Bob grinded the gears as he down-shifted around the turn. He threw his head out of the open window and howled as the hula girl on his dashboard bobbled her plastic hips. The tread of the rear wheels gave a faint and steady squeal. He looked a the digital clock in his radio. 4:38 looked back at him in a faded lime-green. Bob cackled maniacally. “I’m gonna make it, son! I’m gonna make it!”
“Left on. North. Madison. Avenue,” said the electronic voice.
Bob cranked the wheel. The front bumper scraped against the asphalt as the van dove into a deep water runoff path at an angle. The contents in the back jumped from their racks and slammed back down again.
“Hang on back there!” Bob shouted. Thank god for cargo nets, he thought.
A red light flipped to green. Bob cheered. A second red turned to green, and Bob screamed with delight. His pace came to a quick halt at the four-way stop.
“Come on, come on,” Bob said, urging the other drivers on. “It’s not a fuckin’ stare down. You ain’t asking each other out on a date. Let’s go!”
“Right on. Cloverfield,” chimed the GPS.
“In the bag, baby! Yeah! And with time to spare.” Bob gave his hands a giddy clap as he pulled in through the chain link fence and into the loading dock. He scanned the different boats and found a man waving him down. His brakes chirped when he stopped.
“Well done, well done. We didn’t think you’d make it.”
“I said I’d be here,” Bob said, opening the back doors. “I told you not to worry.”
The man flipped up his aviation glasses and glanced through the back of the van. “Where the hell is it?” he asked.
Bob’s mouth dropped. He scanned the ranks once, twice, three times. It wasn’t there. He shoved his hand into his pocket to pull out his phone. His heart sank as he read the words; ‘You have 19 missed calls.’