He awoke some time later surrounded by unknown people. He didn't understand where he was or what had happened.
Slowly peering around through unfocused eyes he heard murmuring voices which abruptly stopped upon seeing him moving.
"Sir?" said a man's voice. "Sir, are you okay?"
Caleb let out a low moan in response.
"We've been trying to contact 911 but all the lines seem to be busy. Do you live here? Is there someone we can call to help you?
Barely able to comprehend the man's words Caleb simply stared at the man. Tongue dry his mouth he failed to utter anything more than a jumbled mess of guttural sounds.
"Okay listen sir, you clearly need help. We're going to find a way to get you to the hospital. Hang tight."
There was another murmuring of voices before he knew it he was being lifted up to his feet. The room was now entirely too bright for his liking.
The light glared into his eyes burning them and the room felt as if it were a racquetball. Flying side to side bouncing off unseen walls. He had never been this dizzy in his life.
Before he knew it Caleb was outside being dragged away from his apartment building.
Judging by the purple, blue, and reddish cotton candy colors the sky was showing it was very early in the morning. He was now falling through space.
He was a comet going inconceivably fast, zooming through the universe. Approaching a burning star he was going to plunge himself into.
Then something funny happened, he did not plunge into the seering gases of a star but simply fell on the leather upholstery of the interior of a vehicle.
"How strange?" Caleb thought to himself struggling to comprehend his situation
"Back again already?" he heard someone say.
Without warning his memory came flooding back into his brain. He was not a comet, no, he was Caleb.
He had collapsed in the lobby of his apartment building and apparently some residents were taking pity on him and bringing him to the hospital. Something was wrong, though.
"Why does this feel so wrong?" He thought before his memory trail was interrupted.
"This isn't normal driving hours, you know? I'll have to charge you extra." said the familiar voice.
"Wha- What are you talking about?" said Caleb trying his hardest to stay conscious and focused. "Why am I in here again?"
"Some kind samaritans ordered a cab to bring you to the hospital Caleb. However, they will be unable to pay, so that heavy burden falls on you."
His brow furled, not remembering ever exchanging names with the driver. He was also now sure this was the same driver who drove him home the previous two nights.
Even through his blurry distorted vision he could see the familiar figure in the driver's seat.
Cheek bones seemingly covered only by a thin layer of skin, ready to tear through it to reveal a fleshless being beneath.
In fact, now seeing his driver in the daylight for the first time Caleb was able to discern more features. The hands gripping the steering wheel were thin and grey.
The fingers seemed to be just slightly too long. They wrapped around the wheel and then almost over it again as if they had an extra joint in them.
These abnormal phalanges ended in sharp pointed nails that also seemed just slightly too long to be normal. Caleb's brain was starting to pulse with pain.
Focusing on the inhuman-like features of the driver was too much for his weakened state. The thoughts bursting in his mind about what was driving the car were too much for him at the moment.
His vision began to lose color and he found himself slipping sideways in his seat unable to hold himself up.
He awoke to an abrupt stopping motion. Raising himself off the seat with great difficulty.
"We're here." said a cold voice. "That'll be one hundred and seven"
"That number, what does it mean?"
"You know what it means, Caleb."
"I'm not paying."
"You have no choice. Once you leave payment will be collected."
"Then, I'm not leaving!"
A deep sigh escaped the creature sitting in the driver's seat. "Get out. We've arrived at your destination."
"NO! I will not go! I simply will not. I'll sit in this car forever if I have to. I'm not getting out." The emotional expenditure was costly.
Caleb felt his head starting to spin again and closed his eyes tightly to attempt to regain composure.
"You will leave and you will pay." The voice sounded different now. It was not angry nor threatening, but one thing was sure. It was final.
"Please, '' said Caleb almost at a whimper now. "I don't want t-"
The voice interrupted, "I will force you if I need to, but I'd rather not if it can be avoided."
Caleb took a slow inhale while contemplating his next words. Resolving in his decision he looked the creature in the eyes through the rear view mirror and in a flat note simply stated "No."
His once thought to be inexpensive taxi driver turned unnaturally around towards him. His body almost lunged at Caleb as he did so. He noticed that only his torso moved.
The driver's legs stayed stationary facing forward. He was inches from Caleb's face now. The thing's lanky arms, entirely too long for its body, moved separately from the torso.
One went around the front passenger seat then behind the hanging seat belt to the back door Caleb was sitting next to and grabbed the handle.
The other took a firm grasp on Caleb's left side ribs. Its fingers are long enough to extend across his abdomen and grip the other side of his body.
Its long nails digging into him uncomfortably. All the time the face was still unnervingly close to Caleb's face, paralyzing him.
"You will leave now. Goodbye." and with one swift motion he opened the door and shoved Caleb out onto the sidewalk outside the hospital.
Unable to properly move his legs Caleb topped awkwardly onto his shoulder landing hard without bracing himself. He heard the cab door shut, the car start, and the wheels move away from him.
Less than an hour later, two nurses found a human shaped husk on the sidewalk while leaving their overnight shift.
Not realizing what they were looking at they started for a breathless moment before approaching. Then they realized they were staring at the withered corpse of a man, desiccated to the bone.