Don't upset the Google Lady
By: Stephanie Bardy

A Husband and Wife had made the annual trip to their little anniversary get-away. It was farther north from where they lived, and they had been returning to this same resort, the same cabin for the last 4 years. They never took a honeymoon, or did anything for their anniversary for the first 15 years of their marriage. The Wife hated trying to plan things for the Husband as he was a simple man and things like tropical vacations or cruises were not on his list of fun things to do.

They also avoided big expensive trips as they had raised 3 children within that time. Now that they were grown, they decided to take time for themselves and take that honeymoon. Each year they called it that.

The first year, they stayed pretty much at the cabin, enjoying the silence, the softly falling snow, the freeze your face off cold air. At night Wife would stand outside and listen to the distant howl of the wolves and Husband would stoke up the fire. They would snuggle on the couch talking, watching the flames dance.

The next year they got a little braver and took a trip to some local towns. Checking the sights, looking for places to ice fish, taking pictures of the plethora of deer that seemed to be standing by the edge of the road just waiting for someone to drive by. Every night it was the sound of the wolves and warmth of the fire.

This was their routine, venturing farther and farther each year. The Google Lady in the map was their constant companion when they went out.

By the fourth year, Wife, who always drove, was feeling adventurous and a bit more confident in her surroundings.

They had spent the day travelling from antique market to flea market and all the little funky shops in between. They had a wonderful lunch, found an abandon logging mill complete with water wheel, took a million pictures and videos and had decided to head back to the cabin for dinner.

Both were happy in another successful anniversary trip when Wife decided not to heed the directions of Google Lady, as she always rerouted if she made a wrong turn, and took a few back roads to drag out the trip a little longer.

Wife turned now another off the beaten path road.

"Rerouting." chirped Google Lady

Husband laughed. "Did she sound a little snarky to you?" he asked

Wife looked at Husband. "It's a computer dear, they can't sound snarky."

"She sounded snarky. Typical woman." he said

She took another turn.

"Rerouting." said Google Lady again.

Wife looked at the map displayed on her phone, then glanced at Husband.

"Ok, maybe that did sound a little snarky." she giggled.

"She better get used to the idea that you are the boss." Husband teased. "She better listen."

They continued down the road and came across a Doe and her fawn standing just up the embankment on the side of the road.

Wife pulled over and slowly got out of the car. The fawn saw her and they two stared at each other. The doe walked up behind the fawn but still kept a bit of distance and watched the two.

Wife bobbed her head a bit. Fawn responded by doing the same, which made Wife giggle. For about 15 minutes the fawn and Wife played this game of copy cat until fawn decided he needed to get a closer look.

The doe then positioned herself between the fawn and Wife and moved him farther up the embankment. The fawn looked like he really wanted to stay and play, but as the doe began ascending the hill into the forest, she let out a call and fawn followed. Playtime was over.

Wife got back into the car and Husband was grinning at her.

"Well done Snow White." he teased. Wife had a way with the wildlife and he had nicknamed her that a few years back.

"That was awesome!" she breathed.

She put the car in drive. "I'm getting hungry, shall we head back for real this time?" she asked.

Husband peered up from the video camera he had been playing with and nodded.

Wife checked the directions on the map and turned the car in the direction the Google Lady was indicating.

After about 10 minutes she spoke. "In 600 metre's turn left."

Wife turned and they ended up on another back road. Husband laughed. "I guess you have her trained now!"

Wife giggled. "About time! Didn't take me near as long as it did to train you!" she teased.

"In 600 metres turn right."

Wife looked around and it seemed that Google Lady was going to take them up one of the many mountains that surrounded the area.

"We are getting the scenic route babe! Get that camera rolling, I bet we will get some amazing views." she said excitedly.

They continued up the road for awhile. Both silent, enjoying the snow covered view.

"At the fork, stay right to continue on this road" Google Lady said

Husband looked around. "Are you sure this is right?" he asked

They had turned off the main road and were now on a narrow road. After a few minutes the snow covered asphalt gave way to snow covered dirt.

"Continue straight." came the Google Lady voice again.

Wife gripped the wheel a little tighter, "I can't see Google taking us down a road that isn't usable."

Farther and farther up the mountain they went. Wife became calmer as she realized the road had actually been plowed and there were farms dotting the landscape on her side of the car.

"Please don't slide off the road." said Husband.

"Why do you say that? I'm not driving that bad!" quipped Wife.

"Because I am looking out my window and looking down onto a sheer drop of maybe 1000 feet or more! Looks like Who-ville down there!!"

"Turn right."

Wife looked at Husband. "She is taking us farther up the mountain. Should I follow?"

Husband looked at Wife. "She wouldn't steer us wrong remember?" he said sarcastically.

Wife rolled her eyes. "It will be fine, I am sure."

They turned right.

The dirt covered road quickly gave way to what appeared to be just two ruts of car wheels where someone had passed before them.

Wife looked nervously at Husband who was still aiming the camera out, and down, his window.

"MOTHER OF GOD!" he said.

"What!???" Wife screeched.

"Stay in the middle of the road. There is no side of the road. Just a little snowbank, and then…splat."

"You're helpful!" she cried nervously. She was an excellent driver and knew that she could handle anything that came their way, but her husband liked to push her buttons and knew all the right ones to get her going. The thought of opening his door and pushing him out crossed her mind, but she just smiled sweetly at him.

"In 600 metres turn right."

"TURN RIGHT??!" Bellowed Husband, still looking at the miniature tree's at the bottom of the cliff.

Wife patted his leg. "Maybe at the crest of this hill there is a road at the top. We are almost up the mountain. It has to come down at some point."

He looked at her, and back out the window. "It can go down rather damn quickly I'd say."

She gave him a withering look.

There was a bit of a downhill before the crest of the mountain so Wife let the car pick up some speed to be able to make it up the steep incline. The car she borrowed didn't have snow tires on yet, so she didn't want to get stuck halfway up.

The crest loomed just beyond the bumper.

As the car reached the top and flattened out Husband and Wife were greeted with a sight they hadn't in a million years been expecting. Pristine, untouched snow covered the whole area. About 4 feet of it in height. No road. Not in front of the car, no roads to turn off on, no place to even turn around.

"Turn right." Came the Google Lady

For a brief moment the car was filled with swearing. Some of the words were even made up to convey the utter shock that the two felt.

Heaving a sigh, Wife realized she was not going to be able to continue forward, and there was no visible road to make this elusive right turn that she was instructed to do. There was only one way out of this. Back the way she came.

"I am going to have to back down the road until I can turn around." she said to Husband.

"Just take it slow. I don't want to be smear at the bottom of this mountain." he said

Again she shot him a withering look. She put the car in reverse, looked over her shoulder and took her foot off the gas.

The world began jolting from side to side.

"Holy shit!" was all Husband could get out.

Wife spun the wheel from side to side trying to steer them out of the skid. After a few heart thumping moments the car stopped. Both relearned how to breath and then took stock of where they were and what they had to do.

Husband opened his door and looked out. The back bumper had impacted with the small snowbank on the cliff side edge, stopping them. The front end was pointed towards the centre of the road. Steering out of this was not going to be easy.

Husband climbed out of the car to help guide Wife as she slowly manoeuvred the car back and forth away from the snow bank and back onto the road. Each time the car slide just a bit, Wife held her breath.

Eventually she got the car back into the centre of the road. Husband waved her to continue down the hill, he would walk and meet her at the bottom. She backed all the way down, stopped at the bottom and sat there shaking.

Husband reached the car, got in and looked at her.

"Lets turn around, find a main road and try again?" he suggested.

Wife nodded.

Google Lady had been very quiet during all this.

As they hit the main road again, the silence was broken.

"Follow Highway 7 until you reach Popski road." she said.

Husband and Wife looked at each other. Then at the map. They were in the exact spot where Google Lady had told them to turn up the mountain.

Wife put the car in drive and headed in the direction Google Lady said. She followed each step without fail, no wrong turns, no surprise decisions to take a different road.

As they pulled onto the road that the cabin was on she spoke again.

"You have arrived at your final destination." she said cheerily.

Husband and Wife looked at each other and Wife reached over and hit the exit button on the map app.

Husband went to speak and Wife shushed him.

Don't upset the Google Lady.


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