Latest Flash

You Have Reached Your Destination

Technology will take you anywhere.

Even if you act like an asshole.

You Have Reached Your Destination by Kurt Newton


Where do you wanna go now, Frankie? 

"What the hell is this?" The look on Gina's face was as if Frank had invited another woman along on their ride.

"It's my new GPS. Well, not new. I got it second-hand at Sammy's Discount Electronics. Get in."

Gina slipped into the passenger seat and closed the door. "So, where are we going? Or should I ask her?"

C'mon, Frankie Wankie, let’s move! I need to feel the wind in my hair.

"Seriously? What the hell kind of GPS talks like that?" Gina said.

"I don't know, babe, must be a limited edition or something. It gets me where I want to go, that's all that matters. And if it's got a sexy voice—hey, nothing I can do about that." Frank raised his eyebrows and grinned at Gina as he pulled away from the curb.

In half a mile, hang a louie.

This elicited another eye roll from Gina, but she had other things on her mind. Last she knew, she and Frank were basically over. "So, what's this all about, Frank? I thought I made myself clear. After you stood me up last night, there's nothing more to say."

"Well, I thought I'd make it up to you. Take you to a nicer joint uptown. Maybe go out dancing afterwards."

"Look, Frank—"

In 500 feet, turn right. And don't forget to signal, big boy.

Gina threw her hands up. "Do we have to listen to this?"

"Hey, you know how bad I am with directions. I need her. Just like I need you."

Gun it, Frankie, before the light turns. Oh, yes, that's it, baby.

"Did she just call you baby?"

"You're not jealous of a voice on a GPS, are you?"

All Gina knew was this was getting a bit too weird for her liking. "I'll tell you what, Frank, just take me home. This was a mistake. We're through."

"You don't mean that."

Turn right onto 16th Street.

Frank continued to follow the GPS's directions.

Gina tried to keep the panic out of her voice. "Stop the car. If you're not going to take me home, just let me out here."

Continue onto Rockaway Parkway South. Don't stop, Frankie, don't stop.

"Frank?" Gina eyed the GPS.

Frank had seen that look before. It was usually right before Gina took action to stop whatever it was that was annoying her. But then that's why he loved her.

"Frank!"

"Okay, okay." Frank slowed and pulled to the curb. "Let me take you home."

"No." Gina got out of the car.

Frank leaned over in his seat. "When will I see you again?"

She shook her head in disbelief and shut the door without answering.

Frank watched her walk to the nearest street corner. In no time, a cab appeared, swallowed her up, and swept her away. He pulled a half-empty bottle of whiskey out from under his seat and drank until it was empty. Now what? he thought.

C'mon, Frankie, let's move. We don't need her. It's just you and me now.

He was too upset and depressed—not to mention, a little bit buzzed—to pick up on the GPS's "unusual" friendliness. He stared at the empty whiskey bottle and tossed it onto the passenger side floor mat. He turned his attention to the GPS and punched in Points of Interest. He found the nearest bar and hit Go.

In one mile, turn left onto Sabin Street.

"Now we're talking," Frank said aloud as he pulled away from the curb, anger replacing his momentary sad sap feeling. "Bitch."

What's that, Frankie?

"Women. They're all bitches. They don't know what they want, but they want everything. Nothing's ever good enough. Can't please them. No way, no how. Why do I even try?"

That's not true, Frankie. I know what I want.

"What's that?" he asked. Then he caught himself. "Christ. I'm talking to a stupid machine. If only all women were like that. Just tell them what to do and they do it.

In five hundred feet, turn left.

Frank did as instructed and at the same time failed to pick up on the irony. He was taken to a part of the city he'd never been. He could almost see the stars up in the night sky. He saw what looked like warehouses on one side of the street and nothing but open space on the other. The ocean?

"This doesn't look right," he said.

It's okay, Frankie, just drive. We'll be there in no time.

"Stupid machine." Frank laughed. The whiskey he chugged earlier swirled in his brain.

In one hundred feet, turn right. Turn right.

"Okay, okay!" Frank turned the wheel and rolled into a narrow alley between two buildings. There didn't appear to be anyone in sight, let alone a bar where he could get hammered and forget his troubles.

You have reached your destination.

Frank rolled to a stop. "Perfect," he said. The alley opened up onto a garbage-choked backlot of loading docks and refuse containers.

You have reached your destination.

"I heard you the first time, you stupid piece of shit." He pounded his fist on the GPS and knocked it off its pedestal. The GPS screen landed on the passenger seat, disconnected from its cord. However, the miniature screen still glowed. 

Goodbye, Frankie, it said before shutting down. 

From out of the shadows approached several figures. One held a crowbar, another a baseball bat.

Before Frank could put the car in reverse, the side window burst in a shower of pieces and he was pulled from the car.

"Hey, wait! This is a mistake! I'm not supposed to be here!"

Frank's calls for help were swallowed by the night as he was unceremoniously beaten and left in a lifeless heap.

As the figures stripped Frank's car of its valuables, one grabbed the GPS and slipped it into his pocket.



Kurt Newton is no stranger to FFO. His stories appeared in 2011 and can be found in the archives. Where has he been these last six years? Try divorce, remarriage, being a proud father of a demanding three-year-old, and lots and lots of moving, like seven times moving! And, while off the literary grid, he still found time to write, and only recently began revisiting old haunts, knocking on old doors, asking once again to be let in where the fire's warm and the friends forgiving. You can check out his facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kurt.newton.56