alternative futures: stuck

preface: this is a science fiction story, flash fiction style. this is a (mostly) true story. can you tell where i start making shit up?

i walked off the plane and pulled up my phone. go to google maps. find my route home. eta: 4:52a. current time? 1a.

i had just gotten off the plane from sfo. for some reason (i’m sure i had a reason) i decided to take the 4-10p flight instead of a red-eye.

anyway, i watched the last silver line bus pull off as i got outside.


i switch to the lyft app. lyft line? unavailable. literally not an option i can click on; it’s just disappeared.

check regular lyft. arrival time: 1:36a. not bad. price: $65.12.


yup. $65.12.


real cool.

walk to the taxi stand.

30 people ahead of me.

ugh. is it worth the $65.12? no waiting. well, probably some waiting because the app either lies or drivers make mistakes and don’t arrive at the eta stated in the app. but still an earlier arrival time… is the rest worth the money? probably not.

open uber app.

check uber-auto: $40. probably pricier than the cab but cheaper than the lyft.

i hesistate: but lyft actually cares about its drivers. and lyft hasn’t laid off 1/3 of their drivers in the process of rolling out autonomous cars. i should go with lyft.

but i want to be home.

i summon the autonomous uber car.

it arrives and the door opens automatically.

“please. state. your name” the car/alexa says soothingly.

“lawrence barriner ii.”

“welcome to your ride home, lawrence. would you like me to pop the trunk?”

i’m already in the backseat along with all my backpack and other backpack.

“no thank you.”

“ok. please buckle up. we’re leaving in 10 seconds.”

the door closes, i put on my seatbelt, and the eletric engige whirs me(/us?) into the snowy night.

i doze and awake on the corner of my street.

“i’m sorry lawrence, it seems your registered card has insufficient funds.”

“what?! but i just put money in yesterd….”

“it’s ok. i’ll just take you to the armory and you can resolve the issue there.”

“fuck! i hate the armory…”

the car doors lock and whirs back to life as it takes me to the holding pen for people who run out of bitcoin…

words / writing / post-processing
372 / 15min / 4min