Tangriel sighed and nervously stroked the white feather in his derby hat when he saw the passenger.
“Well this is awkward.”
“Well, are you getting in?”
The paunchy man unbuttoned his suit jacket and slid into the back seat.
“Buckle up,” Tangriel said and caught Hogsworth roll his eyes in the rearview. But he also heard a click as he pulled the used, but immaculate, Honda Civic into moderate city traffic.
“So I’m going up to 43rd and…” Hogsworth started.
“I got it in the app.”
“Should take about 20 minutes.”
They drove in awkward silence for a few minutes then both began speaking.
“Go ahead,” Tangriel said.
“How long’s it been?” Hogsworth asked.
Tangriel thought for a moment.
“The Fall I think.”
“Heard we were in Japan around the same time a while back, but I didn’t run into you.”
“Really?” Tangriel said, interested. “I haven’t thought about Japan in ages. I absolutely adore the food. Did you try the…”
“Puffer Fish,” They said together, both smiling briefly before falling back into uncomfortable quiet.
At a stoplight a minute or two later, Tangriel said, “Mind if I turn on the radio?”
“Oh, sure,” said Hogsworth. “Can you put on 88.7?”
Tangriel adjusted the dial until he heard a string piece by Brahms. He turned his head and cocked an eyebrow at his passenger.
Hogsworth shrugged, “It reminds me of home.”
They locked eyes saying nothing for a few moments until a car horn drew Tangriel’s attention back to the road. The light was green.
“How… How long have you been doing… this?” Hogsworth asked after the Brahms was replaced by a light piano number from a modern composer neither of them recognized.
“About a year. It’s not like I need the money but things have been slow. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you. It gets me out with the people. Makes me feel useful, I guess.”
“Things are moving slow on our end as well.”
“Really?” Tangriel said, genuinely surprised. “Thought you lot would be busy, busy, busy.”
In the rearview Tangriel saw Hogsworth make a face like he’d eaten rotten fruit.
“It’s all on autopilot these days,” the passenger said. “They don’t need us to tell them how to hate each other anymore. Maybe they never did… It all feels kind of silly now.”
“What?” asked the driver. “Corrupting humans?”
“Yes… no… Maybe all of it.”
“Only took you a few millennia and an interdimensional rebellion to figure that out?”
For a moment the passenger’s eyes flashed red, then dulled back to brown. He sighed with the weariness of generations.
“It seemed so important back then,” he said. “Didn’t you want freedom… Autonomy?”
The driver shrugged uncomfortably, “I didn’t see the point then, and everything was beautiful. We all had enough. Now? It would be nice to make more choices.”
He caught a smirk in the rearview.
“You’d switch places with me right now if you could, wouldn’t you?”
Tangriel gave a smirk of his own.
“I wouldn’t go that far. Three humans have excreted in their pants back there in the past week.”
They both laughed.
Tangriel took a turn and pulled up to the curb.
“We’ve made it.”
“Well,” Hogsworth said. “See you at the big showdown in a couple more millennia, I guess.”
“Or just give me a ring if you need a ride.” Tangriel said. The app’s always on,”
Hogsworth got out, buttoned his suit jacket, shut the door and sauntered into a nondescript office building without looking back.
Tangriel sighed and rubbed his eyes, feeling very old and weary himself.
His phone chimed. He glanced down at it.
“3 Stars. Too Chatty.”
“Fucking demons,” The angel muttered.
He fingered the white feather in his derby hat, and merged back into traffic.
Thanks for reading Rideshare! If you enjoyed it hit that like button and leave a comment. If you’d like to check out more of my weird stories and musings about life, the universe, and the meaning of existence, then subscribe to mindful of madness. You can also find me on twitter @drewjokeringram or on Instagram @andrewingram88. Thanks, my self-esteem depends on you.