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The Suspicious Profile

Updated on June 24, 2014

Pops Darby had worked the midnight shift as a taxi-driver over on Brooklyn’s Westside for the past ten years. That shift helped him pay for his daughter’s college education and kept his mother out of an assisted care living situation mandated by the State of New York.

However, the fares were few and the tips were low. It had been a miserable night, and it got worse.

Three weeks prior, a fellow cab driver was robbed and then shot in cold blood. The police discovered the body of Juan Pierre in the alley off Dr Martin Luther King Boulevard. He was a hard working immigrant from Haiti where he left his wife and seven children behind so that he could make enough money to send back for them.

Pops Darby was afraid of working the overnight shift, but he also had a second job, and he really needed the money. He pulled up when he saw a young black female flagging him down. She had to be in her early twenties, and she didn’t fit the suspicious profile.

“Where to?” Pops Darby asked.

“42 Lee Avenue, closer to the State Street side.”

Pops Darby was about to begin a conversation when he noticed the young woman sleeping. She slept like a still life, sitting straight up, her legs crossed, and a small hand purse crushed in her lap. She must have had a long night and felt safe enough to fall asleep in his cab. It really made him feel good to know that he was trusted.

A younger man quickly spills out in front of Pops Darby’s cab and lands flat on the hood. He was carrying a brown paper bag filled with empty beer cans. He stopped the cab short so no harm would come to the young man.

“Fuck, I’m trying to get home.”

He vomited across the hood of the cab, then rubbed his eyes and took a long drag on his beer. Suddenly, finally, he was exhausted. Very drunk and exhausted. Pops Darby couldn’t let him just lay there in the street. The cab driver helped the young man into the front seat so that he could ride shot-gun and sleep it off a bit.

After fifteen minutes before arriving to the young woman’s destination, the young man opened his eyes. He rolled down the window and tossed out the last few beer cans he had in the paper bag. Pops Darby wanted to stop and pick up those cans to cash them in, since he wasn’t getting a fare from the young man and he was almost certain that the woman wouldn’t tip, but he didn’t. It was simply just a thought.

Surprisingly, the young woman awakens from her slumber with a small hand gun placed against the back of Pops Darby’s head. The young woman could not correlate with any of the police department’s suspicious profile. In a perfect world, there was no way in hell this young woman could ever be a suspect.

The young man turned to her with wide eyes and stared. On the other hand, that young man was the perfect candidate and could fit the suspicious profile to the letter. The young woman turned the gun briefly toward him and shot him instantly in the neck. The young man was writhing on his litter, moaning, while trying to stop the blood that was flowing from the veins.

Pops Darby was so frightened that he just started rocking back and forth in slow repetition. He struggled to keep the thoughts of his daughter and of his sick mother out of his mind. He didn’t want to think of what might happen to them if that young woman killed him.

She demanded all the money he had on him and in the Taxi-cab’s lock box. He did as he was told and gave her 78 dollars, most of it in singles. She looked at the roll of bills and then stared briefly for a moment at the frenzied young man twitching to maintain life.

The young man made that final involuntary movement that told her that he had expired. She turned back to the cab driver and grimaced.

“I have a daughter about your age,” he trembled.

She looked down once briefly and then fired two bullets into Pops Darby’s face. She then closed her eyes and let two more go into the slumped body. She then watched the taxi-cab driver struggle to speak.

“I know, I know,” she whispered. “You have a daughter about my age.”


© 2013 Frank Atanacio


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    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      thanks uban

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 

      4 years ago from Lagos

      Wow! Thrilling indeed,.. A person's appearance does not define his or her character. Great write.

      So what later happened??

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks again Ariel :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Didn't expect it bravo! Would be good to use :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks again Valley you're the man!!!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      A very sad ending for the taxi driver...a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time....very well written:-))

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      Hey Thanks for reading Becky Katz :)

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      The cab drivers in this town all have concealed carry permits. Considering they are all veterans, I think they are pretty good with them. They don't think it is worth it to die for that job.

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks so much Marlin always good seeing you :)

    • Marlin 55 profile image

      Marlin 55 

      5 years ago from USA

      Super job Frank! Your story telling just gets better each time you write.

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      Thank you prashant :)

    • prashant angiras profile image

      Prashant angiras 

      5 years ago from shimla(india)

      i liked your short story,i feel sorry for pops,but i enjoyed it completely.

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Express10 :)

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      5 years ago from East Coast

      Your works could often be dark but true tales. You take us there with great imagery from the safety of our computer screens. I knew the cabbie was in danger and as I continued reading I was rooting for the cabbie. Very well done.

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      Vin thanks bro :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      5 years ago from Nepal


      I tell you this again, you are the best when it comes to write dark tales.

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      thank you cheaptrick interesting comment LOL

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks so much Faith and never curtains for ya..LOL and X-man thanks for stopping and you too Mhatter

    • cheaptrick profile image


      5 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      She was born like an angel...with the consciousness of a snake.When evil condenses in the soul it's often beautiful to behold, that's what makes it so lethal.Lucifer was breathtakingly beautiful yet we look for him in

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      A bit cold. But I guess that was what drew us in, thank you

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Cold, Frank, she was cold and deadly and empty of all humanity as well. Scary, random death is out there...

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, it's those innocent looking ones you must look out for . . . or it could be curtains for you!!! "Curtains" Ha, does anyone even say that anymore except me? LOL Geez, this one is a violent one no doubt! You have really woken us up on the reality of the world here.

      You would make an excellent screenwriter . . . I think I told you that before.

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks for stopping by Pegcole

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Aaarggh. That was a tough one, Frank. A lesson in making assumptions about folks. Well told. Unforgettable.

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Storytellerus :)

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Oh Frank. What a dark, dark tale. A sad commentary that reveals reality. Please inhale the sweet scent of spring flowers today to clear this horrific image from your mind. I know I will... Well done, but so so sad.


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