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Traffic Jam



A dark blue Subaru slows down as it joins in the traffic jam. The man inside in the car sighs when he see how far this traffic jam goes. He picks up the phone and calls his wife to let her know he's going to be late home and he won't make it on time to put the kids to bed. She hangs up without a word. He knows she thinks he's lying. After what he did, he doesn't blame her.


The car ahead of him is a silver Prius. The driver can't believe her luck. After finally jumping through all those hoops to become an Uber driver, she's on her way to pick up her first customer and she gets stuck in this bullshit. She knows she's going to lose the customer. She wonders if she'll be able to make rent this month.


The car ahead of her is a blue Skoda Hatchback. The kids are asleep in the back. The young married couple in front hold hands as they look forward to their family vacation on the seaside. The traffic jam doesn't bother them and they sway their heads to the gentle rock playing from the radio at low volume.


The truck ahead of them is a 10-wheeler Mercedes. The driver is quite happy to be in the traffic jam as it gives him enough time to finish his crossword. 8 Across has been bugging him for a while now.


The police cruiser of him is also a Mercedes. The driver has been talking to his copilot for well over 20 minutes now, telling him how the academy doesn't prepare you for what the job is really like out there on the streets. He's in the middle of an anecdote of how he caught a 14-year-old selling drugs and the kid begged him not tell his parents. His co-pilot listens, enjoying his superior's anecdotes but beginning to suspect he's pretty full of himself.


The old beat up Toyota ahead them is belching dark smoke from its pailpipe. DJ told him he'd get him a discreet ride. This thing is sticking way the fuck out and now he's stuck in a traffic jam with two fucking cops behind him and a heroin package underneath the driver's seat. His grip is slippery on the sweaty steering wheel. He's gonna kill DJ next time he sees him.


The car ahead of him is a red Peugot 307. The 5 uni students packed inside it are going over their favourite moment of the Foo Fighters concert. They still can't believe they were on the front row, that's crazy. Everyone's calling bullshit on Mel's story that she touched the tip of Dave Grohl's hand when he went into audience, they're saying she's just imagining it. They're passing round cans of beer, the one driving wishes he could join.


The car ahead of them is a 2004 Vauxhal Corsa. The L on the back window indicates the person driving does not yet have their license. Jen is arguing with her instructor who is failing her because she hasn't finished the exam on time. It's not her fault, it's this the traffic, you're got to be joking. He says she'll have to take the exam again. She can't afford to take it again, this isn't her fault, he should let her take it again for free. The instructor isn't budging.


In the Ford Focus ahead of them, Diane is steeling herself for another beating. She's late with his groceries. It doesn't matter that it's not her fault, she's supposed to be home in the next 20 minutes and she knows she won't make it. She keeps her breathing steady, keeps breathing steady, keeps breathing steady, she knows when the steady breathing goes, the panic attack begins so she keeps breathing steady, breathing steady, breathing steady.


Ahead of her the sleek Audi TT inches forward before coming to a stop. Daisy is excited to show Caitlin the kitten. She's been going on about cats for months but she's piped up about it quite a bit more than usual in the week leading up to her birthday. She hopes Caitlin will like the kitten. Of course she will, what's an unlikeable kitten? She turns and sees it sleeping in its cage on the seat next to her. Nah, Caitlin will love it. Daisy jumps in her seat as


a suzuki motorcyle roars past the Audi, nearly clipping the rearview mirror. He knows he's going too fast. He knows it's dangerous. Could die any minute now. Someone could open the door to get some air and he could smash through it. Or maybe one of the cars will change lanes and he'll bury his head into the rear window. Or maybe he'll just lose balance and skid into someone's wheels and break his neck. His whole body is tense, anticipating a death which could come at any moment. He sees flashing lights up ahead and a police tape cutting off three lanes of the highway. He forgets what he was thinking about and slows down. He goes to the open lane, alongside the police tape. Behind the banner he sees


a smashed up Renault in the ditch between the road and the highway barrier. The car is on its side and Tony is feeling his vision dim. A police officer had told him through his window above him they they couldn't get the door open and they would remove the door. In that moment, Tony realised two things: He was bleeding heavily from his side and his decision to buy a two door car with no trunk to save money might be the death of him...He can feel his vision begin to dim as he listens to the police working away at his door with a blowtorch. The guy hadn't used his turn signal so Tony had to swerve. The guy must have seen it. And he didn't stop. He didn't even stop. And now Tony is going to die. Because the guy didn't use his turn signal. And because Tony was too cheap to spring for a car with a trunk. Ironic. Or wait, no, that's not ironic. Or is it? I've lost a lot of blood. It's like raaaaiiin...on your wedding...I can't see...I just realised I can't see...

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