With only 16 minutes left, Snake has no time to be choosy. He heads for the nearest of the three Starbucks, the smallest building on the left corner. He bursts through the entrance and sends a display of environmentally-friendly, made-from-recycled-plastic travel mugs flying across the store. They ricochet off of walls, customers, and Police Commissioner Bob Hauk’s shiny bald head.
Snake does a double-take at Hauk.
“Hauk,” he hisses.
“Hello, Snake. I’ve been waiting for you.”
It’s 2:00am. The streets of Seattle are pitch black and lonely, save for the occasional, near-burned-out street lamp casting pools of dim, yellowed light on the asphalt, and a 24-hour Starbucks on every corner and squeezed into the spare square footage of every bank, gas station, and grocery store. A lone man stalks the sidewalk, his black leather pants and matching wife-beater blending with the dark, and his long, feathered hair rustling gently in the breeze. His one eye squints dubiously at the Starbucks. The other is hidden behind a black eyepatch.
The man marches straight through the Starbucks parking lot and jerks the door open. Inside, a long customer line trails from the register back to the door and doesn’t seem to be moving. The man charges forward, shoving college students and hipsters aside. Their screams and protests fill the air as they are tossed either to the ground or into large displays of organically grown, free-trade coffee beans. He charges toward the front, his mission urgent: Snake Plissken needs a latte.
I scared you in THE RELIC, intrigued you in SITE 27, and punished you in THE MARK. But can I write a novel?
You’re about to find out.