This story, which appears in Something Was There, a new anthology of ghost stories published by Virago, has its roots in the writer, Naomi Alderman's, interest in the relationships between people and technology.by Naomi Alderman / September 21, 2011 / Leave a comment
Published in October 2011 issue of Prospect Magazine
She says: “The scariest ghost stories, those I love, are about people betrayed by some point of weakness. Personally, I can’t find my way anywhere without my satnav. I feel vulnerable every time I’m in its hands, knowing I couldn’t get home without it. So this story is about that fear.”
It’s 2.30am when you leave the party. You wouldn’t usually have stayed so late but the company was excellent, the food enticing, the wine superb. You’re not drunk; you’re careful about such things, especially when driving. You had one small glass, early on, and despite the alluring tinkle of crystal and booming pop of corks, you left it at that.
But for some reason you can’t find your car. You had to park on a side road and you’re not familiar with this part of town. It’s made up of narrow winding streets, lined with parked cars and tiny picturesque cottages. They’re probably astonishingly expensive, you think, as you turn another corner where you’re sure this time, totally sure, you must have parked. Your car’s not there.
You keep walking, looping back towards where you started. If you really can’t find it, you’ll have to beg your friends to let you stay the night, look again in the morning or report it stolen. Then a thought occurs. You pull out your keys and press the fob. Sure enough, from just around the corner, you hear the reassuring double blip of your car unlocking. You do it again, walking faster, then once more, then again turning the corner.
But it’s not your car. You press the fob again. The car in front of you unlocks. It’s a long,…