Map Reading


By Helen Chambers

They saw the crossroads ahead at the same time.
-Who’s Brian?
Separate thoughts were interrupted by a beep.
He took the phone, she sighed heavily and the mechanized voice ordered them to follow the road. Forever, she thought. Retracing our steps won’t help.
-Show me the map, she said. Here, use it.
She swore, and spun the car round, spraying sand.
-We missed it, he said. Probably that junction we passed ages ago.
-You said turn left, she snapped. Ahead of them, smoky emptiness lit by the descending sun; behind them, years of resentment traveled in simmering silence.

Helen Chambers is a writer from North East Essex, UK, who dreams up her best ideas whilst out walking by the river. She won the Fish Short Story prize in 2018.

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