green stripes. The name “JASON SALTER” had been poorly scrawled on the side with a heavy indelible marker.

“Jason…” she said. “You told me you left a duffel in my trunk when we talked last. What exactly is in it?”

“Oh, just something that I found at a construction site that I dropped this dude off at. A Halloween prop.”

Vex grabbed the duffel and pulled it to herself. She checked across the road, the Indian had not stirred. She unzipped the duffel and peered inside. Among a myriad of various trick-or-treat paraphernalia, lollipops, candy bars, Jolly Ranchers, and other candy, sat an object that would have explained everything had she known it was there. And it was there the entire time.

“I thought maybe it would make a nice bowl,” Jason explained in her ear, knowing what she was looking at.

“Jason…” she said slowly. “You are a fucking retard.”

Before he could protest, she yanked the headset out and tossed the phone in the trunk.

The Indian waited across the intersection, silently astride his bike, watching when she stepped out into harsh beams of the taxi headlights. The leather-clad shoulders shifted slightly when it saw what she held in her hands, a giant glove at the end of a huge arm extended towards Vex.

“For what it’s worth,” she said, “I’m sorry.”

She tossed. The Indian caught his skull deftly and gingerly placed it on his shoulders. The grinning jaw line smiled back at her as it faded into black, to be replaced by the reflective shield of a helmet.

“Thank you.”

The words seemed to hang for a moment. The motorcyclist extended his hand again, bowed, and melted into the night like an oil painting dropped in water. As the last of his form faded, Vex saw the helmet lift as if he was looking into the sky.

The Indian motorcycle remained, physical and real.

“Hey,” a voice piped up from the back seat of the cab, “why have we stopped? Are we there?”

It was the goblins.

She had completely forgotten they were even there! Of course, the two kids had managed to miss everything that had just happened if the first thing that came to mind was a question like that.

“I had to take a pit stop.”

“A pit stop in the middle of nowhere?”

Vex shrugged. “So, do either of you kids want a motorcycle?”

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