Cavanger front

The Night Explodes

The street was gridlocked. Traffic this evening was busy, moving along slowly. At the end of the nightly theatrical district activity, a lot of people were simultaneously trying to get home. Much of the traffic consisted of taxicabs and, to a slightly less degree, limousines.
Christopher Johnson and Andrea Rhode sat in the back of a taxi cab, Johnson behind the driver. They were dressed to the nines. He was chipper, his conversation animated while she was her usual, cool sophisticate. The cabby, vaguely foreign looking, seemed bored to tears.
Christopher asked Andrea, “Still having dreams of life on the Big White Way, Andrea?”
“Get a life, Johnson.”
Two or three cars in front of their cab, was another taxi. It was the only one on the street with no passenger.
“Oh, really, Andrea. I saw how your face lit up when those curtains rose.”
“Probably had something to do with the fact they were twenty-five minutes late.”
“Tish-tosh.”.
“Tish-tosh, yourself. I’m beginning to think that all that mental power is going to your head.”
Johnson threw back his head in laughter.
Seconds later, the taxi two-cars ahead with no passenger exploded. The flames appeared on the passenger side of the car and engulfed the rear two thirds. Johnson, Andrea and their driver faced the explosion.
“Christopher!”
Even before she finished saying his name, Johnson whipped open the car’s door. He raced to the other car, reacting before anyone else on the street even registered what was happening. When he reached the burning car, Johnson yanked open the driver’s door and pulled out the driver, Richards, a casually dressed, nondescript man. The passenger seat still was glowing white hot. Johnson stared back to his cab, where Andrea stood next to her door, a look of concern on her face, talking on her cell phone.
“Andrea. Get an extinguisher.”
Sirens began to wail in the distance. Johnson threw Richards over his shoulder carrying him away from the fire. Johnson’s driver arrived with a portable fire extinguisher and worked on the flames. Other drivers were now standing, watching. Christopher gently laid Richards on the ground. Then he stood up straight and studied the conflagration before him as Andrea came running up to his side and the first police cars arrived, driving down the sidewalk.

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