The Olympian Business Man

Prompt: What if the cab driver suddenly turned in the wrong direction and told you he had his own plans for you?


Brian was wondering who his chauffer would be tonight. His regular driver had taken the second half of the day off to go to the beach with his family. He couldn’t blame him, it was a nice day for it, but he wasn’t feeling particularly comfortable about leaving his life in someone else’s hands.

Brian got into the car and was greeted by his temporary driver. “Evening, sir, name’s Robert. Will you be heading home?”

“Yes, please,” Brian replied.

The driver was old, and that tended to help prevent trouble, but it wasn’t a guarantee. He was also well dressed, so it was unlikely that he would try anything for money. Most people would call Brian paranoid for being so worried that his new driver would kill him, but he liked the life he had now, and didn’t want to lose it too quickly.

“How was your day, sir?”

“It was good,” Brian answered carefully. “How about you? Were you working this morning?”

“No, sir. I took the time to prepare a surprise for a mutual acquaintance.”

A mutual acquaintance? That worried him. “Who would that be?”

Robert made a turn into an alleyway and said, “You. Don’t get out quite yet. I usually kill you people to demonstrate we mean business, but that wouldn’t work so well for you, would it.”

Did he know about Brian’s power? How would that even be possible? It’s not like he could be followed from life to life, it was a random jump. Brian knew it was random, he had done the math in a previous life when he had been a brilliant mathematician.

“See, we know you think that it’s random,” Robert continued, “We found one of your papers on that subject.”

But Brian hadn’t published anything about it. He had written down his research, but he hadn’t let any of it get out. He had been even more paranoid that life than almost any other.

“But in reality, it’s rather predictable if we look at the pattern you yourself make. You’re paranoid, when you first enter a life, you act as if you got amnesia, and you tend to stray to a certain personality, no matter how good an actor you are.”

Robert stopped the car and got out, and Brian’s door opened. It was a puny girl that had opened it, probably a spoiled teen, judging by the gaudy dress she was wearing. Was that Victorian? Robert got out and put his hand into coat pocket.

“Please,” said the girl. “This is my favorite dress. Don’t ruin it with blood and a bullet hole.”

Robert stepped up beside her and added, “Yes, this is a rather expensive suit, I’d rather not have to spend the time trying to find another like it.”

Brian pulled out the gun despite their protests and asked frantically, “Who are you people?”

“We’re like you, kind of,” said the girl. “Unlike you, however, we just plain don’t die.”

“We do not, as you put it in your journal, ‘jump.’ What is fatal for most is not to us,” said Robert.

What journal? Wait, had they seen the journal he had kept when he had been the nine year old, Lisa? He knew that had been destroyed in the fire, which means they must have been following for a lot longer than just this lifetime. They really did know, didn’t they?

Brian pulled the trigger. Twice. First the girl. Then Robert. Then he started running down the alleyway. Even if they were telling the truth about not being able to die, that would slow them down. They did know who he was, though. They could just come after him at home or at work or in the car again.

He stopped and turned around. Robert and the girl were running up to him, with holes in their clothes, but the skin had healed. They stopped when Brian raised the gun to his head. “Ha!” he exclaimed. “That’s what I thought! If I die, you lose. I’ll disappear and you won’t be able to find me!”

“Brian, please listen to us,” pleaded the girl. “There are other Immortals out there!”

“I don’t need them!” shouted Brian. “I was doing just fine before you came along.”

“It doesn’t matter what you think. We all need help sometimes, and we can only turn to people who are like us. Come to Mount Olympus on New Year’s Day. Give it a chance.”

“Not on your life!”

Brian pulled the trigger.