Must Have Been Lost

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Review Chain

A short story from a fortnightly prompt. .




Betsy left work at 6 pm just as she does every day.  She pulled out onto Rt 117 in her red Hyundai Tucson, tuned the radio to Christmas music, and settled into her 30-minute ride home.  It was snowing.  Big, fat, fluffy white flakes were melting on her windshield, but sticking to the road and the ground.  Betsy loved driving in snowstorms.

Betsy had been driving for about 20 minutes.  She was singing "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Louis Armstrong on the radio, when she came to a fork in the road that wasn't familiar.  In fact, it startled her and she wasn't sure which way to go.  Feeling panicked, she quickly swerved to the right at the very last minute and continued to drive for about 10 minutes.  As she drove on, she realized nothing was familiar and began wondering if she went the wrong way.  She turned the radio off so that she could focus on the road, but she kept getting distracted by the snow. She took the very first left that came up, thinking it would take her back to the main road.

Ten minutes later, Betsy took a right, thinking she must have missed the main road.  She continued on this narrow, windy road for about fifteen minutes.  There were no houses, only trees.  The snow was beginning to stick to the trees and Betsy was finding it hard to concentrate on the road.  She kept smiling at the beautiful snow scene developing while she watched. After about 30 minutes, she came into a neighborhood.  The houses were all lit up with Christmas lights and decorations.  Betsy loved Christmas lights.  She turned the radio back on to hear Christmas music while driving in the winter wonderland.  She keeps following the Christmas lights, turning left and right and right and left.  Wherever she saw lights, she turned toward them.

And then there were no lights.  Once again there were no houses, only trees all lit up with snow.  But Betsy was scared; she could no longer enjoy the beauty because she knew something was wrong.  She was lost.  She pulled off to the side of the road, put her SUV in park, and began to cry.  She had absolutely no idea where she was.

After a while, she was startled by a ringing phone and she suddenly remembered her cell phone was in her purse.  She rushed to answer, but it stopped ringing.  A few moments later it began to ring again and she answered, "Hello?  Frank!  Oh My Lord Frank!  I've never been so happy to hear your voice!"

"Where are you hun?  What is wrong?"

"Oh!  I don't know!"

"You don't know??  What do you mean you don't know? What happened?  What's wrong?"

"Oh Frank, I took a wrong turn after I left work and I just don't know where I am!  I've just been riding around hoping something would look familiar to me, but it never did!"

"Honey, do you see any houses?"

"No!  There were some a while ago, but not know.  It's all trees!"

"All Pine trees?"

"Yes.  They are beautiful with the snow sticking to them."

"Honey did you come thru a neighborhood with a lot of Christmas lights, almost every house lit up?"

"Oh yes!  It was so beautiful Frank!  You would have loved it!"

"I know where you are sweetie.  I'm coming to get you.  Just keep talking to me.  I will be there in just a few minutes."

"Oh thank God Frank!  I was beginning to get scared.  At first, I really enjoyed the snow and all the Christmas lights and the Christmas music.  But then, I just felt really scared Frank."

"I know honey.  You don't have to be scared anymore."

Just then Frank opened up the driver side door.  He was dressed in his winter jacket with a hat and gloves.  He was covered with snow.

Betsy jumped out of the car and hugged Frank like she never had before.  "Oh I am so happy to see you!  How did you get here?  Where is your car?".

"I walked honey.  You were almost home; just shy of a block!  C'mon, you get in the passenger seat; I'll drive home."




Submitted: November 06, 2020

© Copyright 2020 KatV. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



I really enjoyed your story. I could easily imagine myself just driving around looking at Christmas lights and getting lost in the process. The end didn't feel a little sudden, it was odd she could be so close to home without realising it and there was no explanation. It was still really good to read, it was nice someone was able to come to her rescue so she wasn't stranded out in the middle of nowhere.

Mon, November 16th, 2020 4:11am


Thanks Archia. I was thinking about Alzheimers when I wrote this and I tried to put that thought into the readers mind without telling it. I tried to do that by the husband understanding and by her being close to home but not recognizing that and by her being easily distracted by the Christmas lights. Thank you for your comments Archia! Glad you enjoyed the story.

Mon, November 16th, 2020 9:50am

Susan Donovan

OK this story took my mind to much darker places than I think you intended. When he got in so quickly that was very surprising and I though OH NO ITS THE AFTER LIFE. But that made the ending more funny in a way. If it's mostly going to be a lighthearted story perhaps when she gets distracted by the lights you could describe them more and through that give us a sense of how she a nice person but clearly a little scatterbrained and distractable?

Tue, November 24th, 2020 10:41pm


Thank you for reading and for your feedback Susan! I really appreciate.
I was actually thinking about Alzheimer's (early-onset). I was trying to show that this had happened his not being alarmed and knowing the points of reference to ask her. I was trying to show that she was lost a block from her own neighborhood by his being able to walk to her, indicating that she wasn't just distracted, she truly was lost and unable to recognize familiar surroundings. I was hoping the reader would get that she didn't "just get distracted", but rather that there was something more serious going on. It was just meant to be an hour in the life. Have you suggestions for how I could have done that better? Maybe it does just need to be a longer story and so it wouldn't be bad for the reader to just think she is a distractable scatterbrain while I build up to a diagnosis?

Tue, November 24th, 2020 4:29pm

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