Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hair Trigger

The pick-up roared up close behind them and honked. Burke moved more toward the center of the narrow, two-lane blacktop and tapped his brakes, jerking the Volvo to a momentary stop and slamming Sue against her seat belt.

"You've been doing that a lot lately," Sue said as she reset her belt. "I'm afraid that we'll end up getting rammed some day."

"It's a common courtesy of the road," Burke replied airily. "It's a polite way to let someone know he's tail-gating." He smiled and dropped his speed another five miles.

The pick-up honked again.

Burke slowed down a little more. Nobody was going to tell him what to do.

Suddenly the pick-up veered into the oncoming traffic lane and sped around the big Volvo, then cut in and tapped his own brakes. Burke was able to stop in time, but only just.

"Damn asshole!" He yelled , waving his middle finger at the front windshield.

The driver jerked his truck to a dead stop about five yards ahead and got out, striding back toward Burke and Sue. He was really angry, she realized. This could be bad. The man looked about forty, hale and hearty, while her Burke was sixty-five and had a bad heart.

Burke seemed pole-axed. Then suddenly he came to life, floored the accelerator, swerved around the pick-up, and sped down the road toward the highway intersection. Sue turned her head to see the pick-up driver still standing in the road, waving his fist and shouting.

"That guy has a severe case of road rage," Burke commented, turning sharply onto the highway and sending the speedometer up past seventy. "Maybe I'd better start packin'."

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