The Disrupted
Image source: Lukas

The Disrupted

In 2018, I wrote a few comedy shorts to beef up my portfolio. This short is about a gig app with a supernatural twist.

INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY

DAN and CLAY, both late 20s, catch up over lattes.

Dan hunches over his drink while Clay people-watches.

DAN

Man, I don’t know how anyone finds a decent job these days.

CLAY

You should try Zoozer. It’s like Uber, but instead of giving people rides in your car for a small fee, you let demons take temporary possession of your body for a large fee. I’ll send you an invite.

Clay pulls out his phone and sends the invite.

DAN

What’s the catch? I’m not signing away my firstborn if I join, right?

CLAY

No catch. Demons are like anyone else! They just want to experience human life, have some fun, and go home at the end of the night. Zoozer is disrupting the supernatural annexation industry!

Dan opens the app and creates an account. As soon as he touches the fingerprint scanner to accept, he jerks his finger away.

DAN

What the hell? It stabbed me!

CLAY

They just need a sample of your blood to strengthen the connection between the upper and lower realms. No biggie.

DAN

I guess that makes sense.

Dan taps around in the app until he finds a job.

DAN

OK, so, this guy wants to eat a few burgers. That sounds simple...

Dan taps “Accept Job” and we...

CUT TO:
INT. FAST FOOD BURGER JOINT - DAY

...where Dan is seated in a booth.

DAN

...enough.

He blinks and sees that he is holding a HALF-EATEN BURGER.

When he puts it down, he discovers that his table is covered with dozens of EMPTY BURGER WRAPPERS.

TEENAGER (O.S.)

Naw, bro! Don’t stop now!

Dan looks up to see the speaker, a TEENAGER in a fast food uniform, filming him. Behind him, a crowd of onlookers gawks.

DAN

(Strained)

How many... did I eat?

TEENAGER

Twenty-seven! It was crazy, dude! You were like some kinda animal but your prey was burgers. I bet you can do thirty, though, and 20,000 of my fans agree!

The teenager holds up his phone. Dan lurches to his feet.

DAN

Oh god.

He runs to the bathroom. The teenager turns his camera on himself.

TEENAGER

Guess that’s it, fam. I’ll see ya’ll later when I find out how much electricity it takes to stop my heart!

The crowd grumbles and disperses.

INT. DAN’S APARTMENT - DAY

Clay and Dan hang out, drinking beers in Dan’s tiny apartment.

DAN

Man, I didn’t eat for a day after that. It still feels like my stomach is all stretched out. Are all of the jobs going to be like that?

CLAY

Demons do have their appetites. If you’re lucky, though, that means sex. I wake up next to all kinds of beautiful people, and sometimes they want another round. And the orgies...

Clay does a “chef’s kiss”.

DAN

I mean, that sounds great, but I kind of want something boring.

He pulls out his phone and opens the app.

DAN (CONT’D)

Like this. This guy needs a human body so that he can take notes in a meeting.

He taps it.

INT. CORPORATE CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Dan is still talking, but only to himself.

DAN

That sounds super boring.

Dan notices that he is sitting at a long conference room table.

He is dressed in a conservative business suit - black, dark tie, white shirt - and surrounded on all sides by similarly dressed professionals.

At the head of the table, the PRESENTER - an older man with a sour face - gives a droning presentation from a Powerpoint. The Presenter turns when Dan speaks.

PRESENTER

Please hold all comments until the designated time.

Dan hunches in his chair, trying to turn invisible.

PRESENTER (CONT’D)

As I was saying, you can see from this chart that our penetration into this earthly realm is growing at better than expected rates. We project dominance in this sphere no later than Q4 of this year. We’ve made copies of the detailed report available for your perusal. Bezolach?

Dan realizes that the Presenter is looking at him.

DAN

Who, me?

PRESENTER

Who else would I be speaking to? Distribute the reports!

DAN

I, uh... don’t know where they are?

A BUSINESSWOMAN sitting close to Dan leans in and sniffs him. He cringes away.

BUSINESSWOMAN

I don’t think that’s Bezolach, sir.

PRESENTER

Confound it! I told him to fix those damnable connection issues! Get him back this instant!

Dan fumbles with his phone.

DAN

What do I do? I’m kind of new at this and I... sorry!

The Businesswoman grabs the phone, swipes until she finds the right screen, then holds it out to him. He taps it.

INT. DAN'S APARTMENT - DAY

Dan wakes up back in his own apartment. He’s still wearing the shirt and tie.

DAN

There, see? That wasn’t so bad.

He absent-mindedly takes a drink from a beer, only to realize that his sleeve is COVERED IN BLOOD.

In fact, he is COATED FROM THE ELBOWS DOWN.

DAN (CONT'D)

What the... fuck?

He pulls out his phone, which is also covered in blood! He does his best to wipe off the screen, then calls Clay.

DAN (CONT’D)

Clay, man, you have to get over here. I think something really bad happened. Really fucking bad. I was in this meeting and now...

CLAY (O.S.)

Let me guess. Blood everywhere?

DAN

How... how did you know?

CLAY (O.S.)

Sometimes they just can’t help themselves. So inconsiderate. You can charge them a pretty steep cleanup fee, though. Just go into your job history and look for the “Report a problem” link.

Dan opens the app and taps the link.

DAN

I don’t think this is my blood, though. Did I kill someone? I definitely killed someone. Maybe this app isn’t right for me.

CLAY (O.S.)

You’ll never make better money.

DAN

Yeah, but is it really worth all the trouble? Also, this guy gave me a 3 out of 5 rating. What the hell is that about?

CLAY (O.S.)

Listen, fix yourself a double, take a hot shower, and stop being such a fucking whiner.

Clay hangs up. Dan stares at his phone for a long moment, then deletes the Zoozer app.

INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY

Dan, now wearing a barista’s uniform, stands behind the coffee shop counter. He looks dead inside.

Clay steps up to the counter.

CLAY

Long time no-see, man. How’s it going?

DAN

Oh. Hi. It’s, uh... yeah. I’ve been working here for a while. They let me drink as much coffee as I want, so that’s good.

CLAY

You know, they’re rolling out a new VIP level of Zoozer. The pay rate is even higher, and all of the clients are super-important. I’ll send you another invite.

Clay taps his phone without waiting for Dan’s response.

DAN

No, that’s okay. I’m totally fine here. Everything’s great.

CLAY

That’s awesome to hear, man. So... I’ll take a medium blonde roast.

Dan goes to pour a cup of coffee for Clay and accidentally dumps it all over himself.

He stands, defeated, for a long moment.

DAN

You already sent that invite, right?

He pulls out his phone and taps the Zoozer app.

EXT. DEVASTATED HILL - NIGHT

Dan and Clay stand on hill covered with sickly, yellow grass. Fires burn in the distance and the sky is filled with smoke.

They wear patched-together armor and brandish swords.

DAN

Shit. I’ve got a pounding headache. What exactly did we do last night?

CLAY

We tied one on, and then we ushered in the final age! We’re disrupting reality now! Also, money is meaningless now that demons have overrun the Earth.

DAN

Compared to working minimum wage, this is totally worth it.

Dan pulls out his phone and taps the screen. Clay smiles and does the same.

As soon as they do, a change comes over them, like they’re no longer themselves.

They brandish their swords and run down the hill, screaming terrifying battle cries.

THE END