ran down the woman's face as she sat on the living room floor. Screwdriver in her hand, she examined a phone
that lay in front of her. Big and round,
her eyes were framed by dark circles and the skin was pale from the
sun. The walls were cluttered with just
about anything from photos to posters and an assortment of other
items. An accumulation of dust gave a
grey look to everything in the room and a stale tobacco odor saturated
alone but that did not stop her from speaking her mind as she grabbed a
to wipe at her nose. She reached
for the phone and with a screwdriver began to disassemble it.
know they put one in here." she mumbled to herself.
There was a noise at the front door and she
looked up to see it open a moment later.
A young girl of about ten years old walked in.
that door Felissa!", the woman hollered at her daughter,
"You'll let the damn flies in!"
said nothing as she turned to shut the door.
She looked at her mother for a moment, then scurried
into the hallway
sidestepping several piles of soiled laundry as her mother spoke again.
she hollered, “Where do you think you’re going?"
frail girl stopped and was silent for a moment.
Her eyes watered but she managed to hold back the
tears. "I'm going
to do my homework mom."
her mother replied. “This ain't no
for homework! It's late and where have
you been anyway?"
shoulders hunched forward. "Don' t you
remember mom? You signed the permission
slip last week so I
could go to the science fair with my class". The
woman looked up for the first time and
stared ahead in thought. She did vaguely
recall signing something.
can't remember everything.", she mumbled before turning back to the
project in front of her. Her mind
"I just know they put one in here..."
she said to
herself then closely inspected the disassembled phone.
The daughter stared at her and with a
resigned sigh asked,
"One what mom?"
mother stood up to pace in an aimless pattern as she tried her best to
explain. The words didn’t make much
sense to Felissa as her mind filled with confusion.
Whatever her mother was saying began to fade
into the background as the young girl recalled the exciting field trip
in the day.
"What a day!" she thought to
herself as her friend Rick came to mind.
He was one of the few people from school she felt
comfortable with and
the trip had given them a rare chance to socialize.
Rick had moved into town about a year
before. Twice his mother had invited
Felissa and her mother to visit but the girl, not sure how her mother
field trip gave them both a chance to learn more about each other. She discovered that he also lived alone with
his mother as neither of them had any brothers or sisters.
There was an irony to the similarity in their
uneventful lives. In the exhibits they saw a different world of life in
future. There were rooms with beautiful
white maintenance free carpeting and movies with designs of what cities
look like in the future. Felissa's
favorite exhibit was the one with the spotless kitchen.
Fully automated, it was equipped with food
dispensers and control panels with buttons you simply pushed when you
hungry. There were so many things for
the two of them to see and it gave them an escape from their daily
was startled from her thoughts when her mother raised her voice.
you deaf?" she yelled out.
mom” Felissa answered.
"Well!” the mother continued,
“are you going to get me the flashlight?”
quickly set her books down then quickly scurried back before her mother
here trying to take care of this phone so we can use it and you just
dawdle", the mother said in a lower voice as Felissa brought her the
was working this morning" Felissa said as her mother gave her a strange
look. She took the flashlight from the
girl's hand. Felissa watched her point
the light onto the scattered phone parts.
room was silent for what seemed like an eternity until the woman spoke
going to find it if it takes all night" she said and then put the
flashlight down to reach into her shirt pocket for a cigarette. She lit it, took a hard drag and then
exhaled. The dirty white smoke spread
itself out slowly, settling onto everything that lay in its path.
woman stood up, walked over to the old television and turned it on as
settled into a large, overstuffed chair.
spoke up, "I'm hungry
the woman barked back, "hungry isn't getting the laundry done
girl". After thinking for a minute
she continued, “there's some pizza in the refrigerator. Go ahead and warm it up. You're going to do
the laundry when you're finished eating, right?"
mom", Felissa answered back.
found the pizza, warmed it up in the microwave and then poured herself
of milk. When she finished she went
outside, grabbed a shopping cart from the trash area and then set it by
front door to load the laundry.
already 7pm and she wondered how she would ever have the time to do her
homework. Her mother got up from the
chair and went back to what was once a phone.
just know I'm going to find one", she said again.
loaded the laundry and was
about to leave when she turned to her mother and asked one more time,
"Find what mom?".
bug!" her mom replied.
"Bug?" the girl
the mother answered and then continued, "I know the cops bugged my
phone. I just know they did.
They think they're smart but I'm smarter and
I'm going to find that damn bug!"
looked at her mother sadly. She thought
of the afternoon at the science fair and all the exciting things she
seen. She also thought of the good time
she had with Rick. Then she thought of
life, reality and wondered why she was ever even born.
"I love you mom." She
said and then closed the door.
passenger vehicle continued through the EARTH MUSEUM and its passengers
silence thinking of the exhibit they had just seen.
It was a holograph with three dimensional
pictures and lifelike people who depicted a part of human history. A slice of life from the twentieth century.
vehicle pulled in after and stopped at the same exhibit staging area. The excited passengers quieted as their guide
moved forward and addressed them.
is a part of our history we will never forget and we hope, will never
again. First, there is the mother
riddled with infectious drugs.” The
guide paused as a low sound of sadness could be heard from the
observing group. After a moment the guide
there is a hero to the historical representation you are about to
observe. It is the persistent resilience
of others who
determined to survive at all cost. In
this case it is a little girl and in her you will see why the human
continues to survive to this very day.”
tourists looked at the stage setting as light seemed to bring it to
life. They saw there was a woman
sitting on a
living room floor. Her eyes were glazed
and hollow. The skin paled from the lack
of sun. As she lifted a screwdriver one
of the passengers pulled out an electronic palm program and asked a
this scene listed here?”
tour guide answered.