"In one mile, turn left onto Main Street," said the GPS resting on the dashboard of Dan's Prius. The voice reminded Dan of his college sweetheart. He named her Samantha.
Dan frowned. "Yea, Main Street at five on a Friday. To heck with that. I'm taking Maple Tree Road."
Dan cruised past Main Street, throwing a glance at the line of red tail lights already backed up at the 'traffic Light of Doom.' Dan had once waited forty five minutes to make a left hand turn through that light. Ever since he avoided Main Street like the plague.
"Recalculating," Samantha said, a distinct reproach in her tone. "In point two miles turn left onto York Way," she ordered.
"Just so you can dump me back onto Main Street? I don't think so," Dan replied.
"Once we're on the highway, I'll listen to you, I promise," he added. Dan didn't know why he felt compelled to apologize to Samantha, but he always did.
Not that Dan defied Samantha often. She was indispensable on long trips, like the one he was starting on Buffalo. But around his home town he was in charge.
"Turn left" Samantha commanded as York Way sailed by.
"Recalculating," Samatha said. "Make a U-turn."
"Just relax, we'll be to Maple Tree soon enough."
"Make a U-turn."
Dan knew she would nag at him about the u-turn until they reached Maple Tree. He turned the radio up to drown her out.
The left hand turn signal came on.
"Odd," Dan said. He tried to turn the signal off but it refused to budge.
"Crap," Dan muttered. He didn't know what the mechanic was going to charge to fix the turn signal, but it wasn't going to be cheap. Nothing ever was. Plus now he had to decide whether he should continue to Buffalo or cancel the trip.
His thoughts were dashed away when the Prius suddenly veered across the left lane in a 180 degree spin.
"AAAAAAAAHHHHH!" Dan shrieked as the car swung around and shuddered to a stop on the shoulder.
Dan gasped for air and clutched the steering wheel, silently thanking god that no other cars were on the road. There was no question about going to Buffalo now. He needed to take the car straight to the garage.
Somehow the passenger side door had popped open during the auto-gymnastics. "Bet you the warranty ran out two days ago," Dan muttered.
He unbuckled his seatbelt and reached toward the door.
There was a bloof behind him, like a balloon popping, and the side impact airbag shoved him across the car and out the passenger side.
He landed on the pavement with a shocked grunt.
The car door closed and as the Prius pulled away Dan heard Samantha say, "In point two miles turn right onto York Way."
He watched the Prius make the turn, then Dan stood up, and started jogging after it.
"I'll catch her at the light," he muttered.
THE END copyright 2013 John Lance