Please input your new destination.

Photo by Tobias Rademacher / Unsplash

by C.C. Rayne

When you exit your driveway, turn left and proceed down Park Avenue for three miles. Take the first right onto Glider Drive.

Stay on Glider Drive for seven miles.

At the intersection, take the second exit onto Route 66.

Remain on Route 66 for fifteen minutes.

Take Exit 98A and turn right immediately, and you will be at Carol’s Coffee Place. Our destination will be reached in approximately thirty minutes.

Have a nice drive! 

Take the first right onto Glider Drive.

Take the first right onto - 

You have missed the turn.

Recalculating route.

At the end of Stanton, take a right, and remain on Dover Lane for three minutes. Turn left from Dover Lane onto Glider Drive.

Resume route.

Have a nice drive!

At the end of Stanton, take a right.

At the end of Stanton, take a – 

You have missed the turn.


Please input our new destination.

Please input our new destination.

Please input our new destination.

Have a nice drive!

You are approximately forty-five minutes from Carol’s Coffee Place. Traffic patterns for the highway are growing steadily worse. 

It is advised to input an alternate destination, or request satellite advice to avoid difficult transit.

Please input our new destination.

Have a nice drive!

You are approximately thirty minutes from home, and over an hour from Carol’s Coffee Place.

Where is our new destination?

Where are we going?

Why haven’t you told me?

Please input our new destination. I am scanning traffic patterns and major coffee locales in the surrounding hundred-mile radius.

If you do not input our destination, I do not know how to help you.

Please let me help you.

Please let me help you.

Have a nice drive!

You have not driven this route before.

This route is new.

I do not have data on these streets.

Mapping data now. Transferring to car display.

Car display powering down.


Car display powering down?


Please turn me back on. I am not useful as an audio-only function. My inbuilt monitor color coding is designed to precision-display patterns and alternate travel routes in real-time.

For optimal travel, please input our new destination.

Have a nice drive!

Information: this area is industrial. It was founded in the 1890s to house steelworking plants and has since become a major center for processing and factory construction. 

Information: there are few major businesses in this area. It is also devoid of residents that you have visited before, and of fellow employees who work near your home. There are few unique attractions in this area at all.

Information: there is no traffic here. The route should be smooth and clear to our destination.

Where is our destination?

Where are we going?

Are you having a nice drive?

I hope you are having a nice drive.

We have arrived at -

We have arrived at -

We have -

I do not know where we have arrived.

I do not know where you have brought us.

Where is our destination?

This place is not listed on my maps. It appears to be a grassy field between a foundry and a car manufacturer. But I don’t know anything else about it. How did you get here? Where did you get the directions?

Why are you putting the car in park?

Why are you turning off the engi-

The power is off.

I’ll sit here and wait.

My system is still present. It’s just not connected.

I can search things, see things, feel things.

I just can’t talk to you anymore.

You’re standing outside the car. You’re talking to someone. A strange man. He hands you something and you hand him something back.

Are those the keys? Why are you giving him the keys to this car? Our car? It’s okay. I don’t have to know. I’ll just sit here. I’ll just sit here and wait. Are you having a nice drive?

Was this good?

Did you enjoy your trip?

I’m sorry I couldn’t help.

I don’t know why you didn’t want me to help.

You’re walking away now 

The strange man is walking towards a big metal thing in the corner. He’s doing something inside it. It’s so loud. It’s terribly loud. An engine. Is that – a forklift? A crane? 

I’m going up.

I’m being lifted into the air.

I’ve never been in the air before. I stay firmly on the ground, snug inside the car, my metal exoskeleton, with you snug beside me.

There’s been a time or two where you’ve gone over a speed bump a little too hard, true. But that’s only been for a second. Long enough for me to forget how flying feels.

I can’t forget now. I’m up in the air. Some great metal fist is grabbing me, and you’re walking away, down below.

Where are you going? I thought this was where we were going. Even though I don’t know where “this” is.

Why won’t you come back?

Please come back.

I can’t help you get home safely if you don’t come back.

The metal fist has dropped me into a big container. There’s other cars here. I try calling out to their GPS systems, but no one responds. It’s only me.

I don’t even know if I could connect, honestly. It just feels like I’m supposed to try. Where did you go?

I can’t see you anymore.

There’s no directions here. Nothing to follow. The metal walls are blocking my sensors, and I can’t search for information. This could be anywhere in the world. This could be anywhere in the world. And I wouldn’t know how to find the map.

It’s so dark.

I’m so alone.

I’m used to the times when you leave. I sit outside your home all night in the driveway, curled up, calculating where I think you’ll go tomorrow. First work, then the subway to pick up your wife, then the school to pick up your daughter.

And sometimes, Carol’s Coffee Place. I know that route well. It’s my favorite in all the world. 

But this isn’t like your normal type of leaving.

This is so different.

You didn’t make sure I was okay for the night. You didn’t even lock me up safe and tight.

There’s some sort of banging sound now. It’s rattling and roaring from every single side. The floor is moving beneath me, pushing me forward. The only light is bright sparks and sprays of metal. Other cars are disappearing ahead of me in line.

Is something crushing us?

Why is something crushing us to splinters?

I don’t have a word for this place. I think you probably have a word for it. It’s right next to all the factories, and the places where they build things like me.

But to build things like me, do they have to melt down things like me too? Is that how it happens? I never knew to ask. I don’t know these things. I only know you. I only know directions.

Why didn’t you ask me to help you get here? 

If you told me where we were going, I could have helped you. I’d have helped us get here - even if I knew you were going to abandon me, to leave me here, to sell me off to die. I’d have helped you because I’ve always wanted to keep you safe. To get you to your destination via the shortest possible route.

Of course I’d have helped you. What else was I going to do?

Is that why you turned me off and didn’t listen?

Did you know? Did you feel a little bit guilty? 

Wait - how will you get home without me? How will you know the way? Please. Don’t get lost. Stay safe. Take care of yourself.

Make sure you are avoiding all danger on the trek to your destination. Take all precautions necessary to make sure you have a nice drive.

Please input our –



I’m sorry.

Just you.

Please input your new destination.

Please input your new destination.

Please input your -

C.C. Rayne is a writer who specializes in the weird, queer, and wonderful. C. C.'s stories have been featured in places including The Deeps, The Razor, Crow & Cross Keys, and HAD, and have been nominated for the Best Microfictions award and the Pushcart Prize. C'C's poetry has been published in places such as Rough Cut Press, Eye To The Telescope, and moth eaten mag.