Dec 4th – Had the map changed, or had he read it wrong to begin with?

December 4th – Had the map changed, or had he read it wrong to begin with?

00.15-00.25

He was lost.

There was no escaping the fact. It was dark, it was raining, and if nowhere had a middle, he was in it. Except nowhere wasn’t marked on his map.

Obviously, he could have paid extra for a satnav. And he would have done, except $30 seemed a lot at the time, and it was only a couple of hours away. Or it should have been. And, besides, he had a map. A proper, old-school, fold-up-fold-out map. With things marked on it. Places. Including the place that he should have been at 2 hours ago.

He should have been in the bar, now, with a drink, and with her.

He wasn’t. He wasn’t anywhere.

The map was spread on the passenger seat. He’d turned it round more than once, looking for up, looking for right, looking for any sort of direction at all.

Of course his phone was dead. How could it be anything else. It wouldn’t have been, if had had been anywhere near where he should have been. It would be charging. He would be connected. But he wasn’t. He was here, disconnected. With a map that was obviously wrong.

He’d planned it all so carefully. He knew the turns, or he thought he did. There weren’t that many roads, for Christ’s sake.

Would she still be there? Would she wait? He didn’t even know where there was, ad he didn’t know where here was, and getting there from here was unlikely. All he could do was drive.

So he drove. He took turns based on intuition, on luck, on a left-left-right-right pattern, and then the other way. There was nothing. The map stayed spread on the passenger seat. The rain stayed heavy.

Then, in the distance, lights. Lights of a building, of a motel, of a car, two cars, passing.

There was a light on in reception. There was neon light in the bar: open.

For a drink, or for her?

He got out of the car. He spread the map above his head as he ran for the door. Useful at last.

 

Inspired by a prompt from here

Had the Map Really Changed, or Had He Read it Wrong to Begin With? – Dead Deer

Today I wrote from 18:04 to 18:14. I was prompted by ideas here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

“Not on your nelly,” he exclaimed, “I am not going up there.”

She sighed. It had been like this all day. Every turn, every trail, every ascent and every descent and his brow furrowed, his mouth turned down and that voice. Squinting across the valley the distant spire was like a tiny matchstick. Thank God he still has not seen it.

Like two great weights his feet dragged behind him, square and leaden, melted into the giant boots. A light breeze playfully tugged at the dry skin on his lips. The valley was so familiar now. All day and in all directions they had travelled by foot away from that church.

“Come on Michael,” strained positivity grating across her tongue, “One more push, soon be over and away”. She felt his staring eyes boring deep into her. This was not the first time this had been uttered.

Onwards, the snake of the trail tapers and reaches it’s head, in front nothing but wilderness. The slashing of their scythes gently beckon them over the crest, where the same spire awaits them.

He roars, she sinks.