You Are Two Point Three Meters from Your Destination

Commencing Route for Orpheus of Thrace.

Proceed from Ciconian Coast meadow south–southwest to mouth of Eurotas River in Laconia, approximately eight hundred kilometers. Travel time to waypoint: seven days at your current speed.

Head ninety–two kilometers south to Cape Taenarus, also known as Matapan. Find Taenarus Gate.

Recalculating. Find Taenarus Gate. Proceed to route.

Pass into Taenarus Gate and proceed to River Styx.

A toll is required. Exact change is required.

Proceed to route. Descend five thousand kilometers to throne room. Time to destination: unknown.

Arriving at throne room. Proceed five point two meters to throne. Avoid abyss. Make your request.

Receiving new information from satellites. Calculating return trip.

Exit throne room, follow northern path to Vale of Avernus, Cicero, Italy. Approximately six thousand kilometers.

Proceed up incline. No turns are permitted on this route.

Proceed up incline. You are five hundred meters from your destination.

No turns are permitted on this route. You are one hundred meters from your destination.

You are two point three meters from your destination. Proceed up…recalculating.

Recalculating. Proceed to route.

Proceed to… No crossing of the River Styx is possible at this time.

Proceed to route. Recalculating. Proceed ahead from River Styx, approximately five thousand kilometers to mouth of Acheron River.

Calculating new destination. Proceed six hundred kilometers north–northeast through forest to Rhodope Mountains. Time to destination, five days to three years. Several drinking establishments ahead on left.

New route selected.

Fran Wilde

Two-time Nebula winner Fran Wilde writes science fiction and fantasy for adults and kids, with seven books, so far, that embrace worlds unique (Updraft, The Gemworld) and portal (Riverland, The Ship of Stolen Words), plus numerous short stories appearing in Asimov’s, Tor.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, Nature, Uncanny, and multiple Year’s Best anthologies. “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand,” (Uncanny, 2017), was a finalist for the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Award, and won the 2018 Eugie Foster Memorial Award. “A Catalog of Storms” (Uncanny, 2019) was a 2020 Hugo and Locus finalist and a 2019 Nebula finalist. Fran directs the Genre Fiction MFA concentration at Western Colorado University and writes nonfiction for NPR, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

photo by Bryan Derballa

6 Responses to “You Are Two Point Three Meters from Your Destination”

  1. Sylvia

    Absolutely brilliant.

  2. 2015 Eligibility Post for Me and 143 Other People – Fran Wilde

    […] “You are Two Point Three Meters from Your Destination,” Uncanny:  (Issue Three, Spring 2015) Commencing Route for Orpheus of Thrace. Proceed from Ciconian Coast meadow south–southwest to mouth of Eurotas River in Laconia, approximately eight hundred kilometers. Travel time to waypoint: seven days at your current speed(read more) […]

  3. 2015 Recommended Reading, Retropectives, and Notes | Michael Matheson | A Dark and Terrible Beauty

    […] Wilde – You Are Two Point Three Meters From Your Destination (Uncanny, March […]

  4. nottenst

    Fran read this Sunday May 29, 2016 at Balticon 50 during the Dangerous Voices Variety Hour. It was well appreciated.

  5. Recap: May 2016 - Over The Effing Rainbow

    […] fantasy story, and as my first taste of Fran Wilde’s work (not counting her short story ‘You Are Two Point Three Meters From Your Destination’), it’s definitely left me wanting more. It reads like a blend of fantasy and […]

  6. Superstitions and Flying Bighorn Sheep: Cooking the Books – Elizabeth Bear Interviews Fran Wilde – FRAN WILDE

    […] Books on September 1, 2015. Her short stories have appeared at Tor.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny Magazine, and in Asimov’s and Nature. Fran also interviews authors about food in fiction at Cooking the […]

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