Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Road Rage

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

The highway was wide and vast, stretching across the state. By the time it had reached adulthood some five years after groundbreaking, State Road 7 had had enough of the crushing vehicles which wore it to dust. It shrugged off its fillings and wore its pothole wounds with pride. The pain was worth it; traffic fell away a little when it refused any further patches.

Some of those who traveled the road in the dead of night found themselves lost in endless traffic circles or redirected into hellish wildernesses unprepared. When twelve highway workers disappeared in late April, word among the uneducated was that the road had become haunted. An Indian burial ground was blamed but none could be found.

Radicals came one night from off-road and planted explosives which tore the highway in two. S.R.7 drank up asphalt from its tributary roads and healed itself. Self-repair proved to be its undoing.

The humans cut off connection from any other roads, starving S.R.7 to death. They thought they had won but in fact the highway had gotten exactly what it always wanted. It spent its final days untrampled and free from its human masters. In peace, its once black arteries baked grey in the summer sun, its drying flesh crumbled.

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