This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..

Prompt ~ Piccadilly Square


by John Yeo

  Joey, a hard-bitten, streetwise, London taxi cab driver queued up in a line of cabs waiting for passengers along the rank at Kings Cross station in central London. Joey had a philosophical approach to life, profit was everything. 

He was a short, stocky man, with a misshapen nose that was a relic from his school days when he excelled in the boxing ring. His friend Fred was seated in the cab behind and he sidled up for a chat while they waited.

  ‘Hey Joey! Heard the latest? There’s a group of smart-alecs about. They will hire your cab then give you the runaround.’

 At that moment an oriental gentleman opened the cab door and said.

 ‘Can you take me to Piccadilly Square please?’

Joey’s eyes gleamed when he heard this mispronunciation.

  ‘Certainly Sir!’

The gentleman climbed into the cab, breathing heavily with the effort.

 Joey began his usual flow of disarming conversation and said, 

‘Is this your first visit to London Sir?’

The stranger nodded and gazed out of the window at the dense traffic and the slow progress they were making.

Joey continued. ‘What part of the world are you from?’

  ‘China, I am here to visit my relatives who run a restaurant here. I understand Lord Nelson is commemorated in the square.’

  Joey couldn’t quite work this reply out but he didn’t respond and concentrated on the traffic. Finally they reached Piccadilly Circus and Joey pointed out Eros, the fountain. It was surrounded by tourists of all nationalities. 

 ‘Rumour has it that you will meet everyone you have ever known here if you stay long enough.’ said Joey.

 At that point another Asian gentleman knocked on the window and  Joey said, ‘Sorry, I’m not for hire.’ 

To his astonishment his passenger excitedly opened the window and began chatting away. They were old friends.

Joey said to his passenger, ‘There’s £125 to pay please.’

The passenger then enquired. ‘Where is the famous column and the statue of Lord Nelson?’

  Joey then began to understand. ‘Oh you want to get to Trafalgar Circus, I’ll take you both there for another £125.’

  As the sun went down in Central London on another day of ripoffs, misunderstanding and linguistic shenanigans, two TV actors removed their oriental makeup and went to a local pub for a well earned nightcap.

Joey the taxi driver had enjoyed a profitable day indeed. Little did he know his day of reckoning was just around the corner. Somewhere between Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.

© Written by John Yeo ~ all rights reserved