Recluse

The phone rang, but it sounded beautiful, like a magical waterfall. Tammy stared at it. There was a picture on the front with ‘Mum calling’ written there, but there were no buttons, no way to answer. She tried shouting at it.

‘Answer.’

‘Hello?’

‘Mum, can you hear me?’

The photo of her mother remained motionless. Tammy felt uncomfortable. Fifteen years ago, she made a choice to move to a farmhouse in the middle of South Australia and shun contact with the outside world. Her mother had visited five times, each time bringing new and exciting stories of the change in technology. Tammy had allowed herself to completely detach from modern reality. She had a post drop each fortnight and a collection of books from the nineteenth century or earlier.

Everyone thought it was quite an over reaction to the divorce, but with her husband being such a public figure, she just wanted to escape. Her mother had arrived with a truck last week.

‘Your daughter’s had a car accident. She’s in hospital. She’ll be ok, but she is going to need a lot of care. That’s your job. Get in.’

Tammy hadn’t wanted to go care for this daughter. The daughter had chosen the father, not her. The daughter had never been to visit. The daughter had not replied nor returned a single one of the weekly letters that Tammy had sent for fifteen years. But Tammy had never been able to fight her mother. They spent a day and night packing up the truck and then they’d driven for days to get home.

Tammy had been shocked by the changes in society, and none more than these mobile phones. Everyone had them, even children, and everyone used them constantly.

Tammy put the phone back in her jacket pocket. Her mother would be annoyed, but she’d have to show her how to use it yet again.

 

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