I’d thought the advert was a hoax at first. It had been at the bottom of the jobs section in the newspaper – ‘Driver wanted – must believe in fairies.’
Still, I went for the interview and found myself being grilled by a fairy called Darren, who hovered around the room asking me questions. I got the job, for Uber’s Fairy-tale Creature department, and found out I’d be driving around their more… unusual clients.
I was given a welcome pack, full of things that might be useful if the customers got rowdy – some garlic, silver bullets, things like that. There were even earplugs – banshees love singing along to the radio.
As you might expect, I was nervous. The night before my first shift, I could barely sleep.
When I picked up my first customer, outside a shawarma shop, I thought there was no one there. I was about to call them when a hooded figure stepped out of the shadows.
They sat down in silence, and took off their hood. I started when I realized I’d just picked up a Cyclops, but he didn’t notice my surprise, his one eye fixed on his iPhone. He didn’t look at me as I drove across town, and when I reached a rough-looking bar, he jumped out, slamming the door.
My next customers were dwarves. Seven of them squeezed in the back, their boots not even reaching the end of the seat. One of them plugged my AUX cable into their phone, and they started singing along to a dub-step remix of Heigh-Ho. Surprisingly catchy.
After that, everything went swimmingly. I drove all over, ferrying people between bars or taking them home. Most weren’t talkative. They asked the usual questions – things like ‘where are you from?’, or ‘has it been a busy night?’ – and then became very interested in their phones.
My last client looked like she’d been standing in pouring rain for hours, although it hadn’t rained all night. With squelching footsteps, she walked over and got in, immediately apologizing for how wet she was making everything.
After a few minutes of driving, the back seat was sodden. The water sprite – because that’s what she told me she was – was sat in a puddle by that point, and every time I went round a corner I heard water sloshing around.
We got to chatting. She told me about her night, and asked me how I’d gotten the job. I kept glancing at the rear view mirror, and it was disconcerting. Water was streaming down her face and dripping off, like she was having a shower. She’d told me I was taking her home, but to my confusion, asked me to stop in the middle of nowhere, beside a small stream.
“Thanks!” she’d said, splashing out into the water.
I was about to ask if she was sure this was the right place, but she vanished. There was no sign that she’d ever been there.
Well, apart from the flooded car.
And the five-star review.
Photo Credit: ZDnet