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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)

TITLE: The end of the road
By Graham Starling
12/09/10


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So there I was driving along, the sky clear and blue, the countryside all around me reflecting cheerful colours in the sunshine, when I come across this signpost.

“Stop,” it says. “You’re going the wrong way.”

There are a few people sitting nearby waving at me and beckoning for me to pull in and join them, but you know that’s their thing and I’d rather be doing my thing so I carry on driving. Anyway who’s to say this is the wrong way? It looks pretty good to me.

The road is smooth and wide and there are quite a few people driving along near me. You know not so close as to make things crowded and slow the traffic down, just a bunch of people driving in the same direction, enjoying the sunshine and the prospect of whatever they have waiting for them at the end of the road. I’m chilled out, got the window open and the stereo cranked up and I’m enjoying the ride when there’s another signpost.

“Turn around. Come and join us, we’re having a barbeque and you are welcome to come along.”

Well I have to say I’m tempted. A bite of barbeque chicken sounds good about now and I am a little peckish, but when all’s said and done, I really want to get to the end of the road so I carry on driving, nodding my head to the music. A couple of pretty girls cruise by in cute little convertible and smile over at me so I smile back. They roar ahead just as we approach another sign.

“Are you unhappy with where this road is going? Turn around and join us; we can show you a better way.”

There’s a bunch of people sitting around this one too. A few people turn off to join them. A few more are setting off in the opposite direction, but me I’m ok with this road. It’s an easy ride and the further along the way I go, the better view becomes. Some miles ahead is the promise of a bright new future so why should I turn around. The prospect of wealth draws me on and I start to sing along to the music on my stereo just as another signpost rears up ahead.

“The end is nigh! Turn about before thou meetest thy doom.”

What they hey? I mean what’s that supposed to mean? Talk about message form the dim and distant past. There are a few elderly people standing beneath this one, looking for all the world like they was surviving on a diet of lemons. No way I’m going to join this crowd.

Up ahead the road takes a sharp left. A blind corner onto a bridge which isn’t there. My car is falling; tumbling and twisting with sky and rocks spinning in my windshield. All those signs inviting me to have a good time or giving some mystical nonsensical warnings. My last thoughts before I hit the valley floor in a pile of twisted metal: “Why didn’t someone just say that the bridge was out?”


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This article has been read 490 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Caitlyn Meissner12/10/10
This is a good message told in an interesting way. I enjoyed the ending a lot. :)
Beth LaBuff 12/13/10
This is a very clever allegory. You've got me thinking about your message. Great work!
Theresa Santy 12/16/10
Very clever! I loved the analogy and creative use of the sign theme.

A while back, I was that driver, and the road looked just fine. Praise God I took a chance and took one of those detours before falling off that cliff!

I loved this! Congratulations on your well-deserved placing.
Michael Throne12/16/10
This is fun. I enjoyed the casual voice and light humor.

The story flowed well and kept my interest. We all know how it ends, really, but the bridge was a nice touch.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/16/10
Wow what a powerful story! Youdid a great job with this one. Congratulations on your well deserved ranking!
Beth LaBuff 12/17/10
Graham, Congrats on your Editor's Choice award!!