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Crime Fantasy Mystery

"Follow that car."

"Oh, all right."

I adjusted my rearview mirror, which reflected the empty front-passenger seat and back seats.

Yeah, usually, my passengers can not use mirrors.

In fact, they were invisible to all but me.

"Tell me, miss," I said, starting the car and trying to lighten the mood with a joke, "what's your grudge against him? A terrible breakup?"

The girl in the back seat looked up, the water plants tangled in her hair, the water drips down her cheeks, the pure black eyes seemed to absorb all the light around them.

I'll have to clean the back seat cushions later, though the water stains are invisible to normal humans.

"He beat me up, pushed my head under the water and buried my body under the pine trees in the park."

"Wait, let me write this down," I quickly pulled out my notebook and began to write. "The park... The pine tree..."

"He's going away."

Warned the girl.

"He's not going anywhere."

I put my foot down and started speeding down the road.

As long as I'm around.

You might be wondering, why is this taxi driver taking ghost passengers? Who was that guy she told me to go after?

Well, let me introduce myself. I'm Will Cho, a common taxi driver -- no, I'm from Hong Kong, my grandfather was a wizard, and his grandfather was a wizard too.

No, instead of swinging a little stick around and firing sparks like in the storybooks, we used swords which made of peach wood. And yellow talisman paper ,we drew designs on the paper and stuck them on the foreheads of ghosts to stop them from doing harm to the people.

Ghosts? Well, it's no secret that people who have died can become ghosts in spite of what happened to them in life. Generally speaking, they are hostile to humans. Some magical people have taken it upon themselves to protect people from evil spirits -- like my family.

Sounds like some kind of righteous superhero? Yes, hundreds of years ago. Now, cities are getting bigger and bigger, and the night is as busy as the day. Ghosts hate it. So gradually the ghosts in the city are no longer in trouble, my father decided to open a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, he thinks that learning how to deal with ghosts is no longer useful, as fast as opening a restaurant to make money, so grandpa imparted the ghost technology to me and my brother, hoping that we can pass on this craft.

However, my brother and I had a whimsical idea that we could use our magic to help the weak and become real superheroes.

Then my brother died in a gang war.

My father and grandfather were also retaliated against. Gang leaders set fire to our shop. My grandfather was injured and died soon after.

Compared to bullets, wooden swords are still too weak.

However, thanks to the magic my grandfather taught me, I was able to communicate with the ghosts, and I retrieved my brother's ghost. Under his guidance, I told the police where the gang leader was hiding.

And it gave me a new identity.

Will Cho.

Taxi driver.

The ghost detective.

'Did you hear, Jane? Not only did the Asian kid find the hideout of the serial femicide, he also found the body we had been missing before!"

"Please, Amy, this is a disgrace to our police department! A taxi driver solves crimes more efficiently than any of us? What a joke!"

"But he didn't want his cover blown and he didn't want the reward, and we took all the credit. Also, hearing that he has an ancient Oriental mystical power, don't you find that attractive? There's something exotic about it --"

"Attractive? You mean suspicious? Is it said that he can communicate with ghosts? Come on! I guess he's just got a some good sources. He's a taxi driver. He knows a lot of people! And don't want to blow your cover? I suppose he was too timid to reveal his identity for fear of revenge?"

"You're right, Officer Jane Schmidt. I do fear being known to some people."

Will suddenly appeared at the desks of the two female police officers.

"Hi, Will."

Amy winked and waved at him.

"What are you doing here?" Jane rolled her eyes and said angrily, "Found another body?"

"Oh, no, it's heroin," Will said. "I've found out where a bunch of suburban thugs keep it."

Will pulled out a bag and a handful of photos.

"I took pictures of the scene, and, in case you didn't believe me, I brought their goods."

"Call forensics, Amy." Jane waved her hand. "So where did you get your information? Ghost informant again?"

"Uh-huh." Will said vaguely.

'Or you're a part of it, just a bit of it,' said Jane, looking into Will's face. 'I'd rather believe you're an outlaw than any of that nonsense, and I'll find proof of your illegality sooner or later!'

"Yeah, here's the proof. As you can see, I just stole millions of dollars worth of drugs from criminals."

"......"

Jane was not amused and continued to stare at Will.

"Also, you look great today, would you like to go for a nice pizza or --"

"Get out!

With a roar from Jane and a flying bottle of ink, Will ran out of the office with his head down.

"Wow, what a hot girl."

"Yes, jealous?

"Jealous? I don't even think you have a chance!"

"We'll see, Norm."

After dodging Jane's ink bottle attack, Will strides out of the police station as his brother Norm floats in midair, playing a joke on him.

"Look, that poor young man, he's gone mad at a young age."

"Talking to the air."

Amid the chatter of the crowd, Will stepped into his cab and looked for his next customer.

"I say, isn't Jane too mean to that Asian boy?"

"You see, Jane's father, also a former police officer, was killed in the line of duty in a cold case that went unsolved for a long time. Well, she studied hard to be a police officer and become our leader, but that young Asian guy helped us solve the case so quickly, it made her feel like all those years of hard work meant nothing --"

"Too many donuts, huh? Work fast!"

The two officers in the office watch as Jane drives Will away and begin to whisper, but unfortunately Jane overhears their conversation.

Why?

Why!

Why!!!

Jane went back to her office and slammed the door behind her.

The maintenance of justice should use formal legal means! Not this stupid trick!

I'm not wrong!

"Are you right, Dad?"

Jane looked up at a pearly white figure emerging beside her.

Yes, my daughter.

Jane reached out to embrace her father, but her arms went straight through him.

It's so cold.

"On my signal, go in!"

Jane was leaning against an abandoned door, pistol in hand. Give instructions to the comrades behind you.

'Roger that!

Jane burst through a secret door and looked around.

'Well, come in - ah!

A blow to the back of the head, and she fell on the floor.

Apparently, she neglected the corner behind the door.

"How dare you rush in here alone?"

'Take her away!

Those were the last two words she heard before she fainted.

When Jane opened her eyes again, she found herself chained to the chair.

"Miss officer, do you see what happens when you meddle in our affairs?"

"Why talk nonsense to her? Get rid of her!"

"Oh, wait, she's a pretty girl. Want to have some fun before you kill her?"

"You bastard! 'said Jane fiercely.

'Whatever you say, Miss, we have plenty of time for you!

One of the scoundrels held out his hand to Jane, but the whole room shook so violently that he had to stop and steady himself.

"Wait, we're not going to --" Jane had a terrible thought.

"Yes, on a ship," smiled the scoundrel. "We're about to hit the high seas!"

"The police won't be able to do anything about us then!"

Dang it!

What to do?

They also took the gun .

Tell Dad to send a message to that Asian nerd?

I'd rather die!

"Kill if you want to!"

Jane closed her eyes and two lines of tears ran from her eyes.

I'm not crying out of fear.

But because of shame.

I have always insisted on not using supernatural powers to uphold justice.

That's what my dad taught me.

As descendants of Indian priests, we are able to communicate with the gods and spirits. This power is a gift of nature.

Dad thought we had special abilities that we shouldn't show, and he didn't want us to be discriminated against.

He refused to talk to the ghost at work.

If he had, he might still be alive.

And that man... The flapper had no qualms about using his powers.

It's so unfair.

My father died because of it!

"Well, accept your fate, little girl."

"Really? This is it?"

One scoundrel pointed Jane's gun at her. Another seemed a little pity.

"Do it!"

'cried Jane through clenched teeth, a last act of resistance.

"No one should give up their life. If they die, they lose everything -- that's it."

They heard and looked, and a familiar figure stood on the hatch door.

"Oh, may I come in? It's raining outside."

"Will? How do you --"

'Finish him!

The scoundrels pull the trigger, the bullet hits Will in the body, and...

It just bounced off.

"It's a good thing I put a sheet of plastic on the outside," said Will, taking off his coat and covering his shirt with yellow papers covered with designs. "The charms won't work if they get wet."

"Dang it, go!

The gangsters piled on.

"' Ancient Chinese secrets, 'is that what you call them?" Will stood still and faced the oncoming dagger, despite all the scoundrels' efforts. "These spells will make me invulnerable, and..."

A few punches and all the scoundrels flew out.

"Very powerful."

Oh,dear Norm, you should have worked harder to learn how to draw charms.

Will tore through the chains that bound Jane.

"How did you know I was here? How did you get here?" Jane snapped, "Your ghost friend again?"

"Well, not this time," Will said. "Your colleague Amy told me you'd been kidnapped, and, gosh, I think she had a crush on me, and then I asked around and found the boat -- asked real people, and hid in a lifeboat until just now..."

Snap!

A slap on the face.

'Why don't you ask your ghost friend for help? Is it a deliberate attempt to embarrass me by not doing so this time?"

"What the hell? Will held his swollen cheek. "Because Amy said you'd be upset if I told you I asked a ghost friend for help, because you're -- wait, aren't you an atheist?"

'No! Jane roared. "I can see ghosts, too! I can even call my dead father anytime!"

"Then why have you been --"

'Because I'm angry with you! My father died in the line of duty because he refused to do the same! He taught me to be a useful member of society by my own hardworking, like everyone else, not by blood or talent!"

"......" Will said nothing.

"He believes that justice should be upheld by the hard work and intelligence of ordinary people, not by your special gifts! Me too!"

"You think so, don't you?" Will said, suddenly serious.

"Eh? Jane suddenly sensed something was wrong. Will had never looked so serious in her memory.

"Our family has for generations been responsible for protecting the people by driving out evil spirits, so we need these special powers. Now, the evil spirits are rare, but the power is not gone, so now we should use our power to protect the people from the criminals, shouldn't we?"

"But --" Jane wanted to retort.

"The so-called justice is not simply relying on the law to punish the bad people, justice should exist in everyone's heart, do everything possible to maintain something, right? From what you're saying, your father doesn't want you to be looked at differently, does he? It is good that your father insisted on enforcing the law with his own efforts, and it is good that you have inherited your father's will, but you cannot use your justice to deny what others have borne!"

Will closed his eyes. He remembered the night Norm fell to the ground covered in blood.

"Hey... Brother... Sure enough, there is a gap between reality and comics... But I do hope you will be a great hero..."

And then Grandpa in hospital bed.

"The Cho family chain of magic cannot be broken... It can't be broken..."

"My brother and grandfather were killed by criminals."

Hearing this, Jane opened her mouth in surprise and said nothing.

"My grandfather believed that we should carry on our family magic and supernatural powers, and my brother believed that we must do what we can for society, so I decided to carry on both of their wishes to use special powers to fight crime and uphold justice."

Yeah, so are you...

Jane's lips tightened.

"The police boat will be here soon." "Said Will.

"Hey..."

Jane looked up at Will more tenderly than ever.

"Do you still want to buy me pizza?"

"Follow the car."

'Well, well, tell me, miss, what did he -'

"Shut up and drive!

"It's a habit. Usually my front-passenger is not alive."

At the moment, Jane is sitting in Will's front-passenger seat giving orders.

"I said, are you still mad at me? For setting the wedding in a cemetery?"

"Of course! Who gets married there?"

"Come on, most of my friends are there..."

"Then make some living friends!"

"Well, dude, I told you to date that Amy girl, she's so much tender --"

"Shut up, Norm!

"You're jealous, bro."

"SHHH, if I won't talk with you two, today I'm going on a date with Snow White and Mona Lisa."

"You must kidding, brother!"

"Shut up! He's running away!"

"All right, all right, speed up!"

All right, let me introduce myself again. Will Cho.

Taxi driver.

The ghost detective.

January 25, 2023 17:10

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6 comments

Graham Kinross
12:43 Feb 23, 2023

Cool idea, well written. Great story.

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Richard Kroyer
15:21 Feb 12, 2023

I love it! Good story.

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Roger Scypion
02:20 Feb 03, 2023

Great story! Full of suspense, action and a sidebar of comedy. You should make a series of stories about the ghost detective. Kudos!

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Will Chu
06:33 Feb 03, 2023

Thanks,maybe I will try in the future

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Daniel E Gagné
12:10 Jan 31, 2023

Great concept! I like the possibilities of it and the potential stories you could tell with Taxi Drier, Ghost Detective!

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Wendy Kaminski
02:08 Jan 30, 2023

This was a lot of fun, Will! I found it really engaging and well-paced. The twists in it, and Cho's philosophy, really added some depth to the story. I liked it a lot! Terrific first submission here: good luck this week, and welcome to Reedsy!

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