Directions

Cycle path in North Vancouver, Canada 2018. Photograph by Tanya Clarke

Cycle path in North Vancouver, Canada 2018. Photograph by Tanya Clarke

Writing Prompt No. 86

“This way,” said Matt with some confidence.

“You sure?” Nigel peered at the sign. Not this way, that way. He was certain.

Matt tapped something into his phone. No service. Damn.

“Wait a minute. I have a map somewhere.” Matt started digging around in his backpack emptying out things for survival he’d bought in Mountain Warehouse.

“Sun’s hot today,” said Nigel fanning his face with his cap. The bald spot on the back of his head was white with sunscreen.

“Here,” said Matt pointing at a location on the Ordnance Survey map he’d bought the day before. “Good thing we’ve got this.”

Nigel looked at it nodding in earnest.

“I’ll be honest. I’m not very sure what I’m looking at. You sure you can’t get any service?” He reached up into the air with his phone as if divining for water.

“None. We’re too far in.” Matt shook the map out. The road up ahead shimmered in the heat. They hadn’t seen a car in hours.

“It’s not usually this hot in May is it?” Nigel was beginning to obsess about the weather. “What’re we going to do about your bike?”

Matt bent down and rubbed his hand around the puncture. He sighed.

“I thought you had the repair kit.”

Nigel rubbed the end of his nose.

“I’ll carry it,” said Matt. “I can’t leave it here. Someone’ll nick it.”

Nigel turned to look up and down the road.

“We haven’t seen anyone for hours.”

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