A Classic Axe Murder by Ian Rubin

Buddy uses Lyft for the first time and gets the ride of his life; by Ian Rubin.

"Thanks for the ride!" Buddy said, "I'm glad to be off the highway, finally." He threw his backpack onto the back seat, then closed the door.

"Not... a... problem..." Phineas replied. He cracked his knuckles, popping one at a time.

"Um... Okay, that was weird."

Phineas put the pick-up truck into gear and took off down the road. The truck's air was thick, and it smelled of old leather and cigarettes. The setting sun glared into the truck, making its driver and passenger glow orange.

Phineas turned off the main road. The sound of rocks clattered against the undercarriage while the daylight started to flash between trees. His brows were up to his hairline, creating a sandwich of wrinkles. His grin started wide then grew wider, and wider, and wider, until all of his teeth were showing. Drool dripped out of the corner of his mouth.

Buddy said, "Um... so, I've never used Lyft before, but if you want to let me out here, I can probably find another -"

"Why... would I let you out?" Phineas replied, "I need you."

"I'm flattered, but -"

The truck rumbled to a halt. Buddy was pressed against his seatbelt. The truck turned off.

Phineas' knuckles were white, as he lowered his head to the wheel. He reeled back, then slammed his forehead against the wheel, BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! Turning his head towards Buddy, he had blood streaming down his nose.

Then he grabbed an axe from the back seat.

"How did I miss that when I got in the truck?" Buddy asked, unbuckling his seatbelt, "I should be more mindful."

"I'm glad you can have a sense a humor about this whole situation," Phineas said. He was leaning over to the passenger side.

"Honestly, this is pretty much exactly what I expected to happen." Buddy tried pulling on the door handle, with no luck. He knocked back the lock, and it still wouldn't open.

Buddy said, "You know, you're really messed up. What's your deal, anyway?"

"What's... my deal?" Phineas replied. He leaned back into the seat. "I found out I'm going to die tomorrow... I know I've lived a long life. I've done a lot. I... felt like... axing someone... to death."

There was a moment of silence between the two, before Buddy said, "I was going to be your first axe victim?"

Phineas' eyes turned up, then he gazed out the window, into the blackness of the darkness forest. He opened his door, then stepped out.

Buddy tried his door again, which was now unlocked, and scrambled outside. There were crickets chirping and mosquitoes buzzing, while the moon took its place in the sky. The air was damp, and it smelled like trees. Checking his phone, he did not have cellphone service.

THUD, the axe dropped to the ground.

Buddy walked around the truck. Phineas was stooped over, on his knees.

This is it, Buddy thought, I can choke him out right here. Sobbing came from Phineas.

"I... didn't... think... you'd ask me... about my 'deal,'" Phineas said. He sniffled.

"I'm sure glad I did," Buddy replied, "But, listen, murdering people isn't the best way to get your frustration out... especially when the victim is me."

Phineas rose to his feet, then walked past the truck, deeper into the forest, eventually becoming shrouded in the darkness.

Buddy picked up the axe, there's no way I'm following him. He hopped in the front seat and started the truck back up.

I can't see a damn thing, Buddy thought, as he switched on the headlights. Through the trees, he could see Phineas sprinting back towards the truck.

Phineas leaped onto the hood of the truck and began thrashing. He rocked the truck, creaking the metal.

"AAAH!" Buddy said, putting the truck into reverse. He slammed on the gas, but the truck spun out and stalled.

Phineas' hands were bloody as he began to crack the windshield. Flailing, Phineas fell into the windshield, smashing it. With Phineas' body slumped over it, the horn rang, BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

Buddy got out of the truck and sprinted towards the highway. The sound of the horn lessened as it drifted further and further away. Buddy could see the lights of the highway and hear the sounds of the cars. After about a minute, he was finally back on the road.

I better call an Uber.