Seeing Red by Mary Margeau

Diverting off the main highway and onto a detour, we patiently move along the old Murphy Road. Only two narrow lanes of trucks and cars are coming and going. Everyone is drawn together in their determination to survive another four o’clock traffic build-up. I see a few familiar faces but no one smiles. Everyone looks dog tired, so a quick nod will do for today. Slowly we grind along in the overpowering heat of a late afternoon.

Suddenly a commotion erupts behind me. Along the shoulder of the road to my left, a red convertible with its top down streaks by us all. The personal number plates identify the driver as Tuf Guy. He is a young blonde fella, wearing a white sport jacket and big black sunglasses. Laughing, he sits on his horn while giving all of us the finger. I’ve never seen him before, the crazy hoon, and he obviously doesn’t know this road. Right in front of him, just over the top of Logan’s Rise, the shoulder he’s speeding on will suddenly disappear. This is the spot where the overflow from Diggery’s Creek cascades into a culvert, directly under the roadway. In a few seconds he’ll either crash or come to a screaming halt. Which will it be?

Driving over the rise I hear the loud screeching of his brakes. Enveloped in clouds of dust he’s managed to stop, just before nose diving into the water. His right signal flashes as he tries to pull in onto the roadway. Everyone sits on their horns laughing as they pass him by. Some wave and others give him the finger. He edges closer to the traffic flow, attempting to push and shove his way back in. As he shakes his clenched fist in the air, every vehicle moves closer together. Now our line of cars resembles a tightly linked chain. On and on we crawl. Nobody gives way to him.

Watching the drama unfold in my rear vision mirror, I suspect he’ll be waiting there for at least another twenty minutes. I speak out, ‘Serves you right, Tuf Guy, you silly ass. So much for your little road rage drama. Mind your manners and stew there until the sun goes down. Then you can finally drive away!’

Mary Mageau © 2019

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