There are times in life when everyone feels lost. It's a state of mind, an existential thing. One can be lost in one's career, on a project, in a relationship, in the handling of a crisis, or in a far more subtle way that's not so easily defined. But as bad as it is to be metaphorically lost, being literally lost can be much more terrifying. Perhaps it's not so frightening to be lost on the way to an appointment in a familiar place, but to be lost on a distant shore can be an existential crisis in and of itself.
Picture yourself stranded in a city in a foreign land. You speak little of the language, you do not have a functioning cell phone or a map of any kind. You must find your way back to an apartment you've lived in for only about a week, and you've just taken the subway two stops too far...or did you get off early? Now the sun is gone, and night is setting in, and you need to find your way home without anything but your memory and your wile. Best not to think about what might happen if these aren't enough.
I've lived through this myself, and passed the trial successfully. Just a few months prior, I wrote a story about a stranded astronaut whose own fate wasn't so sunny. This was "Starless Night," my first pro-rated sale. I'd like to read it to you today.