Emily shook the box. It was small, but quite heavy. Electronics, definitely, she smiled to herself. It was probably the new iPhone 4 she needed. Her mother would say that it wasn't technically a necessity, but her mother didn't even have a cell phone when she was in high school. She made a point of reciting all her high school friends' phone numbers to Emily every time Emily forgot her phone at home and didn't know her mom's cell number to let her know she was going to be home late. That didn't matter, though, because with all the apps she'd load onto the brand new, white iPhone 4 she was certain was in that precious box, it would never leave her side. She started composing her tweet in her mind, the first task of her new phone: "oMg . . best Bday EVr! iPhone4 is my lvr!"
"Open it!" suggested her father. Emily relented without a fight. She stared at the now-unwrapped box on her lap. No.
"I figured since you're driving now, it would be good to have one of those e-maps," beamed her father.
"There is a GPS on the iPhone 4, Dad," Emily answered, with more than a twinge of displeasure in her voice. She recognized it and tried to mask her disappointment. "Thanks. I do get lost a lot around town."
"Why don't you give it a try?" asked her mother. "We can have cake when you get back."
"Yeah," Emily smiled. "I think I will." She wanted the time to get over the heartbreak. She took the GPS out of the box and went out to her Corolla, plugging it into the cigarette lighter.
"Hello, Emily," the robotic voice greeted her. At least they took the time to program it, she thought. "Now, where to go?" she said to herself. "We'll try Wal-Mart," she decided, entering the address.
"At the end of the road, turn right," said the voice. It was a woman's voice, and she seemed disinterested in the whole affair. Emily obeyed.
"Follow the road for point two miles, then bear right." Again, Emily obeyed.
"Are you sure you're taking me to Wal-Mart?"
"Keep straight," the voice seemed to be speaking more urgently now. "Follow the road for five miles." Confused, Emily followed the directions of the steely voice. She was in a dark wooded area, a place she'd never been before. She turned on her brights, and saw it was a cemetary.
"Creepy," she muttered. "I don't know, I've never been this way before."
"Don't second guess me," said the cold voice. "I'm a GPS. Are you? . . . Recalculating."
Emily was sure she must have imagined. Or maybe the technology was just getting more advanced. "Well, anyway, let's get out of here."
"Keep straight," said the voice. Emily was now driving on a country road. There were still no signs of civilization. "Keep straight," the voice insisted. Emily was approaching a bridge. "Keep straight. Keep straight. KEEP STRAIGHT." The voice was getting louder, faster, more insistent. Emily kept straight. There was no bridge.
As her Corolla plummeted down the ravine, the complacent voice said, "That's what you get for backseat driving."
* * * * * *
"I wonder where Emily is," said Emily's mother.
"I bet she went joyriding out in Krum," suggested her father. "Well, no sense in letting good cake go to waste! Em can have hers when she gets back."