Mis-Routed

Mis-Routed

Writing prompt (and a hint, perchance?)! Make a line-story based on the list. Best one gets a 😍

heartwrite.co

The following is a quick story I wrote based on the writing prompt given by heartwrite.co. I hope you enjoy it!


Mis-Routed

“They sent you here?!” He didn’t have eyes but I imagined they would have been as large as dinner plates.

“I know! It’s like I’m going backwards!” This is where I would have rolled my eyes. If I had eyes anyway.

The man before me stifled a cry of anguish, obviously not wanting to upset me. They’re very polite here, or so I’ve been told.

“Let me see if I understand the full story. Could you please tell me where you’ve been already?”

“Well I came from South Korea.” That much was true. You never forget from where you were first sent. “Then I went to Sweden.”

“Of course,” he nodded compassionately. “That would be the obvious choice, given where you’re heading.”

“Yes, agreed. But this is where things start getting confusing. They sent me to Singapore.”

“What?!” For a moment he forgot his composure and his voice lept a few dozen decibels.

“Something about congestion, I think. ‘Too much traffic,’ they said. Between you and me, I think there was an attack going on at the time.”

I imagined him shaking his head in annoyance. “That’s not our problem. But surely there must have been other routes in the area!”

“Maybe there were but it’s not my job to know, is it?!” I lost my composure for a moment. I consoled myself with the knowledge that I couldn’t see if he was at all flustered. To keep up appearances I calmed myself and continued. “I just go where they tell me to. And they sent me to Singapore.”

“And what happened there?”

“They’re really on the ball down there in Singapore. They put me back on track. It wasn’t long before I found myself in Switzerland after a brief stop in Germany.”

“I would have prefered a direct route myself. But if there is an attack going on then I can understand the detours.” Always a stickler for efficiency, just as I’ve been told.

“And Switzerland sent me here to Japan.”

“But that’s backwards!”

“That’s what I told you when I first got here!”

Silence. I imagined him leaning back with his eyes closed and arms crossed (if he had any of those things) considering my situation, contemplating the next best move. After a pause he finally spoke.

“This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to put you back heading to Europe. We’ve got connections in Denmark but you’ll have to go through Finland. From there I think you’ll be able to find your way.”

“As long as I’m in Europe again I’m sure I’ll be fine.” Automatically I reached for my packet and unveiled the head of my message which listed every stop of my journey so far. He unceremoniously confirmed my arrival in “Japan” and added “Finland” to the top. No doubt he’s handled thousands, perhaps millions of mis-routed cases like mine in the past few decades. I don’t like to brag but my brothers and I have become rather popular.

“Just out of curiosity,” he suddenly spoke up, “is your communications important?”

I peeked at my message again. “No, not really. But kind of sentimental, I suppose.”

And with that I was off. Eventhough I know they held no power over my journey from that point on, I believe it was Japanese efficiency that helped me reach my final destination in France. Without hesitation I opened my packet, unfurled the message and held it outwards against the screen in front of me.

********
Hi.

How’s France? Are you enjoying your holiday? Remember to dress warmly and bring something back for your brothers.

Love, Mum
********

Although I couldn’t see it, I imagined Seo-hyeon smiling as she read the message. The mother-daughter dynamic is very fragile but from the messages I’ve passed between them over the years, Seo-hyeon and her mother are my favourite.

Almost immediately Seo-hyeon typed up a reply. I put the new message in my packet and started off. I was heading back to South Korea.