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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: RECALCULATING
By Yvonne Blake
07/28/08


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“Ah, Dad, we’ll be fine. You never let me do anything.”

“Just take exit 12B and then turn left on Hogan Road--”

“Daaaaad, I know where the mall is!”

“I’ll set the GPS, just in case. If you follow it carefully, it will get you there.”

“Ah, Dad, don’t worry; we’ll be fine.”

Dad’s forehead puckered as he watched his two daughters back out of the driveway. Becky passed her driver’s test last month and was anxious to show a little independence. Sarah had been looking forward to a day with her big sister. Dad wasn’t sure he was ready to let his little girls explore this big world on their own.

The first thing Becky did was turn off the GPS machine. “We don’t need that thing bugging us the whole way. It always leads you the long way there. I know how to get to the mall with my eyes closed and my hands behind my head.” She pretended to do just that.

“Noooo!” Sarah yelled, and they both giggled with the delight of being on their own.

Becky fiddled with the radio and found a station with some bip-bopping music. She wiggled with the beat and sang, “ …sitting close in the MOOOOONLIGHT.” She grinned at Sarah. “What do you think of Steve?”

“Steve? You mean Steve Averill? He’s a hunk!”

The girls chattered about boys and clothes and friends, not noticing that the sky was getting darker and the miles rolling by.

“Becky, that sign says Exit 14. What exit do we get off?”

“It’s 12 or 13…exit numbers go backwards, I think.”

But they drove another ten miles before the next sign appeared: Exit 15.

Becky brushed some hair from her face and sighed. “Let’s get off here and drive back toward town. I should have been paying attention.”

It was raining now. The oncoming headlights reflected on the road, making the narrow road even harder to see. They peered at every sign they passed, but it seemed that they were going farther and farther away from any civilization.

Sarah gazed through the wet window at a farm. “Becky, where are we?”

“I don’t know….maybe you should turn on the GPS.”

PLEASE RECALCULATE DESTINATION

“Oh, great! Becky, you turned it off. Now it has to be reset.”

“Reset! Yes, see if you can find a reset button or a redial button or something.”

“Nope, none of those words. Wait! Here’s one…Return…Set.”

INTERSECTION WITH ROUTE 127 IN 3.8 MILES

“Good, now all we have to do is concentrate on the road and look for the signs.”

PROCEED LEFT ON ROUTE 127 FOR 2.5 MILES

“Have you ever seen this little town, Becky?”

“I don’t know. It’s different in the dark.”

PROCEED RIGHT ON WINDSOR LANE

“There it is, Becky…Windsor Lane…Huh? It looks like someone’s driveway. Are you sure we’re supposed to go up here?”

“Shhhh…that’s what the machine said. See? Now we’re on a bigger road.”

PROCEED RIGHT ON HANCOCK ROAD

INTERSECTION WITH ROUTE 76 IN 2.3 MILES

“Becky, this is fun…a real adventure!”

“Yeah, right! You’re not the one driving. I can hardly see!”

PROCEED LEFT ON ROUTE 76 FOR 32.6 MILES

“Becky! That sign back there said, ‘WRONG WAY’. Becky, I think we were supposed to go on the other side of that wall thingy. I thought you knew how to drive!”

“Stop yelling at me! How can I concentrate with you yelling at me and that machine nagging me and the lights in my eyes?”

“Becky! What if someone hits us?”

“I’ll just make a U-turn and we’ll get on the right side…just stop yelling at me!”

WRONG DIRECTION…RECALCULATING…RECALCULATING

“Oh, stop nagging me! I know I’m going the wrong way. Just give me a minute to turn around.”

“Becky, I’m scared. We could have been killed.”

“I know, Sarah, but God must have been watching over us. I’m sorry.”

PROCEED ON ROUTE 76 FOR 29.8 MILES

For the next half hour, there was little conversation in the dark front seat. Sarah, watched the windshield wipers swishing back and forth and prayed, while Becky squinted into the rainy night, hoping to see something familiar.

INTERSECTION OF ROUTE 36 IN 4.2 MILES

“Route 36? Sarah, that silly GPS machine didn’t take us to the mall; it took us back home!”

“Look! There’s Uncle Scott’s house; we’re almost there!”

“What does GPS mean anyway? Global Something …I know, Global Positioning System”

“I think it means God’s Positioning System.”


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This article has been read 781 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 07/31/08
I like this and can really relate to it, not the GPS part, but the getting lost part! Great job. I felt lost right along with the two girls!
Joanne Sher 07/31/08
I could feel their fear, and you NAILED the banter in the beginning. I think they learned their lesson. I was definitely engaged.
Karen Wilber 08/01/08
I got a bit nervous when they were going the wrong way. Great last line.
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/02/08
Hehe, I've been lost so many times my mom finally bought me a GPS. I knew right what your story would be about from the title! LOL Great story.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/04/08
I wonder what they'll tell their dad. Hmmm...chapter two, maybe? Nice job.
Lyn Churchyard08/06/08
Something tells me Dad was a lot smarter than the girls, and knew exactly what the girls would do and set the GPS to "Home". Great conversation between the sisters. My heart started beating faster for a moment when they were driving the wrong way. Well written, good story.
Carole Robishaw 08/06/08
A good story, been there, done that! I liked the banter between the girls.
Deborah Engle 08/06/08
This was a fun story. Sounds like they should have started "concentrating" much sooner!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08
I was chuckling with the "recalculating" since that's a very familiar sound in our car. I was lost with the girls; that was too familiar, also! Your story does a good job of showing a lesson learned.
Sunny Loomis 08/06/08
Like the girls' banter. A GPS is handy when it works. Excellent job.
Joshua Janoski08/06/08
Your descriptions of the GPS system giving directions was spot on. I really enjoyed this story. Thank you for sharing.