They stole the small paths first. That’s why no one noticed. They took them at night, woodland trails no one walked and the driveways to deserted homes. Sometimes, people got lost looking for alleyways which were no longer there.
Then they began to take the streets. People crossed out the maps. Some said the maps should be left as they were in case the paths came back. I stayed up at night and watched my street from my window. I wanted them to take it. It never felt like mine. I started looking for the thieves. I wrote down all the names of the missing roads. I worked out which one they’d take next.
I packed a small bag. I followed pathless ways. I saw people lost. I didn’t help them. When I found the thieves, I gave them my book of names. I showed them wind roads in the skies and fish paths in the rivers. They let me go with them.
Now we smell of night roads and bat shadows. Our pockets are stuffed with maps. We tick the streets and paths that we’ve taken. We are gathering them all.
Rebecca Harrison sneezes like Donald Duck and can be summoned by a cake signal in the sky. Her best friend is a dog who can count. She was a finalist in the first Wyvern Lit flash fiction contest. Her stories can also be read at Hermeneutic Chaos, Unbroken Journal, Fiction Attic, Remarkable Doorways Magazine, The Fable Online, Maudlin House, and elsewhere.