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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2318353-Ryans-Bad-Day
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Drama · #2318353
Driving to work became a neverending challenge
Ryan set off for work, his usual 80s rock blaring from the speakers, his thumb rhythmically tapping on the steering wheel. These drives through the never-ending construction zone were a constant source of frustration for him. No matter how hard he tried, there was simply no escaping it. Michigan, with its infamous construction season, was a place where jokes about having only three seasons-Summer, Winter, and construction- were all too common.

Southbound Southfield freeway, east at Interstate ninety-four to downtown Detroit. He could manage this commute in his sleep, rain or shine, though lately, the rains were more like torrential downpours that flooded the freeway. Didn’t matter. He knew this area like the back of his hand and could navigate down the one-way streets and reach his destination without any problems.

But today, something was different. His usual exit to the Lodge Freeway was unexpectedly closed. He couldn't help but groan as he found himself forced to follow the traffic to the next exit. It was a minor inconvenience to backtrack down the labyrinthine roads of Detroit, but it was an inconvenience nonetheless.

Taking the exit, he turned right at the first street and headed toward his office building overlooking the Detroit River. As he sat at the red light, he noticed another road closure up ahead, he’d have to turn again and try a different street to get back toward the river. It seemed as if every road he turned on, sent him in the opposite direction. After several annoying turns, he saw the entrance to the Lodge freeway again. Before giving a second thought, he turned onto the ramp, back to the interstate, and headed toward downtown all over again.

He glanced at the clock, seeing that the workday had already started. He should probably call and let them know he was stuck in Construction hell but figured he just needed a good five minutes to get to the office and it would be a moot point. Heading back downtown, he decided to pass the first exit and take the second, it would still put him close to the office, and that’s all he cared about.

Another turn, another road closure. The streets were littered with one-way signs, arrows pointing to this hotspot or that. He waited at another red light, his mind racing as he tried to figure out where to go. Left, then right, right again, left, left, and there it was. The entrance to the Lodge Freeway.

“What the hell!” he shouted. How did he end up back here again? He followed the same route he’d just taken, looping around, and heading back toward downtown. He repeated the first turn he originally made, but this time he turned left. He was getting somewhere, he just knew it. Right turn, left turn, left turn left, and damn if that entrance wasn’t right in front of him again.

Ryan pinched his arm and yelped. He needed to make sure this wasn’t some insane dream. Oh, it was natural enough. Back on the Lodge, he looped around, his head pounding trying to figure out which way to go this time.

It seemed to Ryan, that it didn’t matter which street he turned on, he was going to keep getting back on the Lodge. After six tries, he gave up, parked the car on the side of the road, and sat staring up ahead. The music he loved became an annoyance. The pounding of the bass matched the thumping at his temple. He’d had enough of this insanity. He shut the radio off, his mind whirling. He’d think he was in the movie Groundhog Day if he didn't know any better. Ryan hit the switch on his seat, laid it back, and stared up at the roof of his car.

There was only one thing left to do. He closed his eyes and prayed.


WC: 645

Prompt 3. Write about a character who keeps ending up in the same place.


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