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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)

TITLE: Tale of Two Fingers
By Hope Horner


“Why don’t you try using your signal next time!” A blue Volvo changed lanes abruptly in front of me, cutting me off. Shaking my head in disgust, I merged to the left and into the fast lane.

“Am I wearing a sign that says ‘Please cut in front of me’ or something?” I thought sarcastically. Just this morning at Starbucks, some guy in a blue suit pretended not to see the line and cut in front of me and several other people. He turned around and shot us a “And what are you going to do about it?” look. We really didn’t have anything in mind, so we all just stood there perturbed. He snatched up his venti mocha and strolled out the door without a look back.

Now I was ambling my way through Los Angeles morning traffic with thousands of other poor souls. All I wanted to do was drop my son off at kindergarten and get to work by 8:00 a.m.—is that too much to ask? It shouldn’t take 2 hours to go 35 miles!

“You doing OK back there buddy?” I asked my son who was propped up in his car-seat in the back. The bump and nod of traffic usually rocked him into dreamland in no time.

Just then, a white Volkswagen bug crept into the fast lane and brought it to an ever slower crawl.
“Could you go any slower?” I screamed at my windshield. The Volkswagen was moving along like a small dog with a limp. It’s probably stuck in 3rd gear. I thought in disgust. In one exasperated motion, I shot back into the lane on my right which seemed to be moving a bit faster—at least for now.


“WHAT?! You weren’t there a second ago!” I yelled. I looked back and noticed I had just pulled out in front of some teenager in a new, yellow Mustang with no front license plate.

“What else ya get for Christmas?!” I shouted as his front bumper faded in and out of my rear-view mirror.

Suddenly, he pulled out from behind me and into the lane to my right.

“You may have a Mustang, brother, but this old Toyota’s still got some life in her!” My anger made me wish I could floor it and take off, but the traffic was barely moving so I just revved the engine. I had hoped it would make a really macho throaty sound, but it ended up sounding more like a very happy kitten.

I glanced in my rearview mirror. He had on large, dark sunglasses and his head was shaved bald. His tattooed left arm hung casually out the window.

My anger turned to fear.

“Great! I just cut off some notorious gang member and now he’s going to shoot me in cold blood right here on the Ventura freeway!”

My mind raced to think of a plan.

Should I get out now? But how will I get my son out? Where’s the nearest call box? What will I do if he has a gun? Duck? I didn’t mean to cut him off—really--I was just trying to get around that slow driver! Why do they allow those old bugs on the road if they can’t go over 25 mph?

His lane inched forward. Mine didn’t. He was now even with my car.
Anxiously, I turned my head to look at him. I expected to see the end of gun or at the very least a rude gesture.

Instead, to my complete surprise, he stretched out his long, muscular arm and held two fingers up in the air to form the peace sign.

At first, I thought it might be one finger, but no, I checked again, and it was definitely two. And was that a smile?

I checked the traffic in front of me and then glanced over at him again. He pulled his dark sunglasses down on to the tip of his nose and I noticed that he was not even looking at me. Instead, he was focused on the backseat of my car.

I jerked my head around to look at my son.

He was definitely not asleep.

With the wind in his hair and a grin on his face, my son was holding his arm out the window with his two tiny fingers up in the air.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

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This article has been read 1129 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Anderson01/31/05
LOL loved this story and the humor in it. Great job. God bless you.
Lynda Lee Schab 01/31/05
Oh, I loved every word of this story. Held my attention all the way to the surprising (and awesome) end!
Corinne Smelker 01/31/05
Great ending! Loved this story, because I have said those remarks before.

I got a reality check one day when I heard my 5 year old yell, "Ok people the light's not going to get any greener" I realised just how much they listen, even if they look like they're in dreamland.
Karen Deikun02/01/05
Very good. A reminder that someone is always watching - and that we have a log in our eye and often misjudge those around us as well!
Linda Germain 02/02/05
Too precious! This would make a GREAT public service announcement on TV.
Deborah Bauers02/05/05
So real! This is something that so many of us can relate to. Reminds me of Christ's admonition that unless we become as a little child...Very thought provoking.
Deborah Porter 02/07/05
Hope, what can I say? Congratulations on another great win - 1st place in the Level 3 Champion Challenge, and 3rd place in the Editors' Choice. You are an excellent writer and your regular wins really just reflect that truth. With love, Deb (Challenge Co-ordinator)
Sally Hanan02/07/05
Just great. I'm still smiling.
Debbie OConnor02/08/05
WOW! No wonder you took first in your category. This is an absolutely terrific story.
Anna Kittrell02/09/05
I absolutely loved this story. It brought tears to my eyes because of its truth. We think we are mindreaders and judges in this life, and I only know One who trully is. Thankfully, He gave us children to remind us of unconditional love.
God bless.
daniel johnson04/04/06
truly blessed are the peace makers....reminds me of the verse..."unless you repent and be like a child...."
Thank you