The motorcycle roared down Highway 51. The rider passed a distance sign that read: Gehenna 33 miles / Canyon Hill 56 miles. She figured she’d be out of the Valley in an hour. The desert flew by as she sped up. The sooner she was through this area, the better.
Thirty minutes later, a large neon sign loomed before her. The Pit flashed in bright pink letters. Soon the restaurant with a battered white pick-up truck and vintage Volvo parked in front came into view. She ignored it and focused on the road. In fifteen minutes, signs signaling she’d almost reached the city of Gehenna popped up. Gehenna 6 miles. Once she went through the town, it was only fourteen miles to Canyon Hill outside of the Valley.
She passed a speed limit sign of 60. It was high for being so near a city. Usually speeds were lowered as one neared a city’s limit so vehicles didn’t whiz through endangering citizens. She shrugged it off, but slowed to 60 just in case there was a police car lying in wait.
Five minutes passed then ten. She should have reached Gehenna by now. She didn’t see anymore signs for the city. The desert spread out on either side of her. Twilight made the land an odd mix of gray and orange light. A large sign stood large and tall on the side of the highway. Gehenna. Finally. The sign read:
Gehenna 33 miles
Canyon Hill 56 miles
What? She turned her head around, but had already passed the distance sign. Gehenna had been only six miles away. She must have read the sign wrong. It must have said that the city limits were three miles ahead.
But time ticked by and no town materialized. The rider was becoming concerned when she saw bright pink lights and building up ahead. Good. There was the town. Checking her gas gauge she realized might have to stop for gas. She was almost out of the Valley. Hopefully, it wouldn’t matter. The pink neon letters flickered The Pit Diner. Next to it stood the weathered building with the same two vehicles in its lot. Her heart rattled against her ribcage. Maybe it was a franchise? There were metropolitan areas with Starbucks on every corner. This had to be a similar situation. That didn’t explain the exact same truck and orange Volvo as before. It had to make sense somehow.