Crossroads (Part 3)

Credit: http://www.bmwblog.com/2011/08/30/bmw-automated-highway-driving/

The 1000 lane highway is every driver’s dream.

Drive at whatever speed you wished on a perfect road. If you had a flat, you could replace it for free. And fuel was free. What is not to like?

As you go down this road, enjoying the drive. You start noticing little detours that seem out of place. They are exit signs that look strange. These signs are made of wood, and the text is written in chalk. It says ‘Detour’. Everyone is speeding past it, but you keep seeing it every couple of yards. You look ahead and see that a sign is placed at every half kilometer.

Interesting.

You think to yourself ‘there’s no way you will have a stopover, this drive is too good.’

Credit: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/blog/guide-driving-los-angeles

After an hour of speeding on this glossy highway, the drive no longer feels great. It is becoming boring. You are slowing down. Tired. The ‘detour’ signs are fast becoming appealing. You signal to turn to the left, an attempt to get closer to the ‘detour’.  You notice a warning sign flashing on overhead signs in your lane not to turn.

You are surprised.

The pull of the ‘detour’ is strong. You switch lanes the first time. The alarms sound once. The second time. The alarms, now louder, sounds a few more times. The third time. Barriers pop up at the side of your lane alone. It has become a strange highway. It now feels like whoever is in charge doesn’t want you to take the detour.

“Could they be watching out for me?” You wonder.

“If they were, would they force me to stay here?” You think out loud, slowing down in the process.

The barriers are made of iron, and they would certainly ruin your car if you try to ram through them. The pull of the detour becomes stronger, and strangely, all other lanes to your left suddenly have barriers. It now feels like a deliberate means of keeping you in your current lane.

You are angry. This highway is not what it seems to be. It’s no driver’s utopia. As long as you stay in line, you are fine. Curiosity outside of it is not allowed.

You are now determined to get out.

You notice a gap in the barrier on your lane. You look forward and see other gaps ahead. You slow down a little bit to 30 km/h (18.6m/h). You notice it.

A pattern.

Unbelievable. It had been there the entire time. So simple. A straight path. All you had to do was slow down to see it. The gaps each formed a diagonal road towards a detour. It looks like a secret hiding in plain sight.

You turn. Now, the alarms are blaring out of control. Other drivers do not seem to be aware of this occurrence. You maintain your speed, driving across the ‘secret’ diagonal lane. You make it to the detour.

The alarms stop immediately

It’s a small road. You increase speed. The road is fairly wide, enough for a truck to pass through. There are street lights due to the absence of natural light.

A few minutes later, you see weird flashes through the rear-view mirror. Curious, you stop the car, and get out, right there in the middle of the path. You see the flashing lights in the sky, and can now hear shouts. These sound more like screams.

“From where I was coming from?” You are puzzled.

You climb upon the roof of the car and there it is. You see it. You are shocked.

Credit: http://www.teerritory.com/blog/2016/10/30/fire-tower-look-out-adventure

Terror! Horror! Chaos! Death.

You have gone pale.

You notice that you have been climbing a steady hill the entire time.

You look ahead and you see a well-lit city of sorts ahead. It seems beautiful. The light, though very bright, did not hurt your eyes. Strange.

It was beautiful and it sounded lovely too, even though it is faint. You hear it.  You decide to head towards the shiny city. It is a better option compared to the road that leads to smoke, fire, ash, and screams.

You jump off the roof. Filled with zeal to discover the city. Get in the car. Start the engine. Zoom off. The detour finally ends.

You find yourself entering the seven lane toll-free road that you were on hours ago. Except, this time, you are driving against the traffic.

You remember the car that was flashing its headlamps warning you to turn around. It has come to a full circle.

You start flashing your headlamps too. Yours is even more erratic. You keep flashing into incoming cars, swerving into their lanes in their opposing direction, as if you are going for a head-on collision. You are shouting at the top of your lungs – “TURN BACK!!!!”

You are now acting like the crazy person.

You open the sun-roof, and start waving your hands, each in the opposite direction of the other, forming an “X” sign. You are honking as hard as you can. Shouting as loud as you can. Everyone else is driving in the opposite direction. They are avoiding you.

You are the crazy person.

You get to the three-lane highway. You do the same. Lights, waves, honk, shout.

Same result.

Nobody stops.

The single road. You stop flashing your headlamps, instead, you turn them on with high beams.

Honking erratically.

Speeding too.

Coming cars stop for you to pass through. You get a glimpse of their faces as you pass by. They are all baffled. You don’t care anymore. You step on the brake. You are at a crossroad. The road to the city of lights is the one with a toll.

You are at its entrance. You came out of the car, and start shouting – “STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!” – at the top of your voice to the cars that were turning away from the toll road entrance.

They all zoom off. It seems like they are running away from you and the deadly toll road. You get back into your car, approach the toll booth where you see a much older man.

He smiles and says ‘Welcome’.

You give a wry smile.

You ask how much for the toll. To your surprise, he says … ‘A Handshake’

It comes back to you. The car that you saw the first time didn’t give any money. It was a handshake.

You put out your hand, and the shake takes place.

Credit: http://cbeo.tk/black-and-white-people-shaking-hands/

You are now officially a ‘crazy’ person.

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