Topping off the gas in the big Valkyrie cruiser, I whistled at the reading on the pump. She took 5.4 gallons. She only carries 5.3 gallons of usable fuel.
“Why don’t you get a GPS? They have great ones now. Full color screens, every road, instant directions…”
I looked at the station owner. Normally closed after two o’clock on Sunday, he was doing me a favor letting me pump gas. It was after 2:30pm and I’d caught him on the way to his car. He’d cheerfully unlocked the door and turned on the pump.
I grinned at the man, “Im terrified of them.”
He tilted his head, “You don’t strike me as the type to be ‘fraid of much. They’re easy to use. Heck, if I can use them, you can.”
I smiled again. “I work in computers. ‘Ease of use’ is not the issue.”
“Well what then?”
I looked back at the small “only sorta paved” road I’d just come off of. It led, just back over the hill, to a dark and shadowy turnoff. I’d spent the last two hours and the final dregs of my fuel finding my way out of that poorly marked maze of odd turns, hills, washes, and trees.
“I’m afraid I’d never get lost again.” I’d just been lost. My entire day had changed because I’d taken an interesting looking turn. I’d met people, ridden dark and shrouded roads that I may have never found, and even had home-made lemonade.
He grinned at me, understanding immediately. Sort of understanding anyway…
“You can always turn it off.”
I handed the man enough cash to cover the gas with a couple bucks left over for his trouble.
“Yes. I know I could…” I fired up the big machine and switched her off reserve. “I’m just not entirely certain that I would.”
I waved and guided the big cruiser back the way I’d come, the dark wood and mysterious roads calling. I was pretty sure there were a couple turns somewhere in there that I hadn’t taken yet.