One time in high school, I got lost running a marathon. A half-marathon. A really long way. It was some charity thing, AIDS, maybe cancer, and you could walk or you could run, or you could even bring your bike. I’d lost my bike, so I ran.
It was okay at first. I used to be good at endurance-type stuff. Once, I walked forty miles in a day, Fonthill to Grimsby by some circuitous route. I was lost that time, too. I found a graveyard….
The marathon, though, I’m not sure how I managed it. I was jogging along, and I wanted ginger ale. There was a sign by the road, GAS & SNAX 2 KM, and I thought, hey, that’s handy—a quick detour, who’d know? So I went, and they were out of ginger ale, but there was Faygo’s Redpop, which was almost as good. I got a two-litre and drank it as I ran.
It took me a while to realise I was lost. The route went through farmland, just endless fields and orchards, and I stopped to steal fruit, and to shake a stone from my shoe. I thought about how bad Tylenol tastes, and then I took one. I’d been listening to Tosca a lot, and I had that bit in the Castel Sant’Angelo in my head, y’know, where Scarpia’s at the window listening to the cantata. I was picturing that, I think, wondering how the light on the rooftops of Rome might compare to the haze over the fields. I thought about other stuff too, train trips, tube socks, why sweatshirts are called sweatshirts. I found some blackberries and ate them. I drank more pop. I saw a forest path and wondered where it led, and I think that’s when it occurred to me I hadn’t seen a mile marker in a while.
I looked back over my shoulder, but the road was deserted. It wasn’t even a road, so much as a dirt track, full of hollows where puddles had been. I slowed to a walk, and I walked and I walked, and I didn’t see anyone. I saw a house in the distance, bright white and empty-looking. I saw a horse in a field, and I thought about taking it. It gave me a look like it knew what I was thinking. I trudged on and left it alone.
The run started at dawn. Seven, I think, maybe eight. I bought my Redpop around noon, passed the horse toward evening. I walked some more, and it got dark. I stepped in a dead raccoon. I took off my shoes and threw them in the ditch.
I ended up in, like…Nowhereville, somewhere between Welland and Port Colborne, only off to the side, maybe around Wainfleet. I don’t know. I was trippling along in a daze, thinking about how much trouble I’d be in when I got home, and some farmer stopped and picked me up. I made him drive me to the finish line so I could still collect my pledges, but no-one was there.
The funny part is, I didn’t get in trouble. There was this party, see, after the marathon, a picnic for the runners, and nobody noticed I wasn’t there. I got home around nineish, and Mother was all “where are your shoes?”, and I said I lost them. She made a face like “seriously?”, and I got away with the whole thing, except I had to buy new shoes.
It wasn’t a bad day, getting lost on the marathon. Really, I kind of liked it. The sun was up, I drank loads of Redpop, and nothing bad happened, besides the dead raccoon.
Y’know, that’s kind of how I picture the z-pocalypse, once the zombies dry up. ‘Cause they would, wouldn’t they? They’d be too rotten to move in a week or two, and I could just walk and walk, and no-one would bother me….
The z-pocalypse is heaven. ❤
6 thoughts on “The Nowhere”
So… Your sense of direction is how good exactly? 😀
Great story – just the ticket after a pretty rubbish day. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a pro comment for the Zombie Apocalypse before, but actually that is a pretty good one. All you’ve got to do is lie low until all their bits drop off and your home free.
I’m thinking some kind of nose plus might be good idea for a while afterwards though – Rotting Zombie in the summer is not a good smell…
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sorry… that would be nose PLUGS. D’oh!
On a scale of one to ten, that would be…THE WORST! I could get lost in a straight hallway. One time, I got lost on the way home from a school I’d been attending for three years.
Sorry to hear you had a rubbish day! Hope your evening is treating you better.
A nose plug, yes, that would be good. But my z-pocalypse plan (yes, of course I have one!) also involves relocating to the far north, somewhere barely populated, so once I break free of the smell zone, there should be plenty of fresh air.
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Lol! Ten is pretty bad, but those straight halls can be tricky 😀 I can understand the school though, I was so bored witless at school I used to forget my name!
Doesn’t bode well for the end of the world though, no good escaping the Zombies if you end up getting lost! Maybe you’ll need to buy a compass.
Thanks – It was pretty crap. I had a interview this morning that didn’t go very well. The guy was an arse, I knew I hadn’t got the job by the way he looked at me when I first saw me.
Glad to hear I’m not the only one that has a plan, I’ve often thought what to do in that kind of situation – If I woke up one morning to find I was the last man standing I think I’d do alright. Going North is pretty much out on this island, but I might be able to find decent castle to live in.
Well, maybe I’ll get SO lost I’ll lose the zombies, too. But, yes. A compass. Good investment.
People like that are the worst, ones who make their mind up just from the look of you, and don’t give you a fair shake. But, hey, who’d want to work for someone like that anyway, right? You can do better, job-wise.
I can think of worse places to ride out the z-pocalypse than a castle. Most of them are National Trust properties now, so they’re pretty well-maintained. Well-furnished, too. And the walls would keep any marauding zeds at bay.
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Thanks – and you’re right, I knew after about 5 minutes I wouldn’t want to work with the guy. It does make me laugh how quickly People judge you on your appearance – and it’s if not as if I look particularly strange.
I hadn’t considered the National Trust aspect, most of them have pretty well stocked gift shops – so I can wait for the Z’s to rot safe in my castle, with a plentiful supply of home-made jams and chutneys, craft beers, country wines and mead. Cool! 😀