Holiday Traffic

The second part of my Friday Fictioneers click-soliciting challenge. three days now to get to 2,000 views.This one’s more serious-hence the dull title-and comes in at 120 words-because as a rehabilitated road-rager, I felt I couldn’t leave out the point about the therapeutic effects of sounding the horn.

Photo by Sandra Crook


A tractor pulls out. He leans on the horn. He hates when they cut him up. At this rate, it’ll be hours before they’re in Cornwall. The AC’s broken and the kids are fighting in the back. The drive’s been hell since his Dad took him and his sister here when really they wanted to go to Florida.

“What are you doing?” Asks Mary, “No need to get angry.”

“I’m not angry. I beeped the horn and now I’m fine.”

“It’s aggressive,” she whispers,”The kids are in the back.”

“It’s…catharsis. There wouldn’t be a word for it if it wasn’t a thing.”

Not meaning to, he looks at his reflection in the rear-view mirror. He’s become his Dad.



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35 responses to “Holiday Traffic

  1. Dear Etienne,

    I’ve seen my son become his dad behind the wheel. Frightening. You’ve captured the beast on wheels well.



  2. Dee

    i wouldn’t tell too many people, but I’ve seen my dad staring back at me sometimes when I look in the rear view mirror. Road rage is dreadful and I do try very hard to keep my cool. Thanks for the remionder

  3. Sometimes becoming one’s father is a good thing. Other times… not so much.

  4. Very good story with good dialogue. Most of us probably see our parents in ourselves as we get older.

  5. I became a bit too much like my dad when I got behind the wheel and made a conscious decision one day to relax. It works most of the time now. πŸ™‚


  6. I hope you hit your click-target – good luck with that! As for your story, you and I have both found the impatient father in the car behind πŸ™‚
    If you’ll forgive a little critique, I found the first paragraph a bit confusing – I thought at first “he leans on his horn” was referring to the tractor driver and the last sentence threw me as to what Dad’s doing there as well, or whether he is now referring to the son. By the end, I got it (and I liked the comparison between father and son), but I wonder if it could be clearer from the beginning.

  7. camgal

    Good luck with your target, really good stories πŸ™‚

  8. I hate those little moments where we become our parents. 2000 clicks, huh? Well, here’s mine.

  9. Ack everyone’s biggest fear right πŸ˜‰ Great story!

  10. In a pinch, we always revert back to observed behavior…usually that of a parent.

  11. It’s always shocking when I see my mother in the mirror… but then, it’s not always a bad thing, just shocking.

    Are you on your way to 2,000 views total for your blog, or just on this story?? Good luck with the goal!

  12. Not quite as tight as your first story for the week, but I like the concept. Having learned to drive in a farming community, I understand the frustration of getting stuck behind those trailers. Although my road rages is more likely to appear when I’m driving in city traffic.

    I do think you could trim a few words yet, making it stronger and keeping the part about rage being cathartic. Just consider it. πŸ™‚

    Overall, a nice job on both pieces this week.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  13. I love that they could have gone to Florida. How many family vacations sounded good at the time and then people had remorse.

  14. Yes. Lots of truth here (I cover the mirror). Florida vs Cornwall. For me the latter wins hands down. No contest. Just steer clear of the Cornish Liberation Front – they never buy a round.

  15. Hello – it’s me from awfo – DD – I came, I saw, I commented πŸ™‚

  16. Oh dear! I hope this barely concealed road-rage didn’t lead to an accident or something equally disastrous…. Well written, Etienne!

  17. It’s inevitable…we all become our parents. Good story!

  18. shailajav

    That dreaded moment! We DO turn into our parents eh? Good one!

  19. Great observation in the rear view mirror – how many of us look in the mirror and think we have become our ‘parents’ at some time. Good job and I agree with the wife – I don’t like it when my husband hits the horn either. Good story, Nan

  20. Great study in psychology. We can actually feel his pain at what he sees in that mirror.

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