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Curiosity – a short story

Copyright © 2013 by Christian Bergman, All rights reserved.

All people, places, and events are fictional … except when they aren’t.

The traffic on the Foothill Freeway is particularly light today, due to the fact that almost everyone is taking the week of Christmas off. I am approaching an old pickup truck poking along what must be 45 to 50 mph in the far left-hand lane. At 80 mph, I am closing the gap quickly. Deftly sliding over one lane to the right, I punch the accelerator of my 12 year old ‘pre-owned’ Tesla Roadster, passing the pickup with ease. Inside the pickup truck an old Latino couple are arguing away, oblivious to the traffic hazard they present. I check my rearview mirrors left and right and realize that we are the only two vehicles on the road. My exit is coming up fast, so I let off the accelerator and ease over to the far right lane applying ever-so-light regenerative breaking to slow down for my left turn on to Berkshire Place. I swing under the Foothill Freeway and continue coasting and decelerating as I approach the dead-end ‘T’ into Oak Grove Drive.

The light is red. As I pull to a stop, I mutter out loud, “why am I waiting on a signal light when I’m the only car as far as the eye can see?” With that I check my surroundings one last time, swear under my breath, and pull deliberately into Oak Grove Drive heading north. I smile as I power up to the speed limit. “I am an outlaw,” I think to myself as I double check the radar detector and rear view mirrors.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory main entrance appears ahead. Once again, I decelerate as I pull up to the guard shack. I immediately recognize the guard on duty and show him my badge. “Hey Al, Merry Christmas. I thought you were off to see the grandkids.”

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