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The blare of horns cracked behind Henry’s car. Although he was certain the horn was not meant for him, he turned his head around anyways to check. Then the car ahead of him jerked forward. And he followed. His foot slowly lifted off the brake pedal and allowed his car to roll another foot to keep up. Then he pressed down on the brake again. Involuntarily, his neck jerked forward with the motion.

Ahead, red circles and rectangles lighted up simultaneously. They flashed bold and bright even in the afternoon sun. Henry leaned his elbow on the window ledge of the car door and let his head sink into the crook of his palm. There was nothing good on the radio. Up ahead a car’s blinker signaled the desire to turn into his lane. As the car began to draw even with him, he slowed enough to let the signaler in. Then they pressed down on the brakes together.

The roads were crowded with the holiday travelers. Mini vans and SUV’s padded incoming freeway entrances to the right and continued to sneak forward in the turnout lanes. He smiled to see them try to gain even one foot ahead of the car next to them. The lane was moving again and he was startled out of his mockery. His whole body jerked forward this time as he over corrected his speed.

 

 

Their cars were so close together that Henry could see in the driver directly in front of him in her rear view mirror. She was singing. He leaned forward. The song was making her head bob up and down and side to side. Her lips were only visible with every up beat. It was impossible to look away. The driver clearly knew every word to the song. Now she was rolling her shoulders around.

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