Tina was going out of her mind. Marcus was running late, and he never ran late.

Punctuality was one of Marcus’s finer qualities, and the one that drove Tina crazy. Marcus was early for their first date, arriving before she’d even had a chance to shower. He was early when he had a job interview with the Mets and ended up parking in the owner’s spot. He was early on his marriage proposal to her, again not waiting for her to finish showering before appearing at the curtain on one knee.

Okay, that one was adorable.

But the fact that Marcus was running late, tonight of all nights, was more than just a disappointment to Tina. It was a worldwide panic, and their meeting wouldn’t wait for late arrivals.

First, she had called the office. “Mr. Spiller left two hours ago,” said his assistant. She was probably covering for Marcus, but Tina wasn’t able to get more information out of her.

She then checked the Find My Car App on her phone.

They shared everything — phone plan, car, contact and recovery information, even their Addiction To Electronics Anonymous meetings, for which they were going to be late tonight if Marcus didn’t hurry.

Tina was wary of going to such meetings, but Marcus had reassured her that the only way to combat electronics and tracking and paranoia and fear was to talk about it.

The App blipped with recovery information, which said the signal for the car was currently coming from their garage. Tina checked, and there was no car, and just before she turned to head back inside she saw it, the flashing red light.

The car’s tracker. Just sitting on the floor of the garage. She wondered when he’d taken it off, or if it just fell off, or — God forbid — someone else had taken it off for him.

Who could’ve done such a thing? And, well, why? Marcus had no enemies, in fact he had very few friends. When they’d married, Marcus and Tina’s friends mostly merged while acquaintances and high school buddies fell away, leaving them with a tight circle of trusted allies against each other’s parents.

She pulled out a cigarette, staring at the blinking tracker on the ground. Why would he remove it, if indeed he had? What did Marcus have to hide? They shared everything.

Tina certainly had nothing to hide from Marcus. Aside from her smoking, obviously. But at three cigarettes a day, he surely could smell it on her by now, right? Just like she could smell the liquor on his breath on Friday nights.

But at least he’d admitted he went drinking with workmates after work.

So, again, no secrets.

She stomped out her cigarette as well as the tracker with one foot. This was going to become a long night.

She went inside and was frightened to find Marcus sitting at the dining table, sweating, covered in dirt. His hands were bloody.

He sipped scotch, straight from the bottle. “Honey,” he whispered, “they’re all watching us.” He looked at her hands, saw the phone, and suddenly jumped up from the table.

He snatched her phone, threw it in the garbage disposal, and the crunching of the metal and glass echoed through the house.

“Marcus…what happened?”

“They’re watching us,” he whispered again, “we must be careful.”







One comment on “FORTY-FOUR, 2.0

  1. Great story.
    Really nails the tech complexion of today. When everything is trackable or watchable its pretty creepy.

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