This is a story I wrote for a flash fiction challenge! It is exactly 1,000 words, I had to do some editing to cut back on the word count xD
Hope y'all enjoy it :)
“Why won’t this thing work!!!” the man behind the wheel said, clearly frustrated with the device. “Is there a town at the next exit or not?!? I need gas!”
A teenage girl sat in the passenger’s seat, she watched her dad as he fiddled with the GPS. Sighing she looked out the window, the bleak Arizona desert flashed before her, dusty reds, and pale browns colored the landscape; a splash of blue painted the background. It was a truly beautiful sight, except for the heat; reaching over the girl turned the air conditioning up another notch.
“Jenni, could you look for a map, this useless piece of machinery isn’t working,” the man said.
“Sure dad…” the girl said, but she already knew it would be hopeless. Her dad’s car was full of junk, covering the floor and overflowing in all of the compartments; if there was a map in the car, it would be impossible to find. Despite the mess Jenni looked anyway. She dug through papers, and books, and some trash but it was no use, she couldn’t find a map anywhere. ‘Sorry, no map.”
“Great…” her dad muttered, “I guess we will just have to get off the next exit and see if there is a town close by.” He turned on his blinker, and exited the highway, turning onto a road with a sign that read, ‘Next Town: Fredricksville.’
Jenni looked at the sign doubtfully, the letters were worn out and faded, “Are you sure there is a town there?” she asked her dad.
“Of course! Signs never lie…or at least, no usually,” her dad said, then he turned and smiled at her, “Don’t worry, we will be on our way again once we get a map and some gas.”
Rolling her eyes Jenni turned up the staticy radio station and slumped back into her seat. After a few minutes Jenni looked out the window again. There wasn’t a road in sight; Jenni didn’t even know what her dad was driving on. “Uh, dad…where are we?”
Her dad had a frown plastered on his face, “I think we are near Fredricksville…” he said.
Jenni looked at the GPS, it was turned off, probably because it wasn’t working, “Maybe we should head back….”
“Can’t, I don’t know where the road ended….I think I turned on autopilot, now we just have to hope for the best.”
“Some vacation this turned out to be…” Jenni mumbled, “I doubt there is even a town out here, no one would be crazy enough to live in this desert.”
“Now don’t be a glum bug, enjoy the scenery!” her dad said.
“Oh, yeah sure…the sand and rocks look so interesting,” Jenni said sarcastically.
“Can’t you at least try to be cheerful?”
“I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to be cheerful when we are lost in a desert.”
Jenni’s dad sighed, “Fine, you can choose to be miserable if you want to.”
“It’s not like a town will magically appear if I’m happy…”
“You never know…”
Just then a song came in loud and clear over the fuzzy air waves.
“Roll away your stone I’ll roll away mine, together we will see what we will find.”
“I love this song!” Jenni said, then started signing along to the upbeat song.
As if out of nowhere, Jenni spotted something in the distance, it looked almost like a pile of rocks, but as they got closer, she realized it was a town!
“See, I told you if you were optimistic something good would happen,” her dad said, “And just in time, we are almost on E.”
Jenni didn’t answer; instead she turned her attention to the town, which they were now entering. Immediately she knew they were in trouble. The streets were dusty and covered in sand, the houses and stores all looked run down, as if they hadn’t been open for a hundred years. Power lines stood on rotting beams and a few of them had toppled over. “Uh, we should probably head back the way we came….”
“Why? We are already here, and there is the gas station!” her dad said, as if seeing the town as a metropolis instead of an un-populated ghost town. He turned the wheel and drove up to the only some-what modern looking building, which happened to be a gas station. “I’ll fill up here, you go in and give this money to the owner, and grab us a map while you are in there!”
“Uh…ok,” Jenni stuttered, confused about why her dad couldn’t see how old and deserted this town was! Opening the car door she stepped onto the dusty gravel and into the simmering heat. She walked up to the building and opened the door.
That was the first surprise, the door actually opened, the other odd thing was that the shelves were stocked full of candy, snacks and any other necessity. No one stood behind the cash register, but that wasn’t a surprise, because anyone would be crazy to stay in this town!
Something about the place created Jenni out, so she quickly looked around until she saw a map, grabbing it she slapped the money down on the counter and ran out of the store.
“Just in time, I filled up the car! We are ready to go, the GPS even started working!” her dad said as he jumped into the car.
“Great!” Jenny said sarcastically hopping into the car herself, “Here is the map… incase the GPS goes out again.”
“Thanks,” her dad said then grabbed the map and put it into one of the pull out compartments, “Let’s go!”
“Jenni! Wake up! We are here!”
Jenni opened her eye and saw her dad, “What….?”
“We are at the hotel, you slept the whole way here!” her dad said.
“Oh,” Jenni muttered.
“You ok Squirt?” her dad asked, concern covering his face.
“Yeah…I just had a weird dream…”
“What was it about?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you….trust me…”