Peak Hour


It was peak hour traffic, crammed into the three lane roadway. It was raining heavy, the screeches of the windscreen wipers like screws tightening further and further. He switched lanes to avoid the traffic lights, where the right turning cars halted the thoroughfare and he pulled out and accelerated past then another car pulled out in front of him and he jammed on the breaks. The seatbelt choked against his chest and he sat up and raised his hands, looking at the car’s rear view mirror. The silhouette of the driver held up his middle finger over the shoulder of his seat, then accelerated off. He gripped the steering wheel and scraped the gearstick into first, rammed the accelerator to the floor.

He got up as close as he could behind the other car, a yellow car with a large sticker across the dark tinted back window. He chased, his right hand on the wheel as his left hand searched in the back seat and he looked over into the back seat, then back at the road, then into the back seat again. He gripped his hand round the rifle muzzle, hidden under an oil smelling old blanket. The yellow car stopped at the traffic lights and he pulled up close behind and pushed the gear stick into neutral and cranked the handbrake then he opened his door and rushed out to the other car. He fired a shot at the driver’s side window, burst the tinted glass like a bubble, then he fired again, like a camera flash inside the yellow car. Then he fired again. A woman in the passenger seat of a car in the next lane screamed, smacked the door lock down hard as she could, leaning towards the middle of the car. He rushed back to his car and lifted the gun over the front seats and put the car back in gear. The lights switched to green and he rammed the yellow car into the intersection and peeled off onto the left hand turn and accelerated away.

The right lane moved slowly, cars continuing past, shattered glass spilt onto the bitumen. People looked in, then covered their mouths. Other drivers had got out, were standing around and leaning down to see into the yellow car. Then they covered their mouths too.


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