The Ratchet Hour, consists of stories derived from real incidences of misbehavior and misfortune, that occur on occasion while driving for Ridesharing Companies. No names are used, just the incidences that have occurred. I hope you have a good laugh and enjoy.
In this post I’ll be dropping in a few starts to a few books I’m thinking of writing. I’m having a hard time deciding which to continue with, so I’d like it if you would share with me which book you think you’d like to see written. Warning the Grammar may be horrible, as I don’t correct my self as I write until after I have finished.
Story 1: The Darkness Became Me
It was an old tradition. A family member dies, you light a small flame, and you send a lantern flying into the sky. Your loved one’s soul then escapes the bonds of earth and fly into a place of rest and peace. Over the centuries other flying objects have been, unknown to us, taking souls to their resting places, and so our story begins…
A theme park, a small boy and your typical desire for a shiny floating balloon. His parents rush the money out of their pockets to get him the balloon he wants so badly.
NO! Not that one Mommy, the blue one…. NO! NO! NO! I want the Blue one with the ears. Please… I want the one with the ears!
The vendor produces the one the small child wants with a smile.
Greedily the child takes the Balloon in his hands and watches it bob up and down. Its shiny exterior glistens in the sun. He twirls around with it once, twice…
Gunshots fire and a man slumps down next to the child, he screams and releases the balloon, frozen in the moment; a moment that will forever embed its self into his mind until his dying days.
A man turns around quickly and fires two shots in retaliation. The balloon starts its journey towards the heavens… until its interrupted by a stray bullet, and it falls to the ground. Its loose rubber slaps upon the pavement, like a lump of flesh hitting the floor.
People scream, running in all directions as the further shots are fired, blood pours over the broken balloon, the firing stops, the cops arrive, lines are drawn, tape is unfolded, people are interviewed, two wounded men are arrested, and the scene is soon left to the night.
There is no clean-up for this section of a crime scene wrought in a place where happiness used to ensue.
Our balloon misshapen, lay flattened against the ground, dried blood and footprints impressed upon its malleable rubber. Just a thing discarded and ignored, because we have no understanding of what its true purpose could have been, before its flight was interrupted with a bullet as it soared.
A gust of wind manages to lift a small piece of its rubber off the ground for just a moment… or was it the wind?
Story 3: EATER OF THE DAMNED
His breath tasted sour as he woke up from yet another night of unrest. He couldn’t remember the last time he had a sleep that was fulfilling in any way.
Brushing aside the sheets that lay matted at his feet, he got up out of bed. Vision blurred and head pounding Jeremy reached for his Excedrin, only to realize he was out. Throwing the bottle to the floor he moved from the bathroom to the kitchen in quick stride.
“Coffee… I must have Coffee…”, he muttered as he pulled out what he could only deem as dried mud from the cabinet shelf. He heated the water in the microwave and threw in the crystals that would make his morning better, no matter how awfully bitter the flavor, or grimy the bottom remains would be.
His head started to clear and his vision started to swim back into focus. As they did he noticed again that his foot prints had left dirt streaks all over the tiled floor, which trailed all the way back to his bedroom. He looked at his hands, and again they were filthy, with his nails nearly worn down to the nub.
“What have I been doing in my sleep?”, he thought has he made his way back to his bedroom.
His eyes followed the path of dirt from his open balcony door, to his bed. The sheets would have to be changed again.
His doctor said he was sleep walking.
Jeremy was suddenly hit by a fit of coughs. The last cough he nearly choked on, as a ball of long human hair came flying out of his mouth onto the floor. He screamed and then passed out.
It wasn’t the hair alone that made him scream in terror and pass out, it was the small chunk of flesh it was still attached to that had caught his eye in horror. He came to lying next to the ball of hair, he instantly threw up at the sight of it.
Terror seized him. Thoughts and images flicked through his mind faster than he could grasp them. Mostly thoughts of zombies, vampires, werewolves, or whatever unfathomable thing he’d seen in a movie or T.V. at one point in his life or another.
Slowly getting up and walking over to the restroom, he spent an hour looking in the mirror, for clues of what monstrous thing he’d become.
He nearly split his lip trying to part it to see if some form of new canine had grown in his gums, which he found none. He gazed into his eyes, to see if there was something changed about them. His fingers ran over his ears as he looked in the mirror, trying to see if they had been altered. He looked for more hair on his body, thrust his hand in the sunlight and held a cross in it to see if there was a reaction. He ran frantically to the kitchen and took a silver spoon his mom had given him and pressed it into his hand. He ate a clove of garlic… nothing was working, so he went to see if he was a witch and submersed himself in a tub of water, only to realize even a normal person would drown in water after long enough.
Slowly his mind stopped spinning and rational thoughts started coming to him. There was nothing supernatural about him. There had to be a reasonable explanation as to what happened. The only way he saw that could help him figure out what was going on, was to backtrack where he came from last night.
Finishing his bath, he got out slipped and nearly fell, but didn’t. His eyes gazed at the corner of the counter where his head was sure to hit, but he was no longer falling. He was being held by some unknown force, in fact not one part of his body was touching any surface.
It took sheer will to not black out again, as he reached out grabbed the counter and pushed himself to a proper position with feet planted firmly on the ground.
Jeremy was suddenly hungry. He walked back into his bedroom, stooped down and picked up the piece of flesh on the floor, and ate it, hair and all.
“What the hell am I doing?!”
STORY 4: Waking Agony
A sound filled her ears and vibrated throughout her body… or was it her ears that were hearing the sound?
She awoke fully aware of her surroundings in an instant. Her breath was coming in quick gasps. His gaze staring down at her, penetrating her every thought. It wasn’t a sound, it was his thoughts. Willing her to just remain while he did as he pleased. She could not move… She could not…
Allison shot straight up in her bed, it was morning and the terror of her nightmare was gone. This time though, she couldn’t stop the feeling, scratching at the back of her mind, that it wasn’t a nightmare.
The doorbell rang.
“It must be Trisha”, she thought.
Jumping out of bed and putting on her robe, she turned to put her slippers on, then froze. On the pillow were four dark stains, crimson in color. The world shimmered in and out of focus for a moment as her eyes fixated. His face she had seen in her nightmares became suddenly clear. Allison uttered, “It was real”, and passed out on the floor.
Allison get up… Allison heard from a great distance away.
A swift blow to the cheek roused Allison from her sudden black-out. She struck out, in self-defense, with her right hand, which collided with a terrible thud into her best friends’ cheek. Trisha was sent sprawling backward.
Ow! You bitch!
Oh my god Trisha I am so sorry. Are you okay?
“No, I’m not okay”, Trisha said clasping her hand to her cheek. Where did you learn to hit like that?
Allison clambered over to her friend and pulled her hand away from her cheek. She could tell that there was going to be a very big bruise. She stood up, put her hand out, and in her best Terminator voice said, “Come with me if you want to live”.
Trisha laughed, then winced and begrudgingly gave Allison her hand.
In the kitchen Allison packed an ice bag and gave it to Trisha.
Just say you got into a bar fight.
That is not going to go over well at work, not at all.
Then say you were walking past a baseball field and someone hit you with a homerun.
When do you know me to exercise?
Okay, then you tripped over your cat.
That will work.
Cat is the ultimate scape goat.
The girls chuckled and then Allison sat down and started to shake.
Allison, what is going on with you? I heard you fall from outside, and you didn’t come to the door. I thought something terrible had happened, so I raced to your back door and let myself in. You were so pale and just wouldn’t wake up.
I don’t know how to explain. I thought I was having nightmares. Now, I think I’m going crazy.
Allison clasped her hands around her arms and started to clench them, rocking manically back and forth.
Trisha shuddered at the way Allison was looking at her. She looked like she had reverted to a childlike state, as she stared at her with huge inquiring eyes. Then she asked Trisha the question she could tell Allison had been holding back…”There is no such thing as vampires, right?”
Trisha almost chuckled, until she looked back at Allison’s face. She wanted to say, “No vampires do not exist.”, but she knew that the second she said that, her friend’s fine line of sanity might break.
Allison the vampire legends have been around for a very long time, who’s to say they don’t exist. Why don’t you tell me what happened.
With a look so thankful it almost hurt Trisha, Allison started to tell her of all the accounts of the encounters that she thought she’d been having, and how until just that morning she had thought it was all vivid nightmares. To make a point she even took her upstairs to show her the pillow with the bloodstains.
Trisha wanted to believe her, but there weren’t any scratches nor scars on her body, and blood on a pillow could be from anything from a nose bleed, to accidentally scratching your ear in your sleep. She wasn’t going to tell Allison that though. What she thought it was, was post-traumatic stress from the rape she had sustained 5 years ago.
I have an idea.
What’s that Trish?
I have a hypnotherapist friend of mine in downtown LA. I’m going to give you his number, and just say that I told him he owes me one. He’ll give you a session for free, and maybe he’ll be able to help you recall everything that happened.
Oh my god Trish! You are incredible!
Yes, I know.
Downey, CA 2:15am
I had just dropped off a passenger from the airport and was about ready to call it a night, when I got summoned.
It was a little odd of a place for a pickup, right at the bus stop, but people generally get picked up all over so who was I to find it odd… except… it was odd.
I pull up and this girl wearing a jump suit with nothing under it, because you could see everything through the thin material, jumps into my car.
She smiles, reaches over and plants her hand on my crotch, then states simply, $20.00 per BJ, $100.00 for front, and $150.00 for back.
I quickly moved her hand off my midsection and explained that she summoned me, I did not summon her. She immediately backed off and said, “Why’d you come down to downey at this time of night if you weren’t looking to get fucked,? Don’t you know this is where all the drivers come for a little relaxation now?”
She then looked at me and said, “love the beard”, and got out cancelling her ride.
I quickly turned off my Lyft app, and drove just as fast out of the area… Ratchet!
Please click the link if you can help donate towards the replacement of my naviagtional unit. $1.00 helps towards the 3800.00 bill that I’m facing, and I haven’t gotten to work much lately due to injuries sustained from being run over by a car in late 2015. Everything helps and is much appreciated. Lyft only covered 250.00 for the damages, and said they would not cover any more nor give me their insurance company to help pay for the damages that are exceeding 2500.00 which is how much their deductible is for their insurance.
I appreciate you and your help.
February 25th Santa Barbara:
I had an incredible ride from LAX all the way to Santa Barbara. Now I was looking forward to a great Saturday Night, Lyfting Passengers all over the City.
At about 12:35 am I was called to the Spearmint Rhino to pick up 3 roudy Middle Aged men.
One was talking about how he wants to move to Thailand with his wife, so that he can sleep with prostitutes behind her back… He stated, ” Have you seen Rush Hour?”
I said, ” Yes… I don’t think anyone hasn’t…”
Well , you see its just like that, you go in a room, they bring out a bunch of women, they are designated a color or number, you choose the woman you want and its just that easy.
His other friend in the back said, ” I think your wife would get angry with you for that.”
He said, “She’s use to it, her dad slept with whores all the time, its not technically cheating because your not emotionally involved.”
This non-sense conversation lasted until we got to their house. Ironically the guy in the front was passing out, and the guy who wanted to move to Thailand, had his friend completely convinced that prostitutes were not cheating… (I’ll take a moment here to face-palm myself).
So the two wander off to their house and leave me with the guy that is passed out in my front seat.
I wake him up and ask if he’s feeling nauseas, he says he’s fine, just get him home.
Less than a block from his house, he sneezes… and projectile vomits at the same time. It was like a waterfall cascaded down the front of my dash board and GPS system.
I’ve been driving for 3 years and never had a problem with anyone puking in my car. This one blew out my Navigational system and cost over 140.00 in detailing to clean out everything…. RATCHET
Culver City, CA
After dropping someone off from Santa Monica, I decided to rest at the side of the road for a few minutes.
I get summoned to the other side of the 405 fwy to Duquesne Ave. This guy gets in laughing. I ask what’s so funny.
He said, I totally just got away with a DUI for the 3rd time.
I was thinking to myself, “That’s nothing to be proud of.”
Curious as to how he managed this feat, I asked him.
He said the first time, they put him in the back of their vehicle and failed to read him his Miranda rights, since he had refused to blow. He called 1800NoCuffs and let them know at the precinct he was taken to, and they immediately requested his release.
The second time, I was caught, I purposefully hit my head on the car getting out of the vehicle and dropped to the ground in pain. Then pretended to be very dizzy, so they couldn’t sobriety check me. They wanted me to blow but I told them I had nausea from hitting my head. Then I had my friend who was sober with me offer to take me to urgent care. They released me since they couldn’t do anything to prove I wasn’t just hit in the head.
This time, I refused to blow, I said I am a germaphobe and I can’t see putting something in my mouth that I don’t know where its been. I said yes to the blood test. So they took me back here, I waited almost 2 hours for a phlebotomist to arrive. Then I asked to speak to my lawyer, because I wasn’t sure this was the right thing to do, and I needed legal council. Then after calling the lawyer he agreed he’d be down in another 2 hours to speak with me to help me decide the best course of action. He arrived 10 minutes later than he said, then stated to me that its not necessary to do a blood test, that I should just blow into a clean new tester. So I blew, and by now I was so low that it didn’t register. So, we are going to go pick up my car.
I hope this guy doesn’t get anyone killed.
Santa Monica, CA
Cruising down the streets of Santa Monica, on my way towards WEHO, when again… I’m doomed by another Summon.
Two guys hop in the back seat from Q’s Billiard Club. Both are completely smashed. The first thing out of their mouth was how they were heading to West Hollywood and they were doing a terrible impression of being gay. So I upstaged them and ruined their momentum for catching on.
We chit chatted back and forth with puns and jokes, that weren’t that funny, they were just that drunk… and high. I swore I saw one doing coke in my back seat, but I couldn’t be sure, he could have just had a very bad case of allergies ….
Guy number 1 keeps talking about Jamie the bartender at Q’s. Guy 2 keeps making cock jokes. Finally they get half way to where they are going when Guy 1 starts talking about how he has to make it back to his fiance’s because they have a dinner to go to.
This struck me as odd, since he was so smashed and they had plans for dinner.
He went on how they had been together for 8 years and finally she forced him to ask her to marry her.
I said,” You are engaged, yet you were saying a few minutes ago that you could have had any girl at the bar you were at earlier.”
Guy 1 said, “Well yeah but I didn’t.”
I said,” Do you ever accidentally call your Fiance your wife?”
He thought about it and shook his head no.
I then asked, “You knew you had a dinner to go to tonight, but you went to Q’s. Is the reason you went there first, because you wanted to see this girl Jamie?”
Guy 2 blurts out, “Oh my fucking God, you want Jamie, how could it be so obvious but I didn’t see it?”. He starts to laugh.
Guy 1 says,”Fuck you!”.
Guy 1 pauses then says,” I’m not ready to be married, and I do want Jamie”.
I told him, “Its better to call it off if you are just going to end up cheating on her. Better to have her find someone else than be stuck with kids and no husband because you left her for someone else.”
Guy2, “Man your like a fucking Dr. Phil”.
Guy1,” I didn’t want to get married anyhow.”
I’m not sure that was the best advice, but from the sounds of it, this guy has it pretty bad for another woman, and I may have saved his fiance a miserable life.