Turn Right In Eighty Metres

Turn right in eighty metres.

The metallic female voice from the GPS startled me. I glanced across at the hitch-hiker in the passenger seat, snoring softly. I’d picked him up half an hour earlier, damp with drizzle at the Twelve Apostles. He’d conversed, politely and gratefully, for a full five minutes before falling asleep. I turned on the radio softly to cover his snores, and cracked the window to allow the stench of his day-old sweat to escape.

Turn right in eighty metres.

Again with the annoying, incorrect instruction. I scanned the road ahead, but there were no turns coming up. There was nothing except Great Ocean Road for a long, long time, and the intermittent sweep of my windscreen wipers. I shook my head… the crazy bitch is on drugs.

Turn. Right. In. Eighty. Metres.

This time, her voice was harder, more demanding.

Seriously, turn right in eighty metres.

Now her voice took on a more masculine tone. I scanned the road ahead, once more. Nothing! Just drizzle, cliffs, a setting sun, and a winding tourist road.

If you ignore me, you can re-calculate your own fucking route! I’m not telling you again.

A cloak of fear gripped my heart. I glanced at the hitch-hiker, blissfully ignorant of the belligerent GPS. I turned my attention back to the road, fumbling with one hand to turn off the device.

Turn right.

The voice, metallic and deep, sounded almost desperate.

Turn right now.

Pleading. I fumbled for the power switch, my mind wondering where I’d put the receipt.

Turn the wheel.

The voice now sounded like the hitch-hiker.

Wake up!

I awoke with a start, the hitch hiker tugging at the steering wheel. The acrid smell of his fear overwhelmed my senses.

“Wake up!” he screamed.

I took in the situation – the approaching cliff, the sharp bend in the road – and slammed my foot on the brake. Too little, too late. The tyres slid on the wet asphalt and the car sailed off the edge.

You have reached your destination, the metallic voice said.

Author: Brett Holzhauser

Speculative fiction to die for

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