Sorry I Had to Rig Your GPS, But This Is Urgent

You had planned to attend a friend’s birthday party and plugged her address into your GPS system, but the system guided you to somewhere else. Oddly enough, there was a man waiting for you at this mysterious place. “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” said the person.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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50 thoughts on “Sorry I Had to Rig Your GPS, But This Is Urgent

  1. kathleenmagner

    The GPS illuminated well before the left hand turn Hope recalled leading to the highway. She glanced from the winding road shaded by pine and peered at the glowing screen.

    “What are you up to?”

    A spinning circle appeared and she released the wheel long enough to press the neon green go button.

    “Rerouting,” said the placid recording.

    “What do you mean rerouting?”

    The squiggle leading to Granny Edna’s birthday party vanished and a new blue scribble took its place. Beneath Hope’s hand, the steering wheel to her SUV lurched. They blew past the sign for the highway and veered right at the fork.

    “What the hell?”

    Seizing the steering wheel, Hope pounded on the brakes. The pedal met the floor but the message never reached the wheels. Trees blurred by as they accelerated instead. She tried jerking the wheel left and right, but it stayed locked on the weaving roads taking her to wherever the GPS now had in mind.

    Letting the wheel twist, the pedals speed and slow, Hope stabbed the off button on the navigation system. Despite her increasingly frantic punches, and even a switch of the power source, the unit remained bright.

    “Turn left in 200 yards,” said the recording, cheerily providing directions the car made on her behalf.

    “This is crazy.”

    Hope fetched her cell phone from her purse nestled on the passenger seat beside Edna’s bagged gift. Signal, however, appeared nonexistent.

    Tossing away the phone, she sought the lock on her door. The tiny plug remained snug in its hole.

    The window failed to roll down either.

    “What is going on?”

    Sunlight pierced the branches and Hope stared out the windshield. Pine trees thinned and the two lanes opened up a moment later. Her car burst from the shade a good ten miles over the suggested speed limit and onto a coastal road hugging the lip of a cliff. Ocean stretched to her right beneath gray skies and before her, water crashed against mammoth rocks, the waves white and frothy.

    Staring at the plunge, Hope clutched her seatbelt. The car bolted on, the squeal of tires and ocean pound at each swerve.

    “Your destination is on the right.”

    Hope grabbed the steering wheel when the car turned, momentum flinging her in her seat as they careened into a lookout point’s parking lot. The guardrail neared like a trip wire and closing her eyes, Hope slammed the brakes.

    The car stopped.

    Hope’s panting breaths warmed her face, the snug seatbelt tight against her chest, the steering wheel rumbling beneath her grasp. The world, however, appeared on the level and when she peeked out, the GPS’s dot throbbed at the end of the route. With a nervous chuckle, Hope sagged and rubbed the back of her neck while the engine idled.

    The guardrail met her front bumper, a gray ocean and sky beyond. A placard with a faded trail map sprouted at the perimeter of stalls but the buzz of static drew her attention to the opposite side of the lot.

    … Click here to read the rest and feel free to leave a comment.

  2. Ian B. McLean

    He’s not exactly normal-looking. Some might say that he’s gorgeous, tall, dark and crystal-eyed; others may say he looks alien. At least he apologized for rigging the GPS and making you late for your party. You’re getting wet from the rain as you open the window, but he starts talking and you hear the accent, figuring that he’s used to rain. He gives you instructions and asks you to follow them exactly, all while occasionally texting. Then he looks at you with those implacable eyes and you see pain. He’s trying to hide it, of course, but you offer a ride anyways. He pauses, and you can see him trying to refuse, but the wind picks up and he gets in. He takes the GPS and programs it to the nearest post office, and you drive.

    “You have questions,” he says.

    “Yeah, but I’ve always figured not to ask questions I don’t want the answers to,” you tell him. He almost smiles for the first time since you met.

    “I haven’t spoken to him in years, and I’m going to be seeing him again soon,” he says. “He should know I’m coming.”

    “Is he your brother?” you ask.

    “In a manner of speaking,” he replies.

    “So, friend? Boyfriend? ‘Cause that’s fine,” you tell him. “It’s all… fine.”

    He bites his lip, either trying not to laugh or cry. “I know.”

    You get to the post office and park. You offer to take the letter in, but he’s already gotten out and placed it in the nearest mail slot. He looks at you, nodding in gratitude before walking away. You watch for a moment before following him.

    “Hey!” you call out the window. “You need a ride?”

    He pauses and you stop.

    “You know you don’t have to do everything alone,” you tell him.

    “People around me tend to get hurt,” he says. “You have friends, people who care about you. You want to stop smoking but you can’t quite kick the habit, and so you’ve moved to biting your nails and the ends of pens to have something in your mouth. The friend whose party you were going to lives five minutes from this post office, and you don’t really want to go, so you put on a nicer shirt, but a cheap watch and jeans instead of proper trousers. The gift you bought is nice looking, but you forgot to remove the price tag revealing a more frugal cost. That, along with the condition of your older car, seems to suggest that you’re going through financial troubles. You’re looking for adventure, why else would you take a stranger to wherever he programmed your GPS, but you don’t want to go it alone, which is why you’re following me.”

    His looks at you, as if he just spoke without thinking.

    “That’s impressive,” you tell him. “Incredible, actually.”

    He pauses, the hint of a smile on his face, before getting in the car. “It’s been a while since anyone’s said that.”

  3. laurentravian

    I locked the car door, and rolled down my window- just a little. I have a strict no sociopaths rule. And who but a sociopath would do something like this? The man just stood there, watching me. At last, I spoke. “So if you rigged my GPS, what the hell do you want to do with me?!” He smiled. “You’ll see. They’ll all see too. But mostly you… and me.” I frowned. “That’s not an answer.” He smiled with his crooked smile. He might have been cute, if I wasn’t certain he was a serial killer. He cocked his head and said, “Alright. I believe you will accept this- I want to save your life. I have certain knowledge- your friend Stacy? She’s a drug dealer. Spiked the punch. Tried to get you to take the blame. The cops are going to bust her party. If you were there, she’d blame you. And all the people there would back her for the drugs. You’d be found guilty at your trial, and sentenced to the electric chair. Do you think I want that?” I knew the look on my face read “you need help.” The creep came closer to the car. “I love you.” I was *this* close to backing out, and going for as long as I could until my gas ran out (not very long). I might outrun him. Probably not. And he’d know, because I’d have to turn on my ignition. Dammit! I slipped off my heels, then quietly unlocked the car door. I started to run. I could hear him behind me. I put on more speed. I made it to the highway. I kept running. I looked over my shoulder. Big mistake. He was still following. And this part of the highway was in the woods- his woods. I tried to run faster, but ran into one of his traps instead. He smirked at me, my dress completely upside down, exposing my underclothes. “Put. Me. Down.” I growled. I could have 911 here in seconds, but I didn’t need to play that card yet. He gave me a mock-bow. “As milady wishes. That was a nasty trick by the way.” He said, cutting the only thing keeping me up. I landed on my feet, my dress blossoming out around me. He sauntered towards me. “Are you going to run again?” He asked. I bit my lip. I’d never get away now. He bent down, and very gently kissed me. It was wonderful. When it was over, I stared at him, wide-eyed. “what are you going to do to me?” I whispered. He smiled kindly (serial killers toy with you! flashed my mind). “I’m not going to hurt you, or in any way violate you. But I do want to look at the ankle.” He said. I allowed him to carry me back to his cottage. “Rest here for a few days.” He said. I looked around the room. It was cozy, and quaint. When he set me down on the bed, I looked at him again, but he was tending to my ankle. As well he should. It was his trap in the first place that sprained it. When I resumed looking around the room, a little boy came in. He couldn’t have been more than five. He stared at me, looking vaguely familiar. “Hey. What’s your name?” I asked the kid, pulling him up beside me. He snuggled into my arms, and said one word. “Mommy.” I looked at my captor. “He’s from the future. Our future. Of course, I haven’t been there but-” An older version of him followed the boy into the room. “Andy, where have you gotten to n-” He caught sight of me. I stared at him, and he stared back. A tear began to run down his cheek. “You. You’re a-alive.” He whispered. I looked at my captor, wide-eyed. He was staring at the kid. I shifted so that he was in my lap. My captor looked into my eyes. “I don’t think this has thrown you off.” He said. The older version of him shuffled forward, as if in a dream. “It’s you, it’s you.” He murmured. He touched my face. I think it was clear that I didn’t recognize him. He took the child from my lap, and shuffled back into the other room. Then there was a loud pop, and my captor grimaced. I patted the vacant space next to me, and when he joined me, I kissed him. Hard. “I think I will learn to love you.” I said, aware that I would be here for the rest of my life. I snuggled into his arms, and he stroked my hair.

  4. Kiri Hibi

    I’ve always trusted my instincts. And my instincts say right now that this gas station is not Rachelle’s house and definitely not the party I was going to.

    I began punching buttons on the GPS touch screen and speed-dialing Rachelle’s phone number. Maybe one of the two can tell me where I am.

    The birthday girl finally picked up and I started spewing excuses for being late. “Hey, Rachelle, I’m not sure where I am right now. Yeah, my GPS must be acting up-”

    I felt my phone pulled from my hand. I turned around to face an unfamiliar man in my passenger seat, holding my phone hostage. I tried not to scream but an anxious gasp still escaped.

    “Sorry, I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” the stranger apologized.

    In a rush of panic, I snatched my phone from his gloved hand. Only to find the battery missing. Now, I was closer to screaming out of anger than fear.

    He played with the battery between his fingers. “I can’t have you contacting anyone right now.”

    Any civilities I had left snap. “Well, excuse me! This is my car and that is my phone battery! Now if you can give both back to me and leave, I would be very thankful, Mr. Serial Killer!!”

    “I don’t want to fight and it’d be easier for us if you listen.”

    “That will happen when I can walk out of this car alive!”

    He stared at me with an amused grin, “What makes you think I’m here to kill you, Amanda?”

    “Because you rigged my GPS, got into my car, removed my phone battery all without me seeing, and you know my name! If you aren’t a homicidal stalker, what else-”

    “How about an FBI agent?”

    “Don’t interrupt-…..what?” I felt myself do a 360 degree turnabout from my upcoming rant.

    He reached into his pocket and flashed me a badge. “Agent Michael Neals. Now, I hope to have your full cooperation in this.”

    “In what?” I responded dumbly. Questions bombarded my head. Is this seriously happening?

    “Your friend, Rachelle Gordy is wed to a drug trade leader.”

    I suddenly awoke from my state of shock. “You’re crazy.”

    “Her husband, Hale Gordy, is on our most wanted list of syndicate leaders.I want you to stay here as we arrest him today. Actually, I’m going against orders right now but that’s not the biggest issue here.”

    “So you came to purposely help me? Why?”

    I didn’t receive my answer when he turned away and started whispering into a mouthpiece inside his jacket. I waited and he looked up again and said, “Well, mission success. Looks like you’re safe now.” I watched as he slid out of the car.

    Before I said anything to stop him, he covered my mouth and whispered, “I believe the high school reunion is next Sunday. See you soon, Amanda.”

  5. koolcid11

    It was pouring rain outside when I got a call from one of my friends. “Hello? Oh hi Sarah! Happy birthday!” I ran to get get a sheet of paper and pencil. “Okay I am back, Yep, professor, yep sure, yah I would love to. Okay talk to you later, okay, bye.” I wrote down Sarah’s address and hopped into my car. I turned on the GPS and plugged in her address. I ran inside, grabbed 20 dollars and ran back to the car, turned on the car and drove off.
    “Turn left on interstate 40.” The GPS still grumbling directions in a British accent. My wheel turned to the left and down a gravel road. All I could see is desert plain. Dust rolling down the road behind me. I started to get a bad feeling. Last time I went to Sarah’s house was five years ago and I don’t remember turning down this road. A black figure stood in the distance. The figure kept getting clearer and clearer. I started to slow down. When I was right in front of the man, thunder rolled in the background then seconds later a big streak on lightning right behind him. I felt my hands touch the lock button on the door. The man in front of me came closer. Now that I saw him clearly, I could tell what he was wearing. He was wearing a black suit with black dress pants. A black and white stripped tie was wrapped around his head. He was wearing black sunglasses. It was drizzling now. The man was now at my door. His hand reached out and opened the locked door.
    “Sorry I rigged your GPS, but this is urgent. Miss, please step out of the vehicle.” I didn’t move. “Miss please step out of the vehicle. This is urgent.” I got out of the car slowly. “I need to talk to you in private.” I looked around and then stared at him. Wow that was a really stupid thing to say, I thought to myself. “I am a professor at Vodax school of Magyk. We believe that you are a wizard too. I am one too.” He held out his hand and a small flame flickered on the tips of his fingers. “You need to come with me miss, you are going to the school of Magyk.” I came a little closer, confused, then he held out his hand. My hand reached out and once the tip of my finger touched his we vanished.
    All I could see was red and black polka dots. In a few seconds we were outside of a castle. I thought about Sarah, her party must be starting now. I wondered if she was worrying about me this very moment. Then man appeared in front of me and walked into the castle. I followed him inside the castle. I stared in awe. The man walked up to a big double door and waited in front of it. Once I was in front of it too, the man disappeared and left me by myself. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a few seconds then pushed open the doors.

  6. Ibeth

    I couldn’t stop thinking about last night. As I drove to Sarah’s, house my mind replayed the awful events that unfolded last night. Uncertainty, insecurity, sadness, and regrets, all these emotions coursed through my body as I tried to figure out what went wrong. Just three weeks away and it felt like hell had opened its doors and had no mercy for me.

    “Right turn in 200 yards” the GPS robotic voice rang out. I slowly wiped at the tears that had fallen and instantly smeared the eye job that I worked painstakingly hard to make perfect. Was he right or was I right. This is the game my mind always plays with me. It took two years to build up, what I thought was a perfect moment in my life and only twenty minutes to shred it to pieces.

    “Left turn in 100 yards” her voice rang again. As I approached the left, I couldn’t help but wonder how I was going to possibly make it through Sarah’s birthday party. Four grueling hours of smiling, holding small conversation, when all I really wanted to do was curl up on my couch and sleep until next week.

    “Approaching destination on the left,” she said again and as I came out of my internal musing, I found myself nowhere near Sarah’s house but instead in front of a home I was all too familiar with. My heart pounded as I stirred with a mixture of emotions – happiness, awe, sadness, and anger. I slowly stepped out of the car and the only words I could form rolled off my lips, “Why?”

    “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent. We are not perfect and I am not perfect, but I do know without a doubt that I love you unconditionally and one way or another, I am here to prove it to you.”

    “You had no right to keep this from me!” I shouted losing all sense of composure. College sweethearts we were; and then two years ago we decided to make it more serious. Three weeks away from our dream wedding and I find out last night at dinner that he fathered a child. He swore on everything possible that he didn’t find out until last week but his down fall was that he didn’t tell me until last night. It’s truly hard to hate someone when every part of me wants nothing more than to love him. I feel so betrayed.

    “I didn’t know how to tell you. I can’t lose you. Please give me another chance,” he whispered softly. I stopped nibbling on my bottom lip, and released the tension from my clutched hands. Flashback of memories flooded my mind as I thought about our past, our love, and our future. He’s right. We are not perfect, and with that the tears began to flow. He slowly placed a gently arm around me and at that moment I knew one way or another we could get through this.

  7. smallPencil

    616 Words.

    As I sped toward my friend’s house, I looked down at the brightly colored paper in my lap. I laughed out loud. This was going to be so sweet. It’ll be funnier than “dick-in-a-box” ever was. Then I thought, in horror, what if she doesn’t like her present? I pushed the thought out of my mind. It’s just male insecurity, I told myself. Then I looked back down, and roared with laughter again. I heard the sterile and familiar, “You have arrived at your destination.” I looked around with a frown. I doubted my friend lived in either the field, or the tree I could see. I was punching my GPS in frustration when I was startled by a knock on my driver side window. I yelped and hit the automatic door lock. I looked over to see a man who appeared to be covered, over all but his face, in quicksilver. I screamed. I felt the wrapping paper suddenly grow warm and wet. “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” said the person. I tried to slam the car into reverse, but missed the gear three times before I finally hit the “R”. I pouched the accelerator to the floor. The tires squealed and I was catapulted backwards. I watched the metallic man go tumbling head-over-heals as I raced away from him. I screeched the car into a U-Turn and burned rubber down the road. “What the f—. What the F—. What the F—!” Was all I could muster as I floored the vehicle away from the crazy scene. My cell went off. I jumped, then looked down at the center console for it. I noticed that I could see a certain part of my body. I gritted my teeth in anger. My gag was ruined. My phone displayed the name of the woman I was trying to get to. I eagerly snatched it up. “Hey, sorry I’m running late, but you would not be-” I was cut off.

    “Sir. I told you this was urgent. Please. You must listen to me. I am from the future.”

    “So why does that mean I gotta listen to you?!” I screamed. “Stop imitating hot chicks. Stop making me piss myself. Stop ruining my freaking day! Leave me alone!” I hit the automatic window button and threw my cell out of it. It would be some time before I realized what I had done. I hit the ‘reset’ button on my GPS. The sterile voice sounded, “Right turn ahead.” I felt awash in relief at the familiarity and nonchalance of the voice. It continued. “Left turn ahead.” Then, “Sorry, sir. But, you are the only person available in the necessary time-space vectors. You must help me.”

    Even my beloved GPS voice? Really? “Why?”

    “Because, in my time-”

    This time I cut him off, “And when is that?”

    “Um, well (the stumbling sounded funny, coming from the GPS voice) about 100 years from now.”

    “So then you have 100 years to solve your stupid problem,” I roared, “doesn’t sound very ‘urgent’ to me!” And with that I unplugged my GPS and threw that out the window as well. As it flew through the air, I finally caught hold of my senses, and, realizing in that split-second what I was about to do to my $200 piece of electronics, I lunged desperately to catch it , too. I failed. It was then that I realized I had done the same with my cell phone.

    I spent the next hour combing the side of the street and cursing the silver future-man. But, at least my friend liked her gift, even if it was unwrapped.

  8. Lena

    As Fate Would Have it

    Rain poured in a relentless cascade of heavy droplets across the front windshield of Melinda Torres’ muddied Honda Civic. She cursed herself for allowing her stubbornness to win a losing battle; she should’ve taken the ride offered to her instead of relying on a piece of electronics she knew little about and bought just for the sake of having.

    If she hadn’t let her guilt over what she deemed to be a wasted purchase, get the better of her, she would be riding with friends instead of alone in one of the worst rain storms she’s seen since early Spring.

    Her windshield wipers could barely keep up with the onslaught of rain drops drumming against the roof and easing their way down in line of her already obscured vision. All around, things became less and less familiar and more and more threatening with each flash of lightning that illuminated the deserted scenery huddled just beyond the metal guards.

    Melinda tore eyes away from the road briefly to inspect the time displayed on her dashboard. “I’m going to be late . . .”

    Dread crawled along her skin as she thought of how her best friend since high school, Elena Marques, was going to take her less than fashionably late arrival to the party. Melinda felt like bashing her head on the steering wheel. How could she call herself a best friend when she was missing out her best friend’s most important birthday—the Big Three-O?

    Her eyes found the road again and she nearly swallowed her heart when she noticed a man standing in the road directly in the path of her headlights. She slammed on the breaks hard enough to throw her from her seat, had it not been for seatbelt. When her car had stopped, she scrambled out to ensure that the man was unharmed.

    “Are you alright, sir?” Her hands shakily found his shoulders, concern etched into the delicate meld of her features.

    Rain had soaked through her clothing in the brief time it took for her to reach the man’s side, but nothing could match the frigidity of fear skating painfully through her veins.

    “I’m fine,” he said over the thundering of raindrops on the wet pavement. “I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you, Melinda.”

    It took only a moment for her to register his words and half that time to step away, putting some much needed distance between them.

    “Who are you?”

    “I’m the one you’ve been seeking: your soul mate.”

    “How do you know anything about that? And who are you?” The last was expelled with a note of desperation, spiced with an overzealous hint of fear.

    “A very talented psychic told me. I’m truly sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent. This is a matter of living a long fulfilling life with the only one you’ll ever love or having your life cut short in the blink of an eye.”

    He ran a hand though his soaping wet hair; his frustration was evident. He reached out a hand to her, as if to say “trust me,” but Melinda knew not to trust a stranger she’d just met and nearly run over with her car.

    “I’m sorry,” she said, but she wasn’t certain why she felt compelled to apologize. “I have an appointment to keep that I’m already late for. I’m sure we’ll meet again.”

    But we won’t . . .

    In his mind the thought was clear, but the words would not leave him. He couldn’t stop her, just as the psychic had said. But he desperately wanted to in order to prevent what was to come.

    Without another word she clamored back into her car, fear still clinging to her aching bones. She started her car and maneuvered it around the man before continuing down the road. As she passed him, she could see true sorrow dotting his expression, but she couldn’t quite understand its meaning.

    She watched him from her rearview mirror until she was a great distance away then returned her attention to the road again. The squeal of her tires as she braked suddenly was the last thing she heard before colliding head-on with a fallen tree lying across the road.

  9. Odysseus

    I stopped the car. Even though I had never been to Sarah’s new house, I knew this could not be her place. She did not live riverside in the middle of nowhere. Still the GPS insisted that I had reached my destination.

    “Well, let’s see where I am”, I thought and got out of the car. I walked a few steps towards the river when a voice behind me said: “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent.”

    I turned around. The voice had come from a chubby little man. He was old and strangely overdressed, wearing a white tuxedo.

    “Why would you do such a thing? And who are you in the first place?”

    “Who I am is not important, Dr. Phillips. He has no time for explanations.”

    He had rigged my GPS, so it was no surprise to me that he knew my name. But who was “he”?

    “Follow me! “the old man said. He walked past me until he reached the river and then he turned left.

    My first thought was to get back into the car and leave. Someone who rigged people’s GPS systems could not be trusted. However, the old man had something about him that made me follow him to the river after all.

    A kayak came into sight. It was broken in two. The man did not even look at it. He just walked on. A few hundred meters later, he stopped.

    I had to look twice before I saw why. In front of him, behind a pile of driftwood, was a young boy. Ten years, maybe eleven years old. He was wet all over and did not move.

    “It’s not his time”, the old man said, “You can save him, Dr. Phillips.”

    The broken kayak came back to my mind. He must have crashed against a rock in the rapids. In the ice cold water with the strong currents, he had had no change to get ashore conscious.

    I knelt down next to the body. Thoughts about the old man kept on spinning around in my head. How had he rigged my GPS?

    “Enough,” I said to myself. I focused on the boy. I took his wrist. He was cold from the water. He had a pulse – weak and hardly recognizable, but it was there.

    Immediately, I started to reanimate him. First the cardiac massage. Thirty Times. Then the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Two kisses of live.

    The boy remained unconscious. As lifeless as before. I tried to reanimate him one more time, and then once more. Nothing.

    “Come on young man! It’s not your time! “I said.

    Finally, the young boy started to cough. Water came out of his mouth.

    “Everything will be alright! “ I said, “I will take you to the hospital.”

    I grabbed the boy and lifted him from the ground.

    “Heaven will always have a place for you Dr. Phillips”, was the last I heard from the old man, before he vanished into thin air.

  10. pstivers

    Rick’s closest friend, Tamara, is having a birthday party at her new apartment. Instead of a residential area, his GPS brought him to a small business district of locally owned consignment shops and cafes. Parked at the curb, Rick fumbles with the device, not noticing the stranger approach.
    “I’m sorry for overriding your GPS and bringing you here, Ricky. But this is urgent and we don’t have a lot of time.”
    Rick, startled of the stranger’s approach and his familiarity with him, asks “Who are you?”
    “Isn’t it obvious? I’m you.”
    Unbelieving, but unable to dismiss the identical face he sees in the mirror, Rick remains silent.
    The familiar stranger continues. “I know it’s hard to digest. It’s weird for me too, talking to myself. But you’ve got to remember something before you get to Tamara’s. So please, get out and follow me.”
    Rick, dumbfounded, curiously follows him into the shop next to the car.
    “What are we doing here?”
    “Looking for the perfect gift.”
    Rick browsed along the aisles. Something, a girl’s bracelet, with shiny plastic emeralds and rubies, caught his eye. It was the same design as that from a forgotten memory.
    When Ricky was five he ran away from home for less than a day, but within that time he experienced horror and sorrow.
    A homeless girl, about his age; her drug addicted mother killed before her. The killer, upset over what he had done, cried as he went through the woman’s pockets. The girl reached a hand to him in consolation of his tears. He swatted it away, causing a bracelet to break off. “Just go away!” he cried and fled the girl he destroyed.
    Ricky approached the crying girl. Not knowing what to say, he simply sat with her next to her dead mother until he heard sirens. Fearing his own situation, he apologized, leaving as silently as he came.
    “I never even knew her name?” Rick said blankly. His future self replied. “Tamara.”
    At Rick’s shock, he continued; “Yes, she’s adopted. I’m not supposed to tell you anything that hasn’t happened. But, she’s getting engaged tonight.”
    The space around Future Rick enveloped him like a blanket. Through pain in the instant before disappearing he winked at Rick, “Hurry up. Don’t keep me waiting.”
    An antique clock chimed, bringing Rick out of his stunned reverie. Purchasing the bracelet he sped off, praying that his GPS now worked.
    Minutes later he was at Tamara’s. Most of their friends were there already; including her boyfriend, Darryl.
    Tamara smiled brightly at him. “What took you so long? I’ve been waiting for you.”
    “Sorry. I ran into a serious case of déjà vu.” He said, presenting her gift. Eyeing him curiously, Tamara gently pulled out the costume jeweled bracelet. Recognition slowly set in. She looked at her closest friend with a new set of eyes. She embraced him tightly, wrestling with sobs. Rick gently wrapped his hands around her, whispering, “Don’t marry him.”

  11. LookingGlass

    I hate being late! I thought, and I don’t even know where she lives! I pulled the invite from my purse and hurriedly punched the address in my trusty Magellan. It was a co-worker’s Birthday and I needed to do something to get my mind off my husband. Over the past two years things had been getting strange. He came home late, sometimes smelling of cigars and alcohol. He was also taking more “business trips,” which was raising my suspicions. He never talked about what he did while he was gone.

    Mindlessly I followed instructions from the GPS when, “Destination on right” caught my attention. I peered at the mailbox numbers but they didn’t seem to match up to the invite. I stopped at the curb in front of a little house where my GPS had led me. I grabbed the invite and as I was about to compare it, a man in a dark suit came out of the house, walking determinedly in my direction.

    I froze for a moment, unsure of what to do. As I was about to put the car in drive, the man held up his hands, gesturing for me to wait. As he neared the passenger side of my car, I could see he had a badge of some kind in one hand. When he arrived at the passenger window, he pressed it against the glass and waited for me to look. FBI.

    At this point, my alarm and curiosity melded, so I cracked the window.

    “Excuse me, Sir. What exactly is going on?” I asked the FBI agent, my brain was ticking a mile a minute, not sure what I expected him to say.

    “Ma’am, my name is Detective Hodges. I’m sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent. Would you please follow me into the safe house so we can speak?”

    Some deep-seated survival instinct told me not to go with him, that this was too strange. I couldn’t fathom the FBI going to this kind of measure just to speak to someone.

    “OK Sir, please drop your badge inside so I can have a better look.” He arched an eyebrow, but did as I requested. I grabbed the badge and studied it closely, even ran a fingernail around the edges to certify its legitimacy. I could find no flaws. OK Tiffany, get your act together. Go see what’s going on. I stepped out of the car and handed Detective Hodges his badge.

    “Come with me Mrs. White.” He led me up the sidewalk and through the front door. Sitting inside was whom I could only guess was another agent. “We need to talk about your husband Mrs. White. We have reason to believe he’s an international spy selling U.S. secrets to foreign agencies.” My jaw fell open…

  12. uniquepanda89

    Angie stood on line at the local drugstore, gripping a birthday card in her left hand. Of course there were eight people in front of her and of course there was only one register open. Of course, Angie had twenty minutes to get to her friend’s party, who, of course, lived thirty minutes away.
    Vivian was technically Angie’s co-worker, but Vivivan had only worked at the firm for five months and taken an immediate liking to Angie. Angie had been working for Coltor and Baileys for eight years and Vivian was the only one who actually remembered Angie worked there.
    The line moved two inches at a time before it was finally her turn to check out. The young cashier asked if she had a rewards card and Angie said she didn’t. After she paid, Angie power walked to her car, opened the door and turned the key. Her GPS perked back up and said, “In point two miles, exit left on to route 22”. Angie followed the directions and merged on to the high way.
    Angie looked at the time. It was six fifty two and Vivian’s party started at seven. Angie picked up her cell phone and dialed Vivian’s number while carefully steering with her free hand. The phone rang five times before it went to voicemail. “Hey Vivian, it’s Angie. I’m sorry but I’m going to be about fifteen minutes late. Just wanted to let you know. See you soon.”
    Angie continued down the highway until the gps said, “in point five miles, exit right”. Angie signaled her blinker right and carefully merged into the right lane. She got off at exit sixteen when the gps suddenly said, “Turn right on to pawling road”. Angie made the turn and found herself on some sort of back road. She cdrove for almost ten minutes when the Gps told her to make a left at Kipling Road and then she would arrive at her destination on the right.
    Angie frowned. Kipling? Angie was sure Vivian said she lived on a street called Richter. Angie decided to go ahead and turn on Kipling. She would pull over and give Vivian another call to get the correct directions.
    The road was covered in gravel and no cars passed by. Angie picked up her phone to dial when something from her rearview mirror caught her eye. Someone was approaching from behind. As the figure drew closer to her car, Angie could see it was a man. A very tall man and he was coming straight towards where she had stopped. Angie gulped and gripped her steering wheel tightly. Before she could hit the gas, the man tapped on the passenger window. Angie felt sweat slide down her chest and considered speeding off. She thought she might be over reacting and he just wanted to see if she needed help.
    Angie carefully lowered the window, but stopped halfway. The man stared straight at her with eyes greener than a lime and said gruffly, “Are you Angie Porter?”
    The man must have taken Angie’s shocked expression as a “yes”, because before Angie even could hit the gas pedal, the stranger had yanked open the door, slammed it and already had a large hand over Angie’s mouth.
    “Don’t scream, bite, kick, claw, any of that. I’m not the bad guy. Now I’m sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgen. I’ll explain when we get to the safe house. I will tell you that you were not on your way to a birthday party and Vivian Fevere is not your friend.”

  13. E.T. Nell

    “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” said the ragged looking child standing outside the tumbled-down warehouse. He could not have been more than eight years old, but there was a depth to his gaze as it held me that spoke of a wisdom far beyond my understanding.

    “Uh…I’m sorry…what?” There you go, Todd. Eloquent as always. Fear my loquaciousness, strange puny child.

    A small smile lifted the strange boy’s lips, but did not reach his eyes. “I’m sorry to have disturbed what would have otherwise been a fun filled evening, Mr. Spruce, but our time is limited. We cannot waste it on explanations that are, frankly, beyond your limited capacity to comprehend. We must move with all haste if we are to save your species from extinction.” With that the little boy turned and walked into the abandon building. There was a certain authority in his voice and movement that did not so much beg but demand I follow his lead.

    Perhaps it was that authority that propelled my feet outside my ancient Volvo. Perhaps it was all the questions that had sprung up in my mind, begging for answers, or maybe the idle threat of humanity’s annihilation. Perhaps this strange child had exerted some sort of mind control over me that I was helpless to resist. Whatever it was, it worked, and I followed him into the warehouse.

    Inside the building was dark; impossibly dark. There were no windows allowing light from the moon or street lamps outside, and if there were windows they have been completely covered up. I passed through enormous steel doors, and as I did I heard them slam shut behind me of their own will, like in every cliched ghost story you’ve heard.

    I gulped audibly. It’s one thing to laugh at the utter predictability of it when you see it in the movies. To experience it first hand, however, is far more terrifying than the movies can ever adequately portray.

    Gulp.

    Immediately following the dramatic closing of the doors and my apparent entrapment, a light clicked on in the center of the spacious and cold room. It illumined a single steel table, flanked by two steel and thoroughly uncomfortable looking chairs. The child was sitting across the table from the other empty chair. Presumably mine.

    “Have a seat Mr. Spruce. We have a long journey ahead of us and I would not want you to tire too soon.” There was nothing inviting about the chairs, or the boy’s words, but as I seemed to be trapped here I figured what the heck. I sat down across from the boy and fixed him with my most stern and adult-looking stare. Odd as he was, I wasn’t about to let some half-pint scare me. I’ve dealt with far worse children in my time. I was a middle school principal. Well…assistant pricipal.

    “What am I-” I began, but the boy interrupted me.

    “Doing here,” he finished with a smirk. Odd, rude and smarmy. I did not like this kid. “You, Mr. Spruce, have been chosen to ensure the continuation of your species. Homo sapien I believe you call yourselves. You and a relative handful of others that is. You see, your race was doomed centuries ago. Fate has only recently caught up with your world.” As he spoke he gestured at the steel table top. An image flashed across it. Earth, in all her blue and green majesty, lit from behind by our ever present sun. But she was being invaded. Millions of strange ships were entering the atmosphere, and our beautiful blue atmosphere was quickly changing colors to a sickly greenish color.

    I swallowed. Hard. That image was far to realistic looking to be confused with computer graphics. Hollywood never created an image so realistic, or so terrifying.

    “OK, kid,” I said with a quivering breath. “Let’s say I believe you. Why me? I’m no one special.” Which was true enough. A lackluster educator’s career had sky rocketed me to the lofty position of assistant principal. My marriage dissolved a few years earlier when my wife left me for the town’s high school principal. (Who knew I married a status-hunting gold-digger?) I had no kids, a crap car, a pathetic wardrobe and a tiny apartment. I was, quite literally, the most uninteresting man in the world.

    “We chose you, Mr. Spruce, for one very important reason,” the child said. “Your genes. While your life has unarguably been less than inspiring, your physical make-up is ideal to ensure your offspring are not only healthy, but hardy. Able to withstand many forms of communicable diseases, even those your race has yet to encounter due to your inability to traverse the galaxy. You are, and this is not an attempt at flattery, genetically flawless, with a robust immune system. And that strength will surely pass to the future generations of humans that you create. You and the dozen or so other humans we have taken from Earth.”

    Looking at the table, I saw that the image of Earth Invaded was receding into the distance at great speed, and the sound of strange engines purring came to me through the darkness. I looked up at the child across from me, and for the first time I saw an emotion cross his face: pity.

    1. meliss

      I really like your take on this prompt. I especially like the fact that the antagonist is a child, or at least has taken a child’s form. That detail added an interesting dynamic to their conversation. It is also quite impressive how much information regarding Todd Spruce’s life and background you included in such a small number of words.

  14. kikiemeka

    I would definitely appreciate feedback and honest but constructive critiques. Thank you.

    ‘I’m sorry I had to rig your GPS but this is really urgent,’ Nimi stuttered.
    ‘Isn’t that criminal?’ she asked.
    ‘You’re my wife,’
    ‘Ex-wife,’ she snapped, ‘what do you want?’
    They’d separated 2 months ago because he’d deceived her, repeatedly. Now here he was, trying to convince her that someone wanted her and their daughter dead. Even as he said the words he knew she wouldn’t believe him. He said them anyway.
    ‘… it was the only way I could get you to come here,’ he finished.
    ‘Annabel?’ she asked.
    ‘She’s at my mother’s.’
    ‘The school let you take her?’
    ‘I lied to them, I just had to keep you safe,’
    ‘And how do you know they have not followed me here?’
    She sounded rather calm. That was strange, thought Nimi as he glanced out the window.
    ‘There’s a grey sedan parked across the street.’ he said.
    ‘The same one that trailed me all the way here,’ she remarked, ‘we must leave now,’ she continued, walking over to a backdoor he hadn’t even noticed was there. Once they were in a taxi, he couldn’t stop talking.
    ‘A year ago, a man came to my office in need of software that could decode specific programs. It was to be kept top secret. He said he represented the Federal Government.’
    Nimi enjoyed the challenge that came with the job until his client began to put the software to use.
    ‘He hacked into Federal Government records to obtain information for Koko Halam, the terrorist group behind the recent spate of bombings. I couldn’t let on that I knew, so I corrupted their entire network with a deadly virus.’
    When they found out what he had done, he had to go underground.
    ‘I didn’t want you and Annabel to get hurt when they came for me. So I stayed away.’
    ‘I thought you were having an affair,’ she said.
    ‘I know,’ he replied.
    The windscreen splintered as gunshots suddenly rent the air. Nimi ducked, pushing a struggling Tess to the floor. Startled, he watched her pull a gun from her handbag. Leaning out the window, she shot at the grey sedan that pulled up beside them. The driver took a bullet and the vehicle lost control, spinning. It struck several cars before coming to a halt.
    ‘Where did you get that gun?’ Nimi shouted, in shock, but Tess was dialing a number.
    ‘Agent Harry, I need back-up … an ambulance … the intersection between 67th and 9th … a crash …’
    ‘Agent?’ Nimi repeated. For six years he’d believed his wife was a lawyer!
    ‘I hid my identity to keep you safe sweetheart. I couldn’t let anything happen to you. We have been watching the group’s leader for months.’
    ‘You knew?’
    ‘When he came to you, we saw the opportunity we had been waiting for,’ she said rising.
    ‘Who is ‘we’?’ he asked.
    She sighed, ‘You’re better off not knowing,’ she replied as sirens blared towards them.

  15. MadMiraLove

    “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!” I screamed out into my car. I pulled over, for the third time and checked the address on the GPS to the invite to Mel’s party. I pulled back into the small country road, thinking this is nuts.
    “Turn left in four miles.” The automatic voice said, and i groaned. Like i knew where four miles was going to be.
    “Turn left at Carmile road onto Ray Charles street.” I laughed to myself feeling almost insane as i pulled up to a drive. This was certainly not Melanee’s apartment, not that i would have known since she moved, had it not been for the fact it was a plantation home in the middle of freaking no where. I reached for My cell phone out of my purse and roughly tossed my brown hair out of my face. Shocker, no cell service, and again i yelled in the car.
    I sighed and decided to walk around for cell service.
    “I’m so glad you made it!” a kid ran around a corner and i blinked repeatedly, trying to catch my breath. That kid scared the crap out of me! “Ryan!” and as quickly as she appeared she was gone, and so was my piece of mind. I’m getting out of here, now. I turned and ran back to my car, or at least where i thought i had left it. no i know this is where it was, there are tire marks, just no car.
    “Ellouise, i’m so glad you made it here safe and sound. Sorry i had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent.” I stared at the strange, slightly attractive, man. Three questions came to mind as i stared at him, one, How did he know my name, two, who was he, and three, where was my car. But when i tried to ask these questions it came out more like:
    “Where, huh? And-uh why? but, whaaaa?” I blinked at my own stupidity and The man seemed to smirk.
    “I am Ryan, and you’re here for safety, people want you dead.” He said straight faced now.
    “wait, me dead? why?” I asked and he seemed rather patient.
    “You have power.” I stared at him as to continue. “Tonight your friend was going to announce you as her maid of honor, and Mellanee’s sister is not okay with that.”
    “Aw! i knew Mellanee loved me more!” Ryan seemed less patient.
    “Really? i just told you someone wants you dead and that’s what you care about?” He stared at me in shock and i shook my head no.
    “Of course not! I’m caring about the bride’s maids dresses.” I smiled and he shook his head. “Well i may as well die if I have to wear a blue dress.” The little girl came back and suddenly i recognized her as Melanee’s little cousin.
    “did i mention she’s an air head like Mel?” She said giggling.

  16. jodielsa

    “Have you known Jill long before she invited you to her birthday party?”

    “Not long, a month or so. Why, who are you? If this isn’t Jill’s, whose house is that?”

    “Who lives here is irrelevant. Where did you meet Jill?”

    “The coffee shop on Grand and Fifty-Second. Are you going to tell me what this is about?”

    “She’s not who she says she is. We have information leading us to believe that Jill, if that’s what she’s calling herself these days, was going to murder you this afternoon.”

    “What? You’re out of your effing mind! Jill is the closest thing to a friend I’ve had since moving here. What is this? Some kind of joke? Where’s Joe, is he behind all this?”

    “Your husband is safe. We picked him up this morning while jogging. Has he met this Jill?”
    “No, we’re all having dinner together next week.”

    “I see.”

    “What’s that supposed to mean?”

    “Can we go somewhere and talk?”

    “We’re talking right here. I’m not going anywhere with you. I don’t even know who you are!”

    “My apologies. Special Agent Burk. FBI.”

    “How do I know if that thing is even real?”

    “We’re wasting precious time standing out here. Would you please take a seat in my truck? I have some information I’d like to show you.”

    “I’m not getting in your truck. But I’ll look at what you got.”

    “Have you ever seen this man?”

    “Um, yeah, that’s uh…Joe’s buddy from college. What’s his name…Rich. Richard Green, I think. They were roommates at Dartmouth. Died in a car accident, what, two or three years ago? Joe went to the funeral in Stamford; closed casket.”

    “Right. Richard Green is dead, yes, but only last month. Found in a shabby motel room down in Barbados with a .38 caliber bullet through his head. Can’t find the money or the girl.”

    “I don’t, I don’t understand how this has anything to do with me and my husband.”

    “Does the name Elise Corbett mean anything to you?”

    “Of course, she was my husband’s secretary back in New York; they worked together for five plus years. We had spoken on the phone, but I’ve never met her in person. Tell me what’s going on!”

    “Back when your husband worked with Ms. Corbett, both were privy to certain information that, if leaked, could make someone rich. Do you understand what I’m getting at?”

    “No.”

    “We think Mr. Green was informed of a company that was on the brink of revealing a medical breakthrough. He bought up all the stocks he could on the cheap. After the announcement he sold and retired. Car accident a couple months later and he was history. Except he showed up in Barbados last month, and Corbett’s nowhere to be found.”

    “Did Joe have anything to do with this?”

    “We don’t know, yet. But we do know that there’s a Credit Suisse numbered account in Joe’s name and this Jill sure looks a helluva lot like Elise Corbett.”

  17. KKMMA

    I was nervous as I slid into my car. I’d only known Elaine for a few days, since starting my new job. She seemed a little off-kilter to me, but she was a long-time employee and knew everybody in the company, so I hated to make a bad impression by declining her birthday party invitation. I turned the key in the ignition and typed the address Elaine had given me into the GPS.

    Twenty minutes later, sitting at a stoplight that seemingly refused to change, I looked around and started thinking something wasn’t right. The Garmin was telling me I would reach my destination in 500 feet. But everywhere I looked, there was nothing but abandoned warehouses. I decided to turn around and just go home. If I was in the right place, this wouldn’t be my kind of party.

    As the light turned green and I mashed the gas, a man stepped out in front of my car. Cursing, I slammed on the brakes. I cracked the window just enough to yell at the guy to watch where he was going, but he spoke before I got the chance.

    “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” said the man. “It’s a matter of national security.”

    “National security? What? What’s going on? Who ARE you?”

    Then, narrowing my eyes, I said before he could respond, “Wait. If this is such an urgent matter – and of national importance – why are you the only person around?”

    “Because, miss, the urgent matter has nothing to do specifically with this location. I brought you here because it was the best place to intercept you without the others suspecting anything.”

    “What others? And who would they be suspicious of, you or me? Because I haven’t…”

    Then it occurred to me. Why are you talking to this guy? Just throw it in reverse and get out of here! I grabbed the gearshift and got ready to back up. But just then a ridiculously oversized SUV appeared out of nowhere and parked right on my rear bumper. It was jet black with windows tinted to complete opacity. Another man emerged from the vehicle, holding up a badge and prominently displaying a holstered firearm.

    “Special Agent Finch, FBI. And this chump with a flair for the dramatic, who probably hasn’t introduced himself yet, is Agent Spencer. We’re here to recruit you. Your new company is involved in some very shady business, with Elaine Roper at the center of it. You were to be initiated tonight. We need you to come with us for a short briefing, then go on to the party. Tell them you got lost. True, isn’t it?,” he said with a wink. Then, laying a hand on the pistol at his hip and gesturing to the nearest warehouse, he said “Now, follow me.”

    Which I did, not knowing what other option I had, thinking: Okay, assuming I’m NOT about to die, then my new job just got a lot more interesting…

  18. simpleCarb

    I figured I had accidentally magnetized my GPS unit after it guided me to Happy Sam’s Eggroll Plantation rather than to Jenny’s birthday party at The Pizza Barn. I pulled in the Plantation lot, and, hoping to set it right, grabbed the unit and gave it a good shake. No luck.

    Two knocks rattled my driver’s side window. I turned and saw Happy Sam wearing an apron and holding an eggroll between two chopsticks. I rolled down my window and he spoke: “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent.”

    A familiar feeling of dread washed over me. I slouched in my seat.

    He lifted the eggroll toward the car. “The Department has located another breach in the time-space continuum, and the coordinates have been tracked to your glove compartment.”

    “Not again,” I said. Resigned, I pulled the keys from the ignition and exited the vehicle. Handing the keys to Sam I muttered, “Do what you need to do.” I crossed my arms and leaned against the back door.

    Sam entered the car through the passenger side and unlocked the glove compartment. He tossed the eggroll in and slammed the compartment door behind it. Electronic crackling emanated from inside followed by a flash of green light that illuminated the compartment door edges. Sam got out and gave me a nod. “Sorry to spoil your evening, but you know the routine.” He threw me the keys, tucked his chopsticks into his apron pocket and headed back to the Plantation.

    “Shoot,” I said under my breath. I did know the routine. No birthday partying for me. My next six hours would be spent under the oscillating beams of the electro-vernomatic heliomizer: the only treatment proven to temporarily relieve the symptoms of time-space continuum, random-disruption disorder.

    Worldwide there are few stricken with the disorder, and we are monitored closely by the DTSS, Department of Time-Space Security: a top-secret organization funded largely by Trekkies. I wasn’t aware Happy Sam was a member of the DTSS, or that they had engineered eggrolls to mend the time-space breaches. I’d seen DTSS agents mend breaches with rigged up bowling pins, inflatable pool chairs, and lawn gnomes; but breach-mending food was brand new.

    My stomach growled as I lifted the keys to the ignition switch. I had had my heart set on celebrating Jenny’s birthday with a slice of triple-decker sausage, ham, and bacon pizza. I let out a sigh and reached for the glove compartment. Anything left of that eggroll?

  19. Kvnktb

    My GPS
    Recently, the eldest member of our church had turned 99. I turned on my GPS, entered the address and began my journey. However, my GPS took me to a destination in the center of the river! I grumbled to myself as I walked onto an old bridge used only as pedestrian bridge now. There was Lenny standing on the railing, a noose around his neck, hands bound behind his back and the rope leading to a beam overhead!

    “Lenny, what’s going on?” I yelled.

    “Sorry, I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” said Lenny.

    “You did what? How? Why?” I asked while, befuddlement rattled my brain.

    Through our conversation, Lenny complained with desperation dripping off every word, “Pastor, they’re everywhere, and I can’t take it anymore. They swarm my house at night. They buzz in my nostrils, my ears and my mouth. They know wherever I go and wait for me. There’s no escape. They were driving me mad!”
    “Who’s driving you mad? How did you end up here?” I asked, suspecting a flaw in his mental condition.
    “I figured out that skeeters did not like dead meat. So, I found a rope in the garage, tied a hangman’s noose in it, fashioned a binding that I could slip my hands into easily, and came to this bridge. I made sure no skeeters were looking and tossed the rope up and over a beam. Then I wriggled my hands into the binding and stood on this rail and waited.”

    “For what?” This was getting more bizarre by the moment.

    “For those blood suckers to come. I want a large mosquito turnout to witness this.” He informed me.
    This still didn’t make sense to me. “Why not use some “OFF”?” I asked, my mind still trying to grasp this outrageous scenario.

    “Too expensive and it only works for a little while. I figured out something that will last all season, maybe a lifetime.” He explained.

    “You would end your life because of skeeters?” I was incredulous.

    Mosquito joined mosquito on Lenny, until they literally covered him in a dark, squirming blanket. Suddenly, without warning, he jumped. The noose yanked the rope off the beam and down he fell into the murky waters. It hadn’t been attached!

    I heard Lenny chuckle to himself as he drifted downstream, “Stupid skeeters will think I’m a zombie next time they see me, and will leave me alone. I’m so smart, I can’t believe it!”

    I ran to the rail to jump in after him, when sounds like monkeys screeching and chattering started along the shoreline. “What in the world?” My thoughts were tangled together like a mass of writhing earthworms.

    I quickly found myself surrounded by the men of the church laughing so hard they could only make attempts at verbalization. I had been had.

    I learned that GPS really stands for Gullible Person Summoner.

  20. Kukem

    “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” said the person.

    My eyes darted around the small forest clearing that I found myself in. The only way out was back trough the small tree lined driveway that I had come through. Except for the strange chubby man sitting on the purple bench, I was alone in my vehicle. I was obviously not at Donna’s place. “I knew I should have gone with Google Maps.” I muttered.

    The man stood up and started towards my car. He was short, almost laughably short, and had a peculiar waddle to his walk. Even though the sky and grown dark as storm clouds had rolled in, I didn’t feel as worried about this. Unless this guy was packing some serious firepower, I was pretty sure my SUV could make short work of him.

    “Rizzo needs your help.” The funny little man said. He had stopped a few feet from my car and straightened his bow tie. It was yellow and purple polka dots. Hardly an outfit a mysterious killer would wear.

    “Who the heck is Rizzo?” I had no idea who this man was talking about.

    “That’s not important right now,” he replied as the wind started to pick up. It messed what little hair he had. “He knows you and he knows what you’re capable of.”

    My grip tightened on the back leather steering wheel. How much did this guy really know about me? “Look, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I decided I had better make a hasty retreat before things got out of hand. I put the SUV in reverse and eased up on the brake, deciding that I shouldn’t take my eyes off this strange little man after all.

    “I think you do. Does March 23, 2008 mean anything to you?”

    My car jerked to a halt. “How… do you know about that?” It was covert. No one was supposed to know about that job.

    “My boss has people everywhere.” The little man replied with a lopsided grin. “Are you interested in this job or not?”

    “That isn’t me anymore. I don’t do that type of work anymore.” I replied. It was a lie of course and I am sure the funny little man could see I was lying through my teeth. My hands started to shake. I was heading to a job this afternoon, even though Donna had no idea.

    “Sure you don’t.” he reached into his tweed jacket and pulled out a rather oversized envelope. “If I were you, I’d seriously take him up on his offer. It would make all your financial troubles go away.”

    The mysterious little man was right. I needed the money. With a sigh, I put the SUV in park and stuck my hand out the window for the envelope. “How many in this job?”
    The man stepped forward and gave me the envelope. “About 45,” he replied. “Their ages vary.” He took a few steps back and reached into his jacket again, this time he had a cigar.

    I looked at the strange envelope. Even though it was larger than most I received, it was pretty standard for this type of business. I turned to the man again, “Tell me what makes you so sure that I still am in the business?”

    He smiled as he finished lighting his cigar and started to walk away. Blowing a huge puff of smoke over his shoulder, he spoke again, “Your shoes are a dead give away.” He slipped into the tree line just before the rain started to fall.

    I looked down. Sure enough, in my haste to get to Donna’s party on time, I had worn my oversized work shoes instead of my everyday shoes. “Oh, for the love of Pete!” I groaned. I ripped the envelope open and scanned through it.

    ‘We would like to invite you to Olivia’s 6 Birthday Party!
    There will be cake and games and fun for all ages!
    Jangles the clown will be on hand to entertain and dazzle you
    with his magic and balloon animals!
    The festivities start at 2pm, August 25, 2011!
    We hope to see you there!’

    Jangles the Clown’s work is never done.

  21. MichaelShelton

    You never truly realize what you lose, until one day it slaps you in the face.
    Each turn of the wheel brought me further away from the party, yet for some odd reason my brain never stopped to turn around. Passing through the vast expanse of beautiful autumn colors that drifted aimlessly from the trees towering over the streets, I watched each tiny little box turn into chain-link fences caging in decaying buildings.
    “Where the hell are you taking me”, I said.
    Staring at my surroundings and then back at my GPS, all rational thought escaped me. There was no way Stacy lived out here. No way. The echo of the voice emitting from the tiny LCD screen began taunting me.
    “Take a left on Cupples”, it automated. “Take a right on E. Martin Luther.”
    Being led further and further away, I pulled off of the rode. Smacking the GPS I stared to see if the address was right. Of course it’s right how could the address be wrong anyways, maybe a number or so, but not to lead me here.
    “WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME”, I screamed.
    Silence took over the cabin of the car, staring at the screen, I could have sworn it, or someone was staring back at me. Dropping my head, I began smacking it back and forth against the steering wheel, trying to get some form of a synapse to fire.
    Staring up back towards the GPS, the screen flashed. Instantaneously, a voice from the GPS took over.
    “Please, turn on your car, and continue to your destination”, it said.
    My eyes widened, “GPS’s don’t do that.”
    Taking the moment to weigh each outcome, a part of me felt that I needed to go. Something called me, beckoning me, reaching for the keys, I turned the ignition, following the directions perfectly.
    Pulling in front of the building it looked newly renovated. This house, looked brand new, a mansion in a slew of dilapidated homes. Leaving the car on, I stepped out. Staring at the home, I paused, watching from behind the hood of the car. Horror movies taught me better than that.
    Moments, turned to minutes, waiting for something to happen. Suddenly the door opened. Slowly, a figure stepped out from the darkness of the home. Slowly it moved towards me, draped over his body a black coat covering his figure. His face sunk into blackness from the hood covering it. Strangely, it wasn’t fear that took over me, it was sadness.
    “I’m sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent”, it echoed.
    “Who are you?”
    “Come with me”
    Following behind I saw everything, my wife, my children, the missed opportunites, and the fleeting moments missed. Staring at my body I saw the pieces of me missing, and the blood.
    “Do you remember seeing any other people on the road?”
    “No…I…I don’t even remember getting in the car.”
    Placing a hand on my shoulder, “Child, you’ll learn to love this place.”

  22. defminerva13

    “This is ridiculous already. You sure we’re going the right way?” I say hitting my dashboard, feeling for cold air. I roll down the windows but only a hot sticky breeze circulates. “Ah, you going to answer me?” I hit the dashboard harder.
    “Yes, I’m sure we’re going the right way.” Sue screams back. Her light brown hair blows around in the breeze. She pulls her hair away from her face and continues. “I put the address in the GPS like it was in the invitation.” She said calmly.
    “I don’t believe you. Give me it.” I reach for the GPS, keeping my eyes on the road. My hand hits the mirror, and I hear a clunking noise. I let out a shout. For a second, my hand stings sharply, but the pain goes away just as quick. I make another attempt for the GPS and feel its smooth plastic rectangular shape. I pull on it but only manage to get a light grip. I tug on it few times, but it moves away.
    Shaking my head and cursing bitterly, I look away from the road and see Sue holding onto the GPS. She looks especially beautiful today. Her lips looked so supple. Maybe I should rethink our relationship. “I said give me it. Do you want to your friend’s birthday party or what?” I wipe my forehead. ”I don’t remember the way to your friend’s house looking like this last year.” I cup my hand in front of her.
    “What’d you do to this thing? It’s not letting me enter or change anything.” She said, shaking the GPS like she was erasing an etch-a-sketch.
    A car beeps it horn, and I hear some yelling. I look back at the road and swerve away from the truck heading straight towards us. A silence is shared between us.
    From the corner of my eye, I look at her. She’s resting her head on her hand. “I’m sorry.” No response. She turns her head towards the window. “You’re not going to talk to me now?”
    “I don’t know anymore.”
    “You don’t know anymore?”
    “Just keep driving. Listen to the thing.”
    “You didn’t answer me. Are we going the right way?”
    “Yes.” She shouts. “Yes, yes, yes. For fu-. Yes.” She huffs.
    Some time passes by before the ride finishes. We pull into a wooded area, and a man dressed in black walks towards the car. It becomes clear that he’s a catholic priest when he approaches my window.
    “You guys made it.” the priest smiles, opening my door. “Sorry about rigging your GPS.” He winks at Sue. “It was urgent business. Follow me.” He leads us to a group of people.
    Sue’s friend comes out from the crowd and hugs her. They both start crying.
    The crowd grows silent.
    Sue looks at me intensely. She walks over towards me and takes my hands.
    “You know how much you mean to me? Right?”
    “Oh, no.”
    She takes a knee.
    “Will you marry me?”

  23. James Potter

    “Sorry, I had to rig your GPS,” Said the stranger, holding up a police badge. “but it is urgent.”
    I stared at the balding man through my drivers side, car window, I had been on my way to my co-workers birthday party and had punched his address into my GPS. expecting to end up at his house in the suburbs. Instead I ended up ten miles out of town on an old dead end road. As I tried to turn around, I found myself blocked in by an pickup truck, and this man.
    “What’s going on,” I asked, hearing my own voice crack with an edge of nervousness. He wasn’t much bigger than me. Just cause he had a badge didn’t mean it was real, what would I know, I’m just a salesman for a electronics corporation I though I might be able to take him if there was a struggle. But he had an advantage if he had a gun. It would slow me down getting out of the vehicle.
    “Mathew Barnes, I’m going to make this quick. We’re running out of time. My name is Martin Samboni I’m an undercover police officer. Five weeks ago I was hired to kill you. Tonight is the night you’re supposed to die.”
    “What is this some kind of Joke?” I asked. I wasn’t getting the punch line.
    Mr. Barnes. You work with a man named Harold Cramer…”
    “Yeah. I was on my way to his birthday party.” I said.
    “Well You aren’t supposed to make it.” You and Harold are both up for the same management job. Right now Harold is sitting at home with thirty of your fellow co-workers and an air-tight alibi. I’m supposed to make sure your dead in the ditch, and no threat to him getting the promotion.”
    Samboni turned halfway and made a motion with his right hand. I glanced back as another vehicle pulled up with a small man carrying a duffle bag
    As the othe man hussled over, Samboni hustled me from my Eclipse. “This is Allen Smith. He is crime scene setup. We’re going to make you dead.”
    Smith dropped the duffle bag on the ground. Dropped to one knee and rummaged through the bag. He came up with a plastic one gallon milk jug. Filled with red liquid. They poured some on the ground near the door of my car. Smeared some on my hands and had me make bloody hand prints and smear marks on the side of my vehicle. With some fine tuned positioning of my body they made it look like I had exited my vehicle and been gunned down. Then Samboni pulled out a cell phone and held it up in front of me. He took several pictures with his phone camera.
    “Now what?” I asked. When he finished.
    “Now Smith is going to run you downtown. While I collect my kill fee and bust your friend Harold.”

  24. DCP186

    As I round yet another curve in the road, I am again surprised to find nothing but more dark road. I have pulled over twice – once to double check the address on the invitation and again to double check the information I had plugged into my GPS. Both were correct. This is what I get for agreeing to go to the birthday party of Catlyn MacMullin-my frienemy and co-worker.

    I am lost in thought as I round yet another curve when from out of the darkness a man steps in front of my car. My scream drowns out the screech of my tires. My car skids to a stop and, even though there is no thump on my hood, I open my eyes slowly just in case there is blood and brains dripping down my windshield.

    No blood or brains just a reasonably attractive man illuminated by my headlights. And, as if on cue, it starts to pour rain. The man runs to the side of my car and signals for me to roll down my window. I in turn respond like any normal single woman sitting on the side of a dark road in the rain with a stranger by rolling down my window just enough to hear what he has to stay. The stranger has to yell just to be heard over the pounding rain.

    “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, Alicia, but this is urgent. . . .” he begins. Shock, fear, and dread all form in my throat. He has been in my car and he knows my name.

    “There is no party tonight. Catlyn is planning on killing you. She found out you were getting the promotion to regional vice president . . .and”

    “I am the new regional VP? Oh my God, I cannot believe they gave it to me. . . “

    “Alicia! Focus!” I shut my mouth and wait for him to continue. “Catlyn has been sleeping with Mr. Winslow in the hopes of getting the promotion. . . .. . “

    “As if . . .she. . .oh, sorry. Continue.”

    “As I was saying, Catlyn is super pissed Winslow passed her over. I mean, after all, it was the only reason she starting sleeping with him in the first place.”

    “That bitch! First thing I am going to do is fire her. By the way, do you work in my office?”

    “Actually I work in the mailroom. You learn a lot working in the mailroom. When I learned about Catlyn’s plan I remembered you brought the mailroom cookies last Christmas so I had to make sure you lived.”

    “So, you’re saying if Catlyn had brought you cookies instead of me, I would be pulling into her driveway to meet my maker?”

    “Pretty much. Well, you have a good night. And good luck with that promotion.”

    And with that the strange man turned to walk away from my car, but then turned back. “One more thing, this year make it brownies.”

  25. SkSarah

    I’d just started working at the firm of Thompson & Cooper when I was invited to attend the birthday party of one of the other secretaries. I didn’t really know the woman but being the new person I thought it would be rude to decline the invitation. I knew that she and some of her friends liked to go grab coffee in the afternoons so I’d gotten her a card with a gift certificate to the local coffee shop. Like I said, I didn’t really know her.

    The party wasn’t a formal event. It was more thrown together at the last minute so I’d hastily programmed the address into my gps before I ran home to freshen up for the party. As I followed the directions I began thinking that something wasn’t quite right. This part of town was more industrial and I was certain they’d been planning to have the party at a club. I realized I’d neglected to write down anyone’s number before I left so I had no way to contact anyone to verify the address. “Well this is going to make a lovely first impression on everyone” I thought.

    As I turned the car to head home a man stepped out in front of my car. I slammed on the breaks and just stared at him in my headlights. I looked behind me to back the car up and saw two women standing behind my car. The hair on the back of my neck stood up.

    I slipped my hand into the purse that was lying in the seat beside me and gripped my small 9mm pistol. I clicked the safety to “red means dead” and began easing out of the car, trying to keep both the man, and 2 women in my field of view. “What do you want?” I asked, keeping my gun low and out of sight.
    “Rebecca,” said the man. “My name is Corey and I work in the mailroom of Thompson & Cooper. You don’t know me but I know you. I’m sorry that I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent.”

    “Hurry up!” said one of the women, glancing around anxiously. Corey glanced at the woman, and then back to me. “These are my associates, Bridget and Martha. We’re witches. And so are you. We need your help.”

    I started to open my mouth to tell the nutcase that he was, well, a nutcase, when something blurred out of the shadows and tackled him. Bridget and Martha both raised silver pentacles which began glowing with a blue white light. The creature looked up at the women and hissed. Suddenly it yelped, jumping back with red fire shooting from its chest. Corey had stabbed it with a silver dagger and scrambled out from underneath it. Grabbing me by the wrist he shouted, “Run now! Explain later!” And we sprinted for the nearest building.

    1. lunamaria413

      Minus a few structure flaws, all in all this is a good story 😀 It gives just enough information for the reader to imagine a solid character/setting. Kudos 🙂

  26. JWagner

    A familiar figure emerged from the dense fog. Steven! I lowered my window. “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” he said, unsmilingly.

    “Steven? What the hell?” I was too angry to be scared.

    “I had to do it, Marnie. You’re the only one who’ll listen.”

    “You can’t keep doing things like this, Steven. That’s why they put the restraining order on you in the first place—“

    “Marnie, please! Listen! We don’t have much time!” The strained desperation in his voice was new, even with the manic episodes of the past. “Marnie, you’ve got to tell them to divert her. Now, before it’s too late.”

    “Divert who? Juno?!” I stared at him incredulously.

    He nodded. “She cannot be allowed to enter Jupiter.”

    “Steven, I’m not listening to this! We’ve gone over this too many times.” I slammed the car into reverse and stepped on the gas and it died.

    He dangled the fob before me. “Just hear me out, Marnie. Hear me out and it’s yours.” I wasn’t surprised. He was a man of genius, insane or not. I put it in park, sighing. “Go ahead.”

    “Thank God!” He took a ragged breath. “I re-ran the calculations, Marnie. I was wrong; it’s not the promethium – it’s the friction! We miscalculated the friction as she descends! She’ll slow to sub-sonic and the RTGs, shielded by the iridium, will survive the entry. She’ll free-fall, Marnie! Down to crush depth! Do you know what that means?!” His red-rimmed eyes begged me to understand as the words tumbled out.

    I ran the scenario in my head, followed it through to logical, inevitable, conclusion. My heart started pounding. “Supercriticality!” I could hardly breathe. “It can’t be!”

    He nodded. “Nuclear implosion,” he said woodenly. “Runaway thermonuclear fusion reaction. The creation of a second sun.”

    “And the destruction of our solar system,” I whispered, aghast.

    “Finally. Someone finally understands.” He sagged in exhaustion. “Finally…”

    I jumped out of the car to hold him up. “We have to call Julian right away—“

    “No! He’s one of them.”

    “Them?” This was sounding like the old Steven.

    He took a deep breath. “The other-worlders, Marnie.”

    “Oh, Steven…”

    He stubbornly shook his head. “I know what I’m talking about! I haven’t figured out who they are or why they want this but they’re coming for me, probably tonight. You’ll have to stop them. I won’t be able to.” Suddenly we were blinded by lights. “Steven Bucklin! Police! On the ground!” We were surrounded by uniforms, firearms leveled at us.

    He grabbed me. “Who was in charge of the atmospheric analyses, Marnie?” He shook me. “Who?”

    I stared at him. “Julian…”

    Much later, after I’d given my statement, another car pulled up. “Marnie? Are you all right?” It was my husband. “They said Steven had ambushed you!”

    “Ambushed? I don’t know…” I shook my head numbly.

    He took my arm. “Let’s go home. You’re exhausted.”

    “Julian—“

    “Let’s go home, Marnie.”

    1. lunamaria413

      “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent!”

      The woman turned off the car, the screech of the tires still echoing in the canyon.

      The young man came to the window, dangerously out of breath. Moonlight shone eerily against his already pale skin, making him seem gaunt and sickly, fresh blood smeared across his cheek.

      Quickly she opened the car door, hurrying to the young man. “Wh-what’s wrong? What’s going on? Why are you he-”

      “I don’t have time to explain! Just listen!” The fierceness in the young man’s voice was immediate; he needed her to understand.

      “They’re after me,” a deep, wheezing breath, “they’re coming.”

      The wind picked up suddenly, blowing the young man’s hair from his eyes. Piercing blue eyes. Deep as the oceans. Blue. The woman’s face contorted with fear.

      “Oh my God. My baby,” the woman gasped, a stillness clotting her voice.

      “Mom, listen to me, now. Don’t worry about me-” another deep breath, “You need to leave. Take Gabby and Dad and leave town.” He paused, knowing that what he said next would be foolish. “I can’t come with you.”

      The woman’s expression of fear quickly turned to confusion. “Wh-what do you mean you can’t go with us!? You can come with us! We can hide you! We’ll change our names, our identities! We’ll live off the grid!” She frantically grabbed her son in her arms, attempting to drag him to the car. A struggle ensued, the young man writhing in her grip.

      “No! Mom! Let GO!”

      Wrenching his self from his mother’s grasp, the young man backed away, stepping to the edge of the canyon. He teetered there, a bead of sweat slowly caressing the bridge of his nose. The woman froze where she was.

      “STOP!” she screamed. “Don’t! Don’t do it!” she began to sob. “You don’t have to do this. We can help you!”

      The young man looked solemnly down, into the unflinching darkness of the canyon, pebbles falling as he gently moved closer off the edge.

      “Yes,” he said, his body shaking, “I do.”

      With his arms spread wide, the young man swiftly dropped his self backwards into the abyss, an unsettling whoosh breaking the stillness.

      All the air went quickly from the woman’s lungs. As she collapsed onto the dust and rocks, she stretched her arms out, as if in attempt to catch the already plummeting young man.

      All that was left were the sounds of the crickets, the hyenas, the hard smell of the cold night. The light of the moon illuminating the woman’s face, tears hot on her cheeks.

      What the woman didn’t know was what waited for the young man. In the canyon was a means of escape. In the canyon was a way out, freedom from the torment of his accusers. In the canyon was his future.

  27. jdodgeb

    The car crackled to a stop in the gravel. The man got out, and placed elbows on the door and roof.
    They looked at each other, through half-lids and the blood-red of sunset.
    “You remember me?”
    “No”
    “You sure?”
    The man at the car spat, “You worth rememberin?”
    The other man smiled sheepishly, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
    “I don’t gettit, you trust somthen like that?” He said, pointing to the car. “Me, I can’t trust nothing I couldn build myself.”
    “Is that a fact”
    “it is”
    “That sh*tforbrains Brian trying to pull one on me?”
    The man stopped shifting his weight. The smile flickered, then disappeared.
    “Fraid not.”
    “Hmph, whatever,” The man started to sit back into his car.
    “Nothing back there for you Kelly,”
    Kelly paused, then straightened, “How you know my name?”
    The man’s unsmiling eyes blinked in the fading light.
    “You passed the dam? One o those twirling things, takes your car across, that ain’t working too good right now.” The man shrugged, as if offering an apology.
    “We’ll get to the bottom of this, yes we will.” Kelly pulled out his phone.
    “Told ya, can’t trust things. That’s no good out here.”
    Kelly dialed, no sounds came through. He tried again, then bent down and placed the phone on the seat. With his left hand he drew out the colt from under his seat. He came around the car door in a relaxed motion, the gun hanging easy at his hip.
    “Neither of us wants trouble here, so how about you take your *ss and walk 500 paces out in that field, I’ll turn this car around, and we can forget about this whole thing.”
    The man in the road shook his head. “I figure you had an easy life, growing up, things given to you. That explains the mule-headedness, the sense of priv-o-lege.”
    Kelly took a step toward him.
    “You know the first thing bout gunsmithing Kelly? Course you don’t, if I grasped your hand and held it tight gainst my cheek, probably be one o the softest things I ever felt. Well, fore you know bout gunsmithing Kelly, you need know bout blacksmithin.” The man took one measured step to his left. “Now blacksmithing, it’s all bout metal, learnin metal. The blood and sinew of our earth, the blessing bestowed.”
    The sun extinguished itself behind the palisades of rock, a pallid ghost light bled across the sky.
    “But you know what you need most of all?””
    “What’s that princess?”
    “Metal’s a thing of the old gods. They dont take no prayers, you gotta bleed.”
    And the man pulled from the back of his belt buckle a large blade, big as his forearm. The surface dull and hammered, the metal a natural color of dried blood. It hung not easy, but stiff and fixed, as if a part of the arm. Something ancient and maligned he had found inside himself, ripped out for the world to behold and shun.

  28. Chris

    “Sorry I had to rig your GPS – but this is urgent”
    There are very few times when I follow my GPS exactly, but when it took me out into the country I had the time – so I was game.
    Now, looking at the man standing before me, I used my judgment about whether to stay or turn the car around and flee. He was very tall, wore a black suit, black tie, and his head was covered with a top-hat. He reminded me of an undertaker and I jokingly asked where the funeral was. With a wave of his had he invited me to me to follow and I parked the car and got out. There he stood, waiting for me… he took my hand and, measuring his steps to mine, we followed the path into the park.
    Squinting into the sunlight, I tried to make out the figures ahead of us: black figures, back-lit by the blinding sun. The further we went the more I became puzzled. The figures seemed to move away, the more we pursued them. What kind of game was this?
    After a while I became impatient… when will this charade end? I wiggled my hand out of his – he stopped – he said:
    “Just a little farther! Please come with me!” I decided to give him a couple more minutes before I would turn around. As we passed a meadow strewn with little wild daisies, the figures ahead of us separated: two went to the left, four went to the right and one remained standing in the middle of the path.
    At this point the figure slowly raised an arm and my companion grabbed his hand and shook it fervently. My companion turned to me and said:
    “I needed you to come here today, right now, without hesitation, because this man is willing to grant you three wishes”.
    “Why?” my head turned from one to the other, unable to comprehend. Both smiled at me and my companion started to speak:
    “All throughout your life you have conquered many illnesses from rheumatoid arthritis, to nephritis, to a heart murmur, and the removal of the gall bladder. You never gave up. You have earned the fulfillment of 3 wishes!” he exclaimed.
    Sitting down on a rock, next to the path, I contemplated what I could wish for to complete my life.
    After a long while I stood up and spoke:
    “1. I would like good health for the rest of my life
    “2. I would like to keep all my senses for the rest of my life
    “3. I would like to share my life, exactly to the same point in time, with the one I love.”
    “Granted!” the figure said and disappeared into the blinding sunlight.
    The tall man smiled at me.
    “Well done!” he said and he too vanished into thin air.
    I re-booted my GPS, drove to the birthday party, and am waiting for my wishes to come true, or did I dream this?

  29. Nathan Albro

    With one hand on the steering wheel, Jen placed her GPS back in its cradle, adjusted her rearview mirror and laughed to herself. “Now I’m absolutely positive this is not the way Alison’s house.” She was frustrated with the GPS not recalculating to the correct address and she had even recycled the power, but the GPS continued to direct her to one location which was close to the middle of nowhere. Trees surrounded her from both sides, the paved road had given way to gravel, and she was nearly a mile into the national park.

    In a male robotic voice the GPS informed her that she had made it to her destination. Only it wasn’t the destination she had chosen.

    Jen put the SUV into park and looked around the forest from the comfort of the driver’s seat. “Creepy.”

    A person emerged from the woods. “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” said the person.

    Jen rolled down the window. “Billy? How did you get the way out here?”

    “It was a long and arduous road that brought me here. That brought both of us here.”

    “What are you talking about? My SUV brought me here because I was stupid enough to follow this broken GPS…wait a moment. Billy, did you rig my GPS to come here? Did you? You are in a heap of trouble mister! Wait till I tell your father about this.”

    Billy ran to the window. “But mom, this is important. Please just listen to me for once?”

    “You had better explain yourself young man, or I’ll turn this car right around and leave you out here,” said Jen. “How did you get way out here by yourself?”

    “I arranged this meeting out of necessity – to show you the truth of the matter.”

    Jen glared at her son.

    “I’m sixteen, mom, and I don’t have a car. I’ve got a driver’s license and don’t have anything to drive. If I wanted to drive out here to camp with my friends I wouldn’t be able to. You see? If I had my own car you wouldn’t have had to drive so far.”

    With a stern face Jen looked at her son. “How did you get out here?”

    “I hitchhiked.”

    Jen continued to glare at her son. Billy stood patiently waiting for his mom to respond in a manner that showed that she understood him.

    “I’ll see you at dinner Billy,” said Jen. She put the SUV in reverse and headed down the gravel road back the way she came. Billy stood still, stunned.

    Jen pulled the phone out of her purse and dialed a number. “Alison? Alison, this is Jen. I’m running a little late and my GPS isn’t working. Could you be a darling and give me directions to your house. No, no, not from my house. I’m coming from the national forest. Yes. No. I’ll explain latter. Ok, hmm. Ok, Got it. Thanks, bye.”

  30. Leond

    In retrospect, I probably should have figured out earlier that my GPS system was leading me astray. John had told me that his birthday party was going to be held in his apartment on the second floor of his Apartment on Main Street. By the time I was bumping along a dirt road through a thick forest next to a rushing river while my GPS was telling me to watch out for traffic lights, I should have been more suspicious. But old Hal 2000, my GPS, had never yet led me astray, and so I was willing to trust it just this.
    The voice told me, as emotionlessly as always, that I had reached my destination. I looked out my window, trying to find the nearest five story apartment building overlooking Main street. I only saw two things. One was the aggravating forest scene. The other was a tall man, dressed in black, standing directly in front of my car. I decided to go the analogue method of getting directions, that is to say word of mouth. I was just getting out to ask the man when he beat me to the punch.
    “Sorry I had to rig your GPS,” he said, “but this is urgent.”
    I stared at him in surprise. “I’m sorry?”
    “I, and the people for whom I work, are aware of your intention of going to your friend John’s birthday party, Mr. Richards. But there are things that are of far more importance than that.”
    “How do you know my name?” I said, increasingly puzzled.
    “We know many things about you, Mr. Richards. Do you really believe in privacy?”
    “Erm… Yes?”
    He laughed cruelly. “Oh, the things that I could tell you about yourself, if I wanted…” He hesitated. “Now that I think of it, the things that I could tell your wife about you.”
    “What are you implying?”
    “I never imply anything, Mr. Richards. I merely state things elliptically. But you have no need to fear anything from me. Your recreation doesn’t concern me. I have business to discuss with you.”
    “What do you mean ‘business’?” I said, angry. “I don’t have business with you!”
    “Oh, not yet,” the stranger replied. “But I have an offer for you that I think you will find rather hard to resist. Tell me, Mr. Richards, if you were die, say, now, what do you think would happen to your family?”
    “Is that a threat?”
    “Hardly a threat. A simple question. Nothing more. You have one child and a stay-at-home wife. What do you think would happen to them without you… financially?”
    I became less alarmed and more puzzled. “Financially?”
    “Mr. Richards, it has come to my employer’s attention that your life insurance is scanty at best. I come with an offer for a far more lucrative payout, easily within your financial reach. Interested?”
    I climbed back into my car, turned around and started back where I had come from. I probably still had enough time to make the party and only be somewhat late. As I was driving, I couldn’t help but be amazed that real life pop-up ads had ever become legal.

  31. historylover14

    The silence was almost too disturbing. I stared at the house, then back at the GPS, and then back again.

    “Something’s not right.” Clarisse said, “Jen wouldn’t give us the wrong directions, and don’t even think about telling me this GPS is wrong!”

    I didn’t reply. I just stared at that house, all dark and lonely, clearly having been abandoned for several decades. Clarisse was right, this wasn’t Jen’s house and this wasn’t a prank either. So why had we been led there?

    “Why don’t you ask me?” a voice said.

    We both jumped, turning to look at the man who had somehow walked right up to my windshield without me noticing. I paled, instinctively reaching into my purse to take out the gun I knew wouldn’t be there.

    Dang it! I knew I shouldn’t have left it at home!

    “Who are you? And what the heck are you talking about?” Clarisse asked, pushing back in her seat. Only then did I realize what the man had done.

    “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent.” The man said, taking out a small lock of hair… red hair.
    Clarisse shrieked. Jen was a red-head.

    “It’s not safe for you anymore, I’m afraid. It’s not safe for anyone, to just walk out of the house like that without a gun. It’s even more dangerous to hold a birthday party and invite people you’ve only just met. You’re lucky I caught you in time.”

    Clarisse sat there in shock. We both knew what the man meant.

    “So what does that mean for us?” I asked. The man frowned and then drew out a gun. Clarisse gasped and ducked down. I froze.

    The man smirked and handed the gun to me, “Here, you’ll need this. Don’t return to your homes and don’t ever look back. The only way out alive is to escape this city before it falls down on top of itself.”

    I couldn’t believe my ears. Leave? Right now? I’d lived there since I was a little girl! This was Clarisse’s hometown! We couldn’t just leave!

    “But you must.” The man said, “Or die in your ignorance.”

    I looked over at Clarisse. She slowly shook her head, “No. You can go, but I won’t.”

    With that she stepped out, taking her purse with her. “I’ll stay.”

    The man looked at me. I knew he was right, but should I leave my best friend all alone?

    I finally let out a sigh that I’d been holding for several years now, one that said I knew he was right. I slowly reached out and shifted gears, and then looked back at the man’s piercing gaze. I briefly smiled.

    Thank you, I thought.

    The man smiled back.
    Your welcome.

  32. susyn153

    “Sorry I Had to Rig Your GPS, But This Is Urgent” said the most beautiful woman I had ever met. I kid you not; this was a case of love at first sight. I had entered the address for Janie’s house for the surprise birthday party into my GPS and somehow ended up here. Now this woman was telling me that she had an urgent matter and I still don’t know how this happened.

    “If it wasn’t such a matter of life and death, I wouldn’t have resorted to this” she said. “Sorry, I haven’t introduced myself, I’m Samantha and you don’t know it yet but you’re going to be my wife in a few years” This was the second bomb she dropped in under five minutes.

    “What did you just say?” I said with total amazement
    “I said you are going to be my wife and I needed to save your life” Samantha said. “If I hadn’t sent you off course, you would have gotten in a car accident and we never would have met” she continued.

    I sat in my car with my mouth open and completely dumbfounded at what was happening to me. I only had about ten thousand questions, not the least of which was how did she know we would marry, how did she know I would get in a car accident and how the heck did she manage to reprogram my GPS in transit?

    Samantha slid into the passenger seat and punched a new address into the GPS and said let’s get outa here. I looked at her, smelled her perfect fresh scent, fresh with a tinge of evergreen, looked at her gorgeous smile and turned on the engine. There was nothing on the face of the earth that would keep me from following her anywhere.

      1. laurentravian

        You know, I’ve noticed that there are some preteens and early teens (like me) writing on here. I think it’s more wrong that you’re writing things that can shift impressionable kids’ POV’s.

  33. Kim Lehnhoff

    “Sorry I had to rig your GPS, but this is urgent,” said the person.

    “Who ARE you?” I yelled through my closed car window. After clicking the door lock button, I kept my eyes on him as my right hand rummaged through my purse to find my cell phone. I was really beginning to feel creeped out here.

    “You ARE Francine Evans, aren’t you?” he asked. He reached into his jacket pocket and I froze with fear. Was he going to shoot me? He pulled out a leather wallet and flipped it open, displaying an official-looking ID badge. “Francine, I’m Detective Steve Sanger with the Plainview police. We have reason to believe that your friend Annabelle is in trouble, and that you could be in danger if you go to her party today. Squad cars and the regional SWAT Rapid Response Team are already on the way to her house.”

    “Annabelle? Do you mean Annabelle Slotnik? I’ve known her since we were in kindergarten! What kind of trouble? Not Annabelle!” Despite his badge and his matter-of-fact way he spoke, I was not convinced that I wasn’t parked next to a homicidal maniac.’

    “Francine, I need you to put your phone down. Don’t try to call Annabelle. There are two suspects at her house with her, I don’t want you to scare them off, or cause them to do something dangerous. I don’t want your friend to get hurt – do you understand?” I let the phone fall onto the passenger seat.

    I was scared, to be sure. I didn’t know whether I should believe this ‘Detective Sanger’, or whatever he’s calling himself. I stared at the dashboard, and wished I’d filled up with gas this morning. The car was running on fumes. Annabelle was my oldest friend, and was always such a goody-two-shoes. True, since she moved to Plainview, we hadn’t been as close. This was going to be my first visit to her new house. I wish I knew where I was right now, and how far I was from Annabelle’s. Maybe it was close, and I could just put the car in gear and speed out of here. I needed to make up my mind quickly, or I’d be out of gas soon.

    “Ms. Evans, I can see that you don’t trust me. I understand how you feel. Now if you’d just shut off your car, I’ll call for backup and have another officer here in ten minutes, so you can see that I’m telling you the truth.” Wow, he was pretty reasonable for a serial killer. I turned off the ignition, then turning the key to ACC, I cracked open my windows.

    Detective Sanger’s cell phone rang. He listened intently for a minute or two, and then mumbled “I got it. Thanks for the update.”

    Looking outside my windshield, maybe a quarter of a mile away, I saw a ball of fire and a column of smoke reach into the sky.

    Detective Sanger sighed. “I just got the word. The negotiations broke down. I’m so sorry, Francine.”

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