The writers stood in the chill night as the convention center emptied. They had stayed all day instead of going back to the distant hotels because, as they had learned by hard experience, the convention center shuttle was not reliable. In fact, it was the opposite of reliable. They were, indeed, astounded to come out and find the shuttle waiting for them, lights blinking.
“It’s here! It’s actually here!” the writer in WWI nurse’s costume cried.
Another writer, not in costume, said, “Ah, but the driver isn’t.”
It was true: the van was empty.
They waited. They waited a bit longer. They waited some more.
“Where IS he?” asked the writer in the black jacket.
“Dead in the back,” said one of the others.
“There’s a number on this brochure,” said the writer in the flowered shawl. I’ll call.”
She dialed the number of the dispatcher while another of the writers stood next to the van and listened, in case the driver’s phone rang from the pocket of a dead body in the back–one never knew, after all.
A cheerful female assured the enquiring writer that “We’ve got you covered.”
Five minutes later, the driver appeared. He said nothing about where he had been, nor did he apologize for his tardiness.
With his customary low-key good will, he drove back to the hotel, finishing the drive with an invigorating detour over a curb or two.
“Tomorrow,” said the writer in the flowered shawl, as they walked up the stairway to their room. “Tomorrow they’ll find him dead in the back of the van.”
WRITING PROMPT: A character is depending on someone for a ride, and the ride is delayed beyond the ordinary.