Dev stared out the coffee shop window and tapped the bottom of his coffee cup over his open mouth. The dull green and tan cup, sleeve, and lid were plastered with a dozen marks denoting its biodegradablity and ecofriendlyness. Dev chucked it into the small black wastebasket next to the complex of color-coded recycling bins. The last drop of lukewarm cappuchino barely registered as it rolled across his tongue. Dev savored the final spectral taste for a moment before his gaze shifted back to the iPhone sitting in front of him. It had been 18 minutes since he ordered his Uber and he was getting dangerously close to writing a scathing App Store review.
“Uber driver 5 minutes away my ass.” Dev posted as a status on Facebook. The post garnered 56 likes and several threads arguing the merits of Uber vs Lyft when a black Prius pulled into the fire lane and turned on its flashers. Dev stormed out of the coffee shop and threw his bag and himself into the back seat of the unassuming sedan without a word.
“Howth it goin’ with you, thir?” the driver asked in an enigmatic accent reminiscent of a South Carolina Senator on helium.
“I was doing fine when I wasn’t going to be late for this appointment,” Dev snarled.
“Late? That’th crathy talk! I’m the betht driver thith thide of the Mithithippi!” The driver turned his oversized furry head. His cold, dead anime eyes gazed deeply into Dev’s. “You can be PAWthitive that you’ll get there on time.”
“Oh Jesus Christ,” Dev muttered under his breath. “Fine, yeah, sure. I’ll be as positive as you want as long as you can get me to Burbank before noon.”
“You’re in luck, I know a thpethial thort cut!” the driver chimed, sticking up a sausage sized, claw tipped thumb. “CATathtrophy averted!”
Dev sunk back into his seat and whipped out his phone. The driver waited anxiously for a response, but Dev wouldn’t oblige. The driver tried again to break the ice, which was a mile thick judging by Dev’s investment in the conversation.
“Tho, what ith your name?”
“Dev,” he mustered.
“Oh wow, like tha Thlumdog Millioiare! Ya better watch out, I don’t do too well around dogth!”
Dev’s hand was shaking. He had do everything in his power to stop himself from opening the door and taking his chances with the pavement.
“My name’th Toby!”
“Are you sure you don’t mean… Tabby?”
“No, thilly! Why would it be that?”
“Because you… uhg, nevermind.” Dev looked out the window at the unfamiliar rows of crumbling suburban homes that rolled past the car. “Where the hell are you even going? Why don’t you just take the 5?”
“Because that ithn’t my thortcut! Everyone ith taking the 5!”
“Can you at least tell me where we’re going?”
“It’th a thurprithe, Dev! Bethideth, you know what they thay about curiothity!”
The car swung a hard left and the dilapitated subdivision was replaced by a row of unkempt docks and near-death sloops. “I’ve had enough of this shit. We’re not even going in the right direction. Just stop at that 7-11 and let me out.”
“No can do, Dev. We’ve jutht gotta take a right and we’re there!”
“Where the hell is ‘there?’ Wait… how can you take a-”
“We’re goin’ to CATalina Island!”
The car smashed into the guardrail and over the ledge. The nose of the car plunged into the frigid water of the bay, the water level rising as it sunk deeper and deeper into the depths below. Dev smashed against the car door, but the pressure was too great and the electric locks must’ve shorted. Up through the back windshield, Dev saw the large rectangular shadow of a boat gliding across the surface of the water. Dev chuckled to himself.
“Heh, it’s a catamaran.”