Red Light

Story on a theme: Red

“You show up late one more time and you can forget about showing up at all!” That was last week and my boss still hadn’t lost that twitching anger eye from the experience. This was really my last chance and I was running dangerously late again.

“Damn,” I screamed while seated in my car nervously gripping the steering wheel until veins protruded across the back of my hands as if some road map had come alive on my person, guiding me through the path of least resistance.

I didn’t understand it. I’d given myself ample time to get to work but there were sixteen traffic lights between my home and my work and I’d already missed the first ten. Every single one of them was red when I pulled up! Red!

“They’re not changing!” I cried as I pulled up for the eleventh light, breaking my own personal bad karma record.

With each light staying red I had to make a decision. Should I just run the red light? Should I risk a policeman catching me? That would guarantee I’d be late and fired. I couldn’t afford to be fired. Not in the current economy. It might be two years to find work again in this town.

I slammed down on the gas pedal and screamed through the red light, wincing over my illegal shenanigans. Surely this has to end badly for me.

Another red light! They’re all red. Every light in the city is red. If I’m late my boss must understand that something has happened to the entire traffic grid system. That’s got to have made the news. Perhaps I’m in the clear. I turned on the radio for hope but the news offered no solutions to my dilemma.

Tick, tick, tick. Time was running out. I again punched the gas down and screamed through the intersection as I invited another hidden cop to my moving violation performance.

Three minutes and counting! I still had three more lights before the parking lot. Wait! That’s it: The parking lot. If I turn right and cross the street and take the parking lot back I could avoid running the next light.

"I can’t take it." I was at another red light and no trickery available this time. “Screw it,” I shouted as I took off through the light. Cleared it! There was only one light left standing between me and my job.

As I pulled up to the last red light before work, a cop approached from the other way. This was it. Ninety seconds left to get to work and I couldn’t run the red light. What were the odds of this happening?

I waited and waited for the cop to either turn or drive out of reach. Sixty seconds left. Sweat was trickling down my forehead and into my eyes. I took my glasses off and wiped the sting away.

“Holy crap! It’s green,” I screamed upon the realization that I finally had a green light. Screeching the tires, I made it across the intersection, into the parking lot and over to my parking space.

Twenty seconds left. I could make it. I leaped to the door and inside with mere seconds to spare. I’d done it. The boss wasn’t firing this employee today.

The receptionist looked at me and said, “Oh, your boss called in sick today and your wife left a message.”

“What was the message?”

“She said you grabbed her novelty rose-colored glasses instead of your glasses this morning. She’ll bring yours by around lunch.”


Nessa said...

Poor guy. Nice twist.

Poor Tuesday

monica said...

it was one of those days:o))

Brian Miller said...

hahaha. oh my. i hate being late so you got my pulse quickening. great take on the the theme!

Simpson/Lynch Studios said...

Nice story in an O'Henry style. Great take on the theme!

anthonynorth said...

Fun twist at the end. Nicely done.
You'll find mine here.

Jasmine said...

Haha, love it. I like your new blog.

willow said...

Thanks for the giggles! Great story!

Betsy said...

hahaha...that was great!

Jill said...

WHEW! had my stomach in knots for a couple of paragraphs...I HATE to be late!HATE IT!

Good take!

Tom said...

red lights suck. I even get 'em at 4 in the morning.

Mrsupole said...

Left a comment before, but I guess it got lost in cyberspace.

Anyway that was a great story and all I kept thinking about was that it was a good thing he did not get into any accidents. Plus, I think I would have stepped on the novelty pair and crushed them into a thousand little pieces.

God bless.

Jaime said...

great story. i thought maybe in the end the guy would be color blind, not just wearing rose-colored glasses.

Baino said...

I see humour permeates your serious side as well. First time over here. Much fun. Does that mean the last light was actually red? I have a friend who's colour blind, he can only tell the light colours by their position.

CatLadyLarew said...

Love it! Like Baino, this was my first visit over here. Luckily I didn't get stuck at any red lights on the way!