01 Feb The Left Right Game: Part 3
Hello again guys.
I’ve finally got round to posting the next log! I would have put this up sooner but unfortunately I’ve had bikes to repair, and if I don’t do it the customer’s might go online and discover it’s not actually that hard.
I want to thank you again for the help you’ve given me in finding Alice. The guy who said he’d track down the mirror shop is giving me regular updates on his progress, and I’ve received a whole lot of help going through American missing persons reports. It turns out Alice’s work haven’t heard from her either, and they’re going through their emails for Rob’s submission to the show. Everyone’s been really helpful, so thank you.
I’ve got to say, I’m sleeping worse since this whole thing began. It’s strange to think that all the time Alice was out of contact, I was perfectly content. Yet now that she’s got back in touch, every day I don’t hear from her makes me that much more worried. That’s assuming of course that it was her who sent me the email.
I really hope it was.
Thanks again everyone, and please let me know if you find anything.
The Left/Right Game [DRAFT 1] 09/02/2017
ROB: Rice; non-perishable.
ROB: Soy sauce; non-perishable.
ROB: Salt; non-perishable.
ROB: Eggs; well they’re perishable but I bought’em fresh and I got hard boiled that’ll last a week.
It’s breakfast time, the start of our first full day on the road. Rob’s been up since 7 o’clock, cooking a meal for anyone who wants it. The aroma pulls us out of our makeshift beds, and arranges us around his portable stove. Our bowls are already full before we realise there’s a catch. The trade-off for this supposedly free food? A 10 minute lecture from Rob about the power of rice.
ROB: See in the Pacific, our guys used to be terrified of the Japanese. Whole armies marching on grains? Thought they were super soldiers. See the Japs know the secret. You give people rice in the morning and they’re goin’ for the whole day.
After dropping two large spoonfuls of his favourite staple into a bowl, and handing it to me, Rob breaks a raw egg over the top. The yolk clouds over as I stir it in. To be fair, the food is delicious, and it’s fun to watch Rob on his soap box. At least there are some things he’s willing to talk at length about.
I stare across the circle at Lilith and Eve. The latter has spilled rice onto her top, and her friend is teasing her playfully. Eve sees me looking over, meets my gaze, and turns back to Lilith, her tone dramatically muted. I return to my food, making a point to seem attentive to Rob’s speech. A minute later, the two girls decide they’ve finished their meal and I quickly realise so have I.
Devouring the last few bites, I place my bowl in the small tub of hot water next to the stove and casually wander over to their car. Lilith and Eve are facing away from me, silently packing up their sleeping bags. They refuse to look at me once I reach them, in a deeply conspicuous attempt at subtlety.
LILITH: Is he watching?
I glance over at Rob. He’s still talking at Bonnie, Clyde and Apollo, asking them to guess what “Breakfast” translates to in Japanese.
AS I think we’re fine. So… did you see the car?
Without answering, Eve reaches into the back seat and picks up a Macbook, the repository for all of Paranormicon’s footage. She presses play as Lilith and I huddle around her, blocking the view of any potential onlookers.
The footage depicts a familiar road. Lilith and Eve must have dropped off the Hitchhiker, and just made the next corner. I can hear them talking about the experience, both terrified and thrilled at the events of the day. Eve reminds Lilith that they need to look out for the car, Lilith swears and the camera immediately starts scouring the roadside.
EVE (VO): Look there it is!
LILITH (VO): I see it. Slow down… slow down!
The abandoned car comes into view. With Eve slowing to a crawl, and Lilith maxing out her camera’s zoom function, a precious few details can be summarily gleaned. The car’s windscreen and driver’s side window are broken, the keys are still in the ignition and, once Eve overtakes the wreck, it’s just possible to make out a dark stain soaked into the driver’s seat.
LILITH (V.O): Stop the car.
Just as video Eve starts to slow to a halt, the real Lilith shuts the laptop. I glance between them, trying to keep my voice as low as possible.
AS: You stopped the car?
EVE: I mean yeah…
LILITH: We know you told us not to, but it was like, really weird so I went over and-
AS: You got out of the car?!
EVE: For the record I was super against it.
LILITH: Anyway, there wasn’t much in there that we didn’t get from the road, except there was a bag on the backseat.
AS: Did you get a look inside?
LILITH: Yeah… do you wanna?”
Lilith nods her head towards the back of their car. It takes me a second to realise what she’s getting at.
AS: It’s in the boot?!
EVE: It’s in the what?
AS: It’s in the trunk?!
LILITH: Yeah obviously, we couldn’t just leave it there. Look, you can watch the rest of the footage any time, we’ll even send it to you, but you NEED to look in this bag before we hit the road.
I check on Rob once more. He’s washing up the bowls and cutlery, exchanging small talk with Bonnie, oblivious to what’s transpiring a mere five metres away.
Lilith and Eve escort me to the trunk, reforming our secretive huddle before Eve lifts it open. A brown leather duffel bag sits front and centre. It looks expensive but worn, probably a few decades old. The pair gesture for me to unzip it.
LILITH: Just to preface this, I want to say… this whole trip has been fucking weird.
The bag isn’t exactly full. I rummage through the loose contents, finding a few sets of good quality men’s shirts and a pair of jeans. Further down I find a small and well used shaving kit. I’m starting to wonder what Lilith and Eve are so bent out of shape over when my hand hits the hard edge of a straight, rectangular object. Slowly, and with great care, I manage to extricate it from layers of wool and denim.
It’s a package, a heavy square block about the length of my forearm, neatly wrapped in brown paper. It seems completely unassuming except for a black wire hanging from the underside, leading back into the bag itself. Lifting the wire, a black plug rises out and swings slightly in mid-air.
EVE: Turn it around.
With both girls watching me intently, I turn the package in my hands. The wire connects to the charging port of an old Nokia 3210, which in turn is superglued to the package along with a few shards of exposed circuit board. Last, but certainly not least, are the words emblazoned on the brown paper, in imposing black typeface; C4 Explosive.
My mouth feels dry.
AS: … I wasn’t expecting that.
LILITH: I know, fuck this road right? There was tonnes more in his trunk too it was insane.
AS: Is this dangerous?
EVE: Not right now. It’s basically inert unless you have the detonator.
AS: You’re sure?
LILITH: We have Wikipedia downloaded on a hard drive. It’s the only reason Eve let me bring it here. She read the article like, three times. Anyway the Nokia’s out of battery.
AS: Ok well, I’m not even going to ask how you know that… I don’t get this why would someone bring plastic explosive for the Left/Right Game? I mean, what the hell are we heading into?
EVE: I have no idea. Do you know if Rob has any?
ROB: If I have any what?
When I look up, Rob’s only a few steps away from us. I hide the C4 behind my back, dropping it into my satchel next to my notebook. I just manage to pull my fingers out of the way as Eve instinctively slams the trunk shut.
AS: Tips for sleeping in cars. These guys had a rough night.
ROB: … Well I’m sorry to hear that. Just something you gotta get used to I guess. We’re hittin’ the road in 15/20 minutes. That alright with you guys?
EVE: Yeah totally.
ROB: Bristol, you mind helping me pack up?
AS: Not at all.
Painfully aware of what’s hanging at my side, I step away with Rob towards the now dismantled stove. Looking over my shoulder, I see Lilith and Eve are watching us go, their faces awash with apprehension.
I can’t say I feel the same. Despite my surroundings, and the multitude of unsettling events, I don’t have space in my head for apprehension just now. All anxiety is slowly being pushed out, its territory annexed by a bolstering sense of resolve. There are far too many strange things happening on this road and, even if it kills me, I’m going to find out what they all mean.
ACE: Rob, can I talk to you?
We’ve packed everything in the back of the Wrangler, and are about to get back on the road when Ace comes up behind us. Rob turns around, and I sense an icy shield raising up as he curtly addresses our compatriot.
ROB: What is it Ace?
ACE: Can I… can I ask you something? It’s… it’s ok if you need me to go home after…
The shield thaws. This isn’t the Ace we’ve seen before and Rob’s perceptive enough to notice. He engages, albeit cautiously.
ROB: What do you wanna ask?
Ace shuffles uncomfortably. Suddenly, he seems much younger.
ACE: Does the hitchhiker… does anything happen if you… if you don’t pick him up?
ROB: Oh goddammit Ace I told you, you can’t… … tell me what happened.
ACE: I… I was making my way down the road and, I was angry at how you’d been… and when I saw the hitchhiker I thought I should, you know, do what I said and… just drive by.
Ace starts to tremble, unable to meet Rob’s eye.
ACE: A minute later I look in the rear view mirror and… and he’s sitting in the back of my car. He’s just… just talking about the weather. I mean I swear I didn’t pick him up, but when I think about it all these memories come back. I start to remember pulling over, letting him in. It’s like I did it, but I didn’t even…
ROB: Did you talk to him?
ACE: No, no. No, I promise I didn’t say a word.
Rob stares at Ace in silence. Ace hangs his head, like a penitent criminal facing judgement.
ROB: … feel’s awful don’t it?
Ace finally looks up, confused at Rob’s words, searching the man’s expression for clues.
ROB: I did the same as you the first time. Just drove right by. Wasn’t gonna let some stranger in my car. Nearly jumped outta my skin when I saw him in the rear view.
Rob grins at Ace, who manages to smile shakily back.
ROB: You ain’t got the right gear for this Ace. I like to run a tight ship and I gotta say it pissed me off. If you wanna turn that Porsche of yours around no one’ll think any less of you but if you wanna keep on this road… how about you try to listen more and I’ll try to be less of a hard-ass.
Rob holds his hand out for Ace to shake. It’s an offer of peace, or at the very least an offer of terms. Ace accepts it, grimacing only slightly as he faces Rob’s iron grip.
ROB: ‘Bout time we hit the road.
Five minutes later we’re rolling into a deep valley, each member of the convoy appearing over the crest of the hill behind us. Everyone’s present and accounted for, including Ace.
AS: I have to say I’m impressed.
ROB: With what?
AS: With how you handled Ace. One might presume a guy who’s been divorced four times isn’t the best at conflict resolution.
ROB: Divorce IS conflict resolution.
AS: That’s a… good point. He seemed to be saying the Hitchhiker made him pull over. Is that really what happens?
ROB: Yep, he always ends up in the back seat, and you always remember picking him up.
AS: It’s just… that’s not scientifically possible.
ROB: Get used to that.
We spend the next two hours in silence, with me typing up my notes and Rob navigating the sparse few turns that show up every now and then.
Ace’s testimony troubles me, perhaps because it stretches my favourite theory; that the game is an elaborate hoax perpetrated by Rob Guthard. I was content that the hitchhiker could have been an incredibly deft performer, but even if the man was a RADA trained thespian, that doesn’t make him capable of mind control. Ace could be insane, or an maybe actor himself, but those ideas sound exactly like the idle rationalisations I decried in Rob earlier.
I’m not sure what my theory is at the moment. I keep working, hoping to type my way to revelation.
A few lone trees have started to show up in the distance, towering wild pines with trunks as thick as barrels. Without my noticing, the trees grow slowly more numerous and, in that creeping way that landscapes change, it isn’t long until they span both sides of the road, encapsulating us in a deep, bright forest. Realising I’ve recorded everything of substance, and with Rob concentrating on the drive, I have no choice but to lay back in my seat and watch the world roll by. Despite the pervasive strangeness of the Left/Right Game, there is beauty on the road. Under the light shade of the canopy, the smell of pine needles permeating the still air, I actually feel myself starting to relax.
It only takes three words to change that.
The words don’t come from Rob, he’s as quiet as always. They aren’t spoken by the rest of the convoy either. The words are writ large in calligraphic gold paint, resting on a spotless white sign. Even from a distance, with the letters little more than a blur, I know what they’re going to say. They’re the words I’ve been dreading since I switched off the radio, the words I spent a long, troubled night hoping I’d never see.
“Welcome to Jubilation.”
It turns out there is room in my head for apprehension.
ROB: This is Ferryman to all cars. We’re going to be heading through a small town. No rules here, just keep driving and we’ll be fine.
Rob puts his radio back into the receiver, I try to ignore the distinct knot in my stomach.
AS: What does the name Chuck Greenwald mean to you?
ROB: ‘Bout as much as John Doe, why?
AS: He’s the radio DJ here.
ROB: In Jubilation? How do you know something like that?
AS: I was listening to his show last night. What do you know about this place?
ROB: Seems like a good town. Folk don’t pay attention to ya, I just head straight through.
AS: You’ve never seen anything… untoward?
ROB: Some weird stuff now and again. I like to keep my eyes on the road.
The forest clears abruptly, like a parting curtain, to reveal a picture perfect American town, archetypal almost to the point of self-parody.
We’ve arrived in Jubilation.
There’s no denying this town is beautiful. We’re welcomed by a row of vibrantly coloured shops spanning the length of a long, wide street. At the far end, an ornate, grey walled town hall proudly surveys its domain. The place is immaculate. I fail to find a solitary piece of litter on the sidewalk, a single smudge on the plate glass shop windows. Every inch of Jubilation is pristine, tranquil… and noticeably deserted.
AS: Where is everyone?
ROB: I don’t know, there’s usually some around. Maybe there’s a game on.
We take the next right, then another left. The story’s the same at every turn, a beautiful, leafy suburban town, entirely bereft of its human population. The cafés are free of bustle, the surface of the public pool is still. We even see the school, a row of finger painted faces smiling at us from the kindergarten windows as we pass by. The building itself is locked up however, which is odd, seeing as it’s noon on a Wednesday.
Eventually the Wrangler pulls onto the first residential street we’ve encountered. The sign on the corner reads Sycamore Row. The quaint shops are replaced by luxuriate houses, all of them identical; white walls, wide porches and fresh green lawns cut to a uniform length. The road stretches in a straight line for about a mile, creating an eerie corridor of copy/pasted buildings. The strangest thing about the street however, is vocalised by Rob:
ROB: Well I guess we know where everybody is now.
In front of every house, a dining room table stands on the lawn, occupied without fail by a family of four. One husband, one wife, one son and one daughter. They’re sharing a meal together. A unit on the left clink their glasses of orange juice as they dine on pork chops and salad. The family on the right share a large hunk of meat loaf, broad smiles on their faces. Staring along the road I estimate upwards of eight hundred people, in neat subsets of four, all dining at the same time.
None of them seem to notice us.
ROB: Ferryman to all cars. Looks like we’ve come during a town celebration. Let’s not bother these good people as we pass on through.
Rob lets the car roll slowly down the street, his foot light on the gas pedal, trying to make as little noise as possible. The more families we pass, the clearer it becomes that every single one of them shares common characteristics. All of them are impeccably dressed. All of them consist of the same subset; husband, wife, son, daughter. Though their chosen meals vary slightly, they all share a raucous, almost oppressive happiness.
APOLLO: Small town America am I right guys? Ahaha
Apollo’s jokes don’t make things any better. I feel claustrophobic. Trapped. Some screaming animal deep within me knows that it’s surrounded, on every side, by something it doesn’t understand. I don’t know if I’m imagining it, but as we’ve continued down the road, everyone outside seems to be laughing a little harder, and celebrating a little more.
We’ve successfully crept more than halfway down the street, a sharp left turn coming up at the end, representing the road out of Jubilation. Another street comes up on the right, Acer Road. While we pass by it, I take the opportunity to glance down this new avenue, curious as to whether every street is like ours.
I don’t like what I see.
The houses are similarly prestigious, the walls pristine white, but like a spot the difference puzzle, it’s the subtle changes that make the picture. There are no tables, and no families on the wide green lawns. Almost every window I can see is broken. Cars lie abandoned in the road, with one smashed into a splintered porch. Above every door, an X has been drawn in red paint, and outside of each house, a small mound of clothes lie on the fresh cut lawn. A huge collective pile of men’s, women’s and children’s shoes tower at the end of the street… seemingly ownerless.
ROB: Great going everybody. Let’s get back out there.
We’ve reached the end of the street, I breathe a sigh of relief as we bid farewell to Jubilation. I vindictively see it off in my wing mirror as we turn the corner. I immediately wish I hadn’t when, in the split second before it disappears from view, I glimpse the 800 plus residents of Sycamore Row.
They aren’t smiling anymore, and they’re all looking our way.
I welcome the forest as the trees rise up around us once more. The indifference of the nature is a welcome change to the saccharin, faux-civility of Jubilation.
APOLLO: Towns like that make me glad I’m a city boy.
BONNIE: I thought it was nice, wasn’t it like Wintery Bay?
CLYDE: I don’t think I’ve been.
BONNIE: Oh… maybe it was Shelburne Falls.
CLYDE: Oh it was a little like Shelburne Falls.
ROB: Guys we gotta keep this channel clear.
We hurry along the next road, and turn right. The further we get from the eerie town of Jubilation, the higher our spirits seem to be.
AS: How long until we stop?
ROB: ‘Bout another four hours. Nothing big in between us and there though. Shouldn’t be a problem.
AS: Good to hear. So… what does “Breakfast” translate to in Japanese?
ROB: You heard that?
AS: Yeah, I’ve been curious all day. Does it have something to do with-
I jolt forwards, sharp pain in my neck as my head recoils back against my seat. Rob has stamped his foot onto the brake, bringing us to an immediate and shocking halt. Before I can ask why, my question is answered, as one of the colossal pine trees slams into the road ahead of us, blocking our route forward.
ROB: Goddamn it! You alright?
AS: I’m fine.
Massaging my neck, I look towards the base of the felled tree. The low end is covered in straight, sharp-cut marks. Someone has brought this tree down, timing its fall in an attempt to cripple the Wrangler.
AS: Rob what’s going on?
ROB: Ferryman to all cars. Full reverse. Watch out for the people behind you.
The convoy pulls away, back down the road towards Jubilation. Rob waits for Apollo to start moving, then backs up himself. There’s a second jolt as Rob abruptly stops the car, surveying our means of egress.
ROB: Ferryman to all cars. Road’s done for but there’s a gap at the end. Be careful.
Rob’s right. Though the tree has fallen across the tarmac, only the thin treetop lies over the grassy bank between the road and the forest. There’s a bit of a valley between the edge of the road and the grass, and Rob wastes no time in showing the others how to negotiate it.
Twisting the wheel, Rob dry steers towards the gap and proceeds cautiously towards the roadside. I watch the asphalt disappear beneath us moments before the tell-tale bump. The Wrangler drops down the small bankside, and turns around the fallen tree. I watch the needle covered tip brush against my window as we roll past. With a second bump, Rob brings us back onto the road and pulls us over to the far edge, turning the Jeep to face towards the convoy.
ROB: Ok Apollo make your way.
APOLLO: On it Rob.
As Apollo swerves towards the gap, I hear something. The sound of a running engine, at first so quiet that it’s almost impossible to isolate it from the convoy’s own rumblings. It’s since grown louder however, and it’s growing steadily more noticeable.
AS: Rob, someone’s coming.
ROB: Apollo get yourself over here right now. All car’s you’re on double time. Get moving!
Apollo accelerates towards the gap. His Range Rover shudders, banking on the grassy decline, but it’s hardly any effort to pull himself around the tree and back onto the road.
The noise in the distance grows louder. I can picture the vehicle careering towards the corner, just one turn away from having its windshield locked on the convoy. Though I have no idea what it might be, I don’t want to share road space with anything coming out of Jubilation.
The rest of the convoy can hear the noise now. Bonnie and Clyde roll over to the gap, and quickly but tentatively push themselves down onto the side. It’s clearly harder than Rob and Apollo make it look. After a few moments they travel across the bank, bringing themselves out on the other side.
The vehicle turns the corner.
A white truck skids into view, its tires shrieking against the road. A metal beam sticks up behind the driver’s compartment, and a hook swings with the momentum of the hard right turn. It’s a tow truck, though something tells me it’s not here to lend us assistance.
ROB: All cars, once you’re on the other side, drive. Wait around the left turn. I’ll radio if I they get by me.
APOLLO: What about you guys?
ROB: I’ll come once everyone’s across. Now ain’t the time for questions. Eve and Lilith get over here now.
We still have time to get everyone across, but every passing second feels like a precious, fleeting loss. Eve and Lilith are impatient for their turn. Dropping onto the roadside and coming back up in a matter of seconds.
The truck is gaining with incredible speed. I can just about make out the words “Jubilation Recovery” scrawled across the hood. Though the letters are rapidly becoming easier to read.
Bluejay takes her time dismounting the road. In fact she’s almost casual in how she maneuvers, whittling away at the remaining seconds we have. A swell of anger wells up inside of me as her wheels hit the road again. If she’s calm about this situation then good for her, but I can see Ace drumming his fingers frenetically against the steering wheel, now stranded alone on the other side.
I watch Bluejay follow the rest of the convoy to the next turn, displaying none of the urgency anyone else has shown.
ROB: Take it easy Ace. You ain’t built for this.
Ace takes the corner, heeding Rob’s plea for caution but unwisely taking it almost head on. His front wheel thuds over the edge of the bank, and the chassis hits the tarmac. The drop is just a little too steep for the Porsche’s clearance. Rob’s warnings ring in my ears as Ace accelerates on three wheels, his car engaging in a slow turn with little forward motion.
ACE: Rob, what do I do?! Rob?!
The pickup truck maintains its speed and aligns itself with Ace’s Porsche, its thunderous velocity defying all logic, all concern for Ace’s or their own safety.
ROB: Get outta the car Ace! Get out of the goddamn car!!
Ace struggles with his seatbelt, stress overpowering his motor functions. He unclasps it, and throws the belt to the side. He grabs the door and pushes. It swings open slightly, then immediately slams against the bark of the pine tree. For a moment that lasts all too long, he shares with me a look of pleading terror.
The door is slammed shut, crumpling as the tow truck collides with the passenger side of Ace’s car. Ace is launched against the the door, his head smashing against the window. The ungodly racket of shrieking metal suddenly gives way to silence.
Rob climbs into the back of the car.
AS: Rob what can I do?
ROB: Stay here.
I hear Rob rummaging among the luggage as the tow truck reverses out of Ace’s Porsche. The hood of the tow truck is completely and impossibly unharmed by the impact, as are its two occupants.
They park the truck side on to us, the hook hanging a few metres away from the back of the Porsche. The the words Jubilation Recovery appear again, now accompanied by a slogan “Here to Help”. Two men in white shirts and blue overalls climb out and wander over to the ruined Porsche. They barely seem to register the situation at all, casually chatting together as they throw open Ace’s passenger side door.
The stunned Ace looks like he’s battling a concussion, only barely cognisant as he’s pulled out of the car. He quickly grows more aware as the mechanics grab him by each arm, struggling against them as his captors talk amongst themselves.
ROB: Let him go!
When I turn around, Rob is stepping out of the Wrangler. Apparently, hidden within those neat stacks of luggage, was a loaded hunting rifle. Rob raises the stock to his shoulder and repeats himself.
ROB: LET HIM GO!!
The mechanics pay no attention to Rob. They continue to frog march Ace over to the truck. One of them making a quiet joke to the other as they go. They laugh.
An awful bang erupts beside me, and a deep red hole bursts from one mechanic’s torso, blood slowly seeping out of the wound. Inexplicably, the mechanic does nothing more than look down at his wound, up at Rob, and then back to the matter at hand. He hardly breaks stride as he continues towards the truck, bleeding freely onto the floor,.
I hear Rob set about reloading the rifle.
The mechanics arrive at the back of the truck with Ace. There are two short loops of thin chain hanging from the lowest of the hook’s chainlinks. The mechanics feed Ace’s arms through one loop each, until he’s hanging by the armpits in front of the hook itself.
Rob fires another shot that goes nowhere.
The mechanics grab a handful of Ace’s hair, chatting as they do so, and lift Ace’s head up until his lower jaw is just above the hook.
In that moment, despite everything, despite all my journalistic ideals, my pursuit of truth, my duty as an observer… I close my eyes.
The visual disappears into darkness, but the sound doesn’t. The impact and the sorrowful, obstructed groan that follows penetrates my bones, reverberating throughout my very being. Another gunshot, and the sharp twang of a metallic ricochet. Ace’s cries continue as the engine starts up and carries him off back to Jubilation. I hear another gunshot, that sounds like it hits nothing but air.
As the engine, and Ace’s whimpers, grow quieter, a few moments pass before one final, measured gunshot echoes around the car.
ROB: … Goddamnit. GOD-FUCKING-DAMNIT!!!
The Wrangler’s chassis clangs as Rob kicks the side with all his considerable might. I open my eyes to see a fallen pine tree, a ruined Porsche, and an otherwise empty road.
When Rob climbs into the car, it’s clear he’s trying to regulate his breathing. An internalised rage lighting him up, barely under his control.
ROB: We have to go.
Rob turns us around, pointing the Wrangler back down the road. The quiet of the car echoes in my ears, along with other noises I can’t hope to forget. I watch the fallen pine grow smaller in the rear view mirror, overwhelmed by a feeling that I’m leaving more behind on this road than I can currently imagine.
Bereft of conversation, of logic, of any semblance of comfort, Rob and I do the only thing we can.
We take the next left.